[Marxism] Fwd: RE: Moderator's note

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 5 12:32:05 MST 2006

>Please, in fairness, send at least this last response to the list.
>1) I did not send my own response to the off-list message I got to the
>list, I sent my response to you privately specifically so that I would
>not be adding my own admittedly potentially list-disturbing and terse
>response to the list--not sent to that individual even--so as not to add
>fuel to the fire;
>2) I do indeed thank you and everyone for all the support I got in the
>past from Marxmail subscribers and I do indeed find some contributors
>and contributions to the list very valuable and usable in concrete
>venues and struggles--not only related to Native struggles;
>3) I do value and appreciate dearly not only your friendship (no one
>else have I asked or trusted to look after my daughter Christina if I
>pass on soon which some doctors have suggested will be likely in the
>near future), all your own contributions, defenses, time and money
>expenditures and personal care demonstrated coming to Blackfoot Country
>to investigate concrete conditions in concrete ways (what real Marxists
>are supposed to be doing) and will never forget it.
>4) The chip on my shoulder, as you put it, is not only a chip on my
>shoulder, it exists among many Native activists I know and for some good
>reasons; they wonder, as do I, how some self-orifessed/identified
>"radicals" can be so concerned and passionate about forms and oppression
>going on elsewhere in the world but apparently have nothing to say about
>and apparently do not want to learn about, what is going on right under
>their own noses; and I as a Marxist have a harder time showing the
>relevance of Marxism to Native struggles when some apparent house
>radicals are doing for Marxism what Jaws did for ocean bathing;
>5) As you have defended me, for which I have always been grateful, so I
>have defended you and the Marxism list privately and publicly even when
>others, not only me, have sometimes attacked the list for various
>6) Why is it "invective" or a "smokescreen" to note that it is simply
>true, and an often-employed ploy, to attack the supposed "tone" or
>summarily-asserted "abrasiveness" of someone or their argument because
>it is really the CONTENT that is troubling, applicable or difficult to
>deal with? This is a major tactic used against the left and leftists;
>7) I am sorry that you have concluded that I have "supposedly" been a
>friend but have not really been one; that saddens me and yes I am aware
>of the difficulties you face in managing your list; but then can you,
>having been in Indian Country, not also see how some of this superficial
>stuff and mean one-liners from supposed radicals feel to those who deal
>directly with genocide but get only superficialities from those who
>self-profess/identify themselves to be radicals concerned with such
>issues and who apparently get so passionate about their own particular
>causes on which they expound?
>8)I hereby release you from any promises to look in on my daughter after
>I am gone and thank you for having made the promise in the first place.
>9) To all comrades (in the real sense) on this list, WE, all need to
>consider the concept of opportunity cost, especially when purporting to
>be radicals, Marxists and or relevant: when resources are being used to
>promote phony or house marxism, resources that could be used to promote
>real Marxism are being lost and wasted; when phony Marxists are being
>passed off as real ones, it can and does turn people off from real
>Marxism and from contact with real Marxists; when resources are being
>used for someone's pet academic market niche or pet issues that may not
>be the burning issues of the times, real resources are not being used to
>do the most damage and deal with the burning issues of the times; when
>resources are wasted on narrow, potentially divisive and narcissistic
>"identity politics" (and I include Natives only being interested in
>Native struggles), the issues and struggles of victims not on the
>special lists to be addressed go on without being addressed; that is my
>point, and if that point being raised, often raised by Marx, Engels,
>Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh and others, is simply dismissed as
>"invective" or being "abrasive" or some kind of krypto attack, then that
>list is simply irrelevant to anything real or any real struggles while
>it does damage by being passed off as the real thing;
>10) When Michael Zweig said to me at the URPE Conference at Antioch in
>1974 that it is no crime not to be a communist but it is a crime to call
>onself one and or pose as one when one is not, he was not attacking me
>personally at the time--at least so he said--but I took it to heart and
>did apply it to myself in self-critical ways;
>11) For all of us, with so much at stake and so many victims in need of
>real and substantive allies, we all need to ask ourselves: "What am I
>really doing?"; "Why have I really selected this area of interest or
>issue for my primary arena of struggle?" "Who really gains and who
>really (objectively) loses with what I am doing or not doing in my
>life?"; No, I am not accusing anyone on the list of personally being
>responsible for what goes on on the Rezes but I do accuse some posturing
>and attitudes, apparently manifested by SOME on this and other "radical
>lists" as being partly responsible and/or being involved in those
>conditions not being exposed, addressed and thus perpetuated; please
>accuse me of what I have actually said not a strawperson caricature of
>what I have seen or implied;
>12) Sometimes the dictum by Marx (Groucho) is correct: "I would not want
>to belong to any club that would have me as a member."
>13) When has real "light" ever come without real "heat" from those
>threatened by the "light"?
>14) As Lenin noted: "Better fewer but better."
>Take care and my best always to you and Mine and to those on the list
>who, even when finding me "abrasive", tried to understand what I was
>really saying, WHY I might be saying it and WHY I might have the
>purported "style" I have in speech and writing.
>"The Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the
>point, however, is to change it." (Karl Marx, 11th Thesis on Feuerbach)
>Omahkohkiaayo i'poyi (Jim C)
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Louis Proyect [mailto:lnp3 at panix.com]
>Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:30 AM
>To: Craven, Jim
>Cc: marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
>Subject: Moderator's note
>Jim Craven asked me to either unsub him or to unsub Michael Davison. Jim
>took extreme exception to a private note that Michael had sent him. In
>general it is beyond me or for any listserv moderator to get involved in
>private exchanges, so I am unsubbing Jim. It would be unfair for me to
>unsub Michael (Debordagoria) for something that he wrote offlist.
>Frankly, I am not sure that Jim finds the list to be of much value at
>point despite his assurances to the contrary. Although he does not
>explicitly attack people by name, anybody who is a non-activist academic
>(like Michael) might feel that they were the subject of Jim's wrath. It
>disturbs me that Jim would come into Marxmail with such a chip on his
>shoulder after nearly a year's absence. Although he professes to be my
>friend, he doesn't seem at all concerned that I have to deal with a high
>level of tension between people of different ideological backgrounds as
>is. We don't need his added invective--it only helps to raise tensions
>if they are supposedly not directed at anybody in particular.
>In the past, people on the Marxism list (and PEN-L) have come to Jim's
>when he was being threatened by Clark College administrators. We have
>chipped in when requested to materially aid the Blackfoot cause. Despite
>these gestures, Jim conveys an almost permanent sense of outrage as if
>people on this list were responsible for what goes on in the
>I resent this as a long-time friend who has invested countless hours
>making this list a valuable asset. I would also resent it even if I
>his friend. There are 870 subscribers on the list who are desperately
>trying to make sense of the world. For this, we need light not heat.



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