MIA: Admin: Volunteers: Biographies
Name: Brian Basgen (brian - @ - basgen.org)
MIA Work History: I helped create the Marxists Internet Archive in the summer of 1998 with five other volunteers (see our history). My contributions were in helping to build much of our main architecture (directory structure, style sheets, etc), design our main pages to be professional and functional, and with David Walters helped bring in new volunteers, establish the organisational structure of the archive, and run the day to day operations.
I'm a part of this organisation because I feel it is very important to lift ignorance and combat mis-information about Marxism and the prospects of a Socialist society. Since it is Communist practice that is historically so troubling when one thinks of such distortions as Stalinism — my most important work on the archive is History: showing what happened and why. There is so much distortion about history -- a Stalinist will make believe the Soviet Union was a paradise, while a Capitalist will make believe it was a living hell. I find that the truth can best be presented by participants of that history; i.e. primary sources. With a collection of various primary sources, with different backgrounds, nationalities, and political views, on a place like early Soviet Russia; one can begin to have an understanding of what life was like: both the good and the bad. With this, I think a person can then see what human nature is all about -- the amazing things humans have been able to do in the most awful conditions, while others (Stalin, Mao, etc), acted within those barbaric conditions in awful and brutal ways. Imagine what humanity is capable of when aspiring to such ideals in an industrialized nation!
Presently, I enjoy helping other volunteers get started with their projects, and continue the work of shaping our bloosoming organisational structure. I do janitorial maintenance, system administration, work with several committees, help maintain and expand the MIA architectural layout (graphic art, html style, & directory structure). My main areas on content contribution are as an Editor of the Encyclopedia of Marxism and Administrator of the Marxist History Archive, with occasional contributions to the Marxist Writers, Reference, and Subject Archives.