marxism-digest V1 #6279

michael pearn neprimerimye at
Fri Aug 29 15:52:42 MDT 2003

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 12:05:51 -0400
From: "stolz" <stolz at>
Subject: Re: The Ukrainian Bilko

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

MP Vadim I can asssure with certainty that this IS
funny. Not good certainly, but certainly funny.

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 12:05:51 -0400
From: "stolz" <stolz at>
Subject: Re: The Ukrainian Bilko

> Subject: The Ukrainian Bilko
> Like many others I have found the fraud carried
> through by CWI members in the Ukraine on various
> 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
> be saying. In fact this fraud was carried through
> a period of some years and Vernik and his friends
> 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.

MP Who is this Horatio and do I owe him money? And the
many more include the International Bolshevik
Tendency, Internationalist Group/League for the Fourth
International, Socialist Labor Party (USA), Alliance
for Workers Liberty, News and Letters Committees and
others i forget right now. 

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.

MP The youth refered to are the Indonesians Tom
mentioned in his post. And as for sophistication I
happily plead innocence as to that ability. Indeed i
gleefully leave sophistry to those to whom it is
second nature like sociology lecturers. Or orthodox

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.

MP I suspect you are being sophisticated here and I do
not keep cats. But the reason for Verniks actions is
interesting politically to me. Perhaps instead of your
cryptic remarks you could present us with your

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

MP How would I know the losses incured? But the SPGB
has mentioned a loss of over £1,000. Whilest other
groups would seem to have donated smaller sums. So if
ten groups were bilked we are talking of something
over 10,000. A useful sum and more useful in the
relatively low waged Ukraine but no fortune. The
League for the Revolutionary Party are a Trotskyist
group scammed in the affair.

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?  

MP I'm afraid you don't understand just how very
different the various groups Vernik tricked actually
are. Some do conform to your idea of them as
anti-communist as with the SPGB or LRP. but others are
very pro-communist and supported the former state of
the USSR through thick and thin. In his understanding
of their differences on such issues is far more
sophisticated than you my friend. For example the LRP,
or for that matter both Tom O'Lincoln and myself, hold
that the USSR was a capitalist state and social
formation, but the IG/L4I and the IBT hold that it was
a workers' state. Now it might be easy to sell the
same story to both IBT and IG but the same could not
be done to the LRP and Tom the differences in the
positons held being significantly different. Verniks
knowledge of these differences leads me to believe
that in some sense he is a genuine enthusiast and not
some kind of agent. But if, as you say, Vernik is a
Ukrainian nationalist I would hope you provide us with
details which I will undertake to distribute to those
directly concerned with this affair.

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. 

MP Tell us more.....

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