FW: Louis Proyect and the Register Dicscussion List

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xx
Fri Dec 7 09:57:18 MST 2001

Several people, including myself, have asked for Proyect's reinstatement.
What follows is the response.


From: Leo Panitch <leo.panitch at SYMPATICO.CA>
Reply-To: Discussions on the Socialist Register and its articles
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 10:36:17 -0600
Subject: Louis Proyect and the Register Dicscussion List

To All List Subscribers:
We are sorry to have had to intervene to ask Louis Proyect to
leave the list once again, and would like to clarify the question
that has been raised in light of this of whether the list is
moderated. As we made clear when we asked all subscribers about a
year ago whether we should close down the List after so many of
you complained about the previous intemperate exchanges Proyect
was involved in, we do not have the resources to moderate the
list.We rely on two SR collective members, George Comninel and
Alan Zuege, for all the technical work on the List which includes
sending out general messages on our behalf, and we obviously do
consult them when we make this kind of decision.

As the Editors we have to take responsibilty and protect the
Register from harm that may come from exchanges that
use abusive arguments in a way the Register would never
countenance in the essays we publish. For this reason, a year ago
we had to asked Louis Proyect and one of his antagonsists to
leave the list, but we subsequently allowed Proyect to return. We
have intervened again this time in response to messages from some
of you, such as one that came on Nov 11th, before the most recent
incident, complaining that Proyect's mode of argument "was
vitriolic in the extreme" and that "the form of argument is a
political question" Then the most recent incident led another of
you to write: "Unless it can somehow be controlled the
Henwood-Proyect feud could destroy the list.... I want to debate
Doug vigorously on the content of his Nation article, but such
mere personal attacks as he has been subjected to make that very
difficult."  We need, as much as possible, to be tolerant of
different styles of argumentation and disparate cultures on the
left, but destructive (even hateful) speech that serves only to
silence others does not help to bridge those cultures.

Finally, we would like to remind members that almost a year ago
(Jan 4, 2001) Louis Proyect called for the SR list owners to
remove Michael Pugliesi, with whom he had been trading insults,
from the list. Proyect wrote at that time:  "My suggestion is to
either take control of the list and start suspending or expelling
people who do not respect its charter, or else shut it down.
...if you don't set the tone for the mailing list, you are going
to end up with stupid flame wars which do not do justice to the
highly prestigious effort launched by Ralph Miliband some years

Our decision is clearly in conformity with this.
Leo and Colin

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