By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday February 8, 2012 10:00 PM

I was rather surprised to discover in my email this evening a curt robo-note from Auntie Lou's Temperance Marx Parlor informing me that I had been unsubscribed from the list. Of course I'm flattered, particularly since I haven't posted anything there for a month or more.

I can only assume this is a response to an earlier post here in which I quoted dear old Lou, flamen Trotskialis, somewhat mockingly. I did not mention his name -- though Owen, of course, gave the game away in the comments; I just referred to him as The Inveterate Wet Hen. Perhaps he found this Homeric epithet somewhat disrespectful.

Lou's list is not a very interesting one, and its chief charm, for me, was the opportunity to throw spitballs from the back of the classroom. But still, there was some good stuff every now and then, which I will miss.

It's a very unwelcome thought, but it comes to mind nonetheless: the Occupiers mostly haven't read much Marx or Lenin -- still less Trotsky -- and yet they are making things happen. The Marx/Lenin/Trotsky Talmudists -- like Auntie Lou and red-hot (*) Bolshevik Jodi Dean -- seem to be sitting on the sidelines offering dismal drizzling colorless color commentary.

I'm a big fan of Marx and Lenin, myself -- Trotsky, not so much. If an Occupier should ever ask me for a reading list Marx and Lenin would be on it. But events do seem to have left the Talmudists behind. I should say, 'us Talmudists', of course. We need to catch up. For me at least, being exiled from the domestic comforts of Lou's spiteful peevish quarrelsome hearth seems more likely to advance that project -- or proyect, as the case may be -- than retard it.


(*) In every sense of the word.

* * * * *

This thunderbolt just arrived from Lou's lair on Olympus:
I just found a link to this in my Wordpress blog. Otherwise I would have not had the slightest clue that there was a problem. Yesterday I was pruning some dead wood from my subscriber's file, as I do periodically, and apparently deleted Smith's address accidentally. (There are 19 Smiths.)

Frankly, I don't pay any attention to this blog since it is ranked 2,465,528 on Alexa. If Richard Seymour was attacking me, it would be a different story.

I am resubbing you now.

Can't make this stuff up, eh? What the hell is Alexa?

Comments (36)

Ever since I started hanging out with radicals I'd always meant to read the likes of Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky, but I've never been able to work up a whole lot of enthusiasm (certainly not enough to join in when my radical friends and acquaintances hold their monthly meetings and get together to talk about esoteric essays by obscure Marxist writers). I'm only 21 and I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but it seems to me that all it really takes is righteous anger and the realization that you're being fucked and the good sense to correctly identify who's fucking you. Everything else is just gravy.


Right you are Troville. Marx & Lenin are great provokers of thought, when you have some leisure for reading, but the "realization that you're being fucked" etc. is the main thing.

Fadduh Smiff sez on 02.08.12 @22:00:
For me at least, being exiled from the domestic comforts of Lou's spiteful peevish quarrelsome hearth seems more likely to advance that project -- or proyect, as the case may be -- than retard it.

A couple of years or so ago, I spent at least two months as the target of self-righteous outrage and the threat of expulsion from the DC Indymedia Editorial Board for, basically, being "too radical", if you can believe it. During that whole time, I was stressing out over the possibility of being kicked off the Board -- far more stressed as I should've been, it turned out.

Finally, in early April of '09, I was asked to leave the Board, and a couple of weeks later, I made my last post to the DC IMC. When I was finally bounced, I was actually relieved and feeling liberated. At last, no more nail-chewing over whether or not my commentary was too P.I.; no more sweating bullets over whether or not my internal critique of The Movement™ was too harsh.

At last, I was off the DC Indymedia Board, my account was shut off, and I wasn't posting at DC IMC anymore; I could finally feel free to load that sucker up with double-aught buckshot and let it rip.

I won't speak for other cities' IMCs, but by the time I got the gate at the DC IMC, they'd become terminally infected with Washington Disease, and maa-aaan, was it nice to be out of there.


Heh, if it were up to Lou I suspect quite a few would be not only be dropped from mailing lists, but would be made to positively vanish from them, as a certain "Cliffite" who only left a few traces in posts of others lambasting him.

Y'know, I have to confess that I have barely scratched the surface of the work of Marx and Bakunin -- waaaaaaay back in my junior year of college, right after I started drawing for the Yipster Times.

Having hardly read any Marx or Bakunin, I find myself at a distinct disadvantage in any discussions of theory with fellow Lefties and anarchists who are theory geeks. I still post cartoons regularly at the Los Angeles and NYC Indymedia sites, even though I often dread going back to NYC Indymedia to check out the comments on my cartoons there, because I know the comment threads will be overrun with mouthy NYU kids who apparently do nothing but read Marx and Bakunin all day and have pissfights over theory in the NYC IMC comment sections in their spare time.


Marx: all them theories about money is idealized wrongness. Plus, more leisure!

Bakunin: More leisure, plus conspiracies!

[Owen: I'm already bored by your mis-read. Please save it.]


i guess one craves the other guys wife

i for myself cry out for a harness
and an assigned row to plow

an ox i am i am
not a bull

and yet ...
my anti hero is

froggy the gremlin


Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie,
Und Grün des Lebens goldner Baum.

Gray, my friend, is every theory; and green the golden tree of life.

Old Goethe. Admittedly a shallow glib German; but every so often he got it right.


Although I admire Norman Finkelstein's position that even if his '"faith" had lapsed', he 'wouldn't advertise it, not from shame at having been wrong (although admittedly this would be a factor) but rather from fear of arousing even a faint suspicion of opportunism'. Yet, instead of following in Finkelstein's admittedly lofty path, some continue to proffer their cri-de-coeur wherein even as they proclaim their faith in the Forty Five—what to speak of the Old Moor's volumes—they also decry the wackiness of those like Proyect who in point of fact are hewing closer to the authoritarian intolerant strain of faith-givers of yore (some sundry doubting Thomases like Eduard Bernstein and witting and unwitting proponents of "Western Marxism" excepted). These periodic episodes remind me of something written about another voice in the wilderness from a generation ago who in desperation was reduced to pleading that "Marx exists for us, not the other way around.": his inability to relinquish faith in the gospel of Marx, Thompson sets out to fashion a new version of that gospel. So, just as many Christian construct for themselves a Jesus who bears little relation to the ascetic, fundamentally authoritarian moral idealist who is portrayed in the New Testament, Thompson constructs a Marx-that-might-have-been who bears very little relation to the ascetic, fundamentally authoritarian idealist philosopher who emerges from Marx's own writings. He is able to carry through this strategy of self-deception only because of his own involvement with and lingering commitment to just the kind of abstruse metaphysical philosophizing which has always been part of the Marxist tradition and which characterizes above all the theories of the very figure against which Thompson's polemic is directed—Louis Althusser. The result is a complex intellectual, psychological and ideological knot. A rebellion which seems at times to have all the strength of a shaft from the heart is again and again taken over by the head and twisted into forms no less abstractly abstruse and logically void as those which Thompson sets out to criticize, so that Thompson emerges simultaneously as the utopian radical he avowedly is and as a structuralist-in-spite-of-himself.

Reading old books is, like, great, but the concepts of "Marx" and "Lenin" have become so hyperidealized in certain circles that they might as well be read alongside Shakespeare for "great literature." In a few hundred years, it'll be Rowling and Meyer getting the dignified nods.

Talking over and over about how a certain entity from the past--as filtered through current lens--would have dealt with something is interesting trivia, and possibly wonderful guidance and exploration. Yet it is continually used to prop up the crumbling mental foundation. Connecting with the rebels of the past is good, as long as you do it while you're on the way to the last boss.

Leave it to Trebek's replacement to quote musty tomes; pitchforks, or just angry new words, are for the living.


Does having been purged from R.L's list carry the same cachet as having been on RMN's enemy list?


bored jack
is that possible ?

mis read marx
to usefully mis-read the old moor
requires a mind
far better then mine comrade

and as for mr b

leave him to hazel


"a shallow glib German"

master of world historical poshlust

his Faust
is my spiritual guide
to the soul of the bourgeois

yes his Faust and
andy devine's froggy the gremlin
aka mephisto


"rather from fear of arousing even a faint suspicion of opportunism'"

excellent motivation excellent

in political economy the heterodox radical theorist
to earn her or his bones
must refute some core marxist tenent

its a tell to me
for exactly the motivation you expose here

in setting up shop as a pink wizard
one must publically duel in absentia
with the dark titan from trier

like mussolini wrestling a bull


sk do you have beliefs of any thought you might call convictions?
convictions you'd fight to hold on to
for reasons so deeply rooted in your mind
there is no amount of introspection
that can fully excavate them ?

i was born again myself
i am a hopelessly convinced soul


the passage you cite
suggests one very common blow

to label old carlos a big I Idealist
i guess this writer figured lumping him with jesus
" ascetic, fundamentally authoritarian moral idealist "
looks like adequate left materialist cover

but i like the utterly idiotic label ascetic
as a common featuring to help yoke up
these two trouble making jews


it always leaves me in wonder

when some glib sceptic
calls marxism a faith or less precisely
a religion

when both christianity and marxism
are in fact both members of a more general


and ideologies
come in both materialist and idealist flavors no ?

Nobody wrote anything about you misreading Marx, academic.


like the ever self flattering crow's
are of course
too obviously
rather sparse self justifications
they make up for their paucity
by lots of loud noises

like a persistent unmodulated bark bark bark
relieves a caged pooch
of any direct experience of his impotence

---- no crows yelps
are not the variagated rut craving cries
of michael's mutt
so full of life's coloratura ---

I like what Mr. Troville said. I would put it a different way, that it seems awfully ridiculous to assume that people aren't actually able to figure out the problems of the world and come up with possible and serious solutions without having been introduced to Marx and his buddies. Essentially this means that prior to Marx humanity was wandering in the desert. Then Karl showed up and wrote the Knowledge that was necessary to set humankind free. Although it hasn't necessarily worked out the way the True Believers had hoped, you have to understand, this is the best anyone could expect in such circumstances and to try anything else, or worse, to question the tenets of Marxism, is a foolish game that could only make things even worse. Any suggestions to the contrary are juvenile and untenable.



for once assume i got your content
its really never too far from the same point you make every time

bark bark bark

"return to the comforts of your kennel
fido ...such as they are "

that line i snatched
from the late great mingo mungo mongo

recall him fellow smbiva-ers ?

crow lacks Ms doughy drive to expell
what leaves a bad taste in his mouth
for that i respect him
no leader of a lynch mob like most trots

but crow after all has a greater inner torment eh ?

u all try wallowing in the excruciating realization
you are an utter life- flop

in crow's case
i think he carries off thatmost wounding
self realization very well

defeated ambition is such an aweful
aweful hard hearted
merciless gut burner
to live with

peace be with you
crowsome one

empathy and projection are like castor and pollux
i leave it as home work
to decide which is mortal
and which is deathless

Louis Proyect:

I just found a link to this in my Wordpress blog. Otherwise I would have not had the slightest clue that there was a problem. Yesterday I was pruning some dead wood from my subscriber's file, as I do periodically, and apparently deleted Smith's address accidentally. (There are 19 Smiths.)

Frankly, I don't pay any attention to this blog since it is ranked 2,465,528 on Alexa. If Richard Seymour was attacking me, it would be a different story.

I am resubbing you now.



" it seems awfully ridiculous to assume that people aren't actually able to figure out the problems of the world and come up with possible and serious solutions without having been introduced to Marx and his buddies"

you wear one of the heads
of that hydra headed heresey
antinomianism and you wear it well my lad

what a blessing it is
to read you witnessing this to the readership


the tenets of Marxism
are they your target
or are all swallowed tenets your target ?

faithless ness
the soul caught in a soap opera

you blithe spirits out there
that haven't bu now
already moved on to more solid turf
can blame all this undigestable piffle of mine
on lu lu

and ricardo montelbaum's cain

whatever you do
don't blame crow

he is a simple plot device

like my great favorite horatio

a foil
but only unto himself alas
in that
almost an anti horatio


lu lu
you darling old goat u

sorry mjs
guess you just ain't that terroristic

no seymour krelborn are u
my friend
no running a little shop of horrors

and no blood lusting giant plant here


this comment
is an apex opus
nothing superfluous nothing left out

it belongs on the site's front page
for all time

a badge to be worn in all seasons
on all occasions
like hester P 's varsity letter

i can barely contain my jelly-osity

i myself was dispatched after less then one day
at lu lu rama

" a cretin a fool an ignoramus a slaughterable
fangless non toxic garden snake "
i think he called me
--spelled and punked corretly of course --

reinstated you are father

take that !


lu lu honey can i be resubbed too ?


ahhh hel i know he's raced off into the void

like the scarlet pimpernull

dashing here slashing there

there is no rest for ...... el lu lu !








the above number is to chanted like

"the whole world is watching the whole world is watching"

err in this case its ...not watching
i guess


the whole world is not watching
the whole world is not watching


Yes, the 'Alexa' ranking was a nice touch, wasn't it -- whatever Alexa is. Says quite a lot about Lou.


sez all there is to say
about our man lu lu


"he loves his mother "

Come out and fight Proyect! Oh, it was a misunderstanding? Never mind.

I just looked up Richard Seymour. This is from his blog:
"Zizek's latest for the LRB is proof of that old adage that those who attack multiculturalism in the name of class instantly forfeit their probity on both subjects."

BARF!!! Although in the next sentence he admits to only joking that is an old adage, who in their right mind would even for a second would be able to suspend belief enough for the joke to work that 'those who attack multiculturalism in the name of class instantly forfeit their probity' would ever be contained in an old saw. Of course that could very well be part of the joke, but it's still an ugly phrase no matter how you look at it.


I useta kinda like Seymour, but the jargon level on the blog has gotten too high for me. And Zizek! It's bad enough that he's writing his own stuff, and just too deplorable that other people are writing about it. Seymour's book The Liberal Defence of Murder was pretty good; I see he has a couple of others out, which look interesting too. He's a Prod from Ireland, which is endearing.


I'll resume reading and commenting on this blog if and when it reaches 2,312,876 on Alexa. Till then, nice knowin' ya....

michael yates:

Michael, I can only say that I don't know if I can be friends with a person whose blog is of such low rank. Now, no doubt my own pathetic blog is even lower on the Alexa scale, but I have never been a friend to myself. My own worst enemy is my lot in life. Now should you get depressed about this, I suggest an occasional percoset. In homeopathic doses, they have done wonders for me.

More seriously, Monthly Review Press will soon be publishing Michael Heinrich's fine gloss on the three volumes of Marx's Capital. If anyone wants some guidance to help him or her read Marx's masterwork, this book gives the clearest and most enlightening I have ever read.


"In the last century, the development of leftist parties that once wished to transcend capitalism was one big tragedy . Either they increasingly moved away from their original critique, like the Social Democratic parties, becoming simply managers of the political apparatuses and endeavoring to secure a frictionless accumulation of capital, or like most Communist parties they retained their critique of capitalism while committing themselves completely to the defense of an authoritarian and extremely repressive model of socialism, which could not be subject to even the most rudimentary criticism. But those parties that held onto a radical critique of capitalism as well as of "really existing socialism" usually withered into political irrelevance, if they ever managed to escape that state of irrelevance to begin with"

that is mike heinrich at work

more ?

"if a left party enters into....debates,
it should at least render an account of their character and think about its own goals:"
fair enough

and the goals are ...

A " making an ailing capitalism once again fully functional "

"or "

Z "using this weakness in order to gain concessions for the subaltern classes, which makes life easier for them in the short term as well as improves the conditions for future struggles."

A or Z
well really
its A
maybe as far as K


my :

my doubts are mobilizing

somewhere south
of my belt line
and north
of my knees

Al Schumann:

Traffic ranking really matters if you're building a brand. The problem with that, for a lefty, is that it's blatantly a capitalist metric—and a vulgar, cynical one at that. It's used by smart capitalists to sucker in the stupider ones. Behold my (potential) market penetration! It's best used in a raincoat and galoshes way, if you know what I mean.

Paco Picopiedra:

If you have to read Glossy Karl to see what's what, you're not half as powerful a noggin as your Puffery (re Marx) is suggesting in utter futility.

Nobody needs a greedy son of privilege's screeds.

Oh, but Ouchy Pain is so exalted! He speaks from on high! Michael Albert, your challenger has arrived!

Tiny humans imagine they have huge brains and want others to worship them because they worship A God.

Nobody ever asks Why Gods? in the first place. Our man Ouchy insists it ever was thus, crawling over to Clio's carpet for a munching.


Frankly, I don't pay any attention to this blog since it is ranked 2,465,528 on Alexa.

Sounds like you need to show more tits and ass.

If Richard Seymour was attacking me, it would be a different story.

Seymour was interesting back in the day but now he's just another smarmy, self-righteous peddler of academic liberal bullshit. I wonder where his blog ranks compared to William Kristol's.

While the pedantic style of this blog is off-putting at the best of times and I have little use for the tiresome vendetta against dissenters in the comments section, there is enough of substance here to keep me coming back. I prefer thought-provoking commentary to the cringe-inducing ideological shamanism of most Lefty blogs, where Marx and Lenin are invoked as though they were demi-gods. Save that shit for the Wizard of Oz.

Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my sister is analyzing these
kinds of things, therefore I am going to convey

This post is invaluable. When can I find out

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