Moderator's note

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Aug 14 13:59:16 MDT 2003

David Walters wrote:
> Louis,
>  I humbly beg to disagree with you. We spend a lot of time bashing the
> SWP on this list...with no one to actually defend the SWP. Laura comes
> quietly along to provide the dialectical counter-point to this
> bashing...and you think she posts too much. I don't think she's posted
> enough and I, and I presume others, like to engage her in this
> discussion. She hasn't slandered anyone, hasn't falsified anyone's
> record and she certainly hasn't used bad language. I'd cut her some
> slack. At least give it another day or two...

Let me take this opportunity to make a point I made a while back but
probably wasn't emphasized enough. I am dead-set opposed to people
posting 10 times a day in hasty debates where one participant waits in a
state of near hyperventilation for their opponent's next email in order
to furiously and rapidly dash off their reply, with misspellings and all.

I am for debate. Let me repeat this with emphasis. I AM FOR DEBATE.

What I am opposed to is Marxmail turning into Marxtalk. Go to the
archives of Doug Henwood's list and you will find such debates going on
for weeks at least, with no new information added. Since he set the
thing up to encourage *talk*, I can only say that the end result at
least conforms to his original vision.

I had a different vision for Marxmail. I see it as a much more scholarly
list, not only in comparison with LBO-Talk but with all the lists at CSF
in Colorado and even those at H-Humanities that are top-heavy with
tenured professors.

Although I can't force anybody to actually go to a library and read
something about Cuba, global warming or indigenous society, I can use my
moderator's prerogatives from preventing Marxmail subscribers from
posting 25 times a day without regard to whether their posts contribute
any *new information* that will allow others to understand the world better.

Most email lists DO NOT have people posting 10 times a day. This is
typical of Usenet and email lists for rock-and-roll or sports fans. As a
number of folks know from experience, when you start reaching that
number, I will send you a note to tell you to ease up. There are many
people on this list who have neither the time nor the energy to sift
through 150 messages a day. Some live in third world countries where
dial-up costs are at a premium.

Any *serious Marxist thinker* should be able to organize his or her
thoughts and contribute 4 to 5 posts a day during a heated debate. If
you are posting upwards of twice as many, I am skeptical whether you
actually have something that substantial to say.


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