Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 12, 2021

The Future of this Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 6:05 pm

Just to let readers of Lou’s Blog know: Lou made arrangements for WordPress to host this site as a Premium blog up till May 2022.

After that time, Unrepentant Marxist will be available, for all time according to WordPress.com, at the following address https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/, while the address you normally use, https://louisproyect.org will no longer function. From now until May 2022 both links will work equally well. After May 2022, whatever Premium features Lou used in his blog posts will not be available. I will try to sort out if such Premium features are in use.

Les Schaffer

August 28, 2021

Louis N. Proyect 1/26/45 – 8/25/21

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 3:29 pm

It’s with much sadness that, at Lou’s request, I let readers of Lou’s blog know that Lou died two days ago after a courageous struggle with cancer. And, he commanded me to be brief.

Lou did not want to share his personal health battle with the public. His passion was Marxism in thought and action, and that was alive and well in him as we talked, right up to a few days before his death.

He asked me to forgo writing anything biographical about his life. He said that if anyone wanted to know who he was, they can read The Unrepentant Marxist comic book, by Harvey Pekar. I’ve included a link, below.

Meanwhile, many people have been writing tributes to him elsewhere. So I can keep my promise to Lou to be brief in word, while disagreeing in spirit, by adding what other people have said about him. I will update what will be the last page of his blog over the next couple days with these tributes.

It is not possible to express my tears in writing here without breaking my promise to Lou.

Les Schaffer

Below are tributes written by two people that Lou deeply respected. I know that Jeffrey’s words in particular would make Lou smile appreciatively.

from Jeffrey St Clair

We lost another good friend today in Louis N. Proyect. Lou was a fighter and we had our fights over the years and I enjoyed most of them, even though he bloodied me up a couple of times. Usually they were fights about important things. Lou didn’t tolerate “beliefs”, he demanded ideas and he wanted proofs. Alex used to tweak Lou mercilessly in his columns, as the last Trotskyist. And Lou took it good-naturedly. In part because he idolized Alex and admired his writing. In part because it meant that his ideas were important enough to be debated, even parodied, at that level. Lou had his passions, Syria, being one, which often put him on the wrong side of many doctrinaire anti-Imperialists. He had his reasons, some very personal ones, but he didn’t flinch. As a writer, I admired how much and how clearly Lou wrote. Many writers, especially on the Left, have adopted an ornate, even opaque, rhetorical style. That wasn’t Lou. He valued clarity. And he worked hard at it. You would never mistake where Lou was coming from. That clarity of prose and ideas often made him an open target, especially by those who were made uncomfortable by his assertions. Lou and I only met once in NYC and that briefly, though we talked often across the years and exchanged emails two or three times a day, until the cancer made him too weak. For years, I’d save a spot for Lou’s Friday film column, trenchant reviews of independent and international films. I’ve watched a lot of films in my life, but Lou devoured them. He’d seen six or seven a week and write compellingly about most of them. Lou went to Bard, a fact he brought up often in our talks, not for academic boasting but for the opportunity it gave him to brought jazz musicians to campus, another mutual passion that deepened our friendship. He hated war and injustice and the perversions of history, the twisting of the record of events to suit political ideology. He wanted to see history straight, whether it was the Soviet Union under Stalinism or the Comanche under the murderous thugs who claimed Texas as their own. Like Cockburn, Lou didn’t want people to know he was sick. He didn’t want that distraction from the work he wanted to do in the last months of his life. He was a revolutionary in spirit, who never surrendered to pessimism, even as his own life started to flicker. The work was to make our lives better, to ease the suffering, to end needless deaths, to value all life and defend it. Well done, pal.

https://www.facebook.com/jeffreytstclair/posts/10159950128651518&show_text=true&width=500

from Michael D Yates:

It is with great sadness that I announce my good friend, Louis Proyect, has died. He had a serious illness for some time. He died peacefully in his sleep on August 25. I will miss him greatly, and I assume you will as well. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links on Facebook and on his listserv (Marxmail) to articles from a wide variety of sources on multiple subjects, from politics and economics to music and philosophy to physics and ecology. I am sure we have all learned a great deal from his posts. I don’t know anyone who wrote as many film reviews as he, with a regular Friday feature at Counterpunch. He did much in his life, through his efforts in Nicaragua and South Africa, for example, and with his voluminous writing, to push radical transformation forward. He allied himself with leftists around the world. He seemed to know just about everybody. Those who knew him personally know that he was a good human being, always willing to help a friend, no matter where in the world that person happened to be. He and his wife Mine showed me and my partner many kindnesses over the years.Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.

July 15, 2021

Freedom-Loving As Denial Of Truth And Freedom

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 2:04 pm

Manuel Garcia Jr. on the hypocrisy over the Cuban protests.

https://manuelgarciajr.com/2021/07/15/freedom-loving-as-denial-of-truth-and-freedom/

July 9, 2021

Chemical Warfare In Syria, and Its Corrosiveness Beyond

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 5:27 pm

An article by Manuel Garcia Jr., a retired physicist who debunked 911 Truther claims in CounterPunch. This time he is taking on a new round of conspiracy theories designed to absolve Assad of chemical attacks.

https://manuelgarciajr.com/2021/07/09/chemical-warfare-in-syria-and-its-corrosiveness-beyond/

June 27, 2021

Deadly Collapse Of Illusions In Miami

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 3:02 pm

By now it is clear that the cause of the collapse was the softening of the ground under the building by the infiltration of seawater over the years since the building’s construction. Because such a large building is very heavy, especially in comparison to a simple beachside bungalow, the weight of the structure put tremendously higher downward pressure on the ground below its foundation, diminishing the integrity of the increasingly soaked soil, and thus speeding its ultimate loss of cohesion.

Continue reading: https://manuelgarciajr.com/2021/06/26/deadly-collapse-of-illusions-in-miami/

April 12, 2021

Human Solidarity and Nature Conservation

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 3:10 pm

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” Carl Gustav Jung [1]

Life is the actualization of potentialities embedded within the biochemical processes that form the mechanisms of genetics and evolution. Does life have a purpose, or is it entirely a statistically random fluke made possible by the astronomical number of possibilities available for the expression of molecular chemistry in the wide array of physical conditions interspersed throughout the vastness of space? To believe that life has a consciously intended purpose is to believe that life is an intentional creation by a conscious supernatural entity or entities. If so, what is that purpose?

https://manuelgarciajr.com/2021/04/11/human-solidarity-and-nature-conservation/

April 10, 2021

Exterminate All The Brutes Q&A

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 1:50 pm


Film at Lincoln Center

The past has a future we never expect. Exterminate All the Brutes is a four-part HBO documentary series from filmmaker Raoul Peck that challenges how history is being written. Exterminate All the Brutes is currently airing on HBO Max. Q&A with Raoul Peck, Roxanne Dunbar-Oritz, and Mahmood Mamdani, moderated by Eugene Hernandez.

March 14, 2021

A Simple Explanation of Black Holes

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 2:04 pm

Louis N. Proyect:

I was trying to follow a one-hour lecture on Black Holes [podcast] but gave up after fifteen minutes and switched to Jay Leno’s garage to hear what he had to say about the 1955 Packard Caribbean.

Manuel García, Jr.:

Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” is a pretty good book about it, for the general public.

Theoretically, Black Holes are a consequence of Einstein’s General Relativity (the effect of gravity on space-time): with enough concentrated mass, and insufficient thermal-nuclear energy generation (a star uses up its “fuel”) to keep that mass puffed out, its mutual gravity draws it into a spherical center, and since mass-gravity “curves” space-time (an effect that diminishes with radial distance from the center) and since space-time curvature is expressed/observed as the bending of light rays; at a particular radial distance (the Schwarzschild Radius) light rays are curved completely by 360 degrees – into circles.

February 11, 2021

And So It Is Written For None To Read

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 1:49 am

While America closes its door-to-the-future to its youth, its aspiring hotshots smash their guitars onto the impervious consciousness of the video-streaming narcoleptic herd, furiously hammering away at the portals of hipness lusting for penetration into the voluptuous folds of affluence and renown they want so badly to deserve and which are only never-to-be-achieved potentialities in their feverish imaginations.

And so they “smash fascism” in virtual print while parading their righteous revolutionary irrelevance for all to see, if all those others bothered to look as a few pseudo-intellectual armchair hobos do to help survive their consumerist boredom.

Continue reading

February 5, 2021

Why Not Nuclear Power?

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 1:02 pm

By Manuel Garcia Jr.

I am asked in an e-mail:

“I’m assuming that in 30 or 40 years, everyone will (pretty much) be using nuclear power for their energy needs. By last count, there were 440+ nuclear reactors in the world, with dozens more planned for installation. France (of all countries) is roughly 70% nuclear. My question: Why are people still pretending that nuclear energy isn’t the cleanest, most efficient method available?

My answer: Because it’s not.

Continue reading

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