MIM replies to assorted Proyectisms on gender, commitment etc.
Maoist Internationalist Movement
mim3 at blythe.org
Sat Aug 24 21:07:00 MDT 1996
>From owner-marxism Tue Aug 20 14:14:26 1996
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 14:14:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Louis N Proyect <lnp3 at columbia.edu>
The big problem we face is that the list is torn this direction and that
by strong-willed individuals on the list who have an agenda other than
discussing Marxist politics and theory dispassionately, who are just
MIM replies: Yes Louis, we already know you are opposed to political
commitment and you are only interested in others like yourself
who left parties, aren't in parties or are in mushy parties about to
dissolve. Why not start a "Marxology" list and everything will
be fine? You waste so many kilobytes opposing political commitment,
and you should just give it up. It's never going to fly in
a Marxist movement in a million years. Besides you are demonstrating
way too much commitment in opposing political commitment. Soon you
will be doubting yourself and your passionate anti-intervention.
I mean, what the fuck is MIM? What is that all about?
If it was up to me, all the bogus party names would disappear immediately.
[MIM replies: Of course they would, because if it were up to you,
all parties would disappear immediately too.]
Adolfo Olaechea was right about this. These ridiculous names like Pat #3
or "Neil" are sophomorish. The CIA knows where everybody and anybody is.
All these sorts of anonymous names are good for is building a wall around
the sender. The list should be good for breaking down walls, not
MIM replies: I'm becoming more and more convinced that having
anonymous personalities is the best thing to happen to scientific
discussion groups since sliced bread. It just shows repeatedly that Louis and Doug
and others slamming this practice are bankrupt in their politics
and can't take having to argue about a line independent of the person
arguing the line! It makes not a whit of difference who I am, because
if you can't refute what I'm saying you can't refute it, period.
It would be interesting just to try a discussion group where no one was
allowed to use a name! Then people would have to discuss things scientifically
instead of just allying with this or that person to cover their butts.
Just think about the reality in Peru. The masses who are revolutionaries
don't announce themselves to the state and yet they are forced
to come to scientific conclusions all the time. That takes scientific practice.
We need some of that here, and less identity and lifestyle politics
and the whole post-Modern relativist corruption of thought that says you can't know
anything without knowing the speaker.
There are some bourgeois exile organizations in the united states who
set up anonymous INTERNET lists, because they are not allowed to criticize
the country back home from the united states. This is just to remind
the Spoons moderators of this reality of scientific discussion.
>From owner-marxism Fri Aug 23 09:55:49 1996
Louis Proyect: [August 23, "A Reply to Hans"]
This gets to the very heart of our problem. MIM
is an object of ridicule in a Nation magazine
MIM replies: And the Nation is known for its
Marxism isn't it?
humor column for its bizarre position on sex
(much more bizarre than the positions I've
attempted in my own bedroom).
MIM replies: This really is the heart of the
problem isn't it Louis? You are afraid of
commitment and its threat to your list
of paper tiger "Marxists." You can just
tell we are asking people to give up
much of their middle-class lifestyles
and aspirations for such and even their
sexual privilege for the revolution.
Yes, our party has a requirement--that people
put their party and the revolution above
their sex lives. If you knew anything about
real revolutionary parties, you'd know MIM
is not the first organization to do so.
Those who do not like our tough standards
including on finances, romance, study, struggle and mass
work can opt for other organizations we
work with that have no democratic-centralist
requirements of that sort. So basically,
even if you disagreed with MIM on its
forcing leaders to give up the Mark Rudd lifestyle,
and you of all people should know what
we say when we train our members on that,
it's not a justification for "breaking with" us.
Our cardinal questions where each member
is sworn to split the party or form a new
one rather than compromise are: 1) Cultural
Revolution. 2) Oppose old Soviet revisionism.
3) White imperialist working class is not a revolutionary
vehicle. 4) Democratic centralism on all the other
questions. That means if you didn't like our
line and you demonstrated your commitment in
practice on the other questions, you'd get a vote
on the sex policy of MIM.
Now let me explain the hurdles you'd face.
It is the history of MIM and also many other
parties including the Black Panthers and the
pre-parties like SDS to be riven with gender
conflicts. Love triangles in leadership are
one serious problem. Another is the Mark Rudd
practice of sleeping with recruits. At MIM
we demand stability of our leaders. That's
why we honor those of asexual lifestyle who
put the revolution at the center of their
lives as their true love. Then amongst the
rest of us bitten with the romance culture,
we demand that you settle down with one person,
because we don't have time for the rest.
Some other things MIM has required of its
members include financial contributions by
a certain formula I won't get into. We've
had many members move to dumpier locations
to save money on rent. And we have policies
where people can live. So obviously the petty-bourgeoisie
is horrified by all this discipline. Then
we add in a lot of discipline that the
gender aristocracy rooted in sexual privilege
of decadent romance culture won't stand for either.
So what we get is people focussed on leading the
revolution--at least to a greater degree than the
people in CoC for instance. Yet, no one is
obliged to follow any of these policies in
order to work with MIM, so Louis's concerns
about all this are rather misplaced when we have
more fundamental issues dividing us. However, the fact
that those concerns are misplaced is very
revealing. All the uproar is over gender lifestyle
questions and anonymity, when the fact is Proyect
just can't defend his politics.
[Louis Proyect continues:]
Martens, MIM, Neil, Malecki and others too
numerous to mention are basically parasites.
They feed off our list. In the same way that
Monthly Review would not publish a letter from
the MIM freaks challenging Harry Magdoff, a
genuine Marxism list wouldn't let them through
the front door.
Hans, your perceptions are so out of whack with
what's important for Marxists to discuss that I
sometimes have to laugh out loud.
MIM REPLIES: No it is you who are a parasite
Louis, both in class position (not personal) and in political
movement ideology. The Trotskyists never did anything
worth talking about in the same breath as Marxism
once Lenin died, and your CoC idea also has no historical track
record of success. Though we be smaller than your
organization, you have yet to prove that yours actually
gets more done. That's pathetic. People should judge
parties partly on how much they get the individual to
contribute, and when a small organization outdoes
a larger one, there shouldn't be any question any longer.
That's especially true in this case where what Louis
advocates is essentially old-fashioned Amerikan pragmatism
of the dogmatic sort where compromises are made as a matter
of principle and before anything is gained for the proletariat
>from the trade.
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