Paul Henry Rosenberg rad at gte.net
Thu Dec 3 13:24:04 PST 1998

Doug Henwood wrote:

> Alex LoCascio wrote:
> >The fact of the matter is that most "activism" in this
> >country IS reformist and NOT ideological.
> And a lot of the "activists" I've come across are proudly, deeply
> anti-intellectual - a perfect mirror image of those intellectuals who are
> proudly, deeply anti-activist (e.g. Jameson's denunciation of Bob Fitch for
> being an "activist"). An opposition that leads to the impoverishment of
> both.

Halleluah, brother!

Then, of course, we've got the anti-intellectual intellectuals, and the anti-activist activists, etc., but if we really got serious about dealing with this central antagonism, it would work wonders.

Activism opens intellectual vistas that are otherwise difficult, if not impossible to imagine, much less recognize.

Intellectuals JUST KNOW that the reverse is true, of course. But then Alex LoCascio writes:

> Those of us who don't live near any centers of
> struggle have no choice but to become armchair Marxists.
> If there were real, worthwhile activism 'round these parts,
> I'd be the first at the barricades. But it's just not so.

which really makes me wonder. You can't think of ANYTHING to do? What kind of intellectual is that? I don't mean to be snide. I can be equally blind in other ways. I just really want to know. If your intellectualization doesn't yield ANY activism at all, indeed, yields a CERTAINTY that nothing is to be done, isn't this a sign that something is seriously wrong?

Perhaps you think that reform efforts = reformism, and thus nothing short of "the barricades" quite measures up.

If so, your complete inaction might be reason enough to revisit that assumption.

After all, Marx supported reforms in his day. Surely there must be SOME reforms worth struggling for nearby that have seeds of future struggle in them, no?

-- Paul Rosenberg Reason and Democracy rad at gte.net

"Let's put the information BACK into the information age!"

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