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Showing posts from August, 2017

Arguments From Authority Are Not Scientific

One thing that has always bothered me about certain outspoken elements of the communist milieux is the over-reliance on arguments from authority. That is, the tendency to justify a political line based on the fact that Marx or Lenin or Mao or whoever wrote some things somewhere that "prove" this justification. Thus, in response to people questioning a particular political position those who rely on arguments from authority, rather than providing a thorough historical materialist argument for their position, cite Lenin or someone else as the de facto basis of their position. Marxist-Leninists and Marxist-Leninist-Maoists are particularly guilty of this approach, and arguments from authority are all too common across the revisionist/anti-revisionist spectrum.

The reason I'm thinking of this problem yet again is because of a recent encounter at the Toronto ILPS conference where some old ML dude in the revisionist milieu complained to me about having been told by Montreal…