[OPE-L:6588] [Andrew Kliman] Open Letter to OPE-L

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 12:50:59 EST

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Drewk" <Andrew_Kliman@msn.com>
To: "Ope-L@Galaxy.Csuchico.Edu" <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2002 12:46 PM
Subject: Open Letter to OPE-L

An Open Letter to the OPE-L e-Mail List:
Contrary to what Terrence McDonough states in OPE-L 6582, my
lawyer has NOT threatened Gil Skillman with legal action.  I call
on McDonough to retract his false allegation immediately and to
apologize for making it.
It is understandable that McDonough, who is or was a member of the
RRPE editorial board, is displeased by the recent victory won by
the supporters of pluralism within radical economics.
Nonetheless, I would advise him not to repeat the mistakes of the
For reasons of his own, Rakesh Bhandari has decided to take
McDonough's false and unsubstantiated allegation at face value.
In OPE-L 6584, Bhandari calls me "petty and mean spirited to have
threatened legal action" and asks me to "retract the threat."
However, neither I nor my lawyer threatened legal action, so there
is nothing to retract.  I call on Bhandari immediately to retract
the false allegation he repeated as if it were fact, and to
apologize for doing so.
Instead of still more maligning of individuals and gossip about
individuals, what should be taking place now is discussion of the
substantive issue, the matter of principle, namely pluralism --
including pluralism within radical economics.   Had the RRPE
majority been willing three years ago to engage in open debate
over its practices and policies, URPE would not be in the mess it
is in now, and would not be licking its wounds.

Instead of openly debating the substantive issue, the RRPE
majority waged a campaign to discredit an individual.  Why?  The
strategy is a clear sign of authoritarianism.  The policies and
practices of the Institution are Absolutely Correct, and
unarguably so.  Anyone who dares to suggest otherwise is therefore
not just wrong, but mentally unbalanced and guilty of anti-social
behavior.  Thus the ex-USSR locked its internal dissidents away in
mental institutions, and thus URPE responded to internal criticism
as it did.
 Let us be done, once and for all, with such unprincipled -- and
ultimately counterproductive -- responses.  Let us STICK TO
ISSUES, NOT INDIVIDUALS.  Let us all make sure that theoretical
debate focuses strictly on the assessment of theories rather than
on the motives, character, and "tone" of one's theoretical
opponents.   In political debate, let us likewise focus strictly
upon the practices and policies of institutions, eschewing gossip
and ad hominem attacks.   If URPE's leadership wishes to defend
its policies and practices, it should stop trying to do so by
maligning its critics, and instead encourage open debate and
*independent* inquiry into the facts.
Andrew Kliman

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