Hot Pursuit - Louis Proyect comment

bernie wool bernard.wool at
Fri Oct 8 11:02:23 MDT 1999

I haven't come across this guy Drury, but know of Healy and the WRP - it
more or less fell apart in the late 80s.  The guy was totally paranoid.
I know quite a few once around the WRP, many of whom are chagrined to
say the least.  Yep, I really like Meszaros and feel quite pleased that
I managed to read his Beyond Capital - it repays the effort.

You may well be au fait with the Trotsky-Shachtman fight, and I read In
Defence of Marxism, but it seems funny to be accused of masquerading as
the continuator of Marx, Lenin and probably their maiden aunts in the
eyes of some of your subbies.  As I recall, I asked a simple question in
my first post - "To bash on about NATO and the Brit-Anzac forces as
being imperialist seems to me to be stating the obvious.  What is not so
obvious is what Marxists' response is or should be.  What is the role of
the working class in the imperialist countries in such cases, and there
are many more besides, including the current Russian offensive against
Chechnya and quite
probably Ingushetia?"  Innocently, I hopes that someone might have
something to say.  The response from this guy Jared Israel was
hysterical, and quite uncalled for.  I am afraid I got carried away in
my response to him, and he went ballistic in his rejoinder.  I agree
that we get nowhere with that kind of hysteria, but I do find it most
odd that phraseology in postings is a cause for giving someone the
flick.  Maybe some correspondents have a kind of Pavlovian reaction,
which is really sad.

On the subject of the Balkans, one of the problems that people across
the water face is that they rarely meet bona fide representatives of
workers in those countries, and rely very much on what they hear at
second or third hand.  My own support lies with union members, mainly
miners and teachers, that I have met from Bosnia and Kosova, and I
believe their accounts as they tally with much reported by Serbian
trades unionists that I have also met.  That support extends to the
working-class communities that they represent, and who raised the means
whereby they could establish contact with comrades elesewhere in
Europe.  Do you not think that it is an elementary duty of anyone
purporting to be a Marxist or a socialist to try to develop
internationlism along such practical lines.

 The other thing that one comes across frequently in the European labour
movement is the kind of material that JI assembles and the hysterical
spin that he does seem to put on it, that more or less gave the green
light to all manner of real fascists, for what went on in Bosnia, NE
Croatia and latterly Kosova, while at the same time trying to present
the Milosevich regime who sponsored all that as some kind of embattled,
last remnant of 'actually existing socialism'.  It also serves to
deflect honest people from establishing real links with those who are so
accused - for who wants to be labelled in the press as a fascist
collaborator.  There have been many well-coordinated attempts to deny
the reality of actions carried out by Serb-sponsored fascists in
Srebrenica and throughout Kosova, that bear close comparison with the
'revisionist' position as regards the Holocaust, though they pale almost
into insignificance with that, horrifying as they are.  One of the
typical responses to questioning these kinds of material is for the
disseminators to throw a blanket of fascist fellow-travelling over any
who dare; that was very clear in JI's posts.  To question what was going
on the fomer SU in the 30's was to invite exactly the same accusation,
and quite frequently a sticky end.  You will know well that anyone who
dares question or attack Zionism is generally called an anti-semite by
the Zionists.  This manner of discourse is well-oiled, and it is
pernicious.  Equally, the sneering put down.  That is standard fare from
CP'ers in any shop-stewards meeting or  Trades Council, at least it was
until their entire world fell apart a decade ago.

I don't much care if you give me the flick, but I was pleased to note
Owen Jones' response.  That I felt was in the tradition of comradely
discussion amongst Marxists and socialist, and I would happily admit to
him that I am ignorant on a lot of matters - but to the sort of spiteful
persona revealed by JI, not a chance in hell chum!

By the way, I think that it is very nice of you to consider protecting
your subscribers from the posts of those with whom they do not get on -
reminds me of something out of a Jane Austen novel!  Can't say I feel
the same way about "Everything that could have been said on Yugoslavia
has already been said here."  In view of the fact that you you think my
language is that of a poseur, I think some might feel that your phrase
is redolent of a group suffering from communal delusions of adequacy.
Rather than delve into some archive, I'll wait and see if anyone here
has anything worthwhile to discuss.  But, perhaps you jest.

Bernie Wool

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