[Marxism] Ward Churchill case

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Tue Jul 25 10:58:08 MDT 2006

La Sainte :

No, I don't believe I do regard them as such. However, those radicals whose
political arguments border on the twilight zone often run to a quote by
Lenin or Marx, pull it totally out of context and put their own (often very
odd) spin on it. And there are others who memorize "holy" quotes by Marx,
Lenin, Engels or (fill in the blank) and pull them out when the occasion
arises to show off their great intellectual powers without bothering to take
the time and mental energy to analyze and assess; instead, they mechanically
lift a hundred-fifty-year-old-plus analysis and stubbornly try to forcibly
set it on a contemporary (21st century) issue. And if someone disagrees,
then that person at the very best just doesn't understand Marx and at the
very worst has no right to regard her-/himself a Marxist. To sum up, these
guys with the quick quotes opportunistically, if inadvertently, transform
Marxism into a religion, thus, the "holy texts."

I've been around since the mid-'60s. I've seen it all, Charles. BTW, this is
not aimed at any particular person on this list. I'm just explaining the


 Glad to have your experienced take on it and elaboration of the phenomenon.

I guess to get to the point, I kind of knew about what you say above, but I
take extreme exception to Mark claiming that I'm like what you describe
above.  If somebody can't tell that I use the Marxist classics extremely
thinkingly and not like a religious non-thinker, then I have to conclude
they (the person who says that) is the one not thinking , is the one who is
the deadhead in the exchange. And I'm not shy about reversing the insult
back on the person just like that. 'Cause there's lots of active mind in
what I post on the Marxist classics, including with respect to the U.S.
Civil War.

I have studied and learned the theory of Marxism, historical materialism,
materialist dialectics very thoroughly. In the course of that , I remember a
lot of specific passages which express various aspects of the theory.
That's not memorizing a few quotes mindlessly. That's acquiring fundamental
and important concepts mindfully. And of course central to these ideas is
that things change, one has to keep thinking anew, deal with new situations,
etc, Marxism is not a dogma, but a guide to action.

But this should be evident to anybody who reads what I say on it. So, I can
only conclude that somebody who characterizes it as reading it like a holy
text is not thinking very well themselves. 



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