The Left, The Public, was Re: Ideology....

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Mon May 28 18:32:47 PDT 2001

kelley wrote:
> and, moreover, all those feminists have actually tread the ground you tread
> carrol. you're reinventing the wheel if you think you're telling me
> something.

Of course.

When first young _Maro_* in his boundless Mind

A work t'outlast Immortal _Rome_ design'd,

Perhaps he seem'd _above_ the Critick's Law,

And but from _Nature's Fountains_ scorn'd to draw:

But when t'examine ev'ry Part he came,

_Nature_ and _Homer_ were, he found, the _same_

Convinc'd, amaz'd, he checks the bold Design,

And Rules as strict his labour'd Work confine,

As if the _Stagyrite_^ o'erlooked each Line.

Learn hence for Ancient _Rules_ a just Esteem;

To copy _Nature_ is to copy _Them_.

(*Virgil; ^Aristotle)

(A. Pope, _Essay on Criticism_, 130-140)

I'm not telling anyone anything very new (I hope), and my interest in that post was not at all in the women's movement but in my point about "SUV drivers." I want to keep alive the distinction between meaningful and not meaningful categories. SUV drivers is at best a trivial category, at worst (as in the present case I think) a corruption of political thought.

And on other lists I am (or will be) involved in an effort to maintain the meaningfulness of the category "capitalism," against the efforts of (at least some) world-systems adherents, and the tendency of Blaut's arguments, to reduce it to mush by equating it with commercial activity.

Nominalism is a powerful tool but a destructive master.


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