FW: Louis Proyect and the Register Dicscussion List

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Dec 8 12:35:53 MST 2001

On Sat, 08 Dec 2001 14:13:47 -0600, Travis Fast wrote:
>Look no one here disagrees with this.  The
>question is wether or not the SR  editorial
>board supports this war implicitly or
>explicitly.  I challenge  any of you to send
>Panitch, Leys, or Cominel an email where you
>systematically list these charges with
>supporting evidence.

I think we have established that Panitch and company are against the
war. I even apologized for giving that initial impression.

I believe that Paul F. was referring to the Nation Magazine liberals
and the social democrats profiled in Rick Perlstein's NY Observer
article. (http://www.nyobserver.com/pages/story.asp?ID=4975)

Among them is Stanley Aronowitz, who is a key figure in the yearly
Socialist Scholars Conference where the DSA, the SR, MR, the Brecht
Forum and independent Marxist professors get together to read papers
to each other. Over the past 10 years or so, the SSC has been rightly
accused of excluding voices opposed to NATO's intervention in
Yugoslavia. Plenaries exclude voices like Diana Johnstone's and
workshops devoted to points of view's like hers get the runaround.

The ideological consensus at this yearly gathering is based on
certain presuppositions about what is the proper way to oppose
imperialist war. For example, two years ago Tariq Ali and Peter
Gowans debated Bogdan Denitch and Ian Williams, I believe. The odious
Williams told Ali how glad he was to be able to debate somebody as
"reasonable" as him, as opposed to the "lunatics" out there. In other
words, people who believed that Milosevic was not a genocidal monster
and that the USA wanted to destroy the last remaining bulwark of
state-owned property in Eastern Europe.

Basically, I view this kind of amiable repartee as symptomatic of a
deep problem on the left. If Marxism is about anything, it is about
resisting imperialist violence and the lies that make it easy to
carry out. Lenin created the Zimmerwald conference in order to break
with the pro-war left of his day. If collegiality and old-boy's
networks among the professorial and journalistic elite is more
important than drawing clear class lines, then we need something new.

Louis Proyect, lnp3 at panix.com on 12/08/2001

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