Henwood, Zizek and the lesser evil

Charles Jannuzi b_rieux at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 8 01:15:52 MST 2003

> Doug Henwood wrote:
> >Proyect, your slanders about my "rightward
> drift" are bad enough, but now
> >you've committed the ultimate crime - posting
> LBO material without
> >permission. In the eloquent words of Arnie
> Schwarzenegger, fuck you asshole.
> The ultimate crime? So sue me. By the way,
> how's the book on the New
> Economy coming? If you didn't spend so much
> time on email lists, you'd be
> more productive

To be fair to Arnie, I think the A.S. quote is
'F*ck you, you a@@hole'.

Do you suppose Henwood meant 'libel' here? In any
case, it would seem to be relative and, given
Henwood's publicly stated opinions about the left
(just sample some of that stuff when he was also
calling for the blood of all Talibs in 2001), not
really damaging of his reputation among his
devotees or supporters. Who else would even know
who he is enough for his reputation to be

To be fair to Henwood, he started out as a neocon
aspirant with a passion for 19th century
literature (which probably would have culminated
in some revelatory dissertation that, from a
Freudian perspective, Melville was the greatest
symbolist ever, or something). So he was never
that left in the first place (not in anyway I
could ever discern). Moving to the left a bit
seemed to help his writer's block and he has been
going steadily at the keyboard ever since. Had he
moved to the right, in absolute terms, he
probably would find he has absolutely nothing to
say (which is o.k. if you have a position with,
say, the Washington Times, but Henwood flogs a
newsletter). But wait a minute, that might
explain the last five years...

To be fair to L.P., I'd say the post constituted
fair scholarly use for analysis and review. Then,
L.P. is supposed to be faulted for providing only
an excerpt (was it indicative or misleading?), so
Henwood posts the whole thing. I certainly wasn't
going to pay for wish-washy dreck like that, so I
thank Henwood for making it available in its
entirety at its true market value ($0.00--yeah,
now I'm a Hayekian who has seen the light for a
day). If only we could get Henwood to pay for the
privilege to post (now I'm no longer a Hayekian).

Next, a serious inquiry to Henwood on his latest
book project. One does have to ask, Which new
economy is his book about now? The old new
economy? Or the new, new economy? Or the new old
economy (hey, the SEC is going to clean up the
market place and instill the values that made
America great, and tech company's stocks are
going to pay dividends, so...). Or is even that
now passe' (the old new old economy, I think it
was)? Perhaps the new master work is really going
to be that long awaited disseration on 19th
century literature, Dr. Henwood?

Finally, about the Dems and Reps. Like I keep
reading on the internet from those fed up with
both: put a Republican up against a Republican,
and a Republican wins everytime. And you wonder
why those on the left feel that the left is like
a well that the idea-seeking Dems have gone too
one too many times with a bucket full of holes.

I'd support even moderate leftists for elected
office (for the US that would mean politics
coming in at center right in Europe), but they
have to be 'purged' of any taint of both of these
parties. Parties have come and gone before, and
both of these parties should just GO (if they
were Japanese all their people in office could
just apologize for their massive management let
down over 9-11 and retire, that would be a good
start). For a country that says 'change' and
'reform' and 'improvement' are its foundations, I
can't see why we have to be stuck with these two
parties if the US is indeed the functional
democracy the two parties keep telling us it is.

I think Henwood slams Nader unfairly. Nader is
indeed a pragmatist, so he shouldn't be
criticized for his use of the courts. The courts
are the only thing still functioning to make
decisions over differences with public
implications and effects in the US (other than
when to start bombing a country, which isn't
really discussed in the two party abomination
called the national security state as if there
were differences anyway). Unfortunately the
courts also side for the right--such as the
decision to put still yet another Bush weenie
into the national security state caudillo.

I suppose Henwood is waiting for Gore to declare
himself an autonomist Marxist while Al is on a
book tour promoting his latest 'bestseller': 'How
I Invented Empire: The Prequel'. Maybe then
Henwood would figure out a way to show some
commitment in his opinion pieces.

C. Jannuzi
Fukui, Japan

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