Remedial Class Struggle

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Tue Jun 2 20:59:06 PDT 1998

> >Carrol Cox wrote:
> >
> >>Where could one get more information about the Manhattan institute,
> >>particularly on the advice about college students?
> >
> >I was afraid you'd ask that. I got this bit of intelligence from Josh
> >Mason. Josh, you here?
> >
> >Doug
> Jeez, you write something in In These Times, you don't expect to have to
> actually back it up.

Let me explain why I asked this question, because it bears on a point I have felt strongly about for a long time: radical or revolutionary ought, whenever possible, be footnoted. When I read Doug's observation, it immediately occurred to me that I could make use of it in what I suppose one would call agitational work -- of underlining for people I had worked with and might again (most of them not in the academic community) the hollowness of certain "promises" in our country. But if I were going to do that I would have to give something more solid as a basis for it than "I know it because a real smart marxist friend on the internet told me so."

I have increasingly felt that one distinction between "liberals" and "radicals" was that the former merely tried to persuade or inform their reader, the latter tried to put weapons in the hands of their readers, and that means (among other things) always indicating where one's information comes from, communicating it in a way that it can be persuasively used in varying contexts (all of which you cannot possibly guess in advance).

One of the great virtues of my two favorite publications on the left, Doug's LBO and *Prison Legal News*, is that both always provide the kind of packaging that makes them reusable in daily political work.


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