ludic Leninism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Nov 26 10:46:12 MST 1999

>       Reminded me of this book by a pomo Lacanian Marxist-Feminist, "Ludic
>Feminism and After (Critical Perspectives on Women and Gender) by Teresa L.
>Ebert. Think it has a blurb from  Judith Butler.
>      Also the cyber-Leninism site. Haven't visited that one in a while, do
>these comrades have truck with Lacan too?
>                                 Michael Pugliese

I am surprised, but maybe not all that surprised, by Butler log-rolling for
Ebert. Ebert is part of a group of professors in upstate NY who have made a
career out of bashing postmodernists. They've just launched a new journal
called "Transformation", which is advertised in the latest MR. Along with
an article by Ebert, there are pieces by her 2 main co-thinkers, Donald
Morton and Mas'ud Zavarzadeh, who is Mr. Ebert. It is focused on
Butler-type issues (Queer Theory, Gender), but purportedly is built on
four-square Marxist foundations. Doug was a big fan of Ebert until the
scales dropped from his eyes and discovered pomo.

Ebert and company organized an intervention of a cult of graduate students
on the old Marxism list. They had been producing a really frantic and
unreadable magazine called "Radical Orange", since it was based at Syracuse
University (the school's colors.)

Even though Doug was friendly to Ebert's writings at the time, this did not
prevent them from flaming him as a postmodernist in embryo. Who knows,
maybe they were smarter than I gave them credit for. I found them one of
the most truly nutty groups I ever ran into in cyberspace, with perhaps the
exception of Maoist Internationalist Movement, whose member only identified
himself as Pat number #7. (Might have been Pat number #8).

In any case, the Radical Oranges identified themselves as orthodox
Leninists who were on the barricades trying to wipe out ideological
deviations in the revolutionary movement. The funny thing is that this had
nothing to do with trade unions or the mass movement. It was ENTIRELY about
turf battles in the graduate schools where these people dwelt. Somebody
once wrote a satirical piece on an upcoming Radical Orange conference and
they went ballistic--practically equating it with the social democracy
voting for war credits in 1914.

None of their writings will ever find their way into working people's
hands. They are basically operating on the same terrain as the
postmodernists, using the same kind of obscure mandarin language and arcane
references. Written in the name of Marxism, I suppose their might be some
value to it. I heard Ebert speak at the last Amherst conference and she was
pretty good. The big problem is that none of this has anything to do with
genuine gay or woman's oppression. In NYC, homophobia is being encouraged
by the unholy alliance of the Catholic Church and Mayor Giuliani. The
people fighting back need theoretical and strategic direction. Alas, this
will come from neither Ebert nor Butler.

Louis Proyect
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