The Ukrainian Bilko

stolz stolz at
Fri Aug 29 10:05:51 MDT 2003

> Subject: The Ukrainian Bilko
> Like many others I have found the fraud carried
> through by CWI members in the Ukraine on various left
> tendencies in Britain, the USA and New Zealand quite
> amusing.

I can assure you: there is nothing amusing in this.  It was supposed
to happen and it will happen again.

But it was not a matter of naive people being
> bilked by canny tricksters as Tom O'Lincolln seems to
> be saying. In fact this fraud was carried through over
> a period of some years and Vernik and his friends had
> face to face meeetings with a number of the Western
> tendencies who they took in. For example they most
> certainly met with representatives of both Workers
> Power and the LRP/COFI in Poland.

...and with many more, Horatio.

> Thgis indicates and the written materials produced by
> Vernik and company, materials never actually
> distributed in the Ukraine of course, indicates that
> the grasp of the ideologies of the various groups
> involved was quite sophisticated. Rather different
> then to a group of youth grasping at something that
> might be seen as atractive on a superficial level (the
> only level on which workers power group is attractive
> in my humble opinion).

Well, "youth" must be a reather stretched word to apply to Vernik
and his buddies, but why do you think that a bunch of Ukrainian
politicos may have problems in sorting out some finer points
of difference between Western sects of Trotskyists?  Believe me, you
are dealing with levels of sophistication hardly unimaginable among
you, guys.  Of course, this is sophistication of a peculiar kind.

> The most interesting question involved in all this is
> why would a college lecturer in Kiev, which is Verniks
> real job it seems, spend so much effort for
> comparatively little reward?

Instead, you should've asked yourself: how is it possible that a college
lecturer in Kiev would not be interested in working hard for "comparatively
little reward"?   This lecturer's salary is what you spend for your kitten
odor removers in a month.  But yes, money is not the whole thing.  The pure
joy of political  trickstery, especially when it is connected to monetary
rewards, the sense of power and prestige, even in a narrow sectarian milieu
of Ukrainian politics, and last not least, moving around, getting to all
those "summer schools" and "conferences" compliments to "Western comrades."
But this is not a politically interesting topic.

(I do not belittle the
> losses people have sustained just wish to point out
> that some thousadns of pounds in proceeeds might
> easily have been obtained legitimately by
> sophisticated fraudsters). The LRP have hinted at the
> involvement of state agencies but there is no proof of
> this. If for personal gain then the effort involved
> was surely not worth the benefits.

Well, still why don't you tells us how much those benefits were?
And what is LRP?

> Personally I think Vernik may have actually thought
> that this was a clever ruse to gain funds to build his
> own group in the Ukraine and damage opponent groups at
> the same time by depriving them of funds. In addition
> I suspect that this was legitimised for him by the
> utterly fratricidal attitudes of most of the various
> groups towards their supposed competitors. Add a dash
> of petty bourgeois smugness at putting one over on
> various people and a mere leavening of fascination
> with the exotic varieties of left ideas concerned and
> I think we have 'Cde Vernik'.

Yes, Vernik, and not only him, was created by Western Trotskyists.
Even his earliests experience of milking the Libyan embassy was only an
amateurish cat-copying of the Healy gang.  But his real training and I
suspect the real corruption began only with his deeper understanding of what
the Western Trotskyism wanted from him, namely, anti-Russian Ukrainian
nationalism.  All 15 or so "fraternal" groups created in Ukraine by Western
trotskyists or FOR them (most if not all of them are purely virtual)have one
thing in common.  They are bitter enemies of each other, but they are one in
their anti-Russian (formerly anti-Soviet) politics.   No, Vernik is not a
trikster. He is a sincere Ukrainian nationalist who made pact with the forces
who responded to his political instincts: a petty-bourgeois nationalist
leftist, left anticommunist, whose school of political education was the anti-
comminism and anti-Sovietism of "perestroika" era, which in Ukraine was
accompanied by rabbid anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalism.  He was an ideal
candidate for most malignant strains of Western Cold War Trotskyism.  They
both found each other.  And in full truth, we should give Vernik his due:
didn't he make a political miracle?  Didn't he UNITE by trickery and against
their own will those who have been always united in the only essential matter
of contemporary politics, but whose own pettiness prevented them from
acknowledging their unity?

So this affair is not about Vernik.  And I am afraid that much
worse "revelations" will be coming from Ukraine in not so distant future. And
perhaps some very big names in Western Left politics will become much much
smaller when we learn about their little games in Ukraine.

Vadim Stolz,

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