Bernard Livingston


Bernard Livingston, an Editorial Board Member of Northstar Compass, died on Sept. 7 of a heart attack at age 89. It was his 62nd year as a dedicated and committed Marxist-Leninist.

People who met him in the past 70 years knew him as an outspoken defender of world socialism and the Soviet Union. In 1985 he began organizing and gathering around him people who shared his Marxist ideas and his support for the Soviet Union.

More than outspoken, he always wore oversized buttons on his jacket with photos of revolutionary leaders like Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. He didn't flinch from the arguments these sometimes provoked in the streets or the subways. His reply to anyone who demanded to know as to why he wore the Stalin button was simple: "If it wasn't for Stalin I would not be alive!"

Bernard graduated from law school and then moved from Baltimore to New York, but he never practiced law.

He was a successful photographer and author of six books, including "Their Turf", "Papa's Burlesque House", "Zoo Animals, People, Places", and the best known, which he published himself, "Closet Red."

In "Closet Red" Livingston revealed his abortive stint in the US Army during World War Two... though he was already a Marxist-Leninist - but not as yet a member of the Communist party - he was asked to serve in the counter-intelligence unit. He assumed that he'd be tracking Nazi sympathizers. Not so! He wrote: "Listen to what your buddies talk about," I was instructed. "Keep an eye open for communists and red propaganda, and file regular reports."

Livingston was suddenly relieved of that distasteful assignment and later pushed out of the Army for his own world outlook, though he managed to fight for an honorable discharge based of his awful flat feet. He then embarked on what was for a Marxist an unorthodox career.

"After my discharge from the US Army, I managed to be admitted into the world of the ruling class as an observer. There, not being suspected of sympathy with the "red focus of evil", I was able to circulate with an open eye among the Kennedy's, Dukes, Whitney's and other pillars of the Establishment, In the process 1 learned something about how, in its special style, that Establishment responds to the issues of the day."

His book provides an insightful and amusing view of the lives of the rich and otherwise banal.

Ending his contact with these-powerful brokers, Livingston became a member of the CPUSA. He later left the party over its initial support of "perestroika" and Gorbachev in 1986, but never became anti-party and remained very loyal to socialism and to the USSR's memory.

He gravitated toward the U.S. Friends of Northstar Compass and later to the U.S. Friends of Soviet People, where he remained active to the very end. He will be missed by his comrades and friends in the struggle for proletarian internationalism.

His last satire was published in NSC for the month of September.

Dr. Angelo D'Angelo

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