i wrote down my experience with the AWL and now do send it to some groups of the rev. left in UK- those who´s e-mail-adresses i can find in the net.
as iam honest, i dont wanna hide, that i have my political differences with all of these groups. for example, i do also find it intolerable, to support the muslim brotherhood (SWP) or to label syria as an degenerated workers state, as taafe (SP) did long ago (dont know if they still do.)
but despite all this differences, i request those i sent this to, to print it, that people can see, that despite the probs they may have with their own orgs, AWL is no alternative.
guenter from germany.
WHY IAM TOTALLY DONE WITH THE AWL
Two years ago i did come to know sacha ismail in an debate on another trot website. he invited me to check out the lenghty website of the group which he does serve as an payed fulltimer, the alliance for workers liberty (AWL)- an purely british group, without any single branch in another country.
two points caught my attention: their claim for an 2-state solution 4 the israel-palestine conflict (i confess, that i never was 2familar with it, but i just dont like blind solidarity even with such reactionist palestine forces as hamas) and, second (or first of all) awl´s position against islamism, which i do miss amongst most other left groups, who stupidly consider any critic on the reactionist islam as rascist or islamophob. (and then support the candidate of the muslim brotherhood in egypt!)
within a short time, i read almost all of the hundreds of articles there- maybe none of their members did. the rather critical points i studied at last. in the beginning, i saw many interesting stuff (they have a bit about anything) and i mainly posted praises and compliments, &saw myself as an awl-sympathiser. i think, they took this for granted. suddenly, their tune changed quickly, after i had posted my first -rather less important- critique on them. it was on an article about the german RAF (red army faction), the review of an movie about them. i didnt agree, that they have been so positive about that movie, who described RAF as most senseless, brute nonpolitical killers, and i wondered that they praised the german mag. "spiegel" (whose founder and longtime publisher was a member of the rightwing FDP) as rather leftwing and most serious. simply for this critique, one highly anti-sensitive and demagoguel AWL-guy tried very hard to make an raf-sympathiser out of me! i was only astonished and didnt thought, that this might be only the begin of some mobbing against me, which one day may lead to call for my banning from the site.
then i stumbled over an strange article from their leader sean matgamma, titled "the pope and the red army". the article claimed, that the red army in germany did more than some rape, as all armys do in the war, but was allowed and "pushed" from the chiefs to rape around "in conquerror manner". i twice requested matgamma KINDLY to substantiate this and say, where he got his information from, cause as far as i did know, there was an law in the red army, which threatened raping soldiers with the death-penalthy. also, i said, the red army, how stalinist ever, did liberate europe from fascism, and arrived in germany days before the other partis of the anti-hitler-coalition, and so have been the first ones, who opened the concentration camps. on may 8, 1945, their red flag did wave over berlin. the people rather saw them as liberators, not as conquerors.only rightwingers used to talk about capitulation (instead liberation) and russian conquerrors.
this my remark wasnt replied by anyone (as later was their usual reaction)) and matgamma never answered my kind quest (rather weak for an general-secretary, isnt it?), but at least he was clever enough, not to claim that he couldnt reply because he was abused -what is THE tricky trademark of some of his followers (more later).
this article reminded me of another one, where the author -i think it was also matgamma itself- claimed, that the ex- german democratic republik was 100% the same than hitlerfascism! i added, that i also see many similarities between fascism and the highpoint of stalin´s terror in USSR around 1937, but GDR after 1949? sure there was repression, but did they run concentration camps with millions of death? create a worldwar? sacha -with whom i also discussed my critics in private mails- told me, that there have been no independent trade unions in GDR (nothing new for me!).. this was all their "proof" for GDR=hitlerism. thats what german rightwing historians said, and is in my opinion a shameless downplay of the hitler-fascism and all his crimes, who still do stand singular in history. as always, they couldnt give in, when someone had an more convincing argument (in future, they would always simply escape then from discussion. but step by step.) also this does show their superficial, non-materialist approach of what freedom is. is it only the declaration on paper, that people can go anywhere? sure they must be allowed to do so, but does capitalist "freedom" anyone give the money to travel anywhere, or only a few? doesnt freedom has a material base too? isnt it also a piece of freedom, if an country has an good social security for his people? and free medical treatment? GDR had, in nowadays "free" germany, hundreds each year have the freedom to die of hunger or comitt suicide. freedom as they mean it?
(to avoid missunderstandings: lack of freedom and critic cant be substituted by social security. but social security is more worthful, than the pseudo-freedom in capitalism, where u can go to wherever u want, with ur hunger and the unpayed bills of ur doctor in ur pant.)
more and more i discovered the pro-imperialist positions of AWL, being it their support for the NATO-war against yugoslawia, their support for the fascist UCLA in kosovo, or, later, their support for the foreign interventions in libya and -just upcoming- in syria. and they said, the foreign troops in iraq keep the people from islamist terror. iam totally against the islamists, but isnt it that the existence of foreign troops in iraq rather is the base that the islamists do win more support? awl didnt reply me to this remark.
a "good" example where i understood more about awl´s praise of bourgeois "democracy" was their support for yeltsin´s ban of the russian CP. sacha told me something like (all from my memory): "if we are serious with smashing stalinism, then why shall we not support an action against them?" i was astonished, that an marxist (?) did not distinguish between the action as such and the quest, who did it and with what reason and aim? yeltsin was no antistalinist, but an anticommunist (&btw, himself an longtime apparatshik of the the party; he was even responsible 4 the international relationships of the CPUSSR to the worldwide communist parties), what means, that yeltsin didnt fight stalinism (he was one!), but banned them, cause he saw them as communists. that implicates, that he had as well banned any trotskiyte party over there (if they had existed at this time) . confronted with that argument, saccha said 4 the first time, that he had no more time to discuss all my points further (he till then just had replied once to the points i made.)
near this time, i also posted an article about yugoslawia from another website, which dealt with all the reasons, awl gave 4 their war-support, and refuted them in detail. first some1 said, he wanted to argue with it, but then the article got cancelled, "cause the awl-policies dont allow to reply articles with statements or other articles of the same length or even longer".(any1 knows, that an long nonsensical article cant always be refuted with a few sentences, but may need another full/long article back. and if such articles do already excist, why shall i not copypaste it? i dont have the time to re-write it in my own words. and if i post only a link, they wont check it.) i labelled this as censorship and matgamma called me hysterical. daniel randall just recently called me paranoid for having said so. at least i did post excerpts from that article. nobody argued with it.
nowadays i wanna admit 1 argument bout the yeltsin-case: if awl argues, it doesnt matter who attacks stalinists, important is that someone does, than with this logic they could as well have had supported thatcher, fighting the stalinist scargill. isnt it?
another article where i didnt at all expect to clash with them, was "the soundtrack for the movement" by daniell randall. here, he praised rap-music, which i dislike, and i was so "shameless" to raise the quest, if rap can be considered as music. (i gave some reasons 4 it!) beside this, i raised other quests, as,
-is anything authentic revolutionary what does come out of a black ghetto?
-was punk the so-called authentic rebellion or an artificial one, created by the record-industry?
randall replied with 1 sentence, calling me an stalinist (!for not liking his music!) and pissed off. then clive bradley rushed in and wasnt interested either, to discuss the raised quests. (they both are awl´s lecturers for "marxism and arts"!) bradley, very talented in demagogy, always appears when some of his colleagues are stucked and in need of arguments and need someone else for the rest of the dirty work to do. just recently, bradley explained me, that my remark about rap was an personal abuse for randall, cause he IS an hiphop-artist! (following this logic, any poet should feel personal abused, if someone dont like poetry at all. really, some of this awl-comics -i once labelled them as nonsense-clown- are like children, to whom one must explain the abc of socialism as well as the abc of personal behaviour.)
since randall didnt know how to argue with me, he was the first one who posted that i shall be banned from the awl-website. now one does compare this with awl´s selfpraise of being so democratic, and their incredible double-moral gets obvious. and than we may imagine such "democrats" as randall, aka the childish kid (sorry, his artist name is "the ruby kid")in circumstances of personal political power, and we can very well imagine, how this self-declared super-democrats may ban all their critics!
just recently randall appeared again (see thread about "200 at ideas for freedom") to push further for my banning; as sacha told me in an mail, more and more awl-members are asking for it. with pathos randall claimed "his website back" from me. oops, i didnt realise, that i had stolen it? i also cant have occupied it, cause i cant write in hundreds of threads at once; just 2-3 at a time usually. but indeed, in less than 2 years i participated in more than 100 threads- usually with selfwritten comments, while shameless liar randall claimed, that i only would copypaste articles. this was mainly on the syria-thread, where mark wrote a long satirical mockery about me talking -2weeks ago- about an possible US-intervention. this would never happen he said. than i substantiated my opinion with articles who proofed him wrong. in the same week, an leading US-politician of the ex-clinton administration called for an airstrike against syria. i challenged mark and clive (who before had labelled me as an follower of assad!) many times, to argue with that. not necessary any more to mention, that they never did (=self-evident). but since i first requested, as many mags did, if the houla massacree was done by the assad-regime or perhaps by the opposition, their aversion against me did increase. the background is my constant socialist posting and challenging of their pro-imperialist politics.
i just saw barry finger posting an link below my non-discussed syria-postings, where he hints to the discussion "when anti-imperialism goes wrong" on http://www.the/ northstar.info. the persons over there talk more openly about the syrian opposition demanding airstrikes and they agree with that. another article there claims, that libya is much better off now. the simple fact -never posted by awl- is, that under ghadaffi, libyan people had the highest living standard in africa, paid neither taxes nor rent. sayin so, does not mean to agree with the dictatorial governing style of ghadaffi &co. but thats exactly, how awl-members are trained to twist ur words around! be critical about foreign interventions, say that their aim is not to "bring democracy" to libya/syria, and awl will call u the lover of ghadaffi or assad. duh! they are full of trickery.
mark, who said there will be no direct or indirect US-intervention, believes that his following satirical mock at me was hitting the nail on the head, and remeained silent when more proof for intervention-plans got posted:
Mark | 17 June, 2012 - 16:20
Other stuff you might
Other stuff you might consider:
The Falklands war: despite appearances - actually a provocation by McDonalds, using the British government as a proxy, to grab control of the Argentinian beef industry. Those who deny this obvious fact are Thatcherites.
Euro 2012: in fact a complex plot by imperialism to provoke Ukrainian racism, allowing the US to intervene. Expect cruise missile attacks against Kiev. Those who deny this are excusing US genocide.
Tourism to Egypt? On the surface it seems that US tourists are going to see the pyramids. But are they really? No, they are casing the country. Why? Two reasons - first imperialism intends to grab control of the falafel trade; second they intend to turn Egypt into an enormous weapons dump as part of their war drive against Iran. The only people who don't believe this are pro-American bastards.
Pepsi Cola. On the surface Pepsi is a tasty, refreshing fizzy drink. But is it really? Oh no. The sugar content has been increased, deliberately, by imperialism - BUT ONLY IN CANS SOLD IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES! This has been proved conclusively by some journal published in Bulgaria, who’s name escapes me momentarily. Why? Obviously imperialism intends the local populations to be so zonked on Pepsi they will be unable to fight off US led attempts to recolonise them. The only people who can't see this are stooges for Randall and Bradley, who make me sick.
II. the personal behaviour of AWLers towards me
about lies, tricks, abuses, runaways, cowardness, slander, banning, smokescreens and more
when i was new at their site, sacha asked me to write an greeting word for the awl-congress. i did, and beside my -usually selfwritten- participation in several threads, i also wrote some articles about germany for them. (that all didnt stop liar randall, just to post a few days ago, that i would only copypaste other articles in there.)
in my greeting word, i stressed the importance of an exemplary personal behaviour for revolutionarys; saying, that we must be more kind, sensitive and helpful than others, that from our behaviour here and now (and not in the future, once socialism is there) the people around us shall be able to "smell" a bit from the type of society we want. nobody said anything against it, and i was so naive to think, they may agree and try such an orientation for themselves.
the next i experienced, was the above (in part 1) mentioned bullying in the baader-meinhof article.
then i had the incredible behaviour of randal &bradley (as described above), the mentioned censorship, and at least one pseudo-feminist woman blamed me to be an rightwinger "who does downplay rapings" (!), because i simply had mentioned the fact, that there was a whole serial of wrong rape-blamngs against some rich and popular tv-artists in germany (she didnt believe that). so, the woman who blamed ME to downplay rapings, did know, that i myself was badly raped as an young men, did need an operation, and till today, decades later, physically suffer from it (i had mentioned that on the thread we discussed).she was just another thougtless awler- always hypersensitive with themselves, when they earn a critic, but rather insensitive and brute, when they themselve attack others.
after all this experiences with HUMANLY ROTTEN behaviour, i decided to call them on it. that meant, for example, when mark mocked me in length for talking about an possible US-intervention, saying that will never happen, and my following articles proofed him wrong, then i challenged him to argue with that (cause he never did) and asked him, if he dont wanna have the guts to admit that he was wrong. that was simply an paedagogic way, tryin to teach people, to STAND for what they said and did, and not always run away from it. AWL called this my "abusive denouncing of people". in the time that followed, i experienced an endless number of projection ("projezieren" in german- i dont know if i have the right english word here), where a number of awlers endlessly projected their own faults on me. for example, i earned various abuses as mad (mark), paranoid (randall), hysterical (matgamma), "idiot troll" (david black) and so on, and when i called them on it, then always i -who only reacted- was labelled as the always abusive one. while i already informed, that awl saw it as an personal abuse of his popular(?) star-member randall, that i dislike his personal music and the genre as such, here is another example, what the awl considered as my abuses- i only corrected an little provocation started by bradley:
Clive | 19 June, 2012 - 11:41
A debate with Guenter:
“You support imperialism!”
No, we don’t.
“Yes you do! You’re the running dogs of imperialism!”
No, we’re not. But we think the logic of your position is to support, or at best half-heartedly oppose, dictators like Asad or Gaddafi.
“Twising my words! Demagogues! Clowns! You’re sick horrible people and nobody likes you! And you do support imperialism!”
No, we think you’ve misunderstood us.
“How dare you! You know I can’t speak English! And anyway I’m far too important and famous to be talking to you!”
.guenter | 19 June, 2012 - 14:59
the original debate
as anyone casn read it itself -so 4 the bad luck of clive &co.- the original debate was -in short- rather like this:
guenter: here is a well-researched example from --------, how the media got missinformed during the yugoslawia war, and how the scenarios have been similar for libya and syria
clive: -------------- (silence)
guenter: here are a dozen articles of serious investigatin´mags, who claim that the houla-masacree was done by the opposition, not by the assad-regime.
clive (hysterical): u propagandist of assad, gaddafi and so on! we have 2 articles, who knows it better than anyone else. we dont even need to argue with what u presented! (barry rushes in and supports this position.)
guenter: shall i also remind u, that u ("we never support foreign interventions") did also support the nato-war on yugoslawia, the fascist UCLA and anticommunist yeltsin?
guenter: after marks heavy mockery, that iam so mad, saying that the USA plans something, it was in the news in the meantime, that clintons friend rubin, a politician of the "democrats", called for an airstrike against syria.
i wouldnt even had mentioned this less important things (the abuses i earned) if some awlers hadnt always made such an fuss about my so-called abuses- for me its normal, that such things can happen in an heated discussion. and revolutionary socialists shall distinguish between an heated polemic and intended abuse (on another trot-website i once called an article from an leading member as "dumb zynical", what wasnt of course all i said. they posted it, and no membership stood up and shouted to ban me.) thats all so damned HYPOCRITICAL from awl, who greeted my socialist postings with more than abuse, with agression and hate. one shall compare that with the kind and brotherly way, they discussed with the anartchists. (and ther was always time for it).of course they did find it "devastating" that i reminded the anarchists to recently have murdered a worker in greece, who was member of the greek CP. simply by stating the fact, i was -once again- labelled as stalinist. me, an passionated anti-stalinist, who fought for socialism since 43 years. by endlessly slandering me around, they always knew´d, that iam an heartpatient and with many other serious deseases, and already with one foot in the grave. so far to their "nonabusive" and "human" behaviour.
one last example: in an thread about sexworkers, dan rawnsley simply left (the most typical awl-behaviour) when he got stucked with arguments. some time later, when i asked him on another thread why i left, he first said he will continue. when this didnt happen, i asked him again and he also claimed that he couldnt go on, cause he was abused from me. now i argue anybody to go on this thread -however "islamophob" he may find my positions there- and check, if there was the slightest abuse of mine towards rawnsley. i pay i million pounds to anyone who finds one. here its getting TOO OBVIOUS:
awlers only use the so-called abuses of their critics as pretexts and lame excuses, to piss off from debates whenever they run out of arguments- and that happens there more than anywhere else! duh!
(i saw some1 posting, for waggin´his finger, awl had labelled him as violent. that fits in the picture). posting on the awl-website is as senseless as those bourgeois mags, who may print letters, also critical ones, from their readers- but nobody argues with that and in the end that never does change anything.
III: selfpraise and reality
awl has a selfpraise as being such an democratic, openly, unique special group. mark (yes, the one who declared US-interventions as impossible, said that only russia was an imperialist force in syria and was among those who have been 150% incapable to argue with presented facts!) even posted recently to some1 from SWP, that the marxist education in awl is so high, while all the others are stupid and less-democratic!
well, i think i have explored and exposed
-their pro-imperialist politics
-their "democratic" behaviour with critics (reaching from abuse over slander over censorship till banning)
-their personal double-moral (if u dislike the music of ur local awl-popstar, then u are brandmarked as highly abusive, but if awlérs call u idiot throll, paronoid or whatever, then its of course no abuse, and no one of them gets banned.)
pettybourgeois politics and pettybourgeois personal behavior. (wonder, if they ever had an proletarian- i guess, if he (or she) said "shit" or "damn", (s)he was expelled for abusing this catholic schoolgirls.)
the website of awl contains some variants of capitalist ideologies; socialdemocratic, green and anarchist.
its professionel made and carries a bit of anything, but the majority of members are not interested in their own stuff. the numbers of posters become less and less, and there is no real interest in internationalism. it dont interest a single person, if some1 runs an article about the discussion for an "new anticapitalist party" in another country, or if there is an report about "higgs", which does simply challenge marxism (along with some other results of modern physics), real rev. socialists are always eager to discuss that all.
(iam definitive no orthodox marxist and not attacking them from an orthodox trotkyite position. but i think, even some non-marxist radical priests in latinamerica have an clearer anti-imperialist stand than awl.)
IV: summing up, thoughts and conclusions
-due to my daily experience for 2 years, awlérs are unable to engage with arguments and facts, but escape from discussions anytime they get stucked
-in 99% of all cases, an direkt quest dont get an answer
-instead of arguing, they may reply with vagueley accusations, as "dont think urself so important", and if u ask them why they say so, there will again be no answer; or they may endlessly repeat something which was already refuted
-they are lightyears from lenins saying that "the truth is always concret". like a child, they may shout in-between "thats all shit!" and thats it; but an rev. socialist must be able to say what of ur sayings he does find wrong and why, and he shall say how the facts are right (in his opinion) . as i said, teaching them to substantiate their claims and having examples at hand, is like teaching the abc to children.
(btw, clive: i act and live very modest, no, i can say, in poverty.)
awl again talks now about an "wrong anti-imperialism" to prepare their support for the next upcoming wars and interventions. indeed, there was an type of "anti-imperialism" by the CP´s and stalinists, where any fascist regime was supported (as khomeini´s mullah-regime in iran), as long as it only carried an verbal anti-americanism. as if this was enough (nazis are also against USA), as if there could be an real anti-imperialism without anti-capitalism. this critic i support (unfortunately, even some trots once had supported khomeini!) but instead of replacing this simplified oir wrong anti-imperialism with an real anti-imperialism, they give up on it at all and already turned pro-imperialist. moreover, they falled from antistalinism into anticommunism, what is a great gift for the stalinists, the biggest favour one can do them (didnt they always claim, that antistalinism and anticommunism was the same?) if the stalinists didnt had an awl, they might had created one.
so, if we are kind, we can say, that the awl sometimes throws out the baby with the bathwater. but iam afraid that its somehow more than that. one must be more than a little naive, to have such positions out of naivity only. at least they are not THAT dumb, no? well, i met some childish and immatured guys there (they dont seem to have many women), no doubt about, some highly nonserious persons, and i also experienced an good amount of purely nonsensical sayings or behaviour. but then again i really wondered, if some may really believe what they say, or if they play an role -with intention. on their website are -beside some openly pro-imperialist positions- several mistakes also in less important questions. for example, they write about the new pirate party in germany, and dont mention that there is a group of ex-functioners from the neofascist NPD inside the pirates, and that their new chairman was in CDU and still works for the military-ministry, and that we can imagine, how their positions in the next wars will turn out to be. or they post about the occupy/blockupy movement in germany, without saying that a whole week of actvities they had planed, was forbidden by the court! are they really so ill-informed, or do they wanna hide from their readers, what cant witewash bourgeois "democracy"? they could have asked me about this things in germany,.moreover, as the forbidden blockupy-week was in my city(!), but whenever i corrected their informations with a posting, i was whether greeted with aversion or silence, but never with a "thanks".
in short, there are so many strange things within them, that in the worst possible case awl might even be a group of provocateurs. perhaps no agent provocateurs, but there seems to be something provocative in the role they have. if anyone in UK does know more about it, he can let me know. for me its of course difficult, to judge people only after internet-communication: if i ever had met them in person or saw them in action, it was easier to make out what they really are about. but i dont wonder anymore, why they are isolated among the rev. left. and i decided, to write down my experience with them, that it may help others who are politically searching, not to fall into this trap. awl may claim, that iam only personal angry, cause they didnt always reply to me immediately (so sacha in his mail), but thats not "only" highly over-ridicoulous, but indeed this stalinist manner, to denounce a clearly political critic as an personal revenge of an psychopath or so. may believe it who want- i think, , i had better examples 4 the dishonesty and cowardness of the awlérs i dealt with. i doregret it, that i did waste 2 years of my precious running lifetime on net with some seemingly irrational, irrelevant tiny sect.. this error i do correct now.
guenter from germany, july 7, 2012
P.S.: a quest for all non-awl members &sympathisers: did any1 of u adress the awl-meeting where daniell randall and clive bradley did lecture about "marxism &arts"? i imagine it much worse than tony christie or mary hopkin tryin´to sing communist songs. did i guess it right?
even beethoven was more of an revolutionary than awl´s dreamteam, isnt it?
cause of problems with my PC i couldnt send this till now.. today i got a mail from sacha ismail, saying, that he cancelled a number of my postings on the awl-website, which had not been political, but abusive personal attacks. as we already clarified, an personal abusive attack for awl is not, if u call some1 an ratass, pig or so. in my case, the censored, so called nonpolitical abuses did include
-a reminder on bradley bout his &randalls behave on the "soundtrack"-thread- exactly (word by word) the same description which i used above in the 1st part of my statement (we recently discussed that again, after bradley had requested me "to forget about the past" and start all over again with awl)
-a reminder for bradley, how he freaked out on that thread, when i mentioned, that the famous afroamerican writer james baldwin -with whom i was in touch till his death- and rather an authority of "black culture" than bradley&randall, also considered rap &hiphop rather as the destroying of old black music, than as its development ("infantile macho-posting substituting the lack of real power" he analysed.)
-and yes, in a little note for mark i said, that i dont think that he is the right person to praise his political education.
most censorship was on that thread, where mark praised hisself and the awl as so much better educated and so much more democratic as any1 else!
well, if critic about awl on their website leads to mobbing, banning &censorship, then this must be discussed on other websites- its that simple. therefore i request the few groups i´ll send that to, to post my statement on their website (and any1 else who wanna pick it up from there).
with red greetings to all unknown,
july 11, last remark before sending:
today, also my 2 small, nonabusive protestnotes about the censorship have been cancelled by sacha, who mailed me again, that there is no censorship. cleverly he also cancelled a few remarks of bradley &randall, so that now i cant anymore proof all of i said, when telling the people they should read this and that thread. for example, our whole discussion on "ideas of freedom" was cancelled.
such people will never understand, that critic never can be banned, but will only be discussed in other places then. so lets do it!