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Welcome to the current incarnation of The Voice of the Turtle!


What is The Voice of the Turtle?

The Voice of the Turtle is an online journal of left-wing politics and culture.

Its Editors are scattered across the face of the globe, in San Francisco, California and Ithaca, New York; Oxford, England and Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England, and -- from time to time -- Harare, Zimbabwe.

The Turtle edits and publishes material as it comes in to our shifting Headquarters. In most of the months of the year, a Monthly Missive informs those who subscribe to the Turtle's email list of the latest developments on the site.

Although extremely opinionated, the Turtle aspires to be eclectic and non-sectarian in outlook. We would rather see a hundred flowers of criticism and discussion bloom than assert and defend a monolithic party line. The Turtle has no formal ties or associations with any political organisation, though our interest in and general sympathy for movements like the People's Global Action and The Cobbler newspaper in upstate New York, with which we frequently share material, is apparent.

The Contributors to the Turtle are therefore a diverse bunch. They range from a smattering of Blairistas on our Right wing to some Trotskyist militants on our Left, with an assortment of social-democrats, greens, socialists, feminists, anarchists, anti-globalisation activists, musicians, drunkards and poets along the way. Some have jobs for which they should feel more ashamed than they do; others are quite unemployable. They are all equally welcome in these pages, and we hope they feel at home here.

All contributions are voluntary. The Turtle tries to live outside the cash economy as much as is possible, and is neither willing nor able to pay our contributors for the articles published. We are therefore enormously grateful for the time and energy the Friends of the Turtle have put into the site over the years, and extend our thanks to them once again here.

The History of the Turtle

The Turtle was founded in Oxford University in 1993 by Ben Fender, and enjoyed a haphazard existence for two years as an irregularly-published series of six little red books, memorialised in the Turtle's Graveyard.

Briefly defunct from 1995-1998 after the writers and editors had mostly graduated, the Turtle was revived, resusciated, and relaunched onto the Worldwide Web in the Summer of 1998. A Re-founding Manifesto was issued to guide our activity, which remains a surprisingly accurate statement of what we are still trying to do almost four years later, now that the site contains well over 1,500 files.

Since then, progress has been sustained. We began issuing our Monthly Bulletins in October 1998; the Dictionary of the Turtle made its debut in November. March 1999 saw our Great Leap Forward, when the site embraced a new design and the Reviews of the Turtle section was created, a section that was greatly expanded with our subsequent Summer and Autumn Books Supplements of the same year. February 2000 saw the launch of the Library of the Turtle; our French Revolutionary Calendar was installed in April, when the Turtle found a new home on much more reliable computers; the editorial collective was greatly expanded over the Summer, with the appointment of several enthusiastic Commissars to oversee some of the most significant Parts of the Turtle; and November saw the implementation of the Turtle's October Revolution, the introduction of a neat little applet-menu system to make site organisation easier, together with the new Lifestyle of the Turtle section and our impressive Search facilities. The latest turn of the technological screw is automated content management behind-the-scenes gimmicks, installed in 2002.

Who is most heavily implicated in The Voice of the Turtle?

The Turtle's Editorial Politburo currently boasts two Co-Editors -- it is believed that the "Co-" is a shortened form of "Comrade" -- who are ably assisted by four Commissars, each with their own specialist areas of (ir)responsibility.

They can be contacted at

Raj Patel Co-Editor

Oakland, CA

Chris Brooke Co-Editor Oxford, England
Josephine Crawley Quinn Poetry Commissar San Francisco, Rome and Oxford
Palash Davé Film and Theatre Commissar London, England
Malinda Seneviratne Commissar for South Asian Affairs Sri Lanka
Martin O'Neill North American Literary Commissar Cambridge, Massachusetts

In addition to the Editorial Staff, the Turtle boasts its magnificent cohort of Stakhanovites of the Month, and our many other friends and allies.

What can I do to help The Voice of the Turtle?

The Turtle is not able to pay its contributors for their fine work, and so remains entirely dependent on the freely-given labour of those who wish us well.

There are many ways in which anyone can help the Turtle wage its ceaseless struggle for the total domination of cyberspace, many of them not particularly arduous, and we describe some of them on this page.





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