Red Marx and other fora

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Alf
Red Marx and other fora
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Does any one have any news of the Red Marx web forum? It seems to be seriously slowing down and is perhaps in danger of dying.

In general, what do comrades who post here and who may have some experience elsewhere, think about the state of health of other internet forums, in particular the ones that have tried to break with the left, such as Red Marx and libcom?

Fred
fora and fauna

I am very sad at what I see as the demise of redmarx.  And I would lay part of the blame on the extreme aggressiveness of some dominant posters there and their mates.  In fact I think the "matey" aspect is/was part of the undoing of that forum.  As in: we support our mates no matter what they say or how they say it.  There were a number of younger posters who very much liked redmarx and posting there in the earlier days.   They were gradually intimidated by the threatening atmosphere that emerged from time to time;  being peaceful souls themselves, merely seeking solace and gentle clarification of their developing  communistic ideas.  But they were crushed and pushed aside.  

 

Another mistake in the setting up if redmarx - in my opinion! - is the notion  that while being inclined towards "communism" (unelaborated communism that is) but trying to avoid commitment to any particular brand ( as if communism  was  like capitalism in embracing any old rubbish that claimed its name) the forum came to lack focus and purpose and got left wandering in the wilderness for a number of years, where,  unlike the Israelites, everyone eventually died off.  The lesson surely is that communism requires both understanding and commitment and is never, and can never be, just a hobby, or a study group, or a collection of mates.  

 

I know now less about libcom, but something strange appears to have happened there too.  It has also become "tame": that is to say it has lost its fearsome aspect, by which I mean aggressive male posters who produced both good and bad stuff, but were at least alive.  In celebrating its 10th birthday libcom doesn't regret the passing of "the agressive males" but what is it left with?  Lots of blogs,  a lot of what you might call "bourgeois blogs", a bit like the Telegraph at times, and little to interest the rebellious spirit. And lots of "library" too.  I'm not against libraries - though they must be becoming a bit passé as far as younger people are concerned - but doesn't this start to reduce even fiery libcom (as it was) to a yet another sort of passive reading and study group? 

 

Passivity appears to be the order of the day.  The bourgeoisie must be delighted. Its a prized symptom of bourgeois democracy. Stick your head in a book or a computer for forty years and hang your hat on a pension. Except even pensions are starting to die out now; along with libraries, health services and most facilities of a social nature.  (Applause though for those social workers who are prepared to work for nothing, as David Cameron thoughtfully requested at his conference.)  But as we're all decomposing I suppose passivity is to be expected.  After all, if your  body and brain are gradually rotting, where will you find the energy to be interested in anything that requires an effort such as "breaking with the left" as Alf puts it, or maintaining a passion for communism  which seems farther away than ever at times today.    

Are we going through a bad patch? 

 

jk1921
Regress

Fred wrote:

Are we going through a bad patch? 

Yes, I think there is a period of regress going on as the crisis of 2008 has not led to more visible and consistent expressions of class struggle.

radicalchains
I've mentioned it before

I've mentioned it before but...

Since Aufhebengate and even before a lot of good as well as antagonistic posters left or stopped posting on Libcom. The ICC spamming issue also had a big effect as the long theoretical discussions visibly declined and are now almost non existent.  There has also been an increase in bourgeois news articles used in discussions or 'updates' which hasn't helped. 

Revleft is crap and as far as I can tell has always been that way. It started leftist and has continued in that way. Despite efforts of some to change this the most common questions on the forum are pretty pathetic with the discussions being pretty inane.

Redmarx is slightly better but never had the user base to compete with either and as a standalone forum (no library etc) was always going to be slightly obscure and lose out to the bigger fish.

jk1921
What was the purpose of

What was the purpose of RedMarx in the first place?

tablo
The purpose was

jk1921 wrote:

What was the purpose of RedMarx in the first place?

If I remember the original purpose was for high-level theoretical discussion between proper communists.

 

I don't know about other people, but I still check back and read through new topics on the site. I don't post much because I have little I can contribute most discussions. If you guys don't want it to die then stop by and make a thread or add to a discussion. The community was small to begin with so even having a few people post on a weekly basis would be a lot of help to the site's activity.

Fred
radicalchains is right about

radicalchains is right about the crappiness of revleft.  And why didn't jk ever ask redmarx what their purpose was?  That would have been useful.  Its no use asking that question on this forum.  And why doesn't tablo try and post more?  Isn't it just a matter  of practice?  Even having a few people post not very well on a weekly basis would be a lot of help in the site's  activity, as tablo points out.  After all, our proletarian emancipation is up to us, not somebody else. 

 

 

jk1921
Huh?

Fred wrote:

 And why didn't jk ever ask redmarx what their purpose was? 

 

Probably because I don't really see the purpose of it. Why is it no use asking the question here? There are people who participate on both forums. I don't, so I ask here.

baboon
forums

We should also remember the ICT website which contains good communist positions but has little discussion around it. Red Marx and Revleft I follow but there's little dynamic to their discussions and Sloth's leftcommunist network was a brave attempt but failed to generate any discussion.

I think that Radical is right that Aufenbengate was a real blow to libcom where many good poster left in disgust. This underlines the cliquey nature of the organisation of this website. I still post on there regularly because it is still an expression of and forum for the proletariat. I don't get much direct abuse nowadays but there seems to be a policy of some on there not to engage with the ICC or its sympathers and to ignore even direct questions. There's also a tendency to display an affectacious ignorance on some subjects rather than discuss with left communists. This is aligned to the position expressed on there that you can't talk about the situation in a particular country unless you speak the language of that country though there have been some excellent positions and explanations of imperialism. The idea that you can't talk about events on the world stage, ie, express an internationalist position, unless you are directly implicated is an expression of localism that also complements the site's general support for the trade unions. The library is a resource but it sometimes seems overwhelming to me. There has been some good discussions, positions and responses on there but there is also the tendency to make links with no comment or analysis leaving questions "open" and drowning any discussion. There is a lack of focus on many major issues though direct attacks on the ICC always get a response reinforcing the anti-organisation tendencies, while "organisation" within the trade unions is encouraged.

 

Alf
red marx thread

http://www.red-marx.com/evolution-of-red-marx-t1228.html

 

I raised the same question on the forum itself. S Artesian answered (as well as tablo). I think Artesian was on to something when he blamed the chat function. Although Red Marx seemed positive in that it seemed to want to be neither leftist (lie Rev Left, which it originally came out of) or anarchist, like libcom mainly is, but marxist, and was thus in many ways aligned with left communism, it reproduced some of the worst aspects of libcom, often presenting itself as a jokey boys' club and refusing to take the question of political organisation seriously. A post by Zanthorus epitomised it when he summed it up as mainly just a medium for "dicking around" online. It wasn't only that, but this attitude expresses a deep fear of militant political life which was expressed in many of the discussions. 

jk1921
Can someone explain why the

Can someone explain why the Aufheben affair has had such a quieting effect on LibCom?

jk1921
Purpose

Alf wrote:

 A post by Zanthorus epitomised it when he summed it up as mainly just a medium for "dicking around" online. It wasn't only that, but this attitude expresses a deep fear of militant political life which was expressed in many of the discussions. 

Sounds like Mattick Jr's response when a member of Inter asked him what he saw as the goal of political activity: Something to the effect of "Its a good way to meet women." Although I am not even sure that's true. frown

radicalchains
It's exactly the kind of

It's exactly the kind of response I'd expect from a bourgeois academic. What a tosser. On the Libcom thing, I think the main effect was a loss of trust and confidence in the website and those that run it. A real sticking point in the whole debate was the 'case closed' attitude and the apparent incomprehension of the admins as to why the whole issue was an issue in the first place.

baboon
"dicking around"

The "dicking around" is also a useful way that some members of the libcom clique and their mates stifle discussion. There have been times when I've posted on a serious issue for someone to make a "joke" and the jokey boy's club follow one after the other and destroy the thread. I've seen this happen often on other threads and even recently, despite the thousands of words written on libcom about it, new posters, posting basic questions or questions that they can't quite comprehend, are subject to abuse and "jokes", never to be seen again.

And, just to repeat, on the Syria thread, anyone who calls themselves an "anarchist" can have their positions/blogs on Syria linked to without comment, the net result of which is to use this facility to spread confusion, nationalism and democratic ideology.

jk1921
So you are telling me that

So you are telling me that even Libcom has "admins" who seem to direct and even censor the discussion at times? Interesting. Its probably a good idea to consider the role of the moderator or admin in these forums. Is it the same as the moderator at an in person discussion?

LoneLondoner
Is it a surprise?

Perhaps a little quote from Engels' report on Bakunin's Alliance would be in order: "The International demands of its members that they should acknowledge Truth, Justice and Morality as the basis of their conduct; the Alliance imposes upon its adepts, as their first duty, mendacity, dissimulation and imposture, by ordering them to deceive the uninitiated members of the International as to the existence of the secret organisation and to the motives and aims of their words and actions. The founders of the Alliance knew only too well that the vast majority of uninitiated members of the International would never consciously submit to such an organisation were they aware of its existence."

A.Simpleton
two points

1) Re: moderation. You're probably right that it needs exploration if the 'virtual meeting' is to be helpful: but at an actual meeting of real people - especially in active times has a dynamic of its own: I quote from Marc Ferro's second volume of October 1917:

' There was a further factor in the February (1917 AS) leaders' to organise, foresee or lead. They did not relate the past and present in the same way as the masses........[.............]

The past (for the masses AS) was dead and it was no good trying to revive it. Even the most 'famous' militants discovered this - for instance when Khrustalev-Nosar the former president of The Petrograd Soviet of 1905, claimed as of right a seat on the committee of the new soviet committe, his name was acclaimed as that of a hero, but his demand was rejected with booing. The Menshevik Yermansky met the same fate at Kronstadt in July (1917 AS ) when he claimed the right to speak for a longer time than other speakers 'who have not had the same revolutionary experience as me: and have not like me spent twenty years in Tsarist prisons.' He too was booed off and forced to stop speaking.'

Self-moderation as part of self-organisation at a real meeting...but how do even 19 people 'boo off' the one on the internet? and yet it's here and the genie ain't going back in the bottle.

2) RE: Baboon's point. I registered for libcom in a 'suck it and see' frame of mind -blissfully unaware of the Aufheben thing. It was a bit harder (probably as a result of the problem) to register but that is always understandable in milieu affairs. (I wanted to post something about the Bangladesh workers/earthquake with reference to Haiti.) There were some interesting headers: sort of ongoing threads on 'how to read Marx' etc. and I think I did post something but - and it takes time 'to get the 'feel' of any forum - other threads did seem to be a series of one-liners: the current most subscribed being about a certain comrade who has apparently left the ICC and everyone is gagging to get them to 'spill the beans' as to why, each 'guessing' (for the comrade has not revelaed the ghastly 'truth') that it's 'probably because of the cement like Monlithism' ... 'of that 'dinosaur' organisation etc.etc.

Sounds like spreading confusion and affirming non-truths to me baboon - yup.

AS 

jk1921
I think that it is important

I think that it is important to have a sense of humour, but its true that there is a certain passive agressive way of using jokes or, perhaps more of mocking tone, as a way of controlling and even shutting down discussion that we need to be aware of. Of course, there is always the problem that sometimes its difficult to tell what is intended in online forums.

The "dicking around" problem is one thing, the open hostility that one sometimes encounters on the IBRP's forum (which seems to suffer from a certain decline itself) is another side of the difficulties facing the milieu today.

Fred
explanation needed

jk1921 wrote:

Can someone explain why the Aufheben affair has had such a quieting effect on LibCom?

 

Yes please.  Can someone explain why?  

radicalchains
Fred

Fred, I tried to explain in my last posts. In a word I would say, demoralisation. 

But let's not right off Libcom as a total waste of space. There are some excellent discussion on there which are still searchable, a great library of historical and important texts. And from time to time some good discussions. Also, apart from the occasional dismissal it provides a good introduction to those coming to revolutionary ideas or breaking from liberal and leftist ones. 

Fred
But why was aufhebengate so

But why was aufhebengate so demoralizing radicalchains?  I could hardly understand a word they said, but got the message they were against left communism and thought the glory days of capitalism were still to come.  Why would any of this demoralize libcom readers! 

Demogorgon
"It's exactly the kind of

"It's exactly the kind of response I'd expect from a bourgeois academic. What a tosser."

Steady now. Firstly, he's not simply a "bourgeois academic". He was active in Root & Branch which is or was a council communist group. And he also wrote one the most intelligent commentaries on the recent economic crisis as well.

Secondly, dismissing him as a "tosser" simply because of something said third-hand when the source of the comment wasn't even sure that's true.

Finally, lighten up. I remember going to anti-war meetings when I first became political and was astounded to see a cluster of distractingly pretty young ladies clustering around one of the local Trotskyists every time. Damn his bourgeois politics, I used to say. He's kinda hot, replied my now wife ...

radicalchains
Quality, contrast your post

Quality, contrast your post with AS's just a few posts ago. Maybe I'm being too nuanced for you. 

Demogorgon
You are ...

You are ...

slothjabber
RevLeft and other fora

baboon wrote:

We should also remember the ICT website which contains good communist positions but has little discussion around it. Red Marx and Revleft I follow but there's little dynamic to their discussions and Sloth's leftcommunist network was a brave attempt but failed to generate any discussion...

 

RevLeft is where many discussions take place but finding the wheat amongst the chaff is difficult - it's one of the few places where it's possible to debate with Impossiblists and (some) Anarchists. The Left Communist user-group on RevLeft has some interesting stuff but no real dynamic; the main boards are much busier but contain a lot of dross. I tend to check Revleft, here and LibCom (in that order); I visit the ICT forum and RedMarx much less frequently and do still check the Left Communist Network forum, but I think I'm probably the only one who still does. Of course, there are also discussions on Facebook, in the 'Left Communist' group, and the 'Communist Left' group, and in a bunch of others. Some of them are serious, some not, but those groups may be worthwhile joining.

 

What there isn't is a forum that people think of as the 'natural' place to go. The original idea behind the establishment of the Left Communist Network was that it was to be a place where those of us who were sympathisers of 'the Communist Left' (either specific organisations, or as a tradition) could discuss setting up, among other things, such a forum, which would (unlike the network as it currently exists) be open to those who were in organisations. That never got anywhere (despite a lot of initial enthusiasm) because the network never really acheived the necessary 'critical mass' to become self-sustaining. It has stalled at the stage of (not) talking about talks... of course, it may also be that different people saw what it was or could be differently, the idea was badly thought out, hopelessly premature or a load of other criticisms of conception or execution: but part of the problem is undoubtedly that only half a dozen people were contributing over the first few months and I think eventually decided it wasn't worth the effort of continuing to do so.

 

Is it time to (re-)propose a 'Left Communist Forum'? I think this may link with Link's posting on the ICC and ICT forums - http://en.internationalism.org/forum/1056/link/9177/use-internet-discussion - regarding internet discussions. It was suggested, years ago, at the Midlands Discussion Forum in Birmingham (2009 I think it was) that such a forum be set up; at that time the ICC (I think it was Demogorgon) suggested that the Left Communist group at Revleft already fulfilled such a function; but, perhaps, it doesn't.

 

Or maybe there really isn't anything for the ICC and the ICT (and IP, and the comrades who used to be in the CBG) have to say to each other, and the 57 varieties of us who consider ourselves as 'Left Communists' (or influenced by the Communist Left/Bordiga/Pannekoek) who are not in organisations should just get a grip and stop wishing for things that aren't going to happen.

 

But, given the face-to-face meetings that have occurred recently (I only really know about the UK, but the Midlands Discussion Forum, the Manchester Class Struggle Discussion Forum, the ICC dayschools and the Commune dayschool have all in recent years involved face-to-face discussions involving the ICT and ICC, and the wider 'milieu') then maybe it is worthwhile to keep pursuing the idea of opening up opportunities for debate between different Left Communist groups and individuals.

 

So; in terms of the internet, a 'Left Communist forum'?

 

As for meeting up and discussing face-to-face (at least in the UK), Anarchist Bookfair, anyone?

 

 

jk1921
I can't help but suspect that

I can't help but suspect that many of these forums (Red Marx, in particular?) were set up as an alternative to the existing organizations of the communist left. They are at a certain level an expression of an anti-organizational under current or at the very least a great fear of organization. They are kind of like an organization without what many perceive as the negative aspects of organizations. They attempt to give a place for discussion without the interference of a "structure." But, this is also probably why they tend to lose their dynamic after a while.

Fred, on LibCom and Aufhebengate: The issue with Aufheben was the participation of one of the members in a conference advising the police on crowd control (or something to that effect). This caused a lot of controversy, but I think LibCom admins thought this wasn't cause for any kind of action against them. I am not sure why this has caused such demoralization however, or is it more of "strike" against LibCom for seemingly sanctioning this behaviour? One of the interesting things about this is the bleeding together of form and content. How does a supposedly open discussion forum become associated with a specific political content?

jk1921
Who?

LoneLondoner wrote:

Perhaps a little quote from Engels' report on Bakunin's Alliance would be in order: "The International demands of its members that they should acknowledge Truth, Justice and Morality as the basis of their conduct; the Alliance imposes upon its adepts, as their first duty, mendacity, dissimulation and imposture, by ordering them to deceive the uninitiated members of the International as to the existence of the secret organisation and to the motives and aims of their words and actions. The founders of the Alliance knew only too well that the vast majority of uninitiated members of the International would never consciously submit to such an organisation were they aware of its existence."

 

Who is the Alliance here? LibCom admins?

jk1921
Link

Demogorgon wrote:

Secondly, dismissing him as a "tosser" simply because of something said third-hand when the source of the comment wasn't even sure that's true.

Well, the Inter comrade was pretty sure that was what Mattick, Jr. said. I am not quite sure that he's right that its a good way to meet women, however. sad

Do you have a link to his analysis of the crisis?

baboon
Aufhebengate

Fred, you might have missed it but there's a recent article on this website under the title "Aufhebengate". I think that this offers quite a well-thought out attempt at an explanation.

slothjabber
discussion and organisation

jk1921 wrote:

I can't help but suspect that many of these forums (Red Marx, in particular?) were set up as an alternative to the existing organizations of the communist left. They are at a certain level an expression of an anti-organizational under current or at the very least a great fear of organization. They are kind of like an organization without what many perceive as the negative aspects of organizations. They attempt to give a place for discussion without the interference of a "structure." But, this is also probably why they tend to lose their dynamic after a while...

 

I don't think that's a charge that can be levelled at RedMarx. It was pretty much set up as an alternative to the Stalinist idiocy of RevLeft. The initial impetus as I understand it came from some Left Comms and some Impossiblists, some of whom had (have) a particularly scholarly approach in my opinion, and others who were banned from RevLeft and went where their friends went.

 

Some of those involved certainly express a distrust of organisation(s) but I don't think that it was a drive towards establishing RedMarx. Perhaps it was part of the glue that held it together; but on some of the threads I think there was a demonstrable drive from some posters towards regroupment of revolutionaries. It wasn't all 'anti-organisational', and its main purpose was as a (semi-academic, in my opinion) discussion forum.

 

"... They are kind of like an organization without what many perceive as the negative aspects of organizations... "

 

That might be more true of the Left Communist Network. In setting it up I was certainly hoping that some 'organisation' (co-ordination) could come out of while being accutely aware that other aspects of organisation were what people were trying to avoid - the reason they weren't in existing organisations in the first place. In attempting to find a new way of organising that didn't replicate the problems of other organisations, it became very like no organisation at all. There were some involved with it that wanted it to be the basis for moving to a new organisation (somehow, of some kind); others were much more sceptical of any efforts to 'artificially create' an organisation that didn't exist on the ground.

 

 

LoneLondoner
Fear of organisation

Sorry about that, the quote doesn't make the point as clearly as I would like: and the point was... that there is nothing very anti-authoritarian about most anti-authoritarians, Bakunin for starters.

However, the main point I wanted to make is that I agree with jk 100% about the fear of organisation expressed in forums like Red Marx and others, and I think that he definitely has a point about the forums being used as an alternative to real organisation (which demands commitment), whatever may have been the intentions of those who established them.

Demogorgon
"Do you have a link to his

"Do you have a link to his analysis of the crisis?"

It's a short book titled, Business as Usual. It's basically a restatement of Mattick Snr's classic position, but far more clearly written (I've always found Mattick Snr very opaque, personally), followed by an analysis of the financial crisis. I'm not sure I fully agree with his explanation about debt (essentially it's an attempt to substitute for lacking surplus value, but he doesn't actually explain where it comes from) but it's one of the best efforts I've seen and certainly the most readable.

radicalchains
reply to Demogorgon

Demogorgon wrote:

You are ...

I was afraid you would say that. I've bitten my tongue and dodged this forum for a few days in case I said something overly nasty. My general point was to contrast your condescension and your respect for an apparently well known and valued theoretician over my (il)legitimate view that in this case what he said was insulting, crass and typical of a certain section of society. Inlcuding those that involve themselves in communist politics, whether leftist or otherwise. AS wonderfully highlighted that no matter what some had done before, how much respect they had gained should not be idolised or given preferential treatment. Maybe I'm reading too much into a perhaps off the cuff remark, a joke perhaps. I just thought you defended it for the wrong reasons. As an aside, I do have a bugbear about academics in the workers movement no matter how great their positions or declarations may be.

You said he was not simply a bourgeois academic but is he one nonetheless? 

Demogorgon
RC, as I said initially, my

RC, as I said initially, my concern was that you condemned someone in extremely hostile terms on the basis of what is essentially gossip. Even if the comment was factually correct, divorced of context, it becomes impossible to know how seriously it was meant. It could mean "I want to meet women who share the same values as me" and what is wrong with that? Of course, it might have meant "I want to seduce every female I meet", which one might regard as more questionable although, again, I'm wary of being too judgemental even about that. The problem is, we just don't know and probably never will.

You may find it condescending, but condemning someone as bourgeois and a tosser on the basis of such flimsy evidence, relates to very real but fundamental problem in the workers' movement which is how to deal with aberrant behaviour be it police infiltration or what you may call immoral, manipulative behaviour (sometimes sexually linked but not always and, incidentally, not the exclusive province of heterosexual men). These are serious charges and shouldn't be made in such a casual fashion.

As for Mattick Jnr's status as bourgeois or not, I can't say much about his current status. The book on the crisis which I refered to seemed to defend a revolutionary position, although perhaps not as clearly as we might like, but he does have a history of participation in a legitimate branch of communism, is certainly not a Stalinist, Trotskyist or other leftist. Perhaps you know than me?

I will say that simply being an academic does not automatically make one a bourgeois, any more than working in an office does. In fact, most academics today, especially those in the early stages of their careers are pretty much proletarianised in terms of their actual working circumstances. That doesn't, of course, mean their positions are proletarian any more than an office worker's does, but that's an entirely different issue. Of course, due to the nature of their role, academics have a function in propagating bourgeois ideology ... but then, so again, do teachers generally.

mikail firtinaci
the death of forums as an international phenomenon

I think the death of forums is an international phenomenon. For example there was a turkish forum similar to revl-eft/libcom tradition in which many LCs/anarchists/others have discussed called "sanal molotof". It was kicked off (if I remember correctly) by the anti-war movements rise in 2002. For a time it was very active. And partially because of machoism (which I am also partially responcible), partially because many people had become politically antagonized (internationalist vs nationalist, "liberal" vs ?, etc) it gradually started to decline. Keep in mind that peoples' life have also changed since 2002.

Anyway, just a few months before Gezi revolt the whole discussion on this forum has ended sharply. It was not abrupt because it was coming, but it was a total silence. And then Gezi happened, and people -including politically involved ones of course- started to meet face to face in Gezi and then later in local/municipal square forums.

I can think of these reasons:

1- As far as I can tell political debate on the left-radical internet forums peaked between 2000-2008. The reason why 2000 is the beginning might makes sense, because a) there was a new generation b) a new mood after 1990s c)individuals who were at their teens in 90s and 2000s were still very isolated politically if they tended towards LC and class struggle Anarchist politics.

2- Especially in the West, it seems this was a time of fighting back against many misconceptions, not only brough by stalinism and trotskyism but also by post-modern/post-structuralist nihilistic "new left".

3- Now the mood I see among many young people, is less a concern towards theory, but more towards face to face encounters. Internet forums can become productive grounds for half-baked theoretical debates, but they hardly help creating a feeling of solidarity and human affinity. So the forums create an affect of desire to know and compete on the assumably known truths and principles. But, I think the emotions that led to seeking this, which is the lack of self-confidence in terms of the sanity of radical theory, have completely gone after 2008.

Now I think the tendency is more to express, in open and loudly, communism -at least for many young radicals. Recent interest in people like Zizek and Badiou seem only as an expression of such a desire to me. I think the coming decade has huge potential for communist idea to finally come out of the closet and the retreat from the internet forums may not be such a bad thing itself.

MH
grounds for hope?

I was taken aback by Mikail's post, in a good way. If he's right, there are more grounds for hope than I thought, but if he's right, and there is a turn towards face-to-face encounters, there are to say the least major implications for the ability of revolutionaries to intervene in these encounters. Mikail's assessment also seems to contradict S. Artesian's more negative view (see the link from alf above) that the appetite for debate has been dulled by opportunities for online 'chat', together with the broader view expressed by jk on this thread that we are going through a regression since 2008.  Although there may be truth in all three phenomena of course... 

slothjabber
different phenomena in different places?

Personally, I use forums as a substitute for face-to-face meetings. I'd always rather meet face-to-face, but it's often not possible. But then, I'm hardly one of the younger generation.Certainly, in Britain, and it seems from what I can see in North America, most younger people prefer to discuss using the internet rather than face-to-face (or maybe I'm misinterpreting the situation in North America and it's just so very difficult to meet due to the size of the place, so forums become the only feasible way of contacting people on a regular basis).

 

Anecdotally, the rise of Facebook has damaged many forums. Many discussions are taking place on Facebook groups. Personally I think Facebook is awful for political discussions, a proper forum like this, or RevLeft, or RedMarx, is structurally much better (leaving aside the actual policies of the administrators), due to more effective archiving of discussions and better editing facilities. It's possible to go back and revisit things that on Facebook (with its twin structural obssessions of what's 'new' and what's 'popular') disappear if one has to take time to think about them.

 

Facebook however is a very good tool for organising real meetings, and for getting 'news' out. I spent most of the time the protests in Turkey were happening on Facebook getting updates and comment from Turkey and around the globe. So I think does have a place; but if political discussions like this end up there, they are by the nature of the medium going to be more ephemeral.

 

But it's certainly heartening to read that younger people are actually going to meetings!

broletariat (not verified)
redmarx

you guys coulda just asked me over at redmarx if you wanted to know why redmarx was set-up etc.

 

i mean, you still can but whatever, the domain name got changed because I didn't feel like paying for the non-freeforums one for a forum that had died, but you can still find it here

 

www.redmarx.freeforums.org

Alf
broletariat

Hello Bro I think I did post a question to that on the red-marx and Artesian answered agreeing that the forum was dying.I am not pleased about this. I think this is a difficult time for all revolutionaries. But it is important to reflect on our defeats....  

lem_
as to "dicking around" on

as to "dicking around" on forums,,, i think that it can be just posturing - for whatever reason.

lem_
and current forums, bar the

any current forums, bar the ones i'm banned from (libcom, urban75)?

 

i have a few scores to settle, i'd prefer if they were chatty...

radicalchains
Left Communist Network Forum

Left Communist Network Forum ?

d-man
still here

It's at this address now:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/redmarx/index.php?sid=cad62443e676e2bb727bc1f387a99047

 

Hey, you bastards I'm still here

mhou
The old URL automatically

The old URL automatically directs to the new one. Freeforums was merged with or taken over by 'Tapatalk' within the last 2 weeks +/-.

Several RedMarx participants (including myself) have been putting out a publication (below) and working on associated practical projects:

https://anticapital0.wordpress.com/