[Marxism] Re: call to order on the baiting of a list member

dwalters at marxists.org dwalters at marxists.org
Sat Aug 13 17:08:37 MDT 2005

Fred, you bring up something -- ironic --.... Walter is someone who
*polemically* I think we can all model ourselves on. I model myself to a
certain degree on his political demeanor. And...I hardly ever ever ever resort
to the sort of peronal mudslinging I apparently got myself into with my post on
Venezuela. Ironically, even Walter has noted this in his off-list correspondence
with me. Of course Walter is a *mensch*, someone it's hard not to love. But
politically, it's getting sticky...

I haven't even written of late on Brazil because in large part Louis Proyect has
uttered words on this subject that I simply have no disagreement with. On this
ONE subject anyway :) I have not a word of disagreement...especially as it
relates to methodology in how to judge and analysis the class struggle, at
least in Brazil and as opposed to the positions you and Walter have taken,
especially the latter.

Louis made a good point that *he* thought Walter himself was constantly baiting
the list, and those of us who disagree with Walter, by constantly posting
straight-news items from the media that seemed to play up Brazil and/or Lula's
left credentials. I think Louis was 100% right....Walter was doing this and was
called to the mat for it, correctly. I don't think Walter *intended* to bait
anyone, anyone who knows Walter knows I speak the truth, but that's what he
did. Past tense, he was called for it, he stopped.

Believe me, and Louis will confirm this, you and he are a lot closer politcially
than I am to either of you. I've been warned far more than you have about
un-necessary polemics, raising banned issues, whatever. I know from what I
speak. One has to view this list not as some sort of formal political tendency
on Marxist regroupment (Louis' dream I suspect) AND no one is trying to run
out as you suggest. It's really an online salon, held in Louis' living room in
upper Manhatten and we're all guests. Some of us are here to listen,maybe eat
all food put out for all the guests and don't bring anyting, but no one is
allowed to shit on the floor.

This brings us back to Brazil and method. In my view, the point of view Walter
has held is extremely...something. Wrong. Very wrong. It leaves no room to even
raise a critique of the Brazilian gov't, let along the class struggle there. It
means looking at the actions of the gov't there...and any gov't, soley through
the eyes of that gov't and it's current, past and potentially future
relationship with imperialism....and leaving the class struggle IN that country
as something off limits for our discussion. The viewpoint expressed by Walter,
or his developing methodology, seems to be taken from dispatrches of Prensa
Latina and relates to it in a very unthinking, uncritical viewpoint. He goes on
then to argue that one should not even broach the discussions and political
fights going on internally in Brazil because we are 'outside leftists.' I see a
similiar method developing from you corner as well over Venezuela.

This means, it seems, that all future discussions about the class struggle in
particular countries has to be homoginized through the 'sole representiativi'
kind of politics we see exhibited in other...political currents of the notorius
type. This in part probably is the reason you see Walter being baited...when it
really over very serious political stands he's taken that are incongrous, it
seems, with his political history.

OK, rant over,

David Walters

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