[Marxism] Cliffism in the Socialist Worker (US)

Max Clark poeticaleconomy at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 3 08:09:09 MST 2009


The above, friends, is the state of the art of Cliffism in the U.S. I accept everything written in it. Respect to Phil Gasper, I talked briefly in person to him once. The ISO is, of course, productive of valuable intellectual commodities sometimes, although it devotes too little of its resources to research and "theory" (i.e. it wouldn't support mine), and although it is at root a capitalist media entity. 

Cliff deserves more scrutiny from the left. I admit to having barely scratched the surface of his corpus. Yet, nonetheless, I nominate him as the best (i.e. worst or least stylistic) stylist ever to have written in the English language. Reminds me almost of Artaud: it is like reading the smoke signals of someone burning themselves at the stake. Tortorous shite, in other words. Not a very "gay" science (wissenschaft) at all. Dreary. Extremely "necessary", or even "slavish" in its desire to be useful to the working-class. Decidedly not poetic then--not at all. Anti-poetics; if most certainly not anti-"poiesis" (labor). Also, the writings of an "exile" and, even, "oriental"--to use popular, or perhaps rather altogether excoriated, categories in post-Saidian literary criticism. Trotsky without Trotsky, without the ebullient verve of written language, among other things. Cliff's oratory, whose "audio" is thankfully preserved here and there, far and away
 surpasses his literature. 


The very best,




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