by PIRAO Chief, January 15, 2005
MIM's central task: "to create public opinion and the independent institutions of the oppressed to seize power."
|Statistic||December, 2003||December, 2004||% change (except where otherwise indicated)|
|Number of different computers MIM served||44175||48057||+9%|
|Avg. MIM pages served per day||3492||6913||+98%|
|MIM data transferred||101.6 megabytes/day||609.4 megabytes/day||+500%|
|MIM Notes (English) printed copies compared with pre-911=100||200||111|
|All language newspapers printed copies compared with pre-911=100||200||111|
|Number of top 53 cites of U.$/Kanada receiving at least 1000 MIM Notes**||7|
|MIM prison circulation averaged over two months Jan 2002=100||47||0|
|Number of Art page users||5446||7126||+31%|
|Number of different MIM web page files actively chosen from||4577||6640||+45%|
This month we continue to fail in our primary goal of advancing the number of users. Meanwhile, our art users did not recover to their 2002 levels.
On the other hand, for the first time in many months, MIM is totally back on track for its Five Year Plan for files taken, with 98% annual growth. That is great news, because it has to be an absolutely important goal perhaps only lower than total readers and MIM Notes readers. We are going into an even deeper part of the deepening phase our readership is going through.
Along with that, we continue to feel ever greater international reverberations of our work. Once again I apologize to everyone who feels that MIM is not keeping up with everything, because it is more true than ever. Again I have to mention all the international collaboration on book publishing forthcoming.
So judging our current leadership, we seem incapable of manipulating events to the extent of expanding our readership in the desired fashion. On the other hand, we can do more to improve quality per reader.
Practically, I interpret the data to mean that we need to work on getting some people who do not think of themselves as leaders to start acting. "A Contributor" is moving along on movies and other work. Another comrade HC123 is also very busy. So some of us are already tapped to the max and what you see is what you get from the leadership of the people already tapped out.
In connection to the leadership problem, this month I would like to discuss the division of labor in theory in more detail. Something that mathematicians, economists and students of organization have proved is that overall production does increase when everybody makes a contribution, no matter how small or inefficiently, as long as the people making the contribution are ever so slightly different, which is pretty much guaranteed. (At our stage, we could also use some clones and still make progress.)
What is important to understand in this connection is that it is absolutely wrong to buy the paralyzing and disheartening approach. To be explicit, just because perhaps the nucleus can write, edit and handle programming three or four or even ten times faster than you can, it does NOT follow that you should let the nucleus do everything in the name of the division of labor.
The mathematics of political economy since David Ricardo shows that even in what seems terrible situations, cooperation is better than not. For example, take the situation where there are three jobs to do and worker A is eight times faster at job one, nine times faster at job two and ten times faster at job three than worker B. It does not follow that worker A should do all the jobs or tell worker B to get lost! In fact, if worker B takes job one, through trade (or cooperation in our context) the overall production of the two people will be greater than if they worked separately. There is some mathematical magic that goes on there where the contribution of worker B is not just what it appears to be alone. The reason is that the real resource underlying all our activities is time.
We are seeing that in a big way this month, where a rare writing contributor has an article on our web page getting the most hits. The comrade could have said, "someone else will get to that review, so I don't have to." Instead, the comrade did the article and our web page benefits. Furthermore, other web page workers can do other things.
Another factor is that people learn and become more efficient both through study and practice. Our class needs to emphasize that process all the time, because it is the major strength of the proletariat compared with the bourgeoisie. There is no way that the time of comrades you see working on the web page is enough to do what needs to be done even for the web page alone. It's only when we consider the proletariat as a whole where it becomes clear that there is potential there to blow the bourgeoisie out of the superstructural water.
Let me provide an example of what we need. Suppose you see that something is missing from the web page, MIM Notes or MIM Theory that you think should be there. The wrong approach is to treat the MIM like Burger King. Go to MIM and complain, "I can't consume what I want on your website." That is wrong. The right way is to go to MIM, "if I give you some pickles, will you put them in the burgers?" And if the chef does not know how to put your pickles in the burgers, set up your own burger shop to work within the Burger King brand, share advertisements etc.
Along these lines, people who want to volunteer to scan in old Maoist works from history--China, SDS etc. should write to [email protected] We also put in documents sometimes to show a historical choice that turned out wrong. If you have an idea for that, write up your criticism and submit the historical document that turned out to be wrong. So we can use both good things and bad things on this web page.