Double standards, anyone?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Feb 14 06:44:53 MST 2003

John Paramo wrote:
> But, one can determine that his/her list should not
> allow any kind of characterization of others and that
> may be considered, then, an standard.  But a selected
> number of participants in this list feel free to
> insult, atttack and post any kind of nonsense about
> some revolutionary Marxists, past and present, and
> that is OK.

John, I think it has been made sufficiently clear both on the Marxmail
subscription information page and in discussions on the list that our
purpose here is to move past the kind of organizational and political
framework that you base yourself on. Characterizations such as
opportunist, reformist, etc. set off warning signals to me as moderator.
I unsubbed Carlos Alternativa because he saw the list in more or less
the same manner as Schanoes did--as a battleground to expose traitors to
the cause of Marxism. At least with Carlos, you had somebody who had
*done* something to challenge the ruling class for a very long time. By
contrast, Schanoes is a middle-class professional who has never belonged
to a revolutionary organization or worked in the mass movement. As I
have told both you and Armando, I think that you have respected the
ecology of the list and that Carlos would be welcomed back if he can
function in the same manner as you do. Basically, this entails a
willingness to assume that all participants here are genuine
revolutionaries--*even* if you privately think otherwise. In the past 3
years or so, we have only had reasons to drop one person from the list
for repeated betrayal of elementary class principles. That was Chris
Burford, a member of an offshoot of the British CP that is now dissolved
and whose leaders are on Blair's payroll. Burford campaigned for NATO
during the war against Yugoslavia. If we run into somebody like that, it
is necessary to draw clear class lines and take the necessary measures
to isolate that person from the list.

But on a routine day-to-day basis, we simply have to avoid the
temptation to characterize our ideological opponents in the terms that
are familiar to those of us who belonged to the Trotskyist movement. In
the case of David Schanoes, not only was he unwilling to accept these
groundrules, he rose to the temptation as a alcoholic does to a bottle
of gin.


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