"Socialism-XXI" Internet Institute Statutes

"Socialism-XXI"
Internet Institute

Statutes

The present statutes amount to no more than an internal document, which does not have the status of a formal juridical Charter. Nevertheless, the statutes are intended to set out, in a manner which although extremely informal is nevertheless quite clear, the rights which participants in this project have and the obligations which they assume.

Main Goals of the Institute:

1. The development of dialogue between scholars representing the trends of

  • Post-Soviet Marxism
  • Socialist theories current in Western Europe, the US and Japan
  • Socialist theories of the Third World.

This dialogue will focus on fundamental theoretical studies of the contemporary social order and of the preconditions for the socialism of the twenty-first century, as well as on overcoming the information gap between scholars in “former socialist” and capitalist countries;

2. Promoting works on contemporary socialism in the academic milieu, and disseminating these studies to the public in both East and West.

Main activities:

1. The development and presentation, through Internet communication and dialogue, of scholarly programs relating to a limited range of questions of interest to researchers in East and West. These areas of study are to be determined by the founders of the institute and by interested colleagues. These people will provide an initiative through identifying “intersections” in research topics on which work has already begun, or on which it is due to begin in the near future. The working language of the communication and dialogue is to be English. The Russian side will prepare translations into Russian for Russophone participants who do not read English.

2. Holding at least one international conference each year in Russia or Europe, on the basis of preliminary Internet discussions of major reports.

3. Annual publication of at least one monograph (up to 500 pages) in English and Russian. The book will first and foremost contain new studies performed by the institute within the framework of its initiative programs, as well as already existing texts that have not yet been circulated widely and that correspond to the concept and problematic of the book. The right to translate the book into any other languages will be granted free of charge.

4. Publication, initially only in Russian, of an almanac (probably name: Economic and Philosophical Notebooks) containing texts in Russian and Russian translations of English texts.

5. Presenting any texts proposed for discussion, in the original language if the authors so wish, on the website of the institute, as well as on any other site prepared to carry the materials.

6. Selection and publication, in English, of particularly interesting works by creative Marxist scholars of the Soviet period (at least one book or anthology per year). The focus will be on works that remain relevant today.

7. Publication, in Russian, of the most important works by foreign Marxists to have appeared in recent decades (at least one book or anthology per year).

8. Informational and analytical work:

  • Creating and maintaining a directory of publishers, journals, websites etc. devoted to propagating socialist theoretical ideas, at least in countries represented within the institute;
  • Annotating the most interesting theoretical works, at least on the level of systematizing and translating annotations that already exist on the net. At a minimum, this will involve works from countries represented in the institute;
  • Systematically informing interested persons about new developments in the field of socialist theory (perhaps through a monthly Internet bulletin in Russian and English).

Management of the Institute

The main activities of the institute (choosing topics, methods of work, etc.) are to take the form of highly informal and democratic initiatives.

Nevertheless, we propose setting in place a number of minimal rules for our future dialogue. These rules will impose a certain responsibility on us, and will prevent unworthy individuals from becoming associates of the institute. Within this context, we will invite all interested people to participate in carrying out our projects, and will freely distribute all the materials of the institute. A number of restrictions apply exclusively to the management of the institute; to participate in these matters, we invite only those people who are prepared to accept a certain level of responsibility.

This list of minimal “rules” consists of the following:

1. The major decisions of the institute (including the areas of study, conferences, and publications; the authors of publications; the programs of conferences, and so forth) are taken by the associates of the institute on the basis of Internet surveys.

2. The coordinating of work and of organizational and technical activity is carried out under the supervision of the coordinators of the institute – that is, of the people who initiated the project and who bear organizational and financial responsibility for implementing it.

3. Any scholar who agrees with the fundamental principles of the institute; who, at a time suitable to him or her, and in a form of his or her choosing, presents scholarly materials in an area of study of the institute; and who, to the degree of his or her powers and abilities takes part in the running of the institute and provides financial support to its activity (from individuals, of the order of 0.5-1% of annual income, but not less than 300 euros per year in OECD countries and 100 euros per year in other countries, and from organizations that are collective members, no less than 500 euros per year), may become an associate of the institute.

4. An associate of the institute has the right to take part in the administration of the institute; to discuss all materials submitted to the institute; to have his or her materials published on the Internet (without restrictions as to form or volume) and in publications of the institute (in line with collectively adopted limits); to make recommendations concerning the publication of materials by outside parties; to take part in conferences of the institute, and to recommend the participation in them of  outside parties; and to receive free of charge the publications (up to ten copies) and informational materials of the institute.

5. The original group of associates of the institute is formed on the basis of the concepts put forward by the initiators of the project. A new candidate for the status of associate of the institute has to be recommended by no fewer than two of its existing associates. Admission to the status of associate is carried out by means of closed (secret) Internet voting. Each of the associates of the institute has the right of veto over the acceptance of a new member.

6. The status of observer is granted to any person who declares his or her support for the fundamental ideas of the institute and who subscribes to the information bulletin of the institute. Voluntary contributions to the work of the institute on the part of observers and sympathizers are welcomed.

7. An observer has the right to acquaint himself or herself with the Internet materials of the institute; to present his or her materials (including texts for inclusion in the publications of the institute) for perusal by the associates of the institute; to apply to take part in conferences, and so forth.

8. The institute may award the status of honorary associate to any person who supports the fundamental ideas of the institute, and who has made a significant contribution to developing socialist theory, but who at that time is not able to participate in a practical way in the activity of the institute.

Organization of activities

The institute has no office, and no permanent paid staff except for one or two technical coordinators. The institute:

1. functions mainly on the Internet;

2. integrates the already existing activity of its founding partners;

3. incorporates highly regarded socialist theorists from Russia and other countries on its international board;

4. accords the status of associate of the international institute to interested and actively working persons;

5. finances important projects, including:

5.1. holding annual international conferences, seminars, and other scholarly gatherings;

5.2. (annual) publication of books in Russian and English (including a collection of the institute’s scholarly works, etc.);

5.3. publication of the almanac Economic and Philosophical Notebooks;

5.4. informational and analytical work (the institute’s Internet resource, Internet bulletin, etc);

5.5. the activity of one or two highly qualified staff members (on half time) performing informational and analytical work (publication of the Internet bulletin, etc.), and of one technical staff member (on half time);

5.6. current organizational expenses.

Possible sources of financing

Expenses on items 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4, including costs of translation from and into English, are borne by the Russian side on the basis of contributions from sponsors.

Expenses on items 5.5 and 5.6 (approximately 5000-10,000 euros per year) are covered by contributions from the Russian and other founders of the institute and from other interested persons.