Quarterly WSM journal proposal

March 2024 Forums World Socialist Movement Quarterly WSM journal proposal

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  • #85574
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Are any WSM members interested in contributing to a new quarterly journal if one was created? Contributions would be over 1,000 words and from WSM members only.

    #127519
    robbo203
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    Are any WSM members interested in contributing to a new quarterly journal if one was created? Contributions would be over 1,000 words and from WSM members only.

     Yes I have  always thought the idea of a more theoretically slanted, WSM-wide  quarterly journal  would be a huge bonus.  But why limit contributions to only those from WSM members?  This seems unnecessarily restrictive and pointless.  "Its the case not the face that matters" as the SPGB says in an electoral context and if the case is being articulated in a quarterly journal  – which I am sure the Editorial Board will be able to properly determine – does it really matter that it is not a party member that is articulating the case?   You dont surely believe that it is impossible to be a socialist while not being a party member? Non members can indeed constructively contribute to the growth of the Party and widen its appeal

    #127520
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Thanks for your interest robbo. I don't think it is impossible to be a socialist without being a party member or that non-members have nothing to contribute. However, members-only-writers would make editorial more straightforward and hopefully be mutually beneficial in terms of boosting party membership and interesting existing members. Perhaps a balance could be struck with a letters page?

    #127521
    robbo203
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    Thanks for your interest robbo. I don't think it is impossible to be a socialist without being a party member or that non-members have nothing to contribute. However, members-only-writers would make editorial more straightforward and hopefully be mutually beneficial in terms of boosting party membership and interesting existing members. Perhaps a balance could be struck with a letters page?

    Or even a guest column or debate platform or something like that…Not that I think non members contributing articles will necessarily make the work of the editors more onerous The main point though is that i think there is a need for a wsm-wide journal  and one that offers a slightly more in depth theoretical approach than the SS.  I dont know why the World Socialist journal project was ever abandoned

    #127522
    jondwhite
    Participant

    The discussion journal committee made a report to EC in July 2006 including this conclusion;

    Quote:
    The evidence we gathered does not indicate that there is wide support for a formal dis- cussion journal, either printed or online. Only one Branch (Edinburgh) was in favour of such a journal; no other Branch contacted us regarding the matter, indicating that there may be a certain apathy regarding the idea. Furthermore, no Branch or mem- ber responded to our query about their willingness to contribute to or help produce such a journal. (The actual wording of the 2005 Conference resolution setting up this Committee was “to investigate the willingness of members to produce” the journal, and the circular we sent to Branches and to spintcom solicited feedback on this point.) We must conclude, then, that at this time there is an insufficient interest and prospect of article submissions to justify the work of setting up a new discussion journal editorial and production committee.That said, many members did express interest in seeing discussion carried out in the Socialist Standard. We therefore refer this matter to the Socialist Standard Production Committee and ask that they provide an assessment of the evidence we have gathered.
    #127523
    robbo203
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    The discussion journal committee made a report to EC in July 2006 including this conclusion;

    Quote:
    The evidence we gathered does not indicate that there is wide support for a formal dis- cussion journal, either printed or online. Only one Branch (Edinburgh) was in favour of such a journal; no other Branch contacted us regarding the matter, indicating that there may be a certain apathy regarding the idea. Furthermore, no Branch or mem- ber responded to our query about their willingness to contribute to or help produce such a journal. (The actual wording of the 2005 Conference resolution setting up this Committee was “to investigate the willingness of members to produce” the journal, and the circular we sent to Branches and to spintcom solicited feedback on this point.) We must conclude, then, that at this time there is an insufficient interest and prospect of article submissions to justify the work of setting up a new discussion journal editorial and production committee.That said, many members did express interest in seeing discussion carried out in the Socialist Standard. We therefore refer this matter to the Socialist Standard Production Committee and ask that they provide an assessment of the evidence we have gathered.

     Well thats a  great pity if the Party took such a lacklustre unenthusiastic view of the whole matter back then.  I still wonder though whether it might not be worth reviving the proposal as we are talking about more than ten years ago. I would add two comments 1) I There is a certain ambiguity about the word "discussion journal".  Could it be that members were thinking in terms of something like an internal discussion journal like Forum?  I was thinking of something quite different – something much more like the World Socialist journal which ran to only about 5 or 6 issues then mysteriously ceased publication,  Other political parties like the SWP seem to manage OK with this two fold division between theoretical journal and topical journal.   There is a need for the former in my view.  I often engage in discussions with people over the internet  and refer them to this site but not infrequently I find there is a paucity of appropriate  "theoretical" material here that can specifically addresss the questions they are asking.  The SPGB needs to build on its theoretical case not just comment on issues of the dayHave a look at this to get an idea of what Im talking about http://isj.org.uk/ 2)  The report to the EC seems to have only solicited the views of SPGB branches.  But what about companion parties? Some hardly exist or have no publication they can call their own.  Having a WSM wide journal  in which they too were involved would I imagine give them a bit of a boost in morale

    #127524
    LBird
    Participant

    The problem with the idea for a 'theoretical' journal, similar to the SWP's ISJ, is that these sorts of publications necessarily involve discussions about philosophy, ontology, epistemology, etc., and involve questioning concepts, categories, assumptions, axioms, etc., from a critical stance.If one tends to 'the practical', and avoids any talk of prior 'theory', then a journal of this type will be anathema.And specifically, the whole culture of the SPGB seems to be one of 'being practical', and quite unquestioning of, for example, concept formation, and tends to simply accept the 'theory' that society holds at present, as being completely unproblematic, for example, regarding 'science'.All this is very far from Marx's views about the socio-historic production of ideas, and their practical implementation by societies at a specific time. That is, 'social theory and practice'.In my view, any party that pretends to have any theoretical understanding of its practice, would require a journal of this type. But, given what I've encountered on this site (and I admit that the wider party might have a very different approach), a WSJ would be both little-read and little-understood.Having made that criticism, personally I'd welcome a theoretical journal that could combat the 'materialist' ideas of the SWP and other Leninist/Trotskyist parties. But… if it were to merely echo the anti-democratic 'materialist' politics of the ISJ, lauding 'specialists', what's the point?

    #127525
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Yep ISJ would be a model to borrow from. What is their specific schedule?1 April,1 July,1 October,1 January?Like SPGB Forum Journal (have you read this?), theory would certainly be discussed.

    #127526
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    LBird wrote:
    And specifically, the whole culture of the SPGB seems to be one of 'being practical', and quite unquestioning of, for example, concept formation, and tends to simply accept the 'theory' that society holds at present, as being completely unproblematic, for example, regarding 'science'.All this is very far from Marx's views about the socio-historic production of ideas, and their practical implementation by societies at a specific time. That is, 'social theory and practice'.

    LBird's silly ideas have been dealt with on other threads and his arguments debunked but he moves on to new  threads to start all over again. This is repetitive posting of the same rubbish.He should return to the other threads and deal with outstanding questions.How long are we going to allow this ant-working class and anti-SPGB propaganda permeate our forum? He is repeating the same lies and accustaions.  

    #127527
    LBird
    Participant
    Vin wrote:
    How long are we going to allow this ant-working class and anti-SPGB propaganda permeate our forum? He is repeating the same lies and accustaions.

    The problem, Vin, is if you start from 'criticism' equalling 'propaganda, lies and accusations', then you're making my argument, about the pointlessness of a WSJ, for me.I suppose you could get Goebbels to be editor, and send me to suffer the judgement of Freisler.You'd have to find someone who can argue with me, to make a WSJ worthwhile.

    #127528
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    LBird wrote:
    Vin wrote:
    How long are we going to allow this ant-working class and anti-SPGB propaganda permeate our forum? He is repeating the same lies and accustaions.

    The problem, Vin, is if you start from 'criticism' equalling 'propaganda, lies and accusations', then you're making my argument, about the pointlessness of a WSJ, for me.I suppose you could get Goebbels to be editor, and send me to suffer the judgement of Freisler.You'd have to find someone who can argue with me, to make a WSJ worthwhile.

     Why don't you go and reply to your critics?? You can't. So you thread hop and snipe at the SPGB. 

    #127529
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

     

    LBird wrote:
     You'd have to find someone who can argue with me, to make a WSJ worthwhile.

     [/quote]No hints of narcissism there then!Good job there's an expert available to keep us all in check.

    #127530
    robbo203
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    Yep ISJ would be a model to borrow from. What is their specific schedule?1 April,1 July,1 October,1 January?Like SPGB Forum Journal (have you read this?), theory would certainly be discussed.

     I think even a half yearly theoretical journal  would be a big improvemen but if you could go for a quarterly so much the better. The International Socialism journal is not too bad actually – to give credit where credit is due. Ive got a few hardcopies going back a few years and there are some interesting articles in them. I recall reading a quite a long article – possibly by Callinicos – on the development of "bourgeois economic theory".from Smith to the present  Good stuff.  This is the sort of thing the SPGB should be doing more of such as  critically examing concepts such as Neoliberalism or Dependnecy theory from a socialist perspective.. Another example is the environment and environmental issues such as climate change.  I just think having a more thorough and theoreticaly grounded approach to these issues would be beneficial as opposed to just having topical commentary on current affairs.  The latter is important but the current approach is too lopsided and "bitty", in my view,  if you know what I mean.  I say this as someone who routinely refers people on other fora to this site.  Sometimes I struggle to find an appropriate article to link to in the SS archives. Personally I would favour a particular theme for each issue.  The list is endless.- from anthropology (the concept of primitive communism for example?) to global agriculture and bio-engineering.  If the Party feels it hasn't got the expertise then invite someone who is sympathetic  to contribute a guest article.  Why not? Was there not a talk by Brian Morris that was published in the SS recently? Apart from the ISJ there is also the Jacobin magazine  which is apparently doing quite well lately.  Im sure there are many other journals that could also serve as examples or models 

    #127531
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Robbo would you be willing to write for such a journal?

    #127532
    ALB
    Keymaster

    It would have to be self-financing (as it wouldn't be) and not take resources away from the Socialist Standard (which it would). And it would require a Conference resolution (unlikely to get through) .So it's a non-starter.  It's not a priority.and would only be a vanity publishing. Another of the thousand blooms flourishing here that will wither in the face of reality.

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