For "marxists"....

Martin Zehr mato_ska at
Thu Sep 27 11:53:56 MDT 2001

Thanks Joel. Everyone should stop and think before they run their mouths in a way that adds to the grief that we are carrying. Those "leftists" who relish this experience would do well to rename themselves nihilists, for that would befit their position.
-----Original Message-----
From: joelw at
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 12:03:37 -0500
To:  <marxism at>
Subject: Re: For "marxists"....

> For Joan Cameron...
> I don't remember actually reading your particular piece. I responded to
> someone else who had implied that someone who makes more than 60,000
> dollars deserves to die (which ironically would include the many
> academic Leftists who have made some comment on this issue). My point
> was that was a facile analysis, not "marxist" at all in fact.
> Additionally, to more directly respond to the issues you have raised.
> Some janitorial shifts occur at night, you are right. But when I worked
> as a janitor recently, our shift had been moved to the early morning
> because the employer had to pay higher wages for night shift work. We
> won't know this fact about the WTC until we know it. What has been done,
> on the other hand, is that labor unions have identified hundreds of
> people that did work in the buildings (see Peoples' Weekly World, last
> issue, and since union density has decreased in recent
> years it is likely that many workers in WTC were not unionized. Folks
> who actually live in New York might make such an investigation; for my
> part it is not the whole point.
> A more important point might be to analyze the assumptions of some
> "marxists" who believe that a "worker" is characterized by some
> particular (and sectarian) notion of what class consciousness is. The
> thrust of your argument and those of others seems to be that people who
> have not identified the source of their alienation and exploitation,
> people who have clawed their way up to personal assistant or whatever,
> deserve either to die or do not deserve sympathy in their death. I don't
> care about executives; but say firefighters or personal assistants, or
> janitors, or health care workers, or maintenance workers, whomever. This
> lack of compassion, even if the person claims to be scientifically
> analyzing a situation, is one main reason why the LEft (or at least
> certain sections of it) has been consigned to talking to itself and
> criticizing less pure "marxists" for their "liberalisms." Because so
> many people are not as "class conscious" as they ought to be, is not a
> result of their own inadequacies, but of the Left and its sectarian and
> "revolutionist" shortcomings. Unfortunately for "purists" being a real
> vanguard requires as Brecht says going down to the masses even if you
> don't like what you find there. Or as Lenin suggests understanding that
> a single conception of history will cause a vanguard party/class/or
> section of a class to likely miss the "many-sided" or subtle, or lively,
> or varied contents of consciousness, struggle, and positions possible in
> a progressive and/or revolutionary struggle.
> Frankly, I'm through trying to defend the position that people ought not
> be killed. You can continue thinking what you will, but I think it is a
> mistake for the Left to make. I guess it'll have to be a point of
> disagreement in the coming period of building a peace movement. i just
> hope you don't go to meetings or coalitions and suggest people be glad
> that some people died in this or that event. i don't hink it'll g
> ; name=""
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: BASE64


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