Sunday, February 20, 2005

communists and anonymity

it is startling to see the utter IGNORANCE of some dimwits online when it comes to communism.

one particular neo-con keeps saying that "communists hate anonymity".

this is silly beyond belief.

communists INVENTED anonymity- especially in the twentieth century.

most of the victims of repression around the world have NOT been wishy washy opportunists without a stand; no, they have consisted of people across a range of ideologies who had the courage to stand up for their beliefs.

communists around the world have been part of these courageous contingents.

in fighting fascism in spain,italy and portugal; in confronting nazism in germany, communists bore the brunt of the state terror;

in vietnam, in china, in japan, in korea, in indonesia, in india, in sri lanka in the philippines, communists were part of the national liberation movement- often in leading positions.

during the anti-colonial struggles in south africa, the sudan, malagasy, senegal, burkina faso, angola, mozambique, eritrea, ethiopia, kenya, guinea bissau and cape verde, algeria and egypt, communists played their part.

often they were forced to go underground and create clandestine organizations because the colonial, neo-colonial and pro-imperialist forces did not allow them to organize openly and legally. if they had a newspaper, it had to be written in secret and distributed with utmost discipline.

in order to survive, communists and other revolutionaries could not use their names, could not visit or meet openly and had to use "handles"- only those days these were called pseudonyms-literally "fake names" or if it was a guerilla situation, these were called "nom-de guerre". "lenin" was the handle for vladimir ilych ulyanov; "che" was the handle for dr.ernesto guevara. nelson mandela, when he became the first commander of umkhonto we sizwe, the anc's military wing, used a cover name as well. i read somewhere that in the seventies when the anc executive committee was meeting in lusaka or maputo, comrades like mbeki and tambo did not even speak to each other- fearing the room was bugged at times- writing stuff down in some kind of revolutionary hieroglyphics(sp) that only they could decipher.

how do i know all this?

it is because from 1982 to 1992 i belonged to TWO kenyan underground movements both of which were led by communists. and it was a secret organization and we did not use our real names. for a long time when i did my radio show in TORONTO in the late 80s and early 90s, i did not use my real name, but a revolutionary nickname.

so we know about the need for "handles" in ways perhaps that some of the cowardly jackasses here who are probably kanu life members cannot even begin to fathom.

however, we always recognized that clandestinity was a condition that was FORCED on the kenyan democratic movement by the neo-colonial fascist government of kanu.

that is WHY, when there was an opening up of democratic spaces in kenya from 1991(earlier but especially after the repeal of section 2A) we made it an article of revoltuionary faith, to seize the initiative and EXPAND the democratic spaces that the wananchi had wrested from kanu through their collective mapambano.

this included a demand that for free and open political meetings, legalization of opposition parties, free distribution of hitherto underground newspapers and open discussion of issues which used to be whispered furtively in heavily barricaded kitchens.

but even before that, those of us who lived in canada, the united states, britain, sweden, norway and elsewhere recognized the reality of bourgeois DEMOCRACY- it exists in it is formal and even cultural forms and we thought it would be ridiculous walking around the streets of new york, montreal and leeds as if we were about to be picked up by special branch goons in karatina for possession of pambana or mpatanishi.

it is for this reason why i use my real name publicly as a matter of political principle, recognizing that IT IS NOT ALWAYS a given that we can have the freedom to discuss things freely in all situations. i mean, tomorrrow, a military coup could take place in kenya, and that regime could begin by outlawing all political parties and clamping down on criticism. guess who they would go after FIRST? certainly not the slimy, cowardly subscribers of the national review whose lips are glued to dubya's butt. for now though, we live in a kenya where it is still relatively liberal, some of us are actually based in canada and the united states where an onyango oloo can DENOUNCE george bush as a modern day hitler, mass murderor and election thief in his own name and still travel to the united states the way i am plannning to in a few months. it is therefore very perplexing to decipher what exactly some of these cowards on rc bowen are so afraid of that they do not even want the fake names known as handles.

i know what they are afraid of.

taking personal responsibility for their mealy mouthed tribal and deranged attacks that they launch against people they are too SCARED of to face in their own names.

i am sure they will disagree. i can hear them composing sentences already about cuba this and castro that. the cubans have answered these jackasses over and over again and i do not think they are incapable of defending themselves.

onyango oloo