File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1996/96-11-13.154, message 13


Subject: Re: M-I: Reply to Carrol Cox
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 11:19:08 EST


On Sun, 10 Nov 1996 07:43:01 -0500 (EST) Louis N Proyect
<lnp3-AT-columbia.edu> writes:
All right, I am going to step forward and take full responsibility for 
the lack of women on this list. It has been my sexist speech that has 
driven women off.

	No, Lou.  It is a person's *choice* whether or not He/she/it
	wants to be on this list or not, and nobody else's choice. 
	Look at the crap that's been thrown at me, and yet I stay
	on.  This is because I am genuinely and faithfully a
	*Marxist* and that is something that words can never
	change.  If someone doesn't want to be here because of
	things that people *say* (Sticks and stones...remember?)
	Then do we really *need* these people here, be they
	men/women/its?

And if anybody wants to know  what Jerry Levy's sexism charge is about,
I'll tell you right now. On another list, I made the crack that I'd like
to see Ellen Meiksins Wood and Hillary Wainwright locked in a steel cage
and fight to the death over postmodernism. This was viewed as sexism by
all concerned. 

	See, that's the difference between me and others, I guess.
	As a Marxist, I am against censorship on the basis that
	censorship is a form of oppression.  Not only this, but if *I*
	had heard this statement, I probably would've given you
	the benefit of the doubt and thought you were carcking a
	joke.  I see *nothing* even *remotely* sexist about it, and
	*I challenge* someone for an explanation on how this is
	sexist.  C'mon people.  This may be wasting my posts, but
	if this is what I have to do to get free speech around here,
	then I'll do it.  I will hunt *every one* of you down and
	challenge you to explain yourselves sparing no verbosity.

Of course, I would have made the same sort of comment about Harry 
Magdoff and Stanley Aronowitz, but other people know what's in my 
head better than me.

	See, now, Lou, that's because it *was not* a sexist
	comment.  I see the double standards...Look at them...if
	you talk of locking a man and a *woman* in a cage, with or
	without hyperbole, it's sexism...but if you talk about locking
	two men in a cage, it's humor.  Does anyone *else* see
	double standards in action here?  Marxism is supposed to
	make us all equals, isn't it?  If we begin singling out a
	certain group and giving the preferences, then we're doing
	the exact opposite.  Let's strive for equality, people, not
	reparations for what has been done in the past.

Now let's get serious and talk about real oppression.

	Lou, I hope the bastards get what they deserve for letting
	you go...I'm sure that someday, some wet-behind-the-ears
	greenhorn will screw something up.

But prejudice is not our problem. Capitalism is. Capitalism is causing 
the economic insecurity of women, minorities and older people. Unlike 
a college professor, I have never been able to earn tenure somewhere 
as a computer programmer. If Columbia decided to outsource its data-
processing tomorrow, I'd be shit out of luck. I am basically expendable.
This should be no surprise since the Board of Trustees at 
Columbia University is made up of the same people who run Wall 
Street.

	This is correct-o-mundo, Lou.  Wisely spoken.  Has anyone
	else read the pamphlet by Gus Hall entitled "Capitali$m
	Kills"?  This says a lot of things about America today.

Let's cut the bullshit once and for all. Our problem is not hate-speech. 
One of the most horrible legacies of the postmodernists has been to 
legitimize the idea that prejudicial speech is causing racial or 
sexual oppression. They shift the blame away from the capitalist class
and toward "offenders" who refuse to treat people fairly. Columbia has
stringent speech codes. It is one of the most "progressive" colleges in
the country on this score. This, however, does not prevent it from
evicting minority tenants from buildings that are in spaces targeted for
conversion into university buildings. This was in fact what sparked the
student protest of 1968.

	I couldn't agree more, Comrade.  This proves that
	hate-speech is not the problem, our real problem is losing
	the sight of our goal, and losing the purpose of our fight.
	
Finally, on the whole question of Professor Yudice and Professor Cox 
"grading" the list. Listen here, fellows, we don't need people lurking 
in the background ready to jump in and slap an 18 year old like Anthony
Caruso on the wrist when he makes a "sexist" remarks. If you were regular
participants on the list and made your own sensibilities more apparent,
then perhaps these difficulties wouldn't have arisen.

	No....let's jump into a conversation halfway through it and
	*then* try to nitpick on the details of it, when the parts we
	*needed* to hear happened when we were both blindfolded
	with our noses in a corner somewhere totally out of the
	touch of reality. Yeah, let's do *that*   Mmm hmm...we're
	adults.

 I certainly am dedicated but don't consider myself wise at all. I am as
Jon Flanders and Chris Burford have put it on occasions highly "erratic".
To balance this, I can claim to be an honest person, which sometimes gets
me in trouble nonetheless. Perhaps I will just have to live with this for
the rest of my life.

	It is good that you don't consider yourself wise, Lou.
	Socrates once said that he was wise enough to not consider
	himself wise.  He said something to the effect of "the wise
	man knows he is not wise and can thereby attain greater
	wisdom by not clouding reality."  It was something like
	that, anyway.  It was in Plato's "Apology of Socrates." 
	Lou, wise or not, I'm not to judge.  I do think, though, that
	you're a really good guy who came and helped me when I
	needed it to.  I just want you to not take the blame for
	people not being here.  If they can't tolerate the likes of
	*us* then we don't need them here because they're not
	*Marxists.*

Take Care,

Anthony J. Caruso
acaruso-AT-juno.com


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