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 Post subject: First Look at First Principles
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:17 pm 
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"We," those now ensconced in the administrative barracks, never intended Red Marx to be a "meeting place" for all left tendencies, nor even for most left tendencies. We think there's a real content to Marx's analysis, method, and critique that not only exposes the immanent conflicts of capitalism but also refutes, for example, Lenin's conception of imperialism, Trotsky's prescription for and of the "vanguard party," beliefs in "progressive nationalism," not to mention arguments for "socialism in one country," reclaiming trade unions as revolutionary instruments, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum and therefore ad nauseum.

We also recognize that party or tendency affiliation does not mean that every individual so affiliated accepts the party ideology, or our opposition thereto, without question. And we like to encourage questions.

The same "we" do not intend to suppress discussion. Neither do we intend to participate in the repetition compulsion exhibited by most of the "left"-- endlessly going around in the same circle, hoping at some point that it becomes square.

To avoid that virtual form of "turning disease," also known as "mad cow" or BSE, we present the following:

We are willing, eager even, to explore the "common issues" that engender questions, disagreement among "leftists." We do so to develop a communist analysis, critique, position, maybe even strategy, or [be still my heart] program. Once we have established that, we wrap it up. With a sticky, and make it a permanent record of the development of a Red Marx position.

How do we establish that we have reached that point, that position, that strategy, that commonality? If there's consensus, it's easy. The topic becomes almost, or suitably, banal. We came, we talked, we stickied. We link. We move on.

Unless there is new historical data, new economic data, new documentary data that provides evidence that the consensus is mistaken, anyone trying to raise the dead horse and lead him to water will receive the links to the sticky and be advised that this issue has been resolved and is no longer open for debate. Elaboration? Yes. Application to market directions, capitalist political, economic, military actions? Most definitely. But no longer open for debate. Two strikes, infracted. A third? Out on your ***.

For example, we are open to discussing, and at length, the concept of "degenerated workers' states." We will not flog that horse, ride that pony more than once.

If after going at Lenin's Imperialism... with a sledgehammer, we reach the conclusion and consensus that Lenin's work is not just obsolete, but fundamentally, essentially flawed for the reasons we will be sure to explore in the thread, we archive and sticky the thread.

If a person new to the board brings up Lenin's Imperialism and the "division of the world into oppressed and oppressor nations," we direct him/her to the sticky and suggest that without new evidence the matter is closed. We are not about repeating arguments, starting over, or having 10,000 successive "first dates."

What happens when we don't reach consensus? Good question. Practically, the debate either peters off, with those requiring the last word trying to get the last word, or it begins to exhibit the symptoms of that turning disease. We call a halt. We sticky that thread, too as a reference. Those interested, including the "we," take the time to do some homework before re-engaging the issue.

Who is the "we" upon which consensus, and the determination of consensus, rests? In the penultimate moment, it's the "we"-- the administrators. In the ultimate moment, it's you, the users who will determine the vitality, quality, depth, rigor, of the discussion.

If this sounds vague and not defined enough, well it is... and it isn't. We'll sort it out as it develops. That's the best we can do on such short notice, and we have to begin somewhere.

Now this process is NOT available to those who wish to defend Soviet tanks in the streets of Prague 1968, the Afghan secret police 1978, Evo Morales supplying MINUSTAH with troops to suppress the rebellion in Haiti, or any version of any popular front, past present or future. Nor is it available to those in favor of restricting immigration to the advanced countries of capitalism.

The process that is available to those intending to so argue is to leave before getting thrown out.

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