File spoon-archives/marxism-general.archive/marxism-general_1997/marxism-general.9707, message 20

Date: Thu, 03 Jul 1997 17:14:10 -0400
Subject: M-G: A Reply to Comrade Brown wrote:
> Dear Vlad,
>     Hi Im comrade Brown of the Generic Trotskyist League, and publisher of
> Red Cabbage.  Just thought you might be interested in chatting.  It seems
> that there is a bit of acrimony between you and comrade Malecki.  Im not
> interested in jumping into that conflict, just thought you might be
> interested in an exchange of views.  You might check out my website at
> and you can Email me at this screename
> or at
> Sincerely
> Comrade Brown

I am done with Bob, and this time for good.  Am I interested in
I really don't know. All in all, the left Internet has been a
for me and also a terrible waste of time, considering that I write
slowly in 
English.  The only list I am going to stay with is m-general, which is a
moderated, free for all space for discussion.  It is also dead,
because of this. The blame rests entirely on the sectarianism of the
left  who dominates this medium.  To my knowledge, I am so far the only 
Russian marxist who has free access to it.  I am not a member of any
political organization nor affiliated with any.  I believe that Russian
workers presently do not have their revolutionary organization. Why and
what should be done to create one is the most crucial question to me.

At first, I hoped to find among the Western left a sense of historical
obligation to help Russian workers in this dark moment of their
To my initial surprise, I found no Romantic sentiments of this sort.  
Even the trotskyists, who pride themselves for being true
were more interested in building International in virtual reality
rather than in the messy concrete reality of Russia.  But what could
do?  The first truly internationalist step would be to help Russian
to break their isolation from the outside world and nationally. A
grassroots class struggle is going on in Russia.  But it's going on in
almost complete darkness. There is not a single periodical publication
represents a voice of orthodox Marxism and serves a tribune for the most
militant sections of the Russian working class.  That's there is no
organ that 
would make the experience of this struggle conscious for the masses. 
are regions in Russia where workers have de facto taken power in their
and formed soviets or the "committees of salvation." In Vorkuta and
in the north and the south they have begun forming workers militias to 
arm themselves in the face of the inevitable street battles with the
"forces of order."  We know as much about these developments as the rest
of Russia's population, i.e. almost nothing.  Why? The militant workers
don't have means of communication to speak out, no informational center
to mediate between them and the world which is not in the hands of their
class enemies.  Their organizations don't have even faxes, often even
telephones, and no one to call to from them except the bourgeois press.

Now, is it utopian to expect that relatively well-to-do Western
help them out in creating a system of national and international
and communication?  There is not a single Russian server on the Net that
gives voice to Russian workers.  Yet every tiny grouplet of the Western
has its own, and they multiply every day.  What if only 1/100 of the
that pay for this vanity would be instead diverted to create an
server for the working class, for hundreds of faxes and copiers, and
perhaps, even for a genuine proletarian press to publish a new Iskra
in Russia?  Is it utopian?  Well, the Western bourgeoisie, your
compatriots, do all these on a massive scale in *their* class solidarity
Russian reaction to help it in enslaving Russian workers and
even physically destroying many of them. You cannot prevent them from 
doing this. But it is your moral duty to counter the evil they do.
Reaction in Russia is international in its nature and forces that
carry it over.  And so must be the struggle against it.

I hear objections.  Western Left is engaged in "regroupment', it has
to unite before and inorder to become an international force.  But real
unity can be achieved only through united action.  And anyway how
much theoretical unity the left really needs for this kind of project.
I don't know a single trotskyist group that would not uphold in words
the principle of proletarian internationalism.  What a great chance
they have now to put this principle in action, to demonstrate that
all sectarian differences are negligible in the face of this sublime
ideal, and by involving themselves in a concrete class struggle, whose
intensity has no paralel in the West, make a real stride toward their
own unity!  

This is the kind of a topic I'd be interested in discussing
with you, Comrade Brown, as with any other communist


Vladimir Bilenkin

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