CEP iwp.ilo at ix.netcom.com
Mon Feb 19 18:03:04 MST 1996

You(Lisa) wrote:
>I was also impressed with Ralph's essay, it made a lot of sense to
>me.  But I do not think it was 'cynical' or a 'defense of cynicism'
>at all.
>Carlos, do you really think cynicism is the problem?  To the extent
>that it exists among people, if cynicism is even what it should be
>called, I think it is learned from and/or a symptom of concretely
>lived experience.
>What some people call cynicism, I call realism.


    Cynicism *is* realism insofar as it is a reflection of a given
    experience (which seems to be the case of Ralph).  Still, the
    sinking into the realism of your own experience and nurturing
    the negative aspects only produces further cynicism which is turns
    becomes ideological.  At that point, its is poison.  Not as much
    for others as it is for oneself.

    I wrote that Ralph's essay was about the "State of Mind" of
    America. I also wrote that have an impenetrable logic.  Coming
    from me those are *extremely* flattering statements.  That what
    impressed me.  I also wrote that that showed what Marxism is
    against.  Because is no longer Ralph, or Lisa or a few others, it
    is a middle class, it is entire sectors of the intelligentzia and
    is trickling down to the working class.  If you asked me, I saw it
    too often in oppressed communities as well, after the process
    became internalized.

    It is, in my opinion, the end result of American pragmatism.  It
    didn't work, therefore is nothing you may change insisting in the
    same direction.  Whatever is left is no more than an intellectual
    game.  I come from another "national" tradition (different from
    pragmatism): we start all over again, from where we got lost or
    even from the very beginning.  That something didn't work once,
    doesn't mean is not good.  If you perceive something as being,
    doesn't necessary means that it is. I do recognize that is not the
    best tradition to have, but builds better survival skills.


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