Judging and not reading

Doyle Saylor djsaylor at SPAMprimenet.com
Fri Aug 27 20:02:47 MDT 1999

Greetings Comrades,
    Well the point of the discussion with Chris Sciabarra is going into
territory which ought to be debated more deeply.  Not the man, but the
subject, libertarianism.  I like Charles Brown a lot.  His abilities to
express the depth of Marxism are what I aspire to.  Me, I am just a high
school drop out.  I am lower and deeper.  That means I scramble for the
crumbs in the economy.

Charles Brown:
What is the dialectics in the libertarian view you describe ?  What is it
that the libertarian/anarchist viewpoint provides that it lacking in the
Marxist view , the abolition of the state ? But surely you know that the
Marxist view is that the state whithers away when all of capitalism has been
abolished ? Marxism is not repressive, totalitarianism, or statism.

All right.  Let us go at it.  Because that will sharpen my wits.  For

Chris Sciabarra:
Suffice it
to say, THAT attitude would bring intellectual engagement to a halt for
sure.  I think it is important to engage your opponents on the basis of
what they actually say, not on the basis of what you assume they say.  It
is a principle going back to the original Socratic dialectic -- inherent in
dialogue -- that one must engage in the give-and-take of intellectual
discourse, before one passes judgment on the rightness or wrongness of an
argument.  And ultimately, we will have to judge all arguments by whether
they are true or false -- by whether they correspond to reality or not.

The Socratic dialogue is a report by Plato about the method Socrates used in
teaching philosophy.  Where dialectic means argument in the context of
exchanges of conversation.  Or at least that is what it seems to me.  Plato
was not a realist.  The dialogue that arises in this Platonic case is not
like the give and take of these times (1999).  And Carrol's point in many
ways relates to this departure point.  Libertarian views certainly find a
root in Plato.  In ideas, in a de-structured system of "freedom".  In a
search through consciousness these days for the freedom that is not
encompassed by the state.  But Carrol wrote:

"...And yet hardly a week goes by on maillists that someone does
not pompously proclaim that this, that or the other work must
be read before one can say anything about it...."

The point is as Carrol makes it, do workers need to read the ideas of Plato,
or know the dialogues?  Or Carrol has said before in other places there are
more "great" books than one can read in a life time.  Not mediocre
uninteresting books, but worthy books with some interesting things to say.
If the point for a worker is to read the work, and then to engage in the
discussion, is not that class privilege which is beyond the reach of most

On the e-mail list the important part is like Louis wants to demonstrate by
making in another thread a standard for the style of writing to the point
that we share a common means to clearly state what we must.  Here citing
books that must be read, to argue in threaded e-mails is not worthy.  The
point is the exchange here which brings the people involved along.  Charles
asks many questions to elicit a response that is worth the level of
discussion.  Which by-passes the need to have read every thing under the sun
first then speak when informed by whatever standard that is luxuriously
gestured toward.

The level of discussion that Chris brings is about libertarianism.  Does
that fundamentally clash with Marxism?  Chris finds the dialectic most
interesting from Marxism.  But what is the dialectic but a philosophical
metaphor for the exchange process.  And more importantly, is not the
exchange process about the means of producing it.  So that when people talk
in the town center as did the Greeks, is there not something qualitatively
different in the electronic process of exchange.  That is a structured state
sponsored system quite unlike anything that removing the state from social
intercourse could achieve.  Or seems to me.
Doyle Saylor

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