On Judging and not reading

NM nillo at SPAMtao.agoron.com
Fri Aug 27 05:24:38 MDT 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Xxxzx Xyyxyz <musides at adelaide.on.net>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Friday, August 27, 1999 1:09 PM
Subject: Re: On Judging and not reading

[some snip]

>  It is one thing, as you have pointed out, to be completely ignorant
>of something -- for example equating Das Capital to Mein Kampf. It is
>something all-together different to bar someone from discussion of a
>book when they know the subject material and the general approach of
>the book.

Yes, and I have seen no evidence within Jim Craven's rants that he met
either of these qualifications.  Carrol's remarks are spurious.  Of the
little I know of Scibarra (sp), I do know three things already that separate
him from other libertarians:

1. He was a serious student of Marxism, and not just some guy with a
struggling software business who blames Affirmative Action/unions/etc. on
the one hand, and big bosses who don't play "fair" by market rules, on the
other, like most libertarians who show up on these venues.

2. Proyect, the moderator, acknowledges some respect for him, while he
rightfully treats the libs who show up on apst and other venues as the
little morons they are.

3. He approached the list with some experience on other left lists, where he
certainly was not a "wrecker" the way it was claimed that libs are.

A person who is actually paying attention would take these three things, at
least, into account, rather than slapping their hands over their eyes and

The knee-jerk reactions of other listers here is their shame, not his.

>  What qualifies fair judgement? Carrol mentioned revolutionary
>progress. You mentioned being "right".

Put one in quotes but not the other, as if revolutionary progress is easily
defined.  It isn't and just shows your own preconceptions, rather than some
useful critique of my point.  For example, I'm sure many people on this list
think the death of the Soviet Union was revolutionary regress, I don't.  We
can argue it, sure, but we can hardly claim that "revolutionary progress" is
so easily identified as to be obvious to all.  If it was, this conversation
wouldn't be taking place, because we'd all be busy voting for wingnut
allocations in the local soviet.

>  Discussion is learning. If one person comments, "You cannot discuss
>it until you have read it", and no one has, then no further progress
>can there be made; and this can be carried over to countless areas.
>This is neither practical nor acceptable save for a small minority.

Discussion is not one-sided learning.  A discussion is a give and take, not
one person saying "Hi, I am interested in X" and everyone else saying, "Hey,
X sounds superficially like Y and Y is terrible and awful and I know so much
(without proof of knowledge) about Y that any difference between Y and X
*must* be irrelevant!"

Nick Mamatas

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