Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Wed Mar 22 11:27:30 PST 2000

>>> Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> 03/22/00 08:52AM >>>
Charles Brown wrote:

>Put it down in your diary. Doug took a definite position on something.
>This is not a Marxist list, but it is definitely for state
>protection of Nazi and KKK speech.

...and if I had an investment in developing some sort of purified Marxism,


CB: Here we go some more. "If". You want to comment as "if" a Marxist, without taking the chance of actually being one. You want to dip in and "have" a Marxist position to criticize my Marxism, but leave yourself the escape that you are not really a Marxist. You are not a Marxist, but you know Marxism better than Marxists do. You want to disdain "purified" Marxism, but make arguments based on your version of what you disdain.

This is a general "advantage" in arguments for those who take no definite positions. They can criticize everybody else, but can't be criticized themselves because they have no definite position to criticize.

This is one of the games of the post-modernist "debate". Sometimes the defenders of post modernism, say there is no such thing as post-modernism. So, natch, nobody can criticize something that doesn't exist.

The critical, critical critics who can't be criticized.


I'd say that this position of yours isn't even Marxist; I'd point to Marx's articles on freedom of the press that Angela posted here long ago. I might have even done that a year or two ago.

********** CB: I responded to Angela's quotation when it was posted.

In that article, Marx does not say freedom of speech is an absolute or highest right, nor does he discuss it in relation to the right to be free of slavery. I , like Marx, am for freedom of speech. The issue here is not an abstract discussion of freedom of speech, but the concrete relationship between freedom from racism and freedom of speech.

It is not Marxist to dip in and take little bits of what Marx says here and there, applying them out of context , but ignore other major parts of what he says that you don't like, parts which give an opposite significance to the little part you take. Marxism is dialectical, i.e. Marx intended it to be construed as a whole. Breaking off parts of it is not "purified" or authentic Marxism. It is not an accurate representation of Marx's thinking.


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