Gary M's character assassination of Mick Armstrong

Hartin, Tony thartin at
Wed Oct 9 16:18:00 MDT 1996

  >  From: Gary MacLennan <g.maclennan at>
  >  Date: Wed, 09 Oct 1996 12:35:35 +1000 (EST)
  >  Subject: on the Bolsheviks
  >  This list has been really depressing me.  Being on it is like being at
  >  Irish wake without the grog. The atmosphere is truly poisonous.  when
  >  someone from the lurkers' battalion speaks up it is no longer to bring
  >  breath of fresh air but like Stuart Sheild to demonstrate to us that
  >  things start to degenerate it is impossible to stop them. Truly the
list has
  >  developed a terminal condition.
  >  [........]
  >  Again part of me tends to be fascinated by this. But then I also tend
  >  remember what it was like to be in organizations with people like this.
  >  recall the  Thought Police. those whose sole reading consisted  of
  >  bulletins and the pathetic party paper. More than anything else they
  >  anyone who would read widely.  Like the Roman Church they remorselessly
  >  attacked  intellectuals  and raised up the workers and the near
  >  not because they were pro -worker but because they knew who could never
  >  threaten their grip on the organization.
  >  They were Sectarians and  psychologically deeply crippled people who
  >  only lead an organization if they kept  it from growing.  Just one such
  >  named Mick Armstrong popped onto this list a brief while ago.  But
there was
  >  nothing for him to scavenge because Malecki had already got there and
  >  all over the pickings.

Gary laments the "truly poisonous" atmosphere on the list, and then
contributes a good dose of his own.

Congratulations for character assassinating a comrade who has contributed
constructively to this list. Whatever personal problems you have had with
Mick in the past how does it help anything to whinge about it on this list?

I can't think of a more sectarian thing to do.

For the record, I have worked closely with Mick Armstrong for the last 8
years. I have found him to be one of the most consistent, perserverant and
intellectually stimulating revolutionaries I have come across. Week after
week for more than 20 years, Mick has done the hard work in trying to build
the revolutionary  and workers movement in Australia.
When I joined the ISO (which is the organisation to which Gary is referring)
in 1991, Mick and other revolutionaries were at the core of an organisation
which was the most successful in Australia at the time. Since then he has
been centrally involved in building Socialist Alternative, which, though not
the largest revolutionary organisation in Australia at the moment, is, I
would argue, the healthiest.

You have surprised me Gary. Generally I enjoy reading what you have to say
and find your analyses quite useful. Unfortunately on this occasion you have
displayed the worst aspects of the individualist anarchist who gives your
average Spart a close run for being the most mindless sectarian in the

Tony Hartin

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