Friday, March 07, 2008

Carnival time

This letter has appeared in the Weekly Worker an august publication of the British left.

Carnival time

The Carnival of Socialism is an online, fortnightly summary of the best of what’s happening in the leftwing ‘blogosphere’. Each edition is hosted by a different socialist blogger with assistance from those who’ve spotted interesting posts and discussions.

It was relaunched earlier this year and is quickly picking up momentum - but we want to make sure that it continues to bring in new bloggers from different parts of the left and different parts of the world. Even if it’s difficult for the left to unite in meatspace sometimes, it can be a little easier to reach consensus online that we at least need to talk to one another, which provides an opportunity for socialists to listen and learn from what we all have to say.

The discussion is unmediated by any central committee or editorial board, so, whilst the positions are often a little fixed, the debate is at least more direct and fruitful. Disagreements can be sharp, of course - the web is notorious for its heated exchanges - but the Carnival has been useful in highlighting the fact that we do have shared goals in common and, even when someone comes from a very different tradition, they can still have interesting things to say. As a contribution to bringing the left into discussion with each other we’ve found blogging circles and the Carnival of Socialism a helpful, if often overlooked, tool.

At its best the Carnival celebrates the diversity and range of the left - but we want to make sure that everyone who can be represented is. It only works, however, by bloggers writing and readers recommending good posts. If you want to take part, check out our website and then email

Jim Jepps

It's time we got the word out a little more about the Carnival to guard against closed-circle-ism, or whatever the jargon term might be.

Also it's worth noting that John, Dave and I have agreed that we should celebrate May 1st with a special edition of the carnival hosted here. That means we'd like you to write pieces especially for the international workers' day edition and then let us know when you've posted them so we can include them. Messages of solidarity and uplifting images will also be accepted.

Don't forget next Friday Power to the People hosts Carnival #19. Send him your highlights of the blogging left. And finally, if you have a socialist blog and want to host the carnival leave a message in the comments and we will sign you up - it really is that easy.



Leftwing Criminologist said...

i think an international workers day edition would be a brilliant idea (a pity we didn't do one for international women's day too)

Jim Jepps said...

Yeah I agree - what need most is both ideas and the people to actually make them happen - hopefully the carnival format will allow lots of people to take the lead - next year we'll have an international woman's day - or try to - but the important thing is to make this "special" work so we don't get put off doing them in future

All ideas and contributions welcome!

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