replying to Yoshie was Re: To Yoshie on our duty in cyberspace was Re: On Academe and the list

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Wed Dec 20 11:12:20 MST 2000

Hi Gary:

>I do think I could survive in the USA, though my American friends
>have added the caveat that I must not attempt to drive!

No doubt you will -- at least you can drive, while I haven't got even
a driver's license, much less a car!

>The whole point is, 'What is the gain from the pain?'

It's not my intention to make you -- or anyone else for that matter,
least of all Nestor -- a political masochist.  To be honest, I think
you already lean in the direction of political masochism a little too
disturbingly.  :)

>The point I am trying to emphasize is that Lou's list is different
>and we all need to be conscious of that.

I cannot agree more.  The problem is that posters here ritually
engage in "exorcism" more often than they should, exorcising the
specters of De Longs, Henwoods, etc., instead of focusing upon what
this list is supposed to do.  Here's empirical evidence of
"exorcism": Doug Henwood is one of the most talked-about
intellectuals on Lou's list:

Search Lou's Marxist archive with the words "Doug Henwood," and
you'll receive 283 matches!  In contrast, "Magdoff" gets only 19,
"Ernest Mandel" 39, "Baran" 41, "Braverman" 59, "Judith Butler" 60,
"John Bellamy Foster" 61, "Sweezy" 127!

You click on the link above, and you'll see who's talking about
Henwood most often (it certainly ain't yours truly).

This list often provides the sort of forwards & analyses that may be
best used _for the purpose of affirming the importance of Marxist
theory & practice in non-Marxist venues_, instead of going _beyond_
the level of defending Marxism from non-Marxists (which is actually
the job folks should perform in non-Marxist fora, not here).

>>P.S.  I'm also of an opinion that non-black leftists in the USA
>>should regularly visit African-American churches -- to network,
>>yes, but also, perhaps more importantly, to learn from the
>>oratorical traditions of the best of black preachers (how to draw
>>upon Biblical metaphors creatively, how to invite audience
>>responses, how to employ rhythmic repetitions to build up the
>>momentum, and so on).  We should all practice public speaking.
>This is extremely intriguing.  Are you saying that going to a Black
>church is the same as subscribing to Pen-L?

Not quite the same.  PEN-l & black churches give you different
vocabularies.  I think Marxists should be proficient in many idioms,
able to switch registers effortlessly depending upon audiences &
occasions.  Preaching to the choir doesn't force you to become a
consummate agitator & propagandist.  One of the problems of socialist
party papers, for instance, is that they are seldom written in a
style that would appeal to non-believers in the sects that publish


P.S.  I think, though, that _you_ write very attractively &
eloquently in styles appropriate for occasions (I mean your column
which you post here sometimes, Bhaskar-list posts, etc.  My sole
purpose of staying on the Bhaskar list has by now become to read your
& Mervyn's posts).

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