Re: [OPE-L] Marxist internet archive

From: Michael Schauerte (mikeschauerte@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Sun May 06 2007 - 21:23:31 EDT

Perhaps I don't fit your sterotype Paul, but I'm a volunteer for the MIA.
Not a Trotskyist (or a Stalinist), but they let me in with no questions
asked. I'm free to post whatever I like for the Marxism in Japan page I
administer, and since most Marxists in Japan were supporters of the JCP
until the late fifties, many of the Marxist scholars I have translated were
more or less supporters of that party for at least a period of their lives.
I will admit that I have generally steered clear of the party ideologues,
not because they were poliltically committed but because it tended to have a
negative effect on their scholarship (such as the belief that commodity
production can continue and even expand under "socialism"). (I should add,
to avoid a fruitless debate with you, that I recognize that even some of the
more dogmatic JCP supporters did carry out good work in certain fields, just
as a historian who votes for the Democrats or Republicans might do so today,
so I take everything on a case by case basis.)

At any rate, my point is that the MIA has not issued me with a check list to
determine which authors can be considered genuine Marxists, or told me that
supporters of the Communist Party are not welcome. There has been debate,
apparently, over the need to categorize certain writers as Marxists, and
this categorization process is carried out democratically by a vote among
the volunteers. For instance, I plan to put the case for Kuruma once I have
uploaded a few more things. If the other members vote to approve, that would
simply mean that he would be included on the page of "Marxists" but
otherwise it would not change a thing, nor would he be "airbrushed" out of
the site. I'm not sure if this categorization is really necessary,
personally, but currently a majority of the volunteers thing it is. And if
that majority becomes a minority opinion, a change will be made. Obviously
the decisions made reflect the ideas of the volunteers, who are granted
equal voting rights from the first day of becoming members. If you find the
current state of affairs appalling, I would recommend that you become a
volunteer and contribute to the site.

My experience in the past year has been that the MIA functions in a
refreshingly democratic manner and welcomes anyone willing to put in the
time to expand the site. Most of the members are using valuable free time to
contribute to the MIA, and in recent months some of the more technically
endowed volunteers have spent countless hours fending off attacks on the
site and getting a new server up and running. All of this unpaid and at
times incredibly tedious labor is done not for the evil plans of some secret
Trotskyist cabal that runs things, but simply because the volunteers (perhaps
I should put that word in all caps to emphasize it) think it is worthwhile.
So don't be surprised if a few of us volunteers take offense at your
obnoxious and unproductive comments.


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