[Marxism] "For members only" ISO documents now available: when will they ever learn?

Ratbag Media ratbagradio at gmail.com
Fri Feb 14 08:25:16 MST 2014


I have had a few recent discussions about this in regard to the way the
Socialist Alliance here in Australia has an open written discussion
protocol and has had for over a decade. The party's discussion material has
always been available  as pdf or Word doc downloads; and  since 2008 the
exchanges and contributions can  be read online as public web pages.

Of course some folk will say that that restricts what you can say, esp in
way of criticism, as you'll self censor. I don't know about that. That
seems very much a POV ruled by the eye of the beholder....as I can't say
I've noticed those constraints in play.

Often, I suspect, it is a excuse for not contributing.

The  practical reality is that there is no  alternative to so proceeding.
In the digital age no document is secret or exclusive and you are a fool if
you think you can keep any exchange private -- once it is digitised. If
it's worth leaking, it will be leaked...and shared. The more coarsely
critical it is, the greater will be its  share value - no matter how
'hidden' its source.

Analogous to this is the use of online communities as discussional hubs --
such as blogs, elists and much more often now, facebook. These make
formalising party sponsored discussion very difficult to cultivate because
these other forums activate ready exchanges and threads.

They're more immediate.There's greater tooing and froing.

So today you cannot presume that written party discussions are proceeding
in the one 'approved' place . Members are going to make their contributions
in a number of online outlets.

That's a problem not because any discussion is 'public' but  because not
everyone  can be party to the exchanges ---  only some members are going to
troll (all) the online sites.

So you get several layers of written discourse. ..and there is no way you
can control the chit chat even if you wanted to. If members are threatened
by a party leadership, and told to shut up online, as we've seen within the
UK SWP recently,  they'll simply deploy pseudonyms and publish
independently.

While it is somewhat archaic to believe you can keep your discussions in
house, you can also kid yourself that your internal discourse is so
important that it needs to be protected.But from who? Most of this stuff no
one outside your ranks is interested in..and even if they were that
demographic is really quite small...assuming no scandal is on offer.



 dave riley



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