List Death

Hartin, Tony thartin at
Sat Aug 10 08:53:00 MDT 1996

Vladimir Bilenkin wrote:
> In one crucial aspect this list is no different from bona fide
> bourgeois ones.  Nothing changes.  There is no sense of progress,
> accumulation, growth.  There is no continuity, except of a scandalous
> or sectarian kind.  Above all, there is no any collective undertaking,
> any project which would have a beginning and an end and would make a
> contribution to our cause. In short, the list is socialist only in a
> superficial way, i.e. re its rhetorical content. But it is purely
> bourgeois re its use.
>   [...]
> 1.      Mapping the world, i.e. analysing the state of the
> revolutionary process around the globe in a systematic and planned
> way.  The end result of this work could be a report on the prospects
> and effective strategies of the world socialist movement which could be
> useful for both local/national struggles and larger organizational
> efforts, like a new International.

G'day comrades,,

I've been "listening in" to the list for a month or so. I didn't want to my
first post on the list to be a criticism of it, but Vladimir's post
impressed me so much I had to respond.

I agree with his assessment of the list taken as a whole, except to say that
the bourgeoisie are much more disciplined in defence of their class
interests. I would describe the list more as a middle class wank. Marxism2
also appears to be much the same except the atmosphere is so thin it is hard
to breath. The moderation of marxism2 doesn't appear to make it any more
useful in terms of direction etc.

Though not wanting to state the obvious I guess I feel I have to. The
contributions from some individuals on the list are superb, and the
moderators, list owners, and others,  obviously devote a lot of time and
effort to what could be a worthwhile cause.

But how to make the list more useful ? I agree with what Vladimir suggested,
though I don't think it is possible unless the list is constructed along
more leninist lines, i.e. elect a political leadership, agree on an agenda

It is possible that any attempts along these lines may add to the chaos on
the list, that the list sectarians will have a field day, but frankly unless
they are marginalised the list is fucked anyway.

I don't agree with moderation at this stage because as it exists it is
undisciplined. From what I can see moderators on marxism2 can
block postings and posters on their own individual terms. I would prefer a
structure where the list has much more input in this process.

I have no grand plan for this and maybe it's a bit utopian, but as an
interim measure, maybe the list leadership can provide a regular commentary
on the list, detailing useful threads, and by contrast, posts which should
have been blocked in the interests of the list and its agenda, but without
actually doing it at this stage. In that way the list as a whole could come
to some sort of agreement as to what constitutes useful contributions and
what don't.

All I'm suggesting I guess is the equivalent of a chaired meeting with
political direction.

The Left internationally is at low ebb. All this list is doing at the moment
is to reflect that fact. The challenge is to begin to turn things around.

Tony Hartin

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