High Grade Talking Shop

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sun Oct 8 09:28:21 MDT 1995

Jim raises the important question of whether we are just a high-grade
talk shop. I had posted a suggestion about what people could do
about Yugoslavia and asked if one person would like to send one
letter spiking Dole's guns on raising $12 million for Croatia, by
raising human rights issues.

In fact two people asked me to forward material. That is a 200% success
rate, but it is, I agree Jim, not a party.

So what are we? What is Louis hoping to create here?

Certainly we are never going to agree on everything. Certainly we cannot
follow all struggles in the world, though I for one welcome it
when Jim for one, draws our attention to what is going on elsewhere.

It is impossible to take a vote.

But in a funny way I think way we have moved on. I see it a bit as a
forum where people dare to test the relevance of their contributions.
Each contribution throws a splat of interconnected ideas, immediately
to be followed by another person's splat. Gradually the layers of
conceptual paint build up to create a picture wider than the network
of ideas of anyone of us, but not without some coherence or
relation to reality.

>From being dominated by academics, the list has become dominated by
people with an interest in marxism. Party statements have started to
emerge which we have taken in our stride. We do not know whether we will
be swamped with statements of organisations in six months time, just
slogging it out, as some billboards are, or whether there is enough
momentum that the organisations themselves will start to be affected
if they get a pasting on this list. It will take a long time to
learn this. But it could be the start of creating a sort of fuzzy
consensus about what is relevant in applying marxism at a global level.

We may die, but just possibly we may grow and develop. In that we cannot
ensure large numbers of disciplined comrades engaging in a united way
in practice, but we can try to relate our discussions to what it possible
in practice, and to learn from practice.


From: Jim Jaszewski <jjazz at freenet.hamilton.on.ca>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 1995 16:36:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Yugo: what you can do

On Wed, 4 Oct 1995, Chris Burford wrote:

> All this of course is about drops in oceans, but you are canny enough to
> know where one letter would have the best chance of effect.
> My point is to demonstrate that several months after daring together to
> thrash out the principles of a marxist approach to former Yugoslavia
> it most certainly is possible to come to conclusions about how theory
> should be linked to practice. It is also about adding one drop to the ocean
> in reality.

	The effect you aim for is GREATLY hampered by the fact that, while
this is a higher-grade talk-shop, it is also not a party -- nor does it
appear it will become one any time soon...

	What has been `thrashed-out' here is not going into any platform
that I am aware of.

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