To Michael Dawson

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Nov 13 16:52:55 MST 2003


Posted to LBO-Talk by Michael Dawson:

The Marxmail folks who bash Doug are really dense. They think he's arguing
in favor of the status quo! In fact, what he's doing is trying to drag us
forward into true radicalism. One of the reasons so many good people like
to talk too much about globalization is that globalization is always
somebody "out there." As Doug says, we should be attacking capitalism as
capitalism, and not just its international aspects, many of which suggest
new opportunities to attack bad realities. Say it now: World government --
let's build it!

===

Michael, it is really unfortunate that you chose not to engage with
substantive criticisms of Doug Henwood on Marxmail but preferred to waste
time in foolish banter with David Schanoes, who was not representative of
mainstream thinking on this list and who unsubbed in anger not 12 hours
after you walked off yourself.

I am planning to respond to Henwood's Nation Magazine article very soon and
hope that you will pay me the common courtesy of answering what I write
(you will be cc'd) rather than strawmen. (For comrade's information, I
refer to an article on the Nation Magazine website that I strongly urge you
to read. It is adapted from Henwood's new book "After the New Economy" that
I plan to review in depth the first chance I get:
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20031201&s=henwood)

I have written other critiques of Henwood's economic and social views that
you can read at:

http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/modernism/Henwood_Zizek.htm

http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/economics/henwood.htm

I never had any luck getting a response from him except snide one-liners.
Judging from your food fight with Schanoes, I probably should not expect
much more from you.

Now, to respond briefly to your own comments. It is a crude simplification
to say that Henwood is in favor of the status quo. The status quo in the
USA is fairly horrible as should be obvious. Instead, Henwood would appear
to favor a kind of welfare state along Scandinavian lines. There is nothing
wrong with this as a goal. Unfortunately it rests on certain utopian
assumptions given the reality of global competition. The Democrats that
Doug Henwood favors are about as inclined to transform the USA into Sweden
as Sharon is inclined to grant full rights to the Palestinian people. The
welfare state grew out of a set of objective historical conditions centered
on the reality of the USSR. Now that this reality has evaporated, a new
political imperative exists. To face up to this will require revolutionary
convictions that Henwood lacks by his own admission.

As far as building "world government" is concerned, I am afraid to ask what
this means. It is probably just as well that you never brought it up on
Marxmail. I have my hands filled keeping a lid on intemperate remarks as it
is. This would have been red meat to a cage full of hungry lions.


Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org


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