Ebookcollective was a tumblr blog that was designated to distribute free leftist-related ebooks to educate the left in regards to theory. In many cases, the blog ended up helping lower-middle class students, who couldn't afford to buy these books or were afraid of possible malware or viruses when trying to find the book. It was also an intellectual center, a center where people learned about theory and were introduced with books that might enlighten them. Overall, it was a collective area and an example of socialist theory in work. Yes, it might be the internet, but the website was an example of socialism in work—with the end of privatization of leftist literature and a path towards creating class-conscious workers. With the fact that the capitalist atmosphere dominates the Tumblr site and the corporate minds behind the staff, it was deleted for “copyright infringement”, even though most of the published texts were hundred years old (which allows the text to be distributed publicly).
Tumblr staff has a record of not responding to the harassment tumblr users received on a regular basis, but quickly responds to the interest of the corporate welfare or for the bourgeoisie’s interest. It’s logically simple because of their interest in capitalist accumulation.
Even if the founders of the blog were Leninists (Trotskyists), all ebooks—whether it be anarchist to Maoist were allowed. As the blog expanded, other leftists—who were Maoists, anarchists, etc., contributed to the blog. Even if we disagreed vastly with the theories, it was a collective site where people were given the option to uphold whatever they pleased.
But if the founders were Trotskyists, why would they give permission to uphold ebooks that were against the Leninist foundations? It’s not like the founders necessarily agreed with the theories, but rather they remembered what Lenin said in <i>What is to be Done?</i>, “Without any revolutionary theory, there cannot be any revolutionary practice”. Even as Bolshevik-Leninists, we must be enlightened and be well-versed in all theories, so that we can prove continuously for its erroneous mistakes—like what Marx, Engles, Lenin and Trotsky did. Lenin said famously in <em>The Three Sources and Three Components of Marxism</em>, “The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true”. Of course it is! However, as Marxists, we must prove that it is true, and why it is true with dialectical materialist analysis. We can’t arrogantly say that it is true without backing up with a materialist analysis. We wouldn’t be even considered Marxists, but a petty-bourgeois leftist who blabbers more than reads!
We want to create an anti-capitalist atmosphere by giving access to workers free ebooks. In reality, people can’t really afford to buy Das Kapital from their local bookstore or end up receiving a fine from the library for an overdue Das Kapital! We must understand that the bourgeoisie has privatized education as such that it’s only accessible for the bourgeoisie, which leaves the proletariat ignorant, hence adapting the philistine culture of capitalism. Not all workers were born with Engels’ Principles of Communism attached to their backs! Class-consciousness is not something tangible, where it can be inserted in one’s brain, but it’s a self-identity the proletariat must find—reading being one of the options.
This blog is not to create a reflection of the successful attempt to create a centralized location of leftist literature, but to further expand our blog. As of now, there is an Ebookcollective in Farsi and in Bengali—thanks to our Persian and Bengali comrades. By, allowing comrades to participate and contribute, regardless of the theory, is a step forward to a socialist revolution and democratic centralism in praxis.
As for many, Ebookcollective was an attempt in universaling free leftist literature—but don’t give up on the site yet! There are and will be several attempts in creating the new one. As of now, we have moved to blogspot, where we expect not to violate any bourgeois perspective of copyright infringement.
The neoliberal cult that has actively suppressed numerous of sites that have been dedicated to distributing media exemplifies the contradictions of capitalism. Of course, we Marxists are well-versed with the concept of M-C-M’ and how it is being applied to the printing/publishing press; we understand the whole vulgar concept that ‘the authors are workers—rather being mental workers than physical’. But then we must realize that authors are being extracted surplus value for the capitalists to accumulate capital. One of the absurdities of capitalism include the fact that not paying for the commodity (books) but rather than ‘stealing it online’ is a violation. What people neglect is that the writers are being paid less not because it’s free online, but the corporate profit over the surplus value produced in writing it. With the bourgeois democracy in taken, illegitimate laws are formed to defend the corporate—creating the allusion that it’s the author’s rights.
Nevertheless, our struggle to create a centralized location for leftist literature will continue and it will be always on the proletariat side!
If you are interested in contributing to the blog, please email us at <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a> as of now. We will soon find an option for open submission. Thank you.