Productive labor and the Duhem-Quine Thesis (fwd)
rwolff at minerva.cis.yale.edu
Wed Jan 4 18:31:29 MST 1995
Ron's points make sense in many ways; no need to apologize for
the style or tone any more than the content. But we can discuss them,
right, without that being somehow insensitive or dismissive.
All the groups that gather around specific injustices,
grievances, objects - they are important, significant, powerful.
But it is also true that their disunity is costly; it does give certain
advantages to unified assaults against them by the state or other
agencies acting on behalf of the status quo. The overstress on unity that
once characterized the left (far stronger in its rhetoric and formalisms
than ever in its realities) need not and should not forever languish in a
reactive overstress on micro-political movement and organization.
The point, from a Marxist perspective, would be to focus on the
dialectical tensions - the unavoidable tensions - that attend any
political efforts by groups of people of whatever sizes. We need BOTH the
unity and the acknowledgement of micropolitical difference and diversity
and hence we need to embrace and try to manage both needs at once - which
is precisely the political trick for the left as for any other combatants
in social struggles. So maybe now, after suffering through and learning
from the costs of overstressed "unities" and "diversities," we can get to
the open discussion and debates about how to manage unified struggles
comprising complex assemblages of distinct, different groups.
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