GLW: Boris Kagarlisky on Chechnya

Paul.Benedek at Paul.Benedek at
Wed Nov 17 21:22:16 MST 1999

Louis has, over my time on this list, posted some excellent information, debate,
entertainment and more. Many others have also made excellent posts. In amongst that,
there has been some average posts, and some pretty poor posts with crude politics -
there's bound to be on such a list. The joy, of course, is that what I might find
crude rhetoric, others will find brilliant, and vice-versa. It is through such
discussion, debate, clarification of positions, and also practise (which obviously
doesn't take place on the list) that we can hopefully move forward.

I don't think there has been many posts that should result in the poster being kicked
off the list. The recent post by Al Whitlock seemed, in my opinion, a reasonable post.
More troubling to me, is the outrage of the list owner toward a poster with an opinion
that differs from his. Comments follow........

-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Proyect [mailto:lnp3 at]
Sent: Thursday,18 November 1999 11:47
To: marxism at
Subject: Re: GLW: Boris Kagarlisky on Chechnya

Al Whitlock wrote:
>Proyect's attachment has all the hallmarks of the pro-Milosovich,
>anti-Albanian front so active in Europe.  A common thread is that in both
>Balkans and Caucasus the relics of a former 'socialist' state now dominated
>by Orthodox Christianity and floating atop the worst form of right-wing
>nationalism, in the manner of grease on a stewpot, are pitted against Muslim
>minorities.  So bin Laden is financing the Chechen forces - what a surprise!
>  Was Proyect for or against Clinton's bombing of Afghanistan and the Sudan?
>  Is he for or against Yeltsin's onslaught on Chechnya?

-Whitlock, you have a disease. It is called self-righteousness. With a
-spittled-dripped challenge like this, I wouldn't dream of answering you.

A disease? Self-righteous? For disagreeing with Louis' attached article? A
spittled-dripped challenge? Whitlock posits (I'd agree, some wouldn't), in answer to
the question "Is the present Russian regime a more dangerous enemy of the
international working class than the Chechen leaders themselves?", that the Russian
regime IS a more dangerous enemy. He then challenges Louis to put forward his position
- does he think that the Russian regime is NOT a more dangerous enemy? Louis chooses
to turn the cheek - that's fine. But I think the political question Whitlock raises is
fine also.

-have thrown off two Movement for Socialism people since this list started.
-First, Steve Drury. Then Bernie Wool.

Now to the threats. If this Marxism list is to grow and prosper, surely people with a
different perspective than that of the owner should be included? The debate around UN
troops to East Timor was FAR more vigourous than Whitlock's mail - yet no-one proposed
their combatants being thrown off the list.

-If you continue writing this kind of "are you still beating your wife"
-bullshit, I will be happy to make you number 3. You and Wool and Drury came
-to this list because you know that there are hundreds of independent
-Marxists you would like to recruit to your sect. Unlike Wool and Drury, you
-managed to behave yourself for the 2 or so weeks you were on the list. Now
-I see the fangs are bared and the fur is sprouting. Let me tell you
-something, Comrade, I didn't put this list together so small sectarian
-outfits can "intervene". The next time you grill me like some cheap lawyer,
-I will throw you out faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

"are you still beating your wife bullshit", because someone challenges Louis
politically? Again, how many times during the East Timor debate (or others) have one
person or group been dismissed as "pro-imperialist" or what have you - do we expel
them too?
"I didn't put this letter together so small sectarian outfits can intervene" - I'm
sure. But does the list (owner) seek to expel all those in (what he describes as)
small sectarian outfits? What is small? And sectarian? (the cynical might suggest
anyone who challenges the list owner!). There are people on this list who are in
parties (like myself), and others who are not. Is this list exclusively for those not
in parties?
FInally, if Whitlock, Wool and Drury came to the Marxist list to recruit, I think
they've got pretty poor priorities....I'd put selling and writing for the paper,
getting to demos, networking with unions, etc, etc, about a thousand times higher on
my list - I doubt very much that anybody will be recruited from the Marxism list. But
hopefully we can continue to have open, comradely debates, from individual Marxists
and those in parties or groups, that will help clarify our politics and inspire us to
put it into action.

Paul (DSP)

Louis Proyect
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