[Marxism] Rightwing talking points and the PSN

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sun May 30 10:18:12 MDT 2004



Louis Proyect wrote:

> 
> > 
> The academic left in the USA is in terrible shape if a leading light

_The_ "Left" in the U.S. is inchoate: there _has been_ "A" left, and I
trust that there will be again (if not -- I'm sure wasting much of my
time ;-> ), but it is I think misleading _at this time_ to attempt
general evaluations of or responses to "The Left" (as it now exists).
The result of such critiques is almost always ahistorical.

The core of politics is knowing, _under given conditions_, who are our
friends and who are our enemies. Key here is the emphasized phrase,
UNDER GIVEN CONDITIONS.

Organized or coherent (more or less organized, more or less coherent)
lefts emerge from mass movements, and in turn give those movements shape
and durability. (Both self-labelled leninists and anti-leninists have
for almost a century been circulating the myth that Lenin opposed
spontaneity as such, not noticing that the "centralism" urged in WITBD
presupposed a large "spontaneous" movement. One cannot argue over
"bowing to spontaneity" if it does not first exist!) At the present time
-- WE HOPE -- we are in the early stages of a _possible_ growing mass
movement against u.s. interventions around the world. And that movement
_for the most part_ is made up of persons who in their theoretical
politics are well to the RIGHT of Lauren.

Hence, while the general political principles Lou expresses are also my
own, I think he is incorrect and ahistorical in his application of those
principles in the present instance. Were it not, for example, for a
rather large sprinkling of "academic leftists" with very fuzzy politics
in the u.s. today, there would not be any anti-war movement for leftists
(in my sense and Lou's) to work in.

Today's comrades are not necessarily (or even probably)tomorrow's -- but
a premature effort to identify _which_ comrades will not be tomorrow's
is a serious political error. Most of those thanks to whom I myself
became first an activist (and then a marxist) back in the mid-60s
operated from political principles which I came to detest, but those
liberals, anarchists, fuzzy-minded radicals, etc. there would have been
no anti-war movement in the '60s, no PSN or marxism lists today.

Carrol





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