[Marxism] Re: Marxmail history

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jul 11 16:10:56 MDT 2004

I am letting Malgosia have the last word below. I do, however, want to 
urge comrades to take a look at the Spoons lists. It is a very useful 
resource for understanding the non-Marxist left, even as there are 
frequent genuflections toward Marx on all of the lists (albeit in the 
name of discovering the emancipatory kernel of Marxism through a fresh 
reading of Spinoza, Hegel or whomever.)

The Spoons home-page is at: 

I frequently check in on the aut-op-sys list, a gathering place for Toni 
Negri fans. You might also want to check out the Deleuze-Guattari list, 
which has all sorts of really creative participants. Here's a recent 
post in its entirety:

"they spreadspired all around in and through and could not stop their
winding vining waves until dreams overtook them further to continue on
their spiraling undulatory interintratrajectories"

malgosia askanas wrote:

> Lou wrote:
>>Thanks for the correction. I was under the distinct impression that all 
>>the other lists (Foucault, Deleuze, etc.) predated the Marxism list but 
>>I guess I was wrong. As far as the orientation of the Spoons Collective 
>>is concerned, I had enough trouble figuring out why you chose the name 
>>Spoons let alone trying to figure out whether you were more into Marx 
>>rather than Nietzsche.
> Heh heh, I didn't realize that you were ever engaged in figuring out the
> history of the name "spoon".  And, did you figure it out?  I don't see how you 
> could have, since it is inextricably tied to the minute details of the origins 
> of the Spoon project, and you have precisely very little grasp of those.  I 
> think that in general one cannot develop a real understanding of the history 
> of a thing from a position of contempt; one has to suspend contempt first  -- 
> and only, so to speak, earn one's right to return it by developing the 
> understanding.  To "figure out" why I chose the name "spoon", you have to 
> know that the takeover of the first spoon lists was an emergency project, that
> we had to open an account in a hurry, that I was brainstorming for 
> a suitable name for the account while having dinner with a friend, that
> the person from which we were (antagonistically) taking over those lists
> named his project, very grandiosely, "thinknet", and that I was looking for 
> a name that was un-grandiose and suggested a utilitarian, modest, flexible 
> tool with diverse applications, uses, and connotations.
> And Nietzsche, irrespective of whether or not we were into him, is hardly 
> "cultural studies".  I do realize that Jon himself, in the message I attached,
> uses the term "cultural studies" to describe himself, but if one wants to
> trace the motivations of the early spooners, one has to take this with a grain
> of salt proper to all historical investigation, and within the context of Jon's
> customary self-irony.
>>>I am enclosing a message I found (which went to you, among other people) 
>>>from Jan 1996, from Jon, in which he went over a bit of that history.
>>This is interesting even though I might have a different view on 
>>motivations, etc. I will create a link to it from my Marxism list history.
> Lou, you don't even have correct knowledge of who the original people were, or
> what exactly they did; how, then, can you have any honest view on what 
> motivated them?  Not to mention the fact that they were very different people,
> from very different backgrounds and walks of life, and were most likely
> motivated by quite different things.
> -m
> .

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