[OPE] France

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Sat Feb 07 2009 - 06:47:35 EST

I researched the history of the New Left and its offshoots very extensively on own initiative in my youth (not as a rich academic), but after my research had been stolen, I reached the scientific conclusion that only a minor amount of difference between the various groups can be explained in terms of variations in the quality of ideas, or in terms of rational criteria.

Rather, the differences have to be explained mainly in terms of personality dispositions and lifestyles, seen in their historical context, and, basically, the groups attract, search out and prey on people with personalities and backgrounds which are in salient respects similar to, or compatible with their own. In the way they conduct their politics and rituals, you can see clearly how particular valuations and preferences are expressed.

The decisive role of personality becomes very evident when we research and reconstruct carefully how they theorise radicalism, how they construe the meaning of radicality, what motivates their radicalism, and what they make of actual radicalization processes. If for example you read J.W. Stutje's biography of Ernest Mandel, you learn very little about Mandel himself, but a lot about how he is portrayed by his followers and how they interpret (or distort) reality.

So, according to my analysis of these groups, the explanation involves a lot of cultural reflexivity, or, if you like, "push" and "pull" factors.

Irreverent satires about all this were provided by the English Marxist John Sullivan called "Go Fourth and Multiply" http://marxists.anu.edu.au/history//etol/critiques/sullivan/fourth-index.htm and by Tariq Ali in his novel "Redemption" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Redemption-Tariq-Ali/dp/0701133945 However, there is very little serious scientific research on the topic, and bourgeois academics or government bureaucrats equipped with a police mentality are also likely to ask the wrong questions, yielding rather superficial and useless information.


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Received on Sat Feb 7 06:49:30 2009

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