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Re: Moderator's note on "political violence"

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  • bobgould987
    A response to the moderator, Norm Dixon and Mike Karadjis By Bob Gould Responding to the protest about the heading of Alex Miller s post about the Glasgow
    Message 1 of 52 , Dec 11, 2005
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      A response to the moderator, Norm Dixon and Mike Karadjis

      By Bob Gould

      Responding to the protest about the heading of Alex Miller's post
      about the Glasgow kiss, the moderator of the Green Left list issues a
      stern warning to me and others that if we continue to say that this
      heading is an incitement to violence we'll be thrown off the list.

      The moderator justifies this by saying that Miller's heading is
      obviously metaphorical.

      Mike Karadjis makes a similar assertion and makes matters worse by
      listing a further six "metaphorical" headers that could be used, all
      of which also contain an element of "metaphorical" violence.

      Is the moderator claiming that all this "metaphorical" violence is
      good coin and reasonable on the Green Left list and that anyone who
      protests against such "metaphors" will be thrown off the list?

      Is this kind of "metaphorical" violent language to become par for the
      course on the Green Left list?

      I put to the moderator that any problems that might arise from these
      "metaphors" don't arise from myself and others pointing to them. They
      arise from the "metaphors" themselves.

      In the final analysis, as the moderator asserts, she is the list
      owner, presumably on behalf of Green Left, and she can do anything she
      likes, but I appeal to her to consider the political implications,
      particularly in the current political climate, of taking such a position.

      Obviously, I will try to meet whatever requirements the moderator
      imposes, but I reserve the right to draw attention to the poor
      political judgement involved in taking the position that seems
      implicit in her ruling and I'd point out that I've raised this kind of
      question on the Green Left list several times in the past.

      It seems to me that, in this instance, the moderator, who in my
      experience is quite a pleasant, serious person, is behaving
      politically like the speaker in either house of federal parliament,
      tending to stick up for their side of politics regardless of the
      rights and wrongs of any issue or point of order that is raised.

      On the secondary question of the content of Ozleft, Norm Dixon is
      being a bit cute. It's true that for the past month or two the front
      page of the website has been dominated by arguments with the DSP.

      Doesn't Norm ever get beyond the front page and look at the other
      subdirectories or the site map? Is he only interested in material on
      the DSP?

      Only a small proportion of the content of the website has any
      reference to the DSP.
    • Nick Fredman
      ... You re got the shibboleth , no you ve got the shibboleth, nah nah! . Dear oh dear. I ll try and avoid thunderous polemics and argue briefly that the idea
      Message 52 of 52 , Dec 11, 2005
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        Marcus:

        >The dishonest mantra of the DSP is that political openness -
        >discussion in front of the working class - is some sort of
        >shibboleth. Codswallop. This evades the fact that it is actually the
        >DSP's practice of consipiratorial methods of internal organisation
        >that is the shibboleth.

        "You're got the shibboleth", "no you've got the shibboleth, nah
        nah!". Dear oh dear. I'll try and avoid thunderous polemics and argue
        briefly that the idea of "openess about every single discussion at
        all times", is an incorrect approach for a serious socialist
        political organisation, and to repeat this refrain when discussing
        virtually any issue, as the CPGB tends to do, often misses the
        essential points entirely.

        For one I'm not sure when one this lofty aim, even if it was
        desirable, has ever been achieved or could be. The CPBG in fact don't
        publish all their discussions, do they Marcus? They publish an edited
        extract in their newspaper, which is fine and dandy for them if they
        want to, but I can't see from their site any comprehensive list of
        all their bulletins and discussions (SA actually seems much more
        comprehensive on this score).

        In fact this question is obviously a tactical rather than a
        principled one, as there's times when it's not at all advisable to be
        open about everything. Ed Lewis' real name. The affiliations of DSP
        members in unions with particularly nasty and spiteful leaderships
        (this is a real issue). Planning an insurrection. Stuff like that are
        fairly obvious.

        Yes this happens in my union branch executive - they are technically
        open meetings but at times discuss tactics that we wouldn't want
        leaked to the management, or, on occasion, the branch of the CPSU,
        which I'm not shy about saying plays an often rotten role on
        campuses. About this Greg Adler
        http://members.optushome.com.au/spainter/millerstale.html puts
        forward a "when did you start beating your partner" kind of
        statement, (must be a clever lawyer trick they teach at Lawyer
        School), when he states:

        >>The point, of course, is that if Fredman's union leadership was
        >>discussing internally how to undermine other unions and to maintain
        >>a regime of misinformation to its own membership - that is, if it
        >>were acting like the DSP's internal bulletins reveals it was in the
        >>SA - I would think there was an obligation to reveal it, <<

        That is, he's implying something's proven when it hasn't been at all.
        There's no evidence Adler has or can point to that the DSP has
        misinformed SA members about anything. Please show us, Greg, in
        documents and verifiable incidents (rather than what some person
        supposedly said to you, or one person's opinion in a wide-ranging
        discussion), where *the DSP* has done this. The DSP does, like
        everyone else, have a right to a frank discussion about other
        tendencies it considers are playing a negative role. Just like my
        NTEU branch exec has a right to discuss, in camera, the rotten
        tactics of the CPSU branch, e.g. campaigning for a non-union
        agreement, and in that sense BTW, discuss how to undermine (counter
        the tactics of) another union.

        Marcus can no doubt say well if it's a changeable tactic, the DSP
        seems pretty inflexible about it. He may have a point there, and the
        fact that the right to private discussion maybe a bit moot when
        there's people about who get very excited about receiving such
        naughty illicit things and ther means to disseminate them are easily
        available.

        Even if there *was* a case for the DSP to be supposedly more "open",
        and stick all bulletins on its website, or sell them door to door for
        the whole working class to see, there's a practical question of what
        help this would currently be. All this stuff about "debates in front
        of the class" is pretentious hooey for small propaganda groups, the
        main practical result of easier access to DSP discussion would be to
        make it more convenient for Strom, Adler and Gould to make their
        polemical lectures from the sidelines. This probably isn't the end of
        the world but you'll have to excuse me for thinking it doesn't
        particularly advance the class struggle either.

        SA has problems and the DSP has problems putting as much effort into
        SA as it has. There's some big objective problems that has affected
        all of the left, and errors made by sections of SA itself - I think
        mainly by the other affiliates, maybe the DSP has made some mistakes
        too. The DSP has a right to discuss what it should be doing at the
        moment, and SA members have a right to participate in an ongoing
        discussion about what SA is doing, which includes an honest statement
        from all groups about what their collective positions are. Having the
        DSP discussion more open is going to do pretty much jack shit for
        both organisation working out the best path, which is why banging on
        about this question, as opposed to the perspectives and tactics for
        socialists today, is a useless shibboleth.







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