[Marxism] Moderator's note

Craven, Jim JCraven at clark.edu
Tue Jan 3 13:25:29 MST 2006


I don't see any problem with Jim using invective against the Weathermen
or 
any other groups/individuals in the real world. Our only concern here is
to 
maintain a civil tone among ourselves. Some years back when I attacked 
big-name personalities on PEN-L like David Harvey, I would get
chastised. 
We need to have a little leeway to blow off steam. Speaking of which, I 
want to congratulate everybody who has participated in the Latin America

thread for maintaining a civil tone when the differences are obviously 
profound. In particular, I want to commend rrubinelli who has found this

difficult in the past. For the upcoming year of 2006, let's try to
continue 
to make this list a valuable resource for the left.


Last comment on this subject: I have addressed and will address issues
And have not used and will not attack by name anyone on the list. I do
not 
know most of the folks on this list personally and do not KNOW what may
or
may not apply to any particular person. If someone seems more focused on

TONE (very subjective) rather than CONTENT of a missive--absent an
outright
attack on a particular person by name--I may wonder if someone having
reservations 
about TONE of a given missive really reflecting someone taking CONTENT
personally,
("Nothing is so passionate as a vested interest disguised as an
intellectual
Conviction--Sean O'Casey in "The White Plague") but for sure I do not
KNOW
that is the case.

But the ISSUES remain. As Carroll noted, often, more often than not,
the cause or the message gets tainted by the messengers. There are
real world costs (direct and opportunity) when scarce journal space 
gets devoted to meaningless and useless (from the standpoint of
concrete struggles by concrete victims) of narcissistic CV-notching,
narrow identity politics, academic promotion and celebrity etc. Just as
there are real world consequences when terrorism is passed off as 
"revolutionary praxis". There are real world consequences when a
lot of paper and bandwidth is wasted on stuff that will never be
seen or be usable by those who constitute the subjects--or objects--
of theory. There are real world consequences when theory is 
developed through cherry-picking data and sources, contrived syllogisms,
ideological cloning, sectarian agenda etc. And there are real world
consequences when students and potential converts get turned off by
nominally
leftist academics as abusive, elitist, dogmatic and dictatorial in the
classroom
as anything from the right wing. 

I will of course, also take Carroll's cautions to heart to try to ensure
that
The TONE of the messenger does not interfere with grasping--and dealing
with--
The correctness or incorrectness of the CONTENT of the message.

Jim C.




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