[Marxism] Arguing against Creationism and Healyism

Bill Hughes bill at enlightenment.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Mar 3 14:51:39 MST 2005


'Arguing with creationists is very much like arguing with the Healy
group in England when they attacked 1930 protectors and allies of Leon
Trotsky'

'This is garbage [. . .] Frankly, I don't have the time to examine their
claims'

I was briefly involved with RCP as they were and had profound disagreements
with them but still don't understand the caricature of them offered by
various liberal journalists and some Marxists. I was pleased to see on this
list Juriaan's willingness to engage with their ideas and then dismayed to
see the stock responses reappear again. They offer a crucial defence of
Enlightenment ideas at a time when ideas such as universal humanism,
progress, human agency, rationalism etc. are being undermined on a
terrifying scale. Ironically, this is endorsed by many who see themselves as
radicals, even Marxists. The promulgation of creationism and the radical
destruction of human rights are both symptoms of this counter-Enlightenment,
and the relativism and antihumanism of many on the left does tend to
validate it; this is part of what Kaplinsky is arguing and the response to
him has simply ignored this and dragged up the familiar labelling of
Furedi's group as right wing. (Unlike many of their attackers, this group
has been consistently opposed to Western imperialist intervention; it has
also advocated the free movement of people between countries and given
detailed accounts of the failures and contradictions of capitalist
economics -- for all their libertarianism, this doesn't qualify them as
right wing in any sense I know of.) I would like to see evidence of Furedi's
denial of any group's human rights; he does argue for universal rights,
rather then the pluralism of cultural politics, but then the latter is not a
Marxist concept but is again a symptom of the postmodern response to the
temporary victory of capital.

I find it very negative that the US SWP, with its very dubious stance on
Iraq, can be discussed endlessly because they are styled 'Marxist', yet very
stimulating ideas in defence of human rationality -- which to any Marxist is
a precondition of social progress -- are, in an anti-Enlightenment refusal
of dialogue, ruled out of bounds. Creationists are not alone in their
hostility to rational debate.
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