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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973

Dev's Metaphysical Mumblings

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Dev's Metaphysical Mumblings

Dear Editors,

One can understand that you get a certain amount of wry amusement out of publishing such metaphysical mumblings as S. Devereux's 'long Live etc. It is, however, unfortunate that his letters, by reason of their occasional smatterings of uprooted quotes from Mao Tsetung may, at first blush, appear to have some legitimate relationship with Marxism.

So far as any can be detected, Mr Devereux's reasoning appears to go like this: Step one: quote Mao on every kind of thinking; step two: state that Terry Auld (stretching it a bit) instructs the children of the working; class placing him firmly in the camp of a petite-bourgoeis intellectual; step three: imply but do not state that Terry therefore is incapable of either understanding, appreciating or developing Marxist ideas. Using Mr Devereux's rough and ready method of proletarian blood-testing. Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao himself would score piss-poor. Obviously, what is needed here is not so much a logician as a psychiatrist.

It is of some value to recall that in the same essay on "Practice", Mao states — "It is necessary to make a leap from perceptual to rational knowledge....whatever has been scientifically reconstructed in the process of cognition, on the basis of, practice, reflects objective reality, as Lenin said, more deeply, more truly, more fully."

Mr Devereux's assertion that Terry Auld "consistently propagates a humanitarian, non-class approach" bears as much relation to fact as Mr Devereux's mystical mishmash does to revolutionary Marxism — i.e. none.

To again seek to rescue Mao from Mr Devereux's indecent mishandling of him by actually quoting him:

"The Problem of whether theory corresponds to objective reality is not, and cannot be, completely solved on the movement of knowledge from the perceptual to the rational mentioned above. The only way to solve this problem completely is to redirect rational knowledge to social practice, apply theory to practice and see whether it can achieve the objectives one has in mind." Now, I'll bet any comers that he did not have in mind the suggestion that Mr Devereux (affectionately known to his ex-tenants as Selwyn) made to the last anti-apartheid meeting that we should demand entry into RSA Club meetings "machine-guns in hand."

Yours fraternally,

Don Quixote