Lark: Apart from Barry, does anyone really care that the murderous bolsheviks have their names cleared?
Hank: Sure, I care. But you're question is loaded, Lark, and deep inside you know it. I don't think Stoller is trying to clear names here, rather he's explaining the material reality which faced the the people who were trying to build the first workers' state. That's something worth thinking about, don't you think?
Lark: Does it really make any kind of a difference to the economic system or base of society if the bolsheviks where oh so innocent or not?
Hank: Listen to yourself, Lark! "Oh-so innocent or not" is an obvious exaggeration, a typical tactic of those contriving to misunderstand.
The whole point of my "Crack at Morality" letter was to try to show how pinning moral blame, while maybe sociologically necessary, is nonetheless philosphically unteneble; it's really a game of musical chairs. I thought you were a fellow recovering Irish Catholic, but you don't look so recovering anymore.
Lark: No it doesnt the whole argument is part of the ideological super structure, the bourgousie, if you muct use 19th century rehtoric, dont care if you all get mixed up in heated debates about whether Stalin or Lenin or anyone else was the man of the month a complete age ago, infact they are happy your not arguing about reform or self-managment because that really might spoil their day.
Hank: But won't you admit some transitional problems between this capitalism and anarchy? Aren't you interested in disentangling the propaganda you've been hearing your whole life? What do you think's going to happen, we'll just have one big fight and then anarchy will be . . .uh . . .in power?
Lark: Infact the whole argument is about as important to real change in peoples lives as whether or not creationism or darwinism is correct or whether or not there was a resurrection . . .
Hank: I have a book recommendation for you, Lark. Have you read "The Gnostic Gospels" by Elaine Pagel? Perhaps you have. If not, please do.
Lark: . . . important questions for sincere indivduals but they dont matter a damn to the free society, that is unless you dont want freedom you want your own personal sectarian authoritarianism with pictures of the icon of the month adorning every street corner.
Hank: "How was your day, honey?" is sometimes the most important question in the universe. You're just telling Stoller to "shut up", something he says quite often, but it takes a lot less than your paragraph. It's the same meaning, though.
Lark: : Incidentially petty-bourgousie is a pernicious term used to label anyone who isnt bolshevik in the same manner the various churches label opponents or freethinkers heretics or heresy fifth collumnists.
Hank: Perhaps it's become that, but you have to remember that each community has its own codes, and Leftist use it in this manner. Sure, 'petit-bourgeoisie' is a term of derision, but I'm sure that you use the same patterns of reasoning. If you were talking movies or music, you'd be calling them "commercial" as opposed to "authentic."
I'll offer my opinions here in these other arenas. James Taylor, Jackson Brown, and Disney movies are commercial. Van Morrison, Paul Brady and "Trainspotting" strike me as closer to authentic. Frank Zappa is cool, Michael Jackson is not.
I understand meaning of "petit-bourgeoisie" to be people like merchants, shop-owners and professionals, mom-and-pop stores. They don't own the major capitalist enterprises, but they have a major stake in the maintenence of the capitalist system. In fact, sometimes they will be the most conservative of all as it's on them that "liberal" government reforms fall most heavily (e.g. safety standards, workers' healthcare.) These people are sometimes really rich. but they don't have as much influence on the day-to-day decisions in capitalism, becuae their ownership in industries is expressed in stocks or mutual funds.
So, a petit-bourgeois is not going to be asking "How many people should the Gigantricon Corporation lay off next year, 2,500 or 5,000? When will that factory in Indonesia be ready to take up the slack?" The petit-bourgeois will get a call from his stock-broker saying, "I think the Gigantricon Corporation is going to do well next year. They've made some important changes, and they are going to increase their overseas production. I think you should invest in the George Washington's Testicles Fund, which invests heavily in Gigantricon."
The petit-bourgeois says, "Yeah, okay." Then he goes to his shop through early morning traffic. He spills coffee on his new trousers. He unlocks the door for his three employees, saying "good-morning" to each of them, whom he considers like his friends. His first customer walks in and he says, "Hey, Jack. How's it going? Did you see 'Seinfeld' last night?"
The petit-bourgeoisie will never create a revolution against capitalism. They're too busy working their way up it.
Anyway, Lark, check out that book "The Gnostic Gospels." I think you'd like it.