Pathfinder Press's promotion of Trotsky online

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at
Mon Oct 16 19:39:42 MDT 2000

    As was entirely predictable, Pathfinder Press's attempt to force the
Marxist Internet Archive to suppress a handful of articles by Leon Trotsky
has had the opposite effect: the "banned" articles are now being republished
on other sites less vulnerable to Pathfinder's lawyers and have been
packaged in an easy-to-download form.

    The following is from one such site, in Germany:

*   *   *

"What is this page about?
For the last couple of years the "Marxists Internet Archive" (MIA) at
has made classic Marxist texts available online. The archive contains among
others e.g the most important works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, V.I.
Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg und many others. And more articles are being
all the time. The MIA is an excellent example of the kind of worldwide
that created the internet in the first place.

Now the MIA is under attack---and not by a right-wing government oranything
like that, but by a "leftist" publishing house.

Pathfinder Press is the imprint of the "Socialist Workers' Party" of the
On the 6th of October the MIA received a letter from lawyers representing
Press. The letter demands that the MIA remove certain texts (of which
has published paper editions) from the archive and stops the distribution of
a CD-ROM containing a snapshot of the entire archive.

This page is a reaction to these threats. The Marxist movement has always
to make its books and pamphlets available at the lowest possible cost.
artificial scarcity---as Pathfinder Press is trying to do---is a perversion
belonging to capitalist speculation, nothing to do with Marxism. Trotsky
turn in his grave!"

* * *

    In addition to links to each of the individual pieces, the site offers a
conveniently zipped 700K  archive with all the works. Purely for
investigational purposes, and already owning copies of the material in
question, which gives me the right to copy it for archival purposes, I
downloaded the file. It took six seconds, plus perhaps a couple of more to
click on the link and then on the dialogue box to save it. Of course I have
a DSL connection. On a modem it would take a few minutes.

    Pathfinder Press, get a clue!


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