The EU question (Response to Louis - II)

Julio Huato juliohuato at
Fri May 4 04:35:42 MDT 2001

Louis Proyect quotes my infamous "stick of the political cookie cutter"
rant.  Yeah, I wrote that.  Damn.  Anyway, then he writes:

>I spoke to Mine offline and have also communicated with Nestor. We
>certainly must make the effort to engage with your ideas. As I have pointed
>out, they are prevalent in the academy but not in the activist left that
>went to Quebec. Since this list is composed of what Gramsci called "organic
>intellectuals", we are obligated to keep up with what the old-style
>intellectuals are thinking and writing.

Marxism -- precisely the old-style version of it I've learned -- is about
generalizing the achievements of civilization to every human being.  Among
these achievements, we must include those pertaining to human interaction
and communication.  But Marxists are also wary of self-righteousness and
grand standing.  I should not try to lecture anyone about that.  So let me
just make the point that organic, inorganic, no-fat, and no-cholestorol
intellectuals alike should try to keep it civilized.

>But having said that, this list is
>not quite about trying to understand capitalism. Understanding it is a
>necessary step in the direction of making a revolution. In other words, we
>want to understand capitalism the way an oncologist wants to understand a
>tumor. Not the way a botanist regards an orchid, in other words.

IMO, we should try to understand capitalism the way a doctor tries to
understand blood coagulation.  Under certain circumstances, say, hemorrages,
coagulation helps to stop bleeding and saves lives.  Under other
circumstances, the same process of coagulation forms lumps in the
cardio-vascular system that cause strokes and kill people.  Capitalism is a
social form -- a mode of producing -- that, under different time, space, and
circumstance, requires different treatments.  In some cases it is
pathological.  In other cases, it is not.
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