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« A Stoic Exemplum of Self-Examination | Main | Race, Political Economy, and the Last Four Years »

06/26/2012

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Michael Duff

A few years ago I successfully persuaded Prof. Malmud to come out to the University of Wyoming College of Law to speak to our entering class about the Pakistani lawyers' strike and its "rule of law" implications. I found him a profound and engaging scholar. To me the anti-colonialist project has everything to do with ensuring the Global South will be discussants in any "future project." It is hard to get to the discussion - and I think many at the table would agree with the general "global" analysis reflected in your post - while grappling with the iron fist of unilateralism.

Michael Duff

Oops.. Prof. Mahmud.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Yes, Michael. And I hope Professor Mahmud sees this as a disagreement that presupposes a large common ground, a wide expanse of terra firma, as we're both on the same side of Mirabeau's geography of the assembly: I would not want our differences here to in any way detract from the value of his work generally (and I in no way doubt your characterization of him as a 'profound and engaging scholar'). On the other hand, I think such debates are necessary and healthy. In all such matters I try to keep in mind three things: first, not to get too "attached" to my ideas; second, my fondness for the Jain model of truth compels me to endeavor to appreciate whatever measure of truth may be incarnate in the views of others and not to uphold my own view(s) as representative of THE or absolute truth (truth, as it were, is many-sided); and finally, and relatedly, to remember with the sociologist Richard ('Dick') Flacks, that "Virtually all of the debates about strategy that...divided the American left in the twentieth century were rooted in false dichotomies; most of the sides in most of these debates were expressing valid understandings of partial truths. These debates--about 'politics' vs 'direct action,' about 'confrontation' vs. 'permeation,' about 'independent political action' vs. 'coalition,' about 'dual unionism' vs. 'boring from within,' about 'integration' vs. 'black power,' about 'reformism' vs. 'revolutionism'--occurred not because some leftists were morally pure and others were 'revisionists,' nor because some were 'crazy' and others 'rational,' but because there were [and are] fundamental differences in the perceptions leftists had [and have] of that reality."

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