On Academe and the list was Re: NACLA and Colombia

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Tue Dec 19 13:02:15 MST 2000

Hi Lou:

>By the same token, I've learned that it is exceedingly difficult for
>fire-breathing Marxists to remain on PEN-L. After being subbed for the
>better part of 7 years, except for periods when Perelman suspended me or
>when I walked off in anger, I finally unsubbed for good. Part of the goal
>of any mailing list is to encourage conversations and I found myself too
>often locked in the pose that opens Sam Peckinpah's classic film "The Wild
>Bunch": a crowd of children are gathered around a perverse game. They have
>trapped a tarantula and are watching it being tortured by ants.
>Now that I am off PEN-L (I can just hear the sighs of relief from people
>like Brad DeLong who is now free to defend US imperialism without having to
>put up with the likes off me), I expect that the seepage from that list
>into this one will be decreased measurably. Since I was a "personality" on
>that list (the Last Marxist mixed with Howard Stern), there was always a
>temptation to comment on PEN-L threads involving me over there on this
>list. That tempation should no longer exist.

While it's right & important for this list to insist upon its own
independent character, I don't think it's good for PEN-l or online
socialist debates for you or any other Marxist to abstain from PEN-l
or like avenues altogether.

Marxism demands the work of agitation & propaganda, which means
engaging in a war of positions, so to speak, with non-Marxists in
fora that are not specifically created for the development of
Marxism.  If we abstain from such work, we end up talking only to

Remember that on or offline, Brad DeLongs exist.  You participate in
any political work in the USA, you are bound to encounter Brad
DeLongs of the world.  When I worked to support the recent strike of
CWA unionists at the Ohio State University, for instance, one of the
individuals I had to work _with_ was a second-generation Social
Democrat & labor bureaucrat who once worked to foster so-called "free
trade unions" in the formerly existing socialist societies.


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