Ceding ground to capitalist ideologues

M A Jones mark at SPAMjones118.freeserve.co.uk
Tue Dec 14 19:27:37 MST 1999

Yoshie :

>I second Carrol's argument here.  Also, when you are faced with dogmatic
individualists and other anti-Marxists, you want to make fun of them,
instead of getting baited into distemper.  *Self-discipline* is a communist
virtue, comrades!  I recommend Michael Perelman & Michael Hoover as mirrors
of cyber self-discipline.

Moreover, when you need to break with non-Marxist leftists, you want to let
a break impose itself, instead of acting prematurely.  You want to expose
them to be selfish sectarians that they are.  Marxists in a
non-revolutionary situation have to take a moral, political, and aesthetic
high ground.<

But the high ground is the most lethal place on the battlefield.

Where the nub of my disagreement with Yoshie & Carrol lies, is in their rejection
precisely of the notion of a fight to the finish. The 2 lists, Marxism and L-I,
exist in their present form only because a certain political culture, certain
groundrules, have evolved out of a number of skirmishes and finally, of fights to
the finish. If we had not fought Henwood to the finish, he would still be here and
this list would be effectively indistinguishable from LBO. That's why its
important. As Louis rightly says, our enemies are completely totalitarian; they
want to stop us and we are not going to be stopped. Arguments are concrete and
historically-immediate, they bear directly on class struggle: or else they are
just empty academic exercises and sophistry, just debating salons, tedium of
parliamentary perpetual motion machines. And we have to WIN our arguments, and
that means silencing our enemies, reducing them to silence. Henwood, Heartfield
and many others ran away because we fought them to a political death. The extent
to which Henwood for example was not ANY kind of leftist, let alone marxist, was
never apparent to begin with. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming (almost
literally) into the open, before he finally revealed his politics, and now it is
plain for all to see on lbo what they are.

This is pure leninism, if you like: bitter polemics and engagements fought
mercilessly and at the price of sleepless nights and much midnight oil, are
necessary if the revolutionaries are to decisively expose, smash and batter down
the ideological pretensions, chicanery and hypocrisy of our enemies.

Breaks do not just 'happen' as my good friend Yoshie thinks. Breaks are the result
of remorseless, backbreaking effort and of real political determination and
courage; they are won at the price of breaking the rocks, and even small,
infinitesimally small, victories such as those we've won on these lists, should
not be undervalued or belittled. To create a well-defended global forum for
marxist revolutionary thinking is not a small matter, it is a big matter. If I
debate people on lbo, people with those kinds of views, I do it with the
particular purpose of mercilessly destroying their credibility and even
self-esteem, of breaking their ideological bones and making it impossible to
screen their fraudulent politics and chicanery any more. I go into a debate with
the objective of finishing with an enemy position, liquidating it. Not of getting
involved in an endless pas-de-deux of ritual wit and repartee.


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