Loren Goldner dead?

Submitted by loveletters on February 3, 2024

Does anybody know what happened to Loren Goldner? His website is offline and Ken Knabb concluded that he died after failed attempts at contect through email and phone.

Fozzie

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Fozzie on February 4, 2024

That would be a great shame. Here is what KK said:

December 2023: I haven’t been in touch with Loren for the last year or two, but I just learned that his site “Break Their Haughty Power” is no longer functioning. Loren’s other more recent site, Insurgent Notes, is still there, with numerous articles by him and his like-minded comrades during the period from 2010 to 2022, but it does not seem to have been updated since January 2023. The last time I talked with him he mentioned that he was having some health issues, though he did not go into detail. During the last couple weeks I have been unable to reach him via either phone or email, so I suspect that he is no longer with us.

https://www.bopsecrets.org/recent/goldner.htm

Devrim

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Devrim on February 4, 2024

Last time he wrote to me, he talked of his illness. It’s sad when old comrades die. That entire generation will pass soon.

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 4, 2024

Devrim wrote: It’s sad when old comrades die.

It depends under what circumstance. Hopefully our pen friend died of natural causes, or fighting the foe.

Steven.

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Steven. on February 5, 2024

That would be so sad. Were any people in Insurgent Notes in more regular contact with him? It seems strange that someone with such a relatively high profile could pass away without people knowing, without an obituary etc. Is it possible his health condition could have worsened, leaving him unable to maintain his website or engaging email communication?

westartfromhere

4 months 1 week ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 5, 2024

Perhaps he just pulled the plug on his site to pass gracefully from this mortal coil, corrected by the sufferings of the sick-bed? L'chaim Loren

Craftwork

4 months ago

Submitted by Craftwork on February 8, 2024

AFAIK Insurgent Notes is still an active project; I would suggest checking with John Garvey about Loren Goldner.

Hieronymous

4 months ago

Submitted by Hieronymous on February 10, 2024

He's not well, but definitely still alive (as of a few days ago). I met with him over a year ago and back then he wasn't in good shape. Soon after he moved with his partner to an assisted-living facility in another city.

He stopped maintaining his website even longer ago, but the person who took over maintaining it is dealing with their own issues.

Additional note: Loren was on a West Coast road trip in October, 2019 and stopped and visited me in the Bay Area over a few days. Cognitively he was fine, but physically he had multiple problems and couldn’t walk more than a couple blocks. When I visited him in New York in November, 2022 he was barely ambulatory and now is confined to a wheelchair.

J Garvey

4 months ago

Submitted by J Garvey on February 10, 2024

Hieronymous beat me to this. I wanted to write to assure others that Loren was still alive, but not well. I will let people know if and when that changes.

John

westartfromhere

4 months ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 11, 2024

Masel tov Loren.

Can someone direct readers to Notes on the Insurgents in Palestine in 1987 and 2000?

Have Googled, insurgentnotes.com intifada, and nothing comes up.

Hieronymous

3 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Hieronymous on February 25, 2024

Hopefully, the website will be up again someday soon. Loren’s declining condition has hit his circle of friends hard, especially the webmaster. Some of us have reached out and offered our support in archiving all those documents.

Steven.

3 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Steven. on March 5, 2024

Thanks so much for the updates all. Of course, we would love to host all of the writings from his website here, so that they may remain online in perpetuity (and backed up by the British Library just to be doubly safe). Please do pass on our warm wishes to him, if anyone does see him again.

Steven.

2 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on April 13, 2024

Very sorry to learn that Loren has passed. Condolences to all his friends and family.

Hieronymous

2 months ago

Submitted by Hieronymous on April 13, 2024

Loren Goldner passed away today (Friday, April 12, 2024) at 3:00 a.m. in Philadelphia, with his wife Sharon at his side. She said he was comfortable at the end. He will be cremated and there will be an online memorial for him sometime in May or June (tentatively). If any of you would like to participate, get in touch (I'll find a way to be able to be contacted).

I'm write more soon, as this is pretty devastating right now. But I'd like to share a couple of my most lasting memories. I'll write a longer memorial later, but here are a few.

I first met Loren at the old Kimpo Airport in Seoul in 1996. He'd just been laid off from his position at the Harvard University European History Library and I was greeting him on his first visit to South Korea. He used his severance pay to travel around Asia for several months. I was essentially living out of a backpack and teaching English. He arrived just in time for the annual Chun Tae-il rally at an indoor sports auditorium in Seoul, to honor the young factory worker who self-immolated in 1970 to protest the barbaric working conditions in the garment industry. What was most impressive was sitting outside the venue, drinking beer and eating snacks, and watching a huge contingent of Hyundai auto workers — most of whom had just been driven across the country in charter buses from the company town of Ulsan — march into the event with such swagger and confidence from their recent strike successes that it felt like watching a conquering army of giants coming home to celebrate their decisive victory.

The next powerful memory was Loren inviting me to attend the memorial service for Stan Weir in Berkeley in 2001, where I met Stan's widow Mary, his two daughters and even his grandson. But even more impressive was meeting some of the other "B" men, the 82 longshore workers betrayed in 1963 by ILWU leader Harry Bridges, who purged them without a valid reason — except unprincipled sectarianism. It was amazing encountering this wonderful multiracial extended family of Black and white working class families, all of whom had grown older together knowing each other's kids and grandkids. Loren had been friends with Stan, and I am very grateful to him for introducing me personally to Stan's community of class struggle militants.

That same year my mom unexpectedly died in Berkeley in her early 60s. Loren saw how hard I had taken it, especially as his mother wasn't doing too well either; he was actually in Berkeley to look after her. So one weekend, he borrowed his mom's car and we drove down Highway 1 along the California coast and simply just talked. It was the best therapy for grieving imaginable. When we got to Carmel Valley, we bought burritos at a stand in a Mexican farm worker community, as well as a six-pack of beer, and proceeded to Big Sur where we sat on the beach, eating and drinking as we watched the gorgeous sunset over the Pacific. There's no remedy that makes the process of mourning easier, but Loren really, really helped me get through that painful and emotionally difficult period.

Besides politics, Loren and I bonded over our mutual love of jazz and Beat Generation writers (also, our mutual admiration for Guy Debord, but that's a story for another time). We both found Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road life changing, despite our being a half generation apart in age. We lived up to our Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty fantasy when we took a cross continental road trip in 2005, driving a rental truck full of boxes with Loren's 7,000+ books from Berkeley to Brooklyn. The highlight of that trip was stopping at the Forest Home Cemetery outside of Chicago, where Loren had never been, to honor the Haymarket Martyrs. Like our beatnik forebearers, we had a great adventure on the road.

Over the ensuing years, Loren and I had our ups and downs, but we always patched things up and remained friends and comrades. My roots are antiauthoritarian and as a young man I ran in anarchist circles, so I learned a great deal from Loren. He turned me on to Karl Korsch and Clancy Sigal's amazing novel Going Away: A Report, A Memoir, as well as explaining to me the relevance of Amadeo Bordiga. Yet I influenced him too, introducing him to my Korean pro-Situ and anarcho-communist comrades in Seoul, where he ended up teaching English almost as long as I had (I was there 5 years in the 1990s; I think for him is was 4 in the 2000s). I also encouraged him to see the roots of the IWW in the "Chicago Idea" of the Haymarket anarchists, which I think nudged him in a slightly more antiauthoritarian direction. Regardless, his keen intellect and passion for fighting for a better world will be sorely missed.

So I say, "Loren Goldner — ¡Presente!"

Steven.

2 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on April 13, 2024

So sorry for your loss Hieronymus. But thank you so much for sharing those beautiful recollections with us. Would be great to hear more about Debord sometime!

Dannny

2 months ago

Submitted by Dannny on April 13, 2024

Thanks for sharing this tribute Hieronymus. Condolences to Loren's friends and family.

Fozzie

1 month 4 weeks ago

Submitted by Fozzie on April 15, 2024

Thanks Hieronymus. Sad news, but great to read about your time with Loren.

I see that Break Their Haughty Power is back online with a new url:
https://bthp23.com/

Hopkins1

1 month 3 weeks ago

Submitted by Hopkins1 on April 17, 2024

Thanks Hieronymus. Sad news indeed - here in Australia I was deeply influenced by Loren's writing as I moved away from my student days form of Trotskyism in the mid 2000s - we exchanged a few emails over the years and he was always generous with his time. I still return to his work often in different ways.
The thinking world is poorer for his passing.

Craftwork

1 month 3 weeks ago

Submitted by Craftwork on April 20, 2024

Sad news. RIP. Like many other libcommers, his writings definitely had a big impact on me.

Hieronymous

1 week 3 days ago

Submitted by Hieronymous on June 2, 2024

For anyone in Northern California (or willing to come to the Bay Area), there will be a memorial for Loren on Saturday, June 15, from 6-8pm at Tamarack, 1501 Harrison in downtown Oakland.

Authored on
February 3, 2024