Some thoughts in closing
Following the appearance of my belated report on “conference communism” a couple days ago, I received a number of appreciative comments, e-mails, and replies. It would seem I wasn’t alone in my rather low opinion of these conferences. A few of the people who sent me notes to this effect caught me genuinely off guard; it always feels vindicating to know that others agree with you.
Predictably, however, the responses that came in from the speakers who actually participated in the event, especially those who had been singled out for criticism, were less than appreciative. Some seemed to take it all quite personally — and one of them, George Ciccariello-Maher, went so far as to defriend me on Facebook. Was a bit surprised by it, to be honest; I’d always thought he had pretty thick skin, otherwise. For the most part, I think, I’d refrained from the ad hominem attacks and managed to keep my remarks strictly ad rem. Maybe he felt that by attacking his credentials to speak on a given subject, I was thereby indirectly attacking his character. This was not my intention.
Either way, it’s not like it matters. I’d anticipated it anyway. Just goes to show you can’t please everyone. Continue reading