Moderation and slander

Jon Flanders 72763.2240 at
Tue Oct 15 17:02:05 MDT 1996

 >> Louis: Don't be so sanctimonious, Jon. When I had 9 Maoists and Louis
 Godena charging me with fascism and a whole host of other crimes, you kept
your mouth shut pretty good. Not only that, when I quit M1 in disgust, you
told me that I was mistaken and that things "were getting better". Talk about
Pangloss. Well, at any rate, I hope you keep a stiff backbone on M-I. That's
where it is needed. <<Louis P

 Jon Flanders:

  I should have spoken up more forcefully during that time. In my own defense,
I was pretty new to the list and flame-wars.

  I will also say this, you can pretty much count me out of any flame-war. I
don't subscribe to the list to engage in them, and again, I don't have the
time for it. I will have to stick to the "ball-busting" in my shop. The people
I work with are famous all over the railroad for it. I can participate there
and get paid besides.

  You rejoined the list promptly and in fact it was "better" for a time. But I
have become convinced that limitless volume makes it impossible for ordinary
mortals to subscribe to a political list like this.

  I want to say to Hugh and Poder Obrero that while it is true that the terms
Menshevik, Stalinist, centrist etc., are political characterizations, in the
context of this kind of discussion space the use of them is harmful. Once you
slap a label like Stalinist on someone, their defense is going to be up, and
we head for flame territory pretty quickly. It is a technique guaranteed to
exagerate differences, and is counter-productive in my opinion.

  This is a multi-tendency town square, not party headquarters.

  E-mail from: Jonathan E. Flanders, 15-Oct-1996

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