Reactionary Marxism

Mon Sep 16 15:58:37 MDT 1996

Russell writes:

> Now I think that Steve hit the nail pretty squarely on the head in his
> mail and I've little to add to that. Except this, Adam's response is
> of the on-going sectarian feud between the British SWP and the RCP.
> However, whereas the latter will argue political points with the former,
> SWP will physically throw RCP members from their meetings
> (even if this is via an open second storey window).

Are you serious? When did this alleged incident occur? If this is true, then
together with Adam's assertion that SWP paper sales are attack by RCP
members, the whole of the British left should be up in arms demanding that
both organisations take immediate action against the individuals concerned.
Surely we are all adherents of the principle against violence inside the
workers' movement.

> Reaction is often seen in the Pavlovian response of the dogmatist. Usually
> entails a wish to turn back the clock, but more specifically it entails a
> desire to keep a static hide-bound faith. This is often seen in a
> devotion to political tracts which are not treated as part of a long since
> passed dialectical engagement, but as 'timeless truths'. Hence Adam's
> to post sections of Engels verbatim as a way of keeping his faith.
> So to politics, Adam, were you simultaneously wearing a condom for Maggie
> whilst calling for her dissmissal?

To politics indeed. Russell appears to be suggesting (and this is my reading
of the Living Marxism position as well) that wearing a condom is somehow a
reactionary deed. Or that the advocating of wearing a condom during sex is
somehow anti-working class.

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but for about half the working class
encouragement in the use of condoms means a huge liberation in their
capacity for freedom of sexual expression. AIDS is not the only thing that
it is possible to catch through unprotected sex.

If the only thing that the safer sex campaign has acheived is a greater
discussion amongst teenagers about the risks and consequences of having sex
then it will have been worthwhile. I for one am delighted that the past few
years has seen a decline amongst all sections of society of the spread of
syphillis, gonhorrhea and other STDs. Not to mention the more equal sharing
out of responsibility about avoidance of unwanted pregnancy.

Or is it just a bourgeois myth women don't want to be pregnant all the time?

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