On behalf of the people (some divergence between Patrick and

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Wed Jan 24 09:23:11 MST 2001

>I'm not very optimistic that you'll buy off on this, but my aim is to help
people to
>come to terms with the reality of their own commitments and undertakings.
I will do
>my best to demonstrate clearly and logically the theoretical incoherence and
>political opportunism of for eg Boris Kagarlitsky, Doug Henwood, etc, and
make this
>so clear that it becomes IMPOSSIBLE for those persons, or their followers,
even to
>appear in revolutionary discussion-spaces like this, because they are too
>exposed and because people have got the message about them.

Boris Kargalitsky should not be mentioned in the same breath as Doug
Henwood, nor should Patrick. One of the things I learned over the years is
that when people are moving your direction, it is useful to find ways to
build bridges and not exacerbate the differences that remain. On the other
hand, when you have decided that somebody is moving in the opposite
direction, that is the time to throw open the discussion and put one's
cards on the table. I propose that Boris and Patrick fall into the first
category and Doug in the second.

It is of some consequence that Patrick has taken on the ANC in various
print publications and in his new book. While I certainly have
disagreements with him about how to assess the MDC in Zimbabwe, it is of
*signal importance* that a leading member of the South African left
intelligentsia has begun to tell it like it is. Patrick and Dale McKinley,
who we hear from occasionally, are fighting the good fight and it takes
guts to do that in a country in which there is enormous pressure to toe the
line ideologically.

The same thing is true of Boris. He was one of the first people I know of
to openly attack the "woe is us" outlook of the NLR. Again, I have
criticisms of some of his formulations but he is moving in the right
direction. Let us not forget that Boris disassociated himself from Roger
Burbach soon after the publication of "Globalization And Its Discontents:
The Rise Of Postmodern Socialisms", which was an exercise in TINA. From
that point on, Boris has begun to return to a more classical understanding
of Marxism.

Doug is another story entirely. Lately he has used the question of the
taste of MacDonalds french fries (no, I am not kidding) as a pretext to
defend Michael Hardt-Toni Negri's argument in "Empire" that empire is an
advance over what precedes it. For comrades new to the history of our
movement, I can only state this was the argument of the Second
International "revisionists" whom Rosa Luxemburg polemicized against. And
who was the first person on LBO-Blather to challenge Doug--invoking Rosa
Luxemburg for that matter? It was our own Patrick Bond.

Louis Proyect
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