re: more productive discussions

Fri, 11 Apr 1997 12:08:22 +0100
Richard K. Moore (

4/10/97, Andrew Wayne Austin wrote:
>Richard, please don't associate me with DLJ in the fashion you did in your
>post to this list. Nothing could be more removed from the truth.

In that case, you might take some of your 2-person debates off line and
then share a summary (or conclusions) with the list. Those exchanges are
getting inbred, self-referential, personal, and _very_ lengthy - and there
seems to be little if any participation by others. I for one would be

As for our own series of debates - following essays I have posted - I am
sorry to say I'm inclined to cease responding to your comments. I dislike
ignoring postings which respond to my own, but I've found our discussion
quite unproductive. Typically I make an argument for a thesis, and you
respond by saying the thesis is false because you believe the contrary.
Period. End of relevant argument.

Example: "U.S. hegemony is not yet a fiction". Your mere statement is
supposed to stand as a refutation of my argument. This is not discussion,
this is a case of "Yes it is. No it isn't. Yes it is. ...". My argument
was that even though obvious US hegemony is prominently displayed before us
in the daily news, it is a fiction because it is not really _US_ hegemony,
but elite _corporatist_ hegemony we are seeing, with a corporate-dominated
US serving as a corporatist agent. Hegemony isn't a fiction - the "US
Interests" part is.

This argument can certainly be challenged, but a challenge needs to address
the argument. You might, for example, say you don't believe the US is
controlled by corporatist interests. Or you might claim, empirically, that
US hegemony is employed mainly to further US interests at the expense of
other G7 powers. But simply to assert the contrary of my conclusion, and
dismiss the distinctions I was proposing, is not refutation.

In future, please don't take silence as assent. And to the list I
apologize for what may appear to be a personal message. I can only offer
it as a contribution to a "more productive discussions" thread.