Gary Replies to Robert M.

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Mon Sep 16 21:31:48 MDT 1996

At 07:28 AM 9/16/96 +0200, you wrote:
>Gary writes;
>>We have to be specific and local in our analysis.  Otherwise we can end up
>>like Bob Malecki pouring shit on the Turkish hunger strikers and the IRA
>>because they are not in the Fourth International.  He knows bugger all about
>>Ireland or Turkey yet can hold forth because he is  the possessor of the key
>>-   the core of Trotskyist truth that comes complete without any
>>spatio-temporal limitations.
>Since when is questioning the tactic of starving yourself to death pouring
>shit on Turkish Hunger strikers? Furthermore what exactly do you mean about
>the IRA. But coming from a Stalinist who seems the Social democracy as the
>main reason for fascism i doubt if i could get and intelligent answer.
>Bob Malecki

Let me try and reply to Robert M.

I could of course say that his  response  illustrates  the problem and leave
it at that. But I have no wish to be polemical.  Now Bob you must try and
see that the meaning of a hunger strike varies according to locale, culture
and community.

In Ireland it has been a very effective way of mobilizing the masses and
rasing their hopes and commitments to the struggle.  Read some Irish
History, Say  about Terence McSeeney.  His sacrifice ennobled the fight for
Irish independence.  Now try and read what the Turkish militants say.  Read
Zeynep's posts and try for  the sake of your own soul, Bob, to see the pride
and tears that lie behind her words.
Then trip off to the mirror and I defy you to  be able to shave.

Now the IRA.  If I mention this you will parrot out some phrase like "what
about their attitude  towards women? "the you will sit back as snug and smug
as only a Trotskyist bug can be, and think you have won the argument.  Again
concentrate on the particular struggle.  Think of the IRA cadre as being
composed probably of a majority of women.  Their struggle is not a matter of
a rag bag of half baked phrases and ideas.  The struggle for them is real
and now.  Do you know anything about the Price sisters, Bob?  Have you read
how they endured the horrors of force feeding while they were  on hunger strike?

I know this is difficult but you could try and be a little humble in the
face of their sacrifices.

Now as for Stalinism.  What can I say that would  penetrate?  Nothing in all
probability.  But let  me try this. Believe it or not Bob the main problem
that I confront politically is not what you call Stalinism.  It is gone,
Bob. Gone.  There is no Communist Party of Australia to hate any more.  So I
have other struggles.  Other priorities.

I want to learn from Louis G.  so I bracket off the Stalin bit and would you
believe it he turns out to have a brilliant mind and is full of hatred for
the bourgeoisie.  That will do me.

And if you would only try and shape up you  too could learn.

Let me be personal now.  You remind me of the character in Grapes of Wrath
who is missing an eye.  He sits there and lets it shine forth  in all its
raw red ugliness.  And he kvetches and kvetches about  life and how poor  he
is etc.

The main character tells him to get an eye patch and shape up and stop
wallowing in his  own misery.

Get an eye patch, Bob.


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