About The Bell
The Bell is a merger of three websites: Progressive Independent, Populist Independent, and Socialist Independent. The complete contents of all three sites are available here, although some content may not be visible. In addition, The Bell is also a new forum and electronic journal. Previous content is used, not as a reference point, but as seed for new conversations.
This is an e-journal of political and social criticism, overwhelmingly materialist in its outlook. Join us if you wish.
The Layout of the Site
The Bell consists of three discrete parts: the Front Page (and additional pages) which make up the e-journal, the forum, and the blogs. The blogs are driven by individual members and require little explanation. The forum is a little bit more complicated.
The forum section is divided into Main Forums, and into the heavily trafficked forums of the previous websites. The forums of the merged websites may be browsed and searched in the normal way but they are not open for posting. Instead, some of the most relevant threads have been copied and activated in the main forums. This is a process which is incomplete and necessarily subjective. If we have missed a favorite subject, please send an e-mail or PM.
In addition to the above, some specialized forums and less well traveled ones from the previous websites, plus some archives dating back 3 years or more, are not visible. They remain searchable and may be made visible if required.
The Main Forums are much more concentrated and minimalist than was true of the previous websites. They represent an attempt to focus the discussion (primarily in Political Discussion), instead of diffusing it across a wide range of independent topics. We shall see how well that works.
Beyond the forums and blogs, there is a “Front Page” which is an entryway to many pages, together making up the e-journal. The Front Page is almost entirely driven by content which was originally generated in the forums. The sections, About This Site, and Documentation are self-explanatory. The Real Story presents original exposé from the forums. The other two sections require a bit more explanation.
Dead Russians comes from a comment that, "...all those people ever want to talk about is dead Russians." In truth, the entire modern period from before the French Revolution to today is but a moment in human history... and it is a contiguous moment. This section presents works whose significance has been lost in light of subsequent debate, or works which have literally been lost. To argue that only the most contemporary works are relevant is a simple conceit... and a self-defeating one. Very little has changed over this period despite the alteration of the technological face of society. To prove this point, read Bees by Pisarev.
All of the writers in this section are not intended to be Russian. It is a coincidence that so far it has worked out that way. From the standpoint of our section name, it is a fortuitous coincidence.
Gallery of Assholes are an assemblage coming from direct nomination in the forums. They are presented with the understanding that sometimes it is easier to confirm what one disagrees with than what they agree with. Some of the award winners are true monsters and others are simple hypocrits. There is little that unifies them except that they all pass a threshold which qualifies them, in fact, as "Assholes". There are over 60 nominees for this Gallery and all will eventually be incorporated. Relatives and in-laws do not qualify, but otherwise, this is an open category. Make your case.
In addition to allowing the creation of more categories and articles, the software for the Front Page is quite powerful. There are numerous video boxes and feeds sprinkled throughout the section. Much more can be done. It is possible, for example, to create new forums which are automatically driven by external news feeds... and many more possibilities of that type. The caution is that the e-journal is the most delicate of the sub-parts of The Bell and will take time to stabilize.
The site is "under construction" and will remain so for a considerable time. Please, bear with us.
Moderation at The Bell is strictly subjective. The driving principle is "advancing the conversation". Debate is welcome but it has to have purpose. Without purpose, it is just spam. Please don't do that. So too, with the various internal differences of the Left. There are many places on the Web to revisit 100 year old disagreements. This is not one of them.
Login accounts at The Bell reproduce those at the three previous sites. The only thing that is lost are passwords. Please e-mail the webmaster to reactivate your account and get a new password.
It is possible and easy to merge multiple accounts at the previous sites. Just make the request.
There are many capabilities at the site beyond the Blogs. There are e-mail accounts, picture albums, integration with "social networking", and many other features. They will be made available over time.
Finally, all e-mail should be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will try to accomodate your requests.