[Marxism] Ronald Reagan's death

Ian Pace ian at ianpace.com
Sun Jun 6 14:51:22 MDT 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Quarter" <davidquarter at sympatico.ca>
To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2004 8:47 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Ronald Reagan's death

>  Speaking of a bad play of words:
>   Ian used the word personalization in reference to some "strands
> of feminist thinking" being *possibly* responsible for personalizing
> political issues. This is different than saying: "feminism" per se *is*
> responsible for personalizing political issues.
> It has been my experience from sitting through women studies
> courses in university  that political questions do tend to be
> evaluated according to individual motives. Perhaps this experience
> is a reflection of the university. Nevertheless, I have found this
> theme repeated again and again in each of the women studies
> courses in which I've attended and amongst students within the
> program with whom I have discussed politics. So to say taht the
> slogan "the personal is the political" has "NOTHING " _nothing_,
> ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, to do with "personalizing"
> > politics in the sense of focusing on particular persons."
> is IMO bogus. It is opposite extreme of saying that all strands of
> feminism engage in the personalization of politics, which isn't AT
> ALL what Ian's statement suggested.
Yes, indeed.  The 'personal is political' is 100% true, meaning that what
have previously been dismissed as 'merely personal' issues (housework,
childcare, relationships, etc.) are in every sense 'political'.  That is
totally different to saying that political issues and debates can be reduced
to the quirks of personality of the major protagonists.  That would accord
with a more traditional school of history (the type of history many of us
were taught in Britain, all about kings and queens or other 'great' people,
which was rightly questioned over several decades in favour of the histories
of wider social groups, but has been re-invented as a form of high camp by
the likes of David Starkey and Simon Schama), and leads to the type of
quasi-presidential politics that has alas replaced genuine ideological
alternatives in Britain and the US in particular.

So to a wider public, issues of Marxism are reduced to totally trivial
discussions of the merits or otherwise of facial hair perceived to be
possessed by many of the (male) protagonists, and what this says about 'the
type of people they are'. Not good at all :(:(:(:(


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