[Marxism] Jim Zarichny is dead

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 2 07:06:28 MST 2013

I just checked. Jim was still subbed to Marxmail but with the "nomail" 
option. He was really great. Even though he was subbed, he preferred to 
send posts for me to forward to the list. I include one beneath the obit.


Boulder activist Jim Zarichny, 89, dies before bookstore announces closure

By Alex Burness Camera Staff Writer

Jim Zarichny, an activist in the Democratic Socialist movement, died
of various ailments Thursday morning in his south Boulder home. He was

Known for his long white beard and commitment to social change,
Zarichny died just hours before Left Hand Book Collective -- the
progressive Boulder bookstore he helped found -- announced its

An activist from a young age, Zarichny was president of his Flint,
Mich., high school's junior union and participated with his parents in
the 1937 Flint Sit-Down Strike of General Motors.

As a college student, Zarichny was an outspoken communist and was the
subject of McCarthyist accusations during his time at what is now
called Michigan State University.

In 1948, he appeared before the Michigan Senate Committee on
Un-American Activities at Universities. He refused to tell State Sen.
Matthew Callahan whether he was a communist, and he was sentenced to
jail for the remainder of the Senate term. But the term ended the same
day he was sentenced, so Zarichny never spent a night in jail.

Zarichny finished his undergraduate degree in mathematics at Columbia
University in New York. After graduating, he was hired by IBM, though
the company fired him soon after a background check revealed his
communist tendencies.

During World War II, Zarichny was trained to be a military police
officer in the U.S. Army. He was reassigned to a military hospital in
Lido, India, where he admitted injured Chinese soldiers. During his
time off, Zarichny traveled throughout India, relishing his
conversations with locals.

In Boulder, Zarichny worked in supercomputing at the National Center
for Atmospheric Research. He was employed by Florida State University,
but the school sent him to NCAR because it didn't have a

In 1964, he was invited to attend the Pine Hill convention of Students
for a Democratic Society.

He was also an active member in the Boulder chapter of the New
American Movement, a Democratic Socialist group founded in 1971.

In 1979, Zarichny hatched the idea for the Left Hand Book Collective,
a source for progressive literature.

His passion for activism carried well into his old age, as he appeared
at Left Hand forums and, as an 87-year-old, marched in the Louisville
Labor Day Parade.

During his last few years, Zarichny devoted much of his time to
sorting through his personal archives, which will soon be available at
the University of Colorado's Norlin Library.

"He was an incredibly intelligent and very sweet person," said friend
and Left Hand volunteer Dave Anderson, who first met Zarichny at a
Marxist study group in 1974. "He was always helping out in social
movements and always concerned with what was going on in the world and
how it make it a better place."

Kathy Partridge, who met Zarichny through the New American Movement
and has also volunteered at Left Hand, recalls his love of
conversation and debate.

"He was known to say, 'I am prepared to argue this item at length.' If
you were on the other side of the issue, you'd just say, 'uh oh,'" she
said with a laugh, adding that Zarichny "was deeply committed to a
life of ideas and social justice.

"From Jim I learned that social change is a long path," she said.


> Gmane 	
> Picon Gravatar
> From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 <at> panix.com>
> Subject: Forwarded from Jim Zarichny
> Newsgroups: gmane.politics.marxism.marxmail
> Date: 2003-03-26 23:16:15 GMT (9 years, 44 weeks, 5 days, 8 hours and 47 minutes ago)
> (Jim is a veteran trade union activist and socialist.)
> On New Years Eve at the end of 1945, some American soldiers on the island
> of Okinawa mutinied. They had fought in the jungle islands of the South
> Pacific for almost four years, and they desperately wanted to go home.
> After all, it was four and a half months since the war ended. But there was
> no sign of a ship to take them home. The American army was still racially
> segregated. It was an all white unit.
> At that time, liquor was not available thru regular channels. Sailors of
> the merchant marine did a thriving business selling bootleg liquor at
> inflated prices. The men of that unit bought a lot for New Year's Eve. As
> they drank, their bitterness came to the surface and they went on a rampage
> thru the officers' quarters. The officers panicked and fled.
> Fresh soldiers had recently arrived on the island. They were 18 year old
> kids who had just finished basic training. On New Year's Day, they were
> issued weapns. They were told that a group of Japanese who had not
> surrendered had been discovered in the caves of the island. The kids did
> not believe the story. After discussing it among themselves, the kids
> agreed that if they were sent to arrest the mutineers, they would refuse
> the order. The military forgot about the Japanese after that.
> A few months earlier, the American Legion and VFW had petitioned Gen
> Douglas MacArthur for permission for veterans organizations to organize
> among soldiers on active duty. Gen MacArthur granted permission. Among the
> groups that began to orgaize was a liberal organization called the American
> Veterans Committee (AVC). By the end of the year, about 70 or 80 people
> were attending meetings and Anerican Communist soldiers were among the
> leadership of the Okinawa chapter. (By the way, none of the Communists
> publicly identified themselves as Communists.)
> About a week and a half into the new year, ships appeared to take home
> soldiers with a lot of overseas time. Since I had 22 months of overseas
> time, I barely qualified. On board ship, we listened to the radio. A few
> days later the radio announcer began talking about the enormous WE WANT TO
> GO HOME demonstrations that AVC was organizing on Okinawa. One station said
> 50,000 soldiers had participated in Okinawa. Another station said 70,000.
> They also talked about the large demonstrations occurring in the
> Phillipines. I have been told that these demonstrations were reported in
> the New York Times, but I have never checked.
> I do not understand Mary Alice Waters statement that the soldiers were kept
> there "to protect Western interests from the growing colonial revolution."
> At that time the only visible colonial revolutions were India and Burma
> which was strictly a British affair and VietNam which was at that time
> strictly a French affair. Earlier, one of the Communist leaders of Okinawa
> AVC told me that the reason MacArthur was keeping us there was that he
> wanted to send us into China to prevent a takeover by the Chinese Red Army.
> I am convinced that that was the real reason.
> Jim

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