FW: in defense of opportunism/hating the white working class

Steve Perry sperry at usinternet.com
Sat Nov 27 08:13:59 PST 1999

to the end, i should have appended: "except as a subject of vague anthropological interest, under thread titles that usually include the words 'white trash."

-----Original Message----- From: Steve Perry [mailto:sperry at usinternet.com] Sent: Saturday, November 27, 1999 10:11 AM To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com Subject: RE: in defense of opportunism/hating the white working class

if you can tear yourself away from zizek for a moment, doug, i believe you'll see that his notes on larry pratt are not exactly the only thing ac has written on the subject of the folks who congregate around militia gatherings, and it's disingenuous in the extreme to continually invoke him as you do. the distaste and distrust for the white working class i infer from the sum of criticisms of cockburn, and more pointedly from their absence here as a subject of inquiry.

-----Original Message----- From: owner-lbo-talk at lists.panix.com [mailto:owner-lbo-talk at lists.panix.com]On Behalf Of Doug Henwood Sent: Saturday, November 27, 1999 10:01 AM To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com Subject: Re: in defense of opportunism/hating the white working class

Steve Perry wrote:

>in other words, i think the distrust of
>opportunism round here is synonymous with a
>distrust and distaste for the white working
>class at large--those (mostly urban) few who
>are still members of organized labor perhaps excepted. where exactly is the
>left to go,
>what is it to do, as long as this prejudice
>obtains? say a few more words about judith
>butler et al., i suppose.

Really? Who precisely expressed "distrust and distaste for the white working class at large"? I've read lots of specific criticisms of odious figures like Larry Pratt, but in criticizing apologists for death squads, I don't see any criticism of the WWCAL; I've seen criticisms of gun-o-philia, but that doesn't translate in to a criticism for the WWCAL either, does it?; I've seen criticisms of the class not race/gender school of thought, but again, how does that translate into hostility to the WWCAL?; I've seen criticisms of Ron Paul, a right-wing theocratic nut whose status as representative of the WWCAL remains not proved. I haven't even seen a kind word about Morris Dees, despite claims to the contrary.

What I have seen are a couple of rhetorical tricks - claim that critiques of the Pratt/Paul school of thought translates into a paralyzing fear of the masses, and the exasperated, eye-rolling invocation of Judith Butler, as if her work or interest in her work was a sinister detour away from the real business of politics, whatever that may be (though I suspect the WWCAL figures prominently). In fact, no one who's cited or talked about Butler has displayed any lack of interest in what some people like to think of as "real" politics - political economy, unions, state power, class, the distribution of material resources. Why this unproductive, divisive, and anti-intellectual rhetorical tic persists is beyond me.

>a last thought on opportunism: the russian
>revolution was eminently opportunistic--it's
>hard to think how any political revolution
>could be otherwise, isn't it?--so does that
>mean marx would have protested? that he'd have
>said no, wait for several decades until russia
>has passed through a capitalist phase, as i

Is Larry Pratt the American Lenin?


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