newbie on Participatory Economics

Mathew Forstater forstate at
Tue Jul 21 08:18:44 PDT 1998

On Tue, 21 Jul 1998, Doug Henwood wrote:

> Blind item of the day - what famous localist critic of technology and
> development won't go anywhere without a first-class air ticket being
> provided?

Well, I remember you making some similar comment about Vandana Shiva a year or two ago on the femecon list. and Louis Proyect makes some similar--though not altogether clear--remark on his web-page, I believe in the article on the Rethinking Marxism conference of a couple years ago, so that's my guess. But, not being an insider and having no more information than this, I have a feeling this is not entirely fair or useful. I mean how many times does it bear repeating and are there some double standards being employed here? Maybe the meanings are simple and clear-cut, but maybe not. I have to deal with these kinds of contradictions all the time, like when I want to bring a speaker to campus, people who have ideological differences try to taint the substance of the speaker's work by implying that they should be held to a different standard then others with regard to honoraria or other details of their visit. If I bring a socialist to campus, should they ask for no honorarium? Like we should only allocate the money for speakers to pro-capitalist types?? Some radical speakers take money from institutions that can afford it, but also do lots of free stuff for organizations that can't. And if we want to bring a radical enivironmentalist, should we make them sleep outside or turn the heat off in their room? Maybe there is more to this, but like I said I don't know. It certainly doesn't make me question the substance of Shiva's work that I wouldn't question otherwise. I don't know all the details, but I find much of her message important and would be cautious about drawing hasty conclusions. And it just gets tiring when people on the left, women, people of color, 'third world' radicals, are held to a different standard. Maybe they should hold themselves to a different standard, maybe there is a line that shouldn't be crossed without it being hypocritical, but I'm not sure who should be 'policing' this stuff, or just how useful the repetition of this sort of gossip is. If she can get out more, do more activity, then I don't have a problem with it necessarily. She probably takes a lot of very long flights, etc. I'm probably sounding like an apologist, but I'm just saying it's not all so crystal clear to me. What is she supposed to do, swim?


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