Cockroach #5

Robert Malecki malecki at algonet.se
Sun Sep 1 00:07:26 MDT 1996


COCKROACH! #5

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!

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<http://www.ios.com/~dizzyman/haha/>
Read the book! Ha Ha Ha McNamara,Vietnam-My Bellybutton is my
Cristalball.
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1. Trade unions and the "welfare" bill!

2. The Transitional Program

3. Russia and Cuba again!

4."Marxism" at Jefferson Village "reorganises"!


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>Robert Maleck: I think you can guess which of the two scenarios I
>endorse.  My previous LaboTalk piece, "Work Ethic for the Poor," makes
>that clear.  With righteous wrath, you command American colleagues to
>get off their fat asses to do something. I'd be interested in your
>suggestions.  Harry.

Harry, could you send me the "piece" you mention above.

Well as far as the trade unions are concerned and especially the
trade unions in the public sector the welfare stuff is extremely
important. Not only do most of our members work in this field
involving health, childcare, the sick, the old and welfare in
general, but most of our members through their own experience
see the price behind the present system which benefits the
people with money against those who have nothing.

Here is and intersting set of lists i recently found on the
subject in regards to numerous countrie.

******************************************************************
Percentage of children and elderly living in poverty 1984-1987:(3)
******************************************************************

                      CHILDREN            ELDERLY
COUNTRY              IN POVERTY         IN POVERTY

United States           20.4               10.9
Canada                   9.3                2.2
Australia                9.0                4.0
United Kingdom           7.4                5.2
France                   4.6                4.5
Netherands               3.8                3.4
Germany                  2.8                2.8
Sweden                   1.6                4.3

Source: Timothy M. Smeeding, "U.S. Poverty and Income Security Policy in a
Cross National Perspective, October 1991, Luxembourg, October, 1991,
Luxembourg Income Study, working paper 70.

******************************************************************
                Percentage of population covered by
                  public health insurance, 1990(25)
******************************************************************
COUNTRY      PERCENT  COUNTRY         PERCENT
Australia      100    Sweden            100
Canada         100    United Kingdom    100
Denmark        100    Austria            99
Finland        100    France             99
Ireland        100    Switzerland        99
Italy          100    Spain              99
Japan          100    Belgium            98
New Zealand    100    Germany            92
Netherands     100    United States      21
Norway         100

Sources: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris),
Health Data file, 1991: U.S.: National Center for Heath Statistics, Advance
Data, No. 201, June 18, 1991.
******************************************************************
We're Number One in percentage of population without health insurance.

******************************************************************
  Percentage of preschool children with full polio, DTP
(diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis), and measles immunizations,
                       1985--87:(50)
******************************************************************
COUNTRY             POLIO         DTP        MEASLES
------------------------------------------------------------------
Denmark             100.0        94.0(51)      82.0
Belgium              99.0        95.0          90.0
France               97.0        97.0          55.0
------------------------------------------------------------------
Germany              95.0        95.0          50.0
Netherlands          96.9        96.9          92.8
Switzerland(52)      95.0        90.0          60.0
------------------------------------------------------------------
United Kingdom(53)   87.0        87.0          76.0
Norway               80.0        80.0          87.0
Spain                80.0        88.0          83.0
------------------------------------------------------------------
United States        55.3        64.9          60.8
------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. nonwhite        40.1        48.7          48.8
------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources (for chart and text): Bret C. Williams and C. Arden Miller,
Preventive Health Care for Young Childnen (Arlington, Va.: National Center
for Clinical Infant Programs, 1991), p. 76; Bret C. Williams, "Immunization
Coverage Among Preschool Childnen: The United States and Selected European
Countnes," Pediatrics (Elk Grove Village, 111.: American Academy of
Pediatrics, 1990), p. 1052: various releases and publications of the
American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
##################################################################

Cumulative number of offcially reported AIDS cases and
cumulative rate per 100,000 population, as of 1991:(57)

##################################################################
                                   CUMULATIVE
COUNTRY            TOTAL CASES  RATE PER 100,000
##################################################################
U.S. nonwhite           93,569       155.7
##################################################################
Malawi                  12,074       131.8
Uganda                  21,719       120.9
Congo                    2,405       107.3
------------------------------------------------------------------
United States          202,843        81.0
------------------------------------------------------------------
Switzerland              1,891        28.0
France                  15,534        27.6
Spain                   9,1 12        23.2
Canada                   5,228        19.7
Australia                2,678        15.8
Italy                    9,792        17.0
Denmark                    842        16.4
Netherlands              1,799        12.0
------------------------------------------------------------------
Belgium                    896        9.0
Germany (unified)        6,708        8.5
New Zealand                274        8.3
United Kingdom           4,758        8.3
Austria                    594        7.8
Sweden                     587        6.9
Ireland                    205        5.9
Norway                     220        5.2
Finland                     88        1.8
Japan                      405        0 3
------------------------------------------------------------------
Sources: World Heath Organization, Global Programme on AIDS (October,
1991); U.S. figures: U.S. Centers for Disease Control "HIV/AIDS
Surveillance," December, 1991, p. 9.
------------------------------------------------------------------
##################################################################
  Ratio of average teacher salary to per capita gross domestic
                   product (GDP), 1988-90(30)
##################################################################
                MAXIMUM SALARY  STARTING SALARY
                (RATIO TO PER    (RATIO TO PER
COUNTRY          CAPITA GDP)      CAPITA GDP)

Switzerland          2.97            1.69
Austria              2.60            0.98
Canada               2.22            1.10
Japan                2.21            0.75
Germany              2.19            1.37
United Kingdom       2.05            0.95
Australia            1.60            1.09
------------------------------------------------------------------
United States        1.58            0.94
------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: American Federation of Teachers.

The above tabells give us a lot to work on and is clear proof that
there is a price on the great American apple pie dream!

I would suggest that a working class party based on the trade
unions and urban poor with a program that clearly state a goal
of a complete redistribution of the wealth in America is
neccessary. Naturally it has to based on the people who in
America get the shitty end of the apple pie stick..This at
least for starters.

There is a furios debate going on at Usenet about the Welfare
reform. These exchanges i have posted to the list. In fact
the present right turn by the Congress is going to have far
reaching Social consequences. History has shown us that the
urban pooor in despair go out and start burning down the
ghettoes. My position on this is better to burn the local
bank if you have to burn something!

However it does not solve the problem! So unless the trade
unions and urban poor can come up with a political party that
fights in its interests and its interests alone we are
certainly doomed.

However, if the rage of the urban poor is not directed in a
direction which can attack those responsible for their misery.
There are certainly figures in the wings that will make them in
to the next generation of Brownshirts! In fact this is already
happening here in Europe and Scandinavia..

So obviously we are going to have to address this question
far more seriously then before as trade unionists. Because
the Urban poor section of the population is growing in leaps
and bounds because of downsizing and cuts everywhere.

However we do not need a new bunch of bureaucrats that sit
behind their desks and turn papers. We need people that can
go out and organise amogst the urban poor,around housing,
childcare,healthcare,pensions and all the rest.

In other words and organisation that is prepared to go all
the way in a redistribution of wealth to the majority of
the people that works in there interests and not in the
interests of the rich and powerful.

Thats the short version..

malecki
----------------------------------------------------------------------

THE TRANSTIONAL PROGRAM..

After Hugh's post on the transitional program i felt almost forced to do
a close reading of it once again. it has been awhile since the last time.
What is so incredible is how relative it is to today,s situation. As a
working class kid it was the Transitional program which first attracted
me to the Trotskyists. It was the answer i needed after being raised in
a ghetto with working class parents. I was raised on picket lines and
the McCarthy era. Later on used a a piece of meat in imperialist colonial
warfare both in Cuba and Vietnam. When I first began to wake up it was
hardly the Trotskyists i turned too, but direct action, some very adventurist
action, directed at taking on imperialism single handidly! Well, it did not
work and i wound up in exile first in Europe and later Scandinavia. Here I
came into contact with the Transitional Program. A little book (60 pages)
which for the first time showed me a way out of the dead end.

Only to find out through futher studies the Stalinists had sabotaged any
kind of Bolshevik politics in the workers movement over a whole historical
period leading up to today. But i knew that if there was a way out this
was it. Unfortunately at this time there were very few workers at least
in Europe who adhered to any kind of Trotskyism. In fact it was mostly
students and intellectualls in the post war revival around Vietnam and
May of 68. Naturally this unbalance has caused a lot of problems and
splits in the Trotskist movement. It is much easier for a student to
theorize and split here and then there then for a working class kid.
In fact it has been very difficult trying to find a way through the maze
of intellectuals claiming the banner. But what kept me hanging on was
that little book the Transitional Program and Trotskys and Lenins writtings..

In fact if all of those who claim the Trotskyist mantel were to take
this document (The transitional Program) as a starting point for and
International regroupment it would be a great leap forward in preparation
for come what must!

The post war Trotskyists groups have also been effected by much of what
has happened. There has been some pretty horrible opportunism, out right
betrayal, splits and all the rest. One of the main reasons I believe is
the tremendous pressure put on these groups both by events, but also the
domination of the Social Democrats and the Stalinists in the Labor
movement. And not in the least the physical liqidation of Trotskyist
cadre during this historical period.

Many still are sitting in their trenches, others who make the claim of
being Trotskyist and who are opportunist to the core and even others
who have become old and inbittered or just given up.No group or
individual has been left unscarred by all of this.

Therefore i claim that no group or tendency can claim the mantel without
a serious International conference taking place for a discussion of the very
basics.


In the Trotskyist world there is also a tendency of not seeing what the
enormous events in the past years really mean. A tendency of despair, a
tendency of trying to find new slick formulas and a tendency to completely
disregard events that open up a real opportunity for the future.  The
most vital is the complete disintegration of the Stalinists and the
jump by the Social Democracy in to the camp of the bourgeoisie!


Naturally we have left overs from the Stalinist parties, not in the
least the maoists of the ultra left period, but also of the right period.
However without state power and Moscow or Peking to hold them up they
are dead in the workers movement. There ideas stem from many of the
dead end tactics of the now dead Stalinism.

All the various groups and tendencies of Stalinism are in a shambles.
The Euro-Communists are becoming Social Democrats. The State Capitalists
are trying to reorientate their fundemental counter revolutionary
betrayal of any kind of Bolshevik politics. The Anarchists are in a
shambles. The Social Democrats are leaping into the arms of the bourgeois.

Today more then ever in the Transitional program and the basic documents
of the of the Trotskyist left opposition up until its founding lie the
seed of a revolutionary regroupment Internationally under the banner of
a reforged Communist International.

All of the present tendencies and groups who do not take this opportunity
to go back to the very basics and founding documents of the Fourth
International, but continue on their merry way as if nothing has
happened the last few years in regards to the Stalinist and Social
Democratic traitors of the International Proletariat and do not
realize that The transitional program (in its entirety) makes a good
ground for an International regroupment of forces claiming the
Trotskyist banner would be criminal. In fact more than criminal, a
direct betrayal of those in back of us who fought and died for these
documents in one of the blackist periods of history.But also a direct
betrayal of the International Proletariat that has been beheaded of
its Social Democratic and Stalinists leadership in later years and a
Revolutionary leadership far longer!

The International Proletariat has no leadership today! Into this space
that has opened up would be a good place for a reforged International
leadership of Trotskist forces based on the fundemental documents of
the movement we derived from!

But it should be based on those documents in their entirety and a
leadership and a cadre who are prepared to fight for that program in
forming a mass revolutionary vanguard. It can not be a halfway house
for those who advocate just parts of the Transitional Program, nor ultra
leftists who deny that the program does not go far enough! But a cadre
who are prepared to move forward on the concrete basics and the
Transitional program in its ENTIRETY. That i,m afraid is the only
road forward! That i  am prepared to work for. All else is just bullshit!

For the first time since the consolidation of the Stalinists as a
counter revolutionary force in the Labor movement, their power is
broken! Smashed and disintegrated by its own rotten politics and
imperialist pressure. The Social Democrats after this Spectacular
event have taken gigantic leaps into the arms of the bougeoisie both
on the National level and International level.

For the first time the path is layed wide open for the intervention
of the basic politics of the Fourth International. If we miss this
chance we are heading for a new and unpresidented period of barbary!
But this time we can not blame the Stalinists and the Social Democrats.
The blame must be put squarely on the shoulders of those who claim the
mantel of Trotskyism!

Finally without a serious International Conference an attempt of
regroupment by all parties and groups on the basic fundementals and
Transitional Program of Trotsky and the Left Opposition the Proletariat
should turn their backs to all of those claiming the mantle, because
none of you deserve the right of their history. Besides it is only
these documents that can lay a basis for real unity and possibility
of moving  Forward to the reforging of the Fourth International.

In exile, in Sweden and still a Trotskyist!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Russia and Cuba again!

>But even on Lenin's definition there were periods when Russia clearly did drain
>capitaL from E>Europe eg in the years immediately after the war when stalin
>looted East Germany, Hungary etc sending back railway line, capital equipment
>and whole factories to Russia. Also there was capitaL flow inside the USSR from
>the Asiatic and other non-European parts to the imperialist Russia heartlands.
>
>The gross national oppression within the old USSR was also an imperialist
>policy. There was a clear economic motivation in the Stalinists oppression of
>the non_rUssian peopl's it was not simply because Stalin did not understand the
>national question.

Mick, Jorn and others on the list who claim that the former Soviet union was
imperialist are dead wrong. The above about what the Stalinists did
immediately after the second world war had nothing to do with imperialist
policies, but was a continuation of the Stalinist bureaucracy's bonapartist
policies of disarming the possibilty of workers revolution.

It is well documented Stalins mistrust of all who opposed him in Russia
after coming to power. He did everything in his power to eliminate the
opposition. And in East Europe this meant dismantling just about everything
and sending it back to the Soviet Union connected to Red Army occupation and
building up and infrastructure of loyal Stalinist hacks in these countries.
But after that new industries were built up and in places like
Checkoslavakia the arms industries were built up again. In fact many of the
weapons that wound up in the third world came from these factories.

At this point in time the Soviet Union certainly was playing and
anti-imperialist role despite the Stalinist policies! Or do the "State Caps"
think that the cold war was just a myth?

And in regards to Cuba. Trotskyists do not critize the Stalinists for
exporting guns or whatever to the Cubans. In fact we would have called for a
nuclear shield of the Cubans against imperialist attack. But we do critize
the price ticket that went along with it. Although the Cubans, unlike the
Vietnamese, were not as servile to the Stalinists as far as politics were
concerned. But the Cubans certainly did not or perhaps could not avoid
capitulating to Kremlin bureaucrats either.

In fact i agree that the United States was partially responsible for
throwing the Cuban leadership into the arms of the Russians. However that
was certainly a step to the left (!) in the early days of the Cuban
Revolution. Unfortunately i have to agree with Louis that the Cubans
certainly had to choose between the support of the Stalinists in material
things in order for the Revolution to survive. However I disagree that this
line in the long run can lead to success.

And in fact much of the Cubans exporting of revolution depended on material
>from Russia but also and ideology which was at best centrist in character.

And the proof is that today Cuba is more isolated then ever before.
Naturally it is the duty of every revolutionary to defend Cuba against
imperialism, however to ignore the possibilities of building a revolutionary
International based on struggle for power, the Cubans appear to be caught in
the Stalinist ideology of a popular front against the Americans
Internationally based on a program of petty bougeois peace organisations.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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"Marxism" at Jefferson Village "reorganises!"

Well now it is official. The spoon at Jefferson village has decided to
reorganise the list and discussion. Naturally, like class struggle, all
things change. The actors move in different directions and the battles
draw lines even here in cyberspace.

Despite the rosy picture presented by spoon as "reorganisation" one must
say that the reorganisation is something that is connected to the history
of M1 and M2 lists.

The people involved, at least those who have been here for a while, is the
dynamic force in this new reorientation. These people including myself is
the human material with all of its various ideological and living experience
in interaction which has brought about the present state of things.

The remarkable think about this process is how the cyberspace is being used
to enforce all of these political and personal *real* life experiences.
Thus trying to turn this media into deviding up this human material into
various files where they can survive in peaceful bliss without being
contaminated by a virus from the other rich political and personal
backgrounds of those who claim to be "marxist" orientated. A family of
revolutionaries that can exist, at least in cyberspace, in seperate
little rooms where they feel comfortable.

Sort of like packing lollipops in individual or group plastic bags to keep
them sterile for the uninformed consumer...Even better would be the history
of the "new" leftwhich has led a gruopie existence especially amongst
intellectual circles for a rather long time.

It appears that the spoon is looking for organisational and moderation
forms to strenghen this process of groupie existence of the left on
Internet. In other words a little fack or room for each member or family
to move into and be happy with their convictions.

How quaint! I think that it is a very logical outcome of the last months
of struggle. Especially amongst the intellectuals on this list whos politics
is connected to presenting their views to small groups of polite people who
don,t have to worry about where the next meal is coming from or have been
unemployed for months or years.

However i defend free speech and even the right to live in isolation and
groupie existence even for those that prefer this alternative. However i
do intend to subscribe to all of the new groups and try to follow the rules
in order to make life uncomfortable for my political opponents. Or will i
be prevented from doing this by my political opponents? Thus proving;

That  the present "reorganisation" is not more then a physical expression
of the present groupie and individualist life that our "marxists" on this
list appear to prefer in private little rooms rather then and open forum
where ideas can clash.

Because it is quite clear there are certain individuals that are trying to
use this reorganisation as a tool to gag people from participating in the
debate. Naturally i defend the right of people to discuss in anyway they
want to the questions facing those who claim to be "marxist"..

However to organise the discussion along the sectarian and groupie
principals that the left has so long been doing in real life and raising
it to a principle under the guise of "reorganisation" would be criminal.
In fact, only a broad and open discussion with all political tendencies
with people from all walks of life can show the way forward.

We have nothing to lose but our chains and the chains that those who will
gag a free and open discussion will put on us under the guise of moderation
and reorganisation. The best thing that can happen to people is to be
confronted with living ideas and politics is through and open clash on
and open forum where moderation is directed only against facist
provacateurs and *real* cops!

Those who need to hide behind closed and moderated doors have something
to hide or are afraid that there politics can not stand up to open and
real confrontation are the only ones who gain by building walls around
themselves with this new orientation by the spoon. This i,m afraid, despite
all the rhetoric, is the underlying reason for the new reorganisation of the
lists.

Warm Regards
malecki

I am posting this to the newsgroups and it will go in a future number
of cockroach..


Bulletin Board

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<http://www.ios.com/~dizzyman/haha/>
Read the book! Ha Ha Ha McNamara,Vietnam-My Bellybutton is my
Cristalball.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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