[OPE-L:2455] Urgent -- crisis at MR/Ellen Wood (fwd)

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Wed Mar 01 2000 - 09:37:38 EST

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OPE-L listmembers:

This seems important and I have added by signature.

Thanks, Paul

Paul Zarembka, supporting RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY at
******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

>>From: David McNally <dmcnally@yorku.ca>
>>To: FrancesAbele@pigeon.carleton.ca, BFletcher4@compuserve.com,
>>mikey+@pitt.edu, harvey@jhuvms.hcf.edu, lpanitch@yorku.ca,
>>pwgowan@unl.ac.uk, tali68@hotmail.com, hurley@compuserve.com,
>>rick.kuhn@anu.edu.au, gjg@pacific.net.hk, pbond@nw.apc.org,
>>rinehart@sscl.uwo.ca, fgapasin@ucla.edu, P.W.ireland@ukc.ac.uk,
>>gindins@caw.ca, sebastien@amadeobordiga.u-net.com, mlebowit@sfu.ca,
>>smojad@oise.utoronto.ca, jpetras@binghamton.edu, kayeh@gbmso1.uwgb.edu,
>>poscc@dredd.csv.warwick.ac.uk, rdtorres@quick.net
>>Subject: Urgent -- crisis at MR/Ellen Wood
>>Date: Fri, Feb 25, 2000, 7:15 PM
>>Dear friends,
>>A disturbing event is developing at Monthly Review: moves to remove
>>Ellen Meiksins Wood as a co-editor. This would be, needless to say I
>>hope, a terrible setback for the left in general and MR in particular.
>>In a desperate effort to avert this course of events, I am circulating a
>>letter to the MR Board (below). A quick set of emailings yesterday got
>>25 signers. I hope all of you will add your names. The letter in no way
>>attempts to assign blame, merely to call on all concerned to find a way
>>out of this difficulty so as not to damage an important institution of
>>the left. The situation is urgent, so I ask you to reply ASAP. My hope
>>is that a strong statement from a large number of us who have had some
>>association with MR might avert a full-fledged crisis.
>>Thanks in advance for your support -- David McNally
>>To Members of the Board of the Monthly Review Foundation
>>Dear friends,
>> We are writing to express our alarm about reports that some Board
>>members of the MR Foundation are seeking the resignation or removal of
>>Ellen Meiksins Wood as an editor of Monthly Review. We believe such a
>>move would do irreparable damage to MRÝs future as a significant
>>institution of the socialist left. As people who have subscribed to,
>>supported, and contributed to Monthly Review, we implore you to do
>>whatever is necessary to prevent EllenÝs resignation or removal.
>> We are well aware that we lack knowledge of the specific disputes and
>>grievances, imagined or real, which have caused some Board members to
>>contemplate this destructive course of action. Yet, this can be
>>something of an advantage at a moment like this. Removal from the
>>day-to-day operations often provides a distance from which to better see
>>the larger picture. And what we see is a terrible threat to MRÝs
>>position as a major institution of the left.
>> One of the great and enduring strengths of MR has been its spirit of
>>socialist pluralism ˝ its tolerance, indeed encouragement, of a range of
>>differences and viewpoints that inhabit a common space of critical
>>Marxism, of an independent socialism that, as Paul Sweezy puts it in the
>>May 1999 MR is "revolutionary, non-reformist, non-revisionist and at the
>>same time non-dogmatic, non-fundamentalist." The addition of Ellen as an
>>editor fit beautifully with this ethos. The author of many major books
>>of socialist scholarship, EllenÝs work is distinguished by its critical,
>>independent, non-sectarian spirit and its exceptional originality. When
>>Paul and Harry wrote in the March 1997 MR that, with EllenÝs appointment
>>as an editor, they had an answer ˝ and "a good one" ˝ to the "essential
>>continuity" of MR, we agreed wholeheartedly. We couldnÝt imagine a
>>better person to carry forward MRÝs commitment to intelligent,
>>thoughtful and provocative socialist analysis. And her untiring work on
>>behalf of Monthly Review over the past three years has fully vindicated
>>that judgment. To throw away everything that the addition of Ellen has
>>meant to MR would be irresponsible and reckless in the extreme.
>> What Noam Chomsky wrote in MRÝs November 1999 fundraising appeal bears
>>quoting in this context. We all appreciate, he wrote, the importance of
>>"stable, long-lasting institutions of an independent left ˝ reliable,
>>searching, stimulating thought and debate without the debilitating
>>factionalism that has been such a painful internal barrier to progress."
>>"I have to admit," he continued, "that a while back, I was personally
>>concerned about the continuity of this enterprise, which has played such
>>a critically important role. With Ellen now taking on a leading role,
>>those concerns are gone. There couldnÝt have been a finer choice . . ."
>>We agree ˝ as, we think, do hundreds upon hundreds of others who have
>>supported MR over the years. A move to push Ellen out of Monthly Review
>>could only hurt the magazine and damage MRÝs public image, its
>>reputation as a bastion of socialist sanity free of the splits, purges
>>and factionalism that have repeatedly undermined the left.
>>We call on all members of the Board of the Monthly Review Foundation to
>>do everything in their power to avert this course of events. We implore
>>you to find the intelligence, good sense, solidarity, and generosity of
>>spirit to resolve differences without a damaging and debilitating
>>parting of the ways. You owe it to yourselves. And you owe it to the
>>many of us who look to MR for another fifty years of work "stimulating
>>thought and debate without the debilitating factionalism that has been
>>such a painful barrier to progress."
>>The future of a major institution of the left is yours to preserve, or
>>to squander. We urge you to act wisely ˝ and in the spirit we have come
>>to associate with Monthly Review.
>>Yours in solidarity,

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