[Marxism] Tracking the evolution of former ex-leftists: Why???

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 8 18:39:59 MST 2005

It's curious why there seems to be so much time spent tracking the silly
antics of former ex-leftists like Marc Cooper, Christopher Wretched, and
others of their ilk. When I was a little boy, my grandfather, who had been
a socialist when he was young and an admirer of William F. Schmuckley and
the National Review in his eighties, repeated to me that old nostrum about 
anyone who wasn't a socialist at twenty had no heart, but anyone who was 
still a socialist at 40 had no brains. Here I am about to start collecting 
Social Security (shortly after my upcoming 62nd birthday) and yet socialism 
to me still seems a valid ideal and a useful goal to strive toward. 

When we continually read the latest example of former r-r-revolutionaries
once again differentiating themselves from the left, what is the purpose
of such information on a Marxism list? I know Marc Cooper and have known
him from the eighties when he was an anarcho-symp who led a group of us 
to visit Sandinista Nicaragua in 1983. He'd worked, he said, as translator
for Salvador Allende, a claim not universally acknowledged. Like many who
have an exaggerated idea of the universal importance of the parliamentary
forms of democracy which still prevail in Disneylandia, the United States
of Freedom, Justice and Hypocrisy, Cooper has found a comfortable little
niche for himself which probably pays better then he received when working
at Pacifica station KPFK in Los Angeles so many years ago. But moving to
the right is always a step up, at least financially. Ask David Horrible
or Joe Slicks (aka Joe Hicks who's gone from Line of March to being head of
the Southern Christian Leadership Council and who, at last report, had got
a job working for David Horrorwitz. It is of some interest to those of us
who know these individuals personally, but I'm not sure of what interest 
these things have to list dedicated to Marxism and how to today we can 
work more effectively, learning from the past, to build a better Marxist
movement toward a socialist revolution. Most of us who are participants 
in this list are, as far as I can tell, also active in a range of left 
and progressive struggle of some sort, which these people have long since 
left behind. This is why it seems genuinely confusing to keep reading about 
their latest shocking misbehavior. (Oh! Wow! They're really bad now!Oh!)

Some clarification about why these people's devolution or degeneration
should matter to the readers of the Marxism would be helpful. Does their
degeneration reflect some significant shift in the opinion of some group,
layer or even sliver of society? Has it any significance for Marxists?
The World Socialist Website at least still presents well-written views
on movies and many important specific developments. Their stubborn denial
that a socialist revolution has taken place in Cuba doesn't detract from
their informative analyses, nor does it deny them a place on the political
left. The Fourth International, strongly supportive of Hugo Chavez yet as
strongly opposed to Fidel Castro, remains an actual force on the political
left. Even the Socialist Workers Party, USA, which even opposes the anti-
war movement and virtually every foreign policy position of the leadership
of the Cuban Revolution (which The Militant is supposed to support) still 
publishes books by Cuban leaders, Malcolm X and so on, thereby retaining 
a place for iteslf on the left. 

But Christopher Hitchens?  Marc Cooper? Are these people on the left? What's

left of any of their leftitude and should they be of concern to people who 
discuss in terms of and self-identify as Marxist? I fail to see what that
might be.

Walter Lippmann

Yes On Prop 77 Thanks to Nancy

When I vote Tuesday in California's special election, I will be voting 
Yes On Prop 77 - the redistricting reform proposed by Governor
I will vote NO on the other measures he is supporting.


Right-wing initiatives dominate California special election By Andrea Peters
7 November 2005

When California voters go to the polls November 8 for the state's special 
election, they will be confronted with a series of right-wing measures. 
The majority of the eight initiatives on the ballot are aimed at further 
eroding the living standards and democratic rights of working people. 
None of the initiatives that voters will be asked to decide on express 
the concerns and needs of ordinary people in California.

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