[Marxism] Marx as Left of the Marxists

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Feb 8 07:29:41 MST 2004


Jurriaan:
>You should have seen the response to what I wrote ! The infantile,
>Hitler-Marxists go apeshit. They regard themselves as experts on judging
>human character, politically or otherwise. How dare I suggest such a thing !
>Krugman was supposed to be a liberal scourge, a Clintonite arse-licker and
>what not besides.

Actually the discussion on PEN-L was touched off by Alexander Cockburn's 
observation that:

"Krugman is a press agent, a busker, for Clintonomics. For him as for so 
many others on the liberal side, the world only went bad in January, 2001. 
If a Democrat, pretty much any Democrat conventional enough to win Wall 
Street's approval, takes over again, maybe in 2005, the world will get 
better again."

By Cockburn's standards, this is pretty mild. It is also true.

As far as "Hitler-Marxists" going apeshit on PEN-L, the only such person 
who could be described in such terms is me. Any other self-described 
Marxists on PEN-L tend to be like Michael Perelman, the moderator: genial 
professors of a certain age who would never say anything nasty about 
anybody. To Michael's credit, however, he has always allowed me to be nasty 
as I can--of course so long as my venom is directed at people not on PEN-L.

This is what I wrote at the time:

 >>But that's what makes Cockburn Cockburn. He is the ultimate contrarian 
who coined the term "pwogwessive". Although I enjoy reading Krugman (and 
Maureen Dowd) myself, I enjoy it even more when some self-congratulatory 
liberal gets a spitball tossed at them.

Last night I watched a cloying documentary on my employer Columbia 
University by Ric Burns ('78) on the PBS station in NYC. Although I enjoyed 
finding out more about the institutional history of the outfit that pays my 
check, I got really annoyed by the "aren't we wonderful" tone. In fact, it 
is the same tone that pervades PBS. After the documentary was finished, you 
had the execrable Bill Baker who is president of WNET, the local affiliate, 
and my boss Lee Bollinger stroking each other for another five minutes.

The documentary featured liberal bigwigs like Jeffrey Sachs telling the 
camera how great an institution it is and how it can help to resolve the 
world's burning problems, all the more so when the University provides him 
with a multimillion dollar townhouse to launch his crusade from.<<

I am not quite sure what is so Hitlerian about this. Perhaps Jurriaan is as 
susceptible to distortion as the Marxist straw-man of his imagination.



Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 





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