Jan Waclaw Machajski

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Y COHEN's picture
Y COHEN
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Oct 28 2009 00:49
Jan Waclaw Machajski

Does anyone know where I can find his writings in English? Thanks!

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Karetelnik
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Dec 17 2009 03:12

Not aware of any of his writings in English but Black Cat Press has been doing some work on translating them from the Russian. Don't hold your breath, however.

syndicalist
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Dec 17 2009 04:49

You've prolly seen these already?

Parry, Albert (1968). Jan Waclaw Machajski. His life and work.. New York etc.: Inter-Language Literary Associates. OCLC 122375251.

Shatz, Marshall (1981). Jan Machajski and the Russian Revolutionary Movement. Oriental Research Partners. ISBN 0892501723.

Shatz, Marshall (1989). Jan Waclaw Machajski: a radical critic of the Russian intelligentsia and socialism. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 082293602X.

King, Lawrence Peter; Iván Szelényi (2004), Theories of the New Class: intellectuals and power, Contradictions, 20, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 081664344X

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Dec 18 2009 15:34

Two articles about him - 1st one has a few quotes near the end;
http://libcom.org/history/white-collars-horny-hands-revolutionary-thought-waclaw-machajski-max-nomad
http://libcom.org/history/what-makhaevism-paul-avrich

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Oct 1 2010 03:07
Karetelnik wrote:
Not aware of any of his writings in English but Black Cat Press has been doing some work on translating them from the Russian. Don't hold your breath, however.

Any idea when this will be completed? I have only second hand info. on him through the works of Max Nomad and Paul Avrich..

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Steven.
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Oct 1 2010 09:22

I put a new text in the library couple of weeks ago which has quite a lot of information:
http://libcom.org/history/jan-waclaw-machajski-radical-critic-russian-intelligensia-socialism-marshall-s-shatz

Battlescarred
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Oct 1 2010 12:14

I have the Shatz book , as well as one in French by and on him by Alexandre Skirda: Le socialisme des intellectuals- texts chosen, translated and presented by Alexandre Skirda.
There was an old- style Leninist hatchet job on him quite recently on the Commune blog site. Tut tut.

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Oct 1 2010 13:30

I read it thanks! I've been influenced heavy by him and Bakunin. Bakunin's writing are much easier to come across then Machajski's. I think his influence doesn't get the credit it deserves.

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Oct 1 2010 15:21


Quote:
Any idea when this will be completed? I have only second hand info. on him through the works of Max Nomad and Paul Avrich.

Black Cat Press has been working at translating "Umstvennyi rabochii" (The Mental Worker) (New York, 1968, 431 pp). This is a collection of Machajski's writings found in many libraries. The table of contents is as follows:

The Mental Worker
Part I. The Evolution of Social-Democracy (1905)
Introduction. The Evolution of Social –Democracy. Conclusion. Appendix: The May Strike.
Part 2. Scientific Socialism (1905)
Preface to the first edition. What Marx’s economic doctrine demands of the workers. Robertus’s teaching about national capital. The Marxist theory of social fixed capital. Marxism in Russia.
Part 3. Section 1. Socialism and the Workers’ Movement (1904)
Introduction. The long death-throes of the autocracy. The first concern of the modern revolutionary. The marvellous fruit of socialism. The lovely harmony of official oppositions. An illusory implacabiity. The beneficial role of old ideals.
Part 3. Section 2. Socialist Science as a New Religion (1905)
Introduction. Socialist science as a new religion.
Appendix. The Workers’ Revolution (1918)
To the workers. The second year of struggle. The Bolshevik dictatorship and the expropriation of the bourgeoisie. The October coup. The supremacy of the working class. The Marxist dictatorship. The intellectuals’ counterrevolution. The expropriation of the bourgeoisie. Socialist construction. Unemployment.

As you can see, most of Machajski's published writings date from the time of the 1905 Russian Revolution, although actually he was reworking earlier writings as his views on social-democracy changed.

The publishing of "Umstvennyi rabochii" in the 1960's was a rather strange event. The book was issued by a publisher rumoured to be subsidized by the CIA and comes with introductions by Albert Parry (in English) and Roman Redlich (in Russian). Both Parry and Redlich were born in Russia but emigrated abroad. Parry became an academic sovietologist (unlike most sovietologists, his predictions were notably accurate). Redlich, a more sinister character, had a fascist pedigree. It would seem the object of publishing the book was to trace ills of the Soviet regime back to Machajski!

Rather than translating "Umstvennyi rabochii" into English, a better project might seem to be identifying the selections used by Skirda in his book and translating them. But here we have the problem that Skirda uses material not found in "Umstvennyi rabochii", including Machajski's infamous pamphlet "The Bourgeois Revolution". This is the work which Haberkern has been using to flog Machajski for over 20 years now (alluded to by Battlescarred above). The International Institute for Social History used to have a copy (possibly used by Skirda and Shatz) but it has now been lost. The fact that no trace of antisemitism can found in Machajski's other known writings has not prevented Haberkern from attacking Machajski on the basis of this pamphlet.