[Marxism] Re: Reply to Carl Davidson

Gavin Walker gmwalker at sas.upenn.edu
Sun Mar 20 10:25:03 MST 2005


I want to second Michael Lebowitz's unhappiness at the departure of 
Julio Huato.

After 5 years on this list (and more on its precursors), it's time for 
me to unsubscribe as well. I haven't participated often over the years, 
but have been a close reader and correspondent of many people on the 
list.

 From my vantage point, there's just too much revolutionary posturing 
and not enough serious debate anymore. Like Lebowitz, I read a post 
here and a post there, since I can't keep up with the volume of 
material. Over recent years, Julio's posts have been of the highest 
quality: carefully argued, self-reflexive, and written with a profound 
understanding of Marxian thought. The insulting rhetoric and low 
analytical level of his opponents in this particular thread is 
depressing: the resort to ad hominem attacks, the caricatures of his 
argument, and absolute lack of flexible thinking visible here are signs 
of ossification, a confusion of strategy and tactics, and increasing 
irrelevance.

In fact, the ways in which Julio has been attacked remind me a great 
deal of the argumentative strategies of the old Syracuse 
"Revolutionary" Collective interventions many years ago: 1) ignore 
absolutely any coherent criticisms, 2) imagine a line of thinking that 
you don't like, 3) identify that line with the people criticizing you, 
and 4) attack this line rather than the original criticism.

To lose him as a poster means a huge loss for the quality of the list. 
There's a gradually developing culture here of sectarianism, 
intimidation, and censorship that's uncomfortable to see, precisely 
because we're often reminded that the goal of this list was to be a 
bastion of anti-sectarian Marxist scholarship amid plenty of the 
opposite online. The emphasis on the "scholarly" dimension of this list 
has likewise been increasingly abdicated - without scholarly standards 
of research, argumentation, and willingness to be flexible in debate, 
lists like this will implode or ossify.





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