Crimes of Unreason

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Wed Mar 10 07:43:35 PST 1999

Max Sawicky wrote:

>There's nobody like that here. I be surprized to learn of anybody on this
>list with any partiality towards capital punishment who has devoted the
>slightest bit of time to that cause, other than e-mail speculations, whereas
>the entirety of my time is about the other stuff, for the past 30 years. In
>fact, I wouldn't even be going on about this, but for the fact that goofy
>equations between depraved murders, factory owners, and the Mayor of New
>York just make what I try to do more difficult. The problem is, people
>mistake you for me, so when they see me, they expect you. And I have to
>waste time explaining the difference. Or that I know the difference between
>a guy who runs an unsafe factory, and someone who walks through a Long
>Island Railroad train, shooting people dead at random. (Hint: the
>difference is not that one is innocent and one isn't.)

Max, what would happen if you told some of the people that you see in DC every day that a factory or farm owner who consciously poisons his workers is a murderer? Or that the Mayor of NYC has run an oppressive and murderous regime? They'd think you were nuts, right? But these things are true, aren't they? That's the nature of hegemonic discourse - if you call a cop or a factory owner a killer you're perceived as wacky, out there, not a serious person. But if one foams at the mouth about welfare moms or crack babies or railroad shooters then you're just normal. Isn't that definition of normalcy worth fighting in itself? Why do you consider it a waste of time to explain yourself? Face it, your views on social security and a debt paydown are almost as unusual in the eyes of the master discourse as are Yoshie's and mine on factory owners and Rudy Giuliani.


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