Yoshie 4 was Re: William Blake

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Sat Dec 23 02:05:55 MST 2000

The sun has now set and I think my capacity to read critically has gone
with it.  I found Yoshie to be obscure here.  Unusually so.

Again another long quote from a classic.  Another great read.  What is the
point though of these quotations?  Is it to set up an orthodoxy of Marxism
which we all must adhere to.  Is this Marxism as an anti-religion
religion?  For me Marxism is not a set of dogmas.  It is a research program
and must like all such be renewed and advanced. So though I have loved
these great slabs from the classics I will not be brow beaten by them.

Yoshie's point about Muenzer was well taken though.  He was a hard man, a
sort of combination of Marat and Saint Just.  But let me stress here that
we are not in the historical period when such hardness is efficacious.  It
has been my experience of Left organisations that they are full of people
who long to play the role of 'L'ami du peuple' but have no idea at all how
to get into the situation where that role might be even possible. The
organised Left in my experience was full of hard men and women, who
mirrored the ruthlessness of capital. I often think of Churchill's remark
about about Sir Stafford Cripps when I think of the leaders of Left
organisations - Churchill said of Stafford

"There but for the grace of God, goes God".

Now what does the below quote from Yoshie mean?  I have puzzled over it and
can only make out that she is saying one has to be a believer or not. What
I am clear about though is that her reference to Bhaskar is dismissive and
unworthy. Try a little of Benjamin's politeness I am tempted to say here.



>Lastly, if one really wants God, "spirituality," and all that, there is no
>reason why one should make a detour through Roy Bhaskar -- one might as
>well abandon historical materialism & convert to a religion of one's
>choice or else build a new one.  Religion _can_ be a progressive force, as
>in the case of liberation theology for instance, but I think it takes
>_religious belief_ in the _truth_ of religion -- instead of a historical
>materialist belief that religion is a form of _ideology_ -- to make
>religion _one's strength rather than weakness_ (recall Gramsci
>here).  "Dip him in the river who loves water," as Blake says, which is
>also the way to show _respect to believers_, be they in religion or
>historical materialism.

More information about the Marxism mailing list