Re: [OPE-L] Statement by the AC

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Thu Dec 14 2006 - 05:33:47 EST

You should have showed me this clearly incorrect 
statement offlist so I could have commented on 
it. You would have then spared me the need to 
talk about it on list.

>We think the following statements by Rakesh fit this description of a flame:
>“This is after all a list in which its moderator is more concerned to
>get right the nature of elephant treatment than the character of New
>World slavery, a list member rallies to the defense of the white
>farmers of Zimbabwe, a list member refers to Negros and the different
>human races.”
>“The diversity of this list is not surprising--is it, Mr Moderator?”
>These comments were “deliberately hostile and insulting”.  They were
>not intended to “clarify the discussion”, but instead were intended to
“upset and offend” Jerry.

You guys are wrong. I complained about Paul C's 
reference to Negros and races--I find this 
hostile and insulting. That is, I feel flamed in 
terms of racial comments on this list and I was 
outraged by the mobilization of black Zimbabweans 
on this list by the mis use of poll data.

I am informing you people about the hostile 
climate many people are creating on this list. 
You are not thankful.

  I complained about the climate on this list in 
which statements which do read as racist insults 
and cavalier statements about rape can be made 
without any awareness of how offensive they are.

Why is there no AC comment against citing studies 
that have clearly not been read just because one 
is too stubborn to admit that he is wrong and 
begins to mobilize any and all kinds of claims so 
as not to admit grave error? This was Jerry's 
modus operandi. He made grave errors in regards 
to primitive communism and dolphin rape, and is 
clearly incapable of admitting that. He cannot 
admit error.

My posts against Jerry's comments on primitive 
communists and dolphin rape have never been 
responded to directly. That says it all.

I am surprised that Allin, Fred and Alejandro 
would sign on to this. If you want to have an 
argument, let's have it.

Let's have it in public.

As for Ajit, this is a very sad joke. After 
saying that he did not want to talk to me, he 
used my spat with Jerry as a reason to flame me, 
calling me incompetent and so forth. After that, 
my responses were defensive vis a vis his clear 
flame bait. I shall not honor his request because 
he has clearly talked about me. I shall show when 
appropriate that his understanding of Marx is not 
as profound as thinks it is.

And if Jerry makes racist comments again and 
wildly distorts the findings of studies in his 
attempt never to admit grave error on very 
important topics, I shall not be silent.

You may unsub me at that point.


>To begin with, the AC wants to be clearer about what we mean by a
>“flame”.   A very helpful reference is an entry on “Flaming” in
>Wikepedia at:  <>
>We would like to emphasize the following characteristics of a “flame”,
>according to this source:
>1.  A flame is a message that is DELIBERATELY HOSTILE AND INSULTING.
>2.  A flame may have elements of a normal message, but is DISTINGUISHED
>FURTHER CLARIFY A DISCUSSION, or to persuade other people
>3.  A normal, non-flame message may have elements of a flame -- it may
>be hostile, for example -- but it is NOT A FLAME IF IT IS SERIOUSLY
>We would also like to add one other characteristic of a flame:
>misrepresentation of the views of another person.
>One point that is more debatable, and was a key point that started the
>latest episode, and which Rakesh has emphasized in later posts, is the
>Jerry wrote:  “Primitive communism and slavery are modes of production,
>I think, which are possible for other species.  Feudalism and
>capitalism, I think, aren’t ... for a variety of reasons.”
>Rakesh replied:  “This is just racism--so called primitives and slaves
>aren't really humans; serfs, dependant peasantries and formally free
>wage workers are. Such an idea is only possible on the basis of the
>invidious built up by racist Euro-American culture.”
>Jerry argues that Rakesh misrepresented his argument by restating it as
>“so called primitives and slaves aren’t really humans”.  Jerry did not
>talk about “primitives”, but rather about “primitive communism”.  Jerry
>argues that this misrepresentation, especially since it is part of a
>repeated pattern of distortions, should be considered a flame.
>Rakesh could argue that his comment is not a distortion of Jerry’s
>views, and that his comment was intended to “advance the discussion”,
>not to “upset and offend”, so it should not be considered a flame.
>This would be a judgment call, and if this were the only possible
>flame, we would probably try to clarify whether or not there was a
>misrepresentation.  But there were other obvious flames, as quoted
>In addition, Jerry repeatedly asked Rakesh not to comment on anything
>he writes, but Rakesh continued to comment on Jerry’s "racism", which is
>a form of harassment, and which could be considered a flame.
>Therefore, the AC concludes that Jerry was justified in unsubbing Rakesh.
>We also support the “compromise” agreed upon by Jerry and Rakesh.
>Under these terms, Jerry has requested that Rakesh not comment on
>anything that he writes, or even refer to him by name, and we expect
>Rakesh to abide by that agreement.  Ajit has also asked that Rakesh not
>comment on anything he writes or refer to him by name, and we expect
>Rakesh to honor that request as well.
>We welcome Rakesh back to the list and we look forward to his positive
>contributions to our discussions.
>We also thank Jerry again for his tremendous contribution over the
>years in keeping this list going.
>Now that we have a clearer idea of what a flame is and what the
>compromise agreement is, the AC should be able to act more quickly in
>the future, not just in cases that involve Rakesh, but in other cases
>as well.
>The Advisory Committee
>         Allin Cottrell
>         Fred Moseley
>         Alejandro Valle Baeza

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