[Marxism] Dear Professor Greg Albo

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat May 17 17:34:19 MDT 2014


Professor Albo,

I am wondering about your judgement lately. I respect your work on 
Socialist Register, a journal that is indispensable for young academics 
on the left trying to get tenured. After all, publish or perish is tough 
enough in its own right but when you want to get an article on the world 
capitalist crisis added as a notch on your CV, there's not that many 
academic journals that you can submit to. Thank goodness for SR, Science 
and Society, and HM. Where would the left academy be without them?

I did start worrying a bit when you published Andrew Murray's 
meretricious defense of the Labour Party against attempts to build 
something to its left. In my view, Murray is pure poison. Not only is he 
the British equivalent of all those wretches who stumped for Obama; he 
is also an old-school "tankie" who writes propaganda for Putin and 
Bashar al-Assad, the kind of person who belongs in the 10th circle of 
hell if Dante had thought of one.

In this piece of garbage, Murray smears Richard Seymour as being soft on 
US imperialism: 
http://21centurymanifesto.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/andrew-murray-on-the-ukraine-and-attacks-on-the-stop-the-war-coalition/. 
I am in no position of course to advise the brilliant editorial board of 
SR who to align with, but most young people moving against capitalism on 
the streets and in the academy would find Seymour's views more amenable 
than Murray's, a man who counted the USSR as "successful" in promoting 
"the cultural, linguistic and educational development of each ethnic 
group". This sort of garbage, of course, is what made Stalinism seem so 
cynical and degraded to anybody outside its ranks.

Now, getting to the point, I noticed that you signed an open letter 
(defending the anti-Maidan movement in Ukraine that was initiated by the 
Workers Revolutionary Party in Greece, a bizarre sect led by one Savas 
Matsas. I thought it was significant that among the signatories, there 
was only one person from Ukraine but nine from Russia. Surely this is a 
symptom of what Lenin called Great Russian chauvinism whatever the 
intention of the sectarians who drafted the letter.

Among the florid formulations in the letter is this:

 >>The Odessa pogrom is the last warning not only for the tragedy that 
falls upon the entire people of Ukraine, both in the Eastern and the 
Western part of the country, but furthermore, for a more vast and 
terrible tragedy involving the entire region, Europe and the world. It 
is reminiscent of the Kristallnacht, the “Crystal Night” that preceded 
in Nazi Germany the genocide of the Jewish people of Europe.<<

Really? Don't you realize how idiotic this sounds? To start with, 
official Jewry in Ukraine is far more worried about Russia than the 
Right Sector. Aren't you aware that Russian TV keeps referring to 
Tymoshenko's Jewish ethnicity? Aren't you aware that the anti-Maidan 
movement has been quite open about its hatred of Jews? Here's what one 
observer noted:

 >>On one particular occasion, an activist speaking at an Anti-Maidan 
meeting declared: ‘Yes, a nationalist coup has taken place in the state, 
but we need to understand what nation is behind it. Let’s look at those 
who have come to power. Tymoshenko-Kapitelman, Tyahnybok-Frontman, 
Yatsenyuk – a Jew. This is a Zionist coup, all [go] to Kyiv!’ The crowd 
started to yell ‘Kikes!’ At the same time, this Anti-Maidan meeting was 
presented as ‘anti-fascist.’ This is hardly a paradox: the anti-Semitic 
narrative of some elements of Anti-Maidan implies that Jews are 
‘fascists’, so anti-Semitism is interpreted as anti-fascism. Numerous 
demotivational posters associating the Jews with Ukrainian 
ultranationalists are flooding the web-sites of Anti-Maidan activists.<<

Now you are a big boy, a tenured professor with probably 113 articles in 
refereed journals to your name. But surely you should understand that 
you made a horse's ass out of yourself by signing this letter and 
dragging SR's good name into the mud.

Yours,

Louis Proyect







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