Cockroach #9 (Urban Poor + Jefferson Village)
malecki at algonet.se
Sun Sep 15 04:39:27 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!=20
Banned from the "Unity" list at Jefferson Village For being
a "Trotskyist" and a "philthy lumpen" background, who today=20
lives with his "pigs and donkeys" in exile-where he ran away=20
during the Vietnam War.
According to the ex-vice viseur of the "Unity" list at
Boycott the "Unity" List at Jefferson Village!
1. The Urban Poor..
2. Rump Unity heads back to the future!
(Letter br Hugh R. after being expelled=20
from the "Unity" List at jefferson Vollage)
3. The Labor Party and Trotskyists!
4.In Defense of the Communist List
6. Bulletin Board...
The Urban Poor...
>I think you are mis-reading what I said, Paul. The question is not to see
>such people as enemies or friends, but to see their class position as
>distinct to that of the proletariat - the only consistent revolutionary=
What a joke coming from Aldolfo. His line is pick up the gun rhetoric for=20
peasants in Peru and making a deal with the progressive wing of the Peruvian=
bougeoisie when they take power to then fight the *real* imperialists. In=20
fact the Stalinist stage theory of revolution. Hardly anything about this=20
supporting the proletariat as the only real revolutionary force in society=
which he claims to support. In fact it is only the Trotskyists that see and=
work for the proletariat as the only *real* independent force that can=20
overthrow the ruling class and set up a dictatorship of the Proletariat=20
against all wings of the bouugeoisie.
But in the advanced countries the urban poor will also be and extremely=20
important part of a revolutionary mobilization.Just as important, if not=20
more important, then the peasantry in Russia were in 1917.
>The lumpen elements - because that is what you are describing - are an
>inevitable product of capitalist relations. That much we agree. The
>question is how the "Left" has come to envelop them with an aura of
>"heroism"? How the lumpen is seeing, in some quarters, as the
>"revolutionary class". How the education of the proletariat - the duty of
>marxists - is seen by some people as education on the "ways of the lumpen"
>and the "values of the lumpen".
Actually, the only ones with this position is the MIM! Another Maoist=20
organisation.They are the ones that Aldolfo is at present in a block with on=
the creation of the WMC. I wonder what they have to say about this Aldolfo?=
Could the MIM please clarify how they see Aldolfo's line on the urban poor?
>The lumpen, as Lenin long ago pointed out, can be won over to the
>revolutionary cause, and some INDIVIDUALS can indeed play a role and even
>transform themselves into proletarian fighters precisely by repudiating
>their own past. Howver, as a class (or section of the population) they are
>a most inestable element - precisely due to their petty bourgeois outlook -
>which the proletarian dictatorship must certainly guard against letting get
>hold of the tiller of the state or the Party at ALL times, and moreover
>after the seizure of power.
The above is partially true. things have changed a bit since Lenin,s time.=
The urban poor today play the same role as the peasantry did in the early=20
19oo's. The difference being that instead of millions upon millions of=20
landless peasants, we have today millions and millions of urban poor! And=
the problem with these elements is that if the Communists do not lead these=
movements in a anti capitalist direction. The brown shirts in the wings have=
a program to lead them in another direction.
Therefore it is critical that communists fight in these movements and get=20
them pointed in the right direction. But for Aldolfo the urban poor are to=
be seen as PHILTH at best...=20
>It is also well know that the ideology which sustains this
>"glamourourisation" of criminal life as some sort of "heroic
>anti-capitalist" struggle is very much rooted in the liberal philistinism=
>the petty bourgeois mentality. That as far as the revolutionary
>organisation is concerned, the unchecked presence of such elements
>contributes to liberalism and to the "we are of the left for better or
>worse" mentality, putting in the same sack the proletariat and the lumpen,
>the genuine Marxists and the maleckis. Moreover, such opportunism, as with
>all opportunism, "facilitates the tasks of the Zubatovs" in lenin's own=
In fact the party would certainly put demands on lumpen elements if=20
recruited! But this has hardly to do with fighting amongst the millions and=
millions of poor who in desperation are burning down the ghettoes. Who live=
in a cycle of cops and robbers.
Who live in despair with no hope for the future. It is into this envionment=
the party must go in order to shape events in a direction which will help=20
the proletariat and not the facists!
>In order that such elements from the lumpen who show willingness to work=
>the revolutionary cause do not become "enemies" of the proletariat and can
>be brought into the revolutionary camp with any degree of confidence, the
>strictest vigilance is necessary, and particularly, to fight against the
>liberalism of those promoting the view that it is enough to be in a
>bourgeois jail, no matter for what reason, to be a "heroic figure". That
>corresponds well to social-democratic "Robin Hood" type of views, but not=
>those of real and serious marxist revolutionaries such as Lenin.
Actually what Aldolfo really means is that anybody coming from a urban=20
envionment should kiss his boots! And there is nothing wrong with"Robin=20
Hood" politics if it is connected to a struggle for power. And as far as the=
holy hero image, just read some of the stuff produced here by the maoists on=
Peru. More romantic and holy is pretty hard to find! Especially Aldolfo and=
his support of the "great and glorious" leader of the PCP in Peru. Talk=20
about idol worshipping and boot licking..
The fight against Hooliganism is certainly a fight that will have to be=20
carried out. But this under the dictatorship of the Proletariat. It has=20
nothing to do with fighting the present attacks by the real hooligans who=20
have a program for the urban poor which means STARVE TO DEATH! But Aldolfo=
does not even see the difference. He is using the Lenin axe against the=20
urban poor who unfortunately do not have the education nor desire at this=20
point to learn Lenin, if they could read.
>And Lenin continues, describing the true proletarian policy AGAINST
>everything that the maleckis of this world stand for (CRIME, HOOLIGANISM,
>CORRUPTION, PROFITEERING, AND OUTRAGES OF EVERY KIND) in this lapidary=
Since when does fighting the Congresses attempts to STARVE POOR PEOPLE have=
anything to do with the above. Other then it is the rich and powerful who=20
are the real theives and profiteers and Hooligans and commit outrages of=20
every kind against the Urban poor.
>"There has not been a single great revolution in history in which the=
>did not instinctively realise this and did not show a SALUTARY FIRMNESS by
>SHOOTING THIEVES ON THE SPOT. The misfortune of previous revolutions was
>that the revolutionary enthusiasm of the people, which sustained them in
>their state of tension and gave them the strenght to SUPPRESS RUTHLESSLY=
If the above is true in Aldolfo context. Then he should get a gun and start=
with all the MIM people first who uphold this ideology of glorification of=
the urban poor to extremes! But just now Aldolfo is blocking with them and=
can,t afford it. But a word to the MIM. Watch it! You see what Aldolfo has=
in store for you if he gets the power.=20
>That is what I meant, and examples of these are "tens of thousands and even
>millions" in Lenin's own words. What I mean is that without exposing that
>the claims to "Leninism" of the maleckis's are the claims of the ELEMENTS=
>DISINTEGRATION which Leninism would have RUTHLESSLY SUPPRESSED, Marxist=
>are only sucking their thumbs and exposing their own liberalism!
In fact Aldolfo is sucking the MIM's thumb! The masters of glorification of=
the urban poor! That is the truth. Malecki is trying to fight together with=
the urban poor against the rich and powerful who,s program for them is about=
the same as Aldolfo! But they do not use Leninist rhetoric!
What does Zeynep have to say on this issue. Should we go out and shoot all=
the urban poor because of their lumpen life style? How many would die in=20
Turkey if Aldolfo got his way?
How about the American society which is racist to the core driving the=20
minorities (especially black and Latino) into a life of urban violence and=
crime. Do you think that Aldolfo's line will solve the problem?
And even in this "Socialist" paradise Sweden the urban poor and violent=20
crime is growing just about as quickly as the welfare reforms are being=20
taken away. The housing that once was for a labor force imported for=20
capitalist profit are slums ans centers of gang building and lumpenisation..
How about our "marxists" on this list putting something forward here.=20
Besides the Aldofo slogan "Shoot them"! As far as i am concerned Trotskyists=
will certainly have to work in these areas not with desertations of the TP=
but programatically putting forth the tactics and strategy that will move=20
things towards a revolutionary overthrow. And this should be seen in and=20
International context. Huge riots in American cities directed at the rich=20
and powerful will certainly be linked to other events in the Americas and=20
the rest of the world. At the same time it will be raising the conciousness=
of the urban poor about the historical suicidal tactics of burning the=20
ghettoes down in despair..Among other things..
Rump Unity heads back to the future!
(Letter br Hugh R. after being expelled=20
from the "Unity" List at jefferson Vollage)
Over on left-unity Per M has lost his innocence. All the talk about votes
and consultation and following democratic principles boils down to this:
>>From owner-left-unity at jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU Tue Sep 10 19:59:15=
>From: "Per I. Mathisen" <perim at interlink.no>
>Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 19:42:50 +0000
>Subject: The way forwards
>I have been away for two days.
>The first thing I noted getting back on was a substantial
>stream of unsubscribing list subscribers. This list is going
>down the drain. And I know why. This is what I will try to
>describe below, and describe what I have done to remedy this
>The reason is quite obvious, actually. People tell me
>about it every day, people who quit. They are fed up about
>all this "Malecki business". They are fed up about all the
>discussions on charters. They came here to discuss
>left-unity, regroupment, marxist organisation, critical
>studies of leninism, the future of sane socialism from below
>and all the rest of the stuff, not get drawn into a
>long-winded factional war with sectarians.
>Indeed, many of the people we had assembled before we
>started this list, there were more than 20 of them, have
>left this list. We did not want the list which some other
>people on this list have been advocating. We did not want a
>repeat of the Marxism1 list.
>I am not advocating that we should only allow in people who
>argue the same conclusion. Actually, I say the opposite:
>That is mostly irrelevant. What we want restrictions on, is
>whether or not we are asking the same questions. We haven't
>been. We wanted to discuss the future of broad parties on
>the left, how to construct them and how not to. Not if.
>This list is not a political party. Those who have
>understood that little after all the attempts that have been
>forthcoming to explain this, should leave the list; because
>we are not going to transform it into a political party,
>Those who have wanted the poisonous disruptor known as
>"Robert Malecki" to be on this list, are wanting a
>qualitatively different list than we wanted originally. I
>fear we did not adequately state this in the beginning;
>state that we wanted a list where questions were asked from
>*our* point of view, not from the point of view of the usual
>loud-mouthed sectarians who fill various newsgroups and
>mailing lists on the net with their mindless chatter.
>The most recent proposals for how to run the list,
>including both the charter and some proposals for
>discussion threads to run, are getting quite good, in my
>humble opinion. However, until now we have been discussing
>which way to take. I think we were quite clear about from
>what view we wanted questions to be put when we created this
>list. However, some people who were not part of the
>pre-discussion have been agitating for a different course, a
>course which I think leads in quite a different direction
>than the one we wanted it to.
>I partly blame myself for this happening. I should have
>foreseen this, if not when the list was created, then before
>I sent out my advertisements. We should have anticipated
>this. Now we have learnt, but we need to deal with the
>problems at hand: which direction to go. And we need to
>commence our travel *now*, or the list will be no more.
>I am tired of all this. So are those who have left this
>list. If they are to return, we need to proceed to
>*constructive discussions*. To do this, we need to have
>sorted out which path we want to travel, from which
>perspective we want to discuss - that is, if we want to have
>a flamewar across the abyss of political difference which
>parts critical marxists and sectarians, or real discussions.
>I have no doubt what I want, and it happens that I am
>moderator of this list, and not by coincidence. I won't
>allow this list going down the drain, which it is now, and
>it is my responsibility to see to that it shouldn't be.
>The only conclusion I can reach of the above is the
>expulsion from the list of the "PO" address and of "Hugh
>Rodwell", both who have been advocating having the
>disruptors "Malecki" and Ben Burgis on the list, and have
>shared a sectarian and small-party elitist view on party
>building, quite contrary to the approach of us who founded
>the list in the first place.
>The expulsions has been put into effect immediately.
>As to charter, I think we should keep a thread going -
>please identify it clearly - on discussing charter content.
>I believe some changes should be made to avoid sectarians
>entering the list again under disguise of being allowed to
>do so by the list rules.
>We should, if possible, agree on its content, and if not,
>vote for different proposals. I think Luciano would make a
>good vote-taker. I suggest we set a deadline next Friday for
>Also, I suggest we set a temporary deadline on Saturday next
>week for incoming contributions on the Transitional
>I am sorry that this problem has been solved
>administratively rather than politically, and not only
>administratively, but rather undemocratically and hastily so
>too. But I think it had to be done, and now. Those who
>cannot live with these decisions should leave the list.
This behaviour is not a re-run of marxism2, it's worse. Lisa's unprincipled
retrospective rigging of the rules was a charitable act by Mother Teresa in
comparison with Per M's hatchet job as moderator. Lisa at least held to
stated principles in relation to my suspension and re-admission. We both
knew where we stood. But this latest performance by Per!
At least they didn't have Marxism in the list title.
So press forward, lads, to a discussion with
Louis P, you can come back now, all is forgiven. The swamp is just as wet
and sticky as you like it. No threat of draining any more, no nasty
principles to firm up the squish, no bracing blast of dissent. The air is
as still and stagnant as the fluid. Enjoy.
PS I would naturally object to this stupid and vindictive decision if I
didn't know better.
The list owners are in complete and arbitrary command. The use they make of
this power lays bare their lack of political principles.
As we have been told many times before, Spoon lists are neither political
parties nor responsible elected bodies. Left unity has done a good deal of
huffing and puffing about democratic formalities, but it's all been chucked
overboard without a second thought when it has come to even the slightest
crunch. Sheer hypocrisy.
I say stupid decision, because if Per had had any sense he would have
capitalized on the perceived hostility towards my person generated by Louis
P and Doug H and a couple of others by booting me and making a great
hullabaloo about 'disruption' or some such. The continued presence of PO
would have given the appearance and some slight legitimacy of open
discussion and tolerance to the rump unity list.
But Per was too desperate to think. He had to strike at the organized
Trotskyists most rooted in the classical tradition of proletarian
revolutionary work, intent on building an internationalist party with a
cadre loyal to the precepts of workers' democracy and disciplined
So now the hermetically sealed off Rump Unity list will be a 24-carat
hall-marked Menshevik discussion circle, whose petty-bourgeois intellectual
milieu can bend and waver to the blasts of bourgeois public opinion in
total freedom. No "sectarian" straitjackets here, no sirree! Only
In Defense of the Communist List
I do not see any bona fide reason to destroy Marxism 1 in order to form=20
separate lists on marxist Blake or physics, "identity politics" or=20
"neoliberalism," etc. Why can't these lists exist alongside M1? This=20
list is unique not because it is marxist (who is not "marxist" nowadays=20
anyway?) but because it is COMMUNIST. Academic/"left" marxism is a=20
respectable business. Communism is not. Harvey and Wood, Eagleton and=20
Amin have their public, their academic community, their conferences,=20
and the like to make their views known, their agendas promoted. We=20
value and admire them for what they do. We would be happy if they join=20
us and let our cause benefit from their intellectual vigor and=20
knowledge. But not at the cost of becoming indistinguishable from=20
their public, their academic community, their conferences, and the=20
like. We are DIFFERENT from them because we are communists which means=20
that for us Blake, physics, "identity politics," and "unequal exchange"=20
have any meaning if at all only insofar as they help us to achieve our=20
single goal: to do away with capital, and forever. Not in our heads but=20
in the air we breathe. If this list is too messy and a "waste of time"=20
for Harvey and other intelligent and sensitive human beings, we have=20
the right to suppose that a revolution or a civil war are going to seem=20
even messier, even more "waste of time" to=CAthem, for publishing presses=20
may temporarily come to a halt and the people on the street may behave=20
in even less civilized fashion than we do on our list now.=20
Academic, "literary" marxism is a necessary form of a marxist theory=20
under present conditions. It is also deeply embedded in the bourgeois=20
academy and culture, and bears all its intellectual and social stigmas.=20
Moreover, for decades academic marxism has been almost completely=20
defensive and shaped by the agendas and the very language imposed on it=20
by the advanced bourgeois theory. (A number of topics proposed for new=20
list formations demonstrate how insidious this influence is, how far it=20
has spread beyond campuses and fashionable journals). When I want to=20
learn how to argue against the "postmodern" aesthetics or politics in=20
my classroom I turn to academic marxists and read them with gratitude=20
(and due caution). But when I need an opinion - let alone help - on=20
"what is to be done" my authorities are Robert Malecki, Louis Proyect,=20
Walter Daum, and other comrades who have committed themselves to the=20
same cause and who - however at odds with one another - dedicated their=20
lives not to intellectual but revolutionary activities.=20
Louis (P) has drawn an attractive picture for the future: disciplined=20
cohorts of marxist intellectuals - united in their collective search=20
for truth - engage in a constructive and informed debate on the burning=20
issues of the socialist movement. The unruly ones, the queer fish will=20
be straightened out or, perhaps, even excluded. The rest will enjoy =20
the full technical and "administrative" support of the team of=20
moderators (Are they communists? What is the financial foundation of=20
the Spoons?). In addition, marxist discourse will be split into a=20
number of specialized discussion channels, thus facilitating the=20
fragmentation of revolutionary knowledge and its further divorce from=20
practice. I am not against this vision in principle. Such format may=20
have its limited usefulness and purpose but only as addition to a=20
communist list and certainly not as the proper principle of the=20
socialist intellectual organization and the organization of socialist=20
intellectuals. For this plan uncritically envisions for us in the=20
Internet the same place in the division of labor that capitalist system=20
assigns to the intellectual and her work in general.=20
Instead, our place here must be assigned by the revolutionary needs and=20
goals of the proletariat. The Internet space is not one of the party. =20
In this space we obtain only as bourgeois intellectuals. At best,=20
then, our place here is one of "specialists," precisely in Lenin's=20
sense of the word. The only historical sense we can give to our=20
existence in cyberspace is to become "specialists" on the service and=20
under control of the working class, above all, communist workers. And=20
the first service we can render for them in our status as list members,=20
i.e. as ones who have the middle-class privilege of Internet access, =20
is to place this tool in their hands. If this proves impossible to do=20
directly because of technical and financial reasons we need to become=20
technical personnel, a mediating link, switch-board specialists between=20
the international groups of socialist workers who now struggle in=20
isolation and anonymity. Let us help them to share their experience,=20
thinking, problems, ideals through us, as communication workers of=20
organized socialism. Even the smallest step in this direction will=20
have more historical significance than dozens of "socialist" or "left"=20
lists filled by bureaucrats and intellectuals peddling their=20
"positions" and "lines," will be a small but a vitally important break=20
in the capitalist regime of communication and division of labor. In=20
this alternative vision, the first duty of the "specialist" on a=20
communist list will be to establish close relation with at least one=20
group of the politically awakened workers, to transmit their voices to=20
the list and to provide them with the feedback from other workers. =20
Needless to say, this is not a simple mechanical function. The=20
services of the list collective will have to include translation and=20
international expertise in whatever areas the workers may request our=20
help: law, economics, history, marxist literature and theory,=20
statistics, etc. This is of course a very rough outline of a very raw=20
idea. Perhaps, we can have a discussion of at least the general=20
direction I have tried to suggest, before the list be shut down and we=20
go to our specialized stalls.
Finally, a communist list does not need moderators. Our awareness of=20
the secret services who monitor this list is all we need to moderate=20
ourselves by not saying anything which can help their business. No=20
other moderation is welcomed. If the communists on the list cannot=20
come together for a useful collective work no moderator can help them. =20
Read the book! Ha Ha Ha McNamara,
Vietnam-My Bellybutton is my Crystalball!=20
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