[OPE-L:2819] About Capital reading ML

k@ (k@)
Sun, 11 Aug 1996 08:55:55 -0700 (PDT)

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Happy Birthday OPE-L!

Some time back, I wrote to Jerry that I was preparing a mailing
list on which Capital would be read collectively in Japanese.
This list started in June and Jerry encouraged me to report
about it to OPE.
I beg you OPE-L'ers to give me suggestions how to proceed it.

The idea came basically from the success of OPE-L . I had been
thinking about organizing a ML for theoretical study or socialist
activism in Japanese.
In early May, I suddenly received an E-mail from an old comrade.
He wrote me that he had got an account on Niftyserve (a sister
Net of Compuserve) and wanted an info how to utilize it. If he
could read and write English, my advise would be subscribing
some existing mailing lists. But he doesn't. Then I made up my
mind to organize a Capital reading mailing list in Japanese.
This comrade, I and other two friends of mine had an experince
of off-line reading group of Capital ten years ago. We had
monthly meetings but it didn't continue longer for several
reasons. The most problem was that we had not free time
simultaneously. So the idea to read Capital with him again
came to my mind at once.

On the Net, I already met two applicants for the list. One is
Michio Akama of Ehime-U who publishes E-text version of Capital
on his web. Another is an Unix programmer and much interested
in Uno school and Hiromatsu. I proposed them to oraganize a
Capital reading list and got positive answers immediately.

Another applicant was my old friend. We've been discussing materialism,
socialism and mathematics since we were high school pupils. He
also gave me a positive answer.

I set up a closed list for people above then.
We started procedural discussion in late May and agreed in slower
but time limited procedure to read Capital collectively and beginning
reading when we would get 10 participants. We did several
advertisements. One was a post to fj.sci.economics newsgroup
(this is a Japanese based economics newsgroup) and a post to
the Contemporary Thought forum on Niftyserve. Three of us put
advertisement on their personal webs.

The original five soon grew to 10 in the first week of June.
We listed reporters for several chapters and began reading procedure
in the next week. The first thing we did was reading Vorwort zur 1. Auflage.
We now reached to the 3rd paragraph of Chapter 1.
In this pace, the first complete reading through vol.1 to vol.3 would
end four years later though we don't have a strict time table but only
decided spending few weeks for a chapter or several paragraphs.

We have 26 participants already. The list is oriented rather for non-
academics. We came from various proffessions like engineers, public
servants, students, editors etc. One of the most recent subscriber is a novel
writer. I hope more so-to-say ordinary workers to subscribe the list.

Needless to say, on such a list, we don't avoid 'degressions'. The most
frequent degression seems being related to the labor movement in Japan.
I feel necessity of setting up a list to satisfy such demand.

It seems that participants have several different political backgrounds. As far as
I know, 5 (incl. me) belong to the tendency of JSA (Japan Socialist Association).
Other several seem being CP followers and other several may belong to
so-called non-sect new left. There may be possibly members of some new left
organizations. Some seem having no interest in socialism. (But) we have no flames
at all. I think we have some kind of comradership to utilize net for our movement
beyond the difference of political tendencies.

I would welcome any suggestion for proceeding the list or your experience
in such lists.

in solidarity,

Iwao Kitamura