[Marxism] To V.C.
mtomas3 at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 28 09:59:15 MDT 2013
Dan: ¨I should, by the way, add that I am a grad student in Sociology at NYU, where Vivek is a professor. But that's really neither here nor there."
Well, it's kind of "there" if not here, Dan. My view is that Louis, while quite mercurial when he decides to do so, never seems to do so without reason. No one deserves a pass based on their standing in capitalist society even, and sometimes especially, if it is within the ranks of the opponents of that society.
My only question is why? I would like to know just how accurate Louis' account is that caused this response on this list; what exactly precipitated it? Maybe it was an inconsequential slight that made Louis explode and, if so, I fully believe that he will apologize or otherwise explain himself in due time and with some degree of reflection (and, perhaps a shot or two:) ). People who start calling for retractions and apologies on some ersatz principle of "civility of discourse" often give me pause as to some other hidden agenda.
I've been cut off by some person of power in meetings myself and I am sure most of us here have; if we actually had truly contrary things to say that may have caused the "powerful" to feel threatened. I can understand the impulse to react. Indeed, viewed from afar, it marks a degree of restraint by Louis to display his ire here rather than on the floor of the event. A degree of restraint that would likely choose to reject or engage as a tactic depending how I felt it important as an object lesson to those in an audience.
We are not purists on the bourgeois notion of "civility", so, getting upset and lashing out, while sometimes unclear as to why, really shouldn't be a problem for us as some "principle of discourse". We should not have a need to be somebody's "lawyer" in defense civility; a "principle" that seldom holds across class boundaries even if the bourgeoisie would like it to be; as a bludgeon of power. What if an uncivil response is what was warranted?
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