It's a Battlefield Out There, Culturally Speaking by Edward Rothstein (FWD from NY Times)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Dec 8 11:05:12 PST 1998

Alex LoCascio:
>So, does this mean you won't be taking part in the Judith Butler group
>reading? I was kinda hoping you'd supply the healthy doses of Marxist

I have yet to hear anything that she has said that would move me to further reading. I have read Doug's citations from her NLR article and it reminds me of everything that I found appalling in the Barnard strike a couple of years ago.

Judith Schapiro, the President of Barnard, is a well-established feminist scholar who writes about transgender issues. When the primarily African-American clerical staff organized by the UAW went on strike to defend their health insurance gains, she tried to break their strike. Class matters in the final analysis and the pomos try to bury it. The most compelling indictment of all these pomos is that their profile in political struggles, as opposed to their output to prestigious journals, is nearly zero.

Between Spartacist League super-dogmatism and Judith Butler, I guess I can understand why Doug would choose the latter. However, genuine Marxism does not read like the Sparts. Mariategui, CLR James and Gramsci understood how class and non-class forms of oppression interacted dialectically. It was Stalinism that set a poor example for the intelligentsia. Oddly enough, you get the Genoveses, who started out as Stalinists, using the same sort of arguments today but with a neoconservative spin.

Louis Proyect


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list