To Mine was Re: replying to Ivonaldo was Re: Hobsbawm and theAnalitic History

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Sun Aug 6 20:04:32 MDT 2000

Hi Mine,

I have put in a post replying to Russell.  That should clear up my
reference to LM.  But let me make it clear just in case.  I do not support
what I regard as LM's unquestioning love for modernity.  I think this is
something they share with Hobsbawm by the way.

I am convinced this is a vulgar reading of the Manifesto especially the
truly brilliant pages on the revolutionary nature of Capitalism.

I think we Marxists should strive for a non-capitalist modernity. That to
me means a commitment to technological progress which is mediated by an
equal commitment to the freedom of each and all. Again for me that requires
an ethical commitment something which Marx himself was unwilling to develop
despite being continually outraged by what he saw happening to the working

Now in my post to Russell I indicated that Trotsky had some doubts about
the progress of modernity. I was very struck here by Mark's comments on
Lenin's wish to commit suicide. The common theme I construct from these two
moments is the despair of the old revolutionary Bolsheviks that they had
failed to create a non-capitalistic modernity and had instead only
facilitated the progress of capitalist modernity.

Let me remind people that I was replying to Brian Cahill's use of the
phrase 'doomed class' when referring to the peasants.



At 02:17  6/08/00 -0400, you wrote:

>Of course, I should correct to avoid misunderstanding here. When Gary
>Living Marxism's pitfall, I don't think he was referring to Lenin or Trot.
>was he?
>I guess he was critical of mechanistic/non-revolutionary versions of Marxist
>theory, such as Kautsky's..
>Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx wrote:
> > But, it think, when Gary refers to LM, he has in mind vulgar
> materialists like
> > Kautsky, not Lenin or Trot. Between two Russian revolutions, whose side
> are we
> > on? Kaustky or others?
> >
> > adios,
> >
> > Xxxx
> >
> > Russell Grinker wrote:
> >
> > > Gary MacLennan:
> > > >The key point for us Marxists is indeed where do we stand on modernity.
> > > This is the 'Living  Marxism' tradition's pitfall as well.  They (and
> even
> > > some Maoists when writing about Ireland)
> > > take what they see as the side of modernity.  They forget the very
> essence
> > > of Marxism.  We are not neo-Nietzscheans.  We do not represent the 'wille
> > > zur macht'.  We are always on the side of Spartacus. We seek a
> > > non-capitalist modernity.  We do not advocate primitive accumulation as a
> > > way of dealing with peasants.
> > >
> > > This is just plain wrong.  For what it's worth, the old RCP/LM
> position was
> > > for unconditional support for the Irish struggle for national
> > > self-determination against Britain. The "petit-bourgeois" nature of the
> > > politics of the RM leadership was not used as an excuse for non-support -
> > > particularly at times of so-called terrorist outrages on the mainland
> - as
> > > was the case with almost all the British left. The position we took
> was well
> > > put in a famous Trotsky quote (sue me if I get it slightly wrong, it's a
> > > long time ago): "The British Marxist who fails by all means to
> support the
> > > Irish struggle against Britain, deserves to be branded with infamy,
> if not
> > > with a bullet". Of course now that the Provos have made their peace with
> > > imperialism, there's certainly no obligation to give them any sort of
> > > support.
> >
> > --
> >
> > Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
> > PhD Student
> > Department of Political Science
> > SUNY at Albany
> > Nelson A. Rockefeller College
> > 135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
> > Albany, NY 12222
> >
> > ____________NetZero Free Internet Access and Email_________
> > Download Now
> > Request a CDROM  1-800-333-3633
> > ___________________________________________________________
>Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
>PhD Student
>Department of Political Science
>SUNY at Albany
>Nelson A. Rockefeller College
>135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
>Albany, NY 12222
>____________NetZero Free Internet Access and Email_________
>Download Now
>Request a CDROM  1-800-333-3633

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