[Marxism] Moderator's note

davidquarter at sympatico.ca davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Fri Apr 1 14:13:55 MST 2005


On 1 Apr 2005 at 14:37, Louis Proyect wrote:

David Quarter wrote:
>I try to my best to be gracious in defeat.. If I don't know something, I 
>will usually
>acknowledge this...e.g., I don't purport to be well versed on marxism, for 
>example,
>have not read that many seminal marxist texts (at least not to the extent 
>of many
>people  here), and will acknowledge this...

To which Lou (the great Cameleon) Proyect responded: 

"David, you have been on this mailing list for a number of years now. As you 
know, this list is not a general leftist list, nor an anti-imperialist 
list, etc. There are other forums on the Internet, including most 
especially the a-list, where an understanding of or agreement with Marxism 
is not necessary. For example, Anne Williamson posts regularly to the 
a-list even though she is a libertarian as I understand it.

But Marxmail was established for people who are not just against capitalism 
or imperialism. The focus is a bit narrower. It was set up for people who 
are trying to apply Marxism creatively to current events or to build 
revolutionary parties."

Oh you were certainly waiting for this, weren't you...

Glad to know now that the list has now become a project (or is it a proyect?) for 
revolionary party building..You might excuse me if I though otherwise , given all the 
lectures from you against this in the past...

New rule, I suppose...Or maybe  "nuance" I missed...

As always, you do as you please, Lou...


Excerpt from another's of  Lou's previous "great" interventions (with my comments 
interspersed):

<<<<The Marxmail subscription page states the following:

"The Marxism mailing list is extremely permissive. >>>>

By who's definition of "permissive", I wonder?!


>>>>There are a couple of 
things>>>>


A couple thousand?


 <<<< that are frowned upon strongly
If you come to the list with the 
attitude that you are a true Bolshevik, who needs to convert 
'Mensheviks' to your beliefs, you will be unsubbed. Members of 
self-declared vanguard parties who can adjust to the tolerant atmosphere 
of the list are more than welcome, since they usually bring with them 
years of Marxist study and political experience."

So I suppose telling me that ideologically I am on an inferiour wave length than yourself
is really different than the above?

...

<<<<As moderator, I have a mission to keep the list as free as possible from 
bitter fights over "split" type questions. This is not just about Nader. 
A while back there was some nasty sniping at "state capitalist" members 
of Marxmail who did not pass some presumptive litmus test over the Cuban 
revolution. I sent mail to someone doing the sniping to lay off.>>>>

Not like I'm being questioned now whether I pass a marxist litmus test, either?


<<<<I invite subscribers to really focus their analysis on areas that 
require further elucidation. >>>>

Seems like we've surpassed the "couple things" mark... 

<<<<For example, last week the question of the 
Najibullah regime in Afghanistan came up. A really valuable contribution 
to the list would entail going to the library or digging through Google, 
etc. to come up with some worthwhile Marxist or radical analysis.>>>
This list is fundamentally about education.<<<

Oh, and not about revolutionary party building and "creative" marxism discussions?

<<<<We are trying to raise the 
theoretical level of our movement. It tends to degrade when it gets 
embroiled in questions that involve who is more dedicated to the working 
class.>>>>>

Hmmm....yaaa...Ok...I think I made my point...




On 1 Apr 2005 at 14:37, Louis Proyect wrote:

David Quarter wrote:
>I try to my best to be gracious in defeat.. If I don't know something, I 
>will usually
>acknowledge this...e.g., I don't purport to be well versed on marxism, for 
>example,
>have not read that many seminal marxist texts (at least not to the extent 
>of many
>people  here), and will acknowledge this...


[...] For the past year or so at least, we have been going through these 
flare-ups on a fairly regular basis. Usually they have been provoked by 
some crossposting from a Russian propaganda agency about how dastardly the 
Chechens are. The latest go-round was provoked by articles you crossposted 
with the heading "Kyrgyzstan 'Regime Change' Masterminded By West". When 
you post such material without any explanation, it frustrates the goal of 
this list which is to deepen the Marxist analysis.

We have to proceed on the basis of what other Marxists have written on such 
topics, especially Lenin. I have referred to the articles he wrote in the 
final years of his life on injustices done to the peoples of the Caucasus. 
We have to engage with this literature or more recent attempts to apply 
them to the current situation, such as the New Left Review article titled 
"The Case for Chechnya" that is online at: 
http://www.newleftreview.net/NLR26401.shtml

If you don't agree with the basic Marxist approach to such questions, then 
you might consider posting about topics that you do agree with Marxism on. 
More to the point, it is very counterproductive to send articles from the 
bourgeois press or Russian propaganda agencies without any explanation of 
what Marxmail subscribers are supposed to glean from them. That might be 
suitable for leftist-trainspotters, but not here.

Since this practice has not spurred a deeper understanding of the issues 
and since you seem unwilling to put forward your own ideas independent of 
the crossposted material, I am exercising my power as moderator of this 
list to instruct you to discontinue crossposting such material until you 
are ready to frame them within a Marxist analysis, even one that is heterodox.





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