[Marxism-Thaxis] Hochschild on Lumumba

2011-01-17 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
Yesterday was  the 50th anniversary of his assassination:
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/opinion/17hochschild.html
 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] John O'Neill Thomas Ubel on Otto Neurath

2011-01-08 Thread Jim Farmelant


Analyse  Kritik 30/2008 ( Lucius  Lucius, Stuttgart) p. 379–398
John O’Neill/Thomas Uebel

Logical Empiricism as Critical Theory?
The Debate Continues

Abstract: Is logical empiricism incompatible with a critical social
science? 
The longstanding assumption that it is incompatible has been prominent 
in recent debates about welfare economics. Sen’s development of a 
critical and descriptively rich welfare economics is taken by writers
such as 
Putnam, Walsh and Sen to involve the excising of the in?uence of logical 
empiricism on neo-classical economics. However, this view stands
in contrast to the descriptively rich contributions to political economy
of members of
the left Vienna Circle, such as Otto Neurath. This paper considers the
compatibility
of the meta-theoretical commitments of Neurath and others in the logical
empiricist
tradition with this ?rst-order critical political economy.

http://www.analyse-und-kritik.net/2008-2/AK_ONeill_Uebel_2008.pdf


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[Marxism-Thaxis] On Paul Samuleson as a tragic figure

2011-01-07 Thread Jim Farmelant


http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/varoufakis030111.html

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Guy Robinson on Thomas Kuhn

2010-12-30 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 10:22:14 -0500 Ralph Dumain
rdum...@autodidactproject.org writes:


 Itsworth 
 
 contemplating the symbiosis between Rosa's juvenile 
 Wittgensteinianism 
 and sectarianism. He differs from Henry Ford in declaring that, not 
 
 history, but all philosophy, is bunk. And if this doesn't show you 
 that 
 the British far left--if that's what he is--is not at the end of its 
 
 rope, what does?


Well, Rosa is a supporter of the British SWP
which is still officially committed towards 
dialectical materialism as the philosophical
basis for Marxism.  However, she is supported
by Richard Seymour who is very much a rising
star within that party and the far generally in
the UK. 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Guy Robinson on Thomas Kuhn

2010-12-30 Thread Jim Farmelant

On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 09:40:33 -0500 c b cb31...@gmail.com writes:
 Rosa,
 
 Marxist philosophy without theses ? Without theory ?

I think that claim has to be understood within the
context of Wittgensteinian philosophy.  For
Wittgenstein the only genuine propositions
are those about the external world since
those are the only kinds of statements that
can be confirmed or disconfirmed.  Therefore,
statements in mathematics and logic did not
qualify as genuine propositions in Wittgenstein's
view since they can be analyzed as being either tautologies
if true, or contradictions if false.  As Wittenstein put it in the
Tractatus:

-
6.1
The propositions of logic are tautologies.
6.2
Mathematics is a logical method.
The propositions of mathematics are equations, and therefore
pseudo-propositions.

6.3
Logical research means the investigation of all regularity. And outside
logic all is accident.
6.4
All propositions are of equal value.
6.5
For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be
expressed.
The riddle does not exist.

If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered.

Later on, Wittgenstein writes:

The propositions of logic therefore say nothing. (They are the analytical
propositions.)
6.12
The fact that the propositions of logic are tautologies shows the formal
-- logical -- properties of language, of the world.
That its constituent parts connected together in this way give a
tautology characterizes the logic of its constituent parts.

In order that propositions connected together in a definite way may give
a tautology they must have definite properties of structure. That they
give a tautology when so connected shows therefore that they possess
these properties of structure.

6.13
Logic is not a theory but a reflexion of the world.
Logic is transcendental.


Later on also:

6.113
It is the characteristic mark of logical propositions that one can
perceive in the symbol alone that they are true; and this fact contains
in itself the whole philosophy of logic. And so also it is one of the
most important facts that the truth or falsehood of non-logical
propositions can not be recognized from the propositions alone.

And eventually:


6.53
The right method of philosophy would be this: To say nothing except what
can be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, i.e. something
that has nothing to do with philosophy: and then always, when someone
else wished to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he
had given no meaning to certain signs in his propositions. This method
would be unsatisfying to the other -- he would not have the feeling that
we were teaching him philosophy -- but it would be the only strictly
correct method.
6.54
My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me
finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through
them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder,
after he has climbed up on it.)
He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.


7
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
--

For Wittgenstein, propositions of philosophy
are pseudo-propositions.  At worst they
nonsensical like the propositions of traditional
metaphysics.  At best, they turn out to be
propositions of logical analysis which are
still a species of pseudopropositions.
Hence, that's why for Wittgenstein there
cannot be theses or theories in philosophy.


 
 CB
 
 
 http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/theses/index.htm
 



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[Marxism-Thaxis] Guy Robinson on Thomas Kuhn

2010-12-23 Thread Jim Farmelant


Rosa Litchenstein has now published on her site the last of 
the Marxist philosopher Guy Robinson's essays:

http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/Robinson_Essay_Four_On_Misunderstanding_Scie
nce.htm

It's all about Thomas Kuhn.


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[Marxism-Thaxis] Terry Eagleton on The death of universities

2010-12-19 Thread Jim Farmelant

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/17/death-universities-ma
laise-tuition-fees

The Guardian
 17 December 2010

*The death of universities

Academia has become a servant of the status quo. Its malaise runs so much
deeper than tuition fees*

Terry Eagleton

Are the humanities about to disappear from our universities? The question
is
absurd. It would be like asking whether alcohol is about to disappear
from
pubs, or egoism from Hollywood. Just as there cannot be a pub without
alcohol, so there cannot be a university without the humanities. If
history,
philosophy and so on vanish from academic life, what they leave in their
wake may be a technical training facility or corporate research
institute.
But it will not be a university in the classical sense of the term, and
it
would be deceptive to call it one.

Neither, however, can there be a university in the full sense of the word
when the humanities exist in isolation from other disciplines. The
quickest
way of devaluing these subjects – short of disposing of them altogether –
is
to reduce them to an agreeable bonus. Real men study law and engineering,
while ideas and values are for sissies. The humanities should constitute
the
core of any university worth the name. The study of history and
philosophy,
accompanied by some acquaintance with art and literature, should be for
lawyers and engineers as well as for those who study in arts faculties.
If
the humanities are not under such dire threat in the United States, it
is,
among other things, because they are seen as being an integral part of
higher education as such.

When they first emerged in their present shape around the turn of the
18th
century, the so-called humane disciplines had a crucial social role. It
was
to foster and protect the kind of values for which a philistine social
order
had precious little time. The modern humanities and industrial capitalism
were more or less twinned at birth. To preserve a set of values and ideas
under siege, you needed among other things institutions known as
universities set somewhat apart from everyday social life. This
remoteness
meant that humane study could be lamentably ineffectual. But it also
allowed
the humanities to launch a critique of conventional wisdom.

From time to time, as in the late 1960s and in these last few weeks in
Britain, that critique would take to the streets, confronting how we
actually live with how we might live.

What we have witnessed in our own time is the death of universities as
centres of critique. Since Margaret Thatcher, the role of academia has
been
to service the status quo, not challenge it in the name of justice,
tradition, imagination, human welfare, the free play of the mind or
alternative visions of the future. We will not change this simply by
increasing state funding of the humanities as opposed to slashing it to
nothing. We will change it by insisting that a critical reflection on
human
values and principles should be central to everything that goes on in
universities, not just to the study of Rembrandt or Rimbaud.

In the end, the humanities can only be defended by stressing how
indispensable they are; and this means insisting on their vital role in
the
whole business of academic learning, rather than protesting that, like
some
poor relation, they don't cost much to be housed.

How can this be achieved in practice? Financially speaking, it can't be.
Governments are intent on shrinking the humanities, not expanding them.

Might not too much investment in teaching Shelley mean falling behind our
economic competitors? But there is no university without humane inquiry,
which means that universities and advanced capitalism are fundamentally
incompatible. And the political implications of that run far deeper than
the
question of student fees.



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[Marxism-Thaxis] James Petras - The Democratic Party Debacle and the Demis of the Left-Center Left

2010-12-05 Thread Jim Farmelant

In recent years, I have found a lot of
Petras's commentary on various subjects
to be rather loopy, but not this piece.

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--
http://canadiandimension.com/articles/3480/
 
 
Web Exclusive: The Democratic Party Debacle and the Demise of the 
Left-Center Left
 
A Worldwide Trend
James Petras | November 6th 2010
 
Introduction
 
The November 2, 2010 electoral debacle of the Democratic Party in the US 
cannot be solely ascribed to the failed policies of President Obama, the 
Congressional leadership or their senior economic advisers. Nor is the 
demise of what passes for the American center-left confined to the
US-it 
is a world-wide pattern, expressed in countries as diverse as Greece, 
Portugal, Spain, Great Britain and Japan.
 
The central question is why the left-center left governing parties are 
everywhere in crisis and will be for the foreseeable future?
 
The Left-Center Left: Past Winners, Present Losers
 
In the past leftist parties had been the beneficiaries of capitalist
crises: 
Incumbent conservative regimes, which had presided over economic
recessions 
or had been held responsible for military debacles, were ousted from
power 
by leftist parties prepared to make large-scale, long-term public 
investments, funded by progressive taxes on wealth and capital, and to 
impose austerity programs on the rich and wealthy.
 
In contrast, today the left/center-left (L-CL) regimes preside over 
crisis-ridden capitalist economies and administer regressive
socio-economic 
policies designed to promote the recovery of the biggest financial and 
corporate enterprises while rolling back wages, social programs, pensions

and unemployment benefits.
As a result, the L-CL has become the prime political loser in the current

economic crisis, reaping hostility and rejection from the great mass of
its 
former working class and salaried supporters.
 
Wherever the Left has been elected in recent years, a deep polarization 
developed between its electoral base and the governing party leadership. 
Nowhere has the Left dared to infringe on the power and prerogatives of
the 
very capitalist class of bankers and investors, who caused the crisis. 
Instead with perverse and reactionary logic the Left-Center Left parties 
have wielded stated power through the treasury to refinance capital,
through 
the police and judiciary to repress labor and through the mass media to 
justify its regressive policies (especially via anti-'chaos' hysteria).
 
In Greece, the Pan-Hellenic Socialist regime (PASOK) has fired tens of 
thousands of public employees and its tight fiscal policies have raised 
unemployment from 8% to 14%. It has increased the age of retirement,
reduced 
pensions and welfare provisions and raised fees for public services,
while 
foreign and domestic bankers, ship owners and overseas investors have 
benefited by accumulating property and distressed enterprises on the
cheap.
 
Similar polices have been adopted in Spain and Portugal where public 
employees' salaries and jobs have been slashed, pensions and welfare 
payments have been reduced, job security has been deregulated and
employers 
are free to hire and fire as never before.
 
Prior to the British Labor Party's defeat, after more than a decade of 
promoting wild unregulated financial and real-estate speculation leading
to 
the economic crash, the Labor leadership was planning massive layoffs and

cuts in social programs.
 
In the United States, Obama and the Democrats were elected, on the basis
of 
their promises to redress the grievances of the workers and salaried 
employees, who had been battered by the collapse of Wall Street. Instead,

the White House poured trillions of tax dollars to rescue the major
banking, 
financial and speculative institutions responsible for the collapse while

unemployment and underemployment has climbed to over 20% and 10 million 
homeowners lost their homes through mortgage foreclosures.
 
Why the L-CL Deepens the Crises
 
Over the past 30 years the L-CL parties, which were once identified with 
working class interests and welfare reforms, have become deeply embedded
in 
managing the capitalist system-going so far as to promote the most
parasitic 
and volatile forms of speculative capital. As long as capitalist profits 
grew and speculative investments grew, the L-CL regimes believed that 
sufficient tax revenue would accrue to allow for a degree of social
spending 
to pacify their popular voting constituency. The L-CL parties
systematically 
eliminated the last traces of a socialist, social welfare or
redistributive 
alternative.
 
The L-LC political leadership was unwilling to envision an alternative to

their promotion of the policies of big corporate and banking interests as

they led to financial crisis. When the big crash of 2007-2010 took place,

the entire leadership of the L-CL

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] We must dream!

2010-11-08 Thread Jim Farmelant
 that the
source of the miseries was him.

Terry Eagleton's On Evil is published by Yale. 
 
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[Marxism-Thaxis] On Tea Bagger Finance, Ideology and Behavior (FWD from Lil Joe)

2010-10-15 Thread Jim Farmelant


Great on time real deal analysis Joe!
Thanks.

David

On Tea Bagger Finance, Ideology and Behavior


by Lil Joe liljoe.radi...@gmail.com 


October, 2010

There has been two national protest rallies held in Washington, DC thus
far this year: the Teabagger's protest rally that was financed and
provided for by capitalists and represent a political turn of capitalists
to fascist 'final solutions' in opposition to unions, socialists and
'illegal aliens', and the trade union based rally that was financed and
provided for by unions and pro-union organizations. In other words, it is
who sponsored these rallies and the objectives each in turn articulated
that determine their respective political character.

Much has been discussed concerning the numbers of attendees, and which
protests were representative of good ole American 'grass root' opposition
to 'the government'.

Grass root vs AstroTurf are not political categories, and explain nothing
as far as political characterisation of the protests are concerned. What
is relevant and determinate is the objectives of the majority of the
participants at both these rallies that distinguishes them: the fascistic
racist 'Tea Party' anti-union rally, paid for and organized by capitalist
front groups and the other organized by labor union and minority civil
rights bourgeois organizations.

The character of these rallies are not determined by the numbers of the
attendees, each of which claim to be representative of 'the grassroots,
but by the objectives of their respective participants. The majority of
participants in the Tea Party protest, just as much as those in the labor
protest were working class - i.e. the majority in both camps live off
wage labor or Social Security. But, whereas Tea Party protests and
rallies regurgitated fascist anti-labor, anti-communist, anti-abortion,
and anti-minority themes, the labor rallies were to the contrary
pro-labor, and unions, socialists, feminists and minorities interests
were present in this protest.

Originally, the labor rally was called by critics to protest the
Democrats for betraying their pledges to work in the interests of these
'constituencies', to instead serving the interests of finance capital
-so-called Wall Street - and of industrial capitalists [e.g. the auto
industrialists]. It was by having Democrats and its partisans as speakers
at the pro-labor rally that the capitalist owned media was able to
portray the pro-labor rally as a Democratic Party rallying of its 'base'.


Designating the Tea Party 'movement' grassroots explains nothing. Both
rallies were comprised of working people. However, working class families
that supported and participated in the labor, feminist and minority
ethnic groups were acting rationally in their own material interests by
demanding jobs and employment on terms favoring working class, women and
minority ethnic interests, whereas those working people who were bussed
to and participated in the anti-union, anti-minority and anti-woman
rallies are crazy, rallying against their own class or economic
interests 


Read the entire piece at:

http://laborpartypraxis.org/TeaBaggerFinanceIdeologyandBehavior.html

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Mark Lindley on Marx and Engels on music

2010-08-18 Thread Jim Farmelant



 http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/lindley180810.html


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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Labor aristocracy

2010-07-22 Thread Jim Farmelant

I am surprised that no mention was made in the
article concerning Maoist takes on the
labor aristocracy.  In the US,  many Maoists
like Bob Avakian's RCP contend that
most American workers belong to the
labor aristorcracy and so cannot be
counted upon to develop a revolutionary
consciousness (the RCP, as I understand them,
do see many, if not most African-American
workers as falling outside the labor aristocracy,
so that thus, they do have the potential for
developing a revolutionary consciousness).
This take on the labor aristocracy thus
implies that we cannot expect revolutions
to begin in the First World, but rather in the
Third World.

Jim Farmelant
http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant

On Thu, 22 Jul 2010 08:49:47 -0400 c b cb31...@gmail.com writes:
 Labor aristocracy
 
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_aristocracy
 
 Labor aristocracy or Labour aristocracy (or aristocracy of 
 labor
 or aristocracy of labour, see also English spelling differences) 
 has
 three meanings: as a term with Marxist theoretical underpinnings, as 
 a
 specific type of trade unionism, and/or as a shorthand description 
 by
 revolutionary industrial unions (such as the Industrial Workers of 
 the
 World) for the bureaucracy of craft-based business unionism.
 


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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Ghandi rejected Zionism

2010-06-27 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 15:00:21 +0900 CeJ jann...@gmail.com writes:
 http://www.twf.org/News/Y2001/0815-GandhiZionism.html
 
 excerpt:
 


 Gandhi's response to Zionism and the Palestine question contains
 different layers of meaning, ranging from an ethical position to
 political realism. What is interesting is that Gandhi, who firmly
 believed in the inseparability of religion and politics, had been
 consistently and vehemently rejecting the cultural and religious
 nationalism of the Zionists.
 
 What follows then is that he was not for religion functioning as a
 political ideology; rather, he wanted religion to provide an 
 ethical
 dimension to nation-State politics. Such a difference was vital as 
 far
 as Gandhi was concerned. A uni-religious justification for claiming 
 a
 nation-State, as in the case of Zionism, did not appeal to him in 
 any
 substantial sense.

I suspect that Gandhi's position on that is by no means
not unrelated to his own advocacy of a secular India.
Although Gandhi was a very devout Hindu, he was
emphatic in support of India being a secular state
in which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians etc.
would all have equal rights.  Following independence,
this would put him on a collision course with the
right-wing Hindu nationalists who would eventually
assasinate him. I also suspect that Gandhi would
not have been too suprised that the BJP (direct
political descendents of the sort of Hindu nationalists
who assasinated him) have been strongly pro-Israel.

 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Ghandi rejected Zionism

2010-06-27 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 11:38:37 -0400 Ralph Dumain
rdum...@autodidactproject.org writes:
 Really? I thought Hindutva fascism was connected to anti-Semitism?

Ralph, where have you been?  If you look at Europe,
most of the far right is now very pro-Israel.  Even
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the guy who was once convicted
of Holocaust denial by the French courts, is very pro-Israel.
One can be both an anti-Semite and a Zionist.  Indeed,
there is nothing new about that.  Herzl in his day, spent
much time cultivating support among anti-Semitic politicians
and publicist, including his own friend, Edouard Drumont,
who was then a very famous anti-Semitic agitator.
Why should things be that different with the Indians?

 
Jim Farmelant
http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant

 
 Do you know anything about Gandhi's letters to Hitler, or is this 
 just 
 Pakistani propaganda?
 
 On 6/27/2010 11:35 AM, Jim Farmelant wrote:
 
  On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 15:00:21 +0900 CeJjann...@gmail.com  
 writes:
 
  http://www.twf.org/News/Y2001/0815-GandhiZionism.html
 
  excerpt:
 
 
   
 
  Gandhi's response to Zionism and the Palestine question contains
  different layers of meaning, ranging from an ethical position to
  political realism. What is interesting is that Gandhi, who 
 firmly
  believed in the inseparability of religion and politics, had 
 been
  consistently and vehemently rejecting the cultural and religious
  nationalism of the Zionists.
 
  What follows then is that he was not for religion functioning as 
 a
  political ideology; rather, he wanted religion to provide an
  ethical
  dimension to nation-State politics. Such a difference was vital 
 as
  far
  as Gandhi was concerned. A uni-religious justification for 
 claiming
  a
  nation-State, as in the case of Zionism, did not appeal to him 
 in
  any
  substantial sense.
   
  I suspect that Gandhi's position on that is by no means
  not unrelated to his own advocacy of a secular India.
  Although Gandhi was a very devout Hindu, he was
  emphatic in support of India being a secular state
  in which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians etc.
  would all have equal rights.  Following independence,
  this would put him on a collision course with the
  right-wing Hindu nationalists who would eventually
  assasinate him. I also suspect that Gandhi would
  not have been too suprised that the BJP (direct
  political descendents of the sort of Hindu nationalists
  who assasinated him) have been strongly pro-Israel.
 
 
 
  Jim Farmelant
  http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant
 
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[Marxism-Thaxis] American Jews Who Reject Zionism Say Events Aid Cause - NY Times

2010-06-26 Thread Jim Farmelant
 in 1952 described Zionism as racist,
self-segregated and non-American — and for a time it boasted leaders like
Lessing J. Rosenwald, heir to the Sears fortune, and a membership of
14,000. 

If the 1967 and 1973 wars shoved the council toward obsolescence, then
Israel’s controversial wars since 2000 have brought it back from the
grave. One hears echoes of its positions in Tony Judt, the historian who
has called for a binational state in Palestine; in Tony Kushner, whose
screenplay for the film “Munich” portrayed an Israeli’s true home as
America; in Michael Chabon, whose novel “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union”
parodied Zionism; and in the emerging disengagement from Israel on the
part of young, non-Orthodox Jews, as Peter Beinart noted recently in an
essay in The New York Review of Books. 

What is numerically true, thus not open to debate, is that only a tiny
proportion of American Jews have ever rejected exile here to emigrate to
Israel. 

“I think we represent a silent majority,” said Allan C. Brownfeld, a
longtime member of the council and editor of its magazines, Issues and
Special Interest Report. “We are Americans by nationality and Jews by
religion. And while we wish Israel well, we don’t view it as our
homeland.” 


E-mail: s...@columbia.edu





Jim Farmelant
http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Thailand

2010-05-29 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sat, 29 May 2010 11:07:54 +0900 CeJ jann...@gmail.com writes:
 I find some similarity between post-war developing Japan and current 
 Thailand.
 
 Yes, the class war is real. Yes, it largely contests the future of 
 the
 Thai national development state (which is doing better than
 Philippines or Indonesia, but is not keeping up with Malaysia, and 
 has
 been left way behind by S. Korea and Taiwan).
 The red shirts resent a national development state that favors a
 handful of large cities and resort tourism.
 
 To some extent Japan pre-empted such a struggle by making sure to
 develop the countryside thoroughly. A coke machine by every rice
 paddy, if you will.

In Japan wasn't land reform imposed by the American
occupation under MacArthur?

 
 I don't see much potential in a movement that chooses as its leader 
 a
 bourgeois entrepreneur and influence marketer who looks like a  
 baby
 buddha. If the movement loses this puke, then I'll take another 
 look.

From what I can see what's been going on in Thailand
is a class struggle accompanied by a split in that
country's ruling economic and political elites.
Besides the billionaire entrepreneur they
had at least one general (who was assasinated)
and apparently at least some degree of support
within the country's security forces.  When
the government decided to suppress the
red shirts, there were reports of clashes
between different army and police units.


 
Jim Farmelant
http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant

 
 CJ
 
 
 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Ken MacLeod on a novel about Kantrovich

2010-05-28 Thread Jim Farmelant



MacLeod reviews Francis Spufford's new novel
Red Plenty, about the Soviet economist
and mathematician Kantorovich who developed
linear programming and attempted to develop
a computerized system for planning the Soviet
economy.  MacLeod's review discusses
Kantorovich in relation to the debates
over the socialist calculation problem,
and he suggests that Kantorovich 

http://kenmacleod.blogspot.com/2010/05/red-plenty.html


Jim Farmelant
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Re-evaluating Lysenko

2010-03-28 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 22:41:54 +0900 CeJ jann...@gmail.com writes:
 Caroll Cox's limitation is he has, like Chomsky, this almost quaint
 left-wing libertarian view about intellect, science, research and
 academia. Perhaps he ought to sit down and do a Marxist critique of
 his own career.
 
 Now about science in an authoritarian atmosphere. Look at the
 Manhattan Project. MOST of it was a multi-billion dollar waste of
 money. Most of it was bogus research projects that never yielded a
 single achievement. It was done under a highly secretive and for 
 most
 workers authoritarian program. After all that, two successful bomb
 designs emerged in time to drop them on civilian populations in 
 Japan.

If you are going to bring up the Manhattan Project,
then I think it ought to be compared with the
German A-bomb project, which failed to
produce a bomb.  Why did it fail?
Well, primarily because it was never funded,
anywhere, close to the level that the
Manhattan Project was funded.  The
Germans simply didn't have the money
and they were in far more desparate
straights than the Americans were
at the time.  However, that's not
the only reason for its failure.
Another reason is that its head,
Werner Heisenberg made some
serious errors in his cailculations.
A lot of people when commenting
on the failure of the German A-bomb
project seem to stop there.  But
the question in my mind is why
didn't anyone working on the
project step forward and
correct Heisenberg's errors.
And that, I think, speaks to
what was then a major difference
between the way American science
operated (even under the relatively
authoritarian and militaristic conditions
of the Manhattan Project) and the
way German science operated.
In Germany universites of that time,
senior professors were like little gods. 
They reigned supreme in their own
departments and no mere underling
would have dreamed of criticizing
them or correcting them. Even if
a scientist working in the German
A-bomb project had become aware
that Heisenberg was making mistakes
in his calculations, he would, most
likely, not dared to step forward
to correct the great man, since that
was simply not the done thing in
German science at that time.

In the Manhattan Project, despite the
efforts of General Groves to impose
military discipline on the scientists,
things were still relatively loose
and freewheeling among them,
and that, I would submit, contributed
to the success of the project.  If
a senior scientist, even an Oppenheimer
or a Fermi, had made an error in his
calculations, there would have been
other, perhaps more junior, scientists
who would have been willing to
step forward to make the necessary
corrections.

Jim Farmelant
http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant

 I guess if the project hadn't been authoritarian, it would have ben
 more 'efficient' and yielded enough bombs to wipe out even more of
 Japan.
 
 CJ
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Speaking of the disaffected...

2010-02-28 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 16:43:20 EST waistli...@aol.com writes:

 

 
 Comment
 
 I asked  myself, why would a human being work a 100 hour week 
 voluntarily? 

That sort of thing is not or was not uncommon
in the high tech world.

 Seven days 12  hours a day is only 72 hours. Add another 28 hours 
 and one 
 has no family life  and ultimately no wife or children one can 
 maintain a 
 relationship with. Here is  a man that earnestly believed that 
 capitalism could 
 work for him and it did work  pretty good in the post WW II period. 
 Things 
 stated going to hell a very long  time ago for the proletariat 
 majority. New 
 layers of American society is being  ruined. 

I think you will find that sort of thing to be
common among high tech workers.  A lot
of them dream of becoming capitalists
and during the '90s boom enough
high tech workers did, for a while
succeed, in doing just that, or
at least enough did to make this
seem a plausible dream.  That
came crashing down, starting
around 2000.

 
 The real proletariat in America thinks out things very different, 
 and their 
  spontaneous drift to the right barely leads to terrorist acts on 
 this 
 level.  Massive economic ruin does generate an initial response of 
 increased 
 family  abuse, bouts of rage and individual suicide. Then depending 
 on the 
 ability of  communist to impact the movement with a sense of 
 purpose, the 
 implosive subsides  and becomes an outer explosion of activity.
 
 I  feel no sympathy for this man who drives an airplane into a 
 building 
 because he  is angry with the system. Did he own the plane? This 
 angry man 
 thought thinks  out as a little capitalist, rather than proletarians 
 still 
 clinging to bourgeois  views. 

He wasn't really even a little capitalist, he was
a wananbe at most.  In reality, he was just
another contract programmer, and as such,
lacked the security and benefits that unionized
blue collar workers used to enjoy.

I agree that it is fucked up to see
exploited workers cling so relentlessly
to a petit bourgeois consciousness.

  
 No human in their right mind, voluntarily works 100 hours a week, 
 unless  
 they earnestly believe that at some point they they can make it 
 and 
 retired  in peace and wealth. This pursuit of wealth and making it 
 was once 
 called the  American dream. Our bomber terrorist woke up to the 
 American 
 nightmare, millions  having been living for a couple of decades.  
 
 Real time  America on February 19, 2010 is in a profound crisis. 150 
 
 million Americans feel  stress over layoffs and paying their bills 
 on a consistent 
 basis. Over 60  percent of Americans now live paycheck to paycheck. 
 A 
 record 20 million  Americans qualified for unemployment insurance 
 benefits last 
 year, causing 27  states to run out of funds, with seven more also 
 expected 
 to go into the red  within the next few months. In total, 40 state 
 programs 
 are expected to go  broke. When you factor in all these uncounted 
 workers -- 
 involuntary part-time  and discouraged workers -- the 
 unemployment rate 
 rises from 9.7 percent to  over 20 percent. In total, we now have 
 over 30 
 million U.S. citizens who are  unemployed or underemployed. With a 
 prison 
 population of 2.3 million people, we  now have more people 
 incarcerated than any 
 other nation in the world -- the per  capita statistics are 700 per 
 100,000 
 citizens. In comparison, China has 110 per  100,000, France has 80 
 per 
 100,000, Saudi Arabia has 45 per 100,000. The prison  industry is 
 thriving and 
 expecting major growth over the next few years. A  recent report 
 from the 
 Hartford Advocate titled Incarceration Nation revealed  that a 
 new prison 
 opens every week somewhere in America. 
 
 Over  five million U.S. families have already lost their homes, in 
 total 13 
 million  U.S. families are expected to lose their home by 2014, with 
 25 
 percent of  current mortgages underwater. 1.4 million Americans 
 filed for 
 bankruptcy in  2009, a 32 percent increase from 2008. As 
 bankruptcies continue to 
 skyrocket,  medical bankruptcies are responsible for over 60 percent 
 of 
 them, and over 75  percent of the medical bankruptcies filed are 
 from people 
 who have health care  insurance. 
 
 Over 50 million people who need to use food stamps to  eat, and a 
 stunning 
 50 percent of U.S. children will use food stamps to eat at  some 
 point in 
 their childhoods. Approximately 20,000 people are added to this  
 total every 
 day. In 2009, one out of five U.S. households didn't have enough  
 money to 
 buy food. In households with children, this number rose to 24 
 percent,  as the 
 hunger rate among U.S. citizens has now reached an all-time high.  
 
 The American government defines poverty for a family of four at  
 $32,000 a 
 year. 60% of the American working class makes $14 an hour which 
 equals  
 $29,120.00 based on working 52 weeks a year. Government statistics 
 place 60% of  
 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Giving radicalism a good name (David Niose on Howard Zinn - Worcester Telegram)

2010-02-06 Thread Jim Farmelant


http://www.telegram.com/article/20100203/NEWS/2030358/1054/OPINION

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Setting the record straight

2010-01-31 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Tue, 26 Jan 2010 08:55:44 -0500 Ralph Dumain
rdum...@autodidactproject.org writes:
 Looks like the real story to me. Notice the entry ends with Gerald 
 Ford. Social liberalism was killed off during the Carter 
 administration. The secret of all mysteries lies in the '70s.

One of the ironies is that probably the greatest
philosophical defense of American social liberalism,
John Rawls's *A Theory of Justice* came out
just as social liberalism was beginning to die out.

I don't think that it is any great mystery what
happened in the 1970s.  In the mid-1970s,
we had the greatest economic crisis since
the Great Depression.  It became clear that
the institutional framework which modern
capitalism had been working under since
the 1930s and 1940s was no longer
politically viable.  It, therefore, came
under challenge both from the left
and the right.  But as things turned
out, the right (which was rapidly
gaining the support of big business),
was much better positioned to institute
a new political framework than was
the left.  Hence, from the mid-1970s
on, we see the rise of neo-liberalism,
with the state attempting to promote
economic expansion by holding down
wages.  Thus, the efforts to unravel
the social safety net that that had
been put in place under the New Deal
and the Great Society.

Jim F.
http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant

 
 At 05:39 AM 1/26/2010, CeJ wrote:
 Sometimes in the American political lexicon, a 'liberal' is 
 someone
 who espouses a very weak form of
 'social democracy' European style. Classical liberals, an
 understanding most Americans know nothing of,  have ended up over
 amongst the libertarians I suspect. I suspect the contradiction 
 that
 lies within Barrage Obushwa is warpigism vs. social 
 internventionist
 liberalism. A religious belief in America and its right to 
 dominate
 the world is always the glue that keeps such incoherence going.
 
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_liberalism_in_the_United_States
 
 History of modern liberalism in the United States
 ...
 
 
 _
 
 If you don't know the '70s, you don't know shit! 
 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Setting the record straight

2010-01-31 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Mon, 1 Feb 2010 10:16:17 +0900 CeJ jann...@gmail.com writes:
 JF: I don't think that it is any great mystery what
 happened in the 1970s.  In the mid-1970s,
 we had the greatest economic crisis since
 the Great Depression.  It became clear that
 the institutional framework which modern
 capitalism had been working under since
 the 1930s and 1940s was no longer
 politically viable.  It, therefore, came
 under challenge both from the left
 and the right. 
 
 
 Yes, but RD said that the secret to all our mysteries now lies in
 understanding the 1970s. We can't even currently explain unintended
 acceleration in Toyotas now. Or how Abba would get a major musical
 based on their songs! Perhaps we don't understand the 1970s as well 
 as
 we think we do.
 
 
 I think the sense of crisis was over the future of American 
 domination
 of the rest of the world. Consider, Japan and W. Germany were
 surpassing the US in terms of industrial production, most visible 
 with
 the automobiles and electronics. 

That was certainly one part of it.  The Second
World War had devastated industry in
western Europe and Japan, leaving the
US without significant competition.
But by the 1970s, both western Europe
(especially Germany) and Japan had
completed their recoveries from the
war and were now able to compete with
the US.

 The threat of certain countries 
 using
 OPEC to control the price of oil and even the supply of it, although 
 a
 crisis for global capitalism (think of Japan with its total 
 dependency
 on imported oil), in the US it was seen as a threat to American 
 power.
 And then there was the humiliation of the Vietnam War, where global
 perceptions were that the US had lost or at least had met the 
 limits
 of its own power. 

Also, the US by the mid-1970s was being
perceived as starting to lose the cold
war.  Soviet-backed national liberation
movements were making progress in
Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.
The Vietnam War itself, had left the
US exhausted with the American
public less than eager to see US
military intervention in other countries
(what the US ruling class called
Vietnam syndrome).

Also, we shouldn't leave out the
impact of the great social movements
of the 1960, including especially the
civil rights movement, the antiwar
movement, the student movement,
and the women's movement.  All of
which weakened the legitimacy of
the state, forced through significant
social reforms.  Labor insurgencies
of various sorts became increasingly
frequent at the time, and we have the
case of France, where the student
movement, at least for a while,
was able to join forces with labor
insurgents to shake the political
foundations of that country.  That
sort of thing put the fear of God into
the hearts of the US ruling class who
was fearful of a similar occurence
on this side of the Atlantic.

By the early 1970s, the ruling
classes of the US and UK were
eager to find ways of rolling back
the social gains of the 1960s
which were seen as directly
threatening the profits, social
status, and political power of
the ruling classes.  Bourgeois
economists were already openly
talking about the need to tolerate
higher rates of unemployment in
order to dampen down wage
demands.  And within a few
years this sort of talk began to
be translated into policy, involving
a tightening of monetary policy
to force up interest rates,
deregulation of industries
(starting with transportation
under the Carter Administration),
the shift by the Federal government
to an openly anti-labor stance,
starting with Reagan's response
to the PATCO strike (by a
conservative union that had
actually endorsed Reagan
in 1980.

 And then there were the 'big bang' financial 
 reforms
 of Thatcher, which threatened to make London the top center of
 financial activity, over NYC.
 
 What is ironic is that militarist Demoncrats and Repugnicans (who 
 had
 been around a long time and hadn't just emerged in the 1970s) used
 rationales like 'deficits' to justify agendas against 'liberalism' 
 (in
 terms of the government being involved in social agendas and 
 spending)
 and then, from late Carter onwards, proceeded to drive up government
 deficits and trade deficits to unprecedented levels, much of which 
 can
 be attributed to the military spending and their willingness to use
 Japan's and W. Germany's industrial capacity to meet American 
 consumer
 needs as they did so.
 
 About the same time, American elites, under a supposedly 'free 
 trade'
 and 'liberalization' regime (rhetorical regime), moved strongly,
 nationalistically and unilaterally to hem in Japan in terms of (1) 
 the
 value of the yen (which has pretty much been appreciating since the
 1970s and is the real cause of 'deflation' in Japan) and (2) in
 locking Japan out of processor chip-OS development for desktop and
 server computing (giving us American cartels in control of most of 
 our
 computing). They also imposed import quotas on Japanese cars and
 automobile parts under Reagan and Bush 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Howard Zinn, historian who challenged status quo, dies at 87

2010-01-27 Thread Jim Farmelant

 
http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/01/howard_zinn_his.ht
ml
 
Howard Zinn, historian who challenged status quo, dies at 87
January 27, 2010 05:40 PM
By Mark Feeney, Globe Staff
 
Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist
who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and a leading
faculty critic of BU president John Silber, died of a heart attack
today in Santa Monica, Calif, where he was traveling, his family said.
He was 87.
 
“His writings have changed the consciousness of a generation, and
helped open new paths to understanding and its crucial meaning for our
lives,” Noam Chomsky, the left-wing activist and MIT professor, once
wrote of Dr. Zinn. “When action has been called for, one could always
be confident that he would be on the front lines, an example and
trustworthy guide.”
 
For Dr. Zinn, activism was a natural extension of the revisionist
brand of history he taught. Dr. Zinn’s best-known book, “A People’s
History of the United States” (1980), had for its heroes not the
Founding Fathers — many of them slaveholders and deeply attached to
the status quo, as Dr. Zinn was quick to point out — but rather the
farmers of Shays’ Rebellion and the union organizers of the 1930s.
 
As he wrote in his autobiography, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving
Train” (1994), “From the start, my teaching was infused with my own
history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted
more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not
just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of
silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever
they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.”
 
Certainly, it was a recipe for rancor between Dr. Zinn and Silber. Dr.
Zinn twice helped lead faculty votes to oust the BU president, who in
turn once accused Dr. Zinn of arson (a charge he quickly retracted)
and cited him as a prime example of teachers “who poison the well of
academe.”
 
Dr. Zinn was a cochairman of the strike committee when BU professors
walked out in 1979. After the strike was settled, he and four
colleagues were charged with violating their contract when they
refused to cross a picket line of striking secretaries. The charges
against “the BU Five” were soon dropped, however.
 
Dr. Zinn was born in New York City on Aug. 24, 1922, the son of Jewish
immigrants, Edward Zinn, a waiter, and Jennie (Rabinowitz) Zinn, a
housewife. He attended New York public schools and worked in the
Brooklyn Navy Yard before joining the Army Air Force during World War
II. Serving as a bombardier in the Eighth Air Force, he won the Air
Medal and attained the rank of second lieutenant.
 
After the war, Dr. Zinn worked at a series of menial jobs until
entering New York University as a 27-year-old freshman on the GI Bill.
Professor Zinn, who had married Roslyn Shechter in 1944, worked nights
in a warehouse loading trucks to support his studies. He received his
bachelor’s degree from NYU, followed by master’s and doctoral degrees
in history from Columbia University.
 
Dr. Zinn was an instructor at Upsala College and lecturer at Brooklyn
College before joining the faculty of Spelman College in Atlanta, in
1956. He served at the historically black women’s institution as
chairman of the history department. Among his students were the
novelist Alice Walker, who called him “the best teacher I ever had,”
and Marian Wright Edelman, future head of the Children’s Defense Fund.
 
During this time, Dr. Zinn became active in the civil rights movement.
He served on the executive committee of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee, the most aggressive civil rights organization
of the time, and participated in numerous demonstrations.
 
Dr. Zinn became an associate professor of political science at BU in
1964 and was named full professor in 1966.
 
The focus of his activism now became the Vietnam War. Dr. Zinn spoke
at countless rallies and teach-ins and drew national attention when he
and another leading antiwar activist, Rev. Daniel Berrigan, went to
Hanoi in 1968 to receive three prisoners released by the North
Vietnamese.
 
Dr. Zinn’s involvement in the antiwar movement led to his publishing
two books: “Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal” (1967) and “Disobedience
and Democracy” (1968). He had previously published “LaGuardia in
Congress” (1959), which had won the American Historical Association’s
Albert J. Beveridge Prize; “SNCC: The New Abolitionists” (1964); “The
Southern Mystique” (1964); and “New Deal Thought” (1966).
Dr. Zinn was also the author of “The Politics of History” (1970);
“Postwar America” (1973); “Justice in Everyday Life” (1974); and
“Declarations of Independence” (1990).
 
In 1988, Dr. Zinn took early retirement so as to concentrate on
speaking and writing. The latter activity included writing for the
stage. Dr. Zinn had two plays produced: “Emma,” about the anarchist
leader Emma Goldman, and “Daughter of 

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Setting the record straight

2010-01-24 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sun, 24 Jan 2010 09:52:04 -0500 Ralph Dumain
rdum...@autodidactproject.org writes:
 Brain-dead. Delusional. Cretinous Party USA on its deathbed.

Can anyone figure out what the CPUSA gets in
return for its apparently unrecquited love
for Obama and the DP?

Jim F.

 
 At 09:34 AM 1/24/2010, c b wrote:
 Setting the record straight
 
 by: Sam Webb
 January 20 2010
 tags: Obama, elections, strategy and tactics, communists
 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Marxism-Thaxis Digest, Vol 75, Issue 21: Setting the record straight

2010-01-24 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sun, 24 Jan 2010 19:57:51 + Karl Dallas karldal...@f2s.com
writes:
 As a former member of the Communist Party of Britain, and a 
 continued
 activist in struggle on such issues as Palestine, I cannot subscribe 
 to the
 basic analysis of Sam Webb in Setting the Record Straight.
 I wrote to the UK Morning Star the following after the Scott Brown 
 victory:
 So the Barack bubble has burst, just one short year after the 
 world
 rapturously hailed the new dawn of a new presidency, supposedly to 
 move on
 from the dreadful disillusion of the Bush years.
 But now a new disillusion has set in, as Obama fulfills the 
 classic
 function of 'left' opportunism, to see the system through an 
 otherwise
 insoluble crisis, to pave the way for the next swing to the right.

Right, except I don't think that one can even call what
Obama is doing. 'left' opportunism.  That is a label that
could be applied to what FDR was doing with his
New Deal or Lyndon Johnson with his Great Society.
What Obama has been doing hardly measures up
to what Roosevelt or Johnson tried to do.
And in fact this has been the case with the
last three Democratic Presidents, starting with Carter.

And I suspect that things are not so different in
the UK. The British Labour Party, it seems to
me, began shifting to the right under James Callahan.
Then once knocked out of power by Thatcher, it
briefly shifted to the left, and then resumed moving
rightwards when it became apparent that it might
soon return to power. That process continued,
first under Kinnock and then under Blair who
eventually became PM.

 'Things can only get better', 'Yes we can' . . . Blair and Obama 
 have many
 things in common, as under the first, things only got worse, and the 
 true
 lesson to be drawn from the failure of Obama's sloganising appears 
 to be 'No
 we can't'.
 This is what the pundits are trying to teach us. Just as the
 disenfranchisement of Labour's core voters has paved the way for the 
 advance
 of the BNP here, Obama's refusal to honour his pledges appears to 
 leave his
 supporters nowhere to go but down.
 It doesn't have to be like that. If what we might call the 
 scientific left
 were to have provided all along a clear analysis of the strengths 
 and
 weaknesses of this reliance on political charisma (a study of 
 Plekhanov
 might be a good place to start), to have used the Blair/Obama 
 phenomenon to
 build an accurate critique that didn't take us by surprise when 
 leaders
 break their promises, we could turn disillusion into 
 disenchantment.
 It doesn't have to be like that. If, at last, we begin to look 
 reality
 square in its ugly face, things could, indeed, start to get 
 better.
 But I must say that most of the responses in this list have been 
 infantile
 in the extreme. There are interesting parallels between FDR and 
 Obama, but
 important differences also. 

At this point, I think the differences between Obama
and FDR are of more importance than the similarities.

First of all while both presidents came into office
during periods of economic crisis, FDR did so when
the US was on the brink of civil unrest (And it
should be noted that Socialists and Communists
had been spending years organizing councils
of the unemployed).  Therefore,
he perceived the need for taking dramatic actions.
Even though during the 1932 campaign, he had
condemned Hoover for engaging in deficit spending
and promised to balance the budget, FDR, as soon
as he entered the White House, all that talk about
balancing the budget went out the window because
he realized that the fiscal orthodoxies of the day
would only result in disaster if he stuck to them.

Obama, in contrast, took office in a
country that was still politically quiescent.
And unlike the 1930s, the radical left
in the US is almost non-existent.  Up to
now there has been nothing like the
movement to organize the unemployed that
existed in the early 1930s.  FDR as president
face strong pressures from the left and those
pressures helped his administration's policies
to the left.  Obama has been largely spared
such pressures.  Instead, much of the
radical left, such as it is, has actively
embraced Obama, and so have enable
him in shifting rightwards, since Obama,
not surprisingly, has concluded that these
people have no place else to go.
The CPUSA's embrace of Obama is
simply one of the more outrageous
examples of this phenomenon, but
not the only example.

Secondly, FDR was, unlike Obama, to the
manor born.  As a member of the old money
bourgeoisie, he had a special self-confidence,
which allowed him to break with the conventional
wisdom so that he could better defend the long
term best interests of this class.  He was therefore
able to accept being denounced as a traitor
to his class, with a certain amount of equanimity.
Obama, in contrast, is sort of the epitome of 
meritocracy, and as such, seems to be temperamentally
inclined to embrace uncritically the conventional
wisdom, as that's understood in 

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Popularity of Atlas Shrugged: r ( theory, practice)

2010-01-08 Thread Jim Farmelant
. 
 Most critics found the premise of the novel-that the most gifted, 
 creative, and successful members of a society are exploited by the 
 untalented and unappreciative masses—only slightly less implausible 
 than the major action of the novel, a strike of geniuses to force an 
 end to their abuse.
 
 Devastated by the poor critical response, exhausted from twelve 
 years
 of effort, and discouraged by the thought that she might have 
 written
 all she had to say, Rand withdrew. It was Branden who succeeded in
 restoring her confidence and supporting her second crest of fame by
 inaugurating regular lectures on Rand's philosophy. Under the 
 auspices
 of the Nathaniel Branden Institute, he and several other faithful
 students offered talks on The Basic Principles of Objectivism,
 covering subjects such as The Nature of Emotions,'' Social
 Metaphysics, The Ethics Of Altruism, and What is Reason The
 lectures soon drew hundreds of people in New York and expanded to
 several sites around the country. Sales of Atlas Shrugged continued 
 to
 build—its opening sentence, Who is John Galt, became a popular
 password for those in the know—and Rand flourished in the 
 attention.
 Although she herself delivered few lectures at Nathaniel Branden
 Institute, she did tour the country to speak on numerous college
 campuses. With Branden, she began a monthly called The Objectivist
 Newsletter, later expanded and renamed simply The Objectivist Both
 versions contained essays by Rand, Branden, and other associates
 (including perhaps her most celebrated admirer, the economist Alan
 Greenspan, now chairman of the Federal Reserve Board) that analyzed
 current political events and applied the principles of Objectivism 
 to
 everyday life. The last books Rand published were collections of
 essays taken from the Objectivist periodicals.
 
 An assessment of Rand's reputation a decade and a half after her 
 death must account for several contradictory factors. Few 
 professional philosophers take her work at all seriously, yet many 
 groups of readers and fans still debate and write about her 
 theories. Her work continues to appeal to those who search for 
 non-religious answers about human progress and agency. Certainly her 
 declaration that selfishness is a virtue and altruism a vice is 
 contrary to traditional Jewish values—yet her exaltation of personal 
 ambition is not so different from that of many Russian Jewish 
 immigrants of her generation who savored the relative freedom of 
 America. 

One curious phenomenon, is that one occasionally
runs into Orthodox Jews, who profess to be admirers
of Rand.  On the surface, at least, it would seem to
be hard to reconcile Rand's rational egoism with
traditional Jewish ethics, and of  course there is
also the sticking point that she was an atheist,
Nevertheless, these Orthodox Jews do seem
to have their causistry, by which they seem
to have convinced themselves that Rand
can be reconciled with traditional Judaism.
Go figure!

 Despite their dismissal by the critical establishment, her 
 books continue to sell. Together, her novels have sold approximately 
 twenty-five million copies, a figure that still grows by about 
 250,000 every year. Rand might not have succeeded in achieving the 
 immediate influence of a crusading novelist like Harriet Beecher 
 Stowe, as she had hoped, but her popularity today testifies to an 
 enduring appeal.

Old timers on this list may remember that one
of the moderators of this list used to
be Chris Sciabarra, who is a leading
Rand scholar, but he is hardly, I'd
dare say, a typical Randoid.

Jim Farmelant

 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Popularity of Atlas Shrugged: r ( theory, practice)

2010-01-07 Thread Jim Farmelant

This is what I had written about
Rand over on LBO-Talk:

--

Chris Sciabarra, some years ago,
wrote an interesting book on
Ayn Rand, titled, *Ayn Rand:
The Russian Radical*, which seeks
to trace out the Russian intellectual
and cultural roots of Rand's thought.
He sees much of her thinking as
rooted in the culture of Russia's
Silver Age, which followed the
failed revolution of 1905.  During
that period, Nietzsche became very
popular among Russian intellectuals
and artists.  Indeed, even many of 
the Russian Marxists, including 
Bolshevik theorists like Bogdanov 
and Lunacharsky caught the
Nietzschean bug.  The young Ayn Rand
(or rather the young Alissa Rosenbaum)
became very much taken with Nietzsche.
In fact what she did later on was to
marry the romantic individualism of
Nietzsche with the economic individualism
of capitalist apologists.
 
I think to understand her as
a writer, we must keep in mind
that she toiled for years on
the fringes of Hollywood's
film industry.  She started off
working in menial jobs and as 
an occasional extra on films.
She later became script doctor
and eventually, a screen writer.
She was, as a Russian, taken
with the idea of using the novel
as a medium for expressing complex
philosophical or political ideas.
She was a great admirer of Dostoyevsky.
Either because she lacked the ability
or perhaps because she had a good
grasp of the cultural realities of
American society, she turned to
what was essentially pulp fiction
as a means for conveying her philosophical
and political outlook to the general
public in the US.
 
Jim Farmelant


On Thu, 7 Jan 2010 20:58:09 +0900 CeJ jann...@gmail.com writes:
 I'd say Ayn Rand is the person most responsible for both
 'libertarianism' and the 'self-esteem movement' as we know them 
 today,
 even if she is identified philosophically with the term 
 'objectivism'
 (her use of that term, that is). Also, for better or worse she 
 helped
 popularize 'philosophy' as a topic of non-academics. As I said 
 before,
 I find her more interesting as a novelist. However, I think her
 approach to a theory of art is different than what you might get in 
 an
 academic course on the topic, and not gag-inducing. Don't you think
 her insights about 'romantic realism' would explain the popularity 
 of
 'Avatar' more than some of those efforts we see over on Marxmail?
 
 For a taste, you might try (instead of a primary source):
 
 
 
 http://www.liberalia.com/htm/cm_rand_aesthetics3.htm
 
 However, it is this simplicity in her philosophy of aesthetics that
 gives it an immediate appeal; it is not erudite and specialised
 because it refers to our common experience.
 
 
 
 What is truly novel in Rand’s approach, however, is the emphasis 
 she
 places on an artist’s sense of life. Art is universal in the sense
 that every human society produces some sort of artistic works. Yet 
 a
 single work of art is not universally admired, because each one of 
 us
 has a different sense of life; what I like is not what you like. 
 But
 when you and I enjoy the same art, it transcends history, culture,
 religious beliefs, social environments, and the artist's explicit
 philosophy. This is what I have tried to illustrate with paintings 
 and
 sculptures that we can all enjoy,  and yet which were created by
 official artists of the two most despicable political regimes of 
 all
 time.
 
 
 
 Rand herself ranks Victor Hugo as her favourite novelist, yet 
 Victor
 Hugo was “irrational” by Randian atheistic and rationalist criteria;
 Hugo was a believer in God, a believer in the occult, he 
 “channelled”
 messages from the dead, and, worst of all, he was a social 
 democrat.
 
 
 
 Likewise Rand mentions Edmond Rostand’s Chantecler as her favourite
 play. This drama is not in a league with Euripides’s and
 Shakespeare’s, it is not even a great work of art, but still, as 
 Rand
 does, I like it. I enjoy Rostand’s sense of life, and I am more 
 moved
 by Cyrano de Bergerac, L’Aiglon or Chantecler, than by other 
 greater
 masterpieces, but in which I do not find the values which are mine.
 Only snobs praise art that does not move them.
 
 
 
 As the etymology reveals, an author (auctor) is one who “makes
 something larger”, who magnifies, who ennobles.. Hugo and Rostand 
 both
 dare to be great. They portray characters who are larger than life.
 They create heroes.
 
 
 
 Let’s look for the artists that bring out the hero that is inside 
 each
 one of us.
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Could God die again ?

2010-01-05 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Tue, 05 Jan 2010 15:49:44 -0500 Ralph Dumain
rdum...@autodidactproject.org writes:
 The weak points in the abstract materialism of natural science, a 
 materialism that excludes history and its process, are at once 
 evident from the abstract and ideological conceptions of its 
 spokesmen, whenever they venture beyond the bounds of their own 
 speciality.
 
   --- Karl Marx
 
 
 Terry Eagleton is a disgrace. As for Schneider, the content of his 
 article belles its bullshit title. There's no connection between the 
 
 Death of God movement and the new atheism, or the old. So here are 
 my 
 bullet points.
 
 1. 'Death of God' theology can be criticized in the same manner as 
 Marx criticized Young Hegelians like Bauer and Feuerbach---the 
 discussion remains entirely within the boundaries of ideology--in 
 this case mythology--and simply juggles mythical concepts cut off 
 from the realities that generate them. Only the higher criticism of 
 
 the early 19th century made something progress, whereas the Death of 
 
 God movement simply rationalized a dying (for the intelligentsia) 
 religion. Altizer is an interesting character, but it's all nothing 

Feuerbach was a rather important thinker for the
Death of God crowd.  Then again, the theologians
had already pretty much baptized him anyway.
Karl Barth, the proponent of neo-orthodoxy, had
already Feuerbach a central figure for 20th
century theologians.  And likewise Nietzsche
and Freud had become required reading for
the theologians too. I suppose that
intellectually, the radical theology movement,
including the Death of God crowd, pretty much
regurgitated the ruminations of the Young
Hegelians, and those influenced by them
in the 19th century.


 
 more than the retooling of mythology within mythology.
 
 2. The lack of sophistication of Dawkins, Harris, Shermer and others 
 
 in or out of the official grouping of the new atheists, is another 
 
 matter entirely. They don't have to be familiar with the intricacies 
 
 of theology and prove their competence thereto in order to engage in 
 
 debate about the falsehood of religious belief. All this liberal 
 religion is very much a subterfuge in any case, playing a shady game 

The New Atheists, in my judgment, know enough theology
in order to be able to debink its claims.  Where they are lacking in
sophsitication is in their grasp of social theory, both
Marxist and non-Marxist.  Their explanations of religion and
religious phenomena, therefore, tend to biologistic, idealist,
and abstract as a consequence.  

 
 of as if while being very cagey about what one actually commits 
 oneself to--a game played by intellectuals who are too smart to 
 believe what the ordinary person purports to believe but not honest 
 
 enough to cut oneself loose from it. One finds this among liberal 
 Jewish, Christian, and presumably other religionists.

That's long been the position that humanist philosophers
have taken in regards to liberal theology., i.e. Sidney Hook, and Corliss
Lamont.

 
 What Dawkins et al are deficient in is far more serious. First, they 
 
 are philosophically naive or inept. They don't understand the 
 interplay between the realms of philosophy and empirical science 
 (cum 
 scientific theory), and they don't understand how philosophy works. 
 
 So when they make the leap to philosophical statements, they think 
 they are still engaging in straightforward scientific propositions.
 
 But it's much worse than this. Dawkins et al don't know, AND DON'T 
 WANT TO KNOW, anything about history or society or politics. 
 (Hitchens knows something, but doesn't want to know it anymore, 
 except for name-dropping self-promotion.) They want to read society, 
 
 culture, and history directly off of biological evolution or 
 cognitive psychology, unmediated by any engagement with real history 
 
 or sociology.
 
 
 
 At 02:39 PM 1/5/2010, c b wrote:
 Could God die again?
 Death of God theology was a 1960s phenomenon that casts light on 
 the
 narrowness of the current debate
 
 
 
 Nathan Schneider
 guardian.co.uk, Sunday 4 October 2009 09.00 BST
 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Barack Obama Worked For The CIA - John Pilger

2010-01-01 Thread Jim Farmelant

On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 13:16:35 +0900 CeJ jann...@gmail.com writes:
 Ignoring the deluge of repeated WMR stuff, I found this , which at
 least at first glance looks a lot more credible--it cites Wm Blum 
 and
 a NYT article. It also 'speculates' that Clinton did similar 
 bootboy
 service for the empire while a peregrinating young man. I have 
 always
 thought neither Clinton nor Obama's 'rise to the top' stories made 
 any
 sense if you can't account for who pulled strings for them and got
 them so much support when they should have been eating generic
 macaroni and cheese and struggling to pay off student loans. Of 
 course
 Clinton's rise happened in the 1960s and O's in the 1970s to early
 1980s. You might figure there is a Zbigniew connection in there.
 
 

That would be an interesting issue to look into.
How does the US ruling class go about recruiting
political talent? How were people like
Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and
Barack Obma able to rise to the
top so fast?  What agencies are
responsible for scouting out,
recruiting and grooming talented
young people in the interests of
the ruling class?

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Barack Obama Worked For The CIA - John Pilger

2010-01-01 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 10:54:36 -0500 Doug Henwood dhenw...@panix.com
writes:
 
 On Jan 1, 2010, at 10:35 AM, Jim Farmelant wrote:
 
  That would be an interesting issue to look into.
  How does the US ruling class go about recruiting
  political talent? How were people like
  Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and
  Barack Obma able to rise to the
  top so fast?  What agencies are
  responsible for scouting out,
  recruiting and grooming talented
  young people in the interests of
  the ruling class?
 
 Party leadership - political establishment plus major contributors - 
  
 would be a start. Supplemented by the inner pundit class (e.g.,  
 William Kristol's discovery of Sarah Palin).

All that is true but there seems to be more to it than
that, at least in some cases like Clinton or Obama.
Both of them seemed to be groomed for higher
things from quite an early age.  Of course in
Clinton's case it didn't hurt that he was already
thinking about his future political viability at the
age of 19, but it does seem that some of
the ruling class talent scouts already had
their eye on by the time he was doing
his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford.
And likewise with Obama, with his
early stint as a community organizer.

And I remember back in the 1970s
when all the conspiracy theorists were
taking about Jimmy Carter's relationship
with the Trilateral Commission.  Of course
most of that was the usual cracked pottery,
but I don't think they were completely nuts.
It does seem to me that back when Carter
was governor of Georgia, and otherwise
little known outside his state, important
people within the ruling class had their
eye on him as a possible future candidate
for national office and were grooming him
for that possibility.  And in Carter's case,
I think his naval career had some importance
here too.  Carter has always made much
of the fact that he was a protege of 
Admiral Hyman Rickover, a figure who
was not too popular with most of the
navy brass, but who was politically
very well connected.  That suggests
to me that even with Carter, he may
have made early on some contacts
that would serve him well later on.


Jim F.

 
 Doug
 
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[Marxism-Thaxis] Have a happy and merry December 25

2009-12-25 Thread Jim Farmelant


Today, as the world pauses on the birthday of one of history's greatest
men, whose teachings continue to benefit the entire human race, 
let us join in toasting the memory of Sir Isaac Newton, and of all 
the giants on whose shoulders he stood.

Jim Farmelant

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Soviet Cultural Psychology

2009-11-26 Thread Jim Farmelant

On Wed, 25 Nov 2009 11:40:14 -0500 c b cb31...@gmail.com writes:
 On his return to activity, the group began to work their way through
 all the theories of psychology which were contesting the field on 
 the
 world stage: Freud, Piaget, James, ... critiquing them and
 appropriating the insights each had to offer. The group worked
 collaboratively, discussing the problems in a group while one of 
 them
 took notes. To this day it is not possible to be certain about the
 authorship of much of what the group produced in this period. Even
 graduate students were invited to experiment on their own 
 initiative
 and sometimes made key breakthroughs.
 
 In a 1929 manuscript known as ‘The Crisis in Psychology’ (1997a) 
 they
 critically appropriated the insights of many contending schools of
 psychology, just as Marx had laboriously worked his way through
 everything that had been written about political economy.
 
 

Back in Janauary, I wrote a little a bit about the 
crisis in psychology as seen by Soviet psychologists 
back in the 1920s and 1930s. See:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism-thaxis/2009-January/023554.h
tml

As I pointed the Soviet psychologists drew upon both
American behaviorism, as represented by John B. Watson
and the Gestalt school.  Watson was seen as offering
a materialist psychology, which suffered from the
defect of being mechanistic and undialectical.
The Gestalt school offered a dialectical psychology,
but which was idealist.  The Soviet psychologists
were attempting to develop a psychology that
was both materialist and dialectical.

As Andy Blunden piece notes, the
psychology of Lev Vygotsky was
suppressed by Stalin's regime.  In
fact psychology as an independent
discipline was suppressed in the
Soviet Union for at least a couple
of decades.  This, in part at least,
was a consequence of Stalin's
regime opting to support the
'reflexology' of Ivan Pavlov
and Vladimir Bekhterev.
While we in the West tend
to think of Pavlov as having
been a psychologist, he
did not view himself as
such.  He was trained
as a physiologist and
he always saw himself as
a physiologist.  He described
his famous work on conditioned
reflexes as part of the physiology
of the higher nervous system.
He was generally dismissive
of psychology which he
tended to view as a kind
of pseudo-science.

Jim Farmelant

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Interview with Michael D. Yates: The ABCs of the Economic Crisis

2009-11-21 Thread Jim Farmelant



http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/yates201109.html

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Islamic creationism- Boston Globe

2009-10-25 Thread Jim Farmelant

Islam’s Darwin problem
In the Muslim world, creationism is on the rise

By Drake Bennett
October 25, 2009

Three weeks ago, with much fanfare, a team of scientists unveiled the
fossil 
skeleton of Ardi, a 4-foot-tall female primate who lived and died 4.4
million 
years ago in what is now Ethiopia. According to her discoverers, Ardi -
short 
for Ardipithecus ramidus, her species - is our oldest known ancestor. 
She predated Lucy, the fossilized Australopithecus afarensis that
previously 
had claimed the title, by 1.2 million years.

The papers announcing the find described a transitional specimen, with
the long 
arms and short legs of an ape and strong, grasping big toes suited to
life in the 
trees, but also a pelvis whose shape allowed her to walk upright on the
ground below.

That, at least, is what one discovered by following the coverage in the
Western press, 
or by reading the scientific papers themselves, published in the journal
Science. 
If you learned about Ardi on the Arabic-language version of Al Jazeera’s
website,
 however, you discovered something else: The find disproved the theory of
evolution.


(Read more here:
http://tinyurl.com/yzqzqal)

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Sechs prominente amerikanische Freidenker

2009-10-25 Thread Jim Farmelant


Those who know German can read the German 
translation of the article, Six Prominent American Freethinkers
(written by myself and Mark Lindley) on the website of the journal, 
Aufklärung und Kritik, where it appears as Sechs prominente 
amerikanische Freidenker. See

http://www.gkpn.de/Farmelant-Lindley_SechsFreidenker.pdf

In this article, the views of Col. Bob Ingersoll, Felix 
Adler, George Santayana, John Dewey, Ayn Rand, and Michael 
Harrington concerning religion, atheism and agnosticism are 
discussed and compared.

Thanks to Peter Kopf for preparing this translation.

The English text is available on the MRZine website. See:

http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/fl161208.html


Jim Farmelant

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Edgar Zilsel

2009-10-03 Thread Jim Farmelant
 


Of the members of the Vienna Circle
with Marxist leanings, Otto Neurath
was the best known figure. Another
member of the Circle with Marxist
leanings was the historian and philosopher
of science, Edgar Zilsel, who is probably
best remembered today for what is known
as the Zilsel Thesis, which attributes
the rise of modern science in the 17th
century to the rise of capitalism which
created an environment in which two
social groups that previously had
little interaction - academically trained
scholars, who were mainly from the
upper classes, and skilled craftsmen,
who were mainly from the lower orders.
The former group were trained in rational
analysis but had few practical skills
while the latter generally had little formal education,
but did possess practical skills and had
a tradition of experimentation. The
developing interactions between these
two groups in the 17th century, in Zilsel's
view led to the rise of modern experimental
science,
 
See:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Zilsel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zilsel_Thesis
www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/en/research//projects/DeptIII_Wulz_Zilsel
 http://tinyurl.com/ydnrp7g

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books. (The Boston Globe)

2009-09-05 Thread Jim Farmelant



Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books.
Cushing Academy embraces a digital future
By David Abel, Globe Staff  |  September 4, 2009

ASHBURNHAM - There are rolling hills and ivy-covered brick buildings.
There are small classrooms, high-tech labs, and well-manicured fields.
There’s even a clock tower with a massive bell that rings for special
events.

Cushing Academy has all the hallmarks of a New England prep school, with
one exception.

This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 books,
officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have
decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library.

The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books and
have given away half of what stocked their sprawling stacks - the
classics, novels, poetry, biographies, tomes on every subject from the
humanities to the sciences. The future, they believe, is digital.
“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before
books,’’ said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of
the bookless campus. “This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451’ [the 1953 Ray Bradbury
novel in which books are banned]. We’re not discouraging students from
reading. We see this as a natural way to shape emerging trends and
optimize technology.’’

Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a
“learning center,’’ though that is only one of the names in contention
for the new space. In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on
three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and
$20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference
desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a
$12,000 cappuccino machine.

And to replace those old pulpy devices that have transmitted information
since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1400s, they
have spent $10,000 to buy 18 electronic readers made by Amazon.com and
Sony. Administrators plan to distribute the readers, which they’re
stocking with digital material, to students looking to spend more time
with literature.

Those who don’t have access to the electronic readers will be expected to
do their research and peruse many assigned texts on their computers.
“Instead of a traditional library with 20,000 books, we’re building a
virtual library where students will have access to millions of books,’’
said Tracy, whose office shelves remain lined with books. “We see this as
a model for the 21st-century school.’’

Not everyone on campus is sold on Tracy’s vision.

They worry about an environment where students can no longer browse rows
of voluptuous books, replete with glossy photographs, intricate maps, and
pages dog-eared by generations of students. They worry students will be
less likely to focus on long works when their devices are constantly
interrupting them with e-mail and instant messages. They also worry about
a world where sweat-stained literature is deemed as perishable as all the
glib posts on Facebook or Twitter.

Liz Vezina, a librarian at Cushing for 17 years, said she never imagined
working as the director of a library without any books.
“It makes me sad,’’ said Vezina, who hosts a book club on campus dubbed
the Off-line Readers and has made a career of introducing students to
books. “I’m going to miss them. I love books. I’ve grown up with them,
and there’s something lost when they’re virtual. There’s a sensual side
to them - the smell, the feel, the physicality of a book is something
really special.’’

Alexander Coyle, chairman of the history department, is a self-described
“gadget freak’’ who enjoys reading on Amazon’s Kindle, but he has always
seen libraries and their hallowed content as “secular cathedrals.’’
“I wouldn’t want to ever get rid of any of my books at home,’’ he said.
“I like the feel of them too much. A lot us are wondering how this
changes the dignity of the library, and why we can’t move to increase
digital resources while keeping the books.’’

Tracy and other administrators said the books took up too much space and
that there was nowhere else on campus to stock them. So they decided to
give their collection - aside from a few hundred children’s books and
valuable antiquarian works - to local schools and libraries.
“We see the gain as greater than the loss,’’ said Gisele Zangari,
chairwoman of the math department, who like other teachers has plans for
all her students to do their class reading on electronic books by next
year. “This is the start of a new era.’’

Cushing is one of the first schools in the country to abandon its books.
“I’m not aware of any other library that has done this,’’ said Keith
Michael Fiels, executive director of the American Library Association, a
Chicago-based organization that represents the nation’s libraries.
He said the move raises at least two concerns: Many of the books on
electronic readers and the Internet aren’t free and it may become more

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books. (The Boston Globe)

2009-09-05 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sat, 05 Sep 2009 16:33:58 -0400 =?utf-8?Q?DG=C3=B6=C3=A7men?=
dogangoec...@aol.com writes:
 
  
 
 
 
 This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 
 books,
 officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston 
 have
 decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional 
 library.
 
 
 
 
  Jim,
 is that a decision taken because of real conviciton that tradional 
 libraries are no longer necessary or is it rather taken because of 
 financial pressure?
 I gues it is the second one.

I think so too.  The school in question is a private prep school
for the well-heeled, but this sort of thing can reverberate downwards
to effect financially strapped public school districts.  One can
easily imagine public school officials saying that they too will
dispense with books, saying that if a prep school like Cushing
Academy can do this, so can they.  The effect of such decisions
on children from working class and lower-middle class families
is likely to be far more negative than the impact that the
decision at Cushing Academy is likely to have on its own
students.


Jim Farmelant

 
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[Marxism-Thaxis] The Boston Globe on radical films

2009-09-05 Thread Jim Farmelant

http://tinyurl.com/mlasou

Rad, bad,  dangerous to know

Films rarely take up radical causes. Thre result can be a mix of Karl and
Groucho Marx.

By Ty Burr, Mark Feeney, and Wesley Morris, Globe Staff  |  September 6,
2009

The revolution is once more being screened. Opening Friday is Uli Edel’s
critically praised “The Baader Meinhof Complex,’’ which dramatizes
Germany’s violent Red Army faction of the late 1960s and ’70s.
Since the cinema is at once the most personal of art forms and a vast
commercial enterprise, films about the radical left are rare and varied,
from mawkish Hollywood tales to unstinting Maoist deconstructions.
American filmmakers have tended to mine the era for human drama, even
when dramatic engagement is beside the point. Europeans favor theory,
however abstruse and humorless.

The great radical movie - one that invites us in and connects the dots -
may have yet to be made, but it’s not for lack of trying. (Maybe the
rarely seen “Milestones,’’ from 1975, screening at the Harvard Film
Archive on Sept. 26, will be it.) Meanwhile, we rate some of the
contenders; four fists is as radical as we have seen.


LA CHINOISE and WEEKEND (1967) 
  4 Fists

With these two landmark works of agit-art, Jean-Luc Godard announced that
narrative was a bourgeois contrivance and the cinema a weapon of
revolution. “Chinoise’’ features actors playing students discussing
radical theory; it’s a great time capsule and more critical than you’d
think. The masterful “Weekend’’ simply envisions the end of the Western
world, snarled in an infinite traffic jam.


BANANAS (1971)
  1 Fist

“A revolution is not a dinner party,’’ Mao Zedong famously wrote. He
didn’t say anything about a laff riot, though. In “Bananas,’’ Woody Allen
heads off to Latin America in romantic pursuit of Louise Lasser. Becoming
involved in a local guerrilla movement, he ends up revolutionary leader
of the country. Allen, with his beard and combat fatigues, could be Fidel
Castro - assuming Fidel joined the Friars Club. Who needs Annie Hall when
you’ve got Gus Hall?


DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975) 
  1 Fist

Not a radical movie? That’s the point. When Al Pacino’s bank robber gets
the crowds on his side by shouting “Attica! Attica!’’ he’s proving both
how everything was political by the mid-1970s and how genuine radicalism
had become co-opted by radical chic. In its backhanded way, that one
scene marks the death of the ’60s.


NETWORK (1976)
 3 1/2 Fists

Oh, the Ecumenical Liberation Army. So committed to assassinating news
prophet Howard Beale (Peter Finch). So committed to negotiating a
lucrative deal for its prime-time television show: “The Mao Tse-Tung
Hour’’! These Black Power-ish radicals might be cutthroat negotiators,
but showbiz can cheapen any cause. As the group’s no-nonsense leader,
played by the great Laureen Hobbs, laments, “The Communist Party’s not
going to see a nickel of this . . . until we go into syndication!’’ Word.


REDS (1981)
3 Fists

Easily the most problematic movie about radicals. On the one hand, there
is the sweeping real-life love story of journalist John Reed (Warren
Beatty) and his future wife, Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), as the Russian
Revolution swirls around them. The film’s so big-budget tame that Beatty,
who also directed, screened it at the White House for an approving Ronald
Reagan. On the other hand, “Reds’’ has actual, honest-to-God (oh, all
right, honest-to-the-dialectic) radicals in it, like George Seldes and
Scott Nearing. It’s hard to get more radical than that.


PATTY HEARST (1988)
4 Fists

Director Paul Schrader gives us America’s Most Famous Kidnapped Heiress
a.k.a Tania the urban guerrilla. The superb Natasha Richardson rides
Hearst’s trajectory from a pampered Berkeley 19-year-old to a bereted
bank-robbing member of the leftist Symbionese Liberation Army, the
radicals who kidnapped her. It’s part black comedy about race, class, and
privilege, part psychological thriller. Did she really have no idea what
she was doing? Schrader unequivocally did.

RUNNING ON EMPTY (1988) 
   2 Fists

Sidney Lumet’s drama, based on Naomi Foner’s Oscar-nominated screenplay,
neatly captures the late-’80s take on ’60s radicals: flawed boomers led
astray by their own ideals. Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti are very good
as ex-campus guerrillas living underground in suburbia; River Phoenix, in
one of his best mainstream roles, plays their very confused son.


PANTHER (1995) 
   1 Fist

Hot off “New Jack City’’ and his mostly-black western, “Posse,’’ Mario
Van Peebles, working with dad Melvin, brought us an epic that managed to
make the Black Panther Party seem like a bunch of grad students on
poetry-slam night at the campus coffeehouse. It was righteous. But it was
also stagy, like watching a movement’s greatest moments turned into a
flashy movie of the week.


I SHOT ANDY WARHOL (1996)
 3 Fists

Mary Harron’s sneaky, cheeky portrait of Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor),
the Factory hanger-on who, one 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Forward from Rosa Lichtenstein on Analytic Marxism

2009-08-13 Thread Jim Farmelant


In response to this:
 
http://www.marxmail.org/msg66028.html
 
It is worth adding that Donald Davidson was a socialist, too, as were
Gilbert Ryle and John Austin. Wittgenstein himself declared he was a
'communist at heart', wanted to move to Russia (since he was in agreement
with the gains made by workers after the 1917 revolution), and attributed
the most important ideas of his later period to Sraffa. Moreover, Rush
Rees at one point wanted to join the UK-Trotskyist RCP and many of
Wittgenstein's other disciples were also lefties (for example, Gasking).
 
http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/Wittgenstein.htm
 
If anything, it's dialecticians who are the conservatives, since they are
quite happy to ape the dogmatic and a priori thought-forms of traditional
philosophy.
 
http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2002.htm
 
http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2012_01.htm
 
Rosa!
 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Short obit for Jerry Cohen

2009-08-08 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/farmelant080809.html

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Jerry Cohen, RIP

2009-08-05 Thread Jim Farmelant
  

http://colinfarrelly.blogspot.com/2009/08/ga-cohen-1941-2009.html

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Francis Jeanson dies

2009-08-02 Thread Jim Farmelant


For those who can read French there is an obit at:

www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gk_HA3eO_bSmjiFqzSeTGY0aPL6g



He was a philosopher, who was a friend and disciple
of Jean-Paul Sartre.  He was probably best known
for his work during the time of the Algerian struggle
for independence when he founded what came
to be known as the Jeanson Network which
transported funds to the Algerian FLN.
For that work he was put on trial for
breaching state security but was eventually
amnestied and he was able to go back
to academic life.

Outside the francophone world he
is probably best known for his
cameo appearance in Godard's
1967 file, La Chinoise.

Jim F.

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] [Marxism] (fwd) Ralph Dumain revisits Boris Hessen

2009-07-05 Thread Jim Farmelant

Here are some links on Boris Hessen,

Jim Farmelant

On Sun, 05 Jul 2009 07:01:58 -0400 Les Schaffer schaf...@optonline.net
writes:
 [from Jim Farmelant, came as html-only]
 

 - Forwarded Message -
 
 Introduction to The Social and Economic Roots of Newton's 
 'Principia' by
 Boris Hessen
 
Robert S. Cohen's essay on Hessen is at:
http://www.autodidactproject.org/other/hessen-cohen.html
 
 
 Hessen's famous essay was originally published in English 
 translation in:
 
 Science at the Cross Roads; Papers Presented to the [2nd] 
 International
 Congress of the History of Science and Technology Held in London 
 from
 June 20th to July 3rd, 1931 by the delegates of the U.S.S.R. 
 (London:
 Kniga, Ltd., 1931), pp. 151-212.
 
Hessen's essay is at:
http://webfiles.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/rereadingClassics/Hessen.pdf/V1_Hess
en.pdf
 
 
 Note also:
 
  The Social and Economic Roots of Newton's Principia by Boris 
 Hessen
 Translated by Phlippa Shimrat; edited by Peter McLaughlin  Gideon
 Freudenthal
 (Note: different translation from the original published 
 translation)
 
 Social Milieu and Evolution of Logic, Epistemology, and History of 
 Science.
 The Case of Marxism
 by Valentin A. Bazhanov
 
Bazhanov's essay is at:
http://www.ulsu.ru/staff/homepages/bazhanov/english/canary_e.pdf
 
 
 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Coup in Honduras

2009-06-28 Thread Jim Farmelant


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090628/wl_nm/us_honduras_president

Troops detain Honduras president: government

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduran soldiers detained leftist President
Manuel Zelaya on Sunday in a constitutional crisis over his attempt to
win re-election, government officials said.
Troops took Zelaya, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, from his
residence to an unknown location, Eduardo Reina, the president's private
secretary, told Reuters.
He said shots were fired during the incident, but that could not be
independently confirmed.
We have received reports that he was taken to a military air base,
Rafael Alegria, a senior government official, told pro-Zelaya television
station Channel 8.
The president fired the armed forces chief of staff last week for
refusing to help him organize an unofficial referendum on Sunday on
allowing presidents to serve more than a single four-year term.
The impoverished Central American country had been politically stable
since the end of military rule in the early 1980s, but Zelaya's push to
change the constitution to allow him another term has split the country's
institutions.
The Supreme Court last week came out against Zelaya and ordered him to
reinstate fired military chief General Romeo Vasquez -- a move the
president said amounted to a coup against him.
The pro-government TV channel on Sunday called on Zelaya supporters to
gather in the capital to support the president, but then went off the air
without explanation. Phone calls to the presidential palace went
unanswered.
The global economic crisis has curbed growth in Honduras, which lives off
coffee and textile exports and remittances from Honduran workers abroad.
Recent opinion polls have shown that public support for Zelaya has fallen
as low as 30 percent.
Honduras, home to 7 million people, is a major drug trafficking transit
point.
(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg and Gustavo Palencia; editing by Mohammad
Zargham)
Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserve

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Marxism-Thaxis Digest, Vol 68, Issue 15

2009-06-27 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sat, 27 Jun 2009 19:55:56 +0100 Karl Dallas karldal...@f2s.com
writes:
 Where can we read this article in English?
 
 2009/6/27 marxism-thaxis-requ...@lists.econ.utah.edu


Well, the journal, Religious Humanism, which is put out
by the HUUmanists, costs something like $22 for a one
year subscription.  It comes out twice a year.  Unfortunately,
unlike the German journal, Aufklärung und Kritik, they
are not very good about posting articles online.  In fact on their
website at:
If you go to the website of the HUUmanists at:
(http://www.huumanists.org/publications/journal),
they don't display any articles past 1999.
 
If requested offlist, I can email people my article. 


Jim Farmelant

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Article on New Atheism (and 'New Humanism')

2009-06-26 Thread Jim Farmelant



My article, New Atheism (and 'New Humanism') has been published in the
latest issue of the journal, Religious Humanism (Fall 2008), which is put
put by the HUUmanists, a group that represents the humanist, non-theistic
wing of the Unitarian-Universalists. 
Alas, the journal consistently mispells my name as Farmalant, rather than
Farmelant. The same article had appeared last year in the German humanist
journal, Aufklärung und Kritik 
(http://www.gkpn.de/Farmelant_Atheismus.pdf). The Germans, of course,
spelled my name correctly.

Jim Farmelant

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Boris Hessen and Philipp Frank

2009-06-14 Thread Jim Farmelant


Probably at least a few people here have
heard of Boris Hessen, the Soviet physicist
and historian and philosopher of science, whose
groundbreaking paper, The Social and Economic Roots of Newton’s
Principia
(http://webfiles.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/rereadingClassics/Hessen.pdf/V1_Hess
en.pdf)
would have a profound impact on the emergence of
the history of science as a distinct discipline in
the West, following that paper's delivery by
Hessen at the Second International Congress of
the History of Science in London, as part of
a delegation of Soviet scholars and scientists
that included Nikolai Bukharin. While
many people were influenced by Hessen's
paper, it made a strong impact on
at least several young British scientists,
including J.D. Bernal, J.B.S. Haldane,
Lancelot Hogben, and Joseph Needham,
all of whom achieved eminence in their
respective scientific specialties while
also becoming very influential writers
concerning the history and social
functions of science, from a Marxist
perspective.

Recently, I have been reading Loren R. Graham's book, 
*Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History*.
He has a discussion of Hessen and his groundbreaking paper
on Newton.  What is interesting about Graham's discussion of
Hessen, is that he sees Hessen's work on Newton
as having been motivated in large degree by his concern
with defending modern physics - Einstein's theory of relativity
and quantum mechanics, as developed by de Broglie,
Heisenberg, Schroedinger, and Bohr, from the sustained
ideological attacks that these theories were enduring in the
Soviet Union at that time.  Both relativity and quantum
mechanics were being denounced as idealist and bourgeois.
Furthermore, the writings of Einstein, Heisenberg,
and Bohr along with such people as James Jeans
and Arthur Eddington were widely cited by Soviet ideologists
in support of their attacks on these two theories
as being idealist, since some of these scientists,
especially Eddington were in fact quite insistent
that the new physics lent support to an
idealist metaphysical worldview.  In addition
the fact that Einstein explicitly acknowledged
drawing upon the ideas of Ernst Mach
was cited against relativity, since Lenin
after all, had in his book, *Materialism
and Empirio-Criticism*, made the
philosophies of Mach and Avernarius
the chief targets of criticism.

Most of the Soviet opponents of
modern physics championed
Newtonian physics as the physics
that was most consistent with
Marxism and dialectical materialism.
Graham reads Hessen as attempting
to undercut Soviet criticism of modern physics
by attempting to show that Newtonian
physics was vulnerable to the same
sorts of criticism.  Newton himself
was the proponent of a highly theological
view of the universe.  He saw his science
as lending support to theism and Christianity.
Furthermore, Newton's work was very
much tied to the class interests of the
rising English bourgeoisie.  Yet, despite
all this, his science was of genuine and
permanent value.  Graham takes Hessen
as attempting to present a similar case
on behalf of relativity and quantum mechanics.
Though both theories could and were often
given idealist metaphysical interpretations.
Such interpretations were not the only
ones possible.  Both theories could also
be given materialist philosophical interpretations
too, just as the case with Newtonian physics.
Newton himself and many of his disciples
were quite pious and they presented
theological interpretations of their
science, but materialist interpretations
of Newtonian physics were possible
and those indeed were the ones that
were accepted in the Soviet Union.
But if Newtonian physics could now
interpreted in materialist terms, despite
the intention of its founders who were
decidedly not materialists, then the
same sort of thing could happen
to relativity and quantum mechanics.
The founders of these theories might
not have been materialists, but there
was nothing to prevent us from giving
these theories materialist interpretations.

Now, I find this view of scientific theories
and the philosophical interpretations
to which they may be given quite similar
to the view that the logical empricist
Philipp Frank gave in his writings
such as *Modern Science and
Its Philosophy*, and
*Philosophy of Science: The Link
between Philosophy and Science*.
There, Frank argued for the importance
between distinguishing between the
specifically scientific content of theories
like Newton's mechanics, Einstein's
theory of relativity and quantum
mechanics and the various assorted
metaphysical interpretations that can
be provided for any of these theories.
iscussed the metaphysical interpretations
Frank emphasized the extent to which such interpretations
can support various social and political agenda. He
pointed out how the popular mystical interpretations
that have been given for quantum mechanics
tend to support reactionary political
agenda.  He also made mention of
the Soviet debates over philosophical

[Marxism-Thaxis] Translation history of Das Kapital

2009-05-31 Thread Jim Farmelant


A friend of mine is working on a bibliography
of books read by Mahatma Gandhi.

Among the works read by Gandhi
was the English translation of
Das Kapital by Samuel Moore
and Edward Aveling.  It is my
understanding that Moore  Aveling
only translated volume I, and that
volumes II and III were only
first translated into English later
on by Ernest Untermann
for an American edition that was published
by Charles H. Kerr  Co. of Chicago.
Is that correct, or am I in error on that point?

Thanks in advance.

Jim Farmelant

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Paul Cockshott on Leonid Kantorovich and the socialist calculation debate

2009-05-24 Thread Jim Farmelant

Paul Cockshott on how the Soviet economist and mathematician,
Leonid Kantorovich (who was the only Soviet economist
to ever win the Nobel Prize in economics),
used his work on linear programming to 
answer the arguments of economists like Ludwig von Mises
and Friedrich Hayek who argued that rational socialist
economic planning was, even in theory, impossible.

Calculation in-Natura, from Neurath to Kantorovich

http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wpc/reports/standalonearticle.pdf

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Article on the Scottish roots of historical materialism

2009-05-11 Thread Jim Farmelant


 
Courtesty of Rosa Lichtenstein.  

Readers might be interested in an article that attempts
trace the roots of Marx's materialist conception
of history back to the Scottish Enlightenment.
 
http://jcs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/7/3/339
 
It is the first detailed study of the links between Adam Ferguson, Adam 
Smith and Marx (re the division of labour and alienation), and it's 
currently free to download.
 
Jim F.
 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Review of Ron Aronson's *Living without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided*

2009-05-01 Thread Jim Farmelant


http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/farmelant010509.html

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Tristram Hunt on Engels

2009-04-25 Thread Jim Farmelant


http://www.historytoday.com/MainArticle.aspx?m=33301amid=30279138

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-21 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 22:47:31 -0800 (PST) Charles Brown
cdb1...@prodigy.net writes:

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2009/02/social-collapse-best-practices.html
 
 Someone named Orlov says in the essay linked above:
 
 When the Soviet system went away, many 
 people lost their jobs, everyone lost their savings, wages and 
 pensions were held back for months, their value 
 was wiped out by hyperinflation, there shortages of food, gasoline, 
 medicine, consumer goods, there was a 
 large increase in crime and violence, and yet Russian society did 
 not collapse. Somehow, the Russians found 
 ways to muddle through. How was that possible? It turns out that 
 many aspects of the Soviet system were paradoxically 
 resilient in the face of system-wide collapse,
 ^
 CB: Evidently, the SU had more of a grass roots and democratic 
 society , working class people's world there all 
 along than a lot of observers and critics, West and East , thought. 
 Was this a paradox or was it proof that working 
 people ran things more than critics claimed ?

The Socialist Workers Party (USA) has long been insistent
that Russia remains a kind of workers state.  Their formulations
strike me as nutty, but I think that they have stumbled on to
a facet of post-Soviet life that merits further exploration,
which is that many aspects of the Soviet system have managed
to survive the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Indeed, given
the recent economic downturn which has now begun to
impact Russia, it is quite possible that we might see Russia
reverting back to Soviet-style economic and social policies
in order to maintain order.  

It also seems to be the case that the same is true for
some of the other former Warsaw Pact countries as well.
The Czech Republic for instance has since 1989 been
governed mostly by rightwing governments that have
been avowedly committed to neoliberal economic
policies, and yet I have read that much of the social
safety net that was built up under the Communist
regime has remained more or less in place since
1989.  That indeed it has been the continuing
existence of this social safety net that made it
possible for the post-Communists governments
to gain the acquiescence of the Czech masses
in the creation of a market economy there.

 
 
 That the author evidently didn't expect this, 
 suggests he didn't quite understand fully what was going on at the 
 base of his country.
 
 ^
 
  many institutions continued to function, and 
 the living arrangement was such that people did not lose access to 
 food, shelter or transportation, and could survive 
 even without an income. The Soviet economic system failed to thrive, 
 and the Communist experiment at constructing a 
 worker's paradise on earth was, in the end, a failure.
 ^
 CB: Or maybe the collapse of the Soviet state 
 was the state whithering away, as Marx prognosticated. And what is 
 left is closer to the free association of free producers, 
 or whatever, Since Marx didn't predict a workers paradise, maybe 
 this author is looking for the wrong thing, and what
  is there is closer to what Marx envisioned than he thinks.
 
 Since the collapse of the Soviet state, I've 
 always been interested in the reports like this one that people 
 continued to survive without income or wages. That 
 means that the money system, the wage system went poof !  That's 
 what is supposed to happen in communism. 
 
 Very interesting.
 
 ^^
 
  But as a side effect it inadvertently achieved 
 a high level of collapse-preparedness. 
 
 ^^
 CB: Maybe it wasn't so inadvertent. Maybe the 
 big ,bad Soviet state was a protective, scary mask worn to ward off 
 the vicious imperialist system, and the real future society was 
 grown on purpose underneath, with hardy roots. It is 
 not likely an accident that the society he describes survived and 
 functions.
 You can be sure that they are growing a lot of local food in 
 gardens.
 
 ^ 
 
 
 In comparison, the American system could 
 produce significantly better results, for time, but at the cost of 
 creating and perpetuating a living arrangement
  that is very fragile, and not at all capable of holding together 
 through the inevitable crash. Even after the Soviet 
 economy evaporated and the government largely shut down, Russians 
 still had plenty left for them to work with. 
 ^
 CB: My estimate is that he is mistaken that 
 this was inadvertent. It was not a paradise, but it was a place 
 where the working class was empowered and running their own lives.
 ^^
 
 And so there is a wealth of useful information 
 and insight that we can extract from the Russian experience, which 
 we can then turn around and put to good use in helping
  us improvise a new living arrangement here in the United States � 
 one that is more likely to be survivable.
 
 ^^
 CB: Hopefully. But unfortunately, we don't have socialism, and they 
 did.
 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-21 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 16:35:43 -0800 (PST) Charles Brown
cdb1...@prodigy.net writes:
 
 
 
 --- On Sat, 2/21/09, Jim Farmelant farmela...@juno.com wrote:
 
  From: Jim Farmelant farmela...@juno.com
 
  
  The Socialist Workers Party (USA) has long been insistent
  that Russia remains a kind of workers state. 
  Their formulations
  strike me as nutty, but I think that they have stumbled on
  to
  a facet of post-Soviet life that merits further
  exploration,
  which is that many aspects of the Soviet system have
  managed
  to survive the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Indeed, given
  the recent economic downturn which has now begun to
  impact Russia, it is quite possible that we might see
  Russia
  reverting back to Soviet-style economic and social policies
  in order to maintain order.  
  
  It also seems to be the case that the same is true for
  some of the other former Warsaw Pact countries as well.
  The Czech Republic for instance has since 1989 been
  governed mostly by rightwing governments that have
  been avowedly committed to neoliberal economic
  policies, and yet I have read that much of the social
  safety net that was built up under the Communist
  regime has remained more or less in place since
  1989.  That indeed it has been the continuing
  existence of this social safety net that made it
  possible for the post-Communists governments
  to gain the acquiescence of the Czech masses
  in the creation of a market economy there.
 
 ^^
 CB: It is interesting that the social
 safety net remained, because as I understand
 it, neo-liberalism is supposed to strip
 away welfare and the social safety net.
 So, perhaps the name was neoliberalism
 but the facts on the ground were not so
 neo-liberal.
 
 It really will be interesting to see
 what happens now if the world wide
 recession/depression  batters
 what ever free-market institutions
 that were actually established in
 Eastern Europe, Russia and the rest
 of the former Soviet Union. Their
 stock markets are likely to be more
 fragile and limited than those in the
 US and Western Europe. A crash of
 neo-phyte stock markets could be
 their end or lead to their permanent
 limitation.  Besides the social safety
 net, how far could they really go
 in privatizing basic means of production
 and basic necessities
 industries, such as food, utilities, mass
 transit, water, gas, electricity, telephone?
 Those are only half private in the
 US. It probably wouldn't be a very
 big step to nationalize them - permanently.
 The same with the banking system.

Well in Russia the state renationalized most
of the energy industry several years ago.
Putin, as president, went a long way towards
reestablishing the leading role of the state in
the management of Russia's economy.  The
state is a major stockholder in many of
Russia's largest companies.  One of Putin's
big achievements was to rein in the oligarchs
who had taken control of much of Russia's
economy under Yeltsin.

All this course takes us back to a lot
of the old debates over the nature of
the former Soviet Union:  was it socialist?
was it state capitalist?  a degenerate workers
state?  a bureacratic collectivism?

And to those old debates we can now
can add debates over the nature of contemporary
post-Soviet Russia.  The post-Soviet regimes
of Yeltsin and Putin had the avowed aim of
restoring capitalism, but it seems that the
reality there is perhaps more complex.
They never could entirely obliterate Soviet-era
institutions and practices, and now, I suspect,
that the current world economic practice may
force the current government of Medvedev
and Putin to revive many of the old Soviet policies.
I suppose that we might characterize the
current Russian economy as a kind of
state capitalism with some socialist characteristics.

Jim F.

 
  In Eastern
 Europe, and countries like Latvia,
 Estonia and Lithuania with no Russian
 troops there anymore, there may be
 little reason to resent socialist 
 organization, socialist _self_organization
 and self-determination.
 
 Perhaps socialism will come as a
 negation of the negation of the
 first experience of socialism.
 
 They don't have to call it
 socialism or communism Just call it
 economic democracy and freedom
 or social democracy or
 democratic socialism.
 
 
 
 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] [politicalaffairs] Re: Political Affairs Magazine - The Concept of quot; Auraquot; and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and Greenberg

2009-02-07 Thread Jim Farmelant

On Sat, 7 Feb 2009 05:30:54 -0800 (PST) Mehmet Cagatay
mehmetcagatayay...@yahoo.com writes:
 
 Mr. Dumain, would you please clarify why you regard Althusserian 
 anti-humanism as a kind of epater les bourgeois?

The whole debate seems peculiarly French to me.
In France since the 19th century humanism was
seen as something that was closely tied to
the bourgeoisie.  Even someone like Sartre
struggled over whether he was a humanist
or not.  He eventually decided that his
existentialism was a kind of humanism,
but one that was different from the kinds
of humanism that the bourgeoisie typically
embraced.  In Sartre's case, I think he
identified conventional bourgeois humanism
with essentialism. Those humanisms
posited a human essence, whereas for
Sartre, existence preceded essence.

In the French debates over humanism
in the 1960s and 1970s, structuralists
and poststructuralists like Levi-Strauss,
Louis Althusser, and Michel Foucault
attempted to push the critique of humanism
much further than Sartre had been willing
to go.  Sartre's existentialism, as he realized,
was still a humanism.  He placed free will
at the center of his conception of man.
People, regardless of the circumstances
that they might find themselves in, still
retained their freedom, if only the
freedom to redefine their situation
in alternative ways.  The French
anti-humanists questioned this view
in light of such developments in the
human sciences like structural linguistics
(which Levi-Strauss to generalize into
a complete anthropology), psychoanalysis
(i.e. the work of Lacan which enjoyed
great currency in this period), and of
course, Marxism.  Althusser, was
of course, a Marxist and long time
member of the PCF.  Foucault,
who had been a student of Althusser,
was a member of the PCF for a brief
period of time.  By the 1950s, he had
renounced Marxism in favor of Nietzscheanism,
although his work was still very much
influenced by Marxism.  Levi-Strauss,
I believed, identified himself at this time
as a Marxist, although his work doesn't
strike me as being particularly Marxist.

There were certainly differences in viewpoints
between these people.  Althusser doesn't
seem to have been particularly enamored
with Levi-Strauss's work, and he didn't
like being called a structuralist.  However,
all these people's work, whether drawing 
from Saussure, Freud, Marx, Nietzsche,
or Heidegger, all had certain themes in
common.  They all rejected the Sartrean
emphasis on human freedom, instead
emphasizing the extent to which human
behavior is determined by structures
of various sorts, whether these be
linguistic structures, kinship structures,
structures of epistemology (Foucault
in this *The Order of Things*), social
structures as represented by the 
mode of production and associated
superstructures (i.e. Althusser), and
so forth.  They all rejected the traditional
humanist idea that their exists an unchanging
human essence which provides the basis
for freedom and equality and human rights.
For the French antihumanists, this conception
was rejected as being ideological and/or
metaphysical, and they drew variously
upon Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger,
in their critiques of humanism.




 
 Thank you in advance,
 
 
 
 Mehmet Çagatay
 http://weblogmca.blogspot.com/
 
 
 --- On Fri, 2/6/09, Ralph Dumain rdum...@autodidactproject.org 
 wrote:
 
  Althusserian and French anti-humanism in general 
  is bullshit, the French intellectual's way of, as 
  they say, epater les bourgeois. If humanism 
  alludes to something else, then that should be 
  decoded. And I think Tedman is quite mistaken.
 
 
 
   
 
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[Marxism-Thaxis] The violence network (Boston Globe)

2009-01-18 Thread Jim Farmelant

www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/01/18/the_violence_network
/
The violence network
It's biased, gruesome, and totally compelling. How Al-Jazeera makes one
American think differently about war
By Eric Calderwood  |  January 18, 2009
DAMASCUS - This morning, while I made my coffee and eggs, I tuned in to
the best show on television. When I went next door to buy my milk, the
owner of the Rawda Grocery Store was already watching it, and down in the
Sha'alan neighborhood, at the restaurant where I ate breakfast yesterday,
customers are sitting over their bowls of fava bean soup, eyes glued to
the screen. Millions across the region are following it along with us.
The show is the conflict in Gaza. On Al-Jazeera. Israel has restricted
international reporters and camera crews from Gaza, so the Qatari network
is one of the few international media outlets to have a full, working
bureau inside Gaza City.
Even if CNN could sneak a camera crew through the checkpoints, it's hard
to imagine they would produce anything like what's on Al-Jazeera - an
all-day, ever-shifting drama that throws war in your face with all its
gruesome cruelty. It is openly partisan, almost never showing Israeli
deaths or injuries. It is also provocative and upsetting in a way that
looks nothing like news in the West. Their broadcasts routinely feature
mutilated corpses being pulled from the scene of an explosion, or
hospital interviews with maimed children, who bemoan the loss of their
siblings or their parents - often killed in front of their eyes.
Al-Jazeera splices archival footage into the live shots, weaving
interviews and expertly produced montages into a devastating narrative
you can follow from the comfort of your own home.
This is news without even the pretense of impartiality. After several
days of following the Al-Jazeera coverage of Gaza, I've never seen a live
interview with an Israeli, neither a politician nor a civilian. In the
Al-Jazeera version, the Gaza conflict has only two participants: the
Israeli army - an impersonal force represented as tanks and planes on the
map - and the Palestinian civilians, often shown entering the hospital on
makeshift stretchers. There are few Hamas rockets and no Israeli
families. It's not hard to see why Al-Jazeera is accused of deliberately
inflaming regional enmity and instability.
But in a larger sense, Al-Jazeera's graphic response to CNN-style
bloodless war journalism is a stinging rebuke to the way we now see and
talk about war in the United States. It suggests that bloodless coverage
of war is the privilege of a country far from conflict. Al-Jazeera's
brand of news - you could call it blood journalism - takes war for what
it is: a brutal loss of human life. The images they show put you in
visceral contact with the violence of war in a way statistics never
could.
For an American, to watch Al-Jazeera's coverage of Gaza is to realize
that you've become alienated not just from war, but even from the
representation of war as a real thing. As Americans, we're used to
hearing the sound of heavy artillery, machine guns, and bombs in action
films and video games. Yet here on the news, they seem strangely out of
place. You could argue that Al-Jazeera uses images of civilian violence
to foment public outrage against Israel. This might well be true. At the
same time, these images acknowledge human suffering and civilian death
and stand strongly against them - and in doing so, foment outrage against
war itself.
Whether you are a fan or a critic of the network's presentation of the
news, it's hard to deny that Al-Jazeera is, first and foremost, excellent
television. The network's command of the form is one reason why it has
resisted being marginalized, and even gained in prestige, despite
acrimonious criticism from the American government and from many Western
media sources. Watching its sounds and images, day after day, has a
powerful effect totally outside the framework of the conflict it's
covering.
Al-Jazeera choreographs its Gaza coverage with a sophistication that goes
well beyond the dramatic representation of violence. To watch the war on
Al-Jazeera is to be captured in a new rendering of time, and to become
part of an imagined community defined by it. The network uses a
ticker-tape format, with a constant flow of text underneath the main
image. To the left is a small box that counts the days of the war in red
and white fonts. Thus, while watching the news, you're introduced to a
new calendar, in which the beginning of the war is the beginning of time.
The ticker tape at the bottom of the screen includes a running count of
the human cost of the war, steadily tolling the number of wounded and
dead.
The network's producers seem to have learned a lot from American reality
television, where real footage is crafted and spliced into a compelling
narrative with characters, personal conflict, and a dramatic arc. Each
day, viewers here in Syria and across the Arab world tune into a new

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] [A-List] Albert Einstein, Paul Robeson and Israel

2009-01-10 Thread Jim Farmelant

On Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:35:45 -0500 Paul Wright
pwri...@prisonlegalnews.org writes:
 This is hardly new or unexpected. Vladimir jabotinsky was one of the 
 leading
 Zionists of the 1930s and no crime was too vile (including 
 collaboration
 with the Nazis) if it meant a Zionist homeland. 

Actually, Jabotinsky never advocated collaboration
with Nazi Germany, although he was more than
willing to accept assistance from Mussolini, who
for a time provided a naval college in Italy where
the Betar could do their training.

With the outbreak of the Second World War,
Jabotinsky called upon the Zionists to support
the Allies, including Great Britain.  During the
war, however, the Revisionist Zionists underwent
a split, with the LEHI, founded by Avraham Stern
and Yitzhak Shamir, opposing support for the
Allies on the grounds that Great Britain was
the greatest obstacle to independence for
a Jewish state in Palestine. And they indeed,
attempted to negotiate an arrangment with
the Third Reich.

 And lets not forget 
 the
 zionist congress that approved Uganda as the Jewish homeland, Herzl 
 had to
 fight that one back on his own. When god is your real estate agent 
 you need
 to nail down the particulars.
 
 But other Zionists, like Ben Gurion were socialists. An Israeli 
 friend of
 mine has Ben Gurion's may day messages to Stalin framed on his 
 office wall.

Back during the 1920s and 1930s, Ben-Gurion would
often preface his speeches with references to Comrade Lenin
and Comrade Stalin.  Later on, he and the other Labor Zionists
looked mainly towards Great Britain for support for the creation
of a Jewish state.

 It was soviet guns and support that made Israel a reality. 

Mostly, indirectly via Czechoslovakia.  The Soviet Union,
however, did much to make the creation of Israel possible.
They had backed the 1947 plan for the partition of Palestine.
They early on recognized the new state when it was created
in 1948.  Stalin, I believe, did allow a limited number of
Jewish veterans from the Red Army to come to Israel to
assist the IDF.

 There is 
 a broad
 ideological range within Zionism. But that is common (i.e., the 
 Irish
 liberation movement has everything from M-Ls to right wing 
 Catholics). I
 find it interesting that Israel has gone through 3 patrons to date 
 (USSR,
 France and now the US) which would seem to prove Benjamin Disraeli's 
 axiom
 that there are no permanent allies, only permanent interests. The 
 strategic
 vision and determination of Zionist leaders over the past 100 years 
 has
 certainly been impressive as they seized every historic opportunity 
 to make
 Israel a reality. Getting the Palestinians to pay for atrocities 
 committed
 by the Germans is simply brilliant.
 
 
 
 Paul Wright, Editor
 Prison Legal News
 P.O. Box 2420
 West Brattleboro, VT 05303
 802-257-1342
 pwri...@prisonlegalnews.org
 www.prisonlegalnews.org
  
 Seattle Office:
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 206-246-1022

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Have a happy and merry December 25

2008-12-25 Thread Jim Farmelant


Today, as the world pauses on the birthday of one of history's greatest
men, whose teachings continue to benefit the entire human race,
let us join in toasting the memory of Sir Isaac Newton, and of all
the giants on whose shoulders he stood.


Jim Farmelant


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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Have a happy and merry December 25

2008-12-25 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Thu, 25 Dec 2008 19:59:01 +0900 CeJ jann...@gmail.com writes:
 Was Newton really that great a man?

In terms of his achievements, he most definately was.

In terms of his personality and character,
he was not so great.  In fact he was often
downright mean and nasty

 
 CJ
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Have a happy and merry December 25

2008-12-25 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Thu, 25 Dec 2008 20:18:16 +0900 CeJ jann...@gmail.com writes:
 I found this one to get me into that holiday mood!
 
 http://www.historicist.com/newton/p1c4.htm
 


Wikipedia has an article on Newton's studies of the occult:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton's_occult_studies

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] The playboy philosopher

2008-10-09 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Thu, 9 Oct 2008 10:09:38 +0900 CeJ [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


 
 BTW, I admire Sartre's contributions to philosophy, social science 
 and
 politics. And his relationships with Camus, De Beauvoir  and 
 Merleau
 Ponty have long fascinated me. I think JF you are thinking of 
 someone
 else on another list, since you contribute on the philsophy of 
 history
 on those lists while at the same time CB cross-posts from those very
 same lists to this list (for example this thread on the playboy
 philosopher, which seems to have sprung up already fully discussed
 somewhere else).

I had your posts confused with the individual who
posts on Marxmail as Ruthless Critic of All
That Exists.  He was the one who got Sartre's
position on Hungary.  However, that is not
to deny that in the early 1950s, had been
very much an uncritical supporter of the
Soviet Union and Stalin.  It was Khrushchev's
1956 speech at the 20th Party Congress
on Stalin that seems to have
removed the scales from his eyes.
In a broader sense Sartre remained
something of a Stalinist and this was
presumably reflected in his involvement
with the Maoists in the early 1970s.

Jim F.

 
 CJ
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] The playboy philosopher

2008-10-06 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 17:35:48 -0400 Ralph Dumain
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 What a useless piece of shit Badiou is. His politics are even more 
 worthless than his philosophy.
 
 As for Sartre, there are others on the anti-Stalinist left who bear 
 a 
 grudge against him for his erstwhile apologetics for the Communist 
 Party. Some might wonder what he was doing with Maoist students.

I can answer that as follows:

Sartre's involvement with the Maoists came 
when the Gaullist government in France initiated a crackdown on 
the Maoists in 1970. Jean-Pierre Le Dantec, who was editor-in-chief 
of the newspaper, La Cause du peuple - published by the Maoist group 
Proletarian Left was arrested and his paper seized. He was immediately 
replaced by a new editor, Michel Le Bris, who was then arrested ten 
days later. In other words, the French government was most intent on 
suppressing the Maoist press at that time. Since the government had made 
it clear that it would arrest anybody who would take charge of the paper,

the Maoists decided to turn to Sartre. So on April 28, 1970, Sartre after

meeting with a number of leading Maoists including Benny Levy (then known

as Pierre Victor) accepted the post of editor-in-chief. Later that year
Sartre 
accepted the same position at several other Maoist papers that were also
facing 
suppression by the French government. In the meantime,the French National

Assembly passed legislation restricting demonstrations, which gave the
minister 
of the interior the power to dissolve the Proletarian Left, which he 
ordered on May 27, 1970. 

Sartre's acceptance of the post of editor-in-chief with several Maoist
papers 
lent his name, his prestige and indeed his active participation to the
campaign 
against the attempts by the government to suppress the Maoists. For this
Sartre 
was attacked by most of the bourgeois press which charged him with 
grandstanding and self-promotion, while the Communist paper, L'Humanite,
attacked him for endorsing the vulgar provocations of the Maoists. 
Only Le Monde was in any way supportive.

When the cases of the two arrested editors of La Cause du peuple was
taken 
to the courts, the decision to outlaw the paper was revoked but the
editors 
were still found guilty of violating the law. That verdict was followed
by 
outbreaks of violent demonstrations. In June, Sartre and his friends
founded 
the Association of the Friends of La Cause du peuple, with Simone de
Beauvoir 
and Liliane Siegel as fronts. They organized public distributions of the
paper in 
Paris with Sartre, Beauvoir, and many leading intellectuals and
journalists publicly 
hawking the paper. Sartre, no stranger to publicity, made sure that there
was a 
photographer from Gallimard to photograph the whole thing. Sartre was
arrested, 
questioned by the police, then released.

Following that incident Sartre who had been called as a witness in the
trial of a 
Maoist leader, Alain Geismar, refused to come to the court. Instead, he
harangued 
the workers at the Renault Billancourt plants where he called upon the
workers to 
support Geismar's cause. Most of the workers ignored his speech. 

Sartre was widely ridiculed in the French press.

Sartre's active involvement with the Maoists continued until 1973. 
His relations with them were often quite stormy but his involvement did
help 
beat back the government's attempts to suppress or censor the radical
press in France.

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] The playboy philosopher

2008-10-06 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 17:35:48 -0400 Ralph Dumain
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 What a useless piece of shit Badiou is. His politics are even more 
 worthless than his philosophy.
 
 As for Sartre, there are others on the anti-Stalinist left who bear 
 a 
 grudge against him for his erstwhile apologetics for the Communist 
 Party. Some might wonder what he was doing with Maoist students.
 

Sartre's involvement with the Maoists came when the Gaullist government
in France initiated a crackdown on the Maoists in 1970. Jean-Pierre Le
Dantec, who was editor-in-chief of the newspaper, La Cause du peuple -
published by the Maoist group Proletarian Left was arrested and his paper
seized. He was immediately replaced by a new editor, Michel Le Bris, who
was then arrested ten days later. In other words, the French government
was most intent on suppressing the Maoist press at that time. Since the
government had made it clear that it would arrest anybody who would take
charge of the paper, the Maoists decided to turn to Sartre. So on April
28, 1970, Sartre after meeting with a number of leading Maoists including
Benny Levy (then known as Pierre Victor) accepted the post of
editor-in-chief. Later that year Sartre accepted the same position at
several other Maoist papers that were also facing suppression by the
French government. In the meantime,the French National Assembly passed
legislation restricting demonstrations, which gave the minister of the
interior the power to dissolve the Proletarian Left, which he ordered on
May 27, 1970. 
 
Sartre's acceptance of the post of editor-in-chief with several Maoist
papers lent his name, his prestige and indeed his active participation to
the campaign against the attempts by the government to suppress the
Maoists. For this Sartre was attacked by most of the bourgeois press
which charged him with grandstanding and self-promotion, while the
Communist paper, L'Humanite attacked him for endorsing the vulgar
provocations of the Maoists. Only Le Monde was in any way supportive.
 
When the cases of the two arrested editors of La Cause du peuple was
taken to the courts, the decision to outlaw the paper was revoked but the
editors were still found guilty of violating the law. That verdict was
followed by outbreaks of violent demonstrations. In June, Sartre and his
friends founded the Association of the Friends of La Cause du peuple,
with Simone de Beauvoir and Liliane Siegel as fronts. They organized
public distributions of the paper in Paris with Sartre, Beauvoir, and
many leading intellectuals and journalists publicly hawking the paper.
Sartre, no stranger to publicity, made sure that there was a photographer
from Gallimard to photograph the whole thing. Sartre was arrested,
questioned by the police, then released.
 
Following that incident Sartre who had been called as a witness inthe
trial of a Maoist leader, Alain Geismar, refused to come to the court.
Instead, he harangued the workers at the Renault Billancourt plants where
he called upon the workers to support Geismar's cause. Most of the
workers ignored his speech. 
 
Sartre was widely ridiculed in the French press.
 
Sartre's active involvement with the Maoists continued until 1973. His
relations with them were often quite stormy but his involvement did help
beat back the government's attempts to suppress or censor the radical
press in France.

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] communism mailing list

2008-10-05 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sun, 5 Oct 2008 17:01:46 +0100 Paddy Hackett [EMAIL PROTECTED]
writes:
 Perhaps you only say this Hans because I have highlighted what may be 
 the
 hidden strategy. Get rid of the smallest mailing lists then proceed 
 to the
 bigger ones. It is strange that you should want to close down the 
 Communism
 List at a period when there is a global financial crisis and the 
 probable
 prospects of more individuals questioning capitalism. 

Perhaps we should let Hans, if he is so inclined detail
the reasons that he might have for wanting to close
down the Communism List.

Concerning list names, if communism is a liability
for a list name, then wouldn't the same be true for
Marxism?  I doubt that very many red baiters would
be likely to draw fine distinctions between Marxism
and communism.

As to the issue of whether a list's archives should
be publicly available, there are arguments that
can be made for either side of the question.
As Hans well knows, we have had at least
a couple of occasions when former posters
to the Thaxis list wanted their old posts
to the list archives removed or modified,
so the authors could no longer be identified.
Hans has acceded to these requests, which
I think he was correct to do given the circumstances.
But the whole thing makes me a bit uneasy since
too much of that sort of thing would undermine
the integrity of the list archives, in which case
why bother to have public archives for the list.
(And for anybody out who doesn't know this
already, all posts to Thaxis are publicly archived,
and they do get picked up by search engines
like Google_.

 The Communism 
 List has
 existed for years and has been a quiet list for some time years now 
 yet you
 never in all that time, except now, questioned the validity of the 
 lists. 
 If I recall correctly Spoon initially got rid of a specific Marxist 
 list and
 then eliminated others so that there were none left. Yet they left 
 that
 strange Foucault List its server. This is Duke University --I 
 think.

Actually, that was the University of Virginia.  Back in the
early 1990s they set up the Spoons lists for the sake of
the humanities departments at the university.  These
lists were mainly devoted to various postmodern
thinkers and concerns, but since it is impossible
to discuss postmodernism without reference to
certain Marxist thinkers like Althusser, they
decided to include a Marxism list to round things
out, with the intention that list would simply be
limited to discussions of academic Marxism.
What they didn't expect to happen would be
that the list would start drawing people who
were activists or ex-activists in various groups.
Thus, over time that list began drawing Maoists,
Trotskyists, ex-Trotskyists etc. to it.  And
these people brought with them many of
their old squabbles which led to  many heated
discussions.  Over time, what was just one Marxism
list became several different lists, which came to
include a Marxism-International List, a Marxism-Science
list, a Marxism-Feminism list, a Marxism-General list,
as well as this list.  Several of these lists featured
some very bitter infighting which drove the
members of the Spoon Collective to distraction,
until they decided to unload themselves of the
whole thing back in 1998.  

  
 
 Paddy
 
 -Original Message-
 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of 
 ehrbar
 Sent: 04 October 2008 22:53
 To: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Cc: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Subject: Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] communism mailing list
 
 
 There is no danger that I will close down marxism-thaxis.
 
 Hans.
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] A New Kind of Revolutionary Organization Surfaces on the World Wide Web

2008-09-27 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sat, 27 Sep 2008 14:45:19 EDT [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 Dear Marxism-Thaxis List Members,
  
 Hello, this is my first post here.
 

http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2008-September/036446.html


There Joaquin Bustelo looked at one of the websites associated with him.
See:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2008-September/036461.html

Therefore, unless people here are eager to read more unformatted
postings from him, I will do what Les Schaffer is doing
with him on Marxmail.

Jim Farmelant

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Pablo Picasso

2008-09-26 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Fri, 26 Sep 2008 12:15:20 -0400 Charles Brown
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Picasso
 
 Pablo Picasso
 
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8vaOI-lovoNR=1
Pablo PicassoWords and music: jonathan richman

Well some people try to pick up girls
And get called assholes
This never happened to pablo picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and
So pablo picasso was never called an asshole

Well the girls would turn the color
Of the avacado when he would drive
Down their street in his el dorado
He could walk down you street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo picasso never got called an asshole
Not like you
Alright

Well he was only 5�3
But girls could not resist his stare
Pablo picasso never got called an asshole
Not in new york

Oh well be not schmuck, be not abnoxious,
Be not bellbottom bummer or asshole
Remember the story of pablo picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo picasso was never called an asshole
Alright this is it

Some people try to pick up girls
And they get called an asshole
This never happened to pablo picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and so
Pablo picasso was never called...

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Cultural Logic [Popper vs Marx]

2008-09-22 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Mon, 22 Sep 2008 11:19:30 -0400 Ralph Dumain
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 I may have Shaw's book buried somewhere, but I'm not sure. Could you 
 
 provide the complete bibliographic and page references?

William H. Shaw, *Marx's Theory of History*
(Stanford University Press, 1978).  The discussion
of Popper, Lakatos, falsifiability and research
programs appears in the last chapter of the
book, pp. 149-168.

 
 I've had The Scientific Marx sitting on my shelves for years, but I 
 
 never looked at it. The chapter on falsifiability (on Popper, and 
 also E. P. Thompson) is worth looking at. Little views Marx as doing 
 
 science rather than dialectical philosophy. Little advises not to 
 take a scientist's explicit methodological claims at face value, but 
 
 look at their actual scientific practice to determine their implicit 
 
 methodology and accompanying philosophy. Newton is a prime example 
 here.
 
 I don't have Miller's book, but I'm guessing I should add it to the 
 
 section of my bibliography on Popper  Marx.  I will do same with 
 Little. I'm tempted to scan the section on falsifiability.
 
 At 08:32 PM 9/16/2008, Jim Farmelant wrote:
 
 On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 08:12:48 +0900 CeJ [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
   That seems like such a weak way to attack the 
 position--personal
   inconsistency.
  
   Is it really even a current debate? In the analytic tradition,
   after
   Lakatos and Feyerabend, Popper--on what is a science and how it
   works--is thoroughly demolished.
 
 Some of the Analytical Marxists were interested in this issue.
 Richard Miller addressed it in his book, *Analyzing Marx*,
 Some of the other Analytical Marxists did too, like Daniel Little
 in his *The Scientific Marx* and William Shaw in
 in his *Marx's Theory of History*.
 Both Little and Shaw used Lakatos to answer Popper,
 while Miller drew upon Kuhn and Feyerabend.
 
 Remember that classical Marxism always insisted
 that it was a science.  Marx, as we might recall,
 called his brand of socialism, scientific socialism.
 Karl Popper, among other things, attempted to
 explode what he saw as the scientific pretentions
 of Marxism.  Popper's attitude is summarized
 here:

http://karws.gso.uri.edu/JFK/critical_thinking/Science_pseudo_falsifiabi
l
 ity.html
 
  
   In the non-philosophical 'mainstream', Marxism is usually 
 attacked
   as
   a form of political philosophy leading to totalitarian states 
 that
   are
   in conflict with 'human nature' and the 'progress of freedom'.
 
 Popper of course argued those things too, but he believed
 that it was Marxism's ability at convincing people that it
 was a genuine science that helped persuade people to
 go along with it.
 
   Most
   people have never followed the 'philosophy of science' 
 critiques
   anyway.
  
   The wider discussion worth having would be about experimental
   methods,
   quantification and knowledge claims since the social sciences 
 have
   pursued the former two and yet rely mostly on ideologically
   predisposed  argument and academic status and little else to 
 make
   knowledge claims, none of which have any hope of generalizing.
  
   CJ
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Cultural Logic

2008-09-17 Thread Jim Farmelant

On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 06:36:56 -0400 Ralph Dumain
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 Thanks for the reference, which fits into my 
 current investigation of the Positivist Dispute.
 
 I need a reference to Richard W. Miller's critique of Popper.

Miller covers Popper and positivism in 
*Analyzing Marx: Morality,
Power and History ( Princeton University Press, 1984).
See pp. 236-240, where Miller advances an
alternative account of the falsification of
scientific theories.  Also, pp. 292-301
where he discusses confirmation and
attempts to provide an alternative account
to the one provided by both the positivists
and Popper.  Also see pp 304-313 for
his discussion of positivists and politics.

Jim F.
 
 
 At 12:29 PM 9/13/2008, Jim Farmelant wrote:
 
 Louis Proyect posted the following announcement
 on his Marxmail list concerning the latest issue
 of the journal Cultural Logic.  I found
 the article by Hristos Verikukis
 Popper's Double Standard of Scientificity in Criticizing Marxism 
 ,
 to be quite interesting.  Verikukis basically convicts
 Popper of having been inconsistent in the way
 he defined and applied his concept of falsifiability
 as a criterion for demarcating science from
 non-science.  Popper, according to
 Verikukis, was much stricter about
 defining falsifiability when applying
 to Marxism (which Popper claimed
 was not falsifiable and hence, not science)
 than he was when applying to his
 own situationalist brand of social
 science, where he embraced what
 he called the Principle of Rationality,
 which he variously described as being
 not falsifiable, or was falsified but
 still in some sense true.  Anyway,
 I think that Verikukis's article
 dovetails with the criticisms that
 other writers like Cornell philosopher
 Richard W. Miller have made of
 Popper's critique of Marxism.
 
 http://clogic.eserver.org/2007/Verikukis.pdf
 ---
 http://clogic.eserver.org/2007/2007.html
 Tenth-Anniversary Issue
 
 (The current issue files are in pdf format. Click below to 
 download
 the latest version of Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)
 
 Articles
 (Names listed alphbetically)
 
 Roland Boer
 Socialism, Christianity, and Rosa Luxemborg
 
 Philip Bounds
 George Orwell and the Dialogue with English Marxism
 
 Paula Cerni
 The Age of Consumer Capitalism
 
 Stephen C. Ferguson II
 Social Contract as Bourgeois Ideology
 
 Grover Furr and Vladimir Bobrov
 Nicolai Bukharin's First Statement of Confession in the Lubianka
 
 Catherine Gouge
 'Amibivalent Technologies' of American Citizenship
 
 Bruno Gulli
 Early Plenitude: An Essay on Sovereignty and Labor
 
 Katerina Kolozova
 The Project of Non-Marxism:
 Arguing for 'Monstrously' Radical Concepts
 
 John Maerhofer
 Aimé Céasare and the Crisis of Aesthetic and Political Vangardism 
 
 
 Michael Mikulak
 Cross-pollinating Marxism and Deep Ecology:
 Towards a Post-humanist Eco-humanism
 
 Terence Patrick Murphy
 From Alignment to Commitment:
 The Early Work of James Kelman
 
 Ronald Paul
 To turn the whole world upside-down':
 Women and Revolution in The Non-Stop Connolly Show 
 
 Philip Tonner
 Freud, Bentham: Panopticism and the Super-Ego
 
 Hristos Verikukis
 Popper's Double Standard of Scientificity in Criticizing Marxism 
 
 
 Reviews
 
 Ivan Cañadas
 Christos Tsiolkas, Dead Europe
 
 David Hursh
 Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine
 and
 Peter McLaren and Nathalia Jaramillo, Pedagogy and Praxis in the 
 Age of
 Empire
 
 Howard Pflanzer
 Robert Roth, Health Proxy
 
 Louis Proyect
 Amazing Grace
 
 Charlie Samuya Veric, Tamara Powell, and John Streamas
 E. San Juan, Jr., Balikbayang Mahal
 
 
 Poetry
 
 Christopher Barnes
 Poems
 
 
 Dave Bruzina
 Boom and The Committee Dissolves
 
 
 Iftekhar Sayeed
 Poems
 
 
 George Snedeker
 The History Lesson and Other Poems
 
 
 Contributors
 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Cultural Logic

2008-09-16 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 08:12:48 +0900 CeJ [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 That seems like such a weak way to attack the position--personal 
 inconsistency.
 
 Is it really even a current debate? In the analytic tradition, 
 after
 Lakatos and Feyerabend, Popper--on what is a science and how it
 works--is thoroughly demolished.

Some of the Analytical Marxists were interested in this issue.
Richard Miller addressed it in his book, *Analyzing Marx*,
Some of the other Analytical Marxists did too, like Daniel Little
in his *The Scientific Marx* and William Shaw in 
in his *Marx's Theory of History*.
Both Little and Shaw used Lakatos to answer Popper,
while Miller drew upon Kuhn and Feyerabend.

Remember that classical Marxism always insisted
that it was a science.  Marx, as we might recall,
called his brand of socialism, scientific socialism.
Karl Popper, among other things, attempted to
explode what he saw as the scientific pretentions
of Marxism.  Popper's attitude is summarized
here:
http://karws.gso.uri.edu/JFK/critical_thinking/Science_pseudo_falsifiabil
ity.html

 
 In the non-philosophical 'mainstream', Marxism is usually attacked 
 as
 a form of political philosophy leading to totalitarian states that 
 are
 in conflict with 'human nature' and the 'progress of freedom'.  

Popper of course argued those things too, but he believed
that it was Marxism's ability at convincing people that it
was a genuine science that helped persuade people to
go along with it.

 Most
 people have never followed the 'philosophy of science' critiques
 anyway.
 
 The wider discussion worth having would be about experimental 
 methods,
 quantification and knowledge claims since the social sciences have
 pursued the former two and yet rely mostly on ideologically
 predisposed  argument and academic status and little else to make
 knowledge claims, none of which have any hope of generalizing.
 
 CJ
 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Death of Peter Camejo

2008-09-14 Thread Jim Farmelant

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-camejo14-2008sep14,0,5153282
.story

From the Los Angeles Times
Green Party activist Peter Camejo dies at 67
From the Associated Press

6:07 PM PDT, September 13, 2008

SACRAMENTO — Peter Camejo, a Green Party leader who was a third-party
candidate in three California gubernatorial elections before becoming
Ralph Nader's running mate in the 2004 presidential race, has died. He
was 67.

Camejo, who had been battling lymphoma, died Saturday at his home in
Folsom, outside Sacramento.

Peter was a friend, colleague and politically courageous champion of the
downtrodden and mistreated of the entire Western Hemisphere, Nader wrote
in a statement released Saturday. Everyone who met Peter, talked to
Peter, worked with Peter, or argued with Peter, will miss the passing of
a great American.

Camejo ran for the state's top office in 2002, 2003 and 2006, supporting
abortion rights, universal health care and a moratorium on the death
penalty. Before joining the Green Party, he also ran for president as the
Socialist Workers Party nominee in 1976.

During the 2004 presidential contest, Camejo was independent Nader's vice
presidential pick.

Last month, Camejo, who lost his hair from chemotherapy, attended the
Peace and Freedom Party convention in Sacramento to endorse Nader's
current bid for the presidency with running mate Matt Gonzalez.

Ralph Nader is more than a candidate, he's an issue, Camejo said in his
Aug. 2 speech, adding that Nader brought true reform, offering an
independent choice to the ruling party.

Nader said Camejo passed away a few days after completing his
autobiography, which has a working title of Northstar.

According to a statement put out by Camejo's family on a blog that had
been updating his condition, Camejo voluntarily returned home Friday
after undergoing treatment at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento for a
reoccurrence of lymphoma.

Peter's health had declined rapidly over the last two days due to the
aggressiveness of his cancer and the strength of the drugs used to combat
his disease, according to the family statement. His wife was at his
side when he passed peacefully this morning.

The family is planning private funeral services, and a public memorial
will be arranged later. 






Copyright 2008 Los Angeles Times 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Cultural Logic

2008-09-13 Thread Jim Farmelant

Louis Proyect posted the following announcement
on his Marxmail list concerning the latest issue
of the journal Cultural Logic.  I found
the article by Hristos Verikukis
Popper's Double Standard of Scientificity in Criticizing Marxism ,
to be quite interesting.  Verikukis basically convicts
Popper of having been inconsistent in the way
he defined and applied his concept of falsifiability
as a criterion for demarcating science from
non-science.  Popper, according to
Verikukis, was much stricter about
defining falsifiability when applying
to Marxism (which Popper claimed
was not falsifiable and hence, not science)
than he was when applying to his
own situationalist brand of social
science, where he embraced what
he called the Principle of Rationality,
which he variously described as being
not falsifiable, or was falsified but
still in some sense true.  Anyway,
I think that Verikukis's article
dovetails with the criticisms that
other writers like Cornell philosopher
Richard W. Miller have made of
Popper's critique of Marxism.

http://clogic.eserver.org/2007/Verikukis.pdf
---
http://clogic.eserver.org/2007/2007.html
Tenth-Anniversary Issue

(The current issue files are in pdf format. Click below to download 
the latest version of Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

Articles
(Names listed alphbetically)

Roland Boer
Socialism, Christianity, and Rosa Luxemborg

Philip Bounds
George Orwell and the Dialogue with English Marxism

Paula Cerni
The Age of Consumer Capitalism

Stephen C. Ferguson II
Social Contract as Bourgeois Ideology

Grover Furr and Vladimir Bobrov
Nicolai Bukharin's First Statement of Confession in the Lubianka

Catherine Gouge
'Amibivalent Technologies' of American Citizenship

Bruno Gulli
Early Plenitude: An Essay on Sovereignty and Labor

Katerina Kolozova
The Project of Non-Marxism:
Arguing for 'Monstrously' Radical Concepts

John Maerhofer
Aimé Céasare and the Crisis of Aesthetic and Political Vangardism 

Michael Mikulak
Cross-pollinating Marxism and Deep Ecology:
Towards a Post-humanist Eco-humanism

Terence Patrick Murphy
From Alignment to Commitment:
The Early Work of James Kelman

Ronald Paul
To turn the whole world upside-down':
Women and Revolution in The Non-Stop Connolly Show 

Philip Tonner
Freud, Bentham: Panopticism and the Super-Ego

Hristos Verikukis
Popper's Double Standard of Scientificity in Criticizing Marxism 

Reviews

Ivan Cañadas
Christos Tsiolkas, Dead Europe

David Hursh
Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine
and
Peter McLaren and Nathalia Jaramillo, Pedagogy and Praxis in the Age of
Empire

Howard Pflanzer
Robert Roth, Health Proxy

Louis Proyect
Amazing Grace

Charlie Samuya Veric, Tamara Powell, and John Streamas
E. San Juan, Jr., Balikbayang Mahal


Poetry

Christopher Barnes
Poems


Dave Bruzina
Boom and The Committee Dissolves


Iftekhar Sayeed
Poems


George Snedeker
The History Lesson and Other Poems


Contributors

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Sartre on Thaxis

2008-08-15 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Fri, 15 Aug 2008 12:56:22 -0400 Charles Brown
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 M-TH: Life Is Beautiful
 Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us 
 Wed Mar 3 07:07:16 MST 1999 
 
 Previous message: M-TH: Re: who reads marx? 
 Next message: M-TH: Outlaw the Nazis and KKK ! 
 Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] 
 

-
---
 
 I'm thinking that as between Sartre and Althusser, Sartre. Sartre 
 was
 in the Resistence and in a concentration camp. He was in the 
 struggle
 for real. 

Actually, Sartre was never in a concentration camp.
He was in a POW camp after having been caputured
by the Germans following the defeat of the French
in 1940.  He eventually escaped from the camp,
and returned to Paris.  He was in the Resistance
but the group that he was in, as far I can tell,
was mainly a talking shop.  They didn't do anything
concrete.  Althusser too was held capitve in a POW
camp, where he spent the entirety of the war.
Apparently, he lacked the opportunities and
the inclination to escape.

Sartre's real activism came after the war,
when he took the lead in supporting a variety
of progressive movements, including the
Vietnamese struggle against French colonialism
(and later against the Americans), the struggle
for Algerian independence , which Sartre supported
when that position was unpopular even on the
far left. Later on Sartre supported the student
movement, and most of the movements for
emancipation of one kind or another that
sprung up during the 1960s. By then he
was considered to be the very model
of an engagé intellectual in the tradition
of Voltaire and Zola.

 The theoretical basis I see for his emphasizing Hegelian
 subject, early Marx, perhaps reflected below, is that we are no 
 longer
 in the period when Marxists treat political economy as a process 
 of
 natural history. Rather we must be activating working class 
 subjects.
 The beauty in life in the ennui, alienation, unhappiness even as in  
 a
 Nazi concentration camp ! enough beauty to have enthusiasm for 
 fighting
 back, as Sartre did. This is the type of activation of the working 
 class
 subject we need. I wonder if a lot of the other French intellectual
 confusion at that time was not aimed at covering up Sartre's
 revolutionary elan and anti-fascism.
 
 Charles Brown
 
 
 
 
  James Lawler james.lawler at sympatico.ca 02/28/99 05:20PM 
 
 Here is a review of the film I wrote for the Sartre listserve. 
 Sartre,
 I
 think, would say that Marx would agree with this.
 
 --Jim Lawler
 
  I just saw the amazing film, Life Is Beautiful. Such a title for 
 a
 film
 centered on life in a Nazi concentration camp. And yet, it is
 convincing.
 Life can be beautiful even in the horrors of the death camp.
  One of my favorite passages in Sartre's Being and Nothingness is 
 from
 his
 discussion of the nature of values. Ordinarily . . . my attitude 
 with
 respect to values is eminently reassuring. In fact I am involved in 
 a
 world
 of values. The anguished apperception of values as sustained in 
 being
 by my
 freedom is a secondary and mediated phenomenon. The immediate is 
 the
 world
 with its urgency; and in this world where I engage myself, my acts
 make
 values spring up like partridges.
  In the middle of a thick book of disturbing philosophy, Sartre 
 gives
 us
 partridges. I thank him for that.
  Ordinarily, we don't realize that we cause the values to spring 
 up,
 wonderfully, like partridges.  We take our values as reassuring, 
 rigid
 facts
 of life. Existential anguish arises when one discovers that the 
 values
 one
 accepts only work as values because of one's own free, creative
 complicity
 with them. We don't want to have to ask ourselves whether these are
 the
 values we want to live by, whether this the kind of life we want to
 create.
  There must however be a step, or many steps, beyond the initial
 experience
 of anguish. Such a recognition opens up the possibility of creating
 values
 freely, like an inspired artist.
  Guido is the existentialist Master, a person who is able 
 consciously
 to
 make the values of his choice spring up like partridges. He is a 
 moral
 magician, who sees and creates beauty in the worst ugliness.
 Why does the sign say, No Jews or Dogs Allowed? his five or
 six-year-old
 son asks him. Guido, a Jew, tells his Jewish son that nobody likes
 everybody
 or everything. The son says that he doesn't like spiders. *There, 
 you
 see?
 And I don't like . . . Visigoths! So let's put a sign on our store: 
 No
 Spiders and Visigoths Allowed.*
  Those who know Sartre's book may find special significance in 
 Guido's
 occupation. He is . . . a waiter. Guido's performance of
 being-a-waiter
 would make a wonderful film clip to accompany Sartre's description 
 of
 the
 waiter whose being a waiter is inevitably a playing at being a
 waiter. The
 waiter creates himself as a waiter. But the ordinary, at least

[Marxism-Thaxis] Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Dies at 89 (NY Times)

2008-08-03 Thread Jim Farmelant

www.nytimes.com/2008/08/04/books/04solzhenitsyn.html?_r=1hporef=slogin

 August 4, 2008
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Dies at 89 
By MICHAEL T. KAUFMAN

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose stubborn, lonely and combative literary
struggles gained the force of prophecy he revealed the heavy afflictions
of Soviet Communism in some of the most powerful works of fiction and
history written in the 20th century, died late Sunday in Russia, his son
Yermolai said early Monday in Moscow. He said the cause was a heart
condition. He was 89. 

He outlived by nearly 17 years the state and system he had battled
through years of imprisonment, ostracism and exile.

Mr. Solzhenitsyn had been an obscure, middle-aged, unpublished high
school science teacher in a provincial Russian town when he burst onto
the literary stage in 1962 with “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.”
The book, a mold-breaking novel about a prison camp inmate, was a
sensation. Suddenly, he was being compared to giants of Russian
literature like Tolstoy, Dostoyevski and Chekov.

Over the next four decades, Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s fame spread throughout the
world as he drew upon his experiences of totalitarian duress to write
evocative novels like “The First Circle” and “The Cancer Ward” and
historical works like “The Gulag Archipelago.”

“Gulag” was a monumental account and analysis of the Soviet labor camp
system, a chain of prisons that by Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s calculation some 60
million people had entered during the 20th century. The book led to his
expulsion from his native land. George F. Kennan, the American diplomat,
described it as “the greatest and most powerful single indictment of a
political regime ever to be leveled in modern times.” 

Mr. Solzhenitsyn was heir to a morally focused and often prophetic
Russian literary tradition, and he looked the part. With his stern
visage, lofty brow and full, Old Testament beard, he recalled Tolstoy
while suggesting a modern-day Jeremiah, denouncing the evils of the
Kremlin and later the mores of the West. 

In almost half a century, more than 30 million of his books have been
sold worldwide and translated into some 40 languages. In 1970 he was
awarded the Nobel prize for literature. 

Mr. Solzhenitsyn owed his initial success to the Soviet leader Nikita
Khrushchev’s decision to allow “Ivan Denisovich” to be published in a
popular journal. Khrushchev believed its publication would advance the
liberal line he had promoted since his secret speech in 1956 on the
crimes of Stalin.

Soon after the story appeared, however, Khrushchev was replaced by
hard-liners, and they began a campaign to silence its author. They
stopped publication of his new works, denounced him as “a hooligan” and
“a traitor,” confiscated his manuscripts, and interrogated his friends. 

But their iron grip could not contain Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s reach. By then
his works were appearing outside the Soviet Union, in many languages, and
he was being compared not only to Russia’s literary giants but also to
Stalin’s literary victims, writers like Anna Akhmatova, Iosip Mandleshtam
and Boris Pasternak. 

At home, the Kremlin stepped up its campaign by expelling Mr.
Solzhenitsyn from the Writer’s Union. He fought back. He succeeded in
having microfilms of his banned manuscripts smuggled out of the Soviet
Union. He addressed petitions to government organs, wrote open letters,
rallied support among friends and artists, and corresponded with people
abroad. They turned his struggles into one of the most celebrated cases
of the cold war period.

Hundreds of well-known intellectuals signed petitions against his
silencing; the names of left-leaning figures like Jean-Paul Sartre
carried particular weight with Moscow. Other supporters included Graham
Greene, Muriel Spark, W.H. Auden, Gunther Grass, Heinrich Boll, Yukio
Mishima, Carlos Fuentes and, from the United States, Arthur Miller, John
Updike, Truman Capote and Kurt Vonnegut. All joined a call for an
international cultural boycott of the Soviet Union. By the late 1960s,
Mr. Solzhenitsyn had become one of the most prominent and recognizable
symbols of Soviet and Communist repression.

That position was confirmed when he was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in
the face of Moscow’s protests. The Nobel jurists cited him for “the
ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of
Russian literature.” 

Mr. Solzhenitsyn dared not travel to Stockholm to accept the prize for
fear that the Soviet authorities would prevent him from returning. But
his acceptance address was circulated widely. He recalled a time when “in
the midst of exhausting prison camp relocations, marching in a column of
prisoners in the gloom of bitterly cold evenings, with strings of camp
lights glimmering through the darkness, we would often feel rising in our
breast what we would have wanted to shout out to the whole world — if
only the whole world could have heard us.” 

He wrote that while an ordinary brave man was obliged “not to 

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Marxism the Origins of British Socialism

2008-07-12 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sat, 12 Jul 2008 16:44:26 -0400 Ralph Dumain
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 Now:
 
 http://autodidactproject.org/other/pierson-Marxism-UK.htmlMarxism 
 
 and the Origins of British Socialism: The Struggle for a New 
 Consciousness by Stanley Pierson (1973).
 
 Included are the 
 http://autodidactproject.org/other/pierson-Marxism-UK.htmlContents, 
 
 Introduction, Conclusion.
 
 I haven't yet finished my review of his other book:
 
 Pierson, Stanley. Marxist Intellectuals and the Working-Class 
 Mentality in Germany, 1887-1912. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University 
 Press, 1993.
 
 Going by these two books, it seems that the possibility of putting 
 Marxist theory into practice was in deep shit by the end of the 19th 
 
 century. I just finished an article on Croce, Labriola, and Sorel 
 which documents a comparable problem.  

Croce as I recall was proclaiming the death of Marxism in
the early 1900s.  How was his era like and unlike our own?

Jim F.

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] [marxistphilosophy] Re: friendly fascism for the 21st century

2008-06-08 Thread Jim Farmelant

On Sun, 08 Jun 2008 17:06:17 - rtvinwfny [EMAIL PROTECTED]
writes:
 --- In [EMAIL PROTECTED], Ralph Dumain [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 wrote:
 
 

http://www.lsus.edu/la/journals/ideology/contents/vol29/vol1and2/towardf
riendlyfascismmilanzafirovsky.pdfToward
 
  Friendly Fascism? American Conservatism in the 21st Century
  Milan Zafirovski
  Quarterly Journal of Ideology, Volume 29, 2006, Numbers 1  2
 
 
As a marxist materialist, I find most philosophical discussions 
 of
 political subjects to be idealist (in the philosophical sense) and
 superficial. I miss the lack of discussion of material and economic
 factors in the rise of friendly fascism.  E.g., one of the 
 reasons
 for the rise of the South in the U.S. was the fact that the labor 
 laws
 were very capitalist-friendly. Back in 1961, I was a scientist
 transferred down south to help build and run a specialty technical
 glass factory.  We were paying some of the highest wages in the 
 area,
 but they were abysmally low. The economy was largely agriculturally
 based, with textile sweatshops and tobacco factories.  To keep 
 wages
 low, the capitalists  (industrial and landowning) had to keep most 
 of
 the people ignorant and uneducated.  Religion was a very useful 
 tool
 for that.  However, it was not what I would call religious 
 fascism;
 the capitalists, not the religious leaders, were clearly in control. 

We shouldn't also forget that a major part of the low-wage
strategy of economic development that has been followed
in the South since the early 20th century has been a
forthright antiunion policy.  Most of the Southern
states passed so-called right to work laws to
make it harder for unions to organize there.
And whenever unions attempted to organize
industries within a particular region, the
local economic and political elites would
quickly put together antiunion campaigns.
One of the most popular tactics used for
fending off unions was the deliberate
use of racism and racist appeals to
divide workers. 

 
 Quite different from some fundamentalist religious state.
Another, historical factor, is the military defeat of the South 
 in
 the Civil War, and the longing of the capitalists and landowners to
 correct that great wrong.  This led to a society that glorified
 the military.  Like Germany's reaction in the 1930's to their 
 defeat
 in the First World War.  So as we enter a period in the evolution 
 of
 capitalism in the U.S. where the military becomes very important, 
 the
 South can get greater influence because they enthusiastically 
 support
 the expansion of the military.  But the increase of military bases
 and, more important, the growth of military industries, is slowly
 opening up the society and thereby gradually liberalizing it.

Also, I think we need to look at what happened
in the South during Reconstruction and why
Reconstruction was allowed to fail.  One of
the most notable achievements of the Reconstruction
era was the enfranchisement of the freedmen, and
the formation of populist-leaning state and
local governments under the auspices of
the Republican Party which were able to draw support
from both the freedmen and the poor whites.
These state and local governments tended to
pursue progressive policies like building
roads and hospitals and establishing
public schools.  Howevery, by 
the early 1870s, Northern capitalists
started to become disenchanted
with these political trends in the
South. They were now willing
to embrace the defeated planter
class as junior partners in the
governance of the country.
Events in Europe like the Paris
Commune of 1871, which received
great publicity in the US, contributed
to this unease.  The feeling in
US ruling circles was that it
was dangerous to permit
the freedmen and poor whites
to share in the governance
of the Southern states.  Calls
for and end to Reconstruction
soon became widespread,
not withstanding the fact that
in much of the South, Reconstruction
had never really been permitted to
get off the ground in the first place.
The Hayes-Tilden presidential
election of 1876 brought things
to a head,
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election%2C_1876
)
with a deal being struck by which the
disputed votes in the Electoral College
were granted to the Republican
candidate, Samuel Hayes, in return
for the withdrawl of Federal troops
from the South, and thus the
ending of Rconstruction.  The
freedmen were soon disenfranchised
and white surpremacy was restored.

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] [marxistphilosophy] Re: friendly fascism for the 21st ce...

2008-06-08 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sun, 8 Jun 2008 15:18:17 EDT [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 Good stuff and right on the money. 
  
 The political basis of reaction - fascism, has always been 
 historically in  
 the South. 
  
 We tend to write as if we forget the right to work laws, Taft 
 Hartley and  
 how Hayes Tilden - 1876, altered our history.
  
 Good stuff. 
  
 
 

We might also point out how
for many years the Southern
viewpoint dominated US historiography
concerning the Civil War, Reconstruction,
and the Grant Administration.  For
years, US history books portrayed
Reconstruction as a terrible injustice
done to the defeated South, despite
the benefits it brought to the freedmen
and for that matter to the poor whites.
Similarly, President Grant was long
villified too.  He was portrayed as
a drunkard and an incompetent
president who presided over
an extremely corrupt administration.
Actually, he was hated because
he sought to use Federal power
to enforce Reconstruction and
protect the rights of the freedmen.
Also, he was derided for his
Indian policy - Grant believing
in the radical proposition
that the US government should
abide by the terms of the treaties
that it had entered into with
the Indian nations.   All the various
economic interests that sought to
open up the Indian lands to
white settlement and development
would have none of this.

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Moritz Schlick

2008-04-20 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sun, 20 Apr 2008 13:15:23 +0100 rasherrs [EMAIL PROTECTED]
writes:
 Hi
 Have been reading Schlick. Heavish going. Do you know of any online 
 sources 
 that provide a summary of his philosophy.

Wikipedia is always a good place to start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moritz_Schlick

There is also a short summary of his
views in this bio sketch atZ:
http://www.murzim.net/LP/LP23.html

You might also want to read his 1936
article, Unanswerable Questions at:
http://www.the-philosopher.co.uk/moritz.htm

 
 Paddy Hackett 
 
 


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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Moritz Schlick

2008-04-20 Thread Jim Farmelant
 

While web surfing on Schlick, I came across
this obit for the Finnish philosopher,
Pertti Lindfors, who was apparently
both a logical empiricist and a Marxist.
This obit appears on the website of the
Atheist Association of Finland.

http://www.dlc.fi/~etkirja/Atheist.htm 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] New Atheism (and New Humanism) by Jim Farmelant

2008-04-09 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Wed, 09 Apr 2008 15:32:42 -0400 Charles Brown
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 Jim,
 
 Could you explain contra-causal free will ?  I'm thinking it has to 
 do
 with determinism and free will, of course.  I guess it's that free 
 will
 is free of determinism outside the person.

That's the idea that human beings have the power
to freely make choices without being causally
necessitated by antecedent events.  In other
words it holds that human beings can at
least partially transcend the principle of
causality.


 
 Charles
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] New Atheism (and New Humanism) by Jim Farmelant

2008-04-09 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Wed, 09 Apr 2008 16:53:19 -0500 Ralph Dumain
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 What exactly did I miss?  I don't recall a discussion on a new 
 atheism or new humanism.
 
 I did, coincidentally, however, just discover an interesting book:
 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1591022711/qid=1098303392/
sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-9073427-1876931?v=glances=booksToward 
 
 a New Political Humanism, edited by Barry F. Seidman and Neil 
 J.Murphy. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2004. 
 http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0416/2004007252.htmlContents. 
 
 See also web sites for http://barryfseidman.com/Barry F. Seidman 
 and http://www.equaltimeforfreethought.org/Equal Time for 
 Freethought.

My friend Tom Clark wrote a chapter for that book.
It also featured chapters by Michael Parenti and
the late Edward Said.


 
 
 At 02:32 PM 4/9/2008, Charles Brown wrote:
 Jim,
 
 Could you explain contra-causal free will ?  I'm thinking it has to 
 do
 with determinism and free will, of course.  I guess it's that free 
 will
 is free of determinism outside the person.
 
 Charles
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Symbolic Logic

2008-04-07 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 10:45:09 +0100 rasherrs [EMAIL PROTECTED]
writes:
 Thanks Jim
 
 I have been reading On Denoting and stuff related to it.
 But how does this apply to defining what is and is not science?  How 
 do we 
 deal with scientific statements particularly sentences. Do we 
 analyse them 
 as we do The present king of France is bald. And do we do this to 
 every 
 sentence in a scientific work or what?

Many of the logical positivists proposed to do exactly that.
The idea being to marry Russell's method of logical analysis
which he had first outlined in On Denoting with 
an extreme verificationism (which involved not
just a verfication theory of truth but also a
verification theory of meaning.  In fact
some of the positvists seemed to consider
the logical analysis of scientific propositions
to be close to the sum total of legitimate
philosophy.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_positivism
www.unige.ch/lettres/philo/enseignants/pe/Engel%202005%20Russell%20s%20In
quiry%20into%20Meaning%20and%20Truth.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning_(linguistic)#Bertrand_Russell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell#Analytic_philosophy

http://daniel.cohnitz.de/download.php?d41747e60573503029d688f3267cc6cf

 
 Paddy
 - Original Message - 
 From: Jim Farmelant [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2008 12:49 AM
 Subject: Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Symbolic Logic
 
 
 
 Also see these posts on Marxmail from
 ten years ago:
 
 http://www.marxmail.org/archives/may98/journal_am.htm
 
 Jim F.
 
 On Sat, 5 Apr 2008 20:18:32 +0100 rasherrs [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 writes:
  Interesting intro Charles. Much appreciated
 
  Paddy
  
  - Original Message - 
  From: Charles Brown [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  To: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
  Sent: Saturday, April 05, 2008 7:39 PM
  Subject: Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Symbolic Logic
 
 
  Theory of descriptions
 
  Jump to: navigation, search
  The theory of descriptions is one of the philosopher Bertrand
  Russell's most
  significant contributions to the philosophy of language. It is 
 also
  termed
  Russell's Theory of Descriptions (often abbreviated as RTD). In
  short,
  Russell argued that the superficial syntactic form of 
 descriptions
  (phrases
  usually of the form The X and An X) is misleading, as it does
  not match
  their logical or semantic structure. While descriptions may seem
  fairly
  insignificant phrases, Russell and others have argued that 
 providing
  a
  satisfactory analysis of their linguistic and logical properties 
 is
  vital to
  clarity in important philosophical debates, particularly in
  semantics,
 
 
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[Marxism-Thaxis] Test

2008-04-06 Thread Jim Farmelant
Test

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Fw: [Marxism] marxmail will be offline Sunday, April 6

2008-04-05 Thread Jim Farmelant

Since Thaxis, like Marxmail is based on
University of Utah servers, I suspect
that this list will likewise be offline
tomorrow.

Jim Farmelant

- Forwarded message --
From: Les Schaffer [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2008 11:52:34 -0400
Subject: [Marxism] marxmail will be offline Sunday, April 6

 
Due to electrical work being done at the University of Utah, home of the 
Marxmail server, this list will be offline tomorrow, Sunday, April 6. 
More specifically, the server will be offline from 12:00 am tonight 
until 12:00 am tomorrow night (Mountain Standard Time).
 
Any emails you submit to the list during that period should be stored in 
transit until the server comes back online. You may, however, receive 
warnings that your email was not delivered and that your mail delivery 
agent will try again. You can disregard these warnings. But please DO 
NOT resubmit your email, it will only cause a double posting once the 
server comes back online.
 
Best bet, simply do not post to marxmail on April 6, until we give the 
all clear.
 
Les
 
 
 

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Vienna Circle etc.

2008-04-03 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Thu, 3 Apr 2008 17:05:10 +0100 rasherrs [EMAIL PROTECTED]
writes:
 How does A.J. Ayer fit into this matter of the peculiarities of the 
 reception of logical empiricism into the anglophone world. I 
 obtained my 
 initial more direct experience of it throug Ayer's titles?

Ayer was politically a social democrat.  During the 1930s
he flirted with joining the British CP but declined to do
because of the incompatibility between diamat
and his own logical empiricism.  Thereafter, he was
a longtime supporter of the British Labour Party,
except for a few years in the early 1980s when
he supported the breakaway Social Democratic
Party.  


 
 Paddy Hackett
 
 --
 
 - Original Message - 
 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 12:55 PM
 Subject: Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Vienna Circle etc.
 
 
 
 I am interested in them because of my general interest
 in the philosophy of science and the broader implications:
 culturally, socially and politically of differing
 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Vienna Circle ettc.

2008-04-01 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 02:36:44 +0100 rasherrs [EMAIL PROTECTED]
writes:
 Interesting!
 
 Are there available any English copies of The Scientific Conception 
 of the 
 World?
 
 
 
Wissenschaftliche Weltauffassung. Der Wiener Kreis, 1929. 
English translation The Scientific Conception of the World. 
The Vienna Circle in Sarkar, Sahotra, ed., The Emergence of 
Logical Empiricism: from 1900 to the Vienna Circle, 
New York : Garland Publishing, 1996, pp. 321–340.
 
Also can be found:
 
 Hahn, Hans, Rudolph Carnap, and Otto Neurath.  The Scientific 
Conception of the World: the Vienna Circle.   in Neurath, Otto.  
Empiricism and Sociology.  Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1973.  299-318.  
Also in Analytic Philosophy.  Ed. Jordan J. Lindberg.  
Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 2000. 147-158.

 
 - Original Message - 
 From: Jim Farmelant [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Cc: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 1:25 AM
 Subject: Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Vienna Circle ettc.
 
 
 
 On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 15:22:21 -0400 Charles Brown
 [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 
  rasherrs rasherrs
 
 

-
 ---
 
  The argument between the Vienna Circle and Karl Popper on the
  matter of
  the verification principle. Popper susbtituted the falsficaion
  principle for
  the verification principle. I believe that this and related 
 issues
  have
  been
  at best neglected by marxism. Yet is a matter of signifcance.
The problem of  the entire relationship between the physical
  sciences, the
  human sciences and what is known as everyday common sense is one
  that
  needs
  badly to be solved. Without a solution to it  communism stands on
  weak
  and
  unconvincing ground.
Perhaps it should be recalled that the Vienna Circle contained
  socialists
  and was not a right wing intellectual circle. Even Popper had 
 been
  associated with marxism in his youth.  He was later to become a
  liberal.
  These people as marxism often suggests were not extreme right 
 wing
  ideologues. Bertrand Russell exercised an enormous influence on 
 the
  Vienna
  Circle and on Popper. Yet it cannot be said that he was 
 politically
 
  reactionary.
 
  ^
  CB: Yea, Russell was a liberal.
 
  Jim F. can tell you who was a Marxist and who not in the Vienna
  Circle
  , and among the logical positivists.  The name of the Marxist 
 among
  them
  will come to me in a minute.
 
  ___
 
 Among the Vienna Circle, Otto Neurath was an avowed
 Marxist.  He was by training a mathematician, an economist and
 a sociologist.  At the time of the 1919 revolution in
 Germany, he was appointed by the Social Democratic
 government in Bavaria to run a commission for overseeing
 the socialization of the economy.  Not long after that,
 the Social Democrats were displaced by a radical
 left government comprised of Communists,
 left Social Democrats and anarchists. They
 kept Neurath in his post.  Later after the 1919
 revolution was suppressed, Neurath was arrested
 and put on trial for treason.  The treason charges
 against him were eventually dropped after
 protests from the Austrian government and
 the intercession of prominent academics
 in Germany, including his old teacher
 Max Weber.  After that, he returned
 to his native Austria, where he remained
 active in the Austrian SPD and became very
 much involved in worker education.
 As an admirer of Ernst Mach, Neurath
 fell in with a loosely knit group of
 scientifically minded philosophers
 and philosophically minded scientists
 who were concerned with updating
 Mach's philosophy in light of then
 recent developments in science and
 mathematical logic.  This group
 became known as the Vienna
 Circle and although Moritz Schlick
 was its titular head. Otto Neurath
 and Rudolf Carnap were its dominant
 figures.  It was Neurath and Carnap
 who drew up the group's manifesto,
 The Scientific Conception of the
 World;  The Vienna Circle.
 In that document, Neurath and
 Carnap emphasized the broader
 concerns of the circle which extended
 beyond logic and the philosophy
 of science to encompass issues
 in culture, education and politics.
 They made clear their orientation
 to socialism and they included
 Karl Marx in their list of thinkers
 who considered to be progenitors
 of the scientific conception of the
 world.
 
 Politically, most of the Vienna Circle
 were left social democrats. However,
 there were a few members like Schlick,
 and Richard von Mises (the brother of
 economist Ludwig von Mises) who were
 not all socialists or social democrats but
 were liberals in the continental European
 senses (that is they were they were free
 marketeers).
 
 
 
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Vienna Circle etc.

2008-04-01 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Wed, 2 Apr 2008 09:19:46 +0900 CeJ [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 Popper at one time had wanted to join the Circle and was evidently
 very envious of the admiration Wittgenstein received from them 
 (though
 by most accounts, Wittgenstein did not see himself as engaged in 
 their
 scientific world view and did not encourage their acclaim of him).
 
 Here is a nice summing up of Popper, especially if you follow it up
 with a bit of Lakatos and Feyerabend. :
 
 http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/popper/

 ]

Me on Richard W. Miller and Popper
http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2004w52/msg00209.htm

Also, my discussion of Alex Callinocos's usages
of Popper can be found at:
http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2005w48/msg00247.htm

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Vienna Circle ettc.

2008-03-31 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 15:22:21 -0400 Charles Brown
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 
 rasherrs rasherrs 
 

-
---
 
 The argument between the Vienna Circle and Karl Popper on the
 matter of 
 the verification principle. Popper susbtituted the falsficaion
 principle for 
 the verification principle. I believe that this and related issues 
 have
 been 
 at best neglected by marxism. Yet is a matter of signifcance.
   The problem of  the entire relationship between the physical
 sciences, the 
 human sciences and what is known as everyday common sense is one 
 that
 needs 
 badly to be solved. Without a solution to it  communism stands on 
 weak
 and 
 unconvincing ground.
   Perhaps it should be recalled that the Vienna Circle contained
 socialists 
 and was not a right wing intellectual circle. Even Popper had been 
 associated with marxism in his youth.  He was later to become a
 liberal. 
 These people as marxism often suggests were not extreme right wing 
 ideologues. Bertrand Russell exercised an enormous influence on the
 Vienna 
 Circle and on Popper. Yet it cannot be said that he was politically 
 
 reactionary.
 
 ^
 CB: Yea, Russell was a liberal. 
 
 Jim F. can tell you who was a Marxist and who not in the Vienna 
 Circle
 , and among the logical positivists.  The name of the Marxist among 
 them
 will come to me in a minute.
 
 ___

Among the Vienna Circle, Otto Neurath was an avowed
Marxist.  He was by training a mathematician, an economist and
a sociologist.  At the time of the 1919 revolution in
Germany, he was appointed by the Social Democratic
government in Bavaria to run a commission for overseeing
the socialization of the economy.  Not long after that,
the Social Democrats were displaced by a radical
left government comprised of Communists,
left Social Democrats and anarchists. They
kept Neurath in his post.  Later after the 1919
revolution was suppressed, Neurath was arrested
and put on trial for treason.  The treason charges
against him were eventually dropped after
protests from the Austrian government and
the intercession of prominent academics
in Germany, including his old teacher
Max Weber.  After that, he returned
to his native Austria, where he remained
active in the Austrian SPD and became very
much involved in worker education.
As an admirer of Ernst Mach, Neurath
fell in with a loosely knit group of
scientifically minded philosophers
and philosophically minded scientists
who were concerned with updating
Mach's philosophy in light of then
recent developments in science and
mathematical logic.  This group
became known as the Vienna
Circle and although Moritz Schlick
was its titular head. Otto Neurath
and Rudolf Carnap were its dominant
figures.  It was Neurath and Carnap
who drew up the group's manifesto,
The Scientific Conception of the
World;  The Vienna Circle.
In that document, Neurath and
Carnap emphasized the broader
concerns of the circle which extended
beyond logic and the philosophy
of science to encompass issues
in culture, education and politics.
They made clear their orientation
to socialism and they included
Karl Marx in their list of thinkers
who considered to be progenitors
of the scientific conception of the
world.

Politically, most of the Vienna Circle
were left social democrats. However,
there were a few members like Schlick,
and Richard von Mises (the brother of
economist Ludwig von Mises) who were
not all socialists or social democrats but
were liberals in the continental European
senses (that is they were they were free
marketeers).  



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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Iyenkov on Hegel

2008-03-18 Thread Jim Farmelant
 
On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 10:08:52 +0900 CeJ [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


 ^^^
 CB: Cause he [Popper] was doing anti-communist/anti-Soviet  hack 
 work .
 
 ^^^
 
 The interesting post-modern aspect of Popper for me is that he 
 opened
 up 'anglo-analytic' philosophy of science to post-modernism (Kuhn, 
 but
 especially Lakatos and Feyerabend).
 He is also the guy whom Wittgenstein allegedly threatened with a
 fireplace poker after one of their few discussions. Popper's work 
 on
 scientific methods and induction is formidable and some of the most
 important after Hume, Mills and Peirce.
 
 And yet I would suspect most of his obituaries revel in the 
 nonsense
 about how he helped defeat communism because he showed Marxism to be 
 a
 pseudo-science (while Hayek 'proved' central planning didn't work).
 --

My comments on Popper, Hayek etc. can be found
here:

http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2002w46/msg00026.htm
http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2005w00/msg00027.htm
http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/1999/1999-October/017416.html


 
 CJ
 
 

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[Marxism-Thaxis] For those who read German

2008-03-06 Thread Jim Farmelant


My article, „Neuer Atheismus“ (und „Neuer Humanismus“) 
in den USA,  which is being published this month
in the journal, Aufklärung und Kritik (http://www.gkpn.de/),
is now avaliable online at their website at:
http://www.gkpn.de/Farmelant_Atheismus.pdf


Jim F.
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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Fwd: First draft document

2008-02-10 Thread Jim Farmelant

This, I take it, was the message that Juan wished to forward to this
list.
Please note that it was sent as an attachment to an attachment.  The
listserver software strips out attachments, to prevent viruses from being
sent to list subscribers.  So in the future, I would suggest that Juan
and any other subscriber, not forward things to this list as
attachments..

Jim F.

On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 08:35:00 -0800 (PST) juan De La Cruz
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 
 
 Note: forwarded message attached.

 -
 Looking for last minute shopping deals?  Find them fast with Yahoo! 
 Search.

Saludos, compañeros y compañeras!

Les estamos enviando un documento que plasma la lectura que hemos logrado
despues de semanas de conversaciones en todo el territorio nacional. 
Este primer intento de analisis lo sometemos a la critica para que se
hagan mejorias y las sugerencias se nos envien antes de ponerlo a
circular.  Nosotros consideramos que a pesar de que no se puede esperar
una respuesta positiva de estructuras burguesas, las mismas coincidiran
en el tiempo y en el espacio luchando por imponer su concepcion de
formacion social.  Esperamos respuestas criticas. 
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana






Circular de Febrero


Coincidencia Tiempo y Espacio


La esencia de la solución burguesa encontrada a la crisis del capital es
parcial y limitada en el tiempo y coincide en el espacio con la aparición
violenta fracciones afectadas por la catástrofe y con la generalización
de la lucha del proletariado como clase revolucionaria. En esta
oportunidad nos gustaría compartir con ustedes la teorización comunista
que nuestro Núcleo ha realizado después de escuchar ha algunos miembros
de las bases de estructuras burguesas que están disgustados con las
posiciones que históricamente y en este momento han asumido sus
respectivas direcciones. En nuestro balance estas fuerzas aparecen
luchando por la repartición mundial de la crisis, la cual ha generado las
diferencias entre esas fuerzas en el tiempo, en los medios y en la forma
de ataques contra el proletariado y están provocando reacciones obreras
“despegadas”, en cuanto a la intensidad y el momento que la burguesía
utiliza para aislar cada lucha en la Nación.


¿Qué es lo determina la organización del proletariado como fuerza
mundial, como Partido Revolucionario, para imponer el modo de producción
comunista?


Antes de responder a esa pregunta queremos señalar que el intercambio de
información reporta también la posibilidad del surgimiento de el
“Partido” bochista auténtico, encabezado por Danilo Mediana, y la
autocrítica del compañero Fidelio Despradel contra sus movimientos
“tácticos” que lo llevaron a una alianza con uno de los criminales al
servicio del aparato militar del Estado, Pedro de Jesús Candelier. El
prostíbulo dominicano también alberga a la organización Fuerza de la
Revolución, al “Partido Comunista del Trabajo-Miuca”, a Senda Caamañista,
al Movimiento Popular Dominicano y a un largo y contrarrevolucionario
etcétera que no ha logrado romper con las posiciones teóricas impuesta
por la Tercera Internacional en la escala mundial. Así entramos a un
momento electoral 2008 dominado por fuerzas burguesas en el marco de las
relaciones de producción que generan las condiciones comunes generales de
explotación salarial, acentuada por la fase actual de la crisis del
capital en la escala internacional. Esas condiciones comunes de
explotación y ausencia del proletariado como clase revolucionaria
determinan su reaparición como Partido Revolucionario que tendencialmente
tiene la intención de consolidarse como Internacional Comunista.
Cualquier otra perspectiva o teorización del Partido es falsa, demostrado
por la experiencia de la lucha de clases aunque sus evidencias han sido
ocultadas. Peor todavía, los documentos que contienen las evidencias
históricas que demuestran que se produjo una ruptura en el seno de la
3ra. Internacional generada por la práctica contrarrevolucionaria de los
bolcheviques y distribuidos por nuestro grupo en las bases de esas
estructuras burguesas no han logrado producir la ruptura teórica para
reorientar la práctica contra el capital y el Estado, para impulsar al
proletariado a tomar las armas contra la burguesía mundial. Los
compañeros que hemos contactado continúan atados a esas estructuras y no
trabajan en la preparación de la guerra mundial revolucionaria contra el
capital mundial.


Para que se produzcan las condiciones subjetivas de la revolución
comunista en la República Dominicana es necesario que el proletariado
atrapado en las estructuras heredadas de la Tercera Internacional se
sacuda y contribuya a desarrollar la ruptura orgánica y teórica que se
produjo en ella, que en el tiempo y en el espacio coincide con la crisis
del capital; pero todas esas estructuras “comunistas” se han negado a
reconocerla y continúan impulsando una practica orientada por corrientes
esencialmente burguesas, aunque esos compañeros crean 

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Fwd: Notes on FBI terrorist activities

2008-01-27 Thread Jim Farmelant

Juan, in the future, please do not forward articles as attachments, since
the listserve software is configured to strip out attacments.
Jim Farmelant - Moderator
-
---

Notes on the FBI’s 1919 Report on the Communist Party usa


On January 25th , 2008 I had the opportunity to listen and read “FBI 100,
A closer Look”, an interview with the Agency historian Dr. John Fox,
analysing the historical situation and the line taken by the
Northamerican form of the State in the context of the wave of proletarian
historical action 1917-1923 (which started against and before the first
generalized capitalist war of 1914-1918). The interview was conducted by
Neal Schiff.


According to Mr. Fox, in 1919 “there had been a series of terrorist
attacks earlier that year and the Department of Justice was trying to
figure out what was going on” So Mr. Hoover, the Attorney General,
presented a “report on the newly formed Communist Party of the United
States”


Can a “terrorist attack” be properly understood without taking into
consideration its class essence in a class divided society? Under this
condition there are only two types of terrorist attacks:


State terrorism, conducted by all bourgeois structures including of
course its state's machinery against the world proletariat in order to
avoid the imposition of the dictatorship of his necessities. Also, the
permanent deterioration of the economic conditions of the salary worker
is a form of class terrorism. This is why all factions of the capitalist
class got together and unify their action to
invade Irak in 2003 since the revolutionary proletariat had emerged on
March 7th , 1991, and even his Shoras were defeated, the possibility of a
re-emergence and generalization of the struggle against capital had to be
stop. That reappearance of the armed proletariat as a revolutionary class
explains the role played by the State of Iran against militants’
resistance along the border of the region. After they defeated us, now
they continue with their competition to appropriate means of production,
productive forces and a better share of the world market. Another place
where you (plural, bourgeois historians) can see the workings of State
terrorist attacks against its historical enemy, the international
proletariat, is found in the territory that you (singular, the capitalist
class) created and named as the State of Israel. During more than 40
years the structures of capital have been engaged in a war against our
brothers and class sisters living in Lebanon, bombarding them and none of
you have written a line against that class genocide. Even worst, the
proletariat exploited within the boundaries of the State of Israel
doesn’t exist as a class, that is to say, has not given a historical
answer to that mass murder. Or even look at what international capital
has done in Rwanda, just to illustrate what capitalism is all about
Move to Washington DC and experience the stream poverty situation of the
proletariat there and tell me if that isn't State terrorism.


The second type of terrorist attacks are those revolutionary ones
conducted by proletarian structures to destroy the capitalist mode of
production, even though in this particular moment those militants do not
realize they have a historical project therefore belong to a
revolutionary class, consequently our military attacks must be combined,
properly coordinated with a proletariat insurrection leading to the
social and proletarian dictatorship. An example of this lack of class
understanding was shown, even though I consider the attacks correct from
a military class perspective and under the present historical
circumstances, dominance of capital and division of the proletariat on a
world scale, were the ones lounged against World Trade Center and the
Pentagon on September 11th, just to mention those two which I consider
the correct way to put and end to the horror. The “revolutionary”
minorities did not responded according to the historical importance of
the military events, only the Revolutionary “Communist” Party usa created
an organism to continue the preparation after the attacks.


Anyway, since its emergence the bourgeoisie has imposed the rule of
capital using mainly terrorist method, look at what Castro has done in
Cuba for example, where jails are full of political prisoners. Another
good example is the situation created by the Northamerican faction of
world capital in Guantanamo’s military base, where a group of militants,
fighters to stop capital’s forces to continue with their genocide against
humanity are kept in prison just because they prefer to died fighting and
not from hunger. 


I have no doubt you are aware of the economic conditions of the
proletariat within the United States, so I don’t have to remind you about
it. I just want to mention that world history is full

[Marxism-Thaxis] Tariq Ali on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto

2007-12-27 Thread Jim Farmelant

The Guardian - December 28, 2007
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2232632,00.html
 
A tragedy born of military despotism and anarchy
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto heaps despair upon Pakistan. Now  
her party must be democratically rebuilt
 
Tariq Ali
 
Even those of us sharply critical of Benazir Bhutto's behaviour and  
policies - both while she was in office and more recently - are  
stunned and angered by her death. Indignation and fear stalk the  
country once again.
 
An odd coexistence of military despotism and anarchy created the  
conditions leading to her assassination in Rawalpindi yesterday. In  
the past, military rule was designed to preserve order - and did so  
for a few years. No longer. Today it creates disorder and promotes  
lawlessness. How else can one explain the sacking of the chief  
justice and eight other judges of the country's supreme court for  
attempting to hold the government's intelligence agencies and the  
police accountable to courts of law? Their replacements lack the  
backbone to do anything, let alone conduct a proper inquest into the  
misdeeds of the agencies to uncover the truth behind the carefully  
organised killing of a major political leader.
 
How can Pakistan today be anything but a conflagration of despair? It  
is assumed that the killers were jihadi fanatics. This may well be  
true, but were they acting on their own?
 
Benazir, according to those close to her, had been tempted to boycott  
the fake elections, but she lacked the political courage to defy  
Washington. She had plenty of physical courage, and refused to be  
cowed by threats from local opponents. She had been addressing an  
election rally in Liaquat Bagh. This is a popular space named after  
the country's first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, who was killed  
by an assassin in 1953. The killer, Said Akbar, was immediately shot  
dead on the orders of a police officer involved in the plot. Not far  
from here, there once stood a colonial structure where nationalists  
were imprisoned. This was Rawalpindi jail. It was here that Benazir's  
father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged in April 1979. The military  
tyrant responsible for his judicial murder made sure the site of the  
tragedy was destroyed as well.
 
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's death poisoned relations between his Pakistan  
People's party and the army. Party activists, particularly in the  
province of Sind, were brutally tortured, humiliated and, sometimes,  
disappeared or killed.
 
Pakistan's turbulent history, a result of continuous military rule  
and unpopular global alliances, confronts the ruling elite now with  
serious choices. They appear to have no positive aims. The  
overwhelming majority of the country disapproves of the government's  
foreign policy. They are angered by its lack of a serious domestic  
policy except for further enriching a callous and greedy elite that  
includes a swollen, parasitic military. Now they watch helplessly as  
politicians are shot dead in front of them.
 
Benazir had survived the bomb blast yesterday but was felled by  
bullets fired at her car. The assassins, mindful of their failure in  
Karachi a month ago, had taken out a double insurance this time. They  
wanted her dead. It is impossible for even a rigged election to take  
place now. It will have to be postponed, and the military high  
command is no doubt contemplating another dose of army rule if the  
situation gets worse, which could easily happen.
 
What has happened is a multilayered tragedy. It's a tragedy for a  
country on a road to more disasters. Torrents and foaming cataracts  
lie ahead. And it is a personal tragedy. The house of Bhutto has lost  
another member. Father, two sons and now a daughter have all died  
unnatural deaths.
 
I first met Benazir at her father's house in Karachi when she was a  
fun-loving teenager, and later at Oxford. She was not a natural  
politician and had always wanted to be a diplomat, but history and  
personal tragedy pushed in the other direction. Her father's death  
transformed her. She had become a new person, determined to take on  
the military dictator of that time. She had moved to a tiny flat in  
London, where we would endlessly discuss the future of the country.  
She would agree that land reforms, mass education programmes, a  
health service and an independent foreign policy were positive  
constructive aims and crucial if the country was to be saved from the  
vultures in and out of uniform. Her constituency was the poor, and  
she was proud of the fact.
 
She changed again after becoming prime minister. In the early days,  
we would argue and in response to my numerous complaints - all she  
would say was that the world had changed. She couldn't be on the  
wrong side of history. And so, like many others, she made her peace  
with Washington. It was this that finally led to the deal with  
Musharraf and her return home after more than a decade in 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Have a happy and merry December 25

2007-12-25 Thread Jim Farmelant


Today, as the world pauses on the birthday of one of history's greatest
men, whose teachings continue to benefit the entire human race,
let us join in toasting the memory of Sir Isaac Newton, and of all
the giants on whose shoulders he stood.

Jim Farmelant
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[Marxism-Thaxis] Reuters declares Chavez victor in constitutional referendum

2007-12-02 Thread Jim Farmelant

Chavez wins Venezuela vote: sources

By Saul Hudson and Ana Isabel Martinez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appeared headed for victory on Sunday in
a referendum on allowing the leftist to rule for as long as he keeps
winning elections, government-linked sources said, citing exit polls.

Three exit polls showed the anti-American leader won by between six and
eight percentage points in a vote where turnout was low, the two sources
said.

If his victory is confirmed, the referendum vote on a raft of reforms
would allow Chavez -- in office since 1999 -- to run for reelection
indefinitely, control foreign currency reserves, appoint loyalists over
regional elected officials and censor the media if he declares an
emergency.

Chavez has said he wants to rule for life and turn the major oil exporter
into a socialist state.

The opposition was skeptical of the government sources' exit poll data.

According to our information, it is a statistical tie, said Leopoldo
Lopez, a popular mayor of a Caracas municipality. He did not give details
of any exit polls, other than to say the difference was two points up,
two points down.

Most pre-vote opinion surveys predicted a close vote on the package of
constitutional changes that the opposition and even some former longtime
allies say is authoritarian.

Pollsters had said a low turnout would favor Chavez, who activated a
state-backed get-out-the-vote campaign against an underfunded, fragmented
opposition.

The left-wing leader, a fierce critic of the United States and close ally
of communist Cuba, has never lost a national vote and had predicted he
would win by at least 10 points.

SENT BY GOD

Even before any official results' were announced, some of Chavez's
supporters began to celebrate.

Dressed in red and waving Venezuela's red-blue-and-yellow national flag,
they danced in the streets and drove cars and motorcycles around Caracas
honking horns.

The reform is very important for the country, we want to support our
president, said Marlene Vanegas, 70, who described herself as a
full-time revolutionary and Chavez loyalist. he was sent to us by
God.

The government-linked sources said two exit polls showed Chavez won 53
percent of the vote, compared with 47 percent for the No camp, and
another showed 54 percent to 46 percent.

Led by a mix of political parties and university students, the opposition
had pointed to some pre-referendum polls showing it could win.

It has lost to Chavez in almost yearly national votes and also failed to
topple him with a coup in 2002, a national strike and a recall
referendum.

Foreign investors worry that the opposition could contest the result if
it suspects fraud, sparking political turbulence after a campaign marred
by violent street clashes.

(The vote) will deepen divisions and polarization, said Jesus Ghersi,
25, an engineering student serving as an official poll watcher for the
opposition.

Many Venezuelans believed the vote was a pivotal moment for the OPEC
nation.

We decide the future, the El Nacional newspaper said in a headline that
covered much of its front-page on Sunday.

Chavez wants the new constitution endorsed to give him a mandate to
create a Cuba-inspired socialist state. After his landslide reelection a
year ago, he decreed sweeping nationalizations, and promises more state
intervention in the economy if he wins the referendum.

Opposition leaders complain his policies are a throwback to failed
systems such as the Soviet Union and communist Cuba.

If they approve this reform, as of midnight tonight we have turned into
a communist country. I'm convinced of that, said Elias Martinez, 55, an
actor.

(For more on Venezuela's referendum, click on
http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/venezuela)

(Additional reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero, Patricia Rondon and Jorge
Silva, Writing by Saul Hudson; Editing by Kieran Murray)

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or
redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the
prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any
errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance
thereon.

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[Marxism-Thaxis] Marxism and Inequality

2007-11-06 Thread Jim Farmelant



A friend of mine will be conducting a philosophy cafe on the following
topic.  He would appreciate it, if I can provide him with some readings 
written from a Marxist perspective that would pertain to the topic.  Does
anybody have any suggestions?

 Jim F.
---
“Outcomes and Opportunities: What Justifies Inequality?:  Growing social
and economic inequality is a recent fact of life in America. We can
explain the increasingly skewed distribution of wealth and opportunity as
the result of impersonal forces such as globalization and technology, as
well as deliberate policies on taxes and compensation. But how do we
justify these inequalities? Are there moral or practical justifications
for a society of haves and have nots, and if not, what would count as a
fair distribution of resources?

 




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[Marxism-Thaxis] Adolfo Olaechea win his case

2007-10-31 Thread Jim Farmelant

Reported on Louis Proyect's Marxmail.
---
From: Monica Velazco
To: Louis R Godena
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:43 PM
Subject: OLAECHEA WINS TERRORISM CASE IN PERU

I though I let you all know that today, by unanimous decision, the 
Peruvian High Court (Sala Penal Nacional) threw out the last case 
against me.

This is a 9 nil victory against the persecution initiated by the 
Peruvian state under Fujimori against me for reason of my ideas.

I have a lot to thank you all for your unflinching solidarity in 
defending the values of real and complete democracy.

I was originally charged with 9 offenses, carrying the maximum penalty 
of life imprisonment. I had until today's verdict won already 8, but if 
I had won 8-1 against the Peruvian state, I would have still been 
condemned to 25 years in jail. However, I have now won a clean slate, 
having in fact to win twice on this one particular charge, which really 
should count as a ten nil victory. Still remains the Supreme Court's 
necessary seal of approval to the High Court's verdict, but that is 
basically a formality, although it may be necessary to put some pressure 
at some time for them to act in a reasonable time, because in Peru they 
may sit on these things until kingdom come, and this international 
kidnapping has already gone on for far too long. So, please keep this in 
mind and don't forget I am still in need of your international
solidarity.

Thanks again for your interest and support in my case, and I remain
yours,

Adolfo Olaechea

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Notion of falsifiability (from RE: Presentations to the Fifth International....)

2007-09-30 Thread Jim Farmelant


I have  discussed falsifiability on various lists.
See:

http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/2002/2002-January/82.html

http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2004w52/msg00209.htm



On Sun, 30 Sep 2007 10:51:26 -0700 (PDT) andie nachgeborenen
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 
 I am not sure about what is wrong with staying close
 to the intuitive judgments of science.
 
 It is only partly accurate to say that falsifiability
 has not received any interest among philosophers of
 science.  First, things are more complicated. The
 question to which Popper posed the falsifiability
 thesis as an answer is itself passe. This is What
 Criterion Demarcates Science From Non-Science (or
 Nonsense). The positivists posed a Verification
 Criterion (Scientific statements can be verified by
 empirical observation, roughly).  Popper proposed a
 F-Criterion, Scientific statements can be falsified by
 empirical observation.  
 
 But the issue of demarcation is not a big concern and
 has not been for decades.  Partly this is because of
 the influence of Quine, Goodman, and the
 neopragmatists,w which have tended to blur the line
 between science and other kinds of activity. 
 
 That doesn't mean that the F-Criterion or something
 like it isn't a good rough test of whether a
 hypothesis is worth entertaining from a scientific
 p.o.v.. What's the use of a hypothesis that is immune
 to test? Btw, so regarded Popper was anticipated by JS
 Mill in his Logic, where Mill's Methods a re
 falsifiability tests.
 
 Secondly, Popper himself soon realized the point later
 made with great force by Quine and the neoprags, that
 simple F-test of Die Logik der Forschung was flawed
 because it did not take into account the holism of
 scientific statements, the fact that, as Quine later
 and Duhem earlier had put it, you could hold true any
 statement in the face of apparent refutation bu making
 suitable adjustments elsewhere in the web of belief
 (Quine's term). Not all adjustment are equally easier,
 which is why the F test has some bite.
 
 Third, neoPopperians of various stripes, including
 mostly Lakatos as well as a whole whole of English
 neo-Pops developed Popper's ideas to a more
 sophisticated level and got them incorporated into the
 philosophy of science mainstream or at least
 discussion. Lakatos was a big influence on Feyerabend,
 not that PKF was mainstream. The neo-Pops were big in
 Britain at least last when I checked and when I was in
 grad school there in the early 80s, though more at
 London and a bit at Oxford than at Cambridge. On the
 other hand in the 1980s while in phil grad school at
 Michigan I had to argue my Quine, Kuhn  Rorty trained
 (same as me) phil of sci teacher into including Popper
 in his phil of sci class that I was TA-ing. Less Ayer,
 I said, more Popper. He did it, though. 
 
 --- CeJ [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 


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[Marxism-Thaxis] More Rosa

2007-08-29 Thread Jim Farmelant

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/more_from_the_dollop.htm

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Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] [marxistphilosophy] Lisa Rogers (25 August 1961 - 15 September 1996)

2007-08-26 Thread Jim Farmelant


On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 22:56:40 -0400 Ralph Dumain [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 Every year I commemorate the days Lisa was born and died.
 
 In Memoriam:
   Lisa Rogers
   25 August 1961 - 15 September 1996
 
 Co-Moderator of Spoons Marxism lists (mid-'90s, maybe including 
 marxism-thaxis), evolutionary biologist, environmentalist, feminist 
  
 gay rights activist, clothes designer, folk dancer, insatiable 
 learner, and a woman of great sensitivity. She died suddenly just 
 after her 35th birthday--a life of great potential cut short in its 
 prime.
 
 Lisa, I'm thinking of you on your birthday.

BTW some of the archives of the various lists
that Lisa was associated with like
marxism, marxism2
can be found at:
http://www.driftline.org/

 
 
And these are the gems of the Human Soul
The rubies  pearls of a lovesick eye
The countless gold of the akeing heart
The martyrs groan  the lovers sigh
 
-- William Blake, The Mental Traveller [33-36]
 
 
 
  
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