File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-04-21.135, message 59


Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 18:38:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: M-I: PANIC LEFTIST- FRAME SIXTEEN






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Revolutionary Marxist Collective U/Buffalo


PANIC LEFTIST-FRAME SIXTEEN





Christi-Ann: You are not the only one laughing at us: the whole world is!
We are SO FUNNY....

		Here's a second look at ... 



**************************************************
PANIC HOLSTUN:
FIFTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT A CENTRIST COMPRADOR                                   						
**************************************************


We have read your text and did not find it funny at all. It is such a sad
text: a text which is utterly devoid of any "orginality," "voice," "tone"
(these are, by the way, "values" that you teach--they are NOT ours) and is
completely lacking in any ability to grasp its own conditions of
production. (e.g., the political complicity of the "Thompsonite" left
with the ludic left in their rejection of "principles" and "ruthless
critique" and advocation instead of "consensus" and "conversation"
("DIALOGUE") as the markers of "good" (authentic) politics. Both of these
are of course the conditions of possibility for the abandonment of class
struggle politics in favor of the bourgeois subtleties of the diverse
hegemonic coalition--of "shared beliefs" (This is radical democracy NOT
Marxist-Leninism, Prof. Holstun, in case we still have to spell it out for
you).  Having long ago abandoned the concepts which could provide you with
a rigorous understanding of the world-historical situation, your panic-ky
"response" is reduced to echoing what is by now a set of cliches endlessly
reiterated in all encounters with our text.  All of these encounters have
the exact same deep structure--with variations depending where they are
published and who is speaking them:  

They all

1. Find our text very funny (the nervous laughter of the petty bourgeois
in the presence of ideas)

2.They all present to us their own credentials as Marxists ("I believe. .
.. in my heart of hearts")

3.They have one or two choice words for Zavarzadeh, Morton, Syracuse
University....

4.They all say our text is unreadable (but its unreadability in no way, it
seems, prevent our critics from responding to it!!!!)

5. They all tell us what good activists the writers are (the zone of REAL
politics)

6. They laugh some more and reassure us that they have found us funny.

7, They find gaps in our logic (in the very text that they say is
"unreadable"). 

8. They laugh some more (it looks like that whenever they cannot
understand something they just find their own ignorance quite funny).

9. They laugh some more.

10. And they tell us we are funny.

11. They all begin by going on about how how stoop-id we are but end up
saying we are "intelligent people."  This incoherence is the core strategy
of a centrist comprador that treats everything as a "deal".

12. They say we do not reach anyone and yet try very hard to protect
their constituency from us.  In fact most of these texts are written not
to us but to the various writers own constituencies in whose eyes they
have lost credibility.  The attack on us is simply a way of gaining
credibility with their (former?) clients in the academy.

13. They advise us to "learn" from them--"hit the books"

14.  They say: you have not read the book you are writing about , have
you?  If we say, "yes" they say , you have mis-read it, if we say "no",
they say: I told you so (the game of the deal-er)

15. They say we are very funny


We find all these texts quite sad: grown men and women who are thrown into
an identity crisis under pressure from a critique.  Grown men and women
who have "selected" Wood (thinking that by choosing her they have, once
and for all proven their radical credentials) only to see that that choice
looks more like the choice of a comprador tied to more trade with
Monthly Review and its bankrupt agenda.


Keep correcting punctuations!...and oh, yes: aestheticize at all costs. 
Use STYLE as a marker: who said the aestheticization of the everyday
is the sure sign of cyberfascism?

All these texts are quite sad: uncureable cases of mourning and
melancholia...




(Republished from previous post)




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