>>> Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> 03/25/00 03:31PM >>>
Charles Brown wrote:
>Zizek seems pretty superficial from the discussions of him on this list.
By the way, Charles, was Henry's call for my "summary intellectual execution" - love that modifier; I love it when hedge fund Maoists speak metaphorically - a form of hate speech?
CB: "Hate speech" is not my thing. You will have to ask someone who uses that term. I am for , as part of a workers program for election, socialists running for state power, outlawing fascistic racist or genocidal speech.
And, no, Henry's comment was not fascistic racist or genocidal speech. It was typical e-mail list flaming, of the type that I have seen before many many times on this list alone. Methinks the effort is phony to portray Henry's comment above as worse than things I hear here all the time.
You make is seem like "hedge fund Maoist" is denigrating. Engels was cotton manufacturer revolutionary ( cotton was the biggest industry in England in the Industrial Revolution, something like a hedge fund on the leading money making edge today) and Vol.s II and III of Capital and Theories of Surplus Value , not to mention _The Manifesto of the Communist Party_ and the International, were great beneficiaries of Engels experience. Harping on the occupations of Communists is juvenile left analysis. Marx's wife was a Prussian aristocrat. Her brother was head of the Prussian secret police in a particularly reactionary period. Marx depended on Engels for money often.
I'm glad we have someone like Henry on the inside for us.
Should I regard it as the verbal equivalent of murder and demand his arrest and imprisonment?
CB: You'd have to bust about 10 people on this list first for their verbal murders.
But the effort to say that I defend freedom of speech less than you or others is a vein one. I am a Communist. Communists have been more victims of violation of freedom of speech than liberals or left liberals. So, we are more acutely aware of the value of freedom of speech than the ACLU types. That doesn't prevent us from drawing a sharp line that excludes specifically fascistic racist speech. The problem with crossing that line or not being able to distinguish "flaming" on e-mail from fascistic racist speech is yours, not mine. There's no "slippery slope" between them.
I thought Henry's story about some Chinese using Bibles for toilet paper was perfect. It is such a nice counter to Biblio fetishism and worship of books by the predominantly mental laborers, the intellectuals , who think every book is wonderful just because it is a book, like every thought is wonderful , just because it is a thought. But it avoids the stigma of the burning books imagery, replacing it with a practical tear and wipe approach. The state doesn't burn the books. It just gives them to the people and lets them vote with their actions. How democratic.