[Marxism] Re: Andy Coates re recrudensce Schiavo etc.

hari.kumar at sympatico.ca hari.kumar at sympatico.ca
Sat Apr 9 16:00:38 MDT 2005

Replies to two notes by Les & one from Andy Pollock [?Did I get Andy's naem wrong - or are there two Andys].

>I linked my comment with Les's comment re IT - >since that ALSO carried an implication that all >was hopeless under capital. 

that was your implication, but not exactly mine. i'd like to say there are definite worthwhile things to implement within the present system. 
unfortunately, the more time i spend working in the medical field, the more i find efforts distorted by capital, almost as if medical stuff, by virtue of its capacity for yielding high profits, magnifies the distorting influences.
wouldn't you and andy pollack agree on that? and would it be worth you and the two andy's and myself and other workers here kicking around the 
problems, see if there are areas where organizing or prosteletyzing would be helpful?"


I would quite agree that it would be helpful to 'kick around the problems'.

Andy P agrees with this. 

Then Les writes a rather longer note. 
I will interject replies down his remarks.

"What is occuring to me is whether Lou would be interested in allowing this list to include discussions between people working (job 
wise) in similar areas, kicking around what they see. ............ and i have thought 
about creating a sister list that would be such a forum as you seek, at least for tech professionals, to start. ............or am i wrong about all this? should we be leaving our work lives out of 
marxist debates, even theoretical ones???

For my part I would be interested. I think it is something that is not dissimilar from what Friend Michael does at PEN-L. Why should techies etc; be any different?

As for the historical parallels, your grand-father reminds me of the old Chartist traditions in the UK. Also of some descriptions in EP Thomson's "The Making of Working Class". 
But there are more recent parallels also. 
In the hey-day of the CPGB there was no shame in being a Red Specialist. Indeed the number of specialist studies that were spawned from that milieu were remarkable for their far-ranging intellectual enquiry directed at assisting the class understanding of developments. 
In the UK I was associated in the 70's with 'Needle' - which was pivotal at that time for leftists in the health care services. But - it folded under the pressures within the CPGB [This is my interpretation anyway]. In Ontario I have been closely assoicated with the Medical Reform Group. But this has been hesitant to mvoe beyond social-democratic pracitce & policy. There are good people in there still. but... 
Perhaps the time is ripe for a new Jugular approach.   Good point. 

(2) LES:
"well, i'll put it this way: when i read that you and hari kumar work daily in the medical profession, my ears perk up, regardless of how different our political philosophies and interpretive styles may be (cf Lou's remarks 
about Hari)..

Well, it is so rare that Lou notes my views that one is hesitant to correct. But, for the record it does my reputation in various milieu, quite some damage to be seen as 'coming out of the Maoist movement'. Perhaps out of the Hoxhaist movement, but then... not quite 'out of'... Last time I checked I was a fully committed Enverist. 
This does not detract from the point Lou makes of  the need for a sincere, non-sectarian united fornt. [Yes Lou, I know I paraphrased you. 
Sorry - but that is how I interpret the point you made!] Anyway, this is just to be accurate on my stripes. 

"i assume there is a danger of elitism here: once you segment into "professions", discussions can take on the air of a clique. i do not know exactly how to avoid that, but i think there must be a way. most marxists i have personally met are eager to be as self-educated as possible in any number of fields."

I understand your concern. For some time I was hesitant on this matter. I think again - the rather unique contributions that I see on the PEN-List make me think this fear is a shibboleth. There Michael has created a forum that is free ranging and targeted on one central area within which specialised discussions take place. Yet - it is not exclusive & charitably allows diletantes like me to listen and even make a fool of myself on from time to time. 
Besides how does the movement allows its' cooks to become both artist, economist, and politicans at the same time - without expertise(s)? 
Hari K  

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