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Wed Jul 5 22:16:36 MDT 1995

with Novell_GroupWise; Wed, 05 Jul 1995 22:03:13 -0600
Message-Id: <sffb0c21.075 at EMAIL.STATE.UT.US>
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Date: Wed, 05 Jul 1995 22:02:09 -0600
To: marxism at
Subject:  'be careful of what it could be used for'

This talk of flaws in marxism which allowed? facilitated? the later
misuse of marxism in the very name of Marx, this talk is slightly
hilarious and very familiar.

I've heard a similar argument many times about science and the
products of science, and anthropology in particular.  "You have to be
careful, or else someone will misuse/misinterpret your work."

The answer is the same, for me, in both marxism and evolution:
anybody can use anything, given sufficient twisting, so what can we
do?  Not much, except do the best work you can.

I also enjoyed Justin's comments on ideology, materialism, and what
people fight about, excerpts appended below.  My own view is very

>>> Justin Schwartz <jschwart at>  7/3/95,
08:25pm >>>
I'm not trying to whitewash Marxism. My point is taht its situation
in regard to be used to evil and to justify appalling crimes is far
from unique.

There's a Marxist explanation for this. Leo win't like it. History is
caused mainly by material forces--human actions, these a re, but they
are struggles by human actors (ideologicly loaded, etyc.) over
material things. Ultimately, over who gets what, who works for whom.
Ideolofy is  superstructual--it has its own dynamic, all right, but
its content tends to reflect the struggles as they play out in
material spheres. Marxism w ould expect atht any ideology (here used
in a  broad, neutral, nonpejorative sense, meaning a system of
ideas), including Marxism, can be appropriated, will be appropriated,
by various forces in these struggles.
 Now Marxists should welcome interrogation and development of their
concepts, but it's poltroonery to think that simply getting those
straight will stop bad men from using whatever language you like for
evil purposes if the alignment of forces is such atht it's in their
intererests a nd within their abilities to do so. There is absolutely
nothing special about Marxism in t his regard.
--Justin Schwartz

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