Moderating Panel?

Jon Beasley-Murray jpb8 at
Mon Nov 13 19:41:57 MST 1995

On Mon, 13 Nov 1995 owner-marxism-digest at wrote:

> From: "Matt D." <afn02065 at>
> Date: Mon, 13 Nov 95 12:35:32 EST
> Subject: Re: Moderating Panel?
> It seems to me that this list is *entirely* non-moderated.  What
> functions have Jon or Lisa performed, or will you perform, that
> you would describe as "moderation"?

I should point out (because it may not be obvious) that there is quite a
bit of banal technical work that gets done, and second that there is a
need for someone to liase with the spoon collective, who run this list.

Any other ideas about what I (at least) mean by a moderator are in the
post I sent out when I stopped being one.  Essentially, I think what Chris
is getting at is that it might not be a bad idea to have a group of people
who have a concern that there be productive discussion of marxism in
cyberspace through this discussion list--and thus who aren't just going
to drop out when things get rough, but are going to try and make the
discussion continue or resume in a useful way.

> What "policy issues" are there?  There is no censorship of posts and
> no exclusion of posters, right?

Yup, this is the only policy [second thoughts, maybe not: see below; what
policy there is in the info list that you get when you sign up; this can
and should always be up for discussion, however.  Get another copy if you
want by sending the message "info marxism" to
majordomo at].  Sometimes these policies are under
debate, however.

> My own feeling is that this sort of formalism is (1) unnecessary, and
> (2) encourages power-tripping, as evidenced by your own list of
> "possible pitfalls."

You may well be right.  But I'd put it the other way round.  In that
there does *have* to be at least one named "moderator" (even if this is
not the best word) to do spoon liason and technical stuff, this person
sometimes feels responsible in some way for the way the list goes etc (I
think this is the other side of the "power-tripping" coin).  Best,
perhaps, to spread this out and prevent this (irrational, maybe) sense of
responsibility becoming i. a burden and ii. a power-trip.

> Non-marxists have *the entire rest of the internet* to expound their
> views.

Alternatively, there are in fact very few places on the internet for
*anyone* to discuss marxism.  Marxists, after all, also have *the entire
rest of the internet* to expound their views--whether on the Green Bay
Packers or on or whatever.

In my opinion (and this is, I suppose, another item of "policy"), this
should be a list about marxism not a list for marxists.  That's how it
has always been intended.

> If we are to have real moderators, they *must* be marxists.

So I would disagree with this.

> - -- Matt D.

Take care


Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at

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