[Marxism] Kettle of hawks

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 3 14:47:25 MST 2008

> Mark wrote:
> I've been saying all along that we're not taking such different positions.
> First, I'm not trying to deflect criticisms of Obama.  I'm just saying
> that, in your criticism of Obama (or mine or anyone's), we are only
> talking to each other and to the people who've been listening and have
> heard it all before...most of whom probably voted for Obama despite
> the best efforts of those of us arguing against it.  In this context,
> nothing more we SAY is going to accomplish anything.

My response: Well I am pleased that we are on the same side, Mark, truly.  I
can take it then that you agre with me that illusions in Obama are dangerous
and we must move against them.  But you also seem to be saying that there is
no point in criticising Obama on this list because to "SAY" is not to oppose
and besides nobody is listening.  Now I think I have answered the question
about "saying".  Firstly I am not advocating we only "say".  Secondly
"saying"  is always, like as in truly always, important, necessary but of
course not sufficient.

Thirdly might I point out that I think the list is important and that the
things we write on it can possibly be important as well.  After all I would
not be a Marxist but for the things I have read and this list represents the
modern way of disseminating ideas and of engaging with them.

You might think I am wasting my time but I beg to differ!  Besides that is a
separate argument.  You should pursue it in a consistent and rigorous
manner.  You should be attacking everyone for writing on the list and you
should make clear to Joaquin et al that you agree with me that Obama is a
threat but you should also say that there is no point in saying anything and
so you should then do a contemporary imitation of Cratylus.  And we would
 all eventually wonder what ever hapened to that nice guy called Mark.

Fourthly I want to point out that there is actually a debate going on here.
I have  been at Fred, Walter, Charles, Joaquin, yourself and now Paddy for
months. I doubt if I have ever debated any folk as tricky as that lot.  Fred
is maintaining a dignified silence, now.  There is only one presidency he is
saying.  A nice legal point but of course what Obama is doing now is very
meaningful and let me say it out loud, Obama's presidency has begun and it
has begun badly.

Joaquin knows that of course and in desperation he is resorting to the
argument that talking about how bad Obama's beginning has been is preventing
us from rushing out to prevent evictions.  That's bullshit and Joaquin is
more than clever enough to know it.

Now let me take up the rest of your post.

> Second, the election's over.  The real question is no longer really
> whether to support Obama.  How we would answer that question right now
> or on how we answered that question in the election or on whether or
> not we voted for this or that person in the past is not and should not
> be the central question.

I agree entirely here and it is not what I have been saying at all.

> Mark wrote:

> What does need to be on central right now is not Obama or his crappy
> appointees but what we're going to DO about it.

My response: First do me a favour and write out clearly "Obama's
appointments are crappy"and "Illusions in Obama are dangerous".  Just do me
that little favour please.  Indulge me.

Mark wrote:

> How can we get boots on the pavement.  And to have meaning, that discussion
> needs to
> transcend the "usual suspects."
My response.  Well one of the things that is preventing people from going on
the street is the belief that Obama is different and will bring change.  So
attacking that is an essential part of mobilising against his presidency.
Again it is not sufficient but to propagandise against Obama is necessary.

> as always comaradely regards



More information about the Marxism mailing list