Pay attention, Ralph Dumain

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Wed Oct 18 07:52:00 MDT 1995


Louis:

I wnat to provide a political explanation of what just occurred between
Ralph and other members of the list, myself included.

I have spent months preparing a series of articles on the problems
facing the revolutionary left in the twentieth century. In my last
article, I said that Solidarity and Commitees of Correspondence are
steps forward. I don't have the attitude toward CofC that I used to have
toward the SWP when I was a cult member. It is what feels right to me
at this moment in history. That's all.

Ralph responded with: "the CofC is like an orangutan eating its own
vomit." This was after I had pleaded with him to try to avoid pissing
contests with me on the Marxism list. Evidentally, he has no respect
for what's important to me. He posts this message while I am in the
middle of tracking down some information from the Rare Books
collection at the Columbia Library to help him with research he is
doing on Richard Wright.

Who does Ralph think I am? I am not somebody to be trifled with.

Ralph has not adjusted to the new composition of the Marxism list. A
year or so ago it was dominated by academics who were either arguing
the fine points of Bhaksarian dialectics or Chapter 11 of the
Grundrisse. All that has changed. Most of the people participating in
recent discussions are more interested in how to change the world.

But Ralph still speaks to us as if he were the only person who was in
the "real world". What an affront. He calls Carl Davidson a "monkey".
Carl Davidson used to be the editor of the Guardian when this
newspaper enjoyed the reputation of being the voice of the student
radicalization of the 1960's. Carl was also a leader of SDS before it
went haywire. How dare a neophyte like Ralph call Carl a "monkey" or
me an "orangutan"?

Ralph must adjust to the new reality of the Marxism list. He can no
longer act like the "bad boy". He must behave civilly and try to engage
in social relations with other folks on the list. That will be a positive
first step in allowing him to get into some kind of mass movement
where there are living human beings. That is the only way his Marxist
education can make further progress.



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