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How to expand the influence and strength of the revolutionary Marxist movement

posted 12 Sep 2011, 13:04 by heiko khoo

The following was a proposal that I made when still a member of the International Marxist Tendency.       

Therefore it was written with a view to providing a means for that political current to create a large database and network of like minded revolutionary socialists. I think the way that the Arab, Middle Eastern and North African spring utilised social networking sites reinforces the validity of the work I proposed in this short document. Unfortunately the IMT expelled me shortly afterwards and tried to mock the idea of proposals for effective internet utilisation, counter-posing selling newspapers to using the internet and arguing that newspapers are somehow inherently superior as a mode of disseminating Marxist ideas.       

The only problem I can see with the proposal now is that facebook imposed some restrictions on making new 'friends' from the Autumn of 2010 which prevent the simple proposal I made from being carried out today. However, technically there are other means of attaining the same objectives. Heiko Khoo 12th September 2011.        

How to expand the influence and strength of the revolutionary Marxist movement             

A discussion document by Heiko Khoo 19 Jan 2010           

The Internet transformed the possibilities for Marxists to influence the process of combination of the working class of the world. Some Marxists developed web sites that enabled them to connect with people in areas where such combination would previously have consumed considerable resources and energy with scant chances of success.         

Travel costs and the hit and miss chance of finding likeminded people narrowed the scope for international and even national connectivity and the expansion of influence and membership of revolutionary movements. In some cases a revolutionary would be sent to a country with no connections and simply have to scout around blindly for someone to ‘recruit’.

 

The Internet has acquired maturity and such ubiquitous influence that there is a danger of missing the greatest opportunity for expanding the influence of Marxism in history. The Internet has become a medium of communications, which combines all the power of video, radio and newspapers, but with no combinational limitations and no additional costs in disseminating to 10 million as to disseminating to 10.

 

Social networking sites provide the means of unifying well over 250,000 self-avowed revolutionary socialists worldwide. All that is required is a consistent and unified work plan and we can draw into our sphere of influence a quarter of a million comrades within a year. The character of the combination would be as follows.

  1. Being in communication on a regular basis with active comrades.
  2. Being readers and followers of our web sites
  3. Being contributors to the web sites, in audio, video and articles.
  4. Being people from whose ranks we will establish and expand the revolutionary Marxist movement in the real world.

 

The process. Facebook.

 

There are 400 million users of facebook. The following groups have large memberships and are the product of a 5 minutes search on facebook as I write this.

 

Karl Marx philosopher 80,000 plus

PSUV (Venezuelan Socialist Party) 5000 members

Socialism Cause 15,000

Noam Chomsky 55,000

German Left Party 2000

ANC youth league 2000

Che Guevara 65000

Viladimir İliç Lenin 14000

Viva Presidente Chavez 26000

Bhagat Singh 21000 (Indian Communist)

Salvador Allende 21000

Leung Kwok Hung 7000 (well known Hong Kong Trotskyist)

 

The above examples alone equal a total of 313,000 but taking account of cross membership it is likely the number of unique individuals would be more in the region of 250,000. There are many more such groups, which are not mentioned I think we can safely say at least 500,000 self-declared revolutionary socialist sympathisers on facebook.


How does one bring these people into collaboration?

 

1. We need a network of comrades and sympathisers who will do the computer spade work of making ‘friends’ with these people. In fact they should see this process as one of making ‘comrades’ rather than friends.

It is easy to make connection with 50 per day per person; the lists and target groups must be subdivided centrally to minimize repetition.

 

2. Having made ‘friends’ the foundation of collaboration and lifelong comradeship can be laid. Millions of people are looking for socialist political solutions but are either in no group, (the majority) or are in other groups with whom the presently identify. (A minority)

We need to communicate our intentions to these people, to assist in the creation a global media network of socialists, which is participatory.

 

3. The creation of databases of the essential details of these comrades should be created, this is a little laborious, but 100 plus can be done in 4 hours and would contain the following basic information, name, facebook web address, country and email. Any obvious political/union affiliations etc. should likewise be noted down.

 

To develop such a database holding 250,000 names would therefore require approximately 2500, 4-hour days. The manpower however can come from the new comrades themselves who will often be inspired enough to participate in the project themselves. I have some examples of people like this from speakers corner already. 100 volunteers could easily do this in a year, or 10 full time comrades or unemployed comrades.

 

The Leninist concept of the collective organiser can be scientifically developed by a central plan to develop a global news service of the Marxist faction of the labour movement. As such it does not have to solely publish Marxist views, but must maintain its Marxist editorial. Around the core of the editorial view will be constructed a participatory network of worker correspondents such as Lenin and Trotsky could only have dreamt of. Furthermore the task will often be not to write or prepare new material but to find the material already being published in blogs, audio files, speeches, lectures, videos, etc. The selection process saves the viewers time and can provide systematic education and theory as the foundation for their political education and development, as well as providing our own comrades with the education through real connections with like-minded comrades around the world.

 

One of the powerful hindrances to the development of a genuine International in the past has been the language bottleneck. We are lucky enough to live in an era where tools to assist translation are available and can also serve as part of the collaborative process needed to unify a vibrant International.

 

In this scenario such a global Marxist web site could become a mass phenomena within a few years corresponding to the rising wave of proletarian unrest. Our network can be more powerful than the news outlets of the capitalist press barons or government sponsored news networks. The core issue is the editorial; work planning, and constant implementation. These issues will be the subject of another paper.  

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