[Marxism] what is Antiwar.com?: Louis's comments on aMilitant article

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at comcast.net
Sun Jun 13 07:05:38 MDT 2004


----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Gabosch" <bebop101 at comcast.net>

Steve must have worked all day and night producing this huge and spammy
article accusing Lou Proyect of distorting the meaning of the sentences in
the "Militant" article, and yet look how he distorts the meaning of
Proyect's sentences!  Just one example:

(a) The Militant:
 >15.Related conspiracy themes are being promoted both on the ultraright
 >and among layers of left-liberals, Stalinists, and other middle-class
 >radicals ­ from Patrick Buchanan and his magazine, The American
 >Conservative, and the Buchananite web site antiwar.com, on the right, to
 >the liberal magazine The Nation in the United States and the daily
 >Guardian and weekly New Statesman in the United Kingdom, on the left.
16.  This campaign finds a resonance among Jew haters and sectors of the
wealthy ruling classes in the United States and Europe and of their officer
corps whose positions and chances for advancement are threatened by the
policies being led by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to transform the
U.S. armed forces into a lighter, more mobile force to wage Washington's
wars around the world.

(b) Louis Proyect:
This is what I would call crowning silliness of the Monty Python league
variety. Just think about what is being said here. Stuff written in the
antiwar Guardian, The Nation and the New Statesman (where Mark Jones once
worked as a stringer) finds a "resonance" among Jew haters and the wealthy
ruling classes.

(c) Steve:
Actually, that is not what the Militant just said.  The reader can easily
see what the Militant just said and compare it to what Louis said, which is
something quite different. The Militant did not say that the liberal or
leftist *publications* Louis listed are finding a resonance among Jew haters
and the wealthy ruling classes.  The Militant said that this *campaign* -
referring to the promotion of these conspiracy theories from both
ultra-right and left-liberal sources - is finding this resonance.  As Louis
implies, it is unlikely that liberal and leftist publications such as The
Nation are gaining much of a resonance outside of liberal and leftist
milieus.

(d) me:
Hold on, Steve, before you accuse other people of distorting sentences you
should learn to read and parse sentences.  Lou Proyect did not say that the
Militant said that these "liberal or leftist *publications* are finding a
resonance among Jew haters and the wealthy ruling classes.  Lou Proyect
correctly stated that the Militant said that ***Stuff written*** in these
*publications*, that is, the supposed "campaign" that the Militant alleges
to exist, finds this resonance.  So who is distorting whom here?

I don't think your whole post is worth this kind of attention, so I will
content myself with a couple more brief observations.  First, you suggest
that Louis thinks the Militant article is "silly" mainly because he is an
"anti-vanguardist" and doesn't like the SWP.  Your theory doesn't explain
why *I* think the Militant article is silly, because I am precisely the kind
of "vanguardist" that Proyect is always inveighing against (although I still
think he sees us through ex-SWP glasses, but that's another argument).

I think the Militant article is silly - well, just 'bad' would be more
descriptive - on two grounds:

(a) it takes two data points and tries to knit a whole conspiracy out of
them.  First: Hersh, discussing the "Cabal", cites Kwiatkowski.  Second:
Kwiatkowski gave an interview with the Larouchies.  Therefore: everything
that has ever been written about the neocons for years is finding
"resonance" among the right-wing Jew-haters!  How absurd!  People have been
writing about Perle and Feith and all long before Hersh discovered
Kwiatkowski.

(b) Second, it takes the position that all bad people are like the 'knaves'
in logic puzzles (obviously the people who write these puzzles have bad
class consciousness; if we were writing them, the 'knights' would be the
liars), that is, all statements made by them are false.  A. J. Liebling, the
liberal critic of the press, said much the same thing about the usages of
the newspapers of his time.  Semiquoting from memory: "They use a simple
principle: 'Communist bad man, no go to church, he lie.'  Thus, if
conditions in Italy are rotten, and the Communists say they are rotten, the
conditions *cease to be rotten.*  You don't need to study the matter any
more, you know they are rotten because Communists are bad and do not go to
church."  Similarly, in this case there ceases to be a "Cabal" because
Kwiatkowski is a bad woman and talks to the Larouchies.  If discussion of
the neocons finds a "resonance" among the right wing, then all that
discussion is false.  If only journalism were that simple!!

As if this were a new issue!  Back in the 1970's when I was in DC and Golda
Meir came for a state visit with Nixon or Ford, I forget which, we organized
a demonstration at the White House.  This found a "resonance" in some Nazi
who showed up with a sign reading "Golda Meir, Red Witch of Israel" and
chained himself to the fence in the middle of our picket!  How embarrassing.
But does this prove that we were wrong to demonstrate against Meir?  The
Larouchies opposed Gulf War I; does that mean that our opposition to the war
found a "resonance" among them and was wrong?  Grr.

All right, that's more than this deserves and I have to help with a yard
sale now.

Lou Paulsen
member, WWP, Chicago





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