List operation : notes of a naive social-fascist liquidator gasbag etc

Jj Plant jplant at
Fri Oct 11 16:39:00 MDT 1996

In-Reply-To: <Pine.SUN.3.95L.961010140248.26956B-100000 at>
Louis commented on what is 'appropriate' for this list. If this list has been
destroyed already, then what does it matter. Press ahead with the new menu of
lists. Get them announced and working.

How do you think a moderated list would deal with posts supporting the murder
of workers leaders ? Do you think people who object to those murders will not
protest ? Of course they will. Volume rules will simply mean that it takes MUCH
longer to exhaust the subject.

Part of the process of trying to nail a lie consists in being tiresome, in
repeating questions, in pointing out evasions and falsifications. If you set up
rules that moderate ONLY by volume but permit content of accusations, threats
etc, then the list will get bogged down with very slow discussions about them.

Dealing with Adolfo's posts is an unpleasant task that has taken a lot of time,
and diverted me from other things I want to write. But it arose out of an
interesting discussion about Lenin's 'On Co-operation', which developed into a
comparison between the trotskyist and maoist strategies. On a moderated list,
or an unmoderated list with high quality participants, posters should have been
challenged to substantiate their accusations. Some subscribers to this list did
just that (and I thank them for it), but that was not enough to prevent a
continued flow of accusations about fascists, agents of this, that and the
other, and eventually physical threats of the silliest kind (which are silly
only in London of course. Even in London it is possible that these people would
try to follow up on Adolfo's threat against me. He was bright enough to accept
the option I gave him of backing off, but if any harm befalls me in the near
future, the entire archive of the discussion has been copied to a reliable
friend who will make it available to whoever has to investigate).

So how else could you deal with a development like Adolfo's behaviour on a
moderated list. You might decide, by vote or by moderatorial decision, that a
particular thread had to be transferred off the controlled list into an
uncontrolled one. That might work. But suppose the offending party declined to
continue the discussion there. Then he or she would have got away with the
accusations or threats by hiding behind the rules of moderation. What then ?
The moderated list would be discredited and the unmoderated list unworkable.
And 'Marxists across the planet' will have the same problem as before.

jplant at

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