RE: Dean re-voicing pro wrestlers

From: Eugene Matusov (
Date: Mon Jan 26 2004 - 12:13:28 PST

Dear Nate–

Thanks for the important distinguishing between the term "idealistic".
However, I find the boundary fuzzy in practice. For example, I compromised
and allowed to include Praxis exam in the transfer policy when "they"
included all "our" demands about meaningful criteria for admission in our
program. However, in a next step, another faculty committee took away "our"
stuff and left new exclusive procedures about Praxis exam. There was a
disconnect between our ideas and actions when we agreed on the Praxis
compromise but we thought it was a minor business – we were idealistic (in
your terms) about that, right? However, if we won, we would not have been
idealistic. It is very easy to see "idealism" looking back when you know
consequences but it is difficult to do when truth is an open process for

No, I was not measured as "right wing authoritarian" by the Political
Compass (it was -3, -6 I believe). But it would, if it judged only
consequences (a material reality) of my actions that I described. I was
questioning your point that it is OK to measure politicians according to
their deeds and not according to their ideology expressed by them. I'm
against of objectivizing and finalizing politicians when subjectivizing and
problematizing are ignored....

What do you think?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: N*** [mailto:vygotsky who-is-at]
> Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 1:27 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Dean re-voicing pro wrestlers
> Eugene
> >
> > This is a material reality. Very bad material reality, indeed! Am I
> > responsible for this worsened material reality? Probably yes – I have an
> > "idealistic" hope that my allies and I could have made a difference if
> > did not make some "mistakes" that are still unknown to us. But to
> > this meaning of the negative outcome to the meaning of my actions is not
> > only unfair but also deeply wrong. Call me inept, "idealistic", naïve,
> > false consciousness" – I painfully accept it – but please do not call me
> > "right-wing authoritarian" only because my actions failed. Certain
> > are right not because they are successful but because it was wrong not
> > try to do them.
> >
> > What do you think?
> >
> I was not using "idealistic" in that sense. What I meant by "idealistic"
> was a disconnect between the "ideas" one is advocating and the action
> one is willing to engage in. I think Clinton was great at that, he
> would get you with the ideas or ideals, but then do other things in
> practice or just leave it at the ideas level.
> I find Dean being a classic in this case too. He gives a good rap with
> health care, but his plan is capitalistic in nature. His ideas are right
> of center, yet they are labeled as "liberal" which will eventually force
> him more toward the right. The least we can do is give the reigns to
> Kucinich where it would not be your typical tweedle dee / tweedle dum
> election.
> As to your example no, I don't think that would be "idealistic". It
> would have been if your ideals were arguing for "inclusiveness" whereas
> your actions pointed in the opposite direction or inaction.
> Eugene, you are not saying political compass said you were a right wing
> authoritarian are you? I scored, as well as most people I know, in the
> left libertarian quadrant. I could see you as a right wing libertarian
> but not authoritarian.

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