[Marxism] Ward Churchill liberal lynch mob

Julio Huato juliohuato at gmail.com
Thu Feb 10 18:28:30 MST 2005


Mike Friedman wrote:

> Julio, this has been your permanent refrain, whether in academia or 
> in the electoral arena: try to win over the liberals by accomodating
> to them. As in the electoral arena, the way to win "liberals" -- if 
> that's even a desirable goal, insofar as we are talking about liberal 
> "opinion-makers" -- is to provide a clear pole of opposition both 
> practically and theoretically to the positions they draw from their 
> ruling class masters.

Mike,

Frankly, your remarks confirm what I've felt before: that it is
difficult to have a fruitful discussion with you.  For all I read, you
make no effort to analyze my ideas.  You label them.  You use
terrifying phrases such as "accomodating to liberals," as if I am
asking anybody here to betray her beliefs and goals and adhere to
"liberalism."

You must know that, if people operate under your same assumptions, the
labels you use will push their buttons.  So, it just seems to me that
you are trying to disqualify me, to denounce me.  If so, then you may
not see me as a comrade, with views different from yours, yet still
somebody you'd want on your side, so you debate me in order to find
common cause.  On the contrary, I'd be your enemy.

Of course, viewing me that way is your prerogative.  There's
definitely room for enmity in this world.  But, while in other
circumstances I'd take your challenge at whatever level you proposed
it, I don't want to do that this time.  Labels are thought-saving
devices... but we do need to think.

So I'll rather paste here my reply to Louis Proyect's posting on PEN-L.  

Good luck.

Julio

* * *

Louis Proyect wrote:

> You have to see this in terms of the beginning of the McCarthyite era. It was essential to
> consolidate an anti-Communist intelligentsia around projects like the Congress for
> Cultural Freedom, etc.--often with the covert support of the CIA as documented by
> Frances Stoner Saunders. For this project to succeed, it was essential to involve figures
> on the left. Here's what Jim Farmelant said about this on Marxmail. I know you've seen it,
> Julio, but I am posting it for the benefits of others. In my opinion, people like Timothy
> Burke are the Sidney Hooks of today.

If there's evidence that *a particular individual* of *any* political
affiliation is an accomplice of the *right wing* lynch mob in its
assault against this country's civil liberties, then let *that* be
known.  Individuals of a Marxist, anarchist, vegetarian, or
Fabian-socialist political persuasion could also, in principle, commit
similar shameful deeds.  So, what should we say about that?  That it
is in the nature of Marxism, anarchism, vegetarianism, and Fabianism
to play the role of accomplices in reactionary witch hunts?  I think
not.

The terms "liberal" and "liberties" have the same etymological root.
I know the meaning of terms has evolved a lot, but I don't believe it
is part of the public political philosophy of U.S. "liberals" to
dismantle freedom of speech for the benefit of the ultra right.
Therefore, if particular "liberals" are doing what you claim they're
doing, it is not because they're "liberals," it's because they're
crooks.  For all we know, they might be betraying the principles of
"liberalism."  So let's attack them as crooks!

There are crooks among liberals, but there are also crooks among
Marxists, anarchists, vegetarians, etc.  And there are also plenty of
decent people among them all.  A given political philosophy doesn't
confer upon anybody a certificate of moral superiority or inferiority.
So, alluding to the existence of a *liberal* lynch mob against Ward
Churchill is unwarranted, to say the least.  Politically, in the
circumstances we are in, it is unwise.  Let's focus on the real enemy.
Anything that diverts attention from the real enemy, anything that
divides the forces that -- at least in principle -- could confront the
enemy at unison, anything that doesn't help forge a wider unity
against these reactionary zealots is letting them off the hook.

That's my opinion.

Julio




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