Fw: Mandel and Talmudism (personal)

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Tue Jul 8 15:44:07 MDT 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: Jurriaan Bendien
To: Gorojovsky Nestor
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 9:56 PM
Subject: Re: Mandel and Talmudism (personal)

Hi Nestor,

Thanks for your comment - I am not criticising or attacking you in any way,
so don't worry. From my point of view, Mandel is partly Talmudic and partly
anti-Talmudic. This comes about, because he operated for most of his life in
a dogmatic milieu in which communists falsified what Marx actually said and
stood for. Therefore, Mandel is on the one hand forced to pay very close
attention to Marxist texts, on the other hand he is trying to provide an
enlightened interpretation of those texts which may not be literal. He is
trying to be the most orthodox, and the most "open" Marxist, at the same
time. This is of course not always possible. One of the main plagues he had
to deal with in his life was middleclass academics or academically schooled
people, who tried to mimick Lenin's vituperous Russian style, who tried to
engage in "intellectual class struggle" by means of swearing at opponents
for their lack of orthodoxy.

I prefer myself to abandon that whole terrain, by exiting out of "orthodox"
Marxist discourse and becoming a socialist, in which case the only orthodoxy
is relentless hostility and opposition against the oppression and
exploitation of one social class by another. If some orthodox Marxist
complains that I fail to dot the i's on what Lenin said, I am not worried by


----- Original Message -----
  From: Gorojovsky Nestor
  To: bendien at tomaatnet.nl
  Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 7:25 PM
  Subject: Mandel and Talmudism (personal)

  Hi, Jurriaan!

  I was amazed at the lengthy answer my comment on "Talmud" brought out from
your keyboard. E. Mandel needs no defence at all of a charge of Talmudism,
which I did not intend to make. If my posting perspirated some of that, it
was simply because I wrote it in haste, and (keep this always present,
please) not in my own language.

  Be sure that this answer of yours was unnecessary. I am afraid you
misunderstood me. I was not saying that Ernest Mandel was a Talmudist.
Nothing furthest from his approach.  Even though one might have disagreed
with his positions on many issues, which was quite usual, his creativity and
the seriousness of his attempt to grasp the actual reality in front of him
cannot be honestly denied. That is precisely the opposite cast of mind to
that of the Talmudist.

  I was thinking of my local brand of self-appointed Mandelites, not of E.
Mandel whom I respect even in deep dissidence.

  Maybe you are satisfied by this posting. If you think it worth the fuss,
resend to Marxmail please.

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