File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 661


Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 14:55:58 -0500
Subject: Re: M-I: So, the nanny's "guilty"?



On Fri, 31 Oct 1997 11:09:28 -0500 Louis Proyect <lnp3-AT-columbia.edu>
writes:
>But it is safe to say that you are missing the point by bringing up 
>the
>German situation. Louis G. views the German working class after WWI to 
>be
>as retrograde as the American working class of today. I argued that
>Goldhagen slandered the German workers as being supportive of Hitler, 
>but
>Louis G. never made this point. He simply said that Goldhagen's thesis 
>is
>ammunition against the Palestinian people. Which is true.

That of course supports my point that Lou Godena's beef was not with
Goldhagen's thesis as such but with Goldhagen himself.  In other
words his criticisms of Goldhagen were almost entirely ad hominem
in nature.  But given Lou G's championing of the views on this list
of such reactionaries as Samuel P. "Mad dog" Huntington I don't
think that he is in the strongest position to object to Goldhagen on
account of his Zionism
>
>I have no idea why people are surprised at this point when they hear 
>Louis
>G. rail against the American working-class. I have come to expect this 
>the
>way that I would expect to hear an elderly uncle complain about his 
>bunions.
>
Yet when the American working class shows signs of awakening from
its somnolence like the recent UPS strike Lou remained thoroughly
contemptuous.  Apparently, no labor action short of outright insurrection
can ever hope to meet Lou's standards of revolutionary purity.  Such
criterion besides being politically unrealistic are in my view quite
un-Marxist as well.  Marx recognized that labor victories like the UPS
strike as limited and imperfect as they may be were necessary for
the development of a deeper class consciousness.  Ron Carey is
no doubt a flawed union boss but the fact remains that a strike like
that at UPS took place under his watch.  It is inconceivable that such
a strike could have occurred under the Teamsters' "old guard."  And
if such a strike had occurred under their watch it is even more
inconceivable that it would have ended as favorably.

I do not pretend to understand all the intricacies of Godena-thought.
It appears to involve a mixture of Maoism with a strong dose of
Nietzsche mediated by Foucault with a dollop of Samuel Huntington
and perhaps a few drops of Charles Murray and James Q. Wilson.

Sometimes when reading Godena I am reminded of the French
'Maos' of the 1960s and 1970s.  Like Lou many of the French
Maoists were excellent writers.  Like Lou they were revolutionary
purists.  And yet one must ask whatever happened to French
Maoism?  At its height it had the support of such intellectual
heavyweights such as Sartre, De Beauvoir, Foucault and Althusser.
The cream of France's intellectual youth during the '60s to mid-70s
were Maoists but by the end of the 70s Maoism was for all intents
and purposes was dead.  Many of the activists joined Mitterand's
Socialists.  Some of the intellectuals renounced Marxism and socialism
altogether and became "new philosophers."  Some turned to religion
like one young man who had been Sartre's personal assistant during his
dotage and who suddenly converted to Orthodox Judaism.  Why do
I suspect that  the Maoism represented by Godena will be not be 
any more lasting?

		James F.


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