Jacobins & Slaves (was Re: Gramsci Redux)

JKSCHW at aol.com JKSCHW at aol.com
Tue Oct 17 07:28:53 PDT 2000

Yoshie says:

> We should, however, refrain from judging
the Jacobins & Machiavelli by our contemporary democratic or socialist standards. Anachronism makes us ignore their democratic achievements while minimizing the anti-democratic aspects of their contemporaries in comparison.

Depends on our purposes. the question here was whether G is the most democratic of classical Marxists, Your own reply to his prefered choice of antecedent suggests that he was not. If we were to talk about the democratic achievement of Machiavelli or the Jacobins in their own time and on their own terms, I might agree.

But I would not pick them as my own antecedents--or anyway, if I were to, people who did have no right to sneer at my own preferences for Madison, Justices Marshall and Holmes, J.S. Mill, Learned Hand, and the like, who have their own democratic achievements as well as deficits. I needn't discuss our shared heros like Paine, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and the like.--jks.


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