*TCS Resource Center*

PowerKord at aol.com PowerKord at aol.com
Wed Apr 5 05:12:13 MDT 1995


Dear Socialist/Progressive Persons & Orgs,

I hope all are well.

Below are two documents.  The first is an abridged version of the promotional
email sent to AOL members upon the creation of 'The Cooperative Society'
Discussion Forum (TCS), located on America Online.  This Forum (and it's
sister Forum, the TCS Technology Discussion Forum) is the *sole* Socialist
area on America Online or CompuServe.  We are a small Socialist "island", if
you will.

The second document, titled 'The Cooperative Society' Resource Center, was
recently posted in 'The Cooperative Society' Discussion Forum.  We are trying
to promote each of your organizations, publications, or Internet mail lists
to the progressive and Socialist community on AOL, through inclusion in this
online resource.

Based on what you can glean from the content of this communication, if you
are pleased with our work, it would be helpful to the growth of Socialism on
America Online if you could kindly assist us, in whatever way(s) you are
comfortable with, in promoting the TCS Discussion Forum.  A short online, as
well as offline press release, including instructions to get to the Forum
area, would probably be very helpful.  If anyone decides to assist, please
drop me a quick e-note describing what you are doing.

All power to the working-class.

Best,

Vincent Christopher De Benedetto
PowerKord at aol.com

* * * * *
DOCUMENT 1

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce the creation of the America Online 'The Cooperative
Society' Discussion Forum (folder), the successor to the America Online
Socialist Discussion Forum.  The SDF, having reached it's maximum of 500
posts, is now closed to further posting.

I am equally pleased to announce the creation of the America Online 'The
Cooperative Society' Technology Discussion Forum (folder), dedicated to
exploration of issues surrounding the increasingly oppressive and problematic
link between capitalism and technology, computer technology in particular.
 The relationship between the scientist and the philosopher is a
well-established one, and the Forum seeks to continue, and to build on, that
tradition.

Both Forums are fully independent discussion areas, affiliated with, and
supported by, no other country, and no political party.  The Forums advocate
only "Libertarian" Socialism, ie that form of Socialism that is fully
democratic in practice, and achieved through the democratic process.
 Discussion and debate from a spiritual and religious standpoint are
welcomed, as well.  I would refer interested persons to the Charter Messages
of both Forums for a fuller treatment of these topics.

To all who have made the previous Socialist Discussion Forum such a success,
and one of the fastest-growing folders in the Philosophy area, including our
core of Forum regulars, please accept my tremendous thanks!  I know that I
can count on the continued support and participation of all in both new
America Online Forums.

Prior to the establishment of the original Socialist Discussion Forum, AOL
had, and still has, a full complement of permanent Forums devoted to
mainstream and many right-of-center political views, but absolutely none
devoted to legitimate academic, religious, or other discussion of democratic
Socialist and Anarchist political theory.  One need only visit the Capital
Connection for a strong and immediate sense of this imbalance.

America Online has previously seen fit to partially redress this imbalance,
however, by accomodating the creation and existence of the original Socialist
Discussion Forum folder.

In creating the original Socialist Discussion Forum, and now it's successors,
we have enlarged the spectrum of political debate on America Online, and we
are proud to have created and encouraged an atmosphere of intelligence,
civility, and community in which to have done so.  Such activity enhances the
general attractiveness of the America Online service, and may even make it a
more appealing center of activity for those in the academic world.

More knowledge, rather than less, can only benefit the America Online
Community, regardless of the political view individuals ultimately come to
hold; Thomas Jefferson's admonition regarding an informed citizenry is as
true today as it ever was.

I am proud to point to the very high level of intellectual and spiritual
discourse practiced in the Forum, as well as the overriding civility with
which it is conducted.

Here is a very brief sampling of actual feedback from Forum visitors:

10/31/94>>>As for the Socialist post area, I am FLOORED!  I mean that!  I was
just there last nite, and the nite before, having witnessed the growth of the
folder first hand!<<<


11/01/94>>>Gents:

Damn the tone and thoughtfulness of the contributors to this folder,  just
when I thought I could reduce my on-line time.  The discussions are
facinating (sic), refreshing and long-overdue.<<<


01/05/95>>...I probably would not be an AOL "member" if it weren't for that
forum.  I had a hard disc crash in August...I put off deciding whether to
reconnect with AOL... because about the only thing I used it for was sporadic
access to the Mercury Center.  It wasn't until I saw an Internet post about
the formation of the Socialist Discussion Forum that I got around to calling
and finding out how to reconnect.<<<


02/16/95>>>I'm new to AOL...after skimming some of the postings in this file,
I look forward to reading them all and entering the debate. Right now, I just
want to congratulate...for creating a forum for principled debate --
civilization, not barbarism on aol!<<<


The Forums encourage those persons affiliated with political parties,
organizations, universities, the media, or science and technology-related
institutes, who are in a position to tell their members about the existence
of the Forum, to do so.  Advertising the Forums is important for their
vitality and growth.

Given that America Online is now the leading commercial information service
in America, let us value the existence of 'The Cooperative Society'
Discussion Areas.

My Best To All,

Vincent Christopher De Benedetto
PowerKord
__________________________
To get to 'The Cooperative Society' Discussion Forums:
Keyword "ethics" or "religion" to "Philosophy/Ethics/Debate" to "Philosophy"
to "topics" to 'The Cooperative Society' Discussion Forums.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

DOCUMENT 2


** 'THE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY' RESOURCE CENTER **

*Partial List of Socialist Organizations*
*Selected Socialist Publications*
*Selected Socialist Internet mail lists (with subscription protocols)*
____________________________________
____________________________________

INTRODUCTION
_____________

Greetings to 'The Cooperative Society' Discussion Forum!

I hope all are well.

On March 25, 1995 A Forum participant emailed me the following request:

>>>...any guidance you may offer in the way of reading material,
organizations, dogma or suggestions would be appreciated. <<<

The America Online TCS Resource Center is my attempt to accommodate this
entreaty.

I have compiled here a partial roster of Socialist organizations,
publications, and Internet mail lists.  For ease of reference I refer to
these collectively as "contact points".  My two guiding criteria in compiling
this list was that all contact points, insofar as possible:

*formally represent revolutionary democratic Socialism, not reformism, and

*support "Libertarian" Socialism, whereby the change of society is
democratically decided-upon by a majority ballot, and afterward, management
of the society is democratic, as well

I have had personal experience with a number of contact points; I have tried
to indicate otherwise when necessary.  There are a tremendous number of
revolutionary Socialist contact points in existence which this relatively
short list has not included, academic and institutional journals, for
example.  Many of these contact points are fine and their exclusion in this
brief treatment is no indicator of their quality or desirability.

Many of the contact points that are included in this Resource Center came to
me by way of others online, and to them the Forum owes a debt.

Also, if Forum participants wish to post contact information for other
organizations here in the TCS Forum, I would encourage them to do so,
providing they maintain a good-faith belief that the groups in question
represent both democratic and revolutionary Socialism, in keeping with the
above-stated criteria, and the Charter Message.

It should be pointed out that involvement in the Socialist movement is not
the only way to attempt to improve our world, though in the long-term it is
arguably the most meaningful way.  There are many fine left-oriented and
progressive organizations and parties; however, in keeping with the
revolutionary stance of this Forum I have opted to concentrate on contact
points that openly and clearly maintain a revolutionary position.

I fully encourage all Forum participants to explore as many contact points as
they can.  In this way self-education occurs, and one slowly finds their own
North Star in the Socialist Universe.  However, the gentle newcomer should be
forewarned that, as briefly chronicled in my recent posts entitled
"Reflections", not everyone who calls themselves a "Socialist" is a nice
person.  And not everyone who believes in this philosophy of cooperation and
fraternity is cooperative and fraternal.  This reality was, and is, difficult
for me to grapple with, emotionally if not intellectually.

Accordingly, inclusion in this Resource Center document does not in any way
imply my personal agreement or advocacy of any contact point.  As a matter of
fact, were the Forum participants to know some of the oppression I myself
have experienced at the hand of some of the very organizations listed here,
they might applaud my charity--or denounce my stupidity--at listing some of
these groups.

I have listed everyone, however, because I believe that:

1. change comes from communication and example, not isolation and
blacklisting

2. the love ethic and a spirit of cooperation must underpin the Socialist
movement, and probably even Socialism itself (God, how sick you all must be
of hearing me say this), and

3. a significant part of the factionalism of this movement can probably be
summed up in one three letter word:  E - G - O.  I therefore try not to fall
prey to this demon.

I guess I'm a de facto student of the sociology of Socialists and Socialist
organizations, because I tend to take strong note of the individual and
collective behavior of persons in the Socialist movement (myself included).
 Of course, not everyone appreciates having such a person around.  Many do
not.  Compelling people to be true to their stated beliefs is not an easy
business, and in doing so one does not win any Socialist popularity contests.
 However, it is reasonable to assume that this movement, as any other,
benefits from the work of a gadfly.  In Socrates, I am in good company.

Having been in this movement for about ten years now, I feel myself in a good
position to advise newcomers of some of the pitfalls associated with actually
involving oneself with real-life Socialists, and the real-world Socialist
movement.  If thinking critically, the idealistic beginner will sooner or
later encounter what is perhaps the most substantive defect in the Socialist
movement:  authoritarianism.  That is, powerholders inappropriately using
power to control people or situations.  This occurs for a variety of reasons.
 This defect has an interesting companion defect:  the failure of
people-at-large within the movement to recognize, counter, and ultimately
stop authoritarian elements.

Be forewarned.  Socialism means democracy and people-control across the
board.  If the individual or group that you are dealing with tends to act
unilaterally and/or secretively, put your antenna up!  If those around you
are ignoring such behavior, it may be time to look for comrades in another
part of the movement.  Or, if after careful study, you and your comrades
conclude that the Socialist group to which you belong is hopelesslessly
authoritarian and power-hungry, go ahead full-force and agitate to
democratically replace the leadership or restructure the organization.  Such
an act is perfectly in keeping with both the Socialist and the American
revolutionary spirit.  Socialism is largely, though not completely, a
*collectivist* philosophy.  Unilateral coercive action therefore, *should* be
utterly repugnant to this movement.

Having written all this, and given these disturbing realities, I still find
myself affiliated with this movement.  This is because, for all their flaws,
Socialists  understand the fundamental truths of our time:  capitalism is a
slave system, and it's effects are too-often criminal.  On this basis, I
possess a loose kinship with Socialists that has so far endured.  Let
tomorrow bring what it may.

Best to All,

Vincent Christopher De Benedetto

PowerKord

5:15 AM Sunday, April 02, 1995
_______________________________
_______________________________


** 'THE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY' RESOURCE CENTER **

*Partial List of Socialist Organizations*
*Selected Socialist Publications*
*Selected Socialist Internet mail lists (with subscription protocols)*

* * * * *

*PARTIAL LIST OF SOCIALIST ORGANIZATIONS*

De Leonist (ie Syndicalist):

New Union Party:
NUP at delphi.com
621 W.  Lake Street
Suite 210
Minneapolis, MN  55408
612-823-2593
Jeff Miller

Industrial Union Party:
P.O. Box 533
White Plains, New York  10603-1506
Murray Block

Socialist Labor Party:
thepeople at igc.apc.org
thepeople at delphi.com
75702.1036 at compuserve.com

_____________________

Anarcho-Syndicalist:

Industrial Workers of the World
(415) 863-WOBS
e-mail: iww at igc.apc.org
_____________________
Anarchist:

Love and Rage Federation, NYC
718-834-9077
Mat/Rachael
_____________________
Coalition Parties:

Socialist Party USA
516 W. 25th Street #404
New York, New York 10001
212-691-0776
AOL:  SPUSA
_____________________
Other Socialist Groups (no direct personal experience):

California Peace & Freedom Party
AOL:  TomCondit

Socialist Workers' Party
212-242-5530 SWP Nat'l Hdqtrs
406 West Street
NY, NY 10014

Detroit Solidarity
cfc at igc.apc.org
______________________
______________________

*SELECTED PUBLICATIONS/PRESSES*

The New Unionist
published by the New Union Party (listed above)

The New System
published intermittently by the Industrial Union Party (listed above)

The People
published by the Socialist Labor Party (listed above)

Libertarian Labor Review
Box 2824
Champaign, IL 61825
Anarchosyndicalist ideas and discussion; recent article by Noam Chomsky

Discussion Bulletin
small Libertarian Socialist 'zine; well-established and international
address forthcoming or perhaps someone else can post it

212-388-9346 Pathfinder Books
affiliated with the Socialist Workers Party (listed above)

The Earth Echo, a quarterly print newspaper, focusing on E-cology, C-ulture,
H-ealth, and the O-rganizations that represent them.
This publication features my print column entitled 'The Cooperative Society',
the hardcopy companion to the AOL 'The Cooperative Society' Discussion Forum,


For a U.S. subscription, send $8.00 to:   Earth Echo, PO Box 8118
Paramus, NJ  07653.   Or may be picked up at health food stores, restaurants,
and small shops in the Northern New Jersey area.   Send postcard to above
address to ask for specific locations.
___________________________________
___________________________________

*SELECTED INTERNET MAIL LISTS/INFO SERVICES (WITH SUBSCRIPTION PROTOCOLS)*


Syndicalist (ie "One Big Union):

1-UNION:    Send the following one-line message to listserv at lever.com:
sub 1-union  YOUR-FIRST-NAME  YOUR-LAST-NAME
_______________

Marxism:  send email to:  majordomo at jefferson.village.virginia.ed with the
message:  subscribe marxism [your first name] [your last name]

Academically-oriented list; Light to medium volume-about  4 to 8 articles per
day.
_______________
Anarchism:

Practical @narchy Online"
 (the ampersand is usually used in place of the "A").  For
 subscriptions by e-mail contact the editor, Chuck Munson, at the
 address:  cm150 at umail.umd.edu
_______________
Coalition:

SocNet (Socialist Party USA; list moderation can be heavy-handed):  send an
email message to "majordomo at world.std.com" with the message "subscribe
SocNet".
_______________
GEnie:  The Genie network has  two related areas:  one called "Socialist
Forum", which is more about  practical efforts to organize unions and parties
and movements, and  another one called "Industrial Democracy", which is more
about the concept of workers managing the industries in a new classless
 society.

 Genie has about 300,000 subscribers.  Today Genie's only internet service
 is e-mail, but  next week they will be adding "full" internet" (FTP, telnet,
gopher,  etc., plus 18,000 newsgroups).  Genie costs $9.95 per month in most
 parts of the U.S. which have local telephone access lines.  It's
 available in 22 countries but I don't know the prices elsewhere.  For
 Genie information in U.S., phone:  (800) 638-9636
_______________
Other lists:

PNEWS      described as "people before profits - limited to left
            wing participation" - mostly international news articles
            (ecology, racism, unions, antu-war, etc.).  Some Stalinist
            influence.  650 subscribers.  Heavy volume - between 50
            and 75 articles per day.  send subscription request to:
 <pnews-request at world.std.com>.
_______________
 LEFT-L     described as "building a democratic left" - unlike PNEWS,
            mostly discussion/debate, instead of news articles.  Also
            heavy volume - between 50 and 75 articles per day/to subscribe:
  send a note to:  listserv at cmsa.berkeley.edu

 Place the following command in the body of the message:
 subscribe left-l <your full name>
_______________
 LEFT-ORG   A new list for discussing specific left organizations.
            Started by the same person, Nathan Newman, who started
            LEFT-L, when he decided to separate out the discussons
            about organizations from all the other discussions.  Sub info to
be posted  by me or someone else.
_______________
 SOCIAL-L   Operated by the Socialist Club at M.I.T.   Light
            volume - usually one or 2 articles per week.   To subscribe send
email to  listserv at mitvma.mit.edu with the one-line  command:   sub social-l
  your-first-name  your-last-name
_______________
PEACENET:  there are several resources for socialists on PeaceNet, including
the <gen.socialism> conference, which is active, the Usenet
<alt.politics.socialism> newsgroup, which is available to our members,
the excellent ecological-socialist magazine published in Australia,
_Greenleft News_, and the <glasnost.news> conference, which reports on
developments in the former socialist bloc.  Committees of
Correspondence has an account on PeaceNet -- and so do a large number of
other left and socialist organizations.  peacenet at igc.apc.org for
subscription info.
_______________
"alt.politics.radical-left":  an Internet "usenet" newsgroup, and is
accessible via AOL's Internet Connection.  It is a Socialist/leftist message
board, with over four-thousand messages posted at any given time.

(To get to the Forum:  keyword 'ethics' to phil-ethics-debate to phil to
topics to the TCS Forum)

* * * * *
'THE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY' RESOURCE CENTER/Addendum #1

* * * * *

Please refer to the 4-part TCS Resource Center document here in the Forum,
for a description of both of these resources.  The TCS Forum extends special
Thanks to Mike Lepore, co-manager of 1-UNION, for his work in securing this
information, and for writing some of the above copy describing various
Internet lists.

* * * * *


DISCUSSION BULLETIN

This is Frank Girard's official information file for the DB.
I don't think they are up to using e-mail yet.  I don't know of
a phone number.


 ________________________________________________

 About the Discussion Bulletin
 ________________________________________________

 The Discussion Bulletin is affiliated with the Industrial Union Caucus
 in Education (IUCE).  It was designed to serve as the financially and
 politically independent forum of a little-known sector of political
 thought.  It places the great divide in the "left", not between
 anarchists and Marxists, but between capitalism's statist left wing of
 vanguardists and social democrats, and the real revolutionaries of our
 era:  the non-market, anti-statist, libertarian socialists.  It is
 organized in small groups of syndicalists, communist anarchists,
 libertarian municipalists, world socialists, socialist industrial
 unionists, council communists, and left communists.

 The perspective of these groups with their rejection of capitalism's
 wage, market, and money system, along with capitalist politics and
 unionism, constitutes the only real alternative to capitalism in both
 its market and statist phases.

 In the DB the often fiercely antagonistic groups that make up this
 sector can debate and discuss the issues that divide them, gain some
 understanding of their history and future possibilities, and begin a
 process, we hope, of at least limited cooperation.

 The pages of the DB are open to anyone in this political sector, the
 only limitation being that submissions be typewritten, single-spaced,
 and copier ready.  We do no editing here.  As to content, we assume
 that submissions will be relevant to the purpose of the DB and will
 avoid personal attacks.

                        Subscription Information

 The Discussion Bulletin is published bimonthly.  The price of a
 six-issue, one year subscription:

 U.S.       Individual subscription $3; Library $5

 Non-U.S.   Surface Mail:  Individual sub. $5;  Library $10
            Air Mail:      Individual sub. $10; Library $15

 Discussion Bulletin
 P.O. Box 1564
 Grand Rapids, MI 49501 USA


* * * * *

LEFT-ORG

To sub to LEFT-ORG you'd have to send a one-line e-mail to
listserv at cmsa.berkeley.edu
In the text field you'd have to write
sub left-org firstname lastname
where your name gets substituted into there.
Your e-mail address is recognized automatically.

(If you don't like using your real name, it still works if you put a
silly nickname in place of your real name.)

Nathan Newman can be reached at newman at garnet.berkeley.edu
if anyone has a technical problem.

Unlike most internet lists, only subscribers can post articles to any
lists which Nathan establishes -- that's the way he chooses to set
them up.  What can be done is subscribe but also turn off the
mailings, so as not to get mailings if they are not wanted at a given time,
but to still authorization to post.
This can be done by sending two
lines:   sub left-org firstname lastname
set nomail noack noreply
* * *
END









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