File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-04-03.022, message 36


Subject: Re: M-I: Utica Rose 
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 02:38:28 +0300


Siddharth, are you aware that I posted the very same post because Jerry Levy
asked a Stalinist person if it would not be better if he left for Leninlist?
I wasn't defending klo's position or views, I am not now defending Utica's
position or views. I am not even suggesting that either of them have
anything worthwhile to say, or not. 

The list rules are pretty clear. Utica Rose hasn't violated the rules. 

As for this;

>What if there are right-wing reactionaries masquerading as "progressive"
>on this list? No clever person in this category is going to declare
>that s/he is such and such. Also, it is virtually impossible to provide
>proof of such on a mailing list. Since these two avenues are closed,
>what other path is open other than judgement based on observations over
>a period of time?

>To this you will probably reply that you do not believe in censorship
>which in itself is a noble sentiment. 

Actually, if this wasn't a mailing list but a speaking forum in a single
place, I'd agree with all sentiment regarding not letting known "right-wing
reactionaries" speak at all. In real life, there are clear measures for it.
Cooperating with the security forces, the state, informing on fellow workers
to bosses etc. But, in this mailing list, how are you going to atest that
for anyone? So far, all the expulsion requests have been for political
difference or plain annoyance with someone. Regardless of what any of the
moderators thinks about person A or B's views, we can't expel anyone for
such a reason. Anyway, this is a public mailing list, all the archives are
public. We don't gain anything by not letting person A or B subscribe.

>But remember one thing: there is
>defacto censorship in the major mass media of our time. There will also
>be total censorship if the fascists seize control and wipe all of us out.

Yeah. That's why all working class forums should stay as far away from
censorship as possible, right?

>As you know, I recently received a public warning from Louis G for
>forwarding *one* post which contained a reply from a person you had
>criticized in your previous mail. Yet, Utica Rose has been continuously
>posting his/her reactionary remarks for weeks, and when two people
>(Doug Henwood and Louis Proyect) criticized this and asked her/him to
>go away, you immediately rush to Utica's defense. 

I repeat, it is a standard post of mine. I post it whenever someone asks
someone else to leave because they are annoyed with that. As for her (isn't
Utica a female name?) remarks being reactionary, that is exactly where the
moderators draw the line. We can't decide that, we don't have such political
mandate. 

>In the end, the question is: does anything matter, is anything of importance?
>Anything goes?

What matters is having forums of maximum availability with minimum
censorship. Actually, what's lowering the quality of the posts is the
make-up of the contributors, not the rules. The alternative is closed lists
in which one has to prove his/her worth (by accepting a certain legacy in
the left as the only legacy).

Zeynep



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