The Question of Parasitism Letter (edited) to Ingram of March 1996 recalling the ICC 1981 burglaries against oppositionists

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mciver
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Feb 4 2010 21:43
The Question of Parasitism Letter (edited) to Ingram of March 1996 recalling the ICC 1981 burglaries against oppositionists

... The other day I was reflecting on one of the ICC raids of 1981. It was the second raid on my flat. From the top window, through the curtains, I saw three cars arrive and carefully park in front of the building. It was a dark, cold early evening. The lights in the flat had been turned off. Kl and I were in. Waiting. We knew they would return.

After the first 'visit', I had immediately changed the outer and inside locks to the flat. As one does after burglars have entered your premises. There was nothing else left to steal as ‘hostage material’, but I knew that that wouldn’t stop MC’s thugs from another sortie. Terror is instilled by repeated and merciless outrages, by an escalating fear. Their second visit took place two nights later.

I had an iron bar with me in case they broke the locks. It’s only reasonable to exact a high toll for the honour of a second requisition from such a proletarian avant garde. FD should know this because that night, thanks only to a swift locksmith, he didn’t end up with a fractured skull.

Anyway, we saw this fearless proletarian commando – yes, one of the present IP Egocrats – leave one car, cross the street and adroitly insert the key in the lock of the street door. This was the key given to his masters by FS. But it didn’t work, no matter how hard he tried. In the meantime, we saw an eager MC briskly leave the other car, shadowed by FS. It was a comic sight – the dwarfish, ancient, warlord of Marxism escorted by a tall, gangly bodyguard, who looked like his Goofy grandson. FD reported the bad news ... MC cursed “You never know with these bastards (salauds)”...or historic words to that effect. Goofy agreed, looked up, scrutinising the silent building, his previous home, coldly, scavenging for an angle, but no new bright ideas ushered.

The other thugs remained in the cars, waiting to be called to stampede up the stairs leading to our flat. The cars’ lights had been turned off. Only the dim streetlights allowed one to see what was happening, and the shadowy creatures lurking in the vehicles. In the end, after like 10 minutes of dithering, and when neighbours started to show some curiosity, (ah, never underestimate the power of neighbourly curiosity!), the apparatchiks decided to beat a retreat, a sort of rapists’ coitus interruptus, to use one of MC’s favourite political analogies.

So, I would like to ask FD: dropping in for tea? Something you forgot to tell us? Oh I see, an impromptu party to celebrate the Messiah’s unexpected London apparition? Surely, it must have been a surprise party, as you were hoping to suddenly erupt in our living room, during dinner! And the music? But we no longer had a stereo, as you had stolen it! No matter, it wasn’t of quality, as Yezhov-Krespel opined...

Jokes aside, what was the intention of this second visit? A rhetorical question indeed – the intention was to terrorise and even inflict physical damage to JM/Kl. Why do you need a party of around 8-10 people to have a ‘friendly chat’ with two individuals? There is no doubt in my mind – MC was prepared to liquidate us if need be, to terrorise all the oppositionists. That this would have involved a criminal case and thus the destruction of the whole apparat by police and court action didn’t seem to bother him, or his toadies IN THE LEAST.

After all this, I don’t see why I should ever contemplate calling any of these scoundrels ‘comrades’. These people were, in practice even if not consciously, prepared for the worst. That is, even to kill us if we resisted. These were thugs, but not professional ones. No way that they could have truly controlled the level of violence they unleashed. When a whole bunch of them barged into Chénier’s flat in Lille – who was alone – they roughed him up. Had he resisted they would have ‘hospitalised’ him (these were the sort of threats spluttered by the brave KT), or worse. Chénier was prudent, and offered no resistance even as he was pushed around. I would have tried to take a few apparatchiks with me, of that you can be sure. So the outcome would have been different. Wouldn’t that have been a final, grandiose apotheosis of MC’s apparat? Take seriously what I’m saying here, because all this could have happened. In London, a new lock saved the day; in Aberdeen a phone call to the cowardly Marlowe did the trick. What you did was 100% correct, never regret it.

J McIver

Also, see Annex (on juries of honour and parasites) in 'Rackets' by Palinorc, <http://www.left-dis.nl/uk/rackets.htm>

mciver
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Feb 16 2010 09:24

Contrary to what Cleishbotham of the Communist Workers Organisation (CWO) claims on his post of 1 December 2009 (The Question of Parasitism, theory forum), the International Communist Current (ICC) hasn't just called Chenier 'suspicious' (louche) since 1981, but slandered him as a 'state agent'.

This is the 'warning' against Chenier in Revolution Internationale n.90 of October 1981:

"The section of the ICC in France has decided to exclude [Chenier had already resigned] an element who signs under the name 'Chenier' (previously 'Lopez') for his unworthy political behaviour. This behaviour, in regards to dubious or suspicious situations created in the course of his political trajectory in the groups Lutte Ouvriere, Programme Communiste, Union Ouvriere, l'Injure Social, CPAO and recently in the ICC, indicates that here is an individual whose presence in a revolutionary political organisations constitutes a danger to it."

The high moral ground of the ICC was exposed here in its true malignancy. The innuendo about 'suspiciousness' meant a secret informer, but what was not openly said in print was squealed cowardly at their public meetings. [1] It is important to note who was being suspicious in this warning -- aliases are given away as such, membership in past organisations listed, in other words, a neat informant's file for public use, against a targeted opponent.

(An aside: in the life of rackets there are unguarded windows of truth. By including the Trotskyist Lutte Ouvriere (LO) as a revolutionary political organisation treated 'unworthily' by Chenier, the ICC revealed an underlying esprit de corps with LO. Otherwise why include this racket, from 'the left of capital', in their fraternal list? It was heartening that Chenier and many others broke with these organisations in the 70s and early 80s. All of them, from 'the left of capital' to the left communists, were and are repressive rackets upholding the Bolshevik counter-revolution.)

But let's return to Cleishbotham. His choice of the word 'call' instead of the appropriate terms slander and libel, shows the same esprit de corps among left communist rackets. It confirms that 28 years after the events, the CWO can't decide whether smears were used against an individual and thus Cleishbotham apologises for the ICC. Not one of these rackets, from the CWO and Battaglia Comunista to the Bordiguists (Programme Communiste et al), opposed the ICC's witch-hunting of Chenier and other oppositionists. This solidarity of the Leninist rackets obeys classic domination needs.

In 1981, Juan McIver (JM) sent the CWO and others a dossier exposing the ICC's practices. JM's home had been burgled by the ICC, not because he had taken anything from them, but in retaliation for his critical opinions. The fact that he lived with Kl, an oppositionist who had participated in taking this material, condemned him by association. JM was not a member of the ICC and did not form part of any tendency or faction in the ICC. But knowing this didn't stop the ICC's criminal revenge -- scapegoats were needed to explain the implosion of their organisation. [2] These scapegoats were amalgamated and subjected to Chekist requisitions and burglaries. The falsity of 'police provocateur', bandied around by ICC zealots then and thereafter, eventually fused into the all-encompassing 'parasite' (conscious and unconscious agents of the bourgeoisie).

Although he was not sent a copy, JM saw a circular letter of the CWO dated 18 November 1981, where they offered their services as brokers between the ICC and the ex-members who had taken a typewriter and printed material in London (Cleishbotham should produce this CWO circular to confirm these details). The CWO proposed that JM's stolen property should be exchanged for the stuff taken by the seceders in London. The CWO's aim was to gain kudos for their racket and whitewash the ICC's Bolshevik violence. JM refused any negotiation because he wasn't a member of any ex-ICC-tendency and there was no way his personal property would be used as 'hostage material' by those who burgled him.

Cleishbotham ignores the political content of JM's dossier, distorting it as a 'personal denunciation' of Marc Chirik (MC), the founding guru of the ICC. Naturally, as main and actual looter of JM's property, MC was named in the dossier, and aptly described as a malignant operator and a repulsive moral cripple. This is a political and personal characterisation that JM upholds. By instigating and personally organising these raids, MC forced the ICC to cross a Rubicon, placing it in mortal danger. This violence also created a precedent for the totalitarian degeneration of this racket, and opened the door to the paranoia about 'parasites' and the recurrent epidemic of internal 'clans'.

Such pathological techniques of internal control are common to Leninist rackets regardless of their size, and engulf the whole apparatus, from the manipulating gurus to the deluded 'foot soldiers'. Lenin and the Bolshevik Party, as functionaries of the Russian party-state, mastered these ruling class techniques. They are part of the left communist tradition, linking this tradition to Stalinism.

It's not true that JM 'somehow' accused the CWO of being complicit for not taking sides in this split. JM criticised the CWO precisely for siding with the ICC. To help dispel this pretended CWO neutrality, let's quote from JM's response to their circular:

"He who slanders victims, or excuses the executioner, automatically joins his camp. You seem to ignore that a real mediator must be a NEUTRAL force, a true arbiter. You hardly qualify as judges -- you already have 'eminent opinions' long before you have collected any evidence or heard witnesses. ...

...did you know, before you revealed your infinite wisdom, that the great part of this 'hostage material' belongs to JM, who doesn't belong to the 'ex-tendency' or shares the perspectives of the 'seceders'? Yet the considered opinion of the CWO is that this personal property stolen by the ICC thugs should be part of a 'deal' (a 'principled settlement' as Babitch-MC calls it). Your letter simply follows the wisdom of the ICC Stalinists. Even your language apes it -- isn't it the ICC's verbiage that a revolutionary group isn't a 'building society'? If I'm correct, this pearl comes from a one Marlowe, a functionary who specialises in uttering commonplaces of this sort. One could equally add that it isn't a Mafiosi society, or a Manson-gang. But the point here is that you scarcely qualify as 'mediators' of anything.

The gangster tactics of the ICC are directly linked to the slander campaign against comrade Chenier. That too seems to have escaped you. It IS true that the ICC called Chenier a 'provocateur', a 'cop' and an 'informer'. At public meetings in Paris these scoundrels had no control over their frenzy. Similarly, their clones in WR spread these calumnies to their hearts' content. A full investigation of THIS should be the concern of those who want to play 'mediators'. Yet in your circular letter you adopt a tone of understanding camaraderie with Messrs ICC on this issue. You almost chide them for their lack of 'maturity'. How elegant can the CWO be! And if Messrs ICC decided NOT to publish any 'retraction' (as it that could clean their excrement)? Yes, WHAT then?"

Of course the ICC never published a retraction.

Cleisbotham claims on his post of 1.12.09 that: "We have never supported any split from the ICC (although we have discussed with them) since nearly all of them have been worse than the ICC in terms of political confusion."

But the opposite was stated in the CWO's Revolutionary Perspectives n.5, p. 19: "In the past we have supported the ICC against its various splitters..." Support here means joining in the ICC slanders. Cleishbotham confirmed this last year, on a post on the IBRP of 22 February 2009: "... a few months later [in 1981] the ICC had two splits (an activist one led by the shady Chenier ..."

On a more recent split -- the relentless ICC persecution of JJ as a 'freemason' and 'possible state agent' (!), Cleishbotham carps:

"We did see the large dossier (about 90 pages in French) which we had to read in an evening on JJ when the battle of the clans was taking place. It was [a] document which relied on innuendo, guilt by association and the main evidence was the ICC majority clan's own articles. ... Having read the JJ dossier we declined to take part in a jury of honour on JJ (who left the ICC after months of pressure - another piece of evidence of his obvious guilt, according to the ICC). The real reason for this battle of the clans was the fight for leadership of the ICC after the death of the founder. It was the least political of all the splits and demoralised some excellent ICC comrades..." (post of 1.12.09)

'Splits' is how Cleishbotham describes the ICC's expulsions, personal denigrations, sadistic pantos with idiotic 'Juries of Honour', etc. What is noteworthy about the above paragraph is that although the evidence showed that the 'freemason' charge was a fabrication, at no point did Cleishbotham or the CWO/IBRP (International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party, now Internationalist Communist Tendency -- ICT) expose this frame-up in their press and at no point was there a defence of the individual JJ. It seems that for Cleishbotham defending individuals, denouncing lies and slanders against them, is not political, and is thus outside the historic remit of rackets. The ICC has the duty to repress and persecute their own devotees, just as the CWO/ICT would do to their own. As stated above, there is an underlying corporate loyalty among left communist rackets, their head-butting apart.

What is also remarkable about Cleishbotham's admissions is that an organisation of the 'proletarian political camp' actually behaves in this way, with power-hungry clans fighting bitterly for the 'leadership of the ICC', like any criminal gang or ruthless corporate managers. Yet this is the normal practice of left communists, as confirmed by the past 30 years. This is business as usual for Cleishbotham; after all, they are 'in this for life', so a patronising tolerance of 'petit crimes' comes with the job. Cleishbotham appears to think that calling people 'shady', 'parasites', 'freemasons', 'state provocateurs' and looting them is just a bit of a laugh, or the job description, not politics. [3]

Cleishbotham makes no attempt to explain the social roots of these practices. That 'clans' persistently materialise in the ICC's central committees, that most of MC's core fans have been expelled or made to go, that a 'master publicist' in Paris called Fabienne has brainwashed the membership, needs critical assessment. But these aberrations have never been explained by the ICC and the CWO/ICT. The ICC's self-serving rants about threats from shady petty-bourgeois, lumpen elements, freemasons and 'possible' state agents, are of no use except to intimidate their atomised members. The CWO's apologetics don't clear up anything either.

Patronisingly, Cleishbotham concedes that Chenier and his co-thinkers had political differences with the ICC (which he ignorantly reduces to an 'activist split'). The same can be said about the other groups and individuals that left World Revolution (WR) at that time -- the Communist Workers Group (CBG), News of War and Revolution, R Weyden, etc. There is no space here to discuss these differences, they ranged from internal problems of organisation and the strike waves of 1979-80, to the ICC dogma of 'the left in opposition'. The ICC's seceders of 1981 reacted healthily, they realised that it was impossible to discuss and clarify these differences within a racket. In leaving, they refused to become zombies of petty bureaucrats who detested independent, creative thinking. Cleishbotham can't see that the ICC's repression and intimidation was a political difference as well, and far more lethal because it exposed the real left communist practice and ideology. [4]

J McIver

February 2010

NOTES

[1] When suitable, the ICC denies that it has called Chenier an agent. This is a lie. For example, whilst footnote 7 of their 'Theses on Parasitism' asserts: "... There is no proof that Chenier was an agent of the state security services ..."

the second paragraph of point 19 of the 'Theses' states unequivocally that:

"... it was indeed a state agent, Chenier, who played a key role in the formation within the ICC of a 'secret tendency' which, having provoked the loss of half the section in Britain, gave rise to one of the most typical parasitic grouplets, the CBG."

<http://en.internationalism.org/ir/94_parasitism>

The apparatchiks in WR trained themselves well in parroting the same calumnies, sophistries and falsifications of their bosses in Paris. For example: "McIver [became] entangled in the clan manipulated by the state agent Chenier." (World Revolution n. 228, October 1999, p.3).

This lie also appeared in the ICC's International Review 83, 4th quarter 1995, p 24:

"When the ICC...was infiltrated by an agent of the state, Chenier, a member of Mitterand's French Socialist Party, who rejoined this party after his expulsion from the ICC, the British section thus became the main target of his manipulations."

Chenier couldn't have 'rejoined' the SP as he had never joined it before. Also, not being fluent in English, how could Chenier have made the British section the 'main target of his manipulations'? These moronic fabrications were the speciality of a one Krespel, a satrap who gleefully participated in the 1981 raids. Yet there is no proof that Krespel was an agent of the state security services, and the same could be said of MC and his chekist entourage.

As stated above, these slanders, and other aspertions more sordid and personal, were dished out at ICC public meetings in 1981. With this precedent, vicious character assassinations characterised all ICC's onslaughts against individual 'parasites'. This is now intrinsic to their practice and won't go away, because the group's flight to a paranoid-schizoid realm is a key survival mechanism.

[2] To justify their burglary, the ICC invented that JM was 'entangled' in a conspiracy against them. The pretended reason for the raids was the recovery of 'their property'. But no such property was kept at his and Kl's place. Realising this, plan b was the taking of 'hostage material', quite in the tradition of the Cheka-GPU. This meant personal items, including letters and writings. It didn't matter that JM had nothing to do with the politics of the ICC seceders: the real motive was to terrorise and intimidate present and future opponents, and punish individuals for having crossed the ICC's master egocrat.

Had the ICC respected their own Platform 'rejecting relations of violence within the class', they would not have launched raids against their ex-members in the first place. If they recklessly chose to break with their principles, at least the utmost care should have been taken to avoid any 'collateral damage' (ie, threatening and hurting people, stealing personal property and wrecking homes). Of course this was not done, because MC's intention was precisely to wreak havoc, to physically hurt, with extreme prejudice ('hospitalise') if need be, his perceived rivals and enemies. This is the man who used to proclaim proudly 'I'm a Bolshevik' to his mesmerised fans. It was also the ICC's 'don't fuck with me', which momentarily upped the ICC's macho ratings. Albert Treint, MC's Zinovievist-Stalinist mentor, the 'Bolsheviser' of the French Communist Party in the 1920s, would have approved.

[3] There is no space here to analyse the ICC's past campaigns against non-ex-ICC 'parasites' in the UK, like Luther Blissett, MK and Subversion. These 'elements' unleashed rabid paroxysms in WR, the ICC's British franchise. Apart from being unconscious agents of capital, their puny size, their 'grouplet-ness', was mockingly contrasted to the awesome size of the ICC. From time to time, even the IBRP (ICT) are ridiculed for their size: "[the IBRP] was simply interested in using the IFICC ... not only as a recruiting agent for its own little shop but also to try and make trouble within the ICC."

And: "The more the IBRP does its deals with this gang of thugs [of the Internal Fraction of the ICC, or IFICC] ... the more it makes its way ... towards the same tragic and grotesque fate asthe frog that tried to puff itself up bigger than the bull!" <http://en.internationalism.org/ir/120_ibrpreply>

The bull, can we guess, is the ICC? Why not an elephant, or even better, an Argentinosaurus?

This text of 2004 is exceptional for its personal and undiluted venom against the IFICC, the latest ICC opposition. More record-breaking tirades of abuse are to be expected.

[4] The 1981 dossier 'ICC: Stalinised Sect in Agony' had a second edition in 1999: 'Escaping a Paranoid Cult'. A third edition with a new introduction and some previously untranslated French texts from 1981 is planned for 2010.

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Lexxi
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Feb 5 2010 08:53

I'm not sure which is worse, you whinging about something that happened nearly 30 years ago, or your likening of such events to the actions of a state which had communists locked up in work camps, exiled, murdered or had them/their families tortured. You need to get some perspective

Fletcher
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Feb 5 2010 09:23

Jesus mciver were you ever in the sparts?

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OliverTwister
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Feb 5 2010 09:29

So why the fuck do you care enough to post about it? Surely if the original is pathetic than a derisive response is even worse.

posi
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Feb 5 2010 10:39

OTT as the tone of the letter may be, going to break into someone's house at night with ten or so people, possibly to rough them up or nick stuff is probably worse. this shit is mad.

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Feb 5 2010 11:55
posi wrote:
OTT as the tone of the letter may be, going to break into someone's house at night with ten or so people, possibly to rough them up or nick stuff is probably worse. this shit is mad.

As I posted on here just the other day, going to repossess a stolen typewriter is exactly the same thing as DAM (now SolFed) did in the 80s. If I recall correctly they also talked about taking people's stuff if they couldn't get it back, and certainly went up to Hull mob-handed in the middle of the night. However, nobody ever talks about those events at all, let alone like they talk about this.

I don't know all of the details as I wasn't in the ICC at the time. Did we make some mistakes? Personally, I would find it surprising if we didn't.

The question is what the point of people repeatedly bringing this up is. It is something that happened nearly thirty years ago, and many of the principle characters are dead, including the one who seems to be the chief baddy, MC (Marc Chirik) who died in 1990, twenty years ago.

In our section of the ICC, (the Turkish one), I am the only member who was even alive at that time, and our youngest member wasn't even born when Chirik died.

It gets a bit tiresome really.

Devrim

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flaneur
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Feb 5 2010 12:41
Devrim wrote:
posi wrote:

I don't know all of the details as I wasn't in the ICC at the time. Did we make some mistakes? Personally, I would find it surprising if we didn't.
Devrim

Breaking into someone's house and thieving things is a "mistake"? Spilling tea whilst walking is a mistake. Robbery is something else.

knightrose
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Feb 5 2010 12:51

J McIver was, if I recall correctly, one of the group who split from Solidarity and set up World Revolution in the 1970s. I think he drew the famous hedgehogs for Solidarity. I guess the whole experience of the burglaries was shook him up pretty badly and he's still getting it off his chest.

posi
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Feb 5 2010 12:57

yeah, i accept that going on about it is a little pointless (tho worth having these things on the record), but i think it's odd that people focus on that, rather than the craziness of what is described.

also, llien is flaming.

Mark.
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Feb 5 2010 13:27
Devrim wrote:
As I posted on here just the other day, going to repossess a stolen typewriter is exactly the same thing as DAM (now SolFed) did in the 80s. If I recall correctly they also talked about taking people's stuff if they couldn't get it back, and certainly went up to Hull mob-handed in the middle of the night. However, nobody ever talks about those events at all, let alone like they talk about this.

Agreed on this - but dodgy behaviour by members of one organisation doesn't justify dodgy behaviour by members of another organisation. It's fair enough to ask what people were thinking of and what was going on in the internal culture of the organisation - in either case. All a long time ago though.

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Feb 5 2010 13:46

as already said on another thread, breaking into someone's house to retreive organisational property is not in itself mental. obviously, you'd hope other avenues had been exhausted. but i mean i'm SolFed national treasurer, if i left and kept control of the funds it would make more sense to retreive them by direct action than calling the cops. a typewriter in the 1980's would be the equivalent of a laptop today, not something easily written off by a small organisation. however, what was mental was ICC members/sympathisers defining old IBs as organisational property when it was first discussed here. now if the IBs weren't the cause of the burglary, fair enough, but people were still defending it as it was perfectly sensible to commit burglary to retrieve copies of IBs an ex-member had from their time in the group.

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Feb 5 2010 14:53

I welcome JK's post but on the question of the bulletins I said this on a recent thread in libcommunity in response to Jack: (http://libcom.org/forums/libcommunity/more-crap-sparts-polanski-27012010?page=3):

"Devrim is right. We were prepared to do what Jack says he would also be prepared to do (or allow others to do for him): use force to get back material essential for our functioning, in this case the typewriters - which had been stolen from a comrade's house (mine as it happens).To continually harp on about the internal bulletins trivialises the whole issue".

petey
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Feb 5 2010 15:05
posi wrote:
also, llien is flaming.
Fletcher
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Feb 5 2010 15:05

About 20 years ago I bought a member of organise a pint in Belfast and that member did not buy me one back as is the social custom. I am therefore going to break into Deezers gaft and nick the equivilent value in copies of the Leveller.

I will prepare a full statement in defense of my actions and a denunciation of Organise as a parasitic affront to the international working class and post here after the event.

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Feb 5 2010 16:10

It's one thing to consider internal bulletins to belong to the organisation rather than the individual, a point of view defended in previous threads. You may disagree with it but it's not "mental". It's another thing to use force to retrieve them, and this was never the aim of the 'direct action' we carried out.

knightrose
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Feb 5 2010 17:15

Intended or not, I recall that the manchester comrades felt that they had been the victims of an act of violence. The whole business has left some me us profoundly suspicious of the icc ever since. I would find it very hard to trust your organisation.

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Feb 5 2010 18:05

yes, while this whole thing was clearly not very nice, if it was 30 years ago and half the participants are dead might it not be better to just let bygones be bygones?

nastyned
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Feb 5 2010 19:28

Excellent post mciver. The ICC are still the same organisation, some of the same people are still involved, and they peddle their own line on incidents like this at every opportunity. It's useful to see this stuff.

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Lexxi
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Feb 5 2010 19:52

Admin; no flaming or personal insults

Jason Cortez
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Feb 5 2010 20:01

oh, dear Illien has stop taking the medication again.

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Feb 5 2010 20:04

Boris Badenov
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Feb 5 2010 20:06

I am looking forward to being up against the wall after Illien and her neo-bolshevik shock troops take over the state. I only ask that I be allowed to wear my assless chaps to the occasion.

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Lexxi
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Feb 5 2010 20:11

You won't be up against the wall because of your anarchisms, but because you think it would be acceptable to wear assless chaps to your hypothetical execution.

RedHughs
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Feb 8 2010 03:25
Illien wrote:
You won't be up against the wall because of your anarchisms, but because you think it would be acceptable to wear assless chaps to your hypothetical execution.

Aaah, butt what would she be against the wall for my dear?

Samotnaf
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Feb 8 2010 04:24

Steven wrote:

Quote:
yes, while this whole thing was clearly not very nice, if it was 30 years ago and half the participants are dead might it not be better to just let bygones be bygones?

Perhaps we should say, in debates about Kronstadt:

Quote:
yes, while this whole thing was clearly not very nice, if it was 90 years ago and all the participants are dead might it not be better to just let bygones be bygones?

Of couse, it's very obviously not on the same scale of things - but the traditions of the past weigh like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And the past needs to be superceded at whatever degree of importance. And, Steven, you're just playing your usual diplomatic role of trying to reconcile the irreconcilable. And ignoring how the icy sea distort history at every level.

Devrim's just the nice "open" image of this racket, but it's obvious, in his post above, he feels the need to defend The Family against a valid account of its racketeering.

On the other hand, mciver should try to ovecome his obsession by contributing to the class struggle today (it seems - though maybe I'm wrong - he missed out on all those significant struggles that developed since his break-up with the ICC - the riots of '81, the miners strike, the '85 riots, wapping, poll tax, etc.). It's not enough to blame the rackets for your withdrawal from the battlefield - you have to look to yourself; and, if you're still obsessing - how come just putting out this information on the icy sea racket probably hasn't exorcised this obsession but, on the contrary, probably fed it? And how come you don't reveal any of your own lies (and self-delusions) whilst you were a member of the racket? I'm thinking of something you said to me after a No War But the Class War meeting round the time of the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia over 10 yrs ago, when you admitted deliberately distorting the Situationist International's point of view in an article in World Revolution ( I'm certainly not defending everything about the SI here, btw, but I'd certainly defend it against Leninoid scum and against falsification of their critique, a falsification which has obviously contributed to the most amazing ignorance about them, such as Devrim's belief that

Quote:
politically they were just second hand rehashed remnants of Trotskyism

, posted on the ' famous communists I've met' thread).

Lexxi's picture
Lexxi
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Joined: 25-09-09
Feb 8 2010 10:54
RedHughs wrote:
Illien wrote:
You won't be up against the wall because of your anarchisms, but because you think it would be acceptable to wear assless chaps to your hypothetical execution.

Aaah, butt what would she be against the wall for my dear?

Huh?

posi
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Joined: 24-09-05
Feb 8 2010 12:16

isn't one of the points of the original post that there was nothing more to steal, since that had already been taken. therefore, the implication is, the point of the raid must have been intimidation.

Spikymike
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Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 8 2010 16:14

I think I, like Steven, also got told off by Samotnaf on another thread for being in effect 'diplomatic' in my defence of a CWO poster with my comment about the 'thin red line'.

I would still defend the CWO, ICC, ICG, SolFed, AF and SPGB, amongst others who's members post regularly on Libcom as part of a 'thin red' line, despite my varied criticisms of all of them, but I would never defend the past bureacratic and sectarian organisational behaviour of the ICC, and to the extent that the ICC has never managed to own up to such behaviour it remains valid to record that history and to at least periodically subject it to analysis.

I can also agree with a number of the very valid points made by Samotnaf above about this and about the continuing obssession of some ex -ICC members with this history, although the emotion which comes through in the posting from mciver does testify to the deep harm and destructive effects of that period.

Given the number of splits and defections since then there must be at least a suspician that problems which emerged then in the ICC are far from resolved.

But some ex -ICC members in groups such as 'Internationalist Perspective' appear to have both owned up to their own responsibillity for the ICC's faults, subjected themselves to some sound critical analysis and subsequently moved on.

Equally comrades from the old Communist Bulletin Group were, after leaving the ICC, active during the great miners strike and more recently, after a brief flurry of recapping the same theme as mciver on libcom, to have moved on now.

All groups as well as individuals are damaged by capitalism, pro-revolutionary credentials are no guarantee asgainst this, although some survive in a healthier condition than others.

I remain hopeful that continued critical engagement between all groups and individuals in the 'thin red line' may yet produce better results than in the past.

mciver
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Joined: 3-12-09
Feb 8 2010 23:10

Samotnaf,

Quote:
And how come you don't reveal any of your own lies (and self-delusions) whilst you were a member of the racket? I'm thinking of something you said to me ... over 10 yrs ago, when you admitted deliberately distorting the Situationist International's point of view in an article in World Revolution ( I'm certainly not defending everything about the SI here, btw, but I'd certainly defend it against Leninoid scum and against falsification of their critique

you probably refer to an article on 'modernism' which criticises Situationism and other positions from (to me, now) the false standpoint of left-communism. A re-appraisal based on the test of experience convinced me that those criticisms were wrong. The framework, as I see it now, was flawed, delusional even, to use your word. What was being defended were blind affirmations that didn't explain our epoch. But this is quite different from saying that 'deliberate distortion' was involved, as your whimsical memory leads you to claim. Admitting to having been wrong on a theoretical view is not a 'confession' of having been lying. Obviously I got no absolution. Are you a lay priest?

The placing of these accounts for the record is not about my 'self-delusions' and 'lies'. If there were lies in my criticism of Situationism, prove it. Ignorance and zeal, quite common in rackets, probably. But this would be another thread. Anyway, who are you to assume the role of my inquisitor and amateur analyst? If I have ever met you, I regret wasting my time with a fantasist.

Samotnaf
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Joined: 9-06-09
Feb 9 2010 06:10

mciver, questioning my post, says:

Quote:
who are you to assume the role of my inquisitor and amateur analyst? If I have ever met you, I regret wasting my time with a fantasist.

You may have noticed that almost everyone here on libcom - you included - assumes "the role of ...amateur analyst" (better to be an amateur than a professional, imo), and though your word "inquisitor" conjurs up images of the Spanish Inquisition, I don't think I've tortured you with much more than a comfy cushion.

I am willing to accept that maybe you didn't admit to lying but imo you did lie (though this is something from about 35 years ago, even longer ago than your horrible experience with the icy sea - and everyone has lied, even angelic me, though not necessarily so publicly ). iirc, the quote about the SI - utterly out of context - was from their article after the Watts uprising in 1965, which claimed that the SI, like the rest of the modernists, had said that the working class was integrated into capitalism, when they'd said:

Quote:
"The classical proletariat, to the very extent to which it had been provisionally integrated into the capitalist system, had itself failed to integrate the blacks (several LosAngles unions refused blacks until 1959)".

This was misquoted - in a lie by omission worthy of all those other political rackets-competing-for-the-adoring-attention-of-the-proletariat that the icy sea spat at - as something like

Quote:
"The proletariat has been integrated into the capitalist system".

(not an exact quote - can't be bothered to truly waste my time digging through archives).

Until I met you in 1999 (I co-produced the leaflet 'Milosovic or NATO - frying pan or fire") I hadn't realised it was an article you had written, but you "confessed": we were talking in the pub, and agreeing, about the ridiculous icy sea and your horrible experience in it.

I've met you a few times since - including you inviting me to a daytime party at your house. We also have friends in common, though I've not met you for a long time, since i now live in France. I don't think you thought that you were wasting your time with me, but maybe this lack of recognising any animosity on your part was just part of my being a "fantasist"; I personally don't at all feel I wasted my time with you, and i certainly didn't intend for you to get so upset by my "inquisitor" role that you would contemptuously dismiss me like that in some form of online knee-jerk revenge: but remember, it was you who initiated this thread about the icy sea (and its "left-communist" entourage) of 30 years ago, and bringing up your former participation in it didn't seem like it was off-topic.

If you want to send me a personal message, so we don't de-rail the thread with diversions, I hope you won't feel like doing so would be wasting your time.