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Sunday, May 23, 2004

 

Correspondence on Langer and the CPA (M-L)

Posted by Oliver Kramm at Beyond the fringe II

You may be assured that I am not being generous in my assessment of Mr Langer's intent or his political position. Knowing - and reading, as I dutifully have done here - the fringe character of that position, I am disinclined to engage it in debate, but I am concerned that Mr Langer should not feel that his opinions are being in some way disadvantaged in this forum. To that end, I have given him a great deal of leeway - far more than I normally would from anyone else in this forum - to express his views as he wishes. Unfortunately I am unable as yet to get him to understand that, as Hubert Humphrey presciently remarked, the right to free speech does not entail a right to be taken seriously.


 

Correspondence on Langer and the CPA (M-L)

Posted by Fabian Hammer at Oliver Kramm's Beyond the fringe II

Albert Langer’s reply to my brief posting devotes considerable attention to Dr J Salaam’s The CPA (M-L) and Political/Industrial Violence: Rationale And Results. While praising that document’s descriptions of various sorts of fascists and violent extremist groups as “valuable insight” and “useful information”, however, he declares any of Salaams observations of his own activities “paranoid anti-semitic [sic] raving”.

Unfortunately for Brother Langer’s claim, Salaam’s comments were clearly to praise him not to bury him. Salaam credits the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist), Brother Langer himself, his “Jews Against Zionism and Anti-Semitism” group and the community radio station 3CR, which broadcast the group’s programs, with intensifying the spread of anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian propaganda in Melbourne.

And that is true. Although Jews Against Zionism and Anti-Semitism was overwhelmingly rejected by Melbourne’s Jewish community which too easily recognised it as a Maoist front group, the controversy stimulated by the group’s leaders, particularly Brother Langer and fellow Maoist, Victor Zbar, speaking as Jews, against Israel, elevated anti-Zionist and pro-PLO propaganda out of the universities and the (Maoist and Trotskyist) radical left and into Melbourne’s mainstream political arena and media.

The group’s name was a parody of the religious Jews against Zionism organisations whose views are still often quoted by Brother Langer (but with which “for the record” he must tell us, he does not agree) with an “Anti-Semitism” tag to provide cover for the Maoists’ years of violent confrontation with a politically inconsequential, rag-tag gang of local neo-Nazis.

It is this use of political violence that attracted Salaam -- who appears to hide nothing of his white-racist-nationalist politics and associates and convictions for political violence -- to research the CPA (M-L) to “see in the Maoist organization particular ideas of great worth in the struggle to construct a Nationalist party able to challenge State power”.

The CPA (M-L) has been described elsewhere (”Living by the Little Red Book”, by Mark Dapin, Good Weekend, 13 Dec 2003, The Age/SMH) as “an obsessively secretive, fantastically disciplined organisation to which hardly anybody beyond its public leadership has ever admitted belonging … former comrades still have trouble talking about it”.

So much so, it seems, that Brother Albert, the original “point” man for the CPA (M-L) at Melbourne’s universities and high schools, only reluctantly admits his embarrassment (see in this thread, above) for “closely associated with them” for nearly a decade. Astonishingly, he admits not to being a party member, nor a central committee member, nor a prominent leader … just a simple soul, “closely associated.”

His unfamiliar coyness is also reflected in his claim that he “assisted in dislodging supporters of the CPA(ML) from control of Community Radio 3CR while simultaneously defeating a Zionist attempt to have that station branded as ‘anti-semitic’ [sic].” It is well known that he opposed the CPA (M-L) control of 3CR only after he split with the party (because of his support for the “Gang of Four” in China) and was simultaneously protecting his own faction’s rapidly weakening influence through the station’s anti-Zionist programming.

In “Living by the Little Red Book”, however, his former wife Kerry (who remains a close collaborator in his cutting edge but “currently minimal” www.lastsuperpower.net website) fearlessly disclosed her recruitment to the CPA (M-L). A chapter on student activists in 1969 in the recently published left-wing history, “Radical Melbourne 2”, commenting admiringly of the then “militancy and discipline of the Maoists”, also highlights Brother Langer’s membership of the CPA (M-L) at the time.

Sister Kerry is, moreover, a credible and forthright source of basic information on the indiscrete armed militia training that Brother Langer claims never happened.

In “Living by the Little Red Book” she relates how Maoists proposed a Monash University “People's Militia” funded by the Student Council. A campus-wide referendum rejected that idea but endorsed the less-aggressive-sounding Monash People's Defence Corps. "We'd all go out and practise karate or something like that, one afternoon a week," she reportedly said. "Later, the [Maoist] Military Groups appeared … I was in communications … taking a message from the beginning of a demonstration to the end.” Others took their guns and rifles to the Young Communist League's Camp Eureka “and practised firing them”.

No doubt the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation has numerous photographs of Brother Langer’s “non-existent” armed Military Groups whose “weapons training”, it is reported,” was a measure of the Maoists' seriousness.”

Brother Langer, I believe Oliver Kamm to be far too generous to you and your intent. The only point I give to you is one for chutzpah.

 

Correspondence on Langer and the CPA (M-L)

Posted by Oliver Kramm at Beyond the fringe II

Mr Langer - I followed the link that you commented on at length, and recognised it immediately as one I too have linked to when explicating the views of the far-Right (specifically those of the founder of the Red Army Fraction, Horst Mahler). You are right in your designation of it, but not, as I understand it, of my correspondent's use of it.

The point that my Israeli correspondent Maor found funny in your comments was your insistence that the UN General Assembly's resolution in 1975 that Zionism was a form of racism demonstrated the mainstream quality of that belief. I found it funny too. I think perhaps you should look into the background of that decision - who moved it, for what purpose, and who supported it.

You may be assured that I am not in the least "inclined to throw in personal attacks based on attempting to 'document' [your] history": my interest in your autobiography is a good deal less than you suppose.

While some people (of whom I am not one, for reasons I have intimated) do appear interested in engaging you in debate, I would appreciate it, if you wish to make use of the comments facility on this blog, if you would desist from accusing them of being clueless and of engaging in pathetic ravings. Please take this as a mild and cordial warning: if you don't heed it, I shall take appropriate action in line with my stated policy on comments.


Thursday, May 20, 2004

 

Correspondence on Langer and the CPA (M-L)

Posted by Oliver Kramm at Beyond the fringe II

Mr Langer - Anyone is welcome to post comments here provided they are relevant to the subject and conform to certain conventions that I've previously stated (e.g. no obscene or 'unparliamentary' language). Putting the word 'Jew' in inverted commas when not a quotation strikes me as redundant at best, and I could understand your taking some offence at it, but the mere term 'Maoist Jew' doesn't breach those conventions. It is moreover dwarfed by your own off-hand use of the term 'neo-Nazi' to denote the comments you find exceptionable. 'Neo-Nazism' is so grave a charge to make of someone that it requires substantiation if it's not to debase the discussion altogether. (I have myself used the term in relation to causes I have written about here - notably sections of the German Left in the 1970s - and have presented at some length the evidence for that term's aptness in the context.)

Please be aware, as I have said, that this is a moderated forum, which requires a certain degree of civility to other contributors. Your own remark above that your interlocutor's comments are 'too incoherent to be worth replying to' comes close to that boundary. If in your judgement a contributor's comments are too incoherent - or eccentric, or vapid, or crankish, or frivolous - to merit a response, then the proper course is not to respond. As you have already noted, that is the approach I myself adopt in such cases.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

 

Correspondence on Langer and the CPA (M-L)

Posted by Fabian Hammer at Oliver Kramm's Beyond the fringe II

Albert Langer was Australia's original Maoist "Jew" against Zionism. His own polemics against Israel are not available online but others have documented how the anti-Zionist line of Brother Langer and the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) -- of which he was Vice-Chairman -- “introduced pro-Palestine positions into the Australian Left” (see The CPA (M-L) and Political/Industrial Violence: Rationale And Results).

That, of course, was during the early to mid 1970s when Brother Albert and the CPA (M-L) had the City of Melbourne enthralled with violent demos, indiscrete armed militia training and calls for a united front of “patriotic classes” for, variously, the overthrow of US imperialism or Soviet social-imperialism (see Living by the Little Red Book, by Mark Dapin, "Good Weekend" 2003-12-13. The Age, Melbourne).

Nowadays you can can’t but notice Brother Langer’s postings to international blogs promoting his “pseudo-left” catch-phrase – but you’ll search the web forever looking for his explanation or self-criticism of four decades of political arrogance and ideological failure.

Brother Langer’s sudden discarding of his anti-Zionist line in favour of the “Palestinian [!?!] compromise offer for a two state solution made long ago” (see this thread) is equally vacuumous.

He insists that “Zionists cannot be our allies, let alone our friends” (see thread It really is extremely stupid) but advocates a position that has been overwhelmingly supported by the people of Israel since their State was established and has been the basis of every Israeli peace deal proffered to neighbouring states or the PLO!

Brother Langer has indicated that, yawn, he’s “not really interested in this debate” and “can't promise further replies on this topic, as there are far more important things going on in the world”.

But I will be waiting breathlessly for him to “try to put up” a meaningful insight into how he has developed “some of this stuff.” Perhaps it is time for Harry or the soon-to-be blogger-bludgers at ‘Socialism in an Age of Waiting’ to help Brother Langer get his cutting-edge, www.lastsuperpower.net website “fully functional again.”

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