C. BURFORD, C.L.R. JAMES, THE OGRE

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Sat Mar 18 09:29:03 MST 1995


For the most part I like Chris Burford's thoughtful commentary.  I
especially appreciate his commentary on C.L.R. James, and I hope
future discussion will center around James, not around
psychoanalytico-political speculations about me.  Just a few
points here:

>His post when he referred to the woman at the quick food stall
>smiling at him was striking even though I doubted his
>interpretation that that it was she who was needing to hide her
>despair.

Well, once she admitted while smiling weakly that she was
depressed.  However, since then, she claims to be in a wonderful
mood, which is usually after spending several hours in church.
Indeed, this fact makes ME depressed, not her.  In any case, she
genuinely enjoys my presence as a customer, which is not so hard
to distinguish from impersonal politeness.  It's about the human
spirit, you see, so the question of color is irrelevant here.

>So let me first thank Ralph for drawing to my attention CLR
>James.

And thank you for sharing your experience of his writing.  I also
recommend THE C.L.R. JAMES READER and AMERICAN CIVILIZATION, to
begin with.

>no-one has ever taken him seriously enough for him to hold any
>political power, to think in terms of exterminating large
>swathes of political opponents.

Only postmodernists and bourgeois feminist social-fascists are
incapable of distinguishing word from deed.  I didn't put
anybody's extermination in a political platform, but I can
fantasize, can't I?  Just imagine Louis Farrakhan tied back to
back with David Duke to a stake, a pile of kindling circling them,
and someone with a matchbook standing by.  Wouldn't the world be a
better place?

>his style of handling conflict may be totally unfamiliar to new
>subscribers, from say the feminisist movement or the green
>movement

What kind of a world must people live in, that they are virgins to
this style of conflict?  BTW, the only thing going on here is
verbal conflict of ideas among self-professed intellectuals.  Now
if we were functioning in some organizational capacity doing some
serious work, then naturally we would have to be much more
restrained, self-disciplined, and cautious about how we act, as
opposed to some raving Maoist cretins.  Is it necessary for me to
state the obvious?  I guess it is.

>But just possibly I wonder if Ralph was connected with or
>interested in Grenada

Surely you are joking.  I guess not.  No connection.  You thought
I was Eric Gairy's spiritual advisor?

>has got himself to be the symbol of the intolerant side of Marx,
>and the murderous side of Stalinism.

I haven't got myself there, you got me there.  That you would take
me there so readily indicates a charming yet annoying naivete on
your part.

>I think also Ralph has come to embody on this list Marxist
>despair, and the extraordinary violence of his language

What despair, what extraordinary violence?  This is silliness.
What world do you live in?  It was not my choice to embody your
worst anxieties, but others allay their own anxieties by casting
me as the ogre of the Internet.

>it has to seek allies among those hopelessly vacillating e
>elements like greens, feminists, social democrats, left wing
>academic intellectuals; or give up.

Please read this over and think about what you said.  It betrays
an academic and sectarian bias in which people don't exist outside
narrow circles.  You mentioned the select representatives of
certain political groupings; you said not a word about their
constituencies.  I would have said: alliances are necessary
between black workers, women, white workers (still mourning the
loss of Hubert Humphrey?), gays, people with toxic waste in their
back yards, tenants, etc.  A person who does not seek allies among
these social groupings does not live in reality.  I would claim,
however, that some of the people claiming to represent these
groups are irrelevant, or even harmful.  Why is this not obvious?
Washington has more black nationalist crackpots per square inch
than anywhere else in the USA, and look how useless they are.
They constitute the petty bourgeois basis for the paranoia and
cheerleading that bolsters Marion Barry's inferiocracy.

>I hope Ralph can reflect further on what he is doing.

What was I doing?  Well, I thought I was disseminating
information, ideas, and opinions, with some spicy provocative
remarks thrown in here and there to kep you from nodding off.  So
fucking what?

>the powerful symbolic polarisation that Ralph has presented.

What overblown nonsense to cap off silly sanctimonious
pontification.  However, I like the rest of your thoughtful post.

Why not concentrate your attentions on the matters at hand?  In
the words of our immortal Afrocentric mayor: "Get over it."


     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

     ------------------



More information about the Marxism mailing list