DSP silence

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Thu Sep 16 05:56:26 MDT 1999

>Generally their silence around this issue is ominous. It does not speak
>well for them that they will not defend their line other than through
>proxies or through abuse.

There's nothing ominous about it at all. Norm Dixon has explained it
frequently to me privately and once or twice publicly on the list. It flows
from being too busy with "real political work" to mess around with a
"feeding the chooks" type mailing list. It also is connected to their
belief that the articles in Green Left Weekly speak for themselves.

The other thing, more importantly for us, is that I am not sure what the
point would be with a debate with orthodox democratic-centralists. Although
the DSP'ers are much more likable as a group than the sorts we used to rub
shoulders with on the grandparents of this list, you still are dealing with
a very real problem in terms of discussion. They simply CAN NOT admit that
they are wrong even if we persuade them of that during a debate. This
admission can only occur within the party at the appropriate time and
place, such as the next meeting of their political committee or national
convention. This is the rules of the game as set down at the 1924
"Bolshevization" Comintern conference and if you don't adhere to them
strictly, all sorts of terrible things will happen. You will get warts on
your buttocks and hair will start growing out of your ears.

I think there's nothing wrong with changing your mind. I do it frequently
when logic and facts persuade me that I've been wrong. For example, when I
first encountered Henry Liu, I would lob missive after missive making the
claim that China had already become capitalist. But a combination of
information that he presented, plus the conflict reported on the bourgeois
press recently around a range of issues (WTO, embassy bombing, Taiwan,
etc.) persuaded me that I was mistaken. Guess what. No warts. I do have
hair growing out of my ears, but I think that's more of a function of being
54 years old.

Louis Proyect

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