Anarchism / Marxism debates

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Fri Aug 20 13:25:03 PDT 1999

>>> Doug Henwood <dhenwood at> 08/20/99 01:28PM >>>
[another address oddity]

From: "Eric Beck" <rayrena at> Date: Fri, 20 Aug 99 13:11:54 -0400

Charles wrote:

>Of course, I seriously think the Chinese >and Mao Tse-tung have made a much
>more important contributions to
>bringing real socialism into the world
>than the Marxist-Humanists and
>Dunayevskaya, or the utopians we have >been discussing on this thread.

You got a turd in your pocket, Charles? Seems to me that it's been primarily you who's been excoriating the "utopians" and "humanists," which of course is all well and good, but I think it would be helpful if you could at least indicate, in some small, who you are talking about when you use that label, and what ideas you are criticizing.


Charles: Actually, it was someone else who introduced the term "utopian" here , and I picked up on the thread. You'll have to look back at the earlier posts for yourself ( cause I sure ain't going to do it since you are so impolite )."Humanist" is the term that Dunayevskaya coined for her own group, and someone else mentioned Dunayevskaya. Actually, Marxism is humanism.


It might be helpful also if you dropped the extreme dogma, just for a few seconds. I have this image of you typing your messages, then scurrying to your Marx Concordance to reassure yourself that you didn't violate the Orthodoxy in any way.


Charles: Your comment here is a stereotypical bourgeois liberal slander of rigorous yet creative application of Marxism. In fact, your comment is so typical of a liberal posture towards Marxism , it amounts to liberal anti-Marxist dogma. I could find 10,000 comments identical to yours among the professors and students with liberal , anti-communist brainwashing. Couldn't you come up with something a little more original, given that you are trying to stick me with not being able to think on my own ? Yours is not a very original criticism of Marxism. And it has been refuted very often.

Your comment here illustrates the liberal fetish of "original ideas" or "new ideas". You are also engaged in pseudo-critical thinking. There is much more critical thinking in my approach than yours.

I don't need to reassure myself , because I understand the theory and it makes sense. It is like any scientific theory: there is a need for rigor and discipline as well as creativity and openness to new situations. Criticizing a Maxist for rigor is like criticizing a physicist for rigor. When I look up a formulation in a classic it is the equivalent of a physicist looking up a formulation in Einstein or Planck. Yet, of course, Einstein was a change from Newton. So rigor does not negate creativity or critical thinking, in Marxism or physics.

Far from reciting dogma, I find my comments to be extremely creative and flexible application of the fundamentally sound principles. I amaze myself sometimes how active my mind is in bringing the Marxist fundamentals to bear on novel situations and comments.


Sorry to be all pissy and advisory. But this could be a good discussion, only between your unexplained (and, I think, confused) conflation of the non-Marxist left with head-in-the-clouds utopianism and rugged-individualism, and your belief in the absolute infallibility of every swipe of Marx's plume, I can't find a point of entry into it. ((((((((((((((

Charles: Actually, I would say I have discovered an accurate generalization about the non-Marxist left, which is what moved me to initiate this thread , and is probably why it has drawn so many comments. You probably won't enter the fray because the truth hurts sometimes.

Drop some of that liberal and petit bourgeois dogma , and try some fresh, critical ideas.

Charles Brown

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