Louis N Proyect
lnp3 at columbia.edu
Thu Aug 22 06:15:55 MDT 1996
On 22 Aug 1996, Chris Burford wrote:
> The strength of this list is that it takes on all comers and
> somehow copes with them. It's weakness is that it takes on all
> comers and sometimes has considerable difficulty.
Louis: This used to be true. No longer. It is a diseased carcass. I would
let the Spoons administrators themselves characterize the state of the
list, but they never learned how to speak forthrightly.
> It is particularly
> vulnerable as Ken has pointed out, to a poster who has no other
> commitments or purchase on reality but to post ten times a day, and yet
> who can afford the cost of the technology.
Louis: Ken has quit the list. Just one of a multitude of smart people who
has left and turned it over to Hans, you, MIM, Malecki, Martens and the
rest of the freak show.
> What do we do about this problem? Well the rules can be changed.
> Or people can go where the rules are different. You and Louis for
> example could do all your posting on M2 and work to build it up
> preparatory to the reorganization. It could be a valuable experiment.
Louis: Don't be giving advice to Doug and me. You should be thinking about
your own future in this space. You, Hans, Malecki, MIM and Martens are in
every smart person's little black book right now.
> But I suspect it is the very contradiction that makes this list
> vulnerable to unfocussed posting by Robert, that also attracts
> people from so many different backgrounds to check in at
> this crossroads of marxist ideas. It is a chaotic but in my
> opinion also a creative process, and I am very glad to see that
> Spoons are reaffirming their commitment to such an uncensored
> self-moderated list, while making proposals for a variety of
> more structured ways of discussing marxism.
Louis: If we could have simply created a new list for all of the smart and
interesting people who got off M1 because of your never-ending
"triangulation" with Martens, Ruby Begonia, Malecki and Qusipe, we would
have been in great shape.
> Psychologically the best approaches to a poster whom
> you and Louis consider marginal, but who takes up a lot of your
> attention, are either confrontation, or reasoning, or ignoring.
Louis: This is shitty advice coming from you. Once upon a time before
Jerry Levy drove you crazy, you knew how to speak up clearly and boldly
for decency and civility. Your post to Ralph Dumain, for example, was a
stroke of genius. Nowadays you seem to prefer to exist like the
psychiatrist in Chekhov's "Ward 6" who swapped places with a patient.
> Whether Hans is merely aiming to protect Robert remains to be seen.
> Since Hans is a teacher, I suspect his aim may be more
> dialectical. My aim in the piece you object to was to try to redefine
> the problem in such a way that Robert himself would be willing to
> share in the solution. His own best phrase, "poor and working class
> people", *does* include the lumpen proletariat.
Louis: No, it doesn't remain to be seen. Hans considers the atrocious
Malecki to be a real revolutionary. He invited him back to the list in
pleading terms after he had gotten off. The fact that this act was carried
out by a Spoons Administrator, who, like Queen Elizabeth, enjoys that post
for life, makes me leery of the future of Marxist discussion in this
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