Yoshie and the Lenin line: reply to Mark Lause

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Tue Jul 22 14:00:01 MDT 2003

I didn't get any response on this issue save from you, Jurriaan, so I
have no idea what Yoshie would say.  Certainly, I never ruled out "the
benefits of conferential activities," but questioned the idea of a
separate organization of "intellectuals" and "academics."  I asked very
specifically, though, what was to be gained by doing this separately
from those who are not "intellectuals" and "academics".  Your long email
ignored these specific concerns in favor of a meandering discourse on
whether to organize or not to organize.

My own sense is that intellectuals and academics who want to do
something, should do what Yoshie's been doing--try to build something
worth building with persons who are not "intellectuals" or "academics".
Also, if you want to build a movement or try your hand at building a
party, do it.

For that matter, if you want to build another academic treehouse--there
are legions of them--and have your own tea parties, that's fine, too.  I
think it's in the nature of these things that "radical" is never more
than a label, but the value of a conference requires substance.  Still,
I don't oppose academic conferences.  Just don't pretend it's something

Frankly, though, your response confirms my concerns that the whole
project is likely to be a bad idea, as so clearly confuses academic
conferencing and serious mass politics.  Of course, I really wouldn't
lose sleep on this either way.  My opposition has never slowed the pace
of "radical" academic treehouse construction, and those
constructions--or any other sort of fads--have absolutely no special
influence on what I do or don't do.

Mark L.

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