To Michael Dawson

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Nov 13 17:27:22 MST 2003

Michael Dawson wrote:
>You're opposed to world government -- to putting teeth and democracy and
>authority into the United Nations?  How else are we ever going to solve
>humanity's many international problems?

Socialism I would say. The UN is no different from the League of Nations,
which failed to maintain world peace in an earlier generation.

>Meanwhile, if attacking Doug Henwood isn't a huge waste of time, I don't
>know what is.  And, whatever disagreements of perspective one might have
>with him, who could deny the wealth of information he provides and helpfully

He does provide lots of useful information as I freely admitted. But we are
dealing with ongoing debates within the left. His Nation article extols
Hardt and Negri's "Empire", although with less fervor in the past. As you
are probably aware, this book generated enormous controversy and Doug is
one of the best-known defenders of the views contained there. We have an
obligation to engage with those ideas. This is not a question of "trashing"
people but taking ideas seriously.

>As to the famous revolution versus reform divide:  I'm not personally
>inclined to be very enchanted by that.  In my view, revolution is simply a
>dedication to radical reforms.  History has shown that it takes alot more
>than a mere coup d'etat to make a new world.  And, as Engels once noted,
>we'll never outgun the capitalists anyhow.

A coup d'etat? What are you referring to, October 1917? Have you read a
history of the Russian revolution? I am not even talking about Trotsky. I
recommend a look at W.H. Chamberlain's. He was a reporter for the Christian
Science Monitor.

>MLK and Gandhi were the two most radical figures of the 20th century, and
>did the most to advance the cause of socialism.  Lenin touched off a

Lenin was a Marxist. MLK and Gandhi were pacifists with contradictory
social and economic ideas. I honestly don't know what you were expecting
from Marxmail, or from Marxism in general.

Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list:

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