talking & action (was Re: carol and lou on religion)

Alan Maki alanmaki at
Sat Dec 30 10:49:24 MST 2000

Several suggestions:

1. Perhaps there could be a "calendar of events"

2. Members of the list could provide a brief description of activities they are
involved in and state any suggestions for solidarity action via the web:

a. e-mail protests

b. on-line petitions

c. as in the case of prolonged strikes such as Mine-Mill in Sudbury suggested
solidarity resolutions, donations, etc.

3. Provide a Marxist dialogue with suggeted reading materials from Marx,
Engels-- ie. a discussion of sweatshops--- why not a discussion of "Value, Price
and Profit" (and make a copy available on-line, this would help acquaint younger
people with Marxism.

Judging from the mail I received regarding the few postings that I made over the
last couple days that generated quite a little controversy yet also generated a
great deal  of interest and questioning along the same lines I was thinking...
It seems to me some of these things are worth a little expirmentation......
maybe we could start a little project around the strike in Sudbury??

Would it be possible to dedicate a few pages posted permanently on the "list"
web site?




Alan Maki
  >From: Doyle Saylor >Reply-To: marxism at >To: >Subject: Re:
talking & action (was Re: carol and lou on religion) >Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000
22:43:22 -0800 > >Greetings Comrades, > Alan's questions about the connection of
action to an e-list are valid. >I'd like to add a few of my thoughts on the
issues that need to be thought >of concerning connecting e-lists to action. This
list has about 300 >subscribers with a very substantial international component.
Picture trying >to coordinate international action with about 300 people. > >
What sort of organization does an e-list suggest? Most organization on >the left
has arisen from first of all worker organization in a specific job >site and
geographic location for an industry or trade. Then using the press >of the left
nationally as a single voice. > > Most people on the list here are not here
because of being organized to >be here. They came looking for something. How
does one go about organizing >people to be here and then use that to action in
the real world? This >information here differs from a press or newspaper in the
sense that people >directly involved in actions could easily write for this
list, but what is >the organizational ability of the list to put back into some
local effort? > > There is of course the potential for growth on a list so that
a list >might represent enough people to really affect local organization (with
>thousands of locals reading the list to get their information about what is >happening.
How does one see using a list in that way? The electronic form >is significantly
different from traditional print forms of media that the >left has access to.
The lack of geographic barriers to the community talk. >The difficulty of
coordinating people through an e-list. I mean how to get >people to do something
together through writing into a list that would >actually have a real impact
upon real working class actions? The >overwhelming of mental ability that
happens to anyone when disputes break >out and there are hundreds of e-mails to
read per day. > > These seem to me to be just the beginning of the sort of
questions that >might be debated about the relationship of action to the sub
e-list. In a >fundamental sense the small population size of the lists, the
large number >of people who simply lurk in the background while a small subset
of people >actually write in suggest there are many areas that need development
before >action becomes seriously possible. The sheer volume of mail that makes
it >hard for people to keep up for moderators, regular contributors and lurkers.
>The constant turmoil with disputes to resolve in some kind of positive >fashion
are all connected to what Alan was asking about action. > > Alan talks about how
he was going around Canada to organize, which is >totally different way of
organizing than what one could think of doing with >a subscription e-list. There
is no such thing as a particular location for >meeting with the subscribers.
There are other lists with different mixes of >participants with different
reasons to participate. But one doesn't have to >travel to get there, and the
reason why people stay with a list are quite >different from why one comes to a
meeting about struggle. Or for that >matter join a party. These differences are
important aspects of the changes >that are occurring in workers culture through
the tools of electronic >communications. Shop floor organizing has always
dominated workers getting >organized. An e-list suggest that organizing can be
important simply on >line. > > Being on line develops one's mind in a way that
is impossible given the >limited nature of face to face discussions have in
regular real life. This >mental development may move people forward in ways that
have been impossible >before. Showing people how directly alike all our thinking
is quickly in a >matter of hours or showing how deep disputes are long before
they could be >summarized in a press. Show how much power there is many talking
at once. >Show how much has never been tried before in organizing people which >creative
people can figure out and go forward with. >some thoughts, >Thanks, >Doyle
Saylor > >

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