[Marxism] Against the grayzone: the article Max Blumenthal doesn’t want you to read | Cautiously pessimistic

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Mar 17 11:02:00 MDT 2018

The following article was originally published by the Southern Poverty 
Law Centre. Max Blumenthal, one of the figures discussed in it, 
apparently objected to the contents of the article, and rather than 
writing a reply pointing out where he thought the piece was inaccurate, 
chose to make legal threats leading to the whole article being taken 
down. Without wishing to necessarily endorse the writings of Alexander 
Reid Ross, and far less the SPLC, I think it’s important to oppose 
anyone trying to use legal threats to suppress criticism, and so it’s 
reproduced here in full. For more background on Blumenthal, see Did a 
Kremlin Pilgrimage cause Alternet blogger’s Damascene conversion?, List 
of Rebuttals to Max Blumenthal’s Anti-Syrian Article, and Notes towards 
a theory of Max Blumenthal.

A note on the title I’ve added: The Grayzone Project is the name of a 
blog part-run by Blumenthal, along with other dodgy types like Ben 
Norton. The “grayzone” name is apparently taken from the term ISIS use 
to refer to areas where Muslims and non-Muslims can co-exist peacefully, 
but “grayzone” is also a long-established term used by anti-fascists, 
particularly in Germany, to refer to music and social scenes that aren’t 
openly neo-nazi, but also refuse to take any kind of principled stand 
against them, so fence-sitting “grayzone” bands like Bakers’ Dozen, 
Skinfull, Pressure 28, Stomper 98 and so on are happy to share stages 
with out-and-out nazis. Given that Blumenthal and Norton are playing a 
similar role by helping to promote the perspectives of people like 
Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett and Tim Anderson, it feels very appropriate 
that they’ve given themselves a name that makes them sound like the 
fence-sitting likes of Close Shave and Superyob.


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