[Marxism] Received from an ex-WSWS writer

Louis Proyect 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", 
for example).

They do not like the Oxford Comma, which is not my only disagreement, 
and not the reason I left.

Other stuff:

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.

Best regards,

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