Re: [OPE-L] you don't call this a flame?

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Wed Dec 06 2006 - 12:12:07 EST

This is an obnoxious message, Riccardo. Verbosity 
is obviously not the monopoly of fundamentalist 

No where do you even try to understand why I said 
that the  specific assertion was racist; and no 
where do you challenge the idea that if Jerry is 
the aggrieved he should not moderate the dispute, 
reserving the right to expel me before he has 
consulted with AC.  If you spoke to the actual 
issues, exchanges need not be prolix.

My post was not a flame.  Any superficial reading of Richard B Lee's studies
of primitive communism should  make one cringe at 
the suggestion the foraging or hunter
gatherer mode of production/subsistence is 
possible in non human animal society while human 
or bourgeois society is not. Lee's works  have 
been required reading in a countless number
of introductory anthropology courses, so I am 
surprised that my challenge to Jerry's
ideas have not elicited more sympathy (there are 
breadth requirements even for economists, right?) 
Instead I was told I was disgusting without any 
attention to what the discussion was actually 
about.  One could also cite Marshall Sahlins or 
Tim Ingold
or Nurit Bird David. These are hardly unknown 
names. Their descriptions of the social  relations
of primitive communism (if that is what we are to 
call it) simply cannot be squared with the idea 
that non human animals are capable of them. And I 
didn't think it was unknown that the select 
collapsing of the human/animal distinction only 
in the cases of communist primitives or 'savages' 
or 'barbarians' was the form in which racist 
colonialism justified itself in the Americas, 
Southern Africa, Australia, and elsewhere.

Racism was just the most accurate description of 
the claim made. It described the claim, and its 
intellectual origins. Why should the claim should 
not have been described as racist, and said to 
have derived from the racist evolutionism of 
Victorian anthropology?

It is a matter of record that no one has spoken 
to the reasons I made for the claim, but you are 
still willing to intervene in this dispute in 
which you are not directly involved.

It is also a matter of record that the study 
cited to justify the claim that rape had been 
observed in dolphins no where even used the word 

So please let's talk about ethics. What justifies 
such cavalier posting about such painful 
problems? What justifies the citing of studies 
which have not been read carefully if at all?

So I guess the  flames will continue about my 
aggressive tone, my lack of scholarship, my 
compromised ethics, my refusal to understand 
others' points of views.


>Hi Fred. You know, different persons have 
>different sensibilities. So, when I call you a 
>"fundamentalist", you take it as an offense, 
>when for me is an accurate description, in my 
>meaning of the word. And it does not become 
>wrong because you do not accept my argument.
>In fact, you, as all the Marxists, always ask 
>for further arguments, because you would never 
>be a censor against others. Then, if I try for 
>arguments, you never find them as appropriate. 
>At a certain point, I quit. So, for example, 
>about our discussion of your paper on money, 
>which should have ended in your web page, you 
>wanted to engage in a long discussion for me to 
>refine it, when I find it quite definitive.
>So, I find your request for arguments some time 
>a bit excessive. This happens between us as 
>friends, with no insults. Imagine in a list when 
>somebody calls others racist, and the like. 
>Difficult to see this as not a flame, though I 
>understand each individual pojt may be defended 
>as an argument (and I am strongly against Wilson 
>and sociobiology and the like, even Singer 
>etc.). The long chain of deductions and 
>arguments, however, becomes very long, and 
>orthodox marxist have the habit of having long 
>To me is just boring, I fully understand when 
>others take these as flames. And I do not need 
>further arguments, thanks. The situation is 
>quite clear.
>Especially when, relative to the same persons 
>(in the mail, there is Jerry, there is Nicky, 
>since a long time), the aggression is constant. 
>So that after some time, as you may know, 
>quantity becomes (bad) quality.
>And probably, you have missed in that mail the 
>usual attack against Jerry as Moderator. I take 
>it as a flame.
>Now, after having read OPE-L by a long time, and 
>after having seen how the discussion goes on, 
>and even the patience of Jerry for a long time 
>against attacks , I declare in public that I 
>would like to have Jerry as a Dictator for life 
>for this list.
>I think he deserves respect.
>And I think that Rakesh is a precious guy in the 
>list. But he is submerged by the details, and by 
>the need to fight always, with a strong 
>aggressive tone.
>Now, I ask you if I also, as many others, have 
>to quit the list to avoid being trapped in 
>following these discussions.
>The solution is very clear. In a list, rakesh 
>should respect minimal rules. If he wants to 
>write a paper, he can call everybody as he 
>wishes. If there is a refereeing process, there 
>will be readers who will ask for arguments, if 
>At 22:21 -0500 4-12-2006, Fred Moseley wrote:
>>Jerry, I am sorry, but no, I don't see this as a flame.
>>This is one of the posts that I focused on.  It seems to me that R.
>>calls your argument
>>that forms of primitive communism can be found in non-humans
>>to be racist.  He claims that there is scholarly backing
>>for this call.  I don't agree with R's argument, but it
>>is not totally crazy.  I think it can be answered.
>>Why not answer it with additional argument, rather than
>>calling it a flame?
>>Please explain what in this post is a flame.
>>What do others think?
>>P.S.  jerry, I am sure that you have exercised tremendous
>>restraint in not responding to all of R's provocations,
>>and I appreciate that very much.  I just have a hard time defending
>>this as a flame.
>>Quoting Jerry Levy <>:
>>This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
>Riccardo Bellofiore
>Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
>"Hyman P. Minsky"
>UniversitÓ di Bergamo
>Via dei Caniana 2
>I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
>direct    +39-035-2052545
>secretary    +39-035 2052501
>fax:      +39 035 2052549

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