There Can No Provocateurs on a Discussion List.
Louis N Proyect
lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sun Sep 22 15:44:54 MDT 1996
On Sun, 22 Sep 1996, cwellen wrote:
> There Can No Provocateurs on a Discussion List. A Provocateur is
> someone who deliberately sets out to destroy the list. The list cannot
> be destroyed by anything which anyone says on the list. It can only
> be destroyed by physical sabotage from outside, or political pressures
> put on those who sponsor the list.
Louis: Wrong. M1 was declared rigor mortis by the Spoons Administrators.
That is why new moderated lists are being created. There will of course be
an unmoderated list for cops and the gullible.
> Discussions on whether the end this list, or how to end this list may be
> going on elsewhere, due to political pressures.
Louis: Those discussions are over. This list is a short-timer.
> But individuals who say "provocative" things are not to be labeled
> provocateurs. The discussion list is not a MEETING which can be
> disrupted. If people do not like what participant X is saying, they can
> ignore him, follow another thread, start a new one, or respond to an
> idea expressed earlier by someone else. No one on this list can force
> people to pay attention to him.
Louis: This list has been disrupted. Why can't you get that through your
thick skull. Well, maybe you like 25 posts each a day from Martens,
Rodwell and Malecki. Fear not, Marvin (isn't that your real name--I
forget), you will be able to drink of their wisdom on the unmoderated
> If some members lie about their own past or their political
> contributions, this is hardly relevant.
Louis: Not relevant to you, my college student comrade. For people like
myself, who hope to use the Internet to help re-construct a nonsectarian
and nondogmatic left world-wide, it is highly relevant.
> What is at stake on a discussion list is the coherence of the arguments
> themselves. If Marx himself, or Lenin, were to make postings on this
> list, we would not respect the postings (or should not respect them)
> unless they contain cogent arguments.
Louis: Malecki is the person that you and many others on the list
tolerate. If this were a big room, he would be the equivalent of a naked
man smeared in peanut butter, wearing a sailor cap, duck-walking back and
forth in the same spot, and playing a kazoo out of his asshole. You might
say to yourself, "Oh, that's just Malecki at it again." Other people who
first wander on the list and see his profuse bullshit might split. So we
end up with barnacles like Malecki and those few serious people whose
delete key hasn't worn out. We can do better than this and we will.
> If someone on this list masquerades as a revolutionary, when in actual
> fact, he is a factory owner (like Owen or Engels), we should pay
> attention only to the arguments.
Louis: Engels was a factory owner and a revolutionary.
> Let us refrain from arguments based on suppositions (positive or
> negative) concerning the outside activities of members of the list. It
> diverts us from exploring the relevant social issues.
Louis: Malecki's destructive behavior is highly relevant. If the left is
to prevail, it must learn how to react to provocateurs.
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