only slightly re Bill Chambers
Wed, 8 May 1996 21:44:55 +0000

Evenin' All!

At the risk of boring people who quite rightly point out
> For Pete's sake, lets move on, or another bunch of us will be leaving in
> droves
given the mailings requesting Bill Chambers' reinstatement, and my own
publicly stated position that I don't believe in censorship, I need to say
three things. And I say them about myself, because that's all I'm qualified
to make assertions about (though _you_ might want to ask yourself if I'd be
right if I said them of you; viz., if you agree with me.)

David Nightingale acted.
There is a view which asserts that people like me, who argue from first
principles _against_ exclusion, spend a lot of time in hiding behind that
position; but thereby _fail_ to act to the point at which the things they
value are destroyed through inattention and, conceivably, some sort of
moral cowardice. (It's so _comfortable_ to be on the side of the liberal

His act was courageous.
I would of course ditch my sacred principles of free speech if someone,
say, advocated child molestation (or, to bring it closer to home,
threatened my own kids in any way); I'd draw the line. David chose to draw
the line in a different place on an issue about which he felt very
strongly. Good! It's one iota of experience available to me, which
encourages me to re-examine and maybe reconstrue; to question the location
at which I draw lines.

His act, unilateralist in all conscience, was done in order to preserve
something we all value, viz., a constructive _alternativist_ mode of
discourse. Has no one noticed, (all the hurts occasioned by Bill's ad
hominem style of argument aside), that _that_ was exactly the kind of
discourse which Bill could not tolerate? (One had to agree with him, or be
anathemised; indeed, many of his attacks seemed entirely gratuitous.) That
Bill would have been incapable of writing a letter like the present one,
shot through as it is with an awareness that my views are fallible, and
there's always another way of construing than my own?


Of course, this (to move the argument away from Bill Chambers at last)
harks back to a logical dilemma that I've tried, perhaps rather
inarticulately, to address in the past, viz., that a constructivist
alternativist epistemology must logically admit absolutist, positivist
epistemologies as members of the set of alternatives to itself and thereby
treat them as equally possible: acceptance of which would seem to explode
the notion of constructivist alternativism....

Maybe this would be worth readdressing? (_Pace_ Beverly Walker, who
suggested my problem lies in an excessive adherence to the need for logical
consistency if I'm taking a constructivist position, which seems
reasonable; and Jack Adams-Webber, whose response led me to resolve that it
was high time I read some Lefebvre, a good intention, like so many others,
which awaits a suitable opportunity free of other committments...)

Mind 'ow you go!

Devi Jankowicz