Ralph speaks

Jon Beasley-Murray jpb8 at acpub.duke.edu
Fri Mar 10 01:16:53 MST 1995

On Thu, 9 Mar 1995, Ralph Dumain wrote:

> As for those of you offended by my tone, I suggest you focus your
> attention on the content of my remarks, ie. pay attention to what
> you are reading.  It amazes me how many PhDs (esp. in English
> depts., esp. at places like Duke University) can't read.  Too much
> obscurantist jargon addles the brain, perhaps?

Perhaps.  But not being a PhD, I can't quite say.  Whatever.  I agree:
the content of your remarks is important.  As is the content of others on
this list.  As is the content of others who might want to post on this
list, but who might not think it worth getting hassle and abuse for their

Whatever, there are few things more tedious than a list in which the
discussion centers around one person or in which the list itself becomes
the central object of discussion.

In my next post I will send out the "welcome" message that
everyone--including Ralph--received (though it has occasionally been
subject to minor variations) upon joining the marxism list.  This message
describes more or less my vision of what the list should be like.  I have
asked for suggestions as to how it might be improved in the past; I will
happily do so again.  While it is neither a constitution nor a contract,
it does outline (as Kenny Mostern put it) "what I expect, minimally, from
this list."

Should anyone wish to start their own lists, whether on euromarxism or on
Trotskyite orthodoxy (or on CLR James--in fact someone approached me some
time ago suggesting a CLR James list, and I wrote back encouraging them
to find out if they thought this would be viable, but I never heard back
from them) that would be fine by me, though I would not necessarily join
such a list.  I had, however, hoped that this list would be broad enough to
encompass a wide range of perspectives on marxism.  I still think the
list generally fills that function.

If, however, it should turn out that there is some kind of consensus that
this list should be different, even radically different, then that would
be fine by me.  If it should turn out that the list were to become the
kind of space in which I would no longer want to participate, then I
would be quite prepared to leave the list, and you all could find another
moderator to do the admin etc.  Whatever.

I've gone on long enough.  I will post the welcome message in a
subsequent post.

Take care


Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at acpub.duke.edu

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