On Judging and not reading

NM nillo at SPAMtao.agoron.com
Sat Aug 28 01:05:29 MDT 1999

Brian Begsen:
>  On "I" -- I have said no such thing. My first post to Chirs opened,
>"I know nothing on libertarianism", but I attempted to take a step to
>learn, by comparing the dialogue of the discussion thereto, and
>setting it relative to what I know.

Once again, you show why reading is *necessary*.  The I was obviously never
referrring to you, since my initial comments on the asinine attitude
displayed by some of the people on this list predates your tepid defense of
them.    If you had *read* my posts you would have seen:
1. the "LA LA LA" bit made no reference to you, nor was it directed towards
2. None of the comments made were directed to you, but to your defense of
what is an obviously worthless position
3. All of my comments have been directed at the difference between the
casual and ignorant insistence that Scibarra *has* to be like other
libertarians people have met, regardless of the evidence dancing about right
in front of our faces

>  No hands over my eyes, but an attempt, from ignorance, to deal with
>something that I would like to learn about.

Why you feel the need to defend your own behavior when the only people whose
behaviors I have critiqued with Carrol Cox's and Jim Craven's is beyond me.
Perhaps if you have actually read my comments, you would realize that this
is a meaningless aside.

>  You said discussion is not one sided learning. This practice stems
>from both arrogance and elitism. Neither is acceptable for learning.
>Moreover, not accepting people into discussion on the grounds of
>either ignorance or knowledge is unacceptable.

I am getting extremely tired of these charges of elitism, especially since
they are based on absolutely nothing I have said and carry with it an
implicit denunciation of workers.  The continued refrain on this thread that
workers don't have the "leisure" to read books or, by extension, to
understand complex concepts is some of the dirtiest filth I've ever seen
pouring out of the mouths of Marxists.  And people wonder why the left has
no influence in the States.  Clue time: Workers read.  Workers know things.
Workers may even know something about Plato's _Republic_ in spite of the
yelps and howls of people on this list. (My father, a longshoreman, 20 year
member of the ILA and a guy who works anywhere from 60 to 80 hours a week
has enough time to actually *know* a few things.  Should he simply wait
around for an industrialized Marxist to definitely announce a series of
positions based on ignorance instead?  Why he's even read Plato). People in
downtown Jersey City, where I live, crowd into a local church on Sunday to
buy used books for 50 cents (a buck for hardcovers), papers in seven
languages fly off the shleves daily.  People involve themselves in a variety
of political and social clubs, dealing with local, national and especially
international issues.  And I wouldn't be surprised if they responded poorly
to someone who decided that he already had all the answers and could freely
denounce something or someone with no actual information about that topic.

The insistence that actually wanting people to know something about the
topic before they make *definitive statements* (not, "enter the discussion"
as you wrongly and dishonestly insist my position is) is hardly arrogant.
The only arrogance comes from the insistence that everyone else has to a)
explain their position b) explain your position c) defend your position for
you d) and smile and nod through any number of denunciations, regardless of
the quality of the denunciations.  Objectively, given the concrete situation
we are discussing, this is what you advocate.

 This continued insistence that intellectual activity (everything from
reading the daily paper and watching the news, to reading books, to being
involved on the ground in political, social and fraternal groups) is somehow
the exclusive purview of the middle class makes me wonder how much contact
with the actual working class people have.

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that part of the insistence on the
rights of Marxists to make definitive statements based on absolutely nothing
at all (ie. denouncing an obviously well-meaning person as a "wrecker!") is
based on the vanguardist notion that "we" have to have all the answers.  Of
course, no one actually has time to have all the answers, but Marxist
intellectuals can't dare abstain, no matter how flimsy a base they have for
their opinions.

Nick Mamatas

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