[Marxism] White chauvinism and the list

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Fri Jun 18 09:25:59 MDT 2004

Louis Proyect wrote:
> Really? I find the use of that adverb to be toxic in the highest degree.
> It was the pet adverb of both the Stalinist and Trotskyist left. It
> allows you to trash an idea you disagree with by characterizing it as
> "objectively" pro-imperialist, male or white chauvinist, etc. 

(Leaving other points for some other time)

I am aware of this toxic tradition, and allowed for it in my first
sentence: "(terribly misused as it often
was)." But that abuse occurred in "m-l" parties, in which the core abuse
was the structure of [non]democratic centralism. Hence the charge of
"objective X" always carried with it the threat of expulsion and which
open debate of the charge was more or less impossible.

On this list such a charge can be (and obviously is being) debated,
extensively. Hence, at least potentially, the use of the adverb can
focus the debate on principle, not on the personal purity of those

I really don't see how marxist debate can avoid descending to mere
moralizing without the use of some equivalent to the adverb, if not the
adverb itself.


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