Mindspring censorship

Alex LoCascio alexlocascio at juno.com
Mon Feb 8 03:14:30 PST 1999

On Sun, 7 Feb 1999 22:01:33 EST Apsken at aol.com writes:
>Sigh. No, Alex, I am not in favor of suppressing discussion, on this or
>other subject. It is a closed issue AMONG MARXISTS. As I wrote earlier,
do you
>wish also to open a discussion of creationism? How about the flat earth?

Terrible analogy. Issues like creationism and the shape of the earth have been settled (for the most part) by natural science. A Marxist justification for believing the earth is round makes about as much sense as having a Marxist justification for believing that rain makes the grass grow.

>So now activism is meaningless, while this type of drivel has true

Yes, "activism" is meaningless. Note that I made a distinction between "struggle" and "activism." Workers fighting to protect their jobs or against contract concessions; that's a struggle. Kids mindlessly clamoring for "a day without the Pentagon," that's useless "activism."

> If Alex cannot locate organizations
>fighting for women's right to reproductive freedom in his location
>assistance from me

There's a local chapter of Planned Parenthood, but they don't perform abortions. Hence, they have no need for volunteers to escort women to and from the clinic. They merely provide counseling and information services. I have nothing to offer them. They have a staff of professionals for that sort of thing. If they decided to start offering abortion services, I assure you I'd be volunteering my time.

>Alex is not a sympathetic character, Frances. He's spent the past six
>(at least; that's about where I subscribed) whining that no worthwhile
>political activity is possible for him, all the while cynically trashing
>others' activism.

Strawman again. Don't you ever get tired of misrepresenting your opponents? What I did say once a few months back was that most "activism" is shallow and myopic, not grounded in any comprehensive theory, and thus ultimately ineffective.

There are exceptions of course, but then at the point that "activism" ceases to be shallow and myopic, it also ceases to be "activism" and becomes "struggle." The attempt to create a viable Labor-based party is a struggle. The fight to save Mumia Abu-Jamal's life is a struggle. Fighting anti-abortion terrorists is a struggle.

Waltzing around in front of the Pentagon calling for an end to war is meaningless activism. See the distinction, here?

>Now Alex has taken a turn for the worse. Anyone who professes adherence
>Marxism, but who needs a "Marxist" justification for struggling against
>oppression, is seeking one of two things: charitably, he's looking for

*YAWN* Obviously you're the one with a religious temperament. People who creave true religion don't NEED justifications for their beliefs. They take them for granted. I crave REASONS for holding certain convictions. You berate me for not taking certain "truths" for granted. YOU are the grand inquisitor and I the heretic.

>But suppose Alex is right -- Lynchburg is bourgeois heaven where
everyone is
>rich from clipping coupons, nearby proletarians have been anesthetized,
no one
>is exploited or oppressed, and there is no struggle.

Obviously no one is rich from clipping coupons, but your point about nearby proletarians being anesthetized has more than a little truth to it. Yes, exploitation and opression exist, but there certainly is no struggle.

>Well, Marxists and
>radicals are the most mobile cosmopolitan people on earth, always going
>the action is, as I've done so often and continue to do [i.e., this
>nostalgia, Alex; that's just your pretext for denial.].

Gosh, if only I were economically secure enough to just abandon it all and go trotting off on some Marxist adventuring! Unfortunately, I have real life problems to contend with: school, work, family, trying to climb into the middle-class, etc. Maybe you're one of those privileged radicals from the 60s who could afford to go where the struggle was. Not all of us are so fortunate.

>But is Alex telling us
>the truth? I doubt there is a community in this country that lacks
protests to
>free Mumia.

Believe it. There is *NO* effort here to free Mumia. I think it's mighty presumptuous of you to assume that struggle is so ubiquitous.

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