A question for Alan was Re: carrol and lou on religion

Alan Maki alanmaki at SPAMhotmail.com
Fri Dec 29 11:39:42 MST 2000


Carrol,

You certainly took my remarks very personally. I did not mean to offend
anyone. Perhaps I was too sarcastic and not to the point in my criticism.

I think that most all the discussion on this list does in some way relate to
struggles taking place in the world we live in and no doubt many of the
writings by people come through deep thinking about problems they are
concerned about... I just think it would be helpful to maybe say... take a
current issue involving religion; wages and profits; a strike that is in
progress; a revolutionary struggle- ie Columbia, etc; a question of peace-
ie the Middle East; and from the vantage point of helping people to
understand, support and become active in the struggles we could bring up
letters, writings, and works of Marx and Engels thereby helping to not only
bring Marxist thinking to greater numbers of people but develop winning
strategies as we take on globalization, etc.

And, quite frankly, I don't see a whole lot of that with this list and I
think its unfortunate. As to the idea of this list providing
"entertainment"? If thats the way you get your kicks, no problem with me...
have fun!

As far as Marx being subjected to official persecution for the time he spent
in the library, I don't know about that.... but I do know that plenty of
people who have taken the time to read his writings written as a result of
the research he did in London seem to end up geting beat over the head by
billy-club swinging cops, shot in the head or imprisoned not to mention
unending harasment of every description.

I guess there is "fun" and then there is "fun", eh?

Maybe we could start a whole new discussion, "How do workers entertain
themselves and how do intellectuals entertain themselves?"

Alan


>From: Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
>Reply-To: marxism at lists.panix.com
>To: marxism at lists.panix.com
>Subject: Re: A question for Alan was Re: carrol and lou on religion
>Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 11:50:52 -0600
>
>
>
>Alan Maki wrote:
>
> > Marx also spent a lot of time being prosecuted by the authorities for
>his
> > activities... somehow he managed a schedule in which education,
>organization
> > and action made up his work schedule...
>
>After he once settled in London Marx had very little trouble with the
>authorities, and as far as I can recall, he was never arrested while
>he was working on his doctoral dissertation. It is true that it is almost
>impossible to ever barely understand Marxist theory let alone
>contribute to it unless one has been involved in political acivism of
>various sorts. One needs to have felt in practice the enormous
>potential energy and malice not only of the bourgeois state but
>of so-called civil society. My guess is that most on this list have
>been so involved or they wouldn't be on this list to begin with. I
>also don't see why someone should play the part of the Roman
>plebians demanding that the Tribune show his scars before
>receiving their approbation. Who do you think you are, anyway.
>
>Perhaps a joke that went the rounds of the CIA during the
>Vietnam War will help achieve perspective. The joke was
>that they should parachute mimeograph machines and paper
>into NLF areas, and the "Viet Cong" would spend so much
>time running off leaflets that they would forget to fight.
>
>One problem perhaps with maillists is that we have been
>to busy in "maillist practice" to sit back and do some thinking
>about what maillists can and cannot do. We have not been
>theoretical enough, and our practice suffers from it.
>
>As far as ideas leading direct to practice, I suggest you
>read Marx's *Theories of Surplus Value* and explore the
>question of why Marx should have thought writing that
>work so important. That question itself may be a theoretical
>question of some importance: i.e., if we understand why
>Marx wrote it that may be  equally important) with the
>contents of the book itself.
>
>And we may never know the worth of this list. Perhaps
>independently of anything we actually arrive at the list now
>(or its archives in the future) may trigger thought in someone
>that will be of immense importance. And maybe not. Have
>you read the posts dealing with contingency?
>
> > I would be willing to bet that had
> > Marx had access to the internet he would have spent more time amongst
> > workers organizing. Marx wasn't targeted by the authorities for the time
>he
> > spent in the library.
>
>But it was the time he spent in the library that posed and still
>poses a mortal danger to capitalism.
>
> >
> > All I am saying is that it seems to me not too many of the discussions
>on
> > this site lead to activity... or am I missing something here?
>
>You seem to expect a maillist to embody the whole life of the
>subscribers to it. I would not at all be surprised but what a
>goodly sprinkling of the lurkers are people involved deeply
>in political activity who subscribe to this list for entertainment.
>Is there anything wrong with communists having some pleasure
>in life?
>
>Carrol
>
> >
> > Comradely,
> >
> > Alan Maki
> >
> > >From: Gary MacLennan <g.maclennan at qut.edu.au>
> > >Reply-To: marxism at lists.panix.com
> > >To: marxism at lists.panix.com
> > >Subject: A question for Alan was Re: carol and lou on religion
> > >Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 06:42:44 +1000
> > >
> > >Hi Alan,
> > >
> > >Try this question on for size.
> > >
> > >"How can this guy can spend so much time in the library while peasants
>and
> > >workers are starving to death etc?"
> > >
> > >regards
> > >
> > >Gary
> > >
> > >At 01:03  28/12/00 -0500, you wrote:
> > >>I find it very difficult to understand how "marxists" can spend so
>much
> > >>time on some of these topics while Leonard Peltier languishes in
>prison
> > >>and workers in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada face one of the most difficult
> > >>strikes in North America..... did anyone ever read in marx anything
>about
> > >>"action"?
> > >>
> > >>Alan Maki
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>>From: " George Snedeker" <snedeker at concentric.net>
> > >>>Reply-To: marxism at lists.panix.com
> > >>>To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
> > >>>Subject: carol and lou on religion
> > >>>Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 14:01:49 -0500
> > >>>
> > >>>I think it was Cornel West who argued that Marxism had nothing to say
> > >>>about
> > >>>the question of death. this is why he thought we still needed
>religion to
> > >>>answer human needs for metaphysical questions. carol's and Lou's
>posts
> > >>>bring
> > >>>this question to mind. personally, I don't think Marxism need answer
>all
> > >>>of
> > >>>the questions in the universe. I have always thought religion  was
>more
> > >>>of a
> > >>>problem than a solution to any human form of suffering. enter Freud
> > >>>replacing Durkheim. I mean what is it that leads us to run to the
> > >>>supernatural for help during hard times? is this need conditioned by
> > >>>modes
> > >>>of production, or is it a basic human weakness? there is a
>relationship
> > >>>here
> > >>>between the personal and the social. Marx might say that the personal
>is
> > >>>a
> > >>>moment of the social since you can not have a personal without a
>social.
> > >>>even Durkheim knew this quite well.
> > >>>
> > >>>I have a friend, a good atheist, who when her brother was under going
> > >>>open
> > >>>heart surgery prayed for him. she told me that this was because she
>might
> > >>>be
> > >>>wrong and why should he suffer?
> > >>>George Snedeker
> > >>
> > >>_________________________________________________________________
> > >>Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
> > >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
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