Urgent! American exile in danger.

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at mailbox.swipnet.se
Fri Sep 13 17:13:08 MDT 1996


Doug H writes:

>Get a grip Hugh. It's a goddamn mailing list, not a state. A magazine
>editor chooses not merely who contributes but approves every word; a list
>owner approves contributors, and may or may not filter individual postings.
>Is there no room for editors in Rodwell land?

It's a question of shareholders vs stakeholders. An editor is an in-between
sort of creature. A god to the hack, a slave to the owner. It chooses
contributors at the discretion of the owner, it approves every word on
behalf of the owner.

Now a mailing list often has a statement of purpose that purports to
reflect the will of the owner so that subscribers know where they stand --
this interactivity is something most magazines don't have to deal with, of
course.

If an editor turns out to be more than just an editor, reveals himself
(let's take Per M as an example) as an owner precisely by his power of
arbitrary intervention to alter the statement of purpose, then we have what
for most people would seem to be a *coup*.

Unilateral action by a single person or a very limited group of people to
set aside a given constitution in their own interests.

This is no longer a question of editors. In the present case it's a
question of power in a group of people voluntarily assembling to discuss
the whys, wherefores and whithers of left unity.

Doug also gets back to his favourite Lukacsian stance that there is no will
or initiative or anything in the leadership of the proletariat, all this
active responsibility for the way history develops is the province of
capital, of the imperialists. He asks:

>So Marx would blame the Sandinistas for the failure of the Nica revolution,
>rather than the CIA and the Somocistas?

He certainly wouldn't do a simple-minded "goodies-baddies" routine. We know
this from his treatment of such national liberators as Kossuth, Mazzini and
Garibaldi. Not to mention his clear-sighted criticism of policies pursued
by the Paris Commune in spite of his support for its heroic struggle
against the reactionary French state. He would have been extremely scathing
about the political line of the Sandinistas in relation to the working
class, about their nationalist limitations and so on. He would have been
even more scathing about the miserable lack of revolutionary
internationalism on the part of Cuba, and would have positively scourged
the Soviet Union for disembowelling the Central American revolution in
flagrant contradiction of its responsibilities as the most powerful
workers' state in the world and of its natural function as principle motor
of the world revolution.

For him it would have been obvious that the class forces working directly
to subvert the revolution and crush it by military force were the
imperialists and their tools. That goes without saying. But he would never
have glossed over the question of responsibility for the revolutionary
leadership of proletarian forces the way Doug does.


Cheers,

Hugh

PS Note that Doug hasn't got a word to say about the rights or wrongs of
Per's actions in snooping and in denouncing people to their internet
providers on the flimsiest of hunches.




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