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An Interview w/ IWW Barista Alex van Schaick by Andrej Grubacic [Z Magazine]

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resistence
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Jun 26 2007 02:31

Hello folks,

I, for one, I can vouch for Andrej Grubacic. I've known him for several years in the U.S. and I can certainly state with complete certainty that he is a man of extreme integrity who consistently lives his life by revolutionary values and principles.

Guess I missed the day that teaching students and writing articles to inform and involve broader audiences in movements was deemed "academic" or "social democratic". Thinking and teaching, who knew... Or that serious support for left media projects, grassroots left campaigns, and various other left and anarchist endeavors is "detached from any practice"- all this from someone who can't possibly know with what Andrej is actually doing in the United States.

It also seems a little hypocritical that someone who uses words like "cunt" then calls others "sexist", and who litters their posts with sectarian attacks, violent comments, and generally uncomradely language and then asks to be taken seriously.

Such sectarian attacks are precisely the opposite of what the movement needs. It is such problematic attacks that weakens us, instead of strengthening us. Its upsetting that when a good interview about an amazing and inspiring local IWW union campaign is derailed by such sectarian nonsense. Perhaps we can talk about the substance of that work?

-Brian
nyc

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MJ
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Jun 26 2007 02:45
Quote:
resistence Posts: 1 Joined: 25-06-07 | Send pm
forum post Posted: Mon, 25/06/2007 - 22:31

Hello folks,

I, for one, I can vouch for Andrej Grubacic.

Well that clears everything up! grin

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Bubbles
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Jun 26 2007 05:39
resistence wrote:

It also seems a little hypocritical that someone who uses words like "cunt" then calls others "sexist"

dont even try to start that one...you will just get called a cunt.

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the button
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Jun 26 2007 10:13

How can I have not seen this thread until now? sad

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the button
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Jun 26 2007 10:17

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Bubbles
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Jun 26 2007 20:42
the button wrote:

thats what my politics mean to me!

malcolm
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Jul 1 2007 12:20

admin: formatting fixed, that was horrible to read with all those random line breaks

We, the undersigned, are writing to express our serious concern about the defamatory attacks and outright threats made against our friend Andrej Grubacic, as well as against the anarchist students publishing Z Magazine for the Balkans, and the workers who are financing this valuable project.

One of the beautiful things about the anarchist tradition is that in itsdevotion to absolute liberty or expression, it has always left room for lively, even passionate, arguments and polemics. We fully support this tradition, and every form of substantive discussion and debate. But physical threats, insults, and intentional deception are another matter entirely.

This is simply unacceptable within our movement. There is no factual basis to any of the accusations made in these attacks and there appears to be no reason to think that even the author believes there to be any; this is nothing more than an attempt to smear another activist using any means that seems like it might work; to intimidate those doing successful work; to destroy a promising new project by any means possible. Such a campaign of defamation and threats is especially serious as they can inflict real damage to the very brave working people who are making the publication of Z Magazine possible, even as they struggling to survive and defend their workplace.

We extend our support and our solidarity to our friend, as well as to the Balkan edition of the Z Magazine, and the workers and students participating in this project. We also ask any of our comrades who might have encountered these defamatory statements to understand the real political motives of the authors and not to allow them to do any further damage to those engaged in building something exciting, important and new.

Michael Albert, ZNet
Irina Ceric, Global Balkans
Noam Chomsky, author
John J Cronan Jr, Students for a Democratic Society, IWW Food and
Allied Workers Union
Mary Dearborn, New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists
David Graeber, author of Fragments of Anarchist Anthropology
Daniel Gross, IWW Starbucks Workers Union
Edward Herman, social critic
Brian Kelly, Students for a Democratic Society
Tom Keefer, Upping the Antti
Eric Laursen, New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists; Member, National
Writers Union.
Brooke Lehman, Institute for Social Ecology, Bluestockings books
Staughton Lynd, labor historian
Alex van Schaick, IWW Starbucks Campaign
Marina Sitrin, author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in
Argentina
Chris Spannos, ZNet
Ziga Vodovnik, author of Ya Basta!
Tamara Vukov, Globalbalkans
Howard Zinn, radical historian

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Joseph Kay
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Jul 1 2007 12:28

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Joseph Kay
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Jul 1 2007 12:32

the only 'allegation' i can find, as opposed to hostility to his politics is this:

rata wrote:
Serbian nationalist, sexist, person detached from any practice.

i take it that's what's been objected to? ('academic', 'wannabe theorist' etc all seem fair comment on someone who's published stuff with one of the most prominent anarchist academics around, and the rest is criticism of shit politics, and no appeal to "absolute liberty" should exempt people from criticism of their politics. i mean david graeber bigs up hakim bey ffs)

anything to substantiate that rata?

Dundee_United
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Jul 1 2007 13:58
Quote:
We, the undersigned, are writing to express our serious concern about the defamatory attacks and outright threats made against our friend Andrej Grubacic, as well as against the anarchist students publishing Z Magazine for the Balkans, and the workers who are financing this valuable project.

Sweet fucking Jesus! This thread is absolutely magnificent.

...Well that's a lot of the intellectuals of the world libertarian left there.

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Joseph Kay
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Jul 1 2007 14:03

just on the front page of ZNet at the moment there's all sorts which could be labelled (lefty soft-) nationalist ...

Quote:
The reasons for the despair should be obvious. The Palestinian people are no closer to national self-determination than they were when the Oslo Peace Accords were signed in 1993
Quote:
those of us in the USA who support Palestinian sovereignty and national self-determination

http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2007-06/21fletcher.cfm

Quote:
For Chavez, his nation and peoples' interests come first.
Quote:
In Venezuela, the nation and its people will benefit most from the country's oil wealth.
Quote:
It'll be up to the people of Iraq to resist and reclaim what Venezuelan people already have from its social democratic leader serving their interests above all others.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=45&ItemID=13182

Quote:
Now that the tragedy has occurred, one can only hope that common sense and sanity will return and for Palestinians to rediscover, once more, that they are still an occupied nation that has no meaningful political sovereignty.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=107&ItemID=13184

no idea about Grubacic though, but (soft) nationalism is pretty common on the left. no idea on the sexism one either, so yeah the claims are unsubstantiated unless rata has any more info.

of course rata - and by extension the IWA of which his group is a part - has also been subject to numerous unsubstantiated slurs by an anonymous 'Friend' e.g.

Friend wrote:
Rata`s collective is hierarhical. Rata is there something like a ruler.

but he hasn't gone off and got a list of celebrities who are clearly in no position to know either way to sign a petition about it

malcolm
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Jul 1 2007 14:53
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Such a campaign of defamation and threats is especially serious as they can inflict real damage to the very brave working people who are making the publication of Z Magazine possible, even as they struggling to survive and defend their workplace.

This is the main point of this support letter. Z magazine Balkan and Freedom Fight movement are financed by the workers in Serbia. ASI is financed by the privileged class in Serbia and it doesn`t have any connection with the workers. If this is not enough, then...

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Jul 1 2007 15:08

well, both those claims are also unsubstantiated at this point, and the letter was clearly about grubacic, not those groups.

i mean being financed by workers doesn't make you immune to political criticism, workers finance all sorts of shit i.e. Live 8. anyway all rata said on 'freedom fight' was

rata wrote:
some good people there, but no understanding of anything really. Real soup in their heads. Typical anti-globalist socialism of the imbeciles. Anarchism + Che Guevara + workers share holding - in one of interviews of their activists this person said he become anarcho-communist after lengthy research of lives and works of revolutionaries Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.
rata wrote:
FreedomFight has some good comrades. When I say good, I mean honest. Ideologically, as can be seen on their website, they are lost. Che + Zapatistas + anti-globalisation + anarchism + fights for workers shareholding. But they are honest comrades, not very much of them and mainly young, so we don't have a problem with working with them. In fact, this Saturday we have a joint stand with them.

that's called political criticism - and the following picture does appear on freedom fight's front page so i don't think it's entirely unsubstantiated either:

all he says on Z is

rata wrote:
He is publishing with them Balkan Zmag now

if these are "defamatory attacks and outright threats" then you might be a bit fragile for revolutionary politics, or it could be the letter was referring to grubacic and not Zmag balkan and Freedom fight, in which case we're back to the nationalist/sexist claim

edit: i see rata did provide a link for the nationalist claim: http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2007-04/30grubacic.cfm - haven't read it yet

rata
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Jul 1 2007 18:06

HAHAHAHAHAHHAA COME ON! This is way too funny! He now brought Chomsky to defend him on the forums from me. How hilarious is that? If that doesn't show how idiotic the guy is... I don't know what would.

I'm shocked and appalled that Chomsky, Graeber and Albert, who are all members of the Advisory board of "Novi Plamen" magazine together with me, are siding with that fucked up lier. No colleague honesty at all <irony>. I have been arrested, questioned and beaten up enough times so that I don't have to prove anything to no social democratic intellectual, and the fact that Grubacic is continuing to claim that ASI is financed by the money of the ruling class will get him a good beating by our "ruling class" comrades as soon as he shows his ugly face back here. Also, luckily, enough of regular poster to this board visited Belgrade, to see that slanders coming from anonymous posters are just that... slanders, which are coming as a reaction to a hurt public image of the bastard.

The "workers" who are financing the Z mag, are small shareholders from Jugoremedia factory, who, as stated on their website, "took the middle line between dictatorship of proletariat and dictatorship of capital", and, according to their social democratic leader, are preparing the factory to be bought by a "good" capitalist. Of course, nothing is black and white, and what Grubacic is trying to do now, as he tried several posts before, is to place a buffer to protect him. This time it's not only that I'm attacking Freedom Fight (this is their name in Serbia too, in English) but also Jugoremedija and Z mag. I didn't do any such thing, at least not on this thread.

His texts speak about him enough. I advice everybody interested to read the ones that I linked. Also, I would like to ask that posters who only register and send one or two messages with slanders against our union or me to be forbidden to post, and their posts erased, as their only role here is to defend the image of the intellectual retard.

This all reminds me of the case of "Raven" and Chomsky. Hihihi.

When talking about Chomsky, he recently became a member of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art, the institution known, even by Serbian liberals, as a dark house of Serbian chauvinism. Their texts, such as the famous "Memorandum from 1986 is seen as one of the key documents of Serbian nationalist politics. Presently that institution is a hideout for the most reactionary of the Serbian intelligentsia, leading the crusaders fight for the defense of "Serbian Kosovo". That goes smoothly together with Chomsky and Grubacic nationalist politics, which are essentially defending the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, idea that Kosovo should be split between the Serbia and Albanians, denying of Srebrenica massacre etc.

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Jul 1 2007 18:24

i'm pretty sure chomsky never denied the srebrenica massacre, and a guardian jounalist pretty much aborted her career claiming he did

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Jul 1 2007 18:27

Wow.

I don't know enough about the situation to make a judgment on either side, but I'd be curious to see a defense of Grubacic signed by political groups rather than by his individual "friends".

(Isn't Brooke Lehman the owner of Bluestockings btw? And why does Edward Herman put "massacre" and "ethnic cleansing" in scare quotes in this article? I like a couple people on the above list, but this whole thing is bizarre and smacks of personality-politics...)

rata
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Jul 1 2007 18:33
Joseph K. wrote:
i'm pretty sure chomsky never denied the srebrenica massacre, and a guardian jounalist pretty much aborted her career claiming he did

You should read his book on Kosovo. All of his books are translated and published by serbian nazi publishers. His statement about Serebrenica got a huge support from serbian nazis, and was blown around here. "Biggest living intelectual defending Serbs".

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Jul 1 2007 18:39
Graeber and Grubacic wrote:
At the moment, there's something of a rupture between generations of anarchism: between those whose political formation took place in the 60s and 70s -- and who often still have not shaken the sectarian habits of the last century -- or simply still operate in those terms, and younger activists much more informed, among other elements, by indigenous, feminist, ecological and cultural-critical ideas. The former organize mainly through highly visible Anarchist Federations like the IWA, NEFAC or IWW. The latter work most prominently in the networks of the global social movement, networks like Peoples Global Action, which unites anarchist collectives in Europe and elsewhere with groups ranging from Maori activists in New Zealand, fisherfolk in Indonesia, or the Canadian postal workers' union. The latter -- what might be loosely referred to as the "small-a anarchists", are by now by far the majority. But it is sometimes hard to tell, since so many of them do not trumpet their affinities very loudly. There are many. in fact, who take anarchist principles of anti-sectarianism and open-endedness so seriously that they refuse to refer to themselves as 'anarchists' for that very reason.
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Jul 1 2007 18:42
rata wrote:
Joseph K. wrote:
i'm pretty sure chomsky never denied the srebrenica massacre, and a guardian jounalist pretty much aborted her career claiming he did

You should read his book on Kosovo. All of his books are translated and published by serbian nazi publishers. His statement about Serebrenica got a huge support from serbian nazis, and was blown around here. "Biggest living intelectual defending Serbs".

i'll add it to my list; the guardian piece and chomsky's response is here - the guardian issued a retraction

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Jul 1 2007 18:45

from what i've read of graeber he has no class analysis and bigs up hakim bey and crimethinc, which is in line with the above quote. someone should let him know why bey's so keen on promoting 'temporary transgressions' in lieu of social change. i do fucking hate it when political criticism is dismissed as 'sectarian' though, which ironically is the method of choice of the big tent sect.

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Jul 1 2007 19:32
Quote:
he latter work most prominently in the networks of the global social movement, networks like Peoples Global Action, which unites anarchist collectives in Europe and elsewhere with groups ranging from Maori activists in New Zealand, fisherfolk in Indonesia,or the Canadian postal workers' union.

*cough* ...*cough*....

ftony
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Jul 1 2007 19:32

i think graeber does at least have a vague class analysis. he has a theory of slavery in which he suggests that slavery has changed in its form, but has been essentially continued through the wage system. he is very keen (a little too keen IMO) on the old 'anarchism is a way of life, man' thing, but i don't think he'd actually advocate going totally crimethinc. apparently he's getting a post at one of the U of London colleges in sept...

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Jul 1 2007 20:04
ftony wrote:
i think graeber does at least have a vague class analysis. he has a theory of slavery in which he suggests that slavery has changed in its form, but has been essentially continued through the wage system. he is very keen (a little too keen IMO) on the old 'anarchism is a way of life, man' thing, but i don't think he'd actually advocate going totally crimethinc. apparently he's getting a post at one of the U of London colleges in sept...

i'll admit i've only read 'fragments of an anarchist anthropology' and the chapter of 'anthropological theory of value' that's on the commoner website. iirc in the former he explicitly endorses TAZs (linking them to Virno's 'exit'/'exodus') and crimethinc. my impression is that he's big tent, and the above quote seems to put him in the 'movement of movements/criticism is sectarian/we're all so different it's wonderful/i left my critical faculties in seattle' camp. but i may be wrong, he's obviously a bright bloke ...

rata
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Jul 1 2007 20:08
MJ wrote:
whole thing is bizarre and smacks of personality-politics...)

Even if the whole thing is bizarre (I have to admit, I did forward the above letter to loads of comrades for laugh), but very symptomatic for the way of working of intellectual castes everywhere, I wouldn't dismiss it as "personality-politics". I didn't deal with any of the personal issues regarding Grubacic (even if there is much to tell about that issue), I dealt only with positions he had taken publicly, in his works. I was wrong to have sexism as one of the things I brought up, because he was smart not to engage himself in that kind of public embarrassment. If it is going to help to defend me, some of our comrades here in Belgrade could produce one of old Grubacic visit-cards with "Andrej Grubacic, amateur gynecologist" title.

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Jul 1 2007 23:33
rata wrote:
If it is going to help to defend me, some of our comrades here in Belgrade could produce one of old Grubacic visit-cards with "Andrej Grubacic, amateur gynecologist" title.

eek

Yes, I think that might help defend you! grin

Dundee_United
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Jul 2 2007 00:21
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i may be wrong, he's obviously a bright bloke

I met him a couple of years back at a talk at Glasgow University. Pleasant enough but not my type of communist if you like. He's in the IWW.

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Jul 2 2007 00:30

What I really don't get is why Graeber and Grubacic are both now so interested in (and in??) the IWW just three years after writing that stupid sectarian piece talking about the "generation gap" and saying those in the IWW, NEFAC and the IWA "still have not shaken the sectarian habits of the last century." (Very, very few NEFACers can be described as "those whose political formation took place in the 60s and 70s" by the way!) This just doesn't seem like a relationship they and the IWW are likely to benefit from equally...

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Steven.
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Jul 2 2007 10:13

Holy shit how have I only just seen this thread? This is amazing.

pgh2a
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Jul 2 2007 11:47

but nobody has challenged anyone to a duel here.

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Jul 2 2007 11:50

patience pghwob, patience

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