[Marxism] Q - and request an apology!

John Obrien causecollector at msn.com
Thu Nov 23 21:26:18 MST 2006


Louis,

According to the writings of Karl Marx, I believe you are wrong, on why Karl 
Marx opposed Jean Baptise von Schweitzer. It was NOT because he was an 
associate of Lasalle, as you state.  Marx specifically mentions MANY TIMES, 
in his exchanges of letters, between himself and Engels, on efforts to at 
first expel von Schweitzer, at the time of his arrest and then later oppose 
him as head of the German party - specifically and ONLY because of von 
Schweitzer being Gay.  I suggest you read Karl Marx and Fred Engels letters 
on this - before YOU ASSUME and state - what is not factual - even if you do 
not like the truth about Marx's homophobia.  If Karl Marx were alive today, 
would he still be a homophobe?  I would hope not.  But should hope, or 
facts, be our guide as marxists?

Inferring me, as a red baiter - is a pretty low blow Louis - and again NOT a 
fact.  I have considered myself a red, since a teenager and remain a red, to 
this day.  I believe that Karl Marx and others who were homophobes, can be 
criticised for their bigotry - and yet support the theories of Marxism.  I 
believe I am MORE deeply hurt by Karl Marx's homophobic views and writings, 
then yourself - and I am the injured party here, trying to be a Red Gay.  
Your response leans heavily towards either trying to cover up, or deny Karl 
Marx's homophobia - which just continues the homophobic problem, that is 
prevalent in this world and not just among some on this List.

Marxism is a science, that encourages inquiry and growth, around economics 
and history and is not based on religion, or uncritical thought.  You might 
see Karl Marx in religious terms - that his personal beliefs (versus his 
correct economic beliefs) can not be questioned.  Fortunately Karl Marx 
disagreed with you on the subject of questioning and unquestioning 
followers!

I believe you owe me an apology, for lumping me in with enemies of the 
working class.  I am NOT a red baiter, but am a proud red for four decades 
and remain committed to a red world and not a world - where one can not 
question, or speak the truth!

Because I have refused to be blind about homophobia and to speak out against 
it - wherever it is,
does not make me a class traitor - but does provide historical record, that 
there is more than one kind of socialist.

And before you state - I do not support socialism today, but only in my 
youth - please be aware that I am a strong supporter of Hugo Chavez and the 
Bolivarian Revolution - which does fund and support a Gay Center in Caracas 
Venezuela, which is more than I can say for the regime, that you prefer I 
remain silent on, or go along with, in the attempted re-writing of history.

In closing, I have not contributed to this list on many subjects and not 
just the current U. S. Gay Movement (you did not like what I had to say 
about Gays in Iran, so I stopped trying to educate). My lack of contributing 
historical or economic articles, was mainly because of the wonderful 
homophobic responses I received on this List, in my former emails and did 
not want to create a Flame War, letting history be the judge on these 
statements.

And I have not responded to recent other emails on GLBT issues, because I 
want to stay on this List, since I very much value the information, it does 
provide me, in learning about history and other people.  I only responded, 
when a FALSE statement by you, to promote a specific writer as an accurate 
scholar, was grandiously made on this List - to have at least some 
"historical balance". I am NOT supportive of Leslie Feinberg, being promoted 
on this List, to LGBT folks, as a GLBT scholar and a person, to therefore 
follow, as a reliable source.

Your views are respected by me and thus I responded to your Feinberg 
accolades, BECAUSE I believed you were and are mistaken and not as a red 
baiting attack on you or Leslie Feinberg.  One can and SHOULD be able to 
disagree, without being labeled a red baiter, class enemy, traitor, etc.

This will be my last email, for the next couple of years on this List, in my 
expecting the usual response.  But my silence as earlier, is not because I 
agree or have been silenced, because of superior knowledge or lack of 
knowledge on history and theory, but because I WANT TO STAY ON THIS LIST, 
not only because I am a Marxist - but because I do find this List, rewarding 
to my research, as I work to establish a progressive museum and education 
center, for the working class and remain an activist.  I am NOT a 
social-democrat, but a recolutionary socialist, who disagrees with you on 
certain issues and agrees with you on most.

As for the Class I belong to - it has never been in doubt.  I was born in 
the working class and am proud that I will have spent my life on its behalf. 
  I remain an opponent to the leisure class and those stalinists who have 
done harm to our Movement, to empower the working class. My years of 
struggle and contributions, are something I take great pride in and request 
- that you apologize for inferring, that I am a red baiter and therefore on 
the OTHER SIDE of the class struggle!

We can continue to agree, to disagree and still be comrades - but I hope you 
will take back what you said about me, being a red baiter and that you 
stated it, in a moment of unthinking and bad formulated response. I know you 
have been personally attacked on this List and I am not trying to do that.  
I belive the work you do with this List is important and contributes to the 
development, knowledge and thought on hundreds on this List - and for that I 
say thank you - for your overall efforts and thought!

Every subscriber of this List owes you and the other moderators - great 
respect for what you have done, to provide this wonderful resource!

I will also no longer respond, so as to not cause you any further distress, 
since you really do wonderful work in maintaining this List.  I will just 
end by saying - thank you!

John O'Brien
Los Angeles

>From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
>Reply-To: Activists and scholars in Marxist 
>tradition<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
>To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition 
><marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
>Subject: Re: [Marxism] Q
>Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2006 16:12:52 -0500
>
>John:
>>For instance Leslie mentions that Jean Baptise Von Schweitzer became the 
>>leader of the German Workingmen's Party - but fails to mention Karl Marx's 
>>strident homophobic opposition to this.
>
>Von Schweitzer was a Lassallean. Marx opposed Lassalle and any of his 
>followers for reasons explained in "Critique of the Gotha Programme". It is 
>entirely possible that Marx might have referred to him a bigoted fashion in 
>his private correspondence, but that was also true of Blacks and Jews. But 
>there are no homophobic utterances in any of Karl Marx's public utterances, 
>nor of Blacks or Jews. I am afraid that John is trying to pull the same 
>crap that some Black nationalists have pulled by wrenching some unfortunate 
>slur from Marx's private correspondence in order to drive a wedge between 
>Marxism and Black Liberation.
>
>>Of course, I have been lectured on this List before, on GLBT issues, that 
>>people with far less knowledge or experience on these subjects, want to 
>>continue to insist, that they know more of!
>
>The issue is not knowledge but politics. You are caught between two 
>worlds--the Marxism of your youth and the redbaiting mood of some segments 
>of the gay left.
>
>>No matter how much Stalinists try to re-write history, or other homophobes 
>>also try, the truth will eventually become known.  They are too many 
>>Gay/Lesbian archives around, to keep the truth silenced forever!
>
>If only you spent less time smearing those who you disagree with and spent 
>more time providing useful information. In the entire time you have been on 
>Marxmail, I have not read a single report on the Gay movement's activities, 
>just spitballs directed at Cuba and now the WWP. What a waste of our time 
>and yours frankly.
>
>
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