Eichmanns & Innocents- was RE: Censorship at the Socialist Re gister mailing list

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Tue Dec 4 09:54:22 MST 2001

I'm really taken aback by all this talk of
"demi-Eichmanns" (who apparently got what they
deserved) and "innocents" (who did not) in the WTC. I
thought it was axiomatic for Marxists that it is the
SYSTEM that is evil (and deserving of death), not the
(mere humans, with faults, fears, and families) who
play roles in that system. You know, I have sometimes
daydreamed about who I might take out with me if I
learned I had only a short time left to live. But no
matter which scumball I imagine myself gleefully
blowing away (The despicable Orrin Hatch was often the
fantasy target when I was younger), there follows the
sobering realization that there is a line of ambitious
scumballs waiting to take his place.

Michael Davidson

Response: All of this is true but there is an essential non-sequitur
embodied in this reasoning. Again, to point out that various forms of
terrorism were emanating from--not just directed at--the WTC and the
pentagon is a fact that the bourgeois press will never address and it gets
at the issue of the SYSTEM, run by and for whom, and with what consequences
on whom for whom. It gets to the Karma or "blowback" issue as some of those
in the WTC and Pentagon were once involved in financing, arming and training
Taliban when they were nominally "anti-Soviet."

There is no sugestion, implied or derivative in logic that the deaths of
some of the scum in the WTC or Pentagon would make a difference, should be
celebrated or encouraged. There is no suggestion that the Taliban, if the
author of this terrorism, should be celebrated or encouraged to be more
precise in the future as to which scumbags should be taken out.

In the press, we have all of this comment on the WTC and Pentagon attacks
being the worst example of terrorism in U.S. history. As if Wounded Knee I
and II and Sand Creek or Washita River massacres, infected blankets etc are
not part of "U.S. history." To pose these questions, is to expose the
hypocrisy, jingoism, national chauvinism and selective "morality/compassion"
in the bourgeois press and among the populace at large--including among some
"radicals." And I suggest that Ward was getting at with his comments is
perhaps a taste of what Indians get all the time from non-Indians, including
on the nominal left when acts of terrorism--past and present--are pointed
out: "Oh yes, that WAS terrible, what WAS (not is being) done WAS horrible,

Finally, to say honestly I am not particularly bothered or teary-eyed about
the death of some functionary of imperialism is simply an honest statement
that in no way implies that that individual "deserved it", or that their
individual death should be "celebrated" or indeed that their individual
death will "make a difference."

Jim Craven

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