[Marxism] RE: Rick Rozoff {was: BY THOMAS FRANK, NYTIMES, NOVEMBER 5, 2004]

Gilles d'Aymery aymery at ix.netcom.com
Sun Nov 7 17:03:32 MST 2004

Dear David,

Rick and I had a fall-down a couple of years ago. I still try to fathom 
the actual reason. Anyway, he has left my e-mails unanswered -- the 
latest was a couple of month ago, when I asked him whether he 
would be up to collaborating again. He is a) a fantastic writer, b) a 
man who does his homework (research), and c) a real humanist. He's 
also undependable like hell...and possibly worthier than thou. Yet, 
when I had the privilege to meet him in Chicago three years ago, I 
was fascinated by his love of humanity and his humbleness. Hopefully, 
one day he will grasp that his anti-nato list is, err, rather obsolete. I'd 
welcome him any time...as I have the deepest respect and "envy" (he 
is so much more knowledgeable than I am) for him.

I do feel privileged to be a part of your list. You bring not only good 
insights, you do amazing research. I was worried that with the advent 
of the blogging experiment on ZNet (I have little interest in bloggers), 
you'd drop your e-mail communications. It has not happened and I 
am thanksful (and beneficial) for it.

Being just an observer and a gadfly (that is, I do not endeavor to 
"lead," a beheavior I presume you can relate to...),  you may have a 
kick, or at least understand my open letter to Michael Albert 
(appended below). Obviously, Michael did not answer!

There is much that needs be done. We are only droplets in the big 

I remain, yours.

Gilles d'Aymery

Dear Michael,

Thank you much for your "Free Update in the aftermath of the 
election." Funny, every time I receive one of your "Free Update" e-
mails, I think of marketing -- like a McDonald's plug, if you see what I

How generous of you, in the name of self-opinion making (an 
endeavor I keep recommending to our Swans' readers), to publish the
views of Ms. Vanden Heuvel, a bona-fide member of the Cruise Missile
Left. It will save me a trip to The Nation...

And many thanks for sharing your deep insights on the elections and
their aftermath, in "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" -- indubitably 4,000 words
of wisdom...

Funny again, in my October 31 under-the-radar-screen "blips #5 
(published Nov. 1 -- see 
http://www.swans.com/library/art10/desk005.html), I wrote: 
"WHERE'S YOGI BERRA when we need him? And so, 'some of the 
best-known names of the anti-imperialist American left' will vote for
Kerry in tomorrow's elections. Then they may watch Survivor on CBS, or
the latest reality show hit, Trading Spouses, on Fox -- many will, more
seriously, read a good book and make a few calls -- and the next
morning, yes the very next morning, they will assemble, dissect the
results, lay plans for the coming battles toward the revolution..."

Well, I was incorrect by only one day.

Yes, one should wonder how it is that Ralph Nader's message could 
not be heard. It obviously had nothing to do with the straight-jackets
the friendly Democrats used to silence him (or keep him off the ballot
through relentless legal shenanigans), and the help of his "friends and
allies," you know, those dignitaries who graced vote2stopbush.org -- or
those friendly opinion-makers, like Ted Glick and Norman Solomon, 
Dugger, Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Lerner, et al., whose voices, in the
name of self-opinion making, you so lavishly broadcast time and again.

Nothing to do, indeed... Actually, I am surprised that you guys have not
yet come up with the simplest line of reasoning: Yeah we thrashed 
but we did it so that no one could ever say again that he spoiled the
election. See how our strategy was right on mark! A Chomskian logic, at
its best...

Anyway, water has gone under the bridge and you are ready to move 
on, as we all are. Time to unite again and plan for the future. How
refreshing, how welcomed...

Is the objective alliance between your good self and the CML buried for
good, at long last? 

You are so compellingly correct, "[A] new left has got to be new 
where it matters - in having real and compelling shared vision, real and
compelling short and mid term goals, and real and compelling shared
practice and strategy - indeed, in having long term vision and
empowering and engaging strategy at all."

And, yes again, "[T]he whole is, or should be, mostly the development of
consciousness and commitment and the exercising of social pressure. 
have to get right back to that. And we have to do it immediately. And we
have to do it more wisely than in the past."

No one would dispute that.

What one would possibly dispute is how you, as the folks at The 
Nation, the Dems and the Reps, keep playing on people fears: You 
say, "We have to look at it squarely. Bush, without a very active,
militant, and effective opposition, could mean overturning Roe v Wade,
ending the separation of Church and State, and gutting Social Security
and Medicare. It could mean escalated ecological devastation, expanded
Patriot Act and repression, even larger gaps between rich and poor,
expanded violence in Iraq and beyond, and election reforms to protect
all this reaction against democracy."

Michael, Row v. Wade has long been gutted (85 pct of US counties 
cannot perform abortions), there's not been separation of Church and
State in this country (at least in the 22 years I lived in your blessed
country), Social Security and Medicare *are* gutted and being privatized
(ask Clinton). Ecological devastation is happening. Patriot Act is a
continuum of bipartisan authorship. Violence is an American trade-mark.
The gap between rich and poor is not a Bush creation (and are you
talking about the down-trodden in the huge swaths of the world, or
between you and me, nice white middle class petty- bourgeois?), and 
last point, democracy...err, what democracy, Michael?

Anyway, it's a great pleasure and relief to read that you good folks at
ZNet have chosen, in the aftermath of this debacle (of which you were an
inherent part), to move on and build a new, progressive, left wing,

In my blip #5, I added after those little dreaded three dots: "...till
2008, when they'll ask again to put your hopes between parentheses (it's
called "strategy," within the ranks of the self-proclaimed fragmented
Left). The progress of the American progressive community is simply
astounding, beyond my wildest beliefs. Yes, I know, America is
tantalized and hypnotized by safety issues: safety from the
terrOOOrists, safe food, safe drugs, safe cars (the bigger the better),
safe sex (no parentheses here)...even safe states voting. How is it that
the insurance industry has not yet fashioned a policy to make a few
bucks...but actually it has, it's called the "American progressive
community," where the competition is ferocious for the premiums 
Please send your monthly check."

I hope that you and I will be healthy enough in 2008, so that we can
revisit, in friendly terms, your call to vote for a Democrat again. If,
I'm proven wrong, I'll be glad to acknowledge it (a behavior you may
want to emulate, one of these days...).

Meanwhile, please let me know the mailing address where I can send my
check to support your worthy endeavor. It will be in the amount of my
comments: 2 cents.

You say you've been at it for 40 years. I hope my 2 cents, literally and
figuratively, will help foster the next 40. 

(Note: Will you ever learn about Occam's Razor?)

Yours in solidarity,


Gilles d'Aymery
Swans Commentary 

On 7 Nov 2004, at 8:34, you wrote:

> Dear Gilles:
>     Very good to hear form you (personal message, I mean).
>     By "close friends" I'm presuming the ones who advocated the
> "tactical" voting strategy?  For one, they greatly overestimated Nader's
> draw (based on the 2000 outcome, nothing current).  But the bottomline
> is that the compelling argument was to drive the current regime from
> office.  For years, I've look at American elections this way.  The
> reigning political culture is so rotten that, upon those instances when
> dissidents step foot within the Big Tent, the only real option we have
> is pull back out again, or cast a ballot AGAINST THE WORST OF WHAT'S
> so horrifically rotten, that there is nothing left for us to AFFIRM at
> the national political level.  All we can do is say NO---and then deal
> with the consequences of even this level of capitulation.
>     But I for one am getting sick of over-subtlety on this matter.
> Yesterday, I blogged this and basically told everyone to kiss-off.
> (Unless they are willing to be frank and honest about what they stand
> for.  And shed the organs of propaganda---what roughly 90 percent of
> commentary has been trying to figure out how to master and use to its
> advantage---like dead skin.)  
>     Hope you're well.---I believe that a Chicago-area friend of mine
> named Rick Rozoff contributed something to Swans of late?  He certainly
> has a ton of material that he's been sitting on.
>     Take care.
> Sincerely Yours,
> David
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gilles d'Aymery [mailto:aymery at ix.netcom.com] 
> Sent: Saturday, November 06, 2004 7:36 PM
> To: davidepet
> Cc: flock at swans.com; marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
> Dear David,
> I so much agree with your take -- and thank you for including me time 
> and again with your research.
> Now, you explain to me how your close friends and alles ended up 
> allying themselves with the Cruise Misslile Left; and ended up voting 
> for a man who was pro-war, against gay marriage (a civil rigts issue, 
> darn it), and in favor of nominating anti-choice justices to the Supreme
> Court, among othet things...
> Will they stand for X, and affirm X, and, in 2007/2008, go back to Y 
> and Z?
> Something to think about, no?
> Sincerely,
> Gilles d'Aymery
> Swans Commentary
> On 6 Nov 2004, at 8:45, you wrote:
> [...]
> > Principle No. One,
> > let's call it.  Namely: That whatever you believe and whatever you
> stand
> > for, this is what you believe and what you stand for.  Period.  If you
> > stand for X, affirm X, plain and simple.  And trying to figure out how
> > to adjust and to package---to market, to sell---your message so as to
> > slice off a large enough chunk of the votes cast for the Bush Package
> in
> > 2004 to give your party the edge in 2008 is not just a loser's
> > strategy---it's a strategy that no true democrat (small 'd') would
> > touch.  Stop addressing people as potential voters to be manipulated.
> A
> > pretty shameful basic attitude to take towards people.  No matter how
> > dirty one may think the forces one is opposing are.) 
> [...]

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