Forwarded from Nestor

Vanessa DD jajije at
Fri Apr 6 17:16:25 MDT 2001

I thought I should say something about what Louis says below.

I have been reading some marx, and found the guy very bright. Most of what
he writes seems obvious to me, but I suppose that having written it 150
years ago, he was quite innovative!

My goal with the list is to understand WHAT CAN BE DONE nowadays. For

Can we apply stuff from 150 years ago to the 21st century? Are there any
true leftists or rightists left, aside from the truly crazy nuts like the
neonazis and such? Even if there are, can anything be achieved by such
labels? Don't they limit us too much? Hasn't communism been proven useless,
not because its principles are bad, but because humanity is unable to
implement them? I despise the workings of capitalism, but can there be an
CORRUPTED BY POWER? This last question, I'm afraid, is the one that makes
the difference, and also the one that seems to have a clear NO as an answer,
but I'm not being dogmatic here, just empirical.

When I mentioned that I was called a far-rightist, I had been arguing with
someone that the only way one could trust a charity organization leader is
if she were already rich enough to be above stealing, or too religious to
steal. But he was right: how do we measure such things? I had been speaking
to him (the coordinator of the program of working children where I tutor)
that he should have NO salary, but rather sacrifice himself so that the
money could go to help the children more. Of course, I am arguing this with
him because I'm the one finding financing for his program! In the end, we
decided to work together, and if he can get the government to keep paying,
well, fine. But I will work exclusively with volunteers in the high posts,
and salaried workers only as secretaries or janitors or whatever. I despise
salaries (for myself), for they would force me to follow the rules of
others. Am I right? I have no idea.

I also wanted to say that I think all ideas, all ideas of humanity, need to
be questioned and tested. Even if I trust someone has the right idea, if I
don't question it, how can I really know its right? When one of you says
something, I MUST question you if I don't understand, and also if I see
turning them over and over in our heads, questioning them from every
possible angle. I'm sure Karl did this for many years before getting his
ideas right. I do not question any of the Marx manuscripts I've read this
last week, because they are right on in terms of ideas and statements about
the reality of workers. BUT, that doesn't mean the methods implemented by
those who call themselves 'marxists' are going to work, or even that Karl
would agree with them if he were alive today and knew everything about
today's reality.

I like you people, I like the fact that you dream of a better world, but I
do believe that a large percent would be corrupted if given LOTS of power. I
DO believe Chavez won't be corrupted, but I don't like most of the guys he
has around him (especially because I know a lot about their private lives
that I hear from the rich dudes dad works with, and that newspapers don't

Well, I gotta go. My 6 yr old is pushing me off the comp, so she can play
some game on it. ;-)

bye guys,

I am not sure what to do with Vanessa. Unlike some of the other people who
have showed up here since the list began in May 1998, she is not exactly a
disrupter even though I took her to task the other day. She seems to be
some kind of non-Marxist radical who finds the discussion here interesting.
(There is another list member who is an outspoken anti-Marxist, but who
prevailed on me to be subbed because he too finds the discussion
interesting. I said fine as long as he didn't start fights with people.) If
I find that discussions become polarized between list members and her about
the abc's of Marxism, I will be forced to unsub her. This list is not meant
to provide a forum where leftists, anti-leftists, Marxists, anarchists,
vegetarians, nudists, free love advocates, and Buddhists can argue with
each other. Doug Henwood's list already serves that purpose and I don't
want to compete with him.

Louis Proyect
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