From: John Ransom <ransom@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 14:18:52 -0400 (EDT)
On Mon, 22 Sep 1997, Doug Henwood wrote:
> What government of any kind doesn't exclude? Challenge capitalist property
> rights - say a group of strikers occupies a plant, or peasant farmers
> challenge the right of private propertyholders to enclose previously common
> land, or a colony tries to liberate itself from its colonizers - and you
> will end up in jail or the target of military force. What's the alternative
> to this? Some sort of banal American pluralism that denies the relations of
> force and power hidden behind all its blather?
Clearly I lack not only all power to persuade (I already suspected that)
but the ability to communicate with other humans. This bodes ill for what
Is your argument a logical one? In the form of:
all governments exclude and oppress
the S.U. under Stalin excluded and oppressed
the S.U. under Stalin is no different from all other governments
But don't you think that at a certain point, as the dialecticians say,
"quantity turns into quality"?
> As Richard Feinberg,
> formerly of the Overseas Development Council and now of the U.S. National
> Security Council put it before joining the Clinton administration,
> democracy only works when there's consensus on the nature of property.
> Translation: now that death squads and proxy wars have imposed that
> consensus in Latin America, "democracy" - meaning elections where all the
> fundamental political questions are ruled out of order - can flourish.
> Are American Foucaultians just Madisonians in disguise?
No. That is the fate American Foucaultians are trying to avoid. The battle
against the seeming self-evident logic of the pluralist interest-group
driven approach to politics is not in my view advanced, however, by a
return to clearer, emotionally satisfying, but bankrupt approaches to the