We have received the tragic news that Mateusz (also known online as Gepetto, Antoni Lulek and Feliks Domański) has succumbed to his depression. He was only in his mid-twenties.
Mateusz first contacted us back in 2013. He was a teenager at the time, but one who had already become disillusioned with anarchism. Looking for an alternative, he came across the Communist Left. As he told us at the time,
"Political climate in Poland is unfriendly towards radicals. Right-wing dominates political discourse to such extent that even the proper social democrats are outside of the parliament. Because of the post-WWII history (also Polish-Bolshevik war), everybody has a knee-jerk reaction to a word "communism" (or "socialism", but "communism" is obviously worse). Hardcore economic liberals label every kind of interventionism or social benefits as "socialism" (and their views are really popular amongst those who show any interest in politics). Trying to explain that socialism/communism is neither a totalitarian and militarist state, nor high taxes and welfare state, is like talking to a wall (I know that's what people think everywhere, but here it is taken to another new level)."
Despite this, he set out to make the ideas of the Communist Left more known in Poland. Many of the Polish translations on our website we owe to him. He’s also written articles on the situation in Poland, which we were very happy to publish (see Elections in Poland: Don't Mourn, Organise! and Poland: The 18th Brumaire of Jarosław Kaczyński). One of our young comrades even visited him in Warsaw.
By 2016 however we noticed Trotskyist ideas had began to influence Mateusz’s thinking. It wasn’t long after this that he ceased contributing to our website. Instead he now attempted to join an orthodox Trotskyist group which did have a presence in Poland, but was rebuffed. His last political activity involved writing and translating articles for a different small orthodox Trotskyist group.
Unfortunately, over the past few years his depression, together with political isolation, and difficult living circumstances began to take their toll. Mateusz became frequently suicidal and increasingly disillusioned with politics in general. The comrades he’d befriended online, on forums and social media, tried to reach out, and, as it is with these things, we all wish we could have done more. Like for many young people nowadays the misery of life under capitalism, with its material and mental burdens, proved too much for Mateusz. He took the only way out he felt was feasible.
Although Mateusz drifted away from us politically, we wish to pay tribute to this bright and funny young man who still had so much more to offer. As he once wrote,
"We need to revive class struggle in streets and in workplaces, and build our own revolutionary party, that will show the way out of the misery of life under capitalism, out of exploitation, war, oppression and religious backwardness."