[Marxism] The Kafkaesque world of the Marxist Internet Archives
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Dec 1 10:46:38 MST 2004
Although the people working on this project are very well-meaning, I
have been both astonished and disappointed to learn that they have
refused to include Jim Blaut's "On the National Question" there.
I have been told that they only include people who have dead for some
time and, as you know, Jim's corpse is probably still warm. On the other
hand, somebody should tap István Mészáros on the shoulder and inform him
that he is no longer among the living, based on the evidence of his
inclusion in the MIA archives.
I have also been told that they don't like "academics", but "activists".
A search of the MIA Writers Archives will produce some names not
ordinarily thought of in that context, from Merleau-Ponty to John Stuart
Mill. Well, maybe they were selected because their last names started
with "M", an ostensible affinity for Karl Marx, whose last name also
started with an "M".
Although Einde O'Callaghan and David Walters were both subbed to
Marxmail when Jim was alive and posting here, they must have been been
unconscious when his posts arrived in their inboxes. Jim frequently
referred to his membership in the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. In fact,
"The National Question" was written on assignment by the Central
Committee in order to answer assimilationists in the party.
In any case, since I have been given another 500mb by my employer to
handle 9-5 requirements, I have plenty of room for Jim's books even if
these nudniks have no use for it.
November 15, 2000, WEDNESDAY
James M. Blaut; teacher, activist
BY NEIL STEINBERG
An impassioned supporter of the downtrodden, James M. "Jim" Blaut
devoted much of his scholarship to debunking a "Eurocentric" view of the
A professor of geography and anthropology at the University of Illinois,
Mr. Blaut, 73, died of cancer Nov. 13 at Norwegian American Hospital. He
was the author of numerous articles and five books on the historical and
political geography of the Third World. His most recent book, Eight
Eurocentric Historians was released last month.
The Association of American Geographers presented him with its 1997
Distinguished Scholar of the Year award. He pioneered the
microgeographic study of peasant farming, and introduced systems
analysis into human geography.
Mr. Blaut was active and outspoken on social issues, supporting the
independence of Puerto Rico and participating in rallies and marches
against the Vietnam War.
In the mid-1970s he publicly accused the University of Illinois at
Chicago Circle of discriminating against Latinos. In more recent years,
he spoke in support of Palestinian rights to Jerusalem.
Born in New York City, Mr. Blaut came to Chicago at age 16 to attend the
University of Chicago. After graduating, he did his postgraduate work at
the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad, completing his
Ph.D. at Louisiana State University.
He then held academic positions at Yale, Cornell and College of the
Virgin Islands and was director of the Caribbean Research Institute and
a professor and acting chairman of the geography department at the
University of Puerto Rico.
Survivors include his wife, America (Meca) Sorrentini, and a daughter,
Gini Blaut-Sorrentini. Burial will be in Puerto Rico on Thursday.
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