[Marxism] Re: Reply to Carl Davidson

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at rogers.com
Sun Mar 20 20:46:05 MST 2005


Julio wrote:

> I've been loyal to this list, but it is time to leave it once and for
> all.  Thank you, Louis, for the space to write and debate.  Thank you
> everyone for reading me and for engaging with my arguments.

Julio is much too gracious. I think it's shameful the way he's been
personally vilified, and unfortunate that the more sober and experienced
veterans on this list - Michael Lebowitz and Jim Farmelant honourably
excepted - have largely let it pass without comment. I'd be surprised if
they don't share an equal respect for Julio, whatever their political
disagreements, and particularly for his views on the proper norms of debate.
I don't blame him for not wanting to push his views where they're not
welcome, where not much is to be gained by doing so.

> Proyect is a rather complex character.

Not so complex. Angry literary intellectuals posing as "unsentimental" tough
Bolsheviks were a dime a dozen in the old socialist movement. In the 30s and
60s, they were attracted like bees to honey to the tiny Trotskyist groups,
which offered an especially congenial environment because of their openness
to theoretical debate and relative insulation from an alien working class
milieu.  Trotsky and Cannon and the other working-class leaders of the SWP
were embarrased and uneasy by the heavy presence of these "schoolboys" and
wanted to send them into the factories to try and force a change in the
movement's class composition. But it's easier to draw the "class line"
behind a home computer than in a trade union or a party supported by the
trade unions, where you're accountable for what you say because what you say
can have important consequences for everyone. Tempermental intellectuals
don't last long in these less comfortable settings, if they venture into
them at all. They're quickly dispatched and isolated by more savvy union
leaders with roots in the class, and even in the event of renewed labour
protest of the kind recently recalled by James Zarichny, it's safe to say
they'd be seen for the nettlesome eccentrics they are rather than the mass
leaders they expect to become.

> Hope the anti-war protests went well.  I couldn't attend because
> there's a newborn member in my family.  He'll be marching against the
> occupation of Iraq and in defense of Venezuela as soon as the
> pediatrician gives us the green light.

Congratulations and best of luck to you, Julio, in all matters personal and
political.

MG






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