[OPE-L:797] Copy of post sent to Marxism list

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Wed, 17 Jan 1996 08:14:44 -0800

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The word leaked out some time ago on the Marxism list and I felt that it
was best for all to clear the air by sending the following message.

In OPE-L Solidarity,


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 1996 11:11:57 -0500 (EST)
From: glevy@pratt.edu
To: marxism@jefferson.village.virginia.edu
Cc: marxism@jefferson.village.virginia.edu
Subject: OPE-L

Since this topic has come up before, I thought that it would be a good
idea to clear the air by giving you some information on the OPE-L
(outline in political economy) mailing list.

In early August, I sent a post to the Marxism list and later to PEN-L
(progressive economists network list) which proposed a project (called
the "outline project" at the time) to discuss "extending Marx." At that
time, anyone who volunteered was made a part of the project.

In early September we launched our own list. We now have 32 members from
10 countries and 5 continents. The list includes some of the best-known
and respected Marxist economists internationally, including, Guglielmo
Carchedi, Gerard Dumenil, Duncan Foley, Makoto Itoh, Michael A. Lebowitz,
Simon Mohun, Geert Reuten, and Anwar Shaikh and many others.

To date, there have been close to 800 posts written and the quality of
discussion has been very high.

The majority of list members are not now nor have they ever been
subscribers to the Marxism list. A large number do not subscribe to PEN-L

Unlike most Net mailing lists, OPE-L is a closed list that requires
permission from the "owner" (me) to join. As this project has a research
aspect, the list felt that we needed to keep the list size relatively
small for us to get anything done. We also felt that it would be best not
to advertise the existence of the list until we had the collective
experience of working together as a group and until such time as we
clearly understood more about what we wanted to accomplish and how.

It was felt by the list that we needed to keep the list size at
approximately it's current level, although, we have been adding people
where someone comes highly recommended by another list member and where
there is an obvious belief that a person's addition would benefit our
list (e.g. by filling "gaps" in terms of theoretical perspectives,
international representation, fields of expertise, gender, etc.).

While this procedure was agreed to by the list, it presented me with a
practical problem. On the one hand, we wanted to have enough flexibility
to invite someone to join where we felt that such an addition would
greatly benefit the list. On the other hand, if we were to advertise the
existence of the list, that would mean that many (influential and
important people, including friends) would ask to join. This would then
mean that I, as list "owner", would have the unenviable responsibility to
say (politely): no. This is something I do not relish as it will surely
lead to hurt feelings and resentment and I do not need any "enemies."

I trust that the above explains my reluctance to discuss this matter. Any
inquiries about the list should be addressed to me privately.

In solidarity,