MalcolmC

MalcolmC

32p

46 comments posted · 0 followers · following 0

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 4 replies · +2 points

Ok, you made a specific citation, in addition to the usual name-calling, ad-hominem attacks and sweeping use of vague generalizations and ambiguous lables. Good.

But before your citations are useful for wholesome purposes, some questions need to be answered. If we can't answer the questions, it's WAY too early to be drawing conclusions as to their significance.

1) What, exactly, are Zinn's actual words [a source citation would be helpful]

2) What is the context of those statements?

3) What - with those words that that context - was he trying to convey? - NOT according to you, but according to him?

4) In light of what he was trying to say, and in light of the facts of the world, (a) how true or false are his claims; (b) how coherent or incoherent are his arguments; (c) how significant or trivial are his points.

You've finally contributed something of substance, from which a quality discussion can begin. But it seems like you're running away like a thief, with an ill-won conclusion, before the discussion has fairly begun.

Come back!

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 0 replies · +2 points

Why should I do that? It's not something either you or I believe in. If you think it should be done, do it yourself.

What's your point, except conflict for the sake of conflict? I'm not interested.

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 0 replies · +2 points

No, it's not. "Socialism" and "Marxism" are not simple, monolithic block-concepts that can be useful for such simple, unambiguous classification. For *some* purposes, they may be useful that way, but much more likely is that sloppiness, error and confusion will be the fruit.

We should be careful to choose tools that are appropriate to the job.

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 1 reply · +2 points

So you're not going to bet, huh? You'll just just do a niftly little deflection, and change the topic. Why? Do you lack confidence in what you have said?

Well, I understand; you should.

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 1 reply · +2 points

No you don't. I've called your bluff several times, and you always avoid my challenges.

You're bluffing. You're not serious, but playing intellectual games. (I play too, but I'm serious, and I offer to back up anything I say, if you can challenge it with questions that are specific and detailed enough to get a toehold in. But you consistently avoid my challenges, and consistently fail to offer your own serious challenges.

Maybe you don't know what I'm talking about? Well, that's a problem. Consider doing something about it.

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 1 reply · +2 points

Instead of speaking for me, you could have asked me, to ensure your comment's accuracy. But you didn't bother, you just supposed "probably" whatever you wanted to. The facts couldn't have mattered to you, could they have?

You would have been wrong. I would have corrected you - in a friendly spirit, for your having so graciously asked.

[sigh] My fantasy. Your delusions.

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 0 replies · +3 points

Nice threat, "Skippy", but so far it's hollow. If you can do it, then go ahead and do it. If you can't, then quit fooling around with all the noisy huffery-puffery. It's not as impressive as you may think in the moment when you press the "Submit comment" button.

Ok, I'm sorry, I was exaggerating. It's not impressive at all.

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 0 replies · +2 points

"his historical and political diatribes against the USA"

Really? Give me ONE example.

Never mind. You can't. Howard Zinn NEVER made a diatribe against the USA, and you, in embracing Horowitz' charge of "intellectual fraud" against him, join Horowitz in that very crime. And the crime of hypocrisy.

Now, you may ask, how can I possibly say, categorically, that Zinn *never* made a diatribe against the USA? Wouldn't that require my having read and listed to ever sentence he wrote or spoke?

Technically, yes: I cannot make such a categorical claim without such comprehensively total familiarity with his every word.

But we have other was of knowing. I know, for example, that such a diatribe would have been jarringly out of character for him, and it's simply inconceivable (in the real world, not the world of logical possibility) that he would have been guilty of one - even if he were very drunk! It's just not him.

To elucidate a possible point on which you may be confused: Zinn made numerous diatribes, not so much against the American government *in toto*, but against policies and deeds of the government, and the institutional structures and procedures that led to the perpetuation of baneful policy.
But he urges us - you included! - to resist the government's impulse to conflate America-as-a-whole with itself, such that criticizing specific policies of the government can be equated, simply, with attacking America.
Yeah?

Earlier I wrote a post on the attacking-America confusion (or rhetorical device):
http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/01/30/spitting-o...%3C/a%3E

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 0 replies · +2 points

You misunderstand what Zinn was trying to do. He never pretended to be offering a comprehensively adequate history that would make standard histories irrelevant. "A People's History" was written to counterbalance the standard texts which were almost universally assumed to present such a comprehensively adequate account -- and assumed so in error.

To be clear: standard histories (centered a top-down perspective and elite-powers orthodoxy of legitimation) are totally, totally biased. That does not categorically invalidate them (they contain a lot of useful history, nonetheless), but the perspective is seriously imbalance. Biased, in other words.

Those who accuse Zinn of bias are absolutely right. But in *accusing* him, they reveal that they don't quite understand what he was trying to do and why. (In fact, he is very open about his biases, on friendly terms with them, able to talk freely about them - or was. ARE YOU???)

246 weeks ago @ NewsReal Blog - Spitting on Howard Zin... · 0 replies · +2 points

Why should anyone talk about it, including anyone on this page? It is, after all, total baloney: malicious, delusional, factually-ungrounded baloney churned out from the imaginations, prejudices, and rampantly aggressive wishful thinking of the people on these pages and others like it on the 'net.

If anyone can demonstrate otherwise, COME ON: IT'S ABOUT TIME!

We all need to GET REAL, and stop playing this juvenile play-pen game of pretend-rational discourse, with blue circles, green triangles and red squares, in a world of vast complexities of shape and color.

STOP DEPENDING SO HEAVILY ON LABELS (which are often mental crutches), and start paying attention to details - REAL detalis, not the ones you want to believe in no matter what.

it's embarrassing, really. Come on, let's stop embarrasing our race. The human one. Snap out of it!