Tuli Kupferberg interview

From 2004. Kupferberg was a beat poet, early hippie, peacenik, anarchist, and co-founder of the Fugs. He died on July 12 at age 86. He influenced countless bands, artists, and politicos. He appears to have been liked by all and will be missed.

M.P. – How do you feel about those days [the 30’s and 40’s] when causes were so clear and simple?

T.K. – If they would only come back! (laughs) Maybe simplicity was part of being young, but Fascism, Hitler helped crystalize us. I think there’s a lot to that theory that Western Capitalism built Hitler up, particularly. France and England, to devour the Soviet Union. My God; he didn’t do exactly what they wanted! Maybe the telephone receiver wasn’t too clear.

It’s peculiar because American ideology was part of this simplicity, such as Manifest Destiny, Progress. The easy way out was simplicity. Whenever you found a Socialism you didn’t like you’d say, this is not Socialism. In the end, the ideology was not developed enough to explain or foresee things. Therefore we had these incredible mistakes, if you can call what cost millions of people their lives a mistake happened.

Marx predicted a lot of things wrong, made a lot of mistakes, and had a lot of success; he predicted the revolution would happen in a developed country like England and it never did. Revolution in Russia because it was undeveloped stood outside the theory. In retrospect one can say that both Marxism and Anarchist theory had serious defects. The Anarchists say their theory has never been tried; that’s one of the faults. If it never took power anywhere, it’s a defect.

M.P. – Do you think the 60s idea of an honest life was a dream?

T.K. – It’s not the first time this dream has been around. I can remember the dream of the 30s that died in the 50s. Another was alive in the 60s and died in the 70s, and it’s older than that. Nothing is wasted; no voice is wholly lost.

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