[Marxism] Socialist Action has officially lost its mind.

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Thu May 22 13:03:05 MDT 2014


On Wed, May 21, 2014 22:24, Louis Proyect wrote:

> [Quoting Jeff Mackler:] "The evidence he employed"?
> What the fuck? First of all, there is no "evidence", only the word of
> unnamed spooks. Beyond that, even if there was evidence, he should have
> written "the evidence he provided".

Well actually this linguistic point is itself open to debate, and since no
degree of political hair-splitting is considered too trivial to mention on
this forum, I'll take the liberty of doing just that in regards to these
choices of words! Lou's point is basically correct, that to help someone
consider a proposition, you PROVIDE evidence which they can then use to
THINK FOR THEMSELVES. On the other hand, when your "evidence" only comes
into play because it supports the conclusion you had already drawn before
you found (or manufactured!) that evidence, then arguably one EMPLOYS that
evidence in the service of their argumentation. In other words, evidence
to be used in pursuit of scientific inquiry is PROVIDED for that purpose,
but "evidence" is EMPLOYED as part of propaganda in order to tilt the
tables of an argument. A lawyer will say he is PROVIDING (or "offering")
evidence to the court, but in truth he is EMPLOYING the evidence that
supported his side of the case while deliberately ignoring evidence to the
contrary.

So as a journalist, Seymour Hersch is expected to PROVIDE evidence for the
sake of his readers. But Mackler subconsciously recognized (or projected)
Hersch's writing as propagandistic, and as a slip wrote that the evidence
had been EMPLOYED in such a manner.

So although Lou's choice of words would have been wiser, I'd say what made
it into print was more honest in a sense. That's my take on the linguistic
issue, but if anyone wants they can help split these hairs further yet :-)

- Jeff






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