Michael Hoover hoov at
Mon Nov 1 22:15:25 MST 1999

> To James Farmelant, Michael Hoover, et al:
> I just read the Lingua Franca article that James mentioned a while ago.  In
> case anyone is interested, here's the URL:
> <>.
> How would you describe the trajectory of Praxis philosophers?  What do you
> think of the article?
> Yoshie

Praxis folks didn't seem politically ambitious, they didn't promote
establishing an opposition party, although their existence suggested
the possibility of such opposition. They didn't have a political
program, except in the abstract - expand self-management.  Their
Marxism was concerned with 'man in general' and not with humans as
the product of class relations, as such, their philosophic project
fell within Western tradition.  They were an elitist (and male,
gender was not an issue) group, Yugoslav intellgientsia was more
likely to be recruited from non-working class backgrounds than were
party leaders and economic policymakers.  Some of their writing
displayed contempt for what they considered material and parochial
character of Yugoslav working class.

Moreover, their emphasis on universalistic dimension of ethno-
cultural expression, their stress on underlying principle of cultural
identity for all Yugoslav peoples to share, and their urging
individuals to widen their horizons by moving beyond immediate and
provincial setting, was idealistic, muddled, and naive.  Later, their
utopianism squelched, former Praxis members apparently adopted cultural
chauvinism and regional economic interest (reminds of marxists who
became neo-cons in aftermath of 'god who failed').  Interestingly,
however, their earlier goal of opening up and widening political
discourse was adopted by 1980s economic and political 'reformers',
some of whom offered opportunities to move beyond standing aside and
pontificating.     Michael Hoover

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