From the investigative team of Burtsev.ru:
With the publication of this letter by the Editorial Board of Left.ru
we open the international investigation into the political activities
and connections of one Lisa Taylor and her organization - the International
Solidarity With Workers of Russia (ISWoR) based in London. We invite letters
with information and testimonies from Western activists. Our archive with
the materials on the activities and connections of this organization can
be accessed at http://www.left.ru/burtsev/iswor/index.html
We guarantee your anonymity, if requested.
IS LISA TAYLOR OF ISWOR A ZUBATOVIST
By Tatiana Aparina,
an editor of Russian weekly Left.ru,
on behalf of editorial board
23 Nov 2002
From: Editor <inform@LEFT.RU>
Dear List members and moderators!
Editorial staff of weekly Lef.ru ("Left Russia") has read Lisa Taylor`s
slanderous letters with calls to cancel our subscription to LABOR-L.
comrades entrusted me, Tatiana Aparina, to answer her. We do not reply
all postings by Lisa because publications of Left.ru tell about our
better than words. The absurdity and ridiculousness of the accusations
advanced by Lisa Taylor against our newspaper are obvious for every
Russian reader who has ever read Left.ru. But unfortunately foreign
have little information about our publication because of the language
barrier. Therefore Taylor`s slander stands a chance.
But we have a proverb in Russia: "However long the rope may twist the
surely come". It means that every falsehood will be revealed sooner or
fastest way to put the end to slander is to analyse it in public. So
shall compare Lisa`s statements and views of our editorial staff expressed
in publications of Left.ru, though Taylor, by reasons I will
wrongly addresses all her slanders about the content of Left.ru to
our authors, Vladimir Bilenkin, who is not a member of our editorial
We are going to do this not only to destroy Lisa Taylor's lies about
but, first of all, to help foreign comrades to acquaint themselves closer
with our weekly which shows struggle and problems of the Russian left.
Below I cited the URLs of some of the best articles of Left.ru on the
subjects mentioned by Taylor. Complete list of
them will be much longer, of course.
Here are links to sites where you can find good Russian-English translators
on line, and all participants of the list LABOR-L can use them for translation
of our articles to have their own opinion about them:
So, let us begin.
The first, the most abominable of Taylor`s lies is about "racism" of Left.ru
our articles on Chechnya. She asks : "...when you stop publishing authors
that scapegoat the dark-skinned Chechen people, who have suffered
200000 deaths, (mainly civilians)..." , "Do you care for the Chechen people
as much as you "care" for the Palestinians? If so, why do you defend those
who call for their annihilation? "
This slander does not survive even a quick look at our pages. See the
latest issue of Left.ru, N 73, November, 7, 2002: http://www.left.ru
central part of the issue contains
five articles on the Chechen war and recent tragic events in Moscow:
Irina Malenko. "Chechya: Russia`s pain and shame."
Alla Nikonova. "The operation has ended successfully - the patient
Maria Desiatova, Alexander Lebedev. "Chechen war in Tretyakovsky`s
Worker`s Opinion: Vladimir Yan. "Hostages of the authorities"
This quotation from Irina Malenko`s excellent central article expresses
sense and spirit of all these articles:
"This article I am dedicating to my friend Layla. I hope that she is alive.
Forgive me, Layla - that I couldn't stop this madness. Forgive me that
people have become blind. Nobody will ever make me hate the Chechen people.
We Russians need urgently to wake up and to liberate ourselves from those
who want our children, yours and mine, to hate each other. From those
whom we made up a special, new word in the Russian language: "dermocrats"
("shitocrats''). For your sake as well as for our own".
You can read this article completely in English at:
And the main idea of the worker Vladimir Yan`s article is following:
"Chechnya. The oil is on small depth here, cheap. The large crocodile
(Russian and foreign capitalists) have a great longing for taking it
from the smaller one (Chechen lords). Boyars (rich men) fight, but
villains` forelocks (the hostages and terrorists) rattle. Until capitalists
has power, people will be performers and victims of their stripping
the sharing of prey. There is the only way to take power away from
bourgeoisie - to deprive it the source of its might. It
will take place if
the people who works on means of production (the plants, factories,
holes...) take them all in their hands".
Then, in the 73d issue of Left.ru there is the statement of the editorial
board of Left.ru "A dirty racism at Rednews.ru" with our protest against
racist article by Shcherbatov placed on the Rednews.ru - "Soviet Russia":
In conclusion, you can read the anti-racist article by Alexander Tarasov
Fascism in ideology, ezhovshchina in practice. N 31 (44) Left.ru
5, 2001: http://www.left.ru/2001/31/tarasov44.html
I think that will do about "racism" of Left.ru.
The second Taylor`s falsehood. She says: "The left.ru site promotes
red-brown Russian parties, which stir up hate against Jews, gays, lesbians
etc... Lets begin with a simple example. The RKRP. Russian Communist
Workers Party. Do you deny that you regularly publish authors from
The main, lovely knavish Taylor`s method of "showing proofs"
well in this Taylor`s question. She says that Left.ru publishes the
from RKRP but she "forgets" to say that we publish them as object of
criticism if their articles content any reactionary views on mentioned
subjects. If we follow Taylor`s logic we should say that Fridrich Engels
published in his book Anti-During large pieces of E.During`s works
analysed erroneousness and harm of E.During`s ideas was not fighting
During`s theory of socialitet but promoting it!..
If we agree with Taylor`s strategy we will not be able to carry out
effective ideological and political struggle against reactionary phenomena
in the left movement. Taylor apparently believes that words have magic
power over the life. Her method means that we should say: "Go away,
don`t touch me! " And Devil of anti-semitism, fascism, Zionism, and
homophobia etc. will disappear!
But in Left.ru we try to follow Fridrich Engels, not Lisa Taylor. To
what exactly we regularly publish look, please, at the following articles:
"Why Did We Publish the Article by Plotnikov? (About patriotism,
anti-semitism and human sexuality)" N7(20) March,19, 2001
"What One Can Say about Jews in General? That This is a Nation of
Proletarian Revolutionaries - Leninists." N11(24), April,
"About Anti-Semitism, Homophobia and . . . Quackery."
N 12(25), April, 23, 2001
"Shapinovism." N 14(27), May, 7, 2001
Two last texts contain rigorous criticism of articles, written by a member
RKRP E.Shapinov, who advanced the theory of "progressive anti-semitism"
another member of the RKRP D.Yakushev, who defended him. Also some
non-progressive views by D.Yakushev on social causes and problems of
homosexuality are subjected to critique by means of the marxist method
in the articles.
Moreover, those articles strongly attacked the bureaucracy and anti-semitism,
existing in the RKRP for a long time. The aim of this criticism was to
help the ordinary members of
RKRP to clear their party of these harmful social infections.
See also: "... Step forward!" (My Answer to Israel Shamir)
N 29(42), October, 22, 2001
This is brilliant polemics with Israel Shamir, concerning the historical
role of Jews
in revolutionary movement and struggle against fascism.
All enumerated articles have been written - what a surprise for Lisa!
- by the
chief editor of Left.ru Anton Baumgarten.
You can also read the article on anti-semitism in the faction of CPRF
the State Duma by Tatiana Aparina. "Ziuganov and Zhirinovsky Have
Constructed a Reliable "Roof" for Anti-Semites in the State Duma."16
(29), May, 23, 2001:
And also the article by Konstantin Kovalev:
"There is Chingachgook in Kitchen-Garden and Uncle in Kiev."
The third of Taylor`s falsifications - is about our attitude to Prokhanov
Limonov. Lisa writes: "Lets begin with a simple example. The RKRP. Russian
Communist Workers Party. Vladimir, do you deny that you regularly publish
authors from this party? Would you like me to dig out each and every
article by them? I will if you want, but Vladimir can do it more easily,
he has the map of the site. I once
did a study of the antisemitic nature of this pseudo-communist party.
Here is an extract from it:
'The party boasts proudly of its regular contributions in Zavtra, the
ultra-racist journal headed by Prokhanov. Prokhanov, an admirer of the
writings of David Duke, recently met with Duke of the Ku Klux Klan at
public meeting in which the fate of the white race at the hands of Jews
lamented. Zavtra has also published an interview with Barkashov., leader
the openly nazi Russian National Unity, in which Prokhanov expresses much
admiration for him.'"
Well, it was happened with Prokhanov probably. It may be that some leaders
of RKRP like Prokhanov`s works. But how does it all concern Left.ru?!
is real circus trick! Let Lisa try to find and present extracts from
with support for Prokhanov and Limonov. But I am sure, she will not be
to. As far as Limonov`s party, Prokhanov and also Zuganov concerned,
Left.ru published some well-argued articles by Konstantin Kovalev with
analysis of the works and political activity of those persons and with
unequivocal characterization of them as Russian nationalists and bourgeoisie's
"Our Sworn 'Friends.'" N 66, summer, 2002
"The 'Imaginary Polarities' Have Now Seen In the Mirror of Revolution
That They Are
N 22(72), October, 23, 2002
"Uncle Gena at the bride-show in front of Uncle Sam."
N 12(62), May, 20, 2002
The forth Lisa`s lie is about our publications on Stalin. She says:
you stop publishing authors from parties who worship the mass murderer
Please, see the following articles:
Tatiana Aparina`s feature-story on the biography of A.G. Shliapnikov and
October Revolution. N 9, November, 7, 2002
Alexander Azarov. "Two political figures - two parties."
Andrey Rostev. "Something About Forest and Trees in Art . . . and
Anton Baumgarten. "Shapinovism." N 14(27), May,
There is not one word of delight about Stalin`s terror in these articles.
all the authors tell about the tragic destiny of the revolutionary forces
Russian working class, intelligentsia in their struggle against the petty-bourgeois
elements and about the result of this process - extermination of the revolutionary
Lenin`s party and the organs of proletarian dictatorship on the road to
The fifth Taylor`s slander is about Left.ru`s stand on the Russian state
internationalism. She says that we "plan to tell Russian workers that
is no US working class, and that instead of international workers solidarity,
they should struggle for a "pure" Russian people and a "pure" Russian
What we really tell Russian workers about the Russian state and
you can read at:
Tatiyana Aparina. "Who Lights the Stars (On the Law on Extremism)"
N 15(65), June, 22, 2002
Tatiyana Aparina. "Goodwin - Great and Terrible, and Putin - Great
and Beautiful." N 31(50), December, 31, 2001
Alexander Tarasov. "Nedopyosok Napoleon III (We Have Grown Baba-Yaga
Own Collective)" N 7(7), October, 22, 2000
Igor Kuznetsov. "Come Out Against the Law, Accepted by the Enemies
of the Workers!"
N 35(48), December, 17, 2001
Konstantin Kovalyov. "Power is Getting Rid of Rosy Incrustations."
__________ Ch.2 http://www.left.ru/2002/10/kovalev60.html
Anton Baumgarten. "Who Will Make the Armageddon?"
The last text is the polemic answer to Israel Shamir concerning his incorrect
views on the tactics of anti-imperialist struggle and the working class'
methods for emancipation. For Left.ru there is no one free of criticism,
that is why we criticize Israel Shamir openly. But we also present to
our readers the progressive ideas of his works.
Even one quotation from this article by Anton Baumgarten is enough to
see the firm stand of Left.ru editors on the methods of the workers`
struggle against capitalists and their states:
"Behind Shamir's grotesque jeremiads against the "Jewish exclusiveness"
there hides the unshakable belief in the "fateful" role of Jews in
history of mankind. Shamir is a messianic nationalist in reverse.
believes that only by stripping themselves of their "Jewishness" the
will save the world. That by chance, this world could be saved by
else (the neocolonial proletriat for one) is unbearable proposition
Shamir. We live in the epoch of the incredible hightening of the national
feeling, of the increased taste for its mystique, and the nostalgia
irrevocable past. I repeat: the nationalist premises of Shamir's
philosophy are expressed in his belief in no less than the apocalyptic
of the Jewish people in world history".
And one more
"I always thought of Israel Shamir as a courageous soldier in the fight
the side of the oppressed Palestinian masses. This is why I was
by his last statement that contradicts the clearly expressed will of
Palestinian people to fight to the bitter end. Could it be that I was
mistaken? I do not think so. But things change. The
remain for a just resolution of the contradictions created by imperialism
the clearer it becomes that the "Palestinian problem" cannot be solved
peacefully -- the more frightful appears the perspective of this struggle
to its participants. Even to those among them, like the veteran
The world will be rescued not by "conciliation". Just the
"irreconcilability to ideas" of those "who press the buttons" will
the future bombings and genocides. This can be done only by the
organization of the masses, who know, having experienced it on their own
skin, that there will be no mercy from their enemy; that they will
shed their blood for a life worthy of man, even just for life, and
process to break many hands of those "who press the buttons".
Armageddon that the imperialists are preparing for us can be stopped
the Armageddon that the oppressed masses will organize for them". (Trans.
As far as internationalism concerned, we have published a great deal
of articles on this
subject. We not only speak abstractly about international solidarity
workers of the different countries. We believe that it is not enough for
developing proletarian internationalism. We try to analyse the serious
problems of social-imperialism that prevent workers from attaining internationalist
consciousness and show the vital necessity for workers of any country
to dissociate themselves from the organizations and ideology of their
"native" bourgeoisies as well as from Western reformist, social-imperialist
organizations like ATTAC.
On this and similar matteres see the following:
Michael Yates. "Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!
Will the US Workers
Unite With Them?"
"It Is Time to Tell the Whole Truth About AFL-CIO`s Activity Abroad."
the Workers` Council of the AFL-CIO South Bay (San-Jose, USA) N12,
December, 14, 2000
Anton Baumgarten. "'Anti-Globalism' or Anti-Imperialism?"
N4 (54), February,
Anton Baumgarten. "The Barricade." N 5(55), February,
Anton Baumgarten. "The Protocols of Siberian Elders." N16 (66)
July, 12, 2002
Julia Mazetovich and Eric Vegner. "ATTAC is the Alternative Physician
the Hospital Bed of Capitalism." N 19(69), September, 18, 2002
Tatiyana Aparina. "Cadging or fighting?" N 23(73), November,
Monica Brike, Til Baumann, N 23(73), November, 7, 2002
"From Port-Alegri to Florence."
Finally, somebody will hardly find another Russian site publishing so
many articles written by many different authors standing against
imperialism and revealing solidly all its modern aspects. We have special
headings "Imperialism", "Death to imperialism!" and fill them with articles
and news in every issue. You can see the titles and URLs of all these
our article index: http://www.left.ru/ukazatel.html
These are some facts that we offer against Taylor`s falsifications of
ideological contents of Left.ru.
Now everyone can see - though it may look like paradox but it is a fact:
German nazi and Stalin, Taylor follows in their footsteps. Goebbels
used to say: "The
more incredible the lie is, the more convincing it sounds". All Taylor`s
that we publish the articles filled with hatred to Jews, Caucasians,
minorities and with love to red-brown parties and the Russian state, as
articles admiring Stalin`s terror, - this is all slander from the first
word up to the last one. The monstrosity of the accusations, presented
against the editors of Left.ru resembles the accusations against
the Old Bolsheviks at
the Moscow trials of the 1930s. Taylor, you were born too late to join
ranks of public prosecutor Vyshinsky and his associates. Your talents
not be used and known widely. My regrets to you, Lisa...
But why Taylor slanders us? Why does she lie to the members of this list?
be because she does not know Russian? No. She has assistants
"Sergey Chekrygin") who know Russian and from who she knows well the real
content of Left.ru. To understand Taylor's motifs, you need to
Left. ru publishes many anti-Zionist materials. For example, we
and published the famous book by Israel Shahak Jewish history, Jewish
that tells about Jewish racism.
This book will help to fight Zionism in Russia. This is very
because without the emigration of Russian Jews to Israel the Zionists
will be much
weaker and the Palestinians much stronger. We also publish articles
Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky and other Jewish internationalists and
anti-Zionists. Taylor calls all of them "self-hating Jews". We also publish
many articles about British imperialism and its oppression of Irish
Like many British lefts Taylor does not like this theme. They
"workers" solidarity with the Chechen people, because there are British
companies who like the Caspian oil. But they do not like Russian
solidarity with the Irish or the Scottish people. All this makes Left.ru
The secret police wants to know who we are, they use provocateurs, we
them Zubatovists (from Zubatovism). They want to find out who are
the editors of
Left.ru, who is Anton Baumgarten. Taylor acts like Zubatovist agent-provocateur.
We believe that Taylor may work for the imperialists and Zionists.
want to start an international investigation into her political connections,
past and present.
And in conclusion some words about our author Vladimir Bilenkin who sends
his excellent articles sometimes - but unfortunately more rarely than
would like him to do. As to Vladimir`s opinions on the subjects mentioned
above, I only know that he would never cooperate with any newspaper if
he feels an aversion for
articles published in it. I am sure that Vladimir is an internationalist,
standing for the destruction of imperialism and all the capitalist states
by means of proletarian revolution. And he does his best to draw this
time closer. But why does Lisa Taylor libel him with maniac persistence?
I can tell.
In 2000 Steve Myers, a leader of ISWoR, and Stephen Kerr, a supporter
this organization took and falsified their interview with the Co-Chairman
Russian Alliance of Trade unions "Defense of Labour" the deputy
State Duma Oleg Shein. Vladimir unmasked their forgery in public. See
"Comments on the 'Translation' of Shein's Interview by his Interviewers."
By the way, keeping in mind that forgery of Shein`s interview one can
imagine what kind
of "evidence" will be presented by Taylor to those list-member who will
hesitate to get in touch" with her about "racism", "anti-semitism"
Left.ru. But surely, we do not mind that Taylor post the URLs of Left.ru
articles with quotations from them in confirmation of her slanderous words.
We are responsible for our words and let her answer for hers.
This is only one of the real reasons of the attack against Vladimir.
are the similar. Vladimir's expose of Taylor's ISWoR as imperialist
is a unique investigation of this kind and is now known and recognized
leftists in Russia.
I do not know all of Lisa Taylor`s aims, but spreading widely her lies
Left.ru and demanding to remove our address email@example.com from LABOR-L
Lisa objectively aspires to separate Russian leftists and the Western
Left, to prevent them from cooperation and establishing international
and anti-imperialist solidarity. I hope she will fail. The more she spreads
her lies about us the more she unmasks herself.
Therefore our editorial staff seconds Vladimir`s proposal: do NOT remove
Lisa Taylor from this list.
We have a good proverb in Russia: "The caravan moves on in spite of dog`s
barking". So Left.ru will move on.
And let us say some words concerning the reflections as "to close down
to close down" this list. Our editorial staff has been taking and translating
texts from LABOR-L for two years since we began publishing Left.ru. By
this we let
Russian readersto learn about the ideas and the deeds of Western leftists.
it is useful, in my opinion. And if Sam Lanfranco decides to close the
list it will be very sad. More than 10-year history of LABOR-L shows its`
necessity as well. We met many serious list-members on LABOR-L and we
hope it will be developing and getting better.
on behalf of the editorial board
Russian weekly Left.ru
PS. This letter will be published internationally.