Questions of International Organization

OpenSentence Type Foundry typefoundry at
Sun Nov 16 23:02:09 MST 2003

> Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 02:25:21 +0100
> From: "Jurriaan Bendien" <bendien at>
> Subject: Christianity, postmodernism and Internationals - reply to Jeff
> Hi Jeff,
> I am not "Mr. Bendien" except to a bourgeois, terms such as Mister or Master
> refer back to the master-servant or master-slave relationship, a status
> difference which we seek to abolish, and moreover connotes a rejection of my
> personal identity, a formality of being a "Mr" among other "Mr's", fine
> perhaps insofar as it distinguishes me from a "Ms" or "Mrs" but nonetheless
> an abstraction from my personal identity rather than a confirmation of it.

Whatever, man: we're not friends, you can call me Brother Rubard (no respect
is implied) but you can't call me Jeff.  It's just a formality (like the
market for which it exists, unlike my first name which everyone *is
encouraged* to shorten), and like the market it can cut both ways.

> subject to change and improvement. That creates the possibility of a better
> vision of human beings, but by the same token, a regression is also
> possible, and there the ideology of the previous mode of production is a
> kind of moral backstop. The same would apply to any society, except that of
> course there the previous mode of production might not be a christian
> feudalism, but something else.

Right, but the point of "sociologistic" analyses of the feudal period is to
show that "the modern era never began": processes of modernization have been
present in literate civilization since its inception, and furthermore you're
still talking about a "future state" in basically millenarian terms
(although you're questioning those terms).  There's a lot not to like about
Christianity, and I'm personally not fond of Catholic "just price/just war"
thought *at all*; but even that tradition is split, and provides a ground
for argumentation.

> a certain increase in the self-awareness of the human species has been
> achieved, and now we must move on, if we are to retain our conquests rather
> than sink back into barbarism, if we are to stop crawling in our own shit
> and walk upright. Ultimately, postmodernism is conservative, a ragbag of
> themes lifted from the past and converted into a new concoction, preventing
> new coherent theory and a new morality, it succumbs to the global

I will simply point out, without wanting to do Frankfurt's Greatest Hits for
the nth time, that the language you are using here to describe humanistic
values is very much the language of capitalist (albeit not "primitive")

> disputes, rather than building the damn thing out of practical reality. It
> is not a question of Fourth or Fifth International either, that is just a
> vacuous dispute for intellectual sentimentalists with time on their hands.
> The real question is how you organise an effective International, as such,
> and not whether you can count up to five. You need much more for that than
> the ability to count up to five.
> Jurriaan

Start on a first name basis, end with "intellectual sentimentalist".  Man,
when I was a young'un I could not have given a goddam about internationalism
of any kind ("Why is the organization rigid enough for this question to
arise?" would have been my attitude).  But it really seems imperative to me
that the question of international organization be raised, because to give
an example frankly your behavior "wouldn't really be cool in the US"
(although we're tolerating an Amsterdam ex-heroin addict pretty well in my
neighborhood, it's a type *I've* seen before and people generally care less
here).  But frankly your ad hominem attacks, even here, are the kind of
thing which flows into a stream of social "crosstalk" which fuels system
imperatives (not necessarily those of capital), and right now it's not doing
too much for me.

Jeff Rubard

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