What famous communists or anarchists have you met?

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vanilla.ice.baby
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Nov 30 2009 17:56

For a year* I had the actual Animal Liberation Front Supporters Group desk from which many ALF communiques were written, in my front room.

That has got to win the thread.

*Just to be clear, I have never supported the ALF, and in fact I oppose them, their methods and their goals.

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fnbrill
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Nov 30 2009 18:13
petey wrote:
fnbrill wrote:
Henri Simon ... Penelope and Franklin Rosemont.

how very highhorsey of you to mention that you met these people, and others less well known, and have an opinion about them, on a thread dedicated to that topic.

Is that why everyone asks me: "So why the long face?"

petey
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Nov 30 2009 18:37

ah, the old jokes are the best grin

syndicalist
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Nov 30 2009 19:10
vanilla.ice.baby wrote:
oisleep wrote:
mikail firtinaci wrote:
oisleep;
Quote:
Quote:

However, Marc remembered being taken by his older brother

eek

Yes, this might seem ridiculous at a surface level. However beeing raised in an atmosphere surrounded with the daily implications of and enthusiasm in wider society of a world revolution should have been something totally different. Afterwall what you then encounter daily would be worker's discussioning revolutionary politics in... worker's councils etc. Compare this to the realy ridiculous west Berlin communes of "libertarian education" in which the children only experiance the life in isolated islands of "communes".

Compared to that the generation of 1920's probably had a much more deep and "natural" (in terms of daily engagement) connection with revolutionary politics and working class struggle. Their generation had lots of people who probably saw marx giving a speech, remembering the debates in the IWMA, or the other internationals. Communist like Pannekoek, Bordiga or anarchists like Malatesta were around with their publications coming out and these militants were accesible both on an organizational and face to face level! Compare this with our generation's situation who can only get an idea of these movements/militants from a very limited number of publications-articles or from a very distorted image of academic ignorance.

What came to worker's of 1920's generation as "normal" and "daily" is something difficult to access for our generation since there are far more less communists or anarchists to speak with. That generation had an physical continuity with the generations of 1789, 1848, IWMA, 2nd International... However our connection most probably comes from, as I said from the distorted images of mainstream media, stalinist/trotskyist lies or the very little and mostly written (in a fashion that is more difficult to connect with your directly empirical daily existance) sources that you have to waste too much time to form your ideas-opinions.

This is why as it was discussed in "parasitism" thread, that many things seems "abnormal", especially the organizational questions, since these were more or less borrowd from one generation to the other in a-non textual, experiance level in 1920's and which are thus lost or distorted for us. Is not it interesting that the generation of revolutionaries who made the revolution in Russia had their descendants in 1870's populists plus 1900's social democratic party plus 1905 generation plus the 1917 generation... Add to that the wider scene of revolutionaries mainly all over in Europe in US that they have interacted with...

ICC sees at the basis of that problem the long counter revolution that only ended -subjectively- after 1968... Obviously our generation is still in a process of recovering from that damage; I mean the damage taken from the physical destructruction of our older generation...

cry

Respectfull comrade, what on earth are you talking about?

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Steven.
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Nov 30 2009 19:32

I have met Battlescarred!

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Steven.
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Nov 30 2009 19:37

Yes, him too, but Battlescarred is better. I've also met most of the SWP Central committee. They seemed to like me a lot (when I was a naive young member)

Wellclose Square
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Nov 30 2009 20:11

No 'political' antecedents as far as I know in my family. It's a different matter with my partner's. Her dad was in the CP and had gone to Socialist Sunday School, being brought up an atheist - his family came from Battersea, which had elected a Communist MP, the Indian D. Saklatvala, in 1921. Some time after WWII my father-in-law grew disgusted with Stalinism and became a Tory, chucking out all his Left Book Club books... I've got his copies of The Peterloo Massacre and Battle in Bossenden Wood, though - the latter about the last armed uprising in England, in Kent, in 1838. His dad, also a Communist, from Battersea, worked in Chatham dockyard (presumably at the time when there was a 'red scare', when Special Branch were sent into the yard to spy on workers who had staged a wildcat strike during the war). Different times...

Wellclose Square
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Nov 30 2009 20:28
Quote:
Jack wrote:
If Paul Foot was still kicking about then, he probably counts as genuinely famous.

Michael Foot got off my tube train at Camden Town. 'The Chinese Detective' (David Yip) jammed the doors open at Kennington to let someone on.

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Choccy
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Nov 30 2009 20:54
Jack wrote:
I got punched in the face by a former anarchist "political prisoner", so I win this thread.

We chatted with said Jack-puncher in October and Weeler didn't believe it was him; "he just looks likes an old man"

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Choccy
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Nov 30 2009 21:04
Steven. wrote:
Jack wrote:

Altho my point of comparison for anarchists on TV was DD in Wife Swap. embarrassed

it wasn't wife swap, it was a show called "sleeping with the enemy"

'Living with the enemy' I believe wink

Anyway famous anarchists:
Took Rata for a walk round Belfast and watched him argue with Revol and a complete random in a coffee shop.
Notch8 out of MY NAME IS SATAN the 'best hardcore band ever' according to Weelers.
Jack's assailant
Lived with INTERNET ANARCHY WILDCHILD Revol68 for 4yrs
No others

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Hieronymous
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Nov 30 2009 22:06

A few years back I met John Alan of the News & Letters group in Oakland (California), who sadly is increasingly affected by dementia now, yet still has moments of lucidity. The last time I saw him a year ago he was pretty incoherent, but then snapped out of it and had these great stories about working with C.L.R. James in the 1940s. Really fantastic stories about revolutionary Detroit.

Here's how the News & Letters paper describes him:

Quote:
John Alan, African-American filmmaker and writer, commentator for News & Letters for the past 35-40 years. He's the person who broke the color barrier back in the 1950s and 1960s with KQED [San Francisco public television station], the first Black broadcast journalist in the state of California

He's done some great documentaries. One was an interview with Black Panther Bobby Seale in the San Francisco County Jail in 1969, waiting to be extradited to Chicago for the trial over the riots at the 1968 Democratic Party convention. Bobby, who is an accomplished cook, details what he'd make if he was free. He describes some elaborate meat dish in minute detail. The FBI scrutinized the video footage and assumed that each ingredient was a code word for some radical activity (like onions=armed action, gravy=militant protests, etc.). It's really funny because Bobby was just sick of the lousy jail food and was fantasizing his dream dish.

The first time I met John Alan his mind was still fine. He told me a story of growing up in Chicago and how as a teenager he got radicalized. He was reading Capital with some older foreigners and they'd meet, Chicago-style, in the back of some German bar. The study group was guided by an older German guy with a thick accent and a big beard. They could never remember the guy's name, so they just called him "Karl Marx." He'd run into his buddies on the street and try to recruit them to the study group by jokingly saying "Hey, you wanna study Capital with Karl Marx tonight?" That guy turned out to be Paul Mattick Sr. John said he was an excellent teacher, at least when he could understand his accent.

Boris Badenov
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Nov 30 2009 22:28
Hieronymous wrote:

The first time I met John Alan his mind was still fine. He told me a story of growing up in Chicago and how as a teenager he got radicalized. He was reading Capital with some older foreigners and they'd meet, Chicago-style, in the back of some German bar. The study group was guided by an older German guy with a thick accent and a big beard. They could never remember the guy's name, so they just called him "Karl Marx." He'd run into his buddies on the street and try to recruit them to the study group by jokingly saying "Hey, you wanna study Capital with Karl Marx tonight?" That guy turned out to be Paul Mattick Sr. John said he was an excellent teacher, at least when he could understand his accent.

this is a good story, but what the hell was Mattick Sr. doing hanging out with teenagers "in the back of some German bar"?

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Nov 30 2009 22:42
Vlad336 wrote:
this is a good story, but what the hell was Mattick Sr. doing hanging out with teenagers "in the back of some German bar"?

Dunno. But it's a Chicago tradition to meet in backrooms of bars. Seems like the way British comrades often meet in pubs. As for Mattick studying with teens:
real communists aren't hung up with age!

ernie
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Dec 1 2009 17:21

Hieronynous

Quote:
:
real communists aren't hung up with age!

Could not agree more. It is one thing that really marks revolutionaries, especially in a society that seeks to generate divisions between young and old: is respect for the older generation of militants and generally. This is one of the things that really struck me about the ICC when I first joined. Coming out of the generation gap, etc of post-68, rebellion against ones parents etc etc, to become part of an organisation where age was seen as something that was not negative but something to be gained from. There was respect for what the older comrades had done and had gone through, for their determination to pass on what they had learnt. Devrim is right that our generation did gain from our ability to meet these generation. Without them where would we have been: trying to re-invent the circle. Without their experience, knowledge and patience the young hot heads of 68 and after would have found it extremely hard or impossible to break with the anti-organisation impact of the counter-revolution and stalinism.
I am not just taking about the ICC, but it would have been the same for the other groups etc who were able to draw on the experience of the older generation.
One of the most emotionally charged encounters i had was with a lady in her 80's who bought a WR off me in the early 1980's and told me about her youth in the South Wales valleys and how she remembered the shock when they head that Rosa Luxemburg had been killed and the hopes they had had for the revolution.

Samotnaf
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Dec 1 2009 19:29

Marsella said she met her M.P. in her underwear. Well, I met C.L.R.James in pyjamas in bed (I confess, it was him who was wearing the pyjamas in his own bed). I must have just turned 19 and had just, perhaps a month or so previously, started out 'developing radical politics' as part of the Solidarity milieu. I went along with Chris Pallas (Maurice Brinton) and a few others to his place, where he was lying ill in bed (I'm not sure why, but I thought he was dying). Since at that time I'd never heard of the guy, let alone read his stuff, I had nothing to ask or say to him (and probably would have been too shy at that time, even if I had known who he was). I know this sounds pretty lame, but does this win the claim to (proxy) fame game?

P.S. I was a little surprised that Devrim in this thread seems to have missed out the fact that, a few years back, he'd apparently met Guy Debord and that Debord had been rude to his mother (what did the Great Man say?) - surely a claim to fame that could be shared once again? (I had that Fred Engels bloke in the back of my cab once - what a lousy tipper he was..............).

dan b
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Dec 1 2009 19:42

Did you know that Tolstoy halped to send the Christian Anarchist called the Doukhobors to Canada in 1998. Along with them came Bonch-Bruevich(sorry wrong spelling.) Bonch stayed with the Doukhobors for a year and then came back to Russia and was Lenins mentor and the secratary of the Soviet Union for 7 years? The Douhobors invented Communism. dan b

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Dec 1 2009 20:15
Samotnaf wrote:
P.S. I was a little surprised that Devrim in this thread seems to have missed out the fact that, a few years back, he'd apparently met Guy Debord and that Debord had been rude to his mother (what did the Great Man say?)

I don't know. I don't speak French, and my Mum wouldn't repeat it. I've met loads of people from Tony Cliff to Giles Davue.

Devrim

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jesuithitsquad
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Dec 1 2009 20:33

Devrim's mentioned in the new Loren Goldner text (I assume anyway). You should write a book, "My life with the famous people--who only a few thousand people know of."

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jesuithitsquad
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Dec 1 2009 20:41

My only thing is I'm on a first-name basis with a US House Representative as well as his wife who is afraid of my cats. I lived four houses down from him, he was in my living room many times, and I never had a clue who he was.

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Steven.
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Dec 1 2009 20:50

I have met Devrim! Times three.

Somebody has to make those Battlescarred/martinh banners - in photo shop if not real life

Marsella - pics or it didn't happen.

Boris Badenov
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Dec 1 2009 21:11

whoa wait what?! Debord slagged off Devrim's ma?! This is a joke, right? If not, context plz!

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Steven.
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Dec 1 2009 22:44

Yes, and he made it look like he shot himself.

petey
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Dec 2 2009 00:55

devrim's ma had another story, a comment about devrim's pa, which was here but i think was lost in a board upgrade, i wish he would tell it again because i don't quite remember the exact words.

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Dec 2 2009 01:18
Vlad336 wrote:
whoa wait what?! Debord slagged off Devrim's ma?! This is a joke, right? If not, context plz!

It was at a party in Paris. He was drunk and abusive to my mother.

Devrim

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Devrim
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Dec 2 2009 01:20

Are you refering to her comment about sex and alienation? "All sex under capitalism is alienated, especially with your father".
Devrim

petey
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Dec 2 2009 01:30

cool

Boris Badenov
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Dec 2 2009 02:22
Devrim wrote:
Vlad336 wrote:
whoa wait what?! Debord slagged off Devrim's ma?! This is a joke, right? If not, context plz!

It was at a party in Paris. He was drunk and abusive to my mother.

Devrim

Would you say he was making a spectacle of himself? ZING!
Out of curiosity, how come your mother was at the same party as him? Is she French/ex-Situ?

Devrim wrote:
Are you refering to her comment about sex and alienation? "All sex under capitalism is alienated, especially with your father".
Devrim

lol she said that to you? that's hilarious, albeit profoundly disturbing.

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oisleep
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Dec 2 2009 07:20
Samotnaf wrote:
does this win the claim to (proxy) fame game?

definitely - especially given then way you modestly slip brinton into the story!

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Dec 2 2009 10:19
Vlad336 wrote:
Would you say he was making a spectacle of himself? ZING!
Out of curiosity, how come your mother was at the same party as him? Is she French/ex-Situ?

She moved to Paris after splitting up with my father.

Devrim wrote:
Are you refering to her comment about sex and alienation? "All sex under capitalism is alienated, especially with your father".
Devrim

lol she said that to you? that's hilarious, albeit profoundly disturbing.

It was in a room full of young people discussing feminism, sex and various topics. She sat in the corner doing her knitting, until looking up and coming out with that.

I don't think that it is that disturbing.

Devrim

Leo
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Dec 2 2009 15:28

Loren Goldner stayed in my place a few weeks ago, pretty nice guy although I didn't notice anything in particular about the hands either.

I met a number of leftist intellectuals and/or politicians from Turkey, wouldn't say any are communists really though.

Heard Gorbachov speak once, again obviously not a communist and an unbelievably boring speaker.