One more thing on the US Far Left (continuation of response to Gilles)

Jay Moore pieinsky at igc.org
Wed Dec 4 08:16:08 MST 2002


Gilles -- I would add to Louis's reply describing and characterizing where
ZNet's Michael Albert is coming from ideologically and politically that, in
addition to various New Left sources which Albert has tried to cobble
together into a theory, he comes -- at least way-back-when -- out of some
familiarity with the Council Communist kind of tradition of Pannekoek,
Gorter, and Mattick.  This genealogical relationship is more evident in the
book by Albert and his frequent collaborator, the scholarly economist Robin
Hahnel, "Unorthodox Marxism", the first attempt (1978) to articulate their
own positions.  I am told by a friend, an occasional contributor to "Z
Magazine", that yet another book is forthcoming by Albert about their vision
of participatory economics (PARECOM).  I don't doubt that Albert would very
much have liked ZNet to have evolved into some kind of more party- or
organizational-like structure.  Some years ago now, Albert started up
another publication called "Z Papers" thru which contributors and readers of
"Z Magazine" were encouraged to debate ideas and to try to achieve some
greater basis of unity.  This, however, ceased publication after only a
couple of issues.  One problem is that Albert himself is not a very good
"people person".  I've met him and I found him to be an egotistical ass.
Other people who have worked with him tell me more or less the same thing.
ZNet -- meaning the Website, the magazine, and other publishing projects --
is basically a two-person show with Albert and his longtime companion Lydia
Sargent.

All that said, I agree with Louis that on the whole when there are very few
other steady "far-left" publications in the U.S. -- I sorely miss the old
weekly "Guardian" -- "Z" down through the years has been very helpful as a
location where leftist figures and activists could express their views and
from which younger people could discover leftist politics.  What else would
people like Chomsky or Ed Herman or Steven Shalom or Brian Tokar, etc. not
affiliated with an existing party or organization have to reach an audience?

best,
jay
www.neravt.com/left/



----- Original Message -----
From: "Gilles d'Aymery" <aymery at ix.netcom.com>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 1:39 PM
Subject: Re: One more thing on the US Far Left (continuation of response to
Gilles)



> This makes me think that in Lou's initial answer to my questions, he
> does not mention ZNet as a party on the Left. This comes to my mind
> because M. Albert wrote a long Q & A as to whether these folks
> should attend these demonstrations despite the fact that they were
> organized by the WWP (usual allusion to the "front" organisations --
> e.g., iacenter, ANSWER et al.) which is a neo-stalinist, etc., etc., etc.
> How would you categorize ZNet within the leftist movement (please
> note that I entertain cordial relationships with Ed Herman, who has
> generously agreed to contribute to Swans from time to time, and with
> David Peterson). To use Lou's metaphor, I experience some difficulty
> to graphically represent ZNet on the US ideological map.
>
> Gilles d'Aymery
>




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