File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-03-16.132, message 66

Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 17:15:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: M-I: Betrayals?

On Sat, 15 Mar 1997, Paul Zarembka wrote:

> But mistakes did become eventual betrayals: If you wish more back-up on
> the degeneration and the 4th CI congress about Versailles, the Ruhr
> occupation by French imperialism and the "nationalist' deviations of
> western CP parties, please read (re-read??) "A History of Soviet Russia'
> by EH Carr, Vols 1 & 2, Bolshevik Revolution 1917-23 & The Interregnum
> 1923-24, Mc Millan Press. 1950, 1954.
> 	I'll welcome any reactions.  Paul Z.

Louis: Here is my reaction. You are driving this mailing list into the
ground by going over the same old Lenin-Stalin-Trotsky questions. I just
got mail from Scott McLemee stating that there was "too much aggression"
on m-i and that it was starting to look too much like m-1. There goes the
reporter on CLR James and black nationalism, and there goes the
cyberseminar. It also very likely spells the beginning of the long
degrading descent of m-i.

We had a split last year between people whose hatred of Stalin ran so deep
that they couldn't abide being on a mailing list with such people. Thus
m-2 was formed. M-1 was the next go go, dragged down to the bottom of the
ocean by spam from Sweden.

M-I was formed with an unclear focus. We should have insisted that sterile
rehashing of the Stalin-Lenin-Trotsky question led to nothing but flame
wars. I was right. Part of the problem is that the original concept of m-i
was somewhat mechanical. We would attract more international subscribers
because they had fewer messages to download. This was not a basis to form
a mailing list on. Of course we were against people posting 25 times a
day, but didn't articulate what the list was for except global 

I thought and still think that the Lenin-Stalin-Trotsky question can be
discussed but not by people who have a vested interest in the subject. In
other words people who are building parties that trace their pedigree from
their current guru to Stalin (or Trotsky) back to Lenin, and then back to
Marx and Engels. The result is plain for all to see. Flame wars.

I am kicking around the idea of forming a new Spoons Marxism list with the
sort of political focus a number of us share. This list roughly speaking
would identify with the current represented by the Monthly Review,
Socialist Register, Socialismus, Capitalism, Socialism and Nature. 
Stalinophobia would be prohibited, so would Trotsky-phobia. As a matter of
fucking fact, I am getting to the point where I would like to bar anybody
the minute who drags these dead Russians one more time out of their grave.

At any rate, I have been corresponding with lots of people on this list
over the last two years or so and we seem to know what we want. We want
Marxist analysis of current events. We want to work towards a Marxism
without dogma. We want to relate to each other in a thinking, respectful
and comradely manner.

But these fucking "Russian" questions are like an anchor dragging us down.
Justin Schwartz's group Solidarity includes in its founding document a
call to put this question into the background. This makes excellent sense.
Some day when we are wiser and better socialists, we will be able to
discuss these things. In the meantime, it is draining all the energy out
of this mailing list and forcing good people to split.

Louis Proyect

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