[Marxism] Moderator's note
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jun 17 18:43:50 MDT 2004
Xenon Zi-Neng Yuan wrote:
> better represented within the "anti-globalization" frenzy. in fact,
> i'll stop there, for i could drop countless names of organizations and
> campaigns, but it doesn't change the fact: that even if i was just some
> punk whiteboy posing as a person of color, you are being despicably
> defensive on the charge of "racism".
That's right. Such charges poison discussions. When people challenged
the party line in the CPUSA or in the dozens of Maoist groups that rose
up like mushrooms after a spring rain in the 1970s, they were inevitably
charged with reflecting white chauvinism, etc. The Trotskyist movement
had its own bad habits. You were called a "petty bourgeois element"
which was about as bad a stigma. When there were a dozen or so Maoists
wreaking havoc on the old Marxism list, that charge plus charges of
being a lackey of Fujimori or a imperialist stooge got thrown around
like confetti on New Years Eve. My guess is that you are not troubled by
this kind of behavior because you have never by your own admission
belonged to one of those furkackte self-styled Bolshevik organizations.
Only that would explain your inability to tell what's wrong with
throwing such epithets around. You haven't seen the damage it does to
people and to organizations.
Vivian Gornick, "The Romance of American Communism":
In the 1950s—when the Party was under its severest attack in this
country, when Communists were going to prison, when thousands were
underground, when Khrushchev had declared Stalin a murderer of
unimaginable proportions, when the American foothold was slipping away
day by day—the Party's neurotic fear of self-doubt reached fatal
heights, and the American CP became an Orwellian caricature of itself,
disintegrating itself from within even as it was being destroyed from
"White chauvinism" ("racism" was not the term then in use) became the
characteristic charge upon which this free-floating anxiety fixed
itself; thousands of Communists were charged, tried, and expelled for
being white chauvinists. The "evidence" upon which most of these charges
rested was painfully ridiculous, indicative of the kind of mad
suspension of reason that then prevailed. A kind of Swiftian
upside-downness overtook the best people in the CP: the small became
big, the Yahoos were in charge, the babbling abstractionists filled the
tribunals. A Party member who visited her sister in Florida was accused
of being a racist and was expelled; another served watermelon at a
garden party and was expelled; a third did not invite a black Party
member to sit down at his table in a restaurant and he was expelled.
Those who called for reason were immediately suspect. And once the
stigma of suspicion fell on you, you were lost; suspicion had become the
mark of Cain.
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