Saturday, 28 March 2020

E.Lanti : Duonhoron kun Errico Malatesta (intervjuo) - A half hour with Errico Malatesta (Interview)


Inter la nunaj gravuloj de la anarkista movado, Malatesta estas certe unu el la plej famaj. Dum longaj jaroj li vivis ekzilite k. povis reveni Italion nur post la milito. Antaŭ la faŝisma regado, li direktis la ĉiutagan ĵurnalon "L’Umanita" k. nun li eldonas la interesan duonmonatan revuon "Pensiero e Volonta"  (Penso k. Volo). Jam maljuna, grizbarba, E. M. restas tamen tre juna spirite : En liaj okuloj ardas fajro de ne estingebla entuziasmo ; lia voĉo havas tonon de konvinko neŝancelebla. Antaŭ tiu viro, malaltkreska, iomete terenklinema, oni sentas sin tuj en simpatia k. fidema atmosfero.


Por ke ne estu inter ni iu ajn miskompreno, mi diris al li ke mi estas ano de Komintern k. sekve ne havas la saman komprenon kiel li rilate la nuntempajn sociajn problemojn.



— Tion mi jam sciis per la legado de S. R., respondis ridetante k-do Malatesta.



— Ĉu do vi komprene legas esp.on ? mi intermetis.



— Ja, vian revuon mi legas senpene. En Londono mi lernis esp.on k. eĉ tiam tre interesiĝis pri la movado. Sed okazis la skismo ida k. pro tio mi ĉesis okupiĝi pri la afero. Mi atendis ekscii kiu de ambaŭ lingvoj venkos . . .


Mi profitis la okazon por klarigi, ke la esp.a movado daŭrigas progresadi k. ne vidigas ian ajn dekadencan signon, tute male.



— Nu. eble denove mi interesiĝos pri esp.o, tial ke mi ja estas konvinkita, ke internacia lingvo estas nepre necesa por nia movado.


Demandite pri la faŝismo. Malatesta respondis jene :
— La faŝismo esence ne estas io nova en Italio, nur la nomo estas nova. Mussolini k. lia bandaĉo nur ĝeneraligis, metodigis ion, kio jam delonge ekzistis ĉe ni. En Napoli, ekz.. ĉiam la mastroj havas je sia servo aron da krimistoj, kiuj dum la strikoj provis terurobeigi la laboristojn. La faŝismo estas nur la regado de bone organizita krimistaro. Mi rakontu al vi anekdoton :


Antaŭ kelka tempo, la faŝistoj traserĉis en la ejo, kie estas presata nia revuo. Akompanis ilin iu polickomisaro, kiun de longe mi konas, ĉar, kiel vi certe scias, ofte mi estis implikata en polic- k. juĝaferoj. Mi demandis lin kun tono iomete ŝerca : "Ĉu do estas forigita la leĝo rilata al la gazetaro ?" - "Nu, ĉu estas vi, Malatesta, kiu parolas pri leĝo ?" samtone respondis la komisaro. "Ĉu do vi ne scias, ke la leĝo similas testikhaŭton, ĝi estas tre elasta . . . Cetere nunokaze mi mem ne ordonas sed simple obeas al tiuj faŝistoj. Jen vidu, unu el ili estis de mi serĉata pro liaj krimoj ; mi eĉ havas en la poŝo la kaptordonan leteron ; sed ŝanĝiĝis la rolo : hodiaŭ mi devas obei lin ! . . ."


Tiu tipa fakto ilustras vere plej bele la faŝismon. Restis al mi nur demandi al k.do Malatesta ĉu li konsentas, ke mi raportu liajn dirojn k. citu lian nomon ; mi aldonis, ke ĉiuj aliaj k.doj, kiujn mi jam demandis pri la faŝismo rekomendis, ke ne estu ilia nomo konigota.



— Ho ! estas mi imuna kontraŭ la faŝistaj venĝoj. Raportu kion vi volos ; mi povas diri je mia nomo, ke la faŝista movado konsistas el plej egaj kanajloj . . .


Jen farite.
Oni ne devas konkludi el la sintenado de k.do Malatesta, ke la aliaj k.doj, kiuj deziras, ke ilia nomo ne estu konigata, estas malpli kuraĝaj. Estas ja vere, ke Malatesta profitas certan imunecon pro sia famo, pro la granda ŝato k. respekto, kiuj estas ligitaj al lia nomo - k. ĉefe pro tio, ke nuntempe li ne povas forte influi grandan amason da laboristoj per sia revuo...


E. Lanti, el “Ĉe la lando de la "Nigraĉemizuloj", Sennacieca Revuo, julio 1924


La Angla traduko

Among the current important individuals of the Anarchist movement Malatesta is certainly one of the most famous. He lived as an exile during long years and could only return to Italy after the war. Before the rise of the Fascist regime, he edited the daily newspaper "L'Umanita". Now he publishes the bimonthly magazine "Pensiero e Volonto" (Thought and want). Already old, grey bearded, E.M. remains however very young in spirit: in his eyes burns an ardent fire of inextinguishable enthusiasm. His voice has a tone of unshakeable conviction. Before that man, short and a little rustic, one immediately feels in a sympathetic and trusting atmosphere.

So that there should not be any misunderstanding between us, I tell him that I am a member of the Comintern[1]. Consequently I do not have the same understanding as E.M. relating to the present social problems.

-That I already knew by reading S.R. replied Malatesta with a soft smile.

- So do you understand and read Esperanto? I interjected.

- Yes, your magazine I can read without difficulty. In London I learnt Esperanto and at the time I was very interested in the movement, but then the Ido schism[2] occurred and I ceased to occupy myself with the matter. I wait to see which of the two languages will win.

I exploited the occasion to clarify that the Esperanto movement continues to grow and does not display any decaying signs quite the opposite.

- Well possibly I will once again become interested in Esperanto, I still believe that an international language is absolutely necessary for our movement.

Asked about Fascism Malatesta answered thus:

Fascism in essence is not new in Italy, only the name is new. Mussolini and his thugs have only generalised some methods that have existed for a long time amongst us. In Naples for example the bosses already have at their disposal a set of criminals who try to terrorise the workers into obedience. Fascism is only the rule of well organised criminality. I will tell you an anecdote.

Sometime ago the Fascists searched through the place where our magazine is located. They were accompanied by a police commissioner whom I have long known. Because as you know I am often implicated in police and judicial affairs. I asked him in a questioning tone "Has the law on the press been abolished?" And he replied in the same tone, "Is this Malatesta, who now speaks of laws? Did you not know that the law is like a scrotum? It is very elastic. Besides presently I do not command but must obey these fascists. Here you see one of them was my suspect for his crimes, I even have his arrest order in my pocket. But the roles have changed, today I must obey him!"

This typical fact shows the true valour of fascism. It remained for me only to ask comrade Malatesta whether he would agree to my publishing of his comments about Fascism and cite his name. I explained that all the other comrades who I had already questioned about Fascism that their names should not be published.

- Oh! I am immune to Fascist vengeance. Report what you want, I can say using my name that the Fascists are made up of the most vilest scoundrels!

   
This is done.
One should not conclude from the sentiments of comrade Malatesta that the other comrades who which that their names be withheld are less courageous. It is really true that Malatesta enjoys a certain immunity thanks to the fame and great respect and admiration linked to his name. But also mainly because at present he cannot greatly influence the masses of workers with his magazine.

E. Lanti, from "In the land of the blackshirts" Sennacieca Revuo July 1924.

___________________________________________________

  • 1. Eugene Lanti had been a French Anarchist before joining the French Communist Party, he quickly rose to prominence in the Communist (USSR) Esperanto movement and through his leadership of the World Anational Association SAT stifled criticism of the Soviet Union, this led to at least one walk out of Anarchist Esperantists who published the free worker http://libcom.org/library/libera-laboristo though Lanti never did see eye to eye with the Soviet Union and the increasing control of the party convinced him to leave the Communist party and criticise the Soviet Union
  • 2. Ido is another constructed language, it was created in 1907 out of a reform movement within Esperanto and attracted many of its most active supporters to switch to it causing a lot of friction, it declined in popularity soon after the death of Louis Coutart its main advocate. Though it still survives in an obscure form today



Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Wall of Shame - When Memes Go Wrong Introduction

So a while back I saw this pretty terrible image doing the rounds on social media, you may be wondering why I'm devoting time rebutting this joke, that's the thing this isn't a joke the creator genuinely believes this. This was made by a social media account called Laborwave, which despite the pop zeitgeist name is trying to raise money by selling meme content to fund what it calls "local socialist organising" on its website which is still largely a stock template.

It also came with this charming message.

Fuck these pieces of shit for improving the material conditions of hundreds of millions of people. Youre only a REAL revolutionary if your revolution fails, so you can romanticize it, Like The Paris Commune and Catalonia

It was based on a list provided by another user of what they described as "anti western fighters" and I'm grateful for this list as its saved me a lot of work looking up the images I wasn't that familiar with.



Both criteria, Tankie and Anti Western have some serious issues on this list, some fit one or the other very well, some might count depending your definitions and a tiny minority fit both, while others don't really fit either.

Definitions

Tankie - Tankie is a term that was coined in the aftermath of the suppression violent of a workers revolt in Hungary. The events and images of Soviet military forces especially tanks on the streets of Budapest in 1956 left a lasting.


Journalist Peter Paterson asked Amalgamated Engineering Union official Reg Birch about his election to the CPGB Executive after the Hungarian invasion:

"When I asked him how he could possibly have sided with the 'tankies', so called because of the use of Russian tanks to quell the revolt, he said 'they wanted a trade unionist who could stomach Hungary, and I fitted the bill'.[1]

Because they were the faction that was openly in support of state violence against opposition, even from left wing or alternative socialist forces. Currently on the internet the term is considered somewhat controversial because its view as a slur by "Marxist-Leninsts" or rather Stalinists as they are more well known. This confused me for two reasons when I found this out, firstly because I have met old members of the CPGB at conferences and demonstrations and they still use that term to describe themselves with pride. But secondly because they don't seem to have any real issue with the content behind the word. I've never seen one object to the term and then object to its meaning, usually they will quickly follow up with a defence of ______ Socialist states crushing of opposition and repression of its own workers.

Generally speaking there are two ways the term is used though they often overlap. A slang term for a Marxist-Leninist including admirers of Stalin, Mao Hoxha etc. And less often for anyone vaguely leftish whose ok with armed suppression of opposition no matter its content or origin.



But they refused to see this army as an army. They saw it as the working class movement. What entered the city wasn’t tanks and soldiers but the representative of the victory of the working class. It was our dreams, aspirations and hopes that marched into the city. It was the image of our liberation, of our determination to run our lives free of armies and prisons and tanks. This is what these blind comrades saw entering the city when they cheered.
Letters of Insurgents Yrostan's Third letter 

Anti-Western - This one has two different meanings, like Tankie there is some overlap but it doesn't cover everyone. There's anti-western in the sense of opposition to the nations of the "West" almost always the USA and western European powers like France and the UK, but whether that includes over countries that are currently very close to them like say Japan, Australia or Turkey depends on whose doing the labelling.

The other use of anti-western in the sense of opposing the political, economic and social movements heavily associated with western Europe and the USA. Like the Enlightenment, pluralistic and usually elected government, market driven economics. Again what does and does not count depends, but generally speaking its usage covers at least some of that.

Addendum Lost Cause- While discussing this project with a friend whose shared my political background, he raised something that I think is very important to keep in mind. Like me he remembers when Tankies could be broken up into two distinct groups with very little overlap, the `Anti-revisionists` the ones whom still admired Stalin, and so regarded the post Stalin Soviet Union and most governments friendly to it as deviators and heretics. And the `Revisionists` (though in my experience they didn't like being called that) whom disavowed Stalin to at least some degree.

But nowadays, according to my friend most modern Tankies seem to have spent so much time trying to defend the honour of dead men and governments that they've degenerated into a sort of Lost Cause myth, much like the American Conservatives of the southern states of the Union. It no longer matters that many of these people didn't share the same narrow politics, or that some even tried to kill each other, what matters in this telling is that were in the broadest most superficial sense possible part of the same movement. I think there's a lot to it and its the only definition of Tankie that works for many on this list. I don't quite know if even this one can stretch to a majority.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Kurso de Esperanto por IWW-anoj/ Esperanto for Wobblies




Kurso de Esperanto por IWW-anoj/ Esperanto for Wobblies



Unua leciono

Esperanto estas facila lingvo.
La hispana kaj la angla estas malfacilaj lingvoj. kaj = and, the j is pronounced like y (yes) and is used on the end of words to show its plural, 
La laboristoj multe laboras kaj malmulte havas. labori = working, to work , laboristo = worker
La kapitalistoj malmulte laboras kaj multe havas. havi = have (to possess)
La laboristoj kaj la kapitalistoj ne estas amikoj, ili estas malamikoj. malamikoj = enemies
La kapitalistoj estas riĉaj kaj volas esti pli riĉaj. riĉaj = rich, ĉ is pronounced like (ch), pli = more
La laboristoj ne volas esti malriĉaj kaj strikos. voli = to want, strikos = will strike (future tense)
La striko estas la armilo de la laboristoj. armilo = weapon
Dum la striko, la fabriko estos fermita. During the strike the factory will be closed
Post la striko, la fabriko estos malfermita. After the strike, the factory will be open.
cnt n°351 diciembre 2008, p29

Dua leciono

Mi laboras en fabriko. I work in a factory.
Mi estas laboristo. I am a worker.
Mi ricevas pagon. I receive a wage.
Mi legas libron.
(I am reading a book. When an object is being
used, eaten, bought etc, it ends in -n)
Esta krizo. Neniu havas monon. There is a crisis. Nobody has money
La fabriko fabrikas aŭtojn. cars
Neniu aĉetas aŭtojn. purchases
Estas multaj autoj en la fabriko. many
La laboristoj faros revolucion. Will make the revolution
La laboristoj prenos la fabrikon. take control of the factory
Notes:
1. These lessons are taken from a publication of the CNT, the famous Spanish Anarcho-syndicalist union. The original Spanish language course can be viewed here https://informabulteno.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/kurso-de-esperanto-por-cnt-anojesperanto-para-cenetistas/
2. I've used them as the basis for a quick Esperanto lesson for English speakers, its intended to be an icebreaker of sorts and to hopefully interest the reader in learning more about the language
cnt n°353 febrero 2009, p29

Pli Esperantaj Kursoj/More Esperanto Courses:
Lernu https://lernu.net/en
Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com/enroll/eo/en/Learn-Esperanto

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