[Marxism] Re: Patronizing Misrepresentation

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 5 10:24:46 MDT 2005

Carlos wrote:
>And of course, and I almost copy and paste, please engage my other points, 
>which are musch more important and relevant than internal ideological 
>issues of the marxists.

No, Carlos, I won't engage your other points because everything I have had 
to say on the topic has already been said. The other day I told the list 
that the debate on the Green Party was closed--for the time being. I posted 
a link to Camejo's long article not to open up that debate again, but for 
comrades' information. Not long after I posted the link, you began to 
repeat exactly the same arguments that you had made in the previous debate. 
As you know, it has been a real chore for me to remind you about the need 
to post no more than 5 times a day. Now, I am beginning to get the uneasy 
feeling it is your discretion to choose when a thread should go on or not.

Marxmail has very broad political parameters, but the one thing I have 
harped on from the beginning is to avoid beating dead horses. But out of 
the hundreds of subscribers to the list since its beginning, there are some 
who feel compelled to keep pushing the envelope. One of them in fact had a 
positive obsession with the Green Party. No matter what was going on in the 
world, the only thing that he felt strongly about was how rotten the Green 
Party was. He is no longer with us obviously. I hope that you do not plan 
to play a similar role here.

My strong advice to you, and something that I've told lots of garrulous 
Marxmailers over the past 6 years, is to try to avoid bones of contention 
that have a "split" dynamic. These questions inevitably involve a 
"pro-working class" perspective versus an "anti-working class" one. To 
charge somebody here with not understanding what the true interests of the 
working class is, etc. is extremely provocative.

If you really want to get the best use out of this list, it would be to 
pull down your Menshevik-tracking antenna and to post about topics that 
don't involve this sort of dynamic. In general, tough polemics are best 
directed at people and groups who are not represented here. For example, 
nobody is likely to get upset if Ted Glick or Michael Albert is attacked. 
But when you open up a broadside against Peter Camejo, you are colliding 
with the political sympathies of many people who have worked with Peter in 
the past and are happy about the role he is playing now.

Finally, Marxmail is not a cyber-version of Hyde Park, where anybody who is 
for socialism is invited to come and talk from a soapbox. It was created as 
a pole of attraction for people who gravitate toward the Monthly Review, 
Cuban Communism, the vision put forward in the American Socialist of the 
1950s, the leftwing of the Green Party, etc. I wouldn't have devoted so 
much of my time and so much of my hard-earned money just to set up a big 
tent for the heck of it. As long as people can co-exist with the general 
direction of the list, despite having a totally different vision of what is 
necessary, they can profit from having an audience of more than 720 
subscribers for their point of view and around 140,000 visits to the 
archives per month where their contributions can be read.

All I ask is a little respect for the ecology of the list and a willingness 
not to rock the boat too much.



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