Class V Gender

Jon Johanning jjohanning at
Wed Aug 14 22:09:39 MDT 2002

On Wednesday, August 14, 2002, at 03:59  PM, Jim Craven wrote:

> b) Is my message getting to those who can use it in concrete struggles
> in
> concrete ways or am I just preaching to the insulated converted? c) What
> concrete praxis is behind and employed to test what I am
> writing/developing?; d) Can those who are the subject of what I am
> writing
> about (oppressed peoples) actually understand--and use--what I am
> writing
> about?;

I couldn't agree more. Despite having a Ph. D. in philosophy in my CV,
and having read a fair amount of Saint Karl himself in the original
German in my time, I confess that the majority of what passes as Marxist
theorizing these days, in "English," mind you, is incomprehensible to
me. How in the world can the people who write this stuff imagine that
the "people" they claim to be "liberating" will ever be able to use it?

[much else I also agree with snipped; but I want to quote]

> h) Is my message getting out to diverse
> audiences that can potentially challenge and point out errors and/or
> improve
> upon what I am writing?; i) Are the media in which I am writing
> accessible
> to/read by the "subjects" of my work and/or can I make sure that those
> about
> whom I am writing (e.g. oppressed peoples) get to see, read, understand
> and
> critique what I am writing about?; j)If I am invited to a speaking
> engagement, is this a forum, subject and audience that will do something
> tangible with what I am talking about or am I being used as some kind of
> token?;


> When I read some of the stuff of the
> pomos like Derrida, Judith Butler, Focault etc. I personally, and maybe
> it
> is just me, find not much more than esoteric and narcissistic babble and
> verbiage, often using causes and issues of sections of the oppressed
> while
> being incomprehensible for and irrelevant to the very oppressed peoples
> nominally the subjects of their insultated, dilettanteish CV-notching
> bullshit.

And there are folks who seriously wonder why the American people "reject
One of the main reasons, I think, is that, if by some chance they ever
began to be interested in it, they couldn't understand a word of it.

Actually, this problem is not too hard to fix. Very often the ideas
these writers want to express are not that bad (though they could be
sharpened up by using a little logical analysis) -- all they probably
need to do is take a course in how to write clearly and interestingly.

Jon Johanning // jjohanning at
"I believe in seeing two sides to an issue so as I can show the other
guy where he is wrong." -- Archie Bunker

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