Re: [OPE-L] PRC Versus MIA?

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Mon Feb 05 2007 - 09:24:28 EST

The story has hit the bougeois press.  The tone and content of _The New
York Times_ article below is very predictable.  How they love stories like

In solidarity, Jerry

Who's Attacking an Online Marxist Archive? China Is Suspected of Trying to
Block Access to Texts - New York Times

Published: February 5, 2007

If ever there was a believer in the power of the written word, it was the
best-selling author and former librarian Mao Zedong.

As he explained to an early chronicler of his life, Edgar Snow, "Three
books especially deeply carved my mind, and built up in me a faith in
Marxism, from which, once I had accepted it as the correct interpretation
of history, I did not afterwards waver." Those books, he said, were Marx's
"Communist Manifesto" and a history of socialism and a history of class

According to the Marxist Internet Archive (, an online
community that produces and organizes an ever-growing Marxist library, the
wheel has turned full circle. People at the site believe that computer
attacks primarily from China are jeopardizing its ability to provide
Marxist texts, perhaps forcing the library to stop providing material in

"We are not 100 percent sure this is the Chinese government; there are a
lot of possibilities," said Brian Basgen, who has worked on the archive
since 1990. But he noted that the archive has been temporarily banned by
the Chinese government before, about two years ago. "There is a motive,"
he said. "They have done it to us in the past. What they are doing is
targeting just the Chinese files."

Since January there have been hundreds of "denial of service attacks," Mr.
Basgen said, 99 percent of which emanate from China. The attacks involve a
computer trying to download the same document over and over again, until
it prevents others from accessing the archive. He said the site has
managed to stay ahead of the attackers by creating "mirror sites" around
the world, but the attacks have prevented the archive from updating its
collection since they began.

Of course, since the Chinese have banned the archive before, it raises the
question of why it would use computer attacks. Also, security experts say
that Chinese machines can be exploited by people outside the country,
making the attacks appear to come from China, because they often lack
sophisticated protections.

Mr. Basgen said the purpose of the attacks seemed to be to motivate the
archive to sacrifice its Chinese-language material to keep the rest of the
archive available. It is a move they may have to consider, he said,
depending on how a test turns out.

While some might find it odd that the government created by Mao's
Communist Revolution would be behind an effort to deny access to the texts
so important to its founding, Mr. Basgen said he did not. "It is ironic
for people who don't know what is going on in China," he said. "The
Chinese so-called Communist government has nothing to do with Communism.
It has been going toward capitalism for a long time."

And, to be strictly accurate, the Marxist archive does not even consider
Mao a true Marxist. He is considered a "reference writer," along with Adam
Smith, Josef Stalin, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, among others. Mao failed a
key question, Mr. Basgen said: "Did he serve to liberate working people?"

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