[Marxism] Weatherpeople

Craven, Jim JCraven at clark.edu
Tue Jan 3 08:00:19 MST 2006

Interesting to see the discussion my comments and questions have

Phil wrote:
To Jim C: yep, I pretty much agree with all of what you wrote there.
Question still is, are people like Dohrn and Ayers to be rehabilitated
or just denounced forever?

Response Jim C: I would argue that as for all of us with past
associations, proclivities and positions that we now regret,and/or from
which we have hopefully advanced, the main questions are: What have we
learned from those past experiences/positions and what are we DOING now?
What of what we produce can be effectively used in concrete struggles,
in concrete ways to advance the struggles--and diminish some of the
misery--of concrete victims? How do we do maximum damage to the
opposition, serve the oppressed in ways/venues THEY can use and expose
what is most critical to expose with limited and scattered resources?

One of my fondest memories is the second time I visited Marx's grave at
Highgate in London in 1974. As I was talking with an old Irish man, one
of the graveskeepers, who told me with a smile and twinkle in his eye
how he took special care of the graves of Marx and his family, and took
special care to ensure that fascists did not come to desecrate the grave
as they had done several times in the past, some members of the Chinese
trade legation, with black suits and "Mao badges" came to pay their
respects and take some pictures of themselves at the grave. They asked
me to take some pictures of all of them and then we got into a
discussion about Marx and Marxism. One of the things that we were all
struck by was that of all of the myriad writings and sayings of Marx,
the one on his grave, his 11th thesis on Feuerbach, was clearly the most
appropriate and summed up what Marx was about and what he intended with
his life's work: "The Philopsopers have only interpreted the world in
various ways; the point, however, is to change it."

I think that if Marx were alive today, he might add to the list of
potential "opiates of the masses": narrow self-absorbed identity
politics, the internet, sectarianism, academic Marxianism, personality
cults and ill-thought-out/narcissistic theatrics...[add to the list

Jim C.

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