Re: [sixties-l] Todd Gitlin on the war (fwd)

From: Carrol Cox (
Date: Fri Nov 16 2001 - 23:53:27 EST

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    Mark Bunster wrote:
    > I wrote:
    > Instead, it's Gitlin who gets this silent treatment, despite the fact that his
    > commentary is calmly and thoughtfully delivered. It's disheartening to see him
    > dismissed with a wave, rather than engaged and debated. It's HIS positions that
    > deserve discussion, even if you disagree. Horowitz's babble is best left to
    > it's natural asphyxiation of intellect.

    I have been objecting to the fundamental principle here for nearly a
    half century. For every book or article the most well-read person on
    this list has read (or will read during the remainder of his/her life)
    there are several hundred at least as important. In other words, all of
    us are going to die long before we could possibly read all the books and
    articles and email posts that we ought to read before forming an
    opinion. So the practical effect of accepting Mark's argument would be
    that none of us would ever again in our life form any opinion
    whatsoever. We would stay in our homes with the shades drawn trembling
    in fear that our every tentative opinion or decision would be reversed
    were we just to read that one more article. I have never read Dante in
    Italian; it's 20 years since I read the whole of the _Comedy_ even in
    English. I've only read about 5 of Chomsky's books, and I really need to
    reread one of them at least. I really need to read about 1000 pages from
    the works cited in Damasio's _The Feeling of What Happens: Body and
    Emotion in the Making of Consciusness_. I've only read the _Grundrisse_
    twice. I've never read Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. I've
    never read Hume. I've read _Paradise Lost_ only about a dozen times
    straight through. And with all that reading I haven't done at the age of
    71 I should waste some of my remaining hours of life reading a shithead
    like Gitlin.

    And I _have_ ignored Horowitz completely. I even filtered into the trash
    any post that had his name in the subject line. And I intend to go on as
    though neither HOrowitz nor Gitlin existed.


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