Harpers site, Maoism ,Jesse Jackson, and Homophobia, a little ramble...

Michael Pugliese debsian at SPAMpacbell.net
Wed Nov 3 08:52:44 MST 1999



Sent first to Lou, he said I should post to the list as well, btw early
returns as of 6:45 A.M. Wed. show incumbant Mayor Willie Brown with 48%, 2nd
place previous mayor, ex-cop Frank Jordan(not as bad as Rizzo but you'd have
to be the devil's cousin to be in that league), the write in ballots for
gay, progresssive Pres. of Board of Sups. Tom Ammiano, no results announced
as yet. Clint Reilly, sleazebag political consultant, distant fourth. Reilly
spent 3 million of his own money, Brown spent about the same (last week the
papers uncovered multiple voter registrations, sorry I can't remember #'s,
goto http://www.sfgate.com, the Chronicle has covered this, collected by
workers for the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, the AFL-CIO connected
organization. Whatever one thinks of Randolph and Bayard Rustin's legacies,
I think Randolph was incorruptable, he was quite radical around WWI, his
threat to March on Washington in 1941 forced FDR to begin and Truman to
implement desegregration in the armed forces. Esp. since our voter registrar
has been weak on weeding out fraudulant ballots (maybe she comes from,"Vote
early, vote often, Chicago!" Ammiano entered race 2 weeks ago, spent only
15,000 thousand. If the race is between Brown and Ammiano, the usual
progressive constituencies
 and neigborhoods which elected Milk and Moscone, gays, people of color,
union households, hippies in the Haight and bohemian slummers in the Mission
and Tenderloin, could engage in some nasty struggles. The more bourgeois
white gay men who aren't exactly anti-racist and the more culturally
conservative, Baptist
African-Americans esp. those who work for the MUNI transportation agency
which is a wreck, could get in some battles which will be fought out in the
realms of the Democratic party clubs
and ultimately patronage and city services. Ah, the perils of "Identity
Politics"
    I should also mention the D.A.'s race. Terrance Hallinan, of the
fighting Hallinan's clan (Dad ran on the Progressive party ticket in '52.Mom
died recently, was active in Nicaragua solidarity work. Terry's two brothers
in CofC and D.S.A. Terry has been a progressive D.A. but bad administrator.
In an interview with,Frontlines, a monthly to the left of the Bay Guardian,
Hallinan
said he was still a marxist, believed in "dialectical materialism". wouldn't
be surprised to see this in a hit piece just before the mid-December
re-match, there will be a run-off here as well.
    The following is the original e-mail I sent to Lou.

Michael Pugliese
>          By coincidence I visited the Harpers site last weekend hoping to
> find the JoAnn Wypijewski piece on Matthew Shepard and straight male
> homophobia that ran a few issues back. The Harpers site does not seem to
> post anything but the Harpers Index. Did you scan the Thomas Frank review
of
> Friedman and Thurow? When I was in N.A.M. and D.S.O.C. and D.S.A. till the
> mid-80's, Thurow was a paper member who joined up right after Reagan was
> elected along with other academics like Richard Falk and Robert
>Heilbroner( who after 1989 wrote a notorious piece for the New Yorker
saying
> T.I.N.A., capitalism won, and it wasn't exactly pitched in a "pessimism of
> the intellect, optimism of the will,"tone. Edward Herman wrote a piece for
> MR a few years ago on Thurow on Social Security which eviscerated him(btw,
> anarchists [this in Santa Cruz early 80's] and Maoist friends in League of
Revolutionary
> Struggle [my best friend in LRS once told me to buy a pitbull, now after
Yale English Dept. Grad School, he has an impenetrable Derridean book
published by Duke Univ.Press on Spinoza I think!](Amiru Baraka was a leader
of L.R.S., their paper was Unity) which later did deep entry into the
> Jesse Jackson and Mondale campaigns (Mondale staffer, John Podesta, now
Clinton's
> Chief of staff, appointed a California youth coordinator who was LRS!!!The
> Long March Indeed! Mike Murase who worked for Maxine Waters, was L.R.S.
He
> and others whose names I've long forgotten, made alot of trouble for the
Jackson
> campaign in terms of resources and outreach esp. in the Asian-Pacific
> community. A San Francisco LRS'er, Mabel Teng, is now  on the S.F. Board
of
> Supervisors, serving her 2nd term, and was the favored candidate of the
> Chamber of Commerce and the Committee on Jobs (downtown finance capital
like
> B of A, Wells Fargo, Pacific Telesis, Bechtel, all the major corps.) to be
> the President of the Board of Supervisors. She features a picture of Jesse
> and her in her campaign literature. I remember at the time being
dismissive
> of the ultra-left line that Jesse was the best friend the bourgeoisie had
> since he fostered illusions about the Democrats and the reformability of
the
> system."Realignment" was my mantra then.Like alot of things today I would
> not disagree in quite the same way or with as much conviction.The L.R.S.
> cadre was under the delusion  that the Jackson campaign in the 8th C.D.,,
Ron
> Dellum's district, was controlled by Line of March (Irwin Silber was in
the
> leadership, wags called it March In Line, their theoretical magazine
> published long multi-part articles on the Black Nation Thesis, and
defences
> of the Soviet actions in Afghanistan) campaigns in '84 were always trying
me
> to wake me up to the perils and betrayals of social democracy and this was
> years before the"Third Way and all that Tony," The class struggle is
over!,"
> Blair BS that ex-radical Hillary confidante Sidney Blumenthal peddles),
> wished I'd listened a little better!
>      Just as Adolph Reed, Jr. pointed out in The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon,
> Yale Univ Press, around '86, the Jackson mode being charismatic, church
> based, and authoritarian, and as the on the ground experience of the
> Rainbow/PUSH operation reasserting central control from Chicago proved
> (leadership appointed from on top, bye bye grass roots movement and
> coalition building) in the end it didn't matter which sectarian group
> thought which other sectarian group controlled what.
>      Before I stop this ramble through the past and present ,from Matthew
> Shepard to Maoism, don't miss the Christopher Hitchens review of the new
> Adolph Reed ,Univ. of Minnesota, book on Black politics in the new Village
> Voice Literary Supplement. Hitchens also blurbs the new book of essays by
> anti-communist Sovietologist, Robert Conquest(!!!)Looks like a better
> written (Conquest is a poet too) rehash of the Cold War Totalitarian
thesis
> and the wonders of the West. Not that I think Hitchens is about to turn
> neo-con, but does he do these stunts 'cuz he is still smarting over the
> Blumenthal affadavit re: Bubba and Monica the "stalker"? Also look out for
> Fred Halliday's new Duke Univ .Press book entitled,"Revolution and World
> Politics," I'm hoping it updates his Verso book on Cold War II.
>                                                                 Michael
> Pugliese
>       P.S. If it wouldn't be a hassle could you scan and send me the
Matthew
> Shepard piece? Funny how the ever contentious bunch on the lbo list never
> brought up the killing, in the context of the debates on "hate 'crimes"
and
> "hate speech". it would have made for good reading, witness the dustup
over
> Faludi and Fight Club on the lbo lately. The Shepard slaying says as much
> about the psycho-sexual character structure of some straight males as
Fight
> Club does (and no, I don't think a reading of the movie as fascist is more
> than facile- ah the dilemmas of male representation, the new Harpers has a
> great piece on Woodstock 1999 which touches  on the weak, conformist
> masculinity of teenage and 20 something kids these days with their
piercings
> AND desire to be stockbrokers or webpage designers dreaming of their IPO.
> Not that I begrudge some of the kids feelings, we all were 19 once, and
Rage
> Against The Machine, whose new album will probably rocket up the charts,
> just appeared on Lettermen, They have cool Che and Buddhist monk
immolation
> in S. Vietnam cica '63, T-shirts, wearing one in the 'burbs must be fun.
The
> Chemical Brothers have a new video which features a confrontation between
a
> female Zapatistesqe figure(EZLN banners and Che posters on city walls) She
> makes a Molotov cocktail with a coke bottle[Do you remember the New York
> Review of Books cover after the '67 Newark  riots illustrating a Andrew
> Kopkind or Tom Hayden piece, Hayden drew a crude drawing of a Molotov
> cocktail on a napkin(The Laffer curve started out on a napkin too!
Churchill
> and Stalin  drew on a napkin at Yalta or Potsdam, spheres of influence in
> the post WWII chessboard. Some wags would say that napkins should be
> banned!) and Kopkind got Robert Silvers to put it on the cover, my how the
> NYRB has changed, that must have made Irving Howe and Norman Podhoretz
> apopletic. Phillip Rahv and Howe had a dustup around then, Dwight
MacDonald
> and Michael Harrington fought over the AFT strike and school
> decentralization and Black Power and the right tactics to use in the
> anti-war movement. I don't need to remind you of the Dissent record on
that
> war-not that Podhoretz today (saw him on CSPAN about a month ago at a talk
> at Heritage or CSIS or AEI, flogging his Ex-Friends book)  doesn't try to
> portray Walzer and Howe in response to a question about the war which
> brought up Irving Howe specifically, as a utopian indulging in that sin of
> 'moral equivalence" that exercises neo-cons..].- ironic comment on
> "revolutionary" commodities ala Thomas Frank?- that refers to the Chemical
> Brothers video, I seem to be digressive tonight, huh.
>       The debate on Judith Butler, on lbo, went on at great length for
> example on related problems  (gender, identity..)with ,of coarse, the
whole
> pomo/Foucaultian/identity politics debate mixed in. Without jumping into a
> Jungian/Robert Bly mythopoetic metaphysics of wounded masculinity or
> Faludi's new "Stiffed," (not male bashing like "Backlash" maybe for this
> reason, at a forum broadcast on public radio, the San Francisco audience's
> hostile questions directed at Faludi came from women. I can't recall if
any
> Men asked any questions, Faludi went on a bit longer than a radio hour
> allowed for Q &A) Deirdre English who co-wrote a book with Barbara
> Ehrenreich back in the 70's, women's health, moderated, and the venom
caused
> her to comment.
> In solidarity,
>                  La Lucha Continua,
>                                             the long winded,
>
Michael Pugliese
> > With lots of run on sentences and threads which might appear a bit
garbled. Sorry, no sleep, maketh the mind go dizzy..










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