Forwarded from Stan

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sat Dec 8 13:58:19 MST 2001

(this was obviously meant for the list)

I want to accept the apology of Henry, because it would be ungracious
not to do so, and I believe it is genuine. I will stay on the list
because of the sincerity of Lou's appeal, though I am uncomfortable
with how this seems... as if I am getting my way after a tantrum.
Perhaps there's a kernel of truth there, I am not honestly well
enough in touch with my own subconscious to probe that effectively
into it. Perhaps there's not. I have recently apologized to the list
for my own responsibility in distracting the list from its work with
side-polemics, though I hope--not having my earier posts in front of
me--that Michael's indictment is unfounded, and that I have not
engaged in personal attacks on anyone. If there is evidence of that,
then I will take full responsibility and apologize. It's not my
style, though I admitted to Lou in my last post that I can be drawn
into a testosteronic pissing contest, just because I share the
debility of most on this list of having been raised as a boy in this
society, and I have a long way to go in correcting that at an
emotional level.

I hope there is some other reason for my presence here than Haiti,
since I am a fellow traveler of the PPN, but certainly not qualified
to speak for them or for Haitians; only to post my observations on
the situation there. I can't be a delegate for them, without being
wildly presumptuous.

I work, as I'm sure I've mentioned, in NC, and the popular democracy
movement organization we are building had some of its beginning in a
post from Mark Jones in the wake of the 2000 coup-by-judicial-fiat in
the USA, where he explicity stated that democracy must become the
watchword of the fightback, since the bourgeoisie had just thrown
their own version of it on the ground and made themselves openly
lawless in the process. I was that impressed with his interpretation.
I went out and dug up over $60,000 to pay the bills, and began
traversing a 400 mile wide state again and again to push the idea.
This work has been hard, but it has gained traction, and I admit I am
a little sensitive to critiques by abstraction from afar, because I
know these people, and we are not going to move them from where they
are now to full blown revolutionaries with sermons. There's a
dialectical process involved, and there is quite simply no way to
jump over that. The attempt to do so by some o! f the M-L grouplets
has in every case been counter-productive, because they badger people
with the correctness of theory, and they, frankly, have long since
lost the art of listening--which often leads them to misread and
misunderstand what people are telling them. They're too busy looking
for deviations to hear the existing pre-revolutionary content of
plain people's existence.

I am re-reading a very good book right now, "Women and Revolution in
Yugoslavia," by Barbara Jancar-Webster, which points out something
you yourself have alluded to in discussing Nicaragua and Cuba. The
movements that led to these revolutions were not communist. In
Yugoslavia, what led to the formation of the Partisans was not a
choice between socialism and capitalism (they were in fact largely
still rural), but between revolution and fascism. I suspect there are
many lessons for now that can be drawn from what I am reading, and we
have a real sense of urgency here (a few of us) to make some real
preparations for the inevitable consequences of US domestic policy as
it is now developing. Only unlike the Partisans, we don't have a
foundation of 20 years of working underground to provide the
infrastructure for an anti-fascist struggle.

What we have is what we got. So we survey what exists within the
realm of possiblity, we make decisons, and we do what we can to
advance our organizing, stopping from time to time to re-evaluate.
We've tried formulas. They never work.

I would be interested in hearing from those on this list who are
actively organizing on what works for them. And I will do my best in
the future to be as respectful as possible and not to engage in
personal and ad hominem commentary. That's what I can do to sweep my
side of the street. But I can not stay on if three quarters of my
time reading these posts, time taken from something else, is a review
of invective and counter-invective.

I think that's fair.


Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 12/08/2001

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