Lisa R, Hugh - and a clarification by Engels

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at mailbox.swipnet.se
Wed Apr 3 09:41:30 MST 1996


Jerry L submitted very humbly on M2 that:

        We are *simply* a Net mailing list which discusses issues related to
        marxism -- that is *all*.

Which makes the bile-spitting and arm-waving of the rest of his posting
look quite out of place - after all, 'issues related to marxism' is a
pretty wide field!

None of the rest is worth commenting on except the following:

Hu:>> I'd like to round this off with a statement by Engels <snip>
   >>         IN NO WAY DID WE HAVE ANY INTENTION OF PUTTING OUR NEW
   >>         SCIENTIFIC RESULTS INTO THICK BOOKS TO BE WHISPERED
   >>         EXCLUSIVELY INTO THE EARS OF THE 'LEARNED' WORLD. QUITE THE
   >>         OPPOSITE. WE WERE BOTH ALREADY DEEPLY INVOLVED IN THE
   >>         POLITICAL MOVEMENT, ENJOYED A CERTAIN FOLLOWING IN  EDUCATED
   >>         CIRCLES, NAMELY IN WESTERN GERMANY, AND HAD RICH CONTACTS
   >>         WITH THE ORGANIZED PROLETARIAT. IT WAS OUR DUTY TO GIVE OUR
   >>         VIEWS A SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATION. BUT IT WAS EQUALLY IMPORTANT
   >>         FOR US TO WIN THE EUROPEAN, AND FIRST OF ALL THE GERMAN
   >>         PROLETARIAT, TO OUR CONVICTIONS, TOO. AS SOON AS WE HAD
   >>         CLEARED THINGS UP FOR OURSELVES, WE GOT STUCK INTO OUR TASK.
   >
Je:>(1) Note that Engels, in that part of his quote not excerpted above,
   >attempted to provide a historical context for his beliefs. Hugh has not
   >done the same, but has repeated the oldest and most sterile of tactics by
   >Marxists -- uncritically quoting from authority.

My quote was brought in to provide precisely a historical perspective on
our discussions on theory and practice and the correct way to conduct them.
This is mentioned twice immediately before the quote. Jerry's understanding
of 'uncritical' must be a bit esoteric here. Also, notice the way the quote
is ignored and no attempt is made to comment on or dismiss any relevance it
might have to our situation today. Does Jerry think Engels is
misrepresenting Marx's position when he says that winning over the
proletariat is just as important as providing a scientific basis for their
views?

By the way, how can a new, non-derivative translation of a passage like
this be dismissed as 'uncritically quoting from authority'? And there was
nothing boiler-plate about my contribution - neither in the points made nor
in the linking of this particular quote to them.

Anybody'd think there was a private hoard of goodies to be guarded, the way
the geese are honking.

Cheers,

Hugh




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