Stuart Sheild m-18043 at
Mon Oct 7 06:28:29 MDT 1996

Louis Proyect writes:
"I frankly am sick and tired of *having* to biff people like Martens,
"neil", Rodwell, etc. I would much rather write about Zinoviev's
understanding of Leninism. As far as Adolfo is concerned, I am quite sure
that his main goal is putting forward the program of the PCP. It would be a
snap for a guy as smart and as serious as him to drop the
Trotskyite-baiting. It would probably help him to grow politically."

Come off it Proyect. I've yet to see you score a single point off Rodwell in
all your exchanges. I won't call them discussions - you clearly don't know
the meaning of the word. The fact is, Proyect, Rodwell obviously has more
knowledge of theoretical and practical Marxism-Leninism, history and current
events in his little finger - and wit to boot - than you and all your
"don't-let-them poison-M1" cronies have put together. Moreover, he has on
any showing consistently followed the rules of civilized political discourse
- and that in the face of some of the most unprincipled, slanderous
provocation I have seen in twenty-five years of political activity.

It appears your education has been sadly neglected somewhere along the line,
so let me spell some of these rules out for you: 1) Define your position or
line on the basis of established facts (if they aren't established,
substantiate them) and reasoned argument. 2) Defend your position against
attack by the same method. If you can't, or won't, your position is probably
untenable. 3) Answer points raised; do not counter them with personal
invective. 4) Stick to the matter at hand until the difference is resolved
one way or the other. 5) Do not resort to innuendo, crushing put-downs or
other psychological tricks aimed at denigrating the person of your
antagonist. Whether Malecki is a "pain in the ass", can't spell, is bald or
eats meatballs is neither here nor there. 6) Do not publicly assume that
someone is an idiot/nutter/lunatic simply because you don't happen to like
his/her opinions. I say "like" because with you everything is seemingly a
matter of taste. 7) Special rule: Keep in mind that Marxism is a science and
that words like Bolshevik, Menshevik, Stalinist, State Cap, Trotskyist, etc.
are specific terms with established definitions within the Marxist- Leninist
tradition. You have been characterised as a Menshivik on the grounds of your
objective position as defined by what you say and what you do. If you
disagree, prove your opponents wrong by applying Rule 2 above. You won't
convince anyone (new) by dismissing the former as fools and writing off
their polemics as "arcane", obsolete claptrap.

Lastly - and this is not a rule, just common sense - if you regard anyone's
contribution as irrelevant to the issues at hand - even as you see them -
the delete button is there for the using. Leave the agonising over coiled
adders and poisoned lists to others more level-headed than you. All this
invoking the silent assent of invisible cohorts of indignant, right-minded
people determined to stop scurrilous (and equally invisible) agents bent on
dragging the list under is pure cant.  And it stinks. In short, Proyect,
speak for yourself. That's rule 8, by the way.

I have gone on at some length about this because since I joined M1, about
three months ago, I have seen you infringe every single one of these rules
many times. I have yet to hear from you a considered analysis of anything,
least of all Trotskyism and why it's irrelevant to today's concerns. You
merely state that this is so (ad nauseam) and assume in your mind-blowing
arrogance that everyone "with any sense" will automatically go along with
you, simply because *you* say it. (True, Henwood does deliver himself of the
occasional sage nod).

As for "*having*to biff XYZ", who appointed you official minder on M1,
anyway? Why don't you simply carry out your threat/promise to retire to the
ordered sanctum of the Unity List and leave the loonies to it. Or, better
still, get a job subbing on Rolling Stone, where you really belong. Anyone
who didn't know better might conclude that *you* were the evil force at work
on M1, plotting to get rid of Rodwell and the rest even if you had to get
the good guys to moderate the entire list out of existence to do it. But as
you've so often intimated, people like R & Co. are marginal concerns, petty
irritants to a man of your colossal mental powers, vast erudition and
important contacts. Why you bother at all is a mystery to me.

As you'll have gathered by now, Proyect, I'm not one of those "many good"
people who've been put off by Rodwell's, Malecki's, Martens', "neil's" or
even Olaechea's antics. I am, however, extremely put off by yours. To put it
mildly.  If I had to choose between any of their positions and yours purely
on the basis of your respective contributions and general behaviour on the
list since I joined, I'd go for theirs without hesitation. And considering
the depths to which Olaechea has sunk lately, that's saying a great deal.
Beside you, Proyect, they positively shine with virtue.

It seems some people think you're funny. I think you're a hoot. Zinoviev's
understanding of Leninism, already. You'd be better off concentrating on
your own.

Stuart Sheild

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