Against Opportunism

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Mon Aug 19 06:22:36 MDT 1996


On Mon, 19 Aug 1996, Hans Ehrbar wrote:

>
> The recent brief conflagrations on this list have many reasons, some
> of which are deep theoretical differences.  But certainly a
> contributing factor was Louis P's continual slandering and unprovoked
> attacks against Robert Malecki and others on this list.  I am among

Louis: What a jolly mood I'm in. We have the arrival of a first-rate card
in Tony Hartin and we have Hans Ehrbar acting geekier than ever. Pretty
soon we will all understand what this list is really for: people acting
out their most juvenile impulses.

That's quite a shame because juvenalia tends to repel some really
interesting people of the Marxist persuasion who don't have time for that.
I heard from Scott McClemee recently whose "CLR James and the Negro
Question" is about to hit the stands. (Scott is one of the most important
James scholars in the United States.) He told me that he has run out of
patience with this list. He is the one who likened it to a cat litter-box.

Another brief visitor was Joel Kovel, one of the foremost authorities on
the red-green dialectic in the United States and a member of the editorial
board of James O'Connor's "Capitalism, Nature and Socialism". He simply
didn't have time for the juvenalia.

During the ferocity of the PCP flame wars, John Percy signed off. He is
the national chairman of a post-Trotskyist group in Australia that Gary
McClennan has written bitterly about. It is sort of a much, much better
version of the American SWP for what that's worth. It would have been
interesting to see a debate between the two. John got back on the list
around the time I forwarded him Gary's critique. He was here for one day
and split. "A waste of time", he said.

One of my "friends" on the list (by the way, the people who I have
established relations with on the list are people who I have political
agreement with and nothing else since basically I am a misanthrope) wrote
me privately and raised the question of how easy it was to delete Malecki,
Quispe, Martens, Rodwell, etc. Just use your delete key, he said.

The problem with this logic is that the list has become a place that is
encrusted with lunatic barnacles like Malecki. Everytime the list tries to
scrape the barnacles off, Ehrbar shoos us away. Now the ship is sinking.

The serious Marxist thinkers on this list have gotten to know each other
fairly well. We should stick it out until further notice. Change is
coming.



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