Re: [OPE-L] "that most valuable Marxist economics e-mail list, OPE-L"

From: Anders Ekeland (anders.ekeland@ONLINE.NO)
Date: Tue Oct 30 2007 - 15:08:47 EDT

Dear all,

I have consciously delayed my reply to this message with the
intention of not generating more debate about this just now. But just
for the record:

In my opinion Kliman's response show a lack of understanding of the
harm that this kind of "polemical" style does, both in the short and
in the long run. This style where one gets too easily offended,
demand apologies and one escalates the language used in each round of
"discussion" should be replaced by an attitude where one tries to be
as factual as possible - and just overhear possible insults - they
will count to the disadvantage of those putting them forward. If one
has a good cause, one can stick to the core questions.

The problems with this kind of "polemical" style, was just now
illustrated in the recent exchange between Jerry and Ian, but
fortunately they were able to stop the escalation after a few rounds of shots.

That we disagree, that there are real important issues out there -
important for peoples lives, the fight against neo-liberalism, for
justice and social liberation - and that that will lead to engaged,
polemical statements among us is clear, is unavoidable. But that's a
different thing from the type of polemics some of us know from the
seventies and eighties. Let's not get back to that level of
discussion. The Wall has fallen.


At 22:57 27.10.2007, you wrote:
>Better late than never, addressing Andrew as well as the list, I thank him
>for his message to me of August 18, 2007 providing partial clarification of
>the titling of his book.
>I don't feel a need for apologizing for my being concerned about the
>titling of the book in question.  Andrew may choose to call my concern an
>accusation, but in a similar circumstance (say, for someone doubting that
>9-11-2001 has a "hidden history"), I doubt would have.
>Paul Z.
>(Vol.23) THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11-2001  "a benchmark in 9/11 research"
>           video summary from Snowshoe Films at
>--On 10/26/2007 7:17 PM -0400 ope-admin@RICARDO.ECN.WFU.EDU wrote:
>>---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
>>Subject: Levy's Defamation Den
>>From: "Drewk"
>>Date: Fri, October 26, 2007 7:58 pm
>>To: "Anders Ekeland" <>
>>Cc: "Paul Zarembka" <>
>>Dear Anders,
>>I didn't tell Paul Zarembka that he
>>*couldn't* reproduce my message
>>verbatim, but I didn't expect him to
>>do so. I was just hoping he would
>>convey the gist--the fact that I
>>deny his implied accusation against me and
>>the basis for my denial.
>>(I was also hoping for an on-list apology, which
>>never came. Nor a
>>private apology, nor a "thank you for setting the record
>>straight," nor even a reply to my message.)
>>But this is
>>unimportant. Please understand that the outrage over the
>>*expression* "Levy's Defamation Den" is a smokescreen meant to
>>attention from the *substance* of my allegation--the list is
>>indeed a
>>defamation den. Subsequent attacks have *completely
>>confirmed* this
>>characterization of mine.
>>And contrary
>>to what has been repeatedly claimed in the LDD, the recent
>>spate of
>>defamatory attacks began *before* I used the expression. My use of
>>the expression "Levy's Defamation Den" was in fact a
>>*response* to
>>Zarembka's implied accusation against me and to Levy's
>>bolder defamatory
>>attack. See the messages reproduced below.
>>It is noteworthy that, in the LDD, there was much consternation
>>over my
>>(apt) use of the (apt) term, "Levy's Defamation
>>Den," but there wasn't even
>>a HINT of denunciation or
>>indignation over his prior defamatory
>>comments--which were the cause
>>of my characterization:
>>"Modesty is not one of the
>>virtues of the author or his theoretical
>>tendency, IMHO."
>>"The author - and Alan Freeman - have lost all perspective on
>>the relative
>>importance of their theoretical endeavors, imo. They
>>are in serious need of
>>a reality check."
>>After my message to Zarembka was sent to LDD, no member of
>>it demanded that
>>Levy apologize to me, nor even that he retract his
>>false and defamatory
>>accusation. At least this didn't happen
>>Please bear in mind that the archives of LDD are
>>public, but the victims of
>>defamation on that list are prevented
>>from defending themselves there. I
>>consider it exceedingly improper,
>>always, to fight theoretical/political
>>battles by attacking
>>opponents personally. But it is not only exceedingly
>>improper, but
>>also exceedingly COWARDLY, to publicly impugn the reputation
>>one's opponents in places where they don't have the opportunity to defend
>>themselves. (I hope you will consider this before writing anything
>>of a
>>personal nature on LDD.)
>>I'm sorry if you think
>>this is part of my alleged "polemical style." It
>>isn't. I
>>am truly *outraged* by what has been taking place at LDD,
>>other people's tacit endorsement of, or tolerance for, Levy's
>>Bendien's and Laibman's, etc.) behavior. Please note that Levy has
>>been thrown off the Capital and Class e-mail list for his vile attacks
>>against Alan Freeman and me--he accused me of advocating
>>cannibalism, among
>>other things!--and a public apology was issued to
>>us by the members of the
>>CSE Executive Committee. *That* is proper
>>behavior. Anything short of
>>that is tacit approval of defamation.
>>I am *certain* that there are members of LDD who know about
>>his attacks on
>>us elsewhere and his removal from the Capital and
>>Class e-mail list, yet he
>>remains on the list, indeed its leader.
>>Please feel free to share this message with the members of
>>Defamation Den." (Yes, you may do so verbatim, if
>>you wish. Or you can
>>replace "LDD" with "that most
>>valuable Marxist economics e-mail list,
>>OPE-L." ... This
>>"issue" is nonsense, a diversion from the fact that public
>>space is being used to attack people personally, and in an exceedingly
>>cowardly manner, because they can't defend themselves, and other
>>people are
>>letting this happen.)
>>I am sending this also
>>to Paul Zarembka and Alan Freeman, and to the
>>personification of
>>Marxian economics.
>>[OPE-L] Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": book launch talks, reviews,
>>From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
>>Date: Sat Aug 18 2007 - 16:10:49 EDT
>>Next message:
>>glevy@PRATT.EDU: "Re: [OPE-L] "Reclaiming" Marx's
>>Previous message: paul bullock: "Re:
>>[OPE-L] A startling quotation from
>>In reply to:
>>Ian Wright: "[OPE-L] Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": book
>>talks, reviews, media coverage"
>>Next in thread:
>>Paul Zarembka: "Re: [OPE-L] Reclaiming Marx's "Capital":
>>book launch talks, reviews, media coverage"
>>Reply: Paul
>>Zarembka: "Re: [OPE-L] Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": book
>>talks, reviews, media coverage"
>>Messages sorted
>>by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [
>>attachment ]
>>The title "Reclaiming Marx's 'Capital'" makes me
>>Is not the subtext for such a title itself a
>>claim that the author knows
>>exactly what 'Capital' is about?
>>Are we so insecure in our understanding of 'Capital' as a work of
>>scientific research?
>>Why not something more
>>modest like "An Interpretation of Marx's 'Capital'"?
>>Paul Z.
>>Re: [OPE-L] "Reclaiming"
>>Marx's "Capital"?
>>From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
>>Date: Sat
>>Aug 18 2007 - 16:48:20 EDT
>>Next message: Paul Cockshott: "Re:
>>[OPE-L] A startling quotation from
>>message: Paul Zarembka: "Re: [OPE-L] Reclaiming Marx's
>>book launch talks, reviews, media
>>Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [
>>author ] [
>>attachment ]
>>Hi Paul Z:
>>title "Reclaiming Marx's 'Capital'" makes me uncomfortable.
>>As well it should!
>>>Is not the subtext for such a
>>title itself a claim that the author knows
>>>exactly what
>>'Capital' is about?
>>>Are we so insecure
>>in our understanding of 'Capital' as a work of living
>>scientific research?
>>It depends on who you mean by
>>>Why not something more modest like
>>"An Interpretation of
>>>Marx's 'Capital'"?
>>You have to consider the source. Modesty is not one of the virtues of
>>author or his theoretical tendency, IMHO. You do recall the
>>discussion we
>>had about allegedly "Copernican" advances in
>>theory and "Marx's Marxism",
>>don't you?
>>Do you hear the sound of milions of proletarians on the march saying
>>that "Marx was correct" - after all - about the
>>"transformation problem"?
>>The author - and Alan Freeman -
>>have lost all perspective on the relative
>>importance of their
>>theoretical endeavors, imo. They are in serious need of
>>a reality
>>In solidarity, Jerry
>>[OPE-L] Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": book launch talks, reviews,
>>From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
>>Date: Tue Aug 21 2007 - 10:25:22 EDT
>>Next message: paul bullock:
>>"Re: [OPE-L] A startling quotation from Engels"
>>message: Jurriaan Bendien: "[OPE-L] A startling quotation from
>>In reply to: Paul Zarembka: "Re: [OPE-L]
>>Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": book
>>launch talks, reviews,
>>media coverage"
>>Next in thread: Paul Cockshott: "Re:
>>[OPE-L] Reclaiming Marx's "Capital":
>>book launch talks,
>>reviews, media coverage"
>>Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread
>>] [ subject ] [ author ] [
>>attachment ]
>>Andrew provided
>>the following response to me. I hadn't known of the
>>subtitle. Paul
>>"The title "Reclaiming Marx's
>>'Capital'" makes me uncomfortable.
>>"Is not the
>>subtext for such a title itself a claim that the author knows
>>exactly what 'Capital' is about?"
>>would have called it _Reclaiming Marx's "Capital" from the Myth
>>Inconsistency_, but that was too long. So the latter part became
>>subtitle. Early in Chapter 1, I explain the exact sense in which
>>book seeks to reclaim "Capital." The section (from pp.
>>2-3) is copied
>>below. Please feel to share this message with the
>>members of Levy's
>>Defamation Den.
>>1.2 What This Book Is (and Isn't) About

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