Forwarded from Jurriaan (reply to =?iso-8859-1?Q?Jo=E3o?=)

michael perelman michael at
Mon Mar 12 22:37:58 MST 2001

I have attended a couple of small conferences with Louca.  He never gave
any indication that he was a leftist, let along an activist.

Louis Proyect wrote:
> Hi João
> Thanks for your comment. I don't think Fransisco Louca would say the Left
> Bloc is "the last word" in Portuguese socialist politics, it is only a
> start. If you can attract many young people, then socialism has a future,
> you create an environment and a tradition out of which all sorts of
> socialist projects can grow. But like I said, I don't know much about
> Portuguese politics.
> You disagreed with my use of the term "racism" for the villification by
> some Marxists of other socialists because of their class background or
> class status. Well maybe I am being a bit of a provo again. However
> sometimes I feel I need to be a tiny bit provocative linguistically in
> order to shake up a bit of doctrinal dogma or ideology. The Russian
> communists and the Chinese communists created this tradition in which
> political enemies are labelled "bourgeois" or "petty-bourgeois" or "running
> dogs of imperialism" etc..... mostly arbitrarily, without rhyme or reason -
> it just depends on which faction of the bureaucracy happens to have the
> dominant position, it hasn't much to do with reality. And I am against that
> whole approach. Marx voiced plenty of satire and condemnation of the
> bourgeoisie as a class, and the actions of particular bourgeois people, but
> clearly he saw them as human beings, and there is no simplistic
> sociologism, crude caricature or vulgar reductionism in his views. He was
> equally able to praise the achievements of the bourgeoisie, for example, in
> terms of entrepreneurial drive, innovation, art, science and technology.
> Are you french?
> Is this a loaded question ? No. I was born in Amsterdam 1959 and spent my
> childhood in a small Dutch town (a bit like that song by Paul Simon "my
> little town" perhaps). I emigrated with my parents to New Zealand as a 13
> year old and spent 22 years living/studying/working there. At present I am
> living in central Amsterdam, where I earn a modest living as documentalist.
> I have a BA and MA (hons) in education from Canterbury University (where
> Phil Ferguson studies) and I have done a variety of oddjobs (including
> farm, forestry, postal delivery, photographer, helpdesk etc.) but mainly
> teaching/tutoring, researcher, translator and documentalist. Some people
> said I should write a book about my life, but I don't see why really, it
> wasn't especially interesting except to myself. In New Zealand I co-founded
> a few small Marxist groups (in the 1980s) but none of them survived, though
> a number of individuals who were in them are still active as socialists of
> one stripe or another. I am not very active politically in Holland at all
> (I have difficulty enough to understand Dutch politics thoroughly) but I am
> still socialist and enrolled with the Dutch SP ( But I am not
> "Marxist". I think Marx and Lenin needs to be updated and revised in the
> light of history, but it's a gigantic project... Who has the time and peace
> to do these things.
> I was almost giving up all hope of ever finding a french person
> participating in these lists. We have had people from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka,
> Malaysia, Lebanon, you name it, but from merry old France, nopes
> I can sympathise with your view. I have just been to the opening of the
> Dutch "literature week" with lots of books from people who are, like me,
> half from another culture as it were, and it is refreshing to have the
> different perspectives, a sort of enjoyable international humanism in one
> bookshop. The American and English Marxists tend to rubbish the French
> Marxists quite often. However, a lot of their concepts and theories come
> from France. The French have a sophisticated political language, but a lot
> of the nuances of that don't really exist in Anglo-Saxon countries,and you
> end up wondering whether it means anything. I am sorry, but I cannot bring
> in a French Marxist, it is more a question of somebody "volunteering" out
> of personal interest.
> Best regards
> Jurriaan
> Louis Proyect
> Marxism mailing list:


Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at

More information about the Marxism mailing list