Louis P. and the Professors (fwd)

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Fri Aug 25 07:30:05 MDT 1995


Since Louis sent basically the same message to PEN-L, I am forwarding my
response to this list.

BTW, I am still receiving Louis's posts. I thought I was to be taken off
of his mailing list.  Why do Marxists often react to criticism with the
threat of purges? -- Jerry

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 1995 09:23:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: glevy at acnet
To: pen-l at anthrax.ecst.csuchico.edu
Cc: Multiple recipients of list <pen-l at anthrax.ecst.csuchico.edu>
Subject: Louis P. and the Professors

Louis P. has positively forbid me from commenting on his "marxism" posts
(of course, I ignore such a ridiculous injunction).  Since I have not
been forbidden yet from responding to his PEN-L assertions, I will continue.

 Lenin and
> Engels did their homework and produced results.

Professors, it seems, fail to do their "homework." C'mon, Louis, don't
you have anything more meaningful to add?

 > This is the business of Marxism,
not endless and abstract e-mail
> discussions of the falling rate of profit or the labor theory of value. By
> the way, the reason PEN-L has had less traffic lately is because the
> professors have been at their country homes preparing their next round
> of insights on the Grundrisse. Ah, the pleasures of academic life:
> reading Marx in the Hamptons.

Is Louis suggesting above that only practical historical questions are
"the business of Marxism"?  Doesn't he believe that theory-building has a
place in Marxist thought?

The slow traffic on PEN-L is attributable to two reasons:
  1) the summmer (more later);
  2) the lack of controversial posts.

Louis is surely an antidote for the second problem.

What about the snide Hamptons comment that Louis made above. Louis -- DO
YOUR HOMEWORK! Louis should know (particularly because we discussed this
thread on "College Professors and the Working Class" on the "Marxism"
list last month) that the idea that professors spend their summers
reading the _Grundrisse_ on the beach in the Hamptons, is a ridiculous
caricature. Those who teach in college are very well aware of the
shortcomings of that lifestyle and occupation. Most faculty are
underpaid, many receive no benefits (as in part-time faculty), and have
little (if any) job security. If I was a computer programmer (like Louis),
I might not have to live in a ramshackle apartment with a bathtub in my
kitchen. Of course, *I* am not going to make the same mistake that Louis
does since I know that many computer programmers are unemployed or
underemployed and the idea that they are a privileged group is also
misleading. In any event, Louis: try to overcome your prejudice against
academics -- like all prejudices it is based on ahistorical
overgeneralizations.

Jerry



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