Cockroach #13 (Tariq Ali's "Redemption"..)
malecki at algonet.se
Mon Oct 7 13:32:41 MDT 1996
A EZINE FOR POOR AND WORKING CLASS PEOPLE.
WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS.
It is time that the poor and working class people
have a voice on the Internet.
Contributions can be sent to <malecki at algonet.se>
Subscribtions are free at <malecki at algonet.se>
How often this zine will appear depends on you!
Read the book! Ha Ha Ha McNamara,
Vietnam-My Bellybutton is my Crystalball!
COCKROACH, a zine for poor and workingclass people
NOW ON LINE
1. Louis P. and Tariq Ali's "Redemption".
2. Resubbing to the left-unity list
Louis P. and Tariq Ali's "Redemption".
I agree with what Vladimir says and would like to add a few things about
Louis Proyect's book review of Tariq Ali's "Redemption"..
In fact the review says reems about Louis P. and the petty bougeois students
that invaded the "left" from the 60ties and onward. Actually both Ali and
Louis are a part of this huge influx into the "left" of an alien class. It
was not just the so called "Trotskyists" groups but "maoism" in all of its
variants, the workers power people and workers counsil people in all of its
variants, the anarchists and all of its variants and the traditional
Stalinist parties in all of its variants. Basically the children of the
middle and upper middle class of the post war baby boom invaded "left"
politics in a very short time in the late 60ties and early seventies.
It was a product at least in the advanced industrial countries of the post
war baby boom and education explosion that came out of the super profits of
the destruction of the second world war. This generation of spoiled brats
put on their berets, mao jackets, and buttons with Lenin and Mao and all the
Being raised and growing up in a period of never ending industrial boom
created a generation of 40talists who had never experienced the horrors of
the second world war, nor the first world war and all the events in between.
Nor did this new influx
come from the working class or a small group of bougeois intellectuals like
the communists leaders like Trotsky or Lenin. This was and invasion of youth
middle and upper middle class. It had a material basis far more then any
This massive invasion of a group of individuals from the middle class was
not based on ideological convictions, (although ideology was the topic) in
fact much more on life stylist conceptions along the lines of Punks,
hippies, or whatever more as a fashion that was "hip" for a certain period.
In fact putting posters of Che or red flags
in the living room was about as revolutionary as their parents going to the
furniture store and buying the latest in leather couches or televisions!
This mass invasion by the middle class and with middle class material values
in the bottom was the cause of the demise of the new left from the
beginning. During the Vietnam movement it was cool to be revolutionary
because no serious demands, nor any serious attack on middle class lifestyle
other then sitting at long and boring meetings where the best of the
intellectual elite from this class battled it out or selling newspapers at a
demo, or whatever and then one could go home and drink a bottle of wine or
smoke some pot and feel good.
It was after Vietnam that the demise of the new left began. These middle
starting to get up in age had to face the reality of actually doing
something to make a living, have kids and live their middle class lives.
Although the leaders tried to find a way to turn this massive middle class
invasion into something after Vietnam all of the new left parties failed.
Because the social base that they built the movement on were turning to
careers and child raising.
Turns towards events in Chile did not get the same response as Vietnam. Some
of the left wanted to make a turn to the industries and as the middle class
deserted them. The maoists were the first to disintegrate in to a bunch of
small sects of leftover student leaders that for a few years had made a
carreer of being revolutionaries. They disintegrated first because they were
the largest organised current of this aliens classes dip into left politics.
The workers power groups also disintegrated rather quickly however they were
never big. The various Trotskyist groupings appear to have had the biggest
influx of petty bougeois middle class intellectuals. I think that this was
because of the supieorority of Trotsky thinking in relation to the
Stalinists that attracted so many out of this envionment. It also took the
longest to die out.However the intellectual elite of the middle class of the
post war student generation were also the most unstable elements of this
huge generation of post war youth!
Thus they used Trotsky and his writtings as a polemical tool to smash each
other on the head with. Although Pabloism goes back to the end of the second
world war and the enormous pressure after the allied victory and foremost
that the Red Army had taken half of Europe which led to people like Pablo
capitulating to these events and starting a course of liquidation towards
But with the invasion of the middle class post war baby boom into the new
left this methodology of liquidation because of the pressure of Stalinism
turned into liquidation from the pressures of this gigantic petty bougeois
invasion of the so called left. Politics were turned towards appeasing these
middle class life stylist connected to *real* events taking place in the
world. Vietnam was the catalist for this temporary invasion of a hostile
class and its interests invading the so called new left. In fact just the
words "new left" which is still used today was coined as a name for just
this social group as a group!
After Vietnam, Latin America became the new focus for these militants.
However this hostile social class was getting on in age and finishing
university and the real world of making a career and raising families took
the social base right out from under the feet of the great leaders of the
new left! They were left standing with their hats and newspaper and cc
meetings empty handed in a fairly short time.
With the exit of this hostile class from its youthful "leftist" game. The
crisis for the petty bougeois elite and their liquidationist politics that
had led the movement became a fact. This is why many of the new left groups
no longer exist today. The "new left" was never really based on class
struggle! It was based on interpeting others who were involved in class
struggle. A petty bougeois hiccup in the long history of proletarian
struggle. An alien class of mainly middle class youth that were allowed to
take over the great struggles of our past at least on the ideological level
and give their interpetation of events.
Tariq Ali,s book like Louis P.s review are a wonderful example of just two
petty bougeois intellectuals that have sort of created a middle class
existence on peddling new left garbage using some of the great names in
history like Lenin and Trotsky. But the same thing can be said about the
Stalinists and the Maoists. The same kind of alien class invasion of these
worlds and the disastrous outcome.
Actually Louis's book review is a final attempt to nail Trotskyists. In fact
the only thing he really does is declare Ali as a genious. Because both of
them have the same approach to revolutionary politics. It is a world of
books, and newspapers, and libraries, and meetings where they can with their
petty bougeois intellectual background and middle class values carve out and
existence where real class struggle has never existed! It is just more chest
thumbing and prostitution of communist history in order to carve a new niche
in their own political bankruptcy!
That is the world of the new left. A materially comfortable world where
these people can entertain themselves at the expense of *real* battles going
on in the world. Nothing is any longer holy, nor do they have any principals
in order to push their interpetations and garbage. I noticed that
immediately Louis was offered a place in the journal of revolutionary
history with this article. Lovely that these people suck up to each other
and keep the machine oiled..
This present turn of what Hugh calls the "broadies" is just another attempt
of the surviving petty bougeois leftovers of the Vietnam era to find a
platform for their existence.We will build anything if we can find a place
in the sun should be their slogan! And they have proved that they are
prepared to do anything to defend that position . Just take a look at the
antics around the "Unity" list.
Why there is so much opposition to Malecki's and others "orthodox" Trotskyism
and especially coming from somebody who does not belong to their class is
that they deep down understand that this threatens their very existence as a
gurus that they have played for so long. Notice how they have attacked
Malecki's book! The message is in reality. Any worker who thinks he is going
to come in here and say something will be trashed by this alien class that
think they own the left and politics! They are defending their material
interests of book,radio and newspaper jockeys on the left that is left! And
for the petty bougeois survival of the fitess is the law. Not class struggle
or solidarity but their positions as left Gurus!
They think that "Trotsky" presented by Malecki is boring and vulgar because
they are not really interested in this stuff. They need something "new" in
order to turn a trick for the new middle class youth who might be attracted
to these kind of antics.
I mean they have written just about everything one could possibly think of
around the classics. Thus they are trying to find something new that appeals
to the alien class they represent!
There message is we need something new to appease there petty bougeois
middle class interests! Something that can be broad and BIG enough in order
to carry on the lifestyle there politics represent. They have been playing a
game of Intellectual prostituting of real struggle Internationally during
and after Vietnam where they once were in the limelight but now lead a
groupie existence. Waiting for the thaw they thing that the fall of
Stalinism will give them a new chance to the big time! Thus all the activity
on the "new left". It is not Trotskyism that is dead. But a desperate
attempt by and alien class who are trying to find something new to attract
those new generations of petty bougeois intellectuals with. A chance for a
new place in the sun..
But the death throws of and alien class which invaded the historical
struggles of the Proletariat will hopefully actually lead to its death. They
under the names of some really great leaders have prostiuted off of some
great leaders and are leaving the movement. Ali,s book is a good example of
this. Not being able to write articles about Lenin and Trotsky and attract
people of his own kind any longer then he turns it into Science fiction.
Anything to turn a trick in the intersts of his own survival as a petty
Some are still around and are up to all kinds of antics both in the real
world and the cyber world. Hopefully those who actually took some of this
stuff about Lenin and Trotsky seriously are still around. It is in those
organisations their is the possibility of hope for the future. Because
Communism needs serious intellectuals if the movement is to survive!
Let these petty bougeois intellectuals rave about "sects". The party of the
Communist International will always be a sect to these people. Because they
have always judged things in quantity rather then quality. The demise of the
has not injured the Proletariat at all. They were never part of the new
left. The only thing we are seeing is the final act of some of the more
leading prostitutes who were alien to communism from the beginning because
of their class origins. Only the most dedicated intellectuals will be the
Communists leaders of the future.
In closing i will add and article i wrote a few months back knowing that
this article plus the above will never be published in any of their
"revolutionary" journals.They usually defend these alien class elements from
*real* poor and working class people and their vulgar and lumpen writtings.
But into Cockroach it will go where perhaps someday some serious people will
find it and read it!
As if intellectuals don,t have attitudes. As long as i have been
around the left and that is a pretty long time my friend. Both in and
outside of the Post war left, especially the far left, there have been
attitudes. THe main one has been treating working class people as
something you pat on the head. Much like in a zoo..
If i were to put for example trade unionism before the working class
and proletarian revolution and the importance of forgoing a party in
order to get there. I could accept the accusation of "workerism",
However your attacks on me are because of my style. You are already
putting the rib up on bougeois behavior on the Internet. How one
should speak, how one should argue, how one should know his place in
the order of things.
Are there any rules for how one should wipe is ass?
This is the underlying current of this discussion both here but also
on the lists where the left is present. You are talking *at* working
class people and not with them. You have spent your whole lifes in and
academic dreamworld and want to set the same rules here as in the life
the far left has been leading since the 60ties..
I can honestly say that it is easier to talk with the most right wing
patriot Vietnam vets with a working class background then it is with
the left envionment on the net. It is not the working class here but
people long and far from the class..A bunch of characters who pay
lipservice to solidarity and socialism or communism..Even the labor
party people are organising from the top down with the bureaucrats in
the lead of taking the power before it gets off the ground.. None of
you are really interested in more then making sure that your position
in this envionment of ideas is not threatened especially from poor or
working class people who might have something to say..
No wonder workers don,t want to have anything to do with the left. I
have seen it all my life. Its sort of like where i,m a fish-you are a
flounder-and the reverse goes to. The far left has no roots in the
class..So why should we bother. Some racist bonaparte will come along
who understands this stuff better and turn a lot of these people into
Brownshirts. Then it will be to late for the left to wake up and
realise they missed the boat..
Its not malecki that has to change! In fact it is the left that has to
come down off its high horse and start relating to workers and the
urban poor so that they understand it. A good example is my book.
Working class kids and especially poor people understand where i,m
coming from immediately. Even if they do not agree.. The left sees my
book and have done nothing.. In fact i have been attacked time and
again for actually having the balls to write something like that. How
dare you stick up your head malecki. I have been accused by the left
of trying to make money. Feeling sorry for myself. Being a lumpen who
deserves to be in Sweden, being a cockroach who should be stamped out,
being a vietnam vet who raped women and slaughtered people, not being
able to spell after 25 years in exile. This is the "left" mind you..
Not one ! Hear me! Not one statement of solidarity. The left is
impodent. In fact there are two organisations calling themselves
communist or socialist that actually published my appeal The Swedish
Mandelites and the Spartacists in the United States. Perhaps some
anachists newspapers also..The left has showed itself completely
bankrupt. I understand why the Vietnam vets are so angry. They were
spit on by the left and the ant-war movement. I was spit on by the
left also back then for being and ignorant worker in a tank plant when
all the action was on the universities. Today you spit on me by
ignoring that i exist or some crazy in exile who doesn,t realise that
the Vietnam war is over. Today you spit on the Vietnam vets for being
crazy at best..
So don,t tell me about how workerist i am. I am enraged and insulted.
Can you possibly understand this.I could have elected to say fuck the
left. I could have stayed here in quiet peace and live a very
comfortable if not rich life thr rest of my time here. I said to
myself that i owe the kids that i use to stand in the tankplant with
in Cleveland. I owe the kids that i grew up in the ghetto with. And i
owe my own kids a version on how things were from our perspective. To
try and find and fight for a solution out of a class perspective..That
is why the book and no other reason.
I know that in the United States we are closer to a race war then any
kind of class war. I know that facism is once again showing its ulgy
face here in Europe. I know that we are heading for a new period of
imperialist war and revolutions. And the only thing you can say is
Malecki your are workerist, shut up..
Finally the only thing i can say it is not my attitude that is the
problem. The real problem is that the left is living in a dreamworld
of "ideological" struggle which has turned into a permanent
lifestyle..You are protecting your little corner of cyberspace and the
real world with huge posters.
NO WORKING CLASS PEOPLE AND POOR ALLOWED UNLESS WE PLAY BY YOUR RULES!
So Louis and all the rest of you fuck off...I will continue to
contribute the best way i know how. That is all i can do..
Resubbing to the left-unity list
Some very interesting issues of principle are being raised in the practice
of the Left-Unity list.
For instance, PO and myself have been informed that our sentence of
expulsion has been commuted to suspension.
But this decision is just as arbitrary as the expulsion decision.
We broke no rules and contravened no part of the list statement of purpose.
Holding out the prospect of resubbing on condition of agreeing to abide by
list rules is well and good, but first one or two things should be taken
I don't think for one second that the change from expulsion to suspension
is due to spontaneous second thoughts by the moderators. (If I am wrong,
they will tell me so.) I think it arose because of pressure from list
subscribers for more democratic practices on the list.
This is what is so interesting. If there is pressure for democratic
practices, where will it stop? How much constraint will be placed on the
arbitrary powers that a list-owner at Spoon has? What will list
subscribers, particularly members of Militant Labour and revolutionary
factions of the United Secretariat demand of the list and themselves? With
what openness and tolerance will they conduct themselves in relation to the
list, and how will this reflect their openness and tolerance in real unity
So far there has been some protest and some apparent agreement with the
moderators' unilateral action. One Swedish member of Militant Labour in
particular was very quick to slam the door in my face when I circulated my
response to the unsubbing. And yet I had received no warning, been given no
opportunity to defend myself or put my case before the list and nobody had
been consulted, let alone asked for a vote on the procedure. It's
unsettling to see people accept bureaucratic decrees like this with such
The whole procedure so far adds up to the arbitrary and unjust silencing of
So, I have one or two things I want clarified.
1. If the move towards more democratic management of this list is to be
taken seriously, then at the very least PO and myself will have to be
reinstated as subscribers and receive apologies for unjust treatment -- for
the expulsion in the first place, and for the suspension in the second
2. If the move towards more democratic management of this list is to be
taken seriously, then the preemptive banning of individuals for presumed
undesirable political positions or presumed undesirable behaviour should be
condemned and everybody wishing to participate in list discussions should
be admitted on the understanding that they will abide by the rules of the
3. As a particular case to illustrate 2. I will take Robert Malecki, whose
preemptive banning was quite unnecessary, and even tactically
counterproductive. Someone who posts regularly and often will very soon
reveal how capable they are of abiding by list rules, especially if these
are explicit and clear.
4. As further illustrations of 2. I'll take the contrasting cases of
Richard Bos, a Stalinist who is quite capable of participating in
discussions on left unity without disrupting anybody, and Louis Proyect, a
self-proclaimed non-Stalinist, who is totally incapable of discussing
anything without disruption and who in fact took himself off the unity list
before he got chucked off. (Now of course he is claiming he was banned from
5. Agreeing to abide by rules can obviously not include agreeing to abide
by unwritten rules, unless we want to go back the arbitrary management of
the list that is at the root of the problem. This includes such things as
banning the mere mention of Robert Malecki or raising the question of the
reinstatement of him or Ben Burgis. Over on m2 the necessity of making
rules of order explicit was acknowledged and the rules became very clear
eventually, leaving very little room for doubt or misinterpretation. The
rules were bad, but they were clear, and it was possible to agree to abide
by them and know what you were letting yourself in for. This is still not
the case on the Unity List.
6. It should be obvious, though one of the moderators has implied to me
that it isn't, that any conditions accepted or rules abided by apply solely
to the list in question, that is the Left-Unity List. If Left-Unity takes
it upon itself to exclude someone for something done elsewhere, it's
arrogating to itself the business of judging the whole of cyber-space and
by extension the whole of creation. If I agree not to mention Bob Malecki
on Unity-List, and I get zapped for mentioning him on some other forum,
this is censorship gone mad.
It's bizarre that this posting should have to be made to m1, but surreal
contradictions are part and parcel of the present phase of development on
I'm forwarding a copy to the moderator of Left-Unity list and hereby
request that this be distributed to that list to inform subscribers of my
Read the book! Ha Ha Ha McNamara,
Vietnam-My Bellybutton is my Crystalball!
COCKROACH, a zine for poor and workingclass people
NOW ON LINE
--- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
More information about the Marxism