[Marxism] Re: Michael Parenti

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Mon Nov 24 00:13:01 MST 2003

Someone wrote to me off list about Michael Parenti.
As it's pertinent to our thread, I will reply here.
Oviously that person lurks and will therefore read my reply
here anyways.  That email to me was cc'd to David Walters
and Carlos Rivera, who should also get a look at it if they wish.
The person wrote:

> His book, "To Kill A Nation, " on the ex-Yugoslavia has tons of
> footnotes to wretched far right writers like the publicist for Radovan
> Karazdic, Srjda Trifkovic who writes for Chronicles
> http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/ and Thatcherite think tanks
> like the Lord Byron Society. RUBBISH!

I reply:
Depends on what the footnotes are and how they are used.
You could cite "Mein Kampf" to our purposes.
For example where Hitler declares his undying antipathy to Bolshevism.
You could use that quote to show the error of confounding Commies with
as US high school history standards persist in doing.

Footnotes aside, are people living in what was Yugoslavia
far better off now in their mini-statelets than fifteen years ago?
Now they are sardines for the shark of imperialism.

I just wrote to someone else about their slam on Norman Finkelstein.
This case applies.
My recent interlocutor maligned Finkelstein because right-wing
reactionaries have used his material to advance their anti-Semitism.
Knowing Norman, that could not be with his happy permission.  I wrote back:

When I hear critics denounce Norman because he aids the cause of
anti-Semitic reactionaries, at first I am appalled, then must smile,
perhaps ruefully, at such absurdity.  Such critiques are contaminated with
a “Fallacy of Association” that attempts to conflate left with right.  Try
to make black look white, cold hot, oil hydrophilic.  You should know that
Norman is not a right-winger.  To the contrary!  Whose side are we on?
Right-wingers have controlled the Zionist state for decades now.  Einstein
warned us about these people fifty years ago.  Such deviation from
definition demonstrates the “Fallacy of Causation”.  In Latin, this fallacy
is called “post hoc, ergo propter hoc”, which literally means “after this,
therefore because of this”.  This fallacy is committed when a person
believes that just because one thing followed another there must be a
causal connection.  The right has entirely different motives and goals,
however much they purloin their petards from more resourceful minds.

Maybe you don't think Parenti and Finkelstein are positioned in the same
political vicinity.  Perhaps they don’t think so, even.  But I do.  Their
effect is to encourage folks to question the powers that be from a working
class standpoint, and to promote collaboration, coordination and
cooperation for a world of peace and justice.

If you believe one of us has dropped the ball, pick it up.  We have a
goal.  The other side has claimed most of the means.  Their claims are
illegitimate.  If we all decide we should do things differently, there is
nothing they can do about it.  The only way they can win is if we let them
keep us divided.  Let them see the error of their ways.


P.S.: In my swath of fascist types I should have included LEHI, too, don’t
you think?  Just to add dimension to my “general point”?  (Mathematicians
don't freak out on that last sentence, please.)

More information about the Marxism mailing list