[lbo-talk] $39,000 handbag

Julio Huato juliohuato at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 08:11:32 PDT 2011

Joseph wrote:

> I'll admit that I have no idea what it is you or Carrol
> actually do, beyond posting here, but wouldn't base
> my opinions of your politics on that.

Aside from his academic work, which is well regarded by those who know about English lit, Carrol has a welt of experience as a left-wing activist (not sure he'll like the title of "activist") that -- considering his longevity -- none of us here have much of a chance to match. Without having much knowledge of her background, I am sure shag (although much younger than Carrol, because we're all here much younger than Carrol) has a measure of experience and involvement as an activist and intellectual as well. I guess they can speak for themselves, if they so wish. But they shouldn't have to. I take their personal authority for granted. I am not really questioning anybody's credentials here.

Moreover: Sometimes, I sincerely wonder -- as I said on PEN-L -- whether Carrol is actually sharing with us some higher Yoda-master type of wise bites in cabalistic language and I'm just too limited and obtuse in my understanding to grasp them. So I can't discard that others are getting this deeper truth in Carrol's remarks that eludes me. Frankly, I don't think so. But I cannot know for sure.

Furthermore, I cannot really question directly what Carrol or others think, except to the extent their thoughts are well communicated to me -- and well understood by me! Something that I'm never absolutely sure, since I know for a fact that what I write here often betrays what I intend to say and I what I read here is frequently what I want to read rather than what others actually write.

While I have no doubts whatever about the justice and *morality* of the needs and aspirations of working people (and, therefore, the political left) for a better society, and that keeps me from being indecisive in practical matters, in terms of a precise understanding of how the world actually functions (ourselves included), I'm just a bundle of doubts, even if sometimes my highly opinionated nature comes across as certainty.

I believe with Isaac Deutscher that only inert minds don't oscillate. Obviously, like Rosa Luxemburg used to say, we tend to believe that our opinions are correct and others' are wrong, hence we argue strenuously. And we often demand that others prove themselves with actions while we cut ourselves plenty of leash just because we know our intentions are good. But this whole thing should all be in good faith or it is not really going to help.

What I'm really trying to do here is to get to this understanding, which I believe is ultimately about us, about how we lead our lives, how we use our limited time here, how we get more humanity per unit of humanity spent. I know there's nothing keeping us from trying our luck one way or the other. But, if our brains evolved like all the other organs of our body seemed to have evolved, then maybe some mental effort can help us reduce the cost of acquiring that understanding.

But I want to keep this as a personal reflection/meta-thought FWIW, since I'd be repeating myself if I tried to say more about the content of this thread.

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