Author Topic: Christianity and Marxism  (Read 8997 times)

DCharlton

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2020, 09:17:34 PM »
Ideas have consequences.  Any person who tried to rehabilitate Hitler or Mussolini would be considered either a fool or a threat.  You could say that people have tried to rehabilitate Marxism, but that would not be correct.  Marxism never went out of vogue.  Marxist ideas are pervasive in the humanities and the social sciences.  Mainline Protestants as well as Catholics have incorporated Marxism into theology.  Not even the Holomodor, the Purges, the Gulags, the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution were able to tarnish the image of Marxism among the elites.  Could you imagine American university students walking around campus with pictures of Himmler or Goebbels on their shirts?  No, but images of Che Guevara and Mao abound.
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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2020, 09:56:04 PM »
Ideas have consequences.  Any person who tried to rehabilitate Hitler or Mussolini would be considered either a fool or a threat.  You could say that people have tried to rehabilitate Marxism, but that would not be correct.  Marxism never went out of vogue.  Marxist ideas are pervasive in the humanities and the social sciences.  Mainline Protestants as well as Catholics have incorporated Marxism into theology.  Not even the Holomodor, the Purges, the Gulags, the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution were able to tarnish the image of Marxism among the elites.  Could you imagine American university students walking around campus with pictures of Himmler or Goebbels on their shirts?  No, but images of Che Guevara and Mao abound.

I have always wondered why Che Guevara is so popular, especially among younger people as evidenced by his image on numerous t-shirts.  He was clearly a revolutionary who believed in the violent overthrow of government. He seems to be a symbol for resistance to authority and the socialist ideal.  I hear echoes of this in the current movement to defund police and prison systems and revolutionary calls to dismantle current governmental structures seen as antithetical to black concerns. The "system" is said to be so corrupt the only solution is to dismantle it and start over. Guevara believed in world revolution, the overthrow of all capitalist governments.  I don't know how you can make Guevara into an icon of peaceful dialogue.  I think he is popular because he was willing to forcefully attack what he opposed.   
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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2020, 10:11:12 PM »
Ideas have consequences.  Any person who tried to rehabilitate Hitler or Mussolini would be considered either a fool or a threat.  You could say that people have tried to rehabilitate Marxism, but that would not be correct.  Marxism never went out of vogue.  Marxist ideas are pervasive in the humanities and the social sciences.  Mainline Protestants as well as Catholics have incorporated Marxism into theology.  Not even the Holomodor, the Purges, the Gulags, the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution were able to tarnish the image of Marxism among the elites.  Could you imagine American university students walking around campus with pictures of Himmler or Goebbels on their shirts?  No, but images of Che Guevara and Mao abound.

Again, like Peter and others, youíre missing an important distinction. Che and Mao make no argument for a superior race nor did they have as their goal the total extinction of a race of people.  Certainly, Mao has plenty of blood on his hands along with Che, but they were driven by a political philosophy. My point isnít to justify what they did,  but to note that that is far easier to compartmentalize than Nazism.

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2020, 10:27:19 PM »
Ideas have consequences.  Any person who tried to rehabilitate Hitler or Mussolini would be considered either a fool or a threat.  You could say that people have tried to rehabilitate Marxism, but that would not be correct.  Marxism never went out of vogue.  Marxist ideas are pervasive in the humanities and the social sciences.  Mainline Protestants as well as Catholics have incorporated Marxism into theology.  Not even the Holomodor, the Purges, the Gulags, the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution were able to tarnish the image of Marxism among the elites.  Could you imagine American university students walking around campus with pictures of Himmler or Goebbels on their shirts?  No, but images of Che Guevara and Mao abound.

Again, like Peter and others, youíre missing an important distinction. Che and Mao make no argument for a superior race nor did they have as their goal the total extinction of a race of people.  Certainly, Mao has plenty of blood on his hands along with Che, but they were driven by a political philosophy. My point isnít to justify what they did,  but to note that that is far easier to compartmentalize than Nazism.

No.  Fascism and Communism have proven to be deadly ideologies.  They are both committed to death and destruction.  They are both demonic.  The public enemy in classical Marxism is a class of people, who must be destroyed.  This class was not defined racially or ethnically, but economically.  Still Marxism has consistently shone its own need for a scapegoat to destroy.  Modern Marxism has become more flexible, defining the enemy class in many ways, by race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  They seem silly, but if they ever get the reigns of power, there will be another bloodbath.  The Marxists in the BDS movement have even embraced anti-Semitism.

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2020, 10:45:42 PM »
How is Marxism (from Karl, not what USSR and other nations did with it) different from what we read about the early Christians in Acts 2 & 4? According to Wiki, "there is currently no single definitive Marxist theory," so you might need to clarify what you mean by Marxism.

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2020, 10:53:56 PM »
Ideas have consequences.  Any person who tried to rehabilitate Hitler or Mussolini would be considered either a fool or a threat.  You could say that people have tried to rehabilitate Marxism, but that would not be correct.  Marxism never went out of vogue.  Marxist ideas are pervasive in the humanities and the social sciences.  Mainline Protestants as well as Catholics have incorporated Marxism into theology.  Not even the Holomodor, the Purges, the Gulags, the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution were able to tarnish the image of Marxism among the elites.  Could you imagine American university students walking around campus with pictures of Himmler or Goebbels on their shirts?  No, but images of Che Guevara and Mao abound.

Again, like Peter and others, youíre missing an important distinction. Che and Mao make no argument for a superior race nor did they have as their goal the total extinction of a race of people.  Certainly, Mao has plenty of blood on his hands along with Che, but they were driven by a political philosophy. My point isnít to justify what they did,  but to note that that is far easier to compartmentalize than Nazism.

No.  Fascism and Communism have proven to be deadly ideologies.  They are both committed to death and destruction.  They are both demonic.  The public enemy in classical Marxism is a class of people, who must be destroyed.  This class was not defined racially or ethnically, but economically.  Still Marxism has consistently shone its own need for a scapegoat to destroy.  Modern Marxism has become more flexible, defining the enemy class in many ways, by race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  They seem silly, but if they ever get the reigns of power, there will be another bloodbath.  The Marxists in the BDS movement have even embraced anti-Semitism.



Again, I am not arguing that historically Marxists have no problem justifying scapegoating, murder, genocide and all kinds of destructive behaviors.  What I am saying is that just because it has that in common with Nazism does not mean it is the same.  I am talking about the philosophy of Marxism itself.  You canít come away from reading Das Capital believing that an entire race of people should be eradicated.  You can come away from reading Mein Kampf believing that an entire race of people and various ethnicities and subgroups should be. Thatís a huge difference and itís one that is helpful in understanding the appeal of Marxism throughout various generations despite its lack of success concerning its implementation. BDS does not prove the rule just as the KKK doesnít prove the rule about Christians.

Whatís more, we are beneficiaries of the positive influence of Marxism in some way, shape, or form. From unions to the 40 hour work week to the New Deal to pensions and on we could go.  The challenge is that the so-called Cultural Marxists arenít really aware of the purported philosophy that influences them. This is also why I donít like that term. Itís misleading and unhelpful.

Peace,
Scott+

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2020, 11:38:44 PM »
I have always wondered why Che Guevara is so popular, especially among younger people as evidenced by his image on numerous t-shirts.  He was clearly a revolutionary who believed in the violent overthrow of government. He seems to be a symbol for resistance to authority and the socialist ideal.  I hear echoes of this in the current movement to defund police and prison systems and revolutionary calls to dismantle current governmental structures seen as antithetical to black concerns. The "system" is said to be so corrupt the only solution is to dismantle it and start over. Guevara believed in world revolution, the overthrow of all capitalist governments.  I don't know how you can make Guevara into an icon of peaceful dialogue.  I think he is popular because he was willing to forcefully attack what he opposed.
Even 30 years ago his silhouetted visage was sported by any number of kids on campus ó kids who had no idea who he was except for being a "revolutionary". He affected a rakish look to go with the laser eyes of a true believer, and that combination draws in followers all on its own, as often the ladies like the look and the men want to figure out how to look that way themselves. It's strange (but not surprising ó Marcuse argued back in the 60s that advertising was the death-blow for communism ever actually coming about) and amusing to see someone like CG become nothing more than a nearly content-free commodified sign, bringing profit to anti-revolutionaries through mechanical reproduction. Those familiar with his story are repulsed; those who are not are often drawn to the appearance of cool.

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2020, 12:21:55 AM »
I am talking about the philosophy of Marxism itself.  You canít come away from reading Das Capital believing that an entire race of people should be eradicated.  You can come away from reading Mein Kampf believing that an entire race of people and various ethnicities and subgroups should be. Thatís a huge difference and itís one that is helpful in understanding the appeal of Marxism throughout various generations despite its lack of success concerning its implementation.
You're quite right to separate Marx from Marxism. Marx does not go into any coherent detail as to what the (assumed) coming eschaton will look like or how it will come about on the ground ó his main interest was to examine Capitalism and follow it to where its logic leads. Das Kapital is well worth the read for that alone.

It's when he starts making predictions that things really go off the rails, and where his early followers start breaking eggs. They knew their Hegel well (unlike their latter-day descendants), having heard Marx's cover version of GWFH's greatest hits, and filled in the (massive) gaps Marx left in his future history with a very bloody, final version of Hegel's master/slave dialectic. This is why and how Lenin (with the many, many others in that particular wave) was happy to try to jump-start/force the End of Days in Russia (one of the worst choices) instead of the US or perhaps Germany, the places which were far along enough economically to begin to fit Marx's requirements for the the development of capitalism which would naturally lead to the 99% (or 99.9%) overcoming the 1% (or 0.1%) and ushering in the new age.

Marxism takes Marx's vision, which is essentially Christianity without Christ (or the need for Him), and personalizes it. No longer is it only the natural, inevitable place to which historical forces flow, it is something that people can themselves bring about through the application of force and will. The sales pitch boils down to this: While the End is inevitable, the timeline is not ó and you can do something about that! The murderousness built into Marxism is there because those who come to embrace it can see nothing but the Inevitable Perfect End, an end which justifies any and all efforts to summon it into existence. The psychological draw of this is immense: individuals are caught up in the great struggle to bring about the very best possible human life on earth, and they can play a part in making it happen ó they might even see it appear themselves! History will out, and anyone caught under its wheels only serves to give it traction as it speeds along. This is why Marxism is in the long run (as the 20th century made clear) far more deadly than fascism: fascists aren't trying to bring about heaven on earth.

There's a massive doctoral thesis (if not career) in examining what went wrong in German Lutheranism in the 17th & 18th centuries [Edit: yes, these three spill over into the 19th...but the damage was done much earlier]. Kant, Hegel, and Marx all came from Lutheran backgrounds of varying strengths, and not a one of them seems to have learned much from it ó what with Hegel's near-pantheism, Marx's atheism, and whatever it was Kant was up to. All three turned out to be disasters for Western philosophy and society, and each one's specter continues to find ways to haunt the Church.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 12:39:39 AM by WJV »

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2020, 12:31:11 AM »
Ideas have consequences.  Any person who tried to rehabilitate Hitler or Mussolini would be considered either a fool or a threat.  You could say that people have tried to rehabilitate Marxism, but that would not be correct.  Marxism never went out of vogue.  Marxist ideas are pervasive in the humanities and the social sciences.  Mainline Protestants as well as Catholics have incorporated Marxism into theology.  Not even the Holomodor, the Purges, the Gulags, the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution were able to tarnish the image of Marxism among the elites.  Could you imagine American university students walking around campus with pictures of Himmler or Goebbels on their shirts?  No, but images of Che Guevara and Mao abound.

Again, like Peter and others, youíre missing an important distinction. Che and Mao make no argument for a superior race nor did they have as their goal the total extinction of a race of people.  Certainly, Mao has plenty of blood on his hands along with Che, but they were driven by a political philosophy. My point isnít to justify what they did,  but to note that that is far easier to compartmentalize than Nazism.

No.  Fascism and Communism have proven to be deadly ideologies.  They are both committed to death and destruction.  They are both demonic.  The public enemy in classical Marxism is a class of people, who must be destroyed.  This class was not defined racially or ethnically, but economically.  Still Marxism has consistently shone its own need for a scapegoat to destroy.  Modern Marxism has become more flexible, defining the enemy class in many ways, by race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  They seem silly, but if they ever get the reigns of power, there will be another bloodbath.  The Marxists in the BDS movement have even embraced anti-Semitism.


Again, I am not arguing that historically Marxists have no problem justifying scapegoating, murder, genocide and all kinds of destructive behaviors.  What I am saying is that just because it has that in common with Nazism does not mean it is the same.  I am talking about the philosophy of Marxism itself.  You canít come away from reading Das Capital believing that an entire race of people should be eradicated.  You can come away from reading Mein Kampf believing that an entire race of people and various ethnicities and subgroups should be. Thatís a huge difference and itís one that is helpful in understanding the appeal of Marxism throughout various generations despite its lack of success concerning its implementation. BDS does not prove the rule just as the KKK doesnít prove the rule about Christians.

Whatís more, we are beneficiaries of the positive influence of Marxism in some way, shape, or form. From unions to the 40 hour work week to the New Deal to pensions and on we could go.  The challenge is that the so-called Cultural Marxists arenít really aware of the purported philosophy that influences them. This is also why I donít like that term. Itís misleading and unhelpful.

Peace,
Scott+

You are convincing yourself, but not me.  First of all, my comparison was between Fascism and Marxism, Nazism being a subset of Fascism.  Secondly, the comparison had to do with two historically destructive and murderous ideologies.  I wasn't comparing their intellectual genealogies.  Third, I'm doubtful about your assertion that unions, 40 hour work weeks and the New Deal are direct descendants of Marxism.  There were movements of social reform that developed independently of Marxism.  Many were Christian, others were not.  Can you demonstrate the direct historical influence of Marxism on all three?  Finally, you are mistaken to think that Cultural Marxists, as you call them, are not aware of their Marxist lineage.  Cultural Marxism is a reference to the Frankfurt School and its intellectual progeny.  I'm pretty sure that people who have studied the Frankfurt School know that it is influenced by Marxism.  More importantly, I didn't speak of Cultural Marxism.  I was speaking of the Marxist influence on various theologies that I studied while in seminary.  The Marxist influence is was explicitly acknowledged in the texts that we read.
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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2020, 01:00:07 AM »
What are you objecting to as ďMarxist sloganeering and ideologyĒ at civil rights marches?

M. Staneck

Communists and other hard-line Marxists regularly attach themselves to any group/event that they think is helping to challenge capitalism and the "ruling class" (actually, this strategy was advocated in The Communist Manifesto). That's why you still see copies of the Daily Worker distributed at large marches and protests. So it would be difficult to march in any significant protest event without having some signs and symbols from the far left.

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2020, 01:03:18 AM »
Ideas have consequences.  Any person who tried to rehabilitate Hitler or Mussolini would be considered either a fool or a threat.  You could say that people have tried to rehabilitate Marxism, but that would not be correct.  Marxism never went out of vogue.  Marxist ideas are pervasive in the humanities and the social sciences.  Mainline Protestants as well as Catholics have incorporated Marxism into theology.  Not even the Holomodor, the Purges, the Gulags, the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution were able to tarnish the image of Marxism among the elites.  Could you imagine American university students walking around campus with pictures of Himmler or Goebbels on their shirts?  No, but images of Che Guevara and Mao abound.

Again, like Peter and others, youíre missing an important distinction. Che and Mao make no argument for a superior race nor did they have as their goal the total extinction of a race of people.  Certainly, Mao has plenty of blood on his hands along with Che, but they were driven by a political philosophy. My point isnít to justify what they did,  but to note that that is far easier to compartmentalize than Nazism.

No.  Fascism and Communism have proven to be deadly ideologies.  They are both committed to death and destruction.  They are both demonic.  The public enemy in classical Marxism is a class of people, who must be destroyed.  This class was not defined racially or ethnically, but economically.  Still Marxism has consistently shone its own need for a scapegoat to destroy.  Modern Marxism has become more flexible, defining the enemy class in many ways, by race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  They seem silly, but if they ever get the reigns of power, there will be another bloodbath.  The Marxists in the BDS movement have even embraced anti-Semitism.


So, what do you do with these lines from Mary's Song in Luke 1?


51 He has shown strength with his arm.
         He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52     He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
             and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
         and sent the rich away empty-handed.

Don't you think that "the powerful" who are on thrones is a class of people who are destroyed?
Don't you think that "the rich" are a class of people who are sent away empty-handed?

Christianity was a religion of the oppressed - until the oppressors (the Roman aristocracy) adopted Christianity and turned it into a religion that oppressed. As someone else said, Christianity began as a religion its adherents would die for. It became a religion that its adherents would kill for.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2020, 01:09:43 AM »
So far we have:

Early Christianity was basically Marxist
A little Marxism ain't so bad given the times
What Marxism?
At least Marxism isn't racist
There are some okay things about Marxism


Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2020, 01:28:11 AM »
Whatís more, we are beneficiaries of the positive influence of Marxism in some way, shape, or form. From unions to the 40 hour work week to the New Deal to pensions and on we could go.  The challenge is that the so-called Cultural Marxists arenít really aware of the purported philosophy that influences them. This is also why I donít like that term. Itís misleading and unhelpful.


The rise of unions in our country is likely what kept the proletariat (the working class) from rising up and overthrowing the bourgeoisie/capitalists. The unions gave the workers a powerful voice against the capitalists. They could bargain with them rather than overthrow them. Even in the work-places without unions, the capitalists needed to match wages and benefits that the unions are able to get for their workers. (When I served in Wyoming, about half the mines were union and the other half were not; but they had to offer about the same compensation and benefits as the union mines - or the workers would either unionize or go to the better paying union jobs.)


We had community organizers in Yuma. In many ways, they seek to give a voice to the voiceless people against the powerful institutions like banking, schools, health care, etc. by organizing them in large groups working together for the same goals they might be able to bargain with the powerful. The churches were one of the groups they sought to come on board to speak for and with the voiceless.


What Cesar Chavez (born in Yuma, AZ) was able to do for farm workers to give them a voice at the bargaining table with the farm owners, is not all that different from what Right-to-Life groups seek to do with the abortion industry. Both organized people to speak with a powerful voice against the injustice they believe was being done.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

DCharlton

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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2020, 01:40:33 AM »
Ideas have consequences.  Any person who tried to rehabilitate Hitler or Mussolini would be considered either a fool or a threat.  You could say that people have tried to rehabilitate Marxism, but that would not be correct.  Marxism never went out of vogue.  Marxist ideas are pervasive in the humanities and the social sciences.  Mainline Protestants as well as Catholics have incorporated Marxism into theology.  Not even the Holomodor, the Purges, the Gulags, the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution were able to tarnish the image of Marxism among the elites.  Could you imagine American university students walking around campus with pictures of Himmler or Goebbels on their shirts?  No, but images of Che Guevara and Mao abound.

Again, like Peter and others, youíre missing an important distinction. Che and Mao make no argument for a superior race nor did they have as their goal the total extinction of a race of people.  Certainly, Mao has plenty of blood on his hands along with Che, but they were driven by a political philosophy. My point isnít to justify what they did,  but to note that that is far easier to compartmentalize than Nazism.

No.  Fascism and Communism have proven to be deadly ideologies.  They are both committed to death and destruction.  They are both demonic.  The public enemy in classical Marxism is a class of people, who must be destroyed.  This class was not defined racially or ethnically, but economically.  Still Marxism has consistently shone its own need for a scapegoat to destroy.  Modern Marxism has become more flexible, defining the enemy class in many ways, by race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  They seem silly, but if they ever get the reigns of power, there will be another bloodbath.  The Marxists in the BDS movement have even embraced anti-Semitism.


So, what do you do with these lines from Mary's Song in Luke 1?

51 He has shown strength with his arm.
         He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52     He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
             and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
         and sent the rich away empty-handed.

Don't you think that "the powerful" who are on thrones is a class of people who are destroyed?
Don't you think that "the rich" are a class of people who are sent away empty-handed?

Christianity was a religion of the oppressed - until the oppressors (the Roman aristocracy) adopted Christianity and turned it into a religion that oppressed. As someone else said, Christianity began as a religion its adherents would die for. It became a religion that its adherents would kill for.

Mary was born over 1800 years before Marx, so I don't think she was directly influenced by Marxism.  Its more likely that Marx was influenced by the Bible.  Marx shares a concern for the poor and the oppressed with the Bible.  However, his versions of anthropology, hamartiology, heilsgeschichte and eschatology were significantly different.  I don't object to Marx's concern for the poor and the oppressed.  I object to creation of what amounts to a non-theistic materialist religion.   Marx would have done better either to stay within the bounds of science, or to stick to the Biblical understanding of salvation history.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 01:45:53 AM by DCharlton »
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Re: Christianity and Marxism
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2020, 01:42:58 AM »
So far we have:

Early Christianity was basically Marxist
A little Marxism ain't so bad given the times
What Marxism?
At least Marxism isn't racist
There are some okay things about Marxism


Again I ask you, What do you mean by Marxism? From Wiki: "In 1882, Engels claimed that Marx had criticized self-proclaimed Marxist Paul Lafargue by saying that if Lafargue's views were considered Marxist, then 'one thing is certain and that is that I am not a Marxist.'"


Are you talking about a Marxism that Karl Marx would recognize or something else?
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]