Status Reports

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Mon Aug 26 14:14:21 MDT 1996

Jukka's razor on m2 chops up the possibilities neatly according to
category, and by doing so highlights the basic dilemma of the

>II "Basic Theories" (because some themes have been basic ones -
>                     this is just an idea): these are must ones?
>  Culture
>  History
>  Ideology
>  Marxist political economy
>  Modernity
>  Philosophy?
>  Politics/Struggle
>  State
>III Specialities: in several ways related to basic theories
>                  and to each others
>  Aesthetics
>  American Marxism
>  Communications & media
>  Dialectics?
>  Globalisation: from early imperialism to transnational era
>  Literature
>  Marx, Foucault, and Gramsci
>  Marxism vs. postmodernism
>  Mental health/psychiatric nursing
>  National/ethnic question (without the class struggle)
>  Organisation of work
>  Problems of Modern Communism
>  Restructuring the struggle in an era of neo-liberalism
>  Science
>  Soviet Bloc & Socialism
>  Theoretical & practical aspects of organisation
>The rest, forget them as such:
> * a specialized list about accumulation, imperialism, and ideology
>  Ideology, culture & marxist politics
>  Theory of the state, globalism and internationalism

See the problem? He's given us a great list of interesting *threads* and
*thread categories*! Managing the links if these were hypostatized as
separate lists would be a nightmare.

He gets closer to something workable, as he says himself, when he gets back
to basics:

>I  Basic lists: these are great, really working ideas
> * marxism-intro
> * about Marx's Capital

Now, the only thing I agree on really is the benefit an intro-list might
bring. Throwing people in at the deep end isn't too useful for teaching
them to swim, especially not if the pool's full of crocodiles, sharks and
leeches, and parts of it are choked up by waterweeds.

As for the other divisions, look at Marx himself, or Lenin.

Point one. We need, as Zeynep reaffirmed (was it here or elsewhere?) one
list that's a free-for-all, uncensored but moderated much the same as m1 is
now. Perhaps, if we want a label we could call it Marxism-General. In the
New Zealand net hierarchy, for instance, nz.general (a lovely group) has
much the same function, and is cheerfully characterized by the bloke who
characterizes the nz newsgroups in an FAQ as 'the cesspool of the
hierarchy'. In other words, organic, living, vibrant!

Point two. For those who feel the need, perhaps there should be some more
cloistered precinct called Marxism-Theory.

I take it for granted that all subscribers interested in praxis will
automatically gravitate to M-general, including party polemics, labour
movement threads, political and international events seen within a Marxist

Any further narrowing down of topics I would regard as an attempt to
establish a personal salon, a drawing-room community, that I regard as
repugnant to the spirit of Marx or any of the great Marxist
revolutionaries. Not that I wouldn't subscribe if such a thing were set up
(if they'd have me), but given the choice, I wouldn't set it up, I wouldn't
advise it and I'd vote against it.

Someone proposed (was it Hans in a reference to suggestions?) a kind of
super-list, organized by keywords  so that special interests can more
easily be traced. This is a very good idea if it can be made to work, maybe
more for the archives now than the actual forum of discussion.

As for the rules, they should be as flexible as possible, and we should
dump the rigid stand on cross-posting that's gutted m2. No expulsions,
except in extreme cases (and I mean *extreme*, like Nazis butting in and
putting people on hitlists, or *proven* police spies). The usual problems
of talking too much or too loud or too loony or farting in church can be
dealt with by those who take offence using the delete key or kill files.

By the way I don't think we the administrative authority necessary to make
Zeynep's proposals on voting procedures etc for unsubbing a workable
proposition. Without administrative authority they'd just become a rickety
bureaucratic shambles.



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