Bosnia, CPUSA and My Counterrevolutionary Stance

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Fri Aug 4 09:47:10 MDT 1995

At 12:15 AM 8/4/95, LeoCasey at wrote:

>What is definitely not a challenge to my ideas (or to anyone else's ideas) is
>the plethora of ad hominem excuses for argumentation which have come to mark
>the abusive style of those long schooled in the worst of sectarian politics.
>Is it even necessary to point out that Booth has not the faintest idea of my
>income, but he nonetheless chooses to raise this entirely irrelevant red
>herring and ad hominem attack? (God forbid that he actually check out how
>handsomely paid inner city public school teachers are before he flings his
>abuse from the deprived and poverty ridden precincts of Harvard.) Or that he
>knows absolutely nothing concerning my views about the Gulf War? (For the
>record, I was against it.)
>I should know better, follow my own advice and ignore this blather.
>Unfortunately, I care passionately about politics, and have this
>uncontrollable tendency to speak up when utter moral bankruptcy, such as this
>position excusing and denying the genocide taking place in Bosnia at this
>very moment, is proferred as a genuine "left" politics. It is precisely such
>a presentation of "left" wing politics which has contributed so much to the
>rise of the right.

This is one of the most intense blasts of self-righteousness I've read in
some time. Whether it was intended so or not, it seems designed to make the
author feel comfortably superior to everyone else: to engage in ad-hominem
sectarianism while denouncing everyone else for the same crime. I continue
to be impressed by how much critique I hear from this quarter and how
little in the way of "what is to be done."

To take one example, how do "we" stop "genocide" in Bosnia? You
volunteering for the infantry brigade, Comrade Casey? Or do we dispatch the
professional killers of the US Army to do the work?

For one who denounces classical Marxism for being too crude in its class
analysis - in contrast with all the subtleties of pomo multicultism - our
author engages in an extremely crude analysis here. Serbs wear black hats;
kill Serbs; genocide ends. If only the Former Yugoslavia, not to mention
the rest of life, were that simple.

Actually, I think the retreat from class has had more to do with the
decline of left politics than "apologies" for "genocide."



Doug Henwood
[dhenwood at]
Left Business Observer
250 W 85 St
New York NY 10024-3217
+1-212-874-4020 voice
+1-212-874-3137 fax

     --- from list marxism at ---


More information about the Marxism mailing list