Louis N. Proyect


Michael Yates
 

It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   



Michael Meeropol
 

Thank you for that post, Michael.   I am relatively new to Marxmail but I learned a tremendous amount --- we all feared Louis was fadiing but didn't want to believe it --- You are right --- he will live on --- but many of us will actually have to step up our games --

as Holly Near wrote in "It could have been me ...."

".... I'll keep doing the work you were doing as if I were two ...." --- a tough admonition to follow but ....

Solidarity, Mike

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 9:16 AM Michael Yates <mikedjyates@...> wrote:

It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   


_._,_._,


Ernestleif
 

This is heartbreaking. 


On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 9:16 AM Michael Yates <mikedjyates@...> wrote:

It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   



Scott Nelson
 

I am sad to hear of Louis' passing and send my condolences to his wife.


On Fri, Aug 27, 2021, 8:16 AM Michael Yates <mikedjyates@...> wrote:

It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   



Anthony Boynton
 

I am very, very sad to read this news. Louis was one of the best people on the left in the USA and internationally. I only met him in person once, but he became my friend through our online conversations, on this list and off. He had an amazingly wide scope of knowledge, and even when he and I disagreed, I always thought his views were strongly based and strongly argued.

Anthony


Patrick Bond
 


http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mypage.htm

 

"a revolutionary career does not lead to banquets and honorary titles, interesting research and professorial wages. It leads to misery, disgrace, ingratitude, prison and a voyage into the unknown, illuminated by only an almost superhuman belief."

 

Max Horkheimer

 


Louis Proyect, Istanbul, 2005


I am the moderator of the Marxism mailing list, where my various articles first appear. For information on how to subscribe to the list, go here.

I first became active in socialist politics in 1967, the beginning of my 11 years in the American Trotskyist movement. Despite my profound respect for Leon Trotsky as a Marxist thinker, I view the Trotskyist movement as such a sectarian mistake. Throughout most of the 80s, I was active in the Central American solidarity movement, first with CISPES and then with Tecnica, an organization that sent computer programmers and other skilled professionals to Nicaragua. The project eventually took root in southern Africa as well, where it worked with SWAPO and the ANC. More recently I have given workshops on the Internet to community and union groups, as well as moderating a Marxist mailing list on the Internet that can be linked to above.

I have been strongly influenced by the example of The Socialist Union, a group led by Bert Cochran and Harry Braverman who left the Trotskyist movement in 1953 in order to create an alternative to the sectarian "vanguard" model. For six years they published a magazine called The American Socialist and worked to regroup the left. Marxmail is a conscious attempt to link up with their traditions.

I have also created a small archive of the writings of James M. Blaut, who died in November, 2000. Jim was an outstanding scholar and revolutionary whose contributions to our movement are best commemorated through his work.

My articles, many of which appeared originally as postings to the Marxism list, have appeared in Sozialismus (Germany), Science and Society, New Politics, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Organization and Environment, Cultural Logic, Dark Night Field Notes, Revolutionary History (Great Britain), New Interventions (Great Britain), Canadian Dimension, Revolution Magazine (New Zealand), Swans and Green Left Weekly (Australia).

I am also a proud member of the NY Film Critics Online:

 

Email me

Search my articles

My articles are grouped in the following categories:

10 most recent posts

Devils (June 18, 2021)

Was American Indian Overhunting Responsible for the Near-Extinction of the Buffalo? (June 16, 2021)

Thinking like an Octopus (June 16, 2021)

Crisis (May 21, 2021)

There is No Evil (May 17, 2021)

Hard Crackers: the Revolutionary Legacy of Noel Ignatiev (May 14, 2021)

Paris Calligrammes (May 11, 2021)

What Richard Armitage and Vijay Prashad have in common (May 4, 2021)

8 Billion Angels; The Land of Azaba (April 27, 2021)

Looking past the plant-gate to understand white supremacy (April 20, 2021)

On 2021/08/27 15:20, Michael Meeropol wrote:
Thank you for that post, Michael.   I am relatively new to Marxmail but I learned a tremendous amount --- we all feared Louis was fadiing but didn't want to believe it --- You are right --- he will live on --- but many of us will actually have to step up our games --

as Holly Near wrote in "It could have been me ...."

".... I'll keep doing the work you were doing as if I were two ...." --- a tough admonition to follow but ....

Solidarity, Mike

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 9:16 AM Michael Yates <mikedjyates@...> wrote:

It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   


_._,_._,


Stephen Gosch
 

I am so sorry to learn of Louis's death. I am a relatively new subscriber and have benefited a great deal from the list. When I had trouble with technicalities, he spent a lot of time trying to help me. I will miss him.


On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 8:16 AM Michael Yates <mikedjyates@...> wrote:

It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   



Patrick Bond
 

Oops, I meant to add a tribute to this reminder of where at least online Louis does live on, in such amazing outputs... but I'm not sure what to say about how he influenced me and countless others, to stiffen our spine and take marxism seriously. I have so many durable, warm memories in the 20+ years of occasional sightings of Louis in NYC.

Hamba kahle Louis, travel well.

Amandla! Awethu!*

*Power, to the people... which he uttered many times in Zambia in harmony with African National Congress comrades in exile when he visited there as a Technica volunteer during the 1980s... a time of relative innocence, before, as he told me it was easy to predict, came 1990, unbannings, and the transition to a non-racial democracy with, now, much worse inequality, poverty, unemployment and ecological decay here. Still, we hope - as he did - there would be more opportunities at some stage for genuine power to the peop.e.

On 2021/08/27 15:59, Patrick Bond wrote:


http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mypage.htm

 

"a revolutionary career does not lead to banquets and honorary titles, interesting research and professorial wages. It leads to misery, disgrace, ingratitude, prison and a voyage into the unknown, illuminated by only an almost superhuman belief."

 

Max Horkheimer

 


Louis Proyect, Istanbul, 2005


I am the moderator of the Marxism mailing list, where my various articles first appear. For information on how to subscribe to the list, go here.

I first became active in socialist politics in 1967, the beginning of my 11 years in the American Trotskyist movement. Despite my profound respect for Leon Trotsky as a Marxist thinker, I view the Trotskyist movement as such a sectarian mistake. Throughout most of the 80s, I was active in the Central American solidarity movement, first with CISPES and then with Tecnica, an organization that sent computer programmers and other skilled professionals to Nicaragua. The project eventually took root in southern Africa as well, where it worked with SWAPO and the ANC. More recently I have given workshops on the Internet to community and union groups, as well as moderating a Marxist mailing list on the Internet that can be linked to above.

I have been strongly influenced by the example of The Socialist Union, a group led by Bert Cochran and Harry Braverman who left the Trotskyist movement in 1953 in order to create an alternative to the sectarian "vanguard" model. For six years they published a magazine called The American Socialist and worked to regroup the left. Marxmail is a conscious attempt to link up with their traditions.

I have also created a small archive of the writings of James M. Blaut, who died in November, 2000. Jim was an outstanding scholar and revolutionary whose contributions to our movement are best commemorated through his work.

My articles, many of which appeared originally as postings to the Marxism list, have appeared in Sozialismus (Germany), Science and Society, New Politics, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Organization and Environment, Cultural Logic, Dark Night Field Notes, Revolutionary History (Great Britain), New Interventions (Great Britain), Canadian Dimension, Revolution Magazine (New Zealand), Swans and Green Left Weekly (Australia).

I am also a proud member of the NY Film Critics Online:

 

Email me

Search my articles

My articles are grouped in the following categories:

10 most recent posts

Devils (June 18, 2021)

Was American Indian Overhunting Responsible for the Near-Extinction of the Buffalo? (June 16, 2021)

Thinking like an Octopus (June 16, 2021)

Crisis (May 21, 2021)

There is No Evil (May 17, 2021)

Hard Crackers: the Revolutionary Legacy of Noel Ignatiev (May 14, 2021)

Paris Calligrammes (May 11, 2021)

What Richard Armitage and Vijay Prashad have in common (May 4, 2021)

8 Billion Angels; The Land of Azaba (April 27, 2021)

Looking past the plant-gate to understand white supremacy (April 20, 2021)

On 2021/08/27 15:20, Michael Meeropol wrote:
Thank you for that post, Michael.   I am relatively new to Marxmail but I learned a tremendous amount --- we all feared Louis was fadiing but didn't want to believe it --- You are right --- he will live on --- but many of us will actually have to step up our games --

as Holly Near wrote in "It could have been me ...."

".... I'll keep doing the work you were doing as if I were two ...." --- a tough admonition to follow but ....

Solidarity, Mike

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 9:16 AM Michael Yates <mikedjyates@...> wrote:

It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   


_._,_._,


Marla Vijaya kumar
 

It is shocking. I remember he was very rational in his assessment of any situation.

I bow to you, Louis.

Vijaya Kumar Marla


Ken Hiebert
 

I join you in remembering Louis. I have sometimes wondered if we crossed paths in Nicaragua. I was there late in 1988 as part of a TecNica work group.
ken h


Jim Farmelant
 

My condolences to Mine Aysen Doyran and the rest of his family, and to the many comrades that Lou had all over the world. I had known him online for almost 25 years. This Marxmail List was just one of his many contributions to leftist discourse. May he Rest in Power.


Richard Modiano
 

Louis contributed so much to making this place a better world with his activism, and the creation of Marxmail. I hope the latter survives his passing as a space for sharpening our understanding and as a tribute to Louis's work.


Steven L. Robinson
 

I, along with many others, have received this message with great sadness.

I have been a member of this list for some twenty years.  Am very grateful for the work Louis did in maintaining this forum for such a long time, no easy task I am sure.  The service the list provided was invaluable, especially in the 2000s which was a particularly dark time for the U.S. left.  While I fervently hope this list will continue, the perspective that Louis brought to it will be sorely missed.

SR


On 08/27/2021 6:15 AM Michael Yates <mikedjyates@...> wrote:


It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   



Dennis Brasky
 

Totally agree!


On Aug 27, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Steven L. Robinson <srobin21@...> wrote:

I, along with many others, have received this message with great sadness.

I have been a member of this list for some twenty years.  Am very grateful for the work Louis did in maintaining this forum for such a long time, no easy task I am sure.  The service the list provided was invaluable, especially in the 2000s which was a particularly dark time for the U.S. left.  While I fervently hope this list will continue, the perspective that Louis brought to it will be sorely missed.

SR


On 08/27/2021 6:15 AM Michael Yates <mikedjyates@...> wrote:


It is with great sadness that I announce to the group that our moderator and 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. He began the listserv many years ago and kept it alive and growing through trying times. Louis was a voracious reader, and almost every day, he posted links 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. 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. 

Louis wanted the list to continue. Les Schaffer and I will see if we can make this happen. He will be posting a note today as well. In the meantime, keep posting and discussing, especially the latter. It is through thoughtful interchange than we learn how to sharpen our arguments. 

Goodbye, Louis. You will live on in our hearts and in our efforts to change the world.   



John A Imani
 

Comrades,
 
Am saddened.  I knew the struggles that this comrade had gone through and would, on occasion, drop him a line of encouragement.  He had planned to travel to the West Coast and wanted to meet.  The problematics of COVID would have all but made that impossible during these times.
 
To comrade Michael Yates and to Louis' Marxmail closest comrade in arms, Les Shaffer, I wish y'all the best in keeping this most valued forum up and running.  It is too valued an instrument to let it go.  I will follow up this posting with another letter to Louis specifically regarding this list serve.
 
RIP Louis.  You are already missed.
 
JAI


Suren Moodliar
 

I am a relatively recent subscriber to the list but certainly an admirer of Louis’s CounterPunch posts for a lot longer. On sharing the news of his passing with the editorial board of Socialism and Democracy, my message was met with a strong sense of sadness at his passing, respect for his contributions to our movements , and appreciation for this list and its regular contributors, not the least of whom was its moderator.  

Sincerely,
Suren Moodliar
Managing Editor, Socialism and Democracy

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 12:58 PM John A Imani <johnaimani3@...> wrote:
Comrades,
 
Am saddened.  I knew the struggles that this comrade had gone through and would, on occasion, drop him a line of encouragement.  He had planned to travel to the West Coast and wanted to meet.  The problematics of COVID would have all but made that impossible during these times.
 
To comrade Michael Yates and to Louis' Marxmail closest comrade in arms, Les Shaffer, I wish y'all the best in keeping this most valued forum up and running.  It is too valued an instrument to let it go.  I will follow up this posting with another letter to Louis specifically regarding this list serve.
 
RIP Louis.  You are already missed.
 
JAI

--
Sent from MetroMail


Anthony Boynton
 

I am not sure if this actually posted when I originally sent it, so I am posting it again.

I am very, very sad to read this news. Louis was one of the best people on the left in the USA and internationally. I only met him in person once, but he became my friend through our online conversations, on this list and off. He had an amazingly wide scope of knowledge, and even when he and I disagreed, I always thought his views were strongly based and strongly argued.

Anthony


Howie Hawkins
 

I am shocked and sad to hear Louis has died. My condolences to his wife and everyone who cared about him.

I will always appreciate the service Louis provided with this listserv. I learned so much from the articles he posted and the discussion. I would have missed many events and perspectives if he hadn’t been posting what he found and thought.

I appreciated his political support for my Green Party campaigns and enjoyed our occasional conversations when I was in New York City.

I will miss the flair with which he presented his clear principled politics, perhaps most of all when I disagreed, which wasn’t very often, but it always did made me think.

i know his efforts will live on though this listserv and the many people he influenced.


Mike Kowalski
 

I am very sad to hear of Louis’s passing. He will be missed. Michael. 


On Aug 27, 2021, at 1:55 PM, Suren Moodliar <suren@...> wrote:


I am a relatively recent subscriber to the list but certainly an admirer of Louis’s CounterPunch posts for a lot longer. On sharing the news of his passing with the editorial board of Socialism and Democracy, my message was met with a strong sense of sadness at his passing, respect for his contributions to our movements , and appreciation for this list and its regular contributors, not the least of whom was its moderator.  

Sincerely,
Suren Moodliar
Managing Editor, Socialism and Democracy

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 12:58 PM John A Imani <johnaimani3@...> wrote:
Comrades,
 
Am saddened.  I knew the struggles that this comrade had gone through and would, on occasion, drop him a line of encouragement.  He had planned to travel to the West Coast and wanted to meet.  The problematics of COVID would have all but made that impossible during these times.
 
To comrade Michael Yates and to Louis' Marxmail closest comrade in arms, Les Shaffer, I wish y'all the best in keeping this most valued forum up and running.  It is too valued an instrument to let it go.  I will follow up this posting with another letter to Louis specifically regarding this list serve.
 
RIP Louis.  You are already missed.
 
JAI

--
Sent from MetroMail


Farans Kalosar
 

Great sadness. I corresponded with Louis Proyect only a few times, but felt that I knew him and knew he could be trusted.  The left is much the poorer for his loss.

He had a truly encyclopedic range of interests and illuminated every topic he wrote about.  Let us hope that the body of work he left behind will be preserved.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

--W.H. Auden, "Funeral Blues