[Marxism] Received from an ex-WSWS writer
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 14 10:37:15 MST 2017
(I explained to the comrade that I am a retired computer programmer even
though I like to play a professor on the Internet.)
Dear Prof. Proyect,
I was reading your entry on the WSWS from 2011. As a former member of
the SEP, and a former writer for the site (under my own name, xx), I can
shed some light on the means of its production.
The vast majority of the writing is done by members for free. There are,
from what I understand, some paid staff, but the bulk of the content is
provided by the rank and file and classified as "party work". It is
emphasized to the party membership that contributing to the site is of
utmost importance, and while not every member does, many do.
The quick turnaround is down to the rigorous training in Trotskyist
Marxism, with a number of the higher-placed members being dedicated to
certain areas of coverage and having a fair bit of experience or
intensive training after having been elevated through the ranks. A
number of non-paid members also drop everything to write on immediate
issues developing in their location or area of expertise.
The editing and proofing process (I was also a proofreader for a while)
follow suit in that it is volunteer, with vetting for correct outlook as
well as grammatical and spelling errors (with, it must be noted,
"allowances" made for international differences - "colour" vs. "color",
They do not like the Oxford Comma, which is not my only disagreement,
and not the reason I left.
Having been involved with the SEP (Socialist Equality Party) from 2005
through 2015, I was of course trained to think of Marxism as having one
valid way of thinking with all deviations from their brand of orthodox
Trotskyism considered to be anything from Opportunist to a matter of
Political Retreat, Subjectivism, Reformism, or coming under the
influence of Alien Class Forces.
Ultimately the combination of the workload and a few other things (some
possibly subjective, sure, but significant), including what I see as an
ahistorical view of race relations and an unwillingness on their part to
allow questions to be raised without accusations being hurled or assumed
(surely not creating an atmosphere conducive to education, and certainly
not patiently Explaining!), rendered it impossible to stay.
All that is to say, I appreciate your writing, and am looking forward to
reading more as I continue my studies elsewhere and strive to actually
work for change. I miss writing to a deadline, though I do not miss
being on what essentially turned into the Explosions, Cops, And Teen
beat regarding films and other video reviews.
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