CHAPTER 9 Enter the Greeks: Epanastasi, the NCLC, and Pablo
< CHAPTER 8 Behind the Vale: The NCLC, The Next Step, and The Real Paper | SMILING MAN FROM A DEAD PLANET: THE MYSTERY OF LYNDON LAROUCHE | CHAPTER 10 The Konstantine George "Brainwashing": Prelude to the Chris White Affair >
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Shortly after the 1967 Colonel's Coup in Greece, Nick Syvriotis and Costas Axios who would later play leading roles inside the NCLC joined the ranks of the domestic Geek Communist Party (the KKE-(I)) dominated Patriotic Front. The Patriotic Front's best known founding member was the composer Mikis Theodorakis. Another founding member was an actor named Pericles Korovessis. Korovessis was arrested by the Greek junta and brutally tortured. He later escaped from Greece and wrote a book about his experiences in jail entitled The Method.1
Korovessis eventually escaped to France thanks to "Michel Pablo." A remarkable and mysterious figure, Pablo's whose real name was Michel Raptis. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1911 and educated in Greece, Pablo jointed the Greek Trotskyist movement as a youth and was imprisoned for two years by the Metaxas dictatorship. After being released from jail in 1938, Pablo fled to France and became a leading figure in the tiny Trotskyist Fourth International and served as the group's secretary from 1943 to 1961. His experiences in Greece and Nazi-occupied France gave him a real education in organizing clandestine political networks. In 1967, when the Greek Colonels' Coup took place, Pablo was living in Paris. He set to work helping to organize the escape of both Korovessis and another torture victim named Kitty Arseni; both of whom would later publicly testify about their treatment by the junta.2
By this time Pablo had broken politically with the Fourth International Secretariat then dominated by his former compatriot Ernest Mandel. In 1965, Pablo had been "suspended from leadership in the Fourth International" over factional disputes. Around 1968 Pablo set up his own tiny organization known as the International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency. In 1971 it became known as the International Marxist Tendency (IMT).
PABLO AND THE SWP
Michel Pablo "Raptis"
in Greece (1995)
LaRouche spent almost two decades in and out of the SWP at a time when the SWP was dominated by debates over Pablo's proposals to orient the Trotskyist movement into the ranks of Communist and Social Democratic parties. LaRouche first arrived in New York from Boston just as the SWP had gone through a major split over "Pabloism." The leaders of the Pablo tendency in the SWP, the "Cochran/Clarke tendency" supported the idea of essentially dismantling the SWP as an organization.3
An SWP member, a Harvard-educated poet named Sherry Mangan, lived in Europe and served as a de facto liaison between the SWP and the Fourth International during the time the SWP (under the leadership of Farrell Dobbs and Joseph Hansen) opened up "reunification talks" with the Paris-based Fourth International, a move fiercely opposed by Gerry Healy in England.4 Mangan had long operated in the underground for the Fourth International. In 1957 the Fourth International then run by Pablo assigned Mangan to work with the Algerian FLN rebels in setting up a support network in France. Mangan also entered into a sharp polemic with Shane Mage (then a member of the SWP who later worked with LaRouche in the Wohlforth group in the mid-1960s) when Mage endorsed the National Algerian Movement (MNA) against the FLN.
As for Pablo, he moved the 4th International's working committee from Paris to Amsterdam where he set up an underground operation to supply the FLN with false identity papers and forged currency. In the spring of 1960, Pablo and another 4th International leader named Sal Santen were arrested by the Dutch government. In an article in the 28 April 1975 NS, LaRouche briefly mentions this incident when he states:
Yet there is no evidence that LaRouche ever wrote at length about Pablo. LaRouche's most detailed discussion in print about the SWP takes place in his article (co-written with K. Ghandhi) "The Passion and Second Coming of L. D. Trotsky," which appeared in the Summer 1974 issue of Campaigner. Yet not once in the article is Pablo mentioned. In his Spring 1973 Campaigner article "In Defense of Rosa Luxemburg," LaRouche mentions Pablo in a rather dismissive manner, describing him as
ISAAC DEUTSCHER AND "PABLOISM"
Behind Pablo's arguments in the early 1950s, the anti-Pablo group in the Trotskyist movement detected the influence of Isaac Deutscher.5 An editorial in the 25 January 1954 Militant attacked Deutscher as a "slick, sophisticated 'non-Stalinist' apologist, capable of meeting strong skepticism with a well-polished but carefully loaded 'both sides of the question approach.'"
Isaac Deutscher had been a former Communist who became one of the early organizers of the first anti-Stalinist opposition movement in the Polish CP. He was expelled from the party in 1932 on charges that he was exaggerating the dangers of Nazism. In April 1939 Deutscher left Warsaw for London to work as a foreign correspondent for a Polish-Jewish paper, a move that undoubtedly saved his life. In 1942 he joined the staff of The Economist and became its expert on Soviet affairs as well as its chief European correspondent. His first major book, a biography of Stalin, came out in 1949. The first part of his famous three volume biography of Trotsky appeared in 1954.
Deutscher believed that there was a potential liberalizing tendency inside the USSR. He was dismayed by the East German uprising which he labeled as "objectively counter-revolutionary and not revolutionary" in contrast to the dominant Trotskyist view of the revolt because as he wrote in a 15 July 1953 letter to an old German revolutionary named Brandler it reversed the "whole trend of events in Russia from Stalin's death" which " until the East German earthquake went consistently in the direction of a socialist democratization of the regime. . . . The Berlin revolt has compromised the idea of a gradual relaxation of the Stalinist regime."
The line that Pablo advanced in September 1949 which attempted to promote a reconciliation of sorts with the Soviet Union coincided with the publication of Deutscher's book on Stalin. David North, a former longtime member of Gerry Healy's faction in the Trotskyist movement, writes that
Pablo's September 1949 document on the future orientation of the 4th International, according to North, followed Deutscher in that it "assigned to the Stalinist bureaucracy an independent and, indeed, progressive historical role."
Deutscher also played an important role in the emerging New Left until his death in Rome in 1967. Former Ramparts editor David Horowitz became friends with both Deutscher and his wife Tamara in London in the mid 60s. In his memoir Radical Son, Horowitz recalls:
Deutscher's arguments would also prove highly influential with British New Left thinkers such as the Oxford-educated High Mandarin Trotskyist Perry Anderson who formed New Left Review, the most important theoretical journal of the European New Left.
As Deutscher argued for a view that would encourage Soviet liberalization, Pablo became more directly involved with struggles in the Third World. After being released from jail in the Netherlands, Pablo resumed his involvement with the FLN. After the FLN took power in Algeria, Pablo functioned from 1963 to 1965 as an economic advisor to the Ben Bella government. He also looked towards Cuba and the potential of the Tricontinental Congress to create a new revolutionary international that went beyond the confines of the old Trotsky/Stalin antagonism. Much like Murry Weiss who left the SWP in early 1964 Pablo began more and more to believe in the irrelevance of the 4th International. From Robert Alexander's profile of Pablo in his encyclopedic study of Trotskyism:
Pablo was forced to flee Algeria in the wake of the Boumedienne coup against Ben Bella. In 1967 he published Le Dossier de l'Autogestion en Algerie in Paris where he was then living and attempting to build his own International Marxist Tendency group. That same year the military coup took place in Greece.
ATHENS AND PRAGUE
In 1967 Pablo put his skill as an underground organizer to work in helping to build the resistance against the Greek colonels. Pablo put together a resistance movement in Paris that began publishing a newspaper in October 1967. The paper was edited in Paris until 1971 but printed in London starting in May-June 1968. The French anarchist Daniel Guerin was listed as the editor in chief.
Pablo's group focused on arranging "the safe transport of resistance people in and out of Greece with the help of false passports." It is possible that the Curiel network in Paris overlapped Pablo's operations as well since Curiel too had played a major role in organizing support for the Algerian revolutionaries of the FLN throughout Europe in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Through Pablo's network, trips for Greek resistance fighters to Palestine-run training camps in Lebanon and Jordan were established in 1969. Pablo's views again shifted in the wake of the crushing of Prague Spring as Lena Hoff explains:
In a long 16 September 1977 NS article in one of his rare references to Pablo, LaRouche writes:
Pablo's break not just with Moscow but with the Cubans as well led him further down a path that in 1971 would lead him to separate himself completely from any attempt to reconstruct the 4th International as well.
WHAT WAS EPANASTASI?
A key NCLC window into both Pablo and the European leftist underground was a tiny group of radicals around Epanastasi (ESO the Freedom Socialist Organization). By 1973 LaRouche's chief lieutenant, Epanastasi member "Costas ["Gus"] Axios,"9 was running the daily affairs of the organization; "Nick Syvriotis," yet another Epanastasi cadre, ran the NCLC's Intelligence Sector; and another Epanastasi operative, Andy Typaldos, controlled the NCLC's Computron computer consulting firm. Konstantine George would become the first "KGB brainwash victim" in the summer of 1973 was another Epanastasi leader.
Syvriotis and Axios were in Greece in 1967 during the time of the Colonel's Coup. Syvriotis reportedly had first met Axios in either 1964 or 1965 when Syvriotis was attending school at CCNY. He bumped into Axios (then still in high school) at a Greek-American rally in New York City in support of Cyprus independence. Syvriotis then returned to Greece for military duty as a draftee and was working in the Greek equivalent of the Pentagon when the Colonel's Coup occurred in 1967.
Syvriotis soon became a very early member of the Patriotic Front (also known as the Patriotic Anti-dictatorship Front (PAM)), a Popular Front resistance organization centered on the famous composer Mikis Theodorakis and associated with the Greek Communist Party (KKE). Axios was a student in Athens and Syvriotis reportedly recruited him into the Patriotic Front. The Patriotic Front also was identified as the resistance organization of the former EDA (the legal left party in Greece) and the Lambrakis Democratic Youth Organization. It declared that
However the CP-linked resistance movement underwent a crisis in February 1968 when the KKE split into two separate groups: the KKE-E (Exterior) and the KKE-I (Interior) with the Patriotic Front strongly identified with the KKE-I.
The origins of the split lay in two facts as far as I can determine: First, the KKE-E (whose leading members had been living in exile from Greece in Communist bloc controlled countries for years) officially refused to repudiate Moscow's decision to maintain economic relations with the junta. The KKE-E was also known as the "Koliyannis" group after its leader who lived in Eastern Europe. The KKE-E, not surprisingly, opposed any tendencies inside the KKE towards an "Italian" or "Togliatti" line that lay at the heart of "Eurocommunism" and was based on the right of independent Communist Parties to maintain a position independent from the dictates of Moscow.
The KKE-I (also known as "the Bureau of the Interior") was based in Greece and followed an overt Popular Front line. The KKE split came around the same time as "Prague Spring" when the KKE-I openly endorsed the Dubcek government and the parliamentary road to power and spoke of a "Greek road to socialism." This argument was labeled the "Brillakis" (after a KKE-I leader) or "Romanian" or "nationalist" line. That the Epanastasi cadre oriented at first towards the Patriotic Front is no surprise. What is important is that the group that became Epanastasi wound up rejecting both the KKE-I and the KKE-E options.
In order to understand why, it is important to note that at least some members of the sect were the sons and daughters of former KKE Resistance fighters who hd been "sold out" by Stalin during the Greek Civil War. Costas Axios who would become LaRouche's virtual second in command for almost a decade had just such a past. A 21 October 1977 NS obituary for Axios's father, Angelo Kalimtgis, suggests as much:
Another reference to Axios is from a 30 March 1979 National Review article by Greg Rose, the onetime head of the NCLC's security staff. According to Rose,
The Epanastasi line that emerged from late 1968 onward looked back to the period predating the formation of the EDA in June 1956. (The EDA was a coalition between the CP and other leftist elements which embraced a "stages theory" of socialism.) Before 1953, however, the KKE line had been for "a people's democratic revolution." After the 20th Congress of the CPSU, however, the Greek KKE abandoned the idea of revolution and essentially embraced the parliamentary path. As for Epanastasi, it rejected slavish obedience to any Moscow faction and looked instead to build an independent revolutionary movement in Greece, a view very much in keeping with the views of the "extra-parliamentary New Left" in general.
On 1 January 1972, the Moscow-aligned publication Neos Kosmos published an article which discusses the Epanastasi group ("Concerning the Dogmatic Sectarian Views in the Left Movement of Our Country" by Theodorou Karamesi). From the excerpts cited in the NCLC's own pamphlet on the Popular Front, it seems clear that the KKE-E saw Epanastasi as an ultra-left group still committed to a line that went out of fashion by 1956 and as such as being totally unrealistic:
To this the NCLC added the following footnote:
Neos Kosmos continues:
Neos Kosmos comments:
EPANASTASI AND THE NCLC
Neos Kosmos clearly sees Epanastasi as ultra-leftists. But what kind of ultra-leftists?
In the fall of 1968, both Nick Syvriotis and Gus Axios were back at CCNY with Syvriotis finished his final semester after being discharged from the Greek armed forces. That October both of them wandered into a "Marxian economics" event featuring LaRouche. At the time CCNY was the second strongest Labor Committee student group in NYC. Steve Fraser, a former prominent student leader of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) at CCNY, had joined the NCLC and brought other PLP members from the school with him.
Although Syvriotis and Axios had made contact with the NCLC, they were both far more involved in Greek events than with the Labor Committee in America. If anything, they saw the NCLC as a useful support and propaganda adjunct to their work in the Western European network of Greek exiles. In 1969 Syvriotis returned to Western Europe (Hamburg) and created I Mami (The Midwife). Axios remained in New York City in regular contact with LaRouche before also going to West Germany some six months later. Konstantine George (whose party name was "Jannis Tzavellas") soon followed.
The disagreement between Epanastasi and the KKE (I) seems to have been over the issue of the Popular Front versus a more insurrectionary line advanced by the extra-parliamentary currents reflected in Epanastasi. In the first part of the Karapis exchanges with the Fourth International published in the Fall 1971 Campaigner we read, for example, there is a discussion of "a Greek spokesman for the CPUSA" who, we are told, was a supporter of the "Kolyannis" faction, namely, the KKE (E) dominated by Moscow.
A former Epanastasi member also recalled:
In essence, the Epanastasi group like countless New Leftists across Europe had simply become disgusted with Moscow and all its feuding satrapies.
ANTI POP FRONT
The Epanastasi line was captured in an article by George ("Jannis Tzavellas") in I Mami on the Spanish CP and its "sickly reformist views." In his article, George writes:
This hatred of the Popular Front strategy was graphically outlined in a LaRouche article for NS entitled "CIA Seeks New Government in Greece." In it he states:
This same hatred of the Popular Front particularly, Stalin's betrayal of the Greek CP-led ELAS resistance movement was detailed in a series of articles on the failure of the Greek CP to take power in the 1940s. They were written by Costas Axios for New Solidarity and later reprinted as part of a larger NCLC pamphlet attacking the Popular Front.
PABLO AND EPANASTASI
By 1969 it appears that the Epanastasi cadre had completely separated themselves from the Patriotic Front. They instead became active in a Greek resistance network centered on Nicolas Calas, who had first met Pablo in Paris in 1938-39.
In the 1960s Calas was a Professor of Fine Arts at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also wrote art criticism for the Village Voice, Art International, and Art Forum. He lectured at MOMA and the Naropa Institute in Colorado and wrote well-reviewed books on modern art, surrealism (Calas knew Breton and other surrealists in Paris in the 1930s) and pop art. Pablo encouraged Calas to form a resistance support group inside the United States which also included cadre from Epanastasi. From Lena Hoff s article on Calas:
The early NCLC actually seems to have "critically supported" the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia from a Trotskyist point of view (Dubcek being cast as a Bohemian Bukharin) although this was rarely mentioned in print, perhaps in part because the NCLC lacked a real party paper until the 1970 creation of New Solidarity. However, in a 21-25 May 1973 article attacking Soviet decentralization efforts in NS, former Epanastasi founder Nick Syvriotis wrote of the USSR:
After the Soviet crushing of Prague Spring, Pablo more or less seems to finally have abandoned the policy that Deutscher (who died in August 1967) had helped inspire; namely, the encouragement of liberalization and support of Russian leaders like Khrushchev.
The Calas group also was split by the question of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia as Lena Hoff points out:
Hoff then later writes that
THE BERTRAND RUSSELL FOUNDATION AND PABLO
Another possible Pablo connection to the NCLC may have come from Mike Vale, leader of The Next Step (TNS).13
The public The Next Step connection to the NCLC first began when a speaker from The Next Step, Roger Hartog, addressed an NCLC conference in May 1971. What is less known is the fact that TNS network also worked closely with Epanastasi cadre in both Sweden and Germany. Hartog told the NCLC meeting in 1971: "One objective of the paper's cadre was to hamstring the counterrevolutionary and strikebreaking potential of NATO forces, in solidarity with revolutionary workers in Greece, Italy, etc."
Epanastasi polemics stressed the point that under the coup, Greece threatened to become a military staging base for NATO operations against revolutionary forces throughout the Mid-East in particular.14 A network of GI organizers in American bases in Europe could serve as an "advance warning system" in case NATO was planning any special mobilization of troops to geopolitical "hot spots" across the region. TNS cadre could also engage in propaganda against any such interventions as well. Therefore collaboration between groups like TNS and Epanastasi were important not just theoretically but also for some extremely practical reasons as well.
In September 1972, about a year after the first TNS presentation at the NCLC's New York conference, TNS cadre led by Vale joined the NCLC en masse. In an 19-22 September 1972 issue of NS describing the merger, TNS members Phil Valenti and L. Pryor say that TNS (read Michael Vale) encouraged the study of Lenin, Trotsky and Isaac Deutscher. It seems quite possible that Vale also most identified himself as a participant in Pablo's European network.
In September 1972, LaRouche was also invited to participate in the Bertrand Russell Memorial Conference in Linz, Austria.
The Bertrand Russell Foundation was controlled by Ken Coates, who had left the CPGB in 1957 after the Soviet invasion of Hungary. Coates then became a leader of a Trotskyist group that published The Week, forerunner of Black Dwarf, Red Mole and Red Weekly. All these publications strongly opposed Gerry Healy, whose organization dominated British Trotskyism.
Coates mentor for a while was the Belgian-born 4th International leader and Marxist economist Ernest Mandel. Coates and Mandel, however, had a falling out when Mandel decided to more or less abandon the traditional working class and focus instead on the "New Youth Vanguard." Mandel's grouping in England became the International Marxist Group.15 Coates, however, split from the IMG and began to orient towards the left wing of the trade union movement and helped create the Institute of Workers Control (IWC). The IWC, in turn, became involved in issues of workers self-management and other syndicalist-like currents.
With its turn towards issues involving factory life and self-management, the IWC began to look at nations like Yugoslavia and the way workers there participated in plant management. Coates, not surprisingly, also became interested in Pablo and Pablo's ideas of "autogestion" or self-management. The IWC/Bertrand Russell Foundation also published some of Pablo's writings. In 1972, for example, Pablo was invited to Chile by the Allende government. While in Santiago de Chile, he presented a paper ("Self-management in the struggle for socialism") that was later printed in October 1973 in pamphlet form by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.
Pablo's network in England also produced its own journal, the International Marxist Review (IMR), edited by Ken Tarbuck, a former member both of Healy's Revolutionary Communist Party and who later became the first secretary of Tony Cliff's Socialist Review group in 1951. In the mid-1960s, Tarbuck dropped out of organized Trotskyist politics and realigned himself with Pablo. The IMR which began publishing in 1971 said it wanted to approach the problem of revolution "in the critical, creative and democratic spirit of revolutionary Marxism as exemplified by Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin and Trotsky." The journal also backed Pablo's view that self-management is the theme of all revolutionary programs as well as the model of any socialist society. Tarbuck was also a personal friend of Tamara Deutscher, the widow of Isaac Deutscher.16
But why would the Bertrand Russell Foundation invite LaRouche to such a conference in the first place?
One obvious reason is that the NCLC was clearly not the organization that it was soon to become. The NCLC had been founded on the premise that it would not function as a "vanguard party" but, rather, as a kind of intellectual and political think tank of sorts for the most advanced elements of the working class during a mass strike period. During this same period the NCLC looked most to Rosa Luxemburg and her concept of the mass strike as the right political model. It was highly anti-Stalinist and anti-Maoist to boot. It advocated a line towards the working class and strongly opposed arguments that embraced the student movement as "the new working class."
The NCLC also rejected both Gerry Healy and Ernst Mandel's brands of Trotskyism. In short, to someone like Vale, Coates, or Pablo, the NCLC might have seemed a potential ally.
THE LINZ CONFERENCE
In his article in the Winter 1972-73 Campaigner ("Lessons of the Linz Conference"), LaRouche made it clear that he considered the overwhelming number of presentations worthless although he had some good words to say about the conference's chairman and principal organizer Vladimir Dedijer. In another article in the same issue, "Why the CIA Often Succeeds," he criticized a presentation on futurology by Lars Dencik of Sweden's Lund University, although he praised a talk by Columbia University professor Edward Said on the RAND Corporation and the Middle East.
LaRouche also met a leading Italian leftist intellectual and Rosa-Luxemburg expert named Lelio Basso at Linz. Basso later invited LaRouche to appear at a conference on the heritage of Rosa Luxemburg scheduled for September 1973 and to be held in northern Italy. (This was the appearance that LaRouche later canceled after he claimed that he was going to be murdered by a KGB hit squad during the conference.)17
THE BREAKUP OF EPANASTASI
If LaRouche is to be believed, Gerry Healy also took counter-measures against Epanastasi. In an article entitled "Local Control vs. Socialism" in the Fall 1971 Campaigner, LaRouche ("Leonidas Karipis") says that after the publication of an article entitled "Trotskyism Today" by "Karipis" in issues 5 and 6 of Epanastasi, Healy's response was the "donation of press facilities to a seven-member Greek emigre grouplet, donated for the palpable object of publishing biweekly paranoid references to the ESO faction."
The Epanastasi article also caused some ripples inside the Mandel-centered United Secretariat. In the 14-18 June 1971 NS article that covered the presentations of TNS, the DPFLP, and the ESO (the Greek Revolutionary Socialist Group/Epanastasi) at the May 1971 NCLC Conference, it was also noted that:
At the same time that the "Karipis" article began circulating in Europe, however, the Epanastasi group itself seems to have dissolved. In 1969 Nick Syvriotis decided to return to Greece to do clandestine work but was persuaded by Costas Axios to go instead to Western Europe and build the Epanastasi network there. So Syvriotis returned to Hamburg, Germany while Axios remained in New York with LaRouche. Then some six months later Axios also went to Germany and Konstantin George soon followed in his wake. In Germany, Syvriotis helped run I Mami (The Midwife) a publication of about 4 to 6 pages that appeared once a month.19 Then in the summer of 1971 disaster struck.
From a former Epanastasi member:
The Pablo/Calas network also opposed terrorism:
CRITICAL CRITIQUE OF THE ANTI-CRITIQUE
By the summer of 1971, then, many of the former Epanastasi cadre who had lost their faction fight in Europe felt they had no place to go politically but into the NCLC. As a result, they also gradually moved out of the Pablo network in America as well.
As for LaRouche himself, the exact nature of LaRouche's relations with Pablo were never discussed in print and it is not know if they ever even met personally when LaRouche traveled to Europe. If they did, LaRouche never mentioned it. It is hard, then, to make any definitive comments except to say that ideological faction fights in Trotskyism were almost inevitably linked to issues of political control and leadership.
In this context, it is worth noting the 1973 publication by Monthly Review Press of Rosa Luxemburg: The Accumulation of Capital, An Anti-Critique; Nikolai Bukharin: Imperialism and the Accumulation of Capital. As it so happened, Luxemburg's "Anti-Kritik" essay had first been published in a two part series in the Campaigner in 1972. Now just a year later, another translation had appeared, this one accompanied by Nikolai Bukharin's attack on Luxemburg's views.
The editor of the Monthly Review edition was Ken Tarbuck, the leading British Pablo supporter and editor of the pro-Pablo International Marxist Review. LaRouche's response to the book was a huge article in the Spring 1973 Campaigner entitled "In Defense of Rosa Luxemburg." In his response, LaRouche denounces Bukharin's arguments against Luxemburg and cites Preobrazhensky's book The New Economics for its attack on Bukharin, whom Preobrazhensky felt had abandoned his earlier agreement with Luxemburg's views.21 Recall that in Deutscher's view of the USSR, de-Stalinization was linked to modernization of the Soviet economy not through heavy industry but through the opening up of the Soviet Union to the outside world, a notion that also enjoyed some academic popularity under the name of "convergence theory."
Most interesting for our purposes, however, is LaRouche's attack on Tarbuck's introduction. LaRouche describes Tarbuck as "the resident chief British spokesman for a tiny Trotskyist' cult of followers of M. Pablo." Following LaRouche's somewhat wacky prose style, we read:
In fact the Bertrand Russell Foundation in the 1970s would play a leading role in promoting the rehabilitation of Bukharin inside the East Bloc. In 1978 Coates also published a book entitled The Case of Nikolai Bukharin arguing for his rehabilitation. Given LaRouche's stress on hyper-industrialization, the deep political and intellectual rifts between the two positions would have made it impossible for Pablo to work with the NCLC as long as LaRouche was in charge.
It has been necessary to examine Epanastasi's history in part in order to understand the background to the Konstantine George affair. Looking back on these events today, it is also hard not to be struck by the irony that some top leaders of a group that began with such a polemical attack on the Stalinist hacks inside the Greek Communist Party and opposed terrorism would wind up as leading apparatchiks inside the never-never land world of the NCLC. This was especially true in the case of Gus Axios. As LaRouche's top American lieutenant, he somehow managed to rationalize and justify every bizarre twist and turn of the organization for almost a decade until he finally broke with the NCLC in the early 1980s. He also directly supervised the NCLC's Security Staff. In short, he became the model of the perfect Stalinist apparatchik.
If Axios and the other Epanastasi leaders' personal sagas never quite reached the level of classical high tragedy, it was only because the NCLC proved incapable of transcending the genre of low farce.
1. After The Method was published in English, LaRouche reviewed it in an early issue of NS. For its importance in the Chris White Affair, see especially the appendix "Think Down Your Colon" at http://laroucheplanet.info/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.UnityNow11.
2. Pablo had a unique connection to the Greek resistance movement: the leading Greek exile politician and future leader of Greece under the PASOK party, Andreas Papandreou, had known Pablo since their days as youths in the Trotskyist student movement in Greece. After the coup, Papandreou created PAK, the Pan-Hellenic Liberation Movement.
3. James Robertson, who left the SWP and created the Spartacist League, writes about the split in his document "The SWP A Strangled Party" that the pro-Pablo Cochranites
In his "How the Workers League Decayed" essay, LaRouche echoes somewhat similar sentiments:
4. Healy maintained an almost psychotic hatred of Pablo for decades.
5. In the Trotsky Campaigner, LaRouche devotes some time to refuting Deutscher's position that the founding of the Fourth International in 1938 was a mistake because of the "absolute historic urgency of establishing some encysted germ-form in which the basis for a new movement even decades hence might be reasonably provided. . . . . However tiny, however isolated, an international executive must exist. . . . the Labor Committees were made possible by Trotsky's decision to form the Fourth International! His purpose was successfully realized despite the Trotskyists." [Italics in original]
6. This was the meeting that officially reunified the SWP with the International Committee in Paris and ended the division that had begun in 1953.
7. See Lena Hoff, "Resistance in Exile," from the Scandinavian Journal of Modern Greek Studies (2), 2994 available here
8. The NCLC was aligned with the Democratic Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DPFLP), which was established in February 1969 as an orthodox Marxist split off from George Habash's PFLP and also included leftist elements in Fatah. A winter 1971 Campaigner article entitled "Prospects for War and Revolution in the Middle East" by Uwe Henke Parpart backs the DPFLP. The NCLC's May 1971 "Strategy for Socialism" conference in New York was addressed by Ahmed Khayali on behalf of the DPFLP as well as "Jannis Tzavellas" [Konstantine George] for Epanastasi, and Roger Hartog from The Next Step. The DPFLP representative stressed the need to build solidarity with the Israeli left to form a "secular, socialist, anti-imperialist state" containing both Jewish and Arab communities "with all citizens on an equal basis, and the preservation of all 'religious and cultural heritages'" according to a report in the 14-18 June 1971 NS.
9. Axios's real name is Konstantin Kalimtgis and Syvriotis is Criton Zoakas but I will use their party names whenever possible.
10. Cited from Stephen Rousseas, The Death of a Democracy (Grove: 1967), 224.
11. The 14 December 1970 NS reported that there was an earlier attack against Epanastasi. I Mami, NS said, came under attack from the "red baiting" "Democratic Defense" office in Paris. The pro and anti-Moscow KKEs also "launched abrupt and violent attacks on our friend's publications." What the contents of the I Mami article were and why they would provoke such actions is never mentioned.
12. Although it would take us too far afield, it is important to understand that NCLC line was rooted in the "Left Opposition" view of the Soviet economist E. A. Preobrazhensky. Preobrazhensky and the Left Opposition's most bitter enemy was Nicolai Bukharin, a former close friend of Preobrazhensky who rejected the Left's strategy of forced industrialization and "War Communism" based on primitive accumulation of the peasantry for the polices identified with the New Economic Program or NEP.
13. See the chapter on Mike Vale and The Next Step at http://laroucheplanet.info/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.UnityNow3 for more on the organization.
14. It was also widely believed on the Left that NATO and the CIA either aided the Colonels' Coup in the first place or at least had advance warning of it and approved.
15. The IMG's best-known leader was Tariq Ali.
16. In his 1990 obituary for Tamara Deutscher, Ken Tarbuck also notes that she worked closely with E. H. Carr, the Oxford historian. Another article on E H. Carr and Tamara and Isaac Deutscher appeared in April 2001 by Michael Cox, who was on the board of the Glasgow-based Trotskyist journal Critique. Cox reports that Zbigniew Brzezinski considered Deutscher "beyond the pale, while Carr, in his view, was possibly one of the most dangerous men in Britain. Praise indeed from the doyen of the U.S Cold War establishment."
17. LaRouche's September appearance at the Linz conference was the culmination of his first organizing trip to Europe. He spent about a month in England and two weeks divided between Germany and the Linz conference in Austria. It was also during this same period, as I have noted earlier, that TNS joined the organization. Some kind of factional fight may have broken out in the Labor Committee network after LaRouche left. In his October 1974 Campaigner article on the history of the NCLC, LaRouche writes:
Although it is not at all clear if Vale had any hand in the troubles in Germany, he left the NCLC soon after TNS joined, in part perhaps because LaRouche may have moved to exclude him from any leadership role in the European organization or because Vale may have considered LaRouche unstable. There is simply no available print discussion on the exact reason why Vale withdrew from the NCLC.
18. Mandel's Paris headquarters was so ill informed about the background to the journal Epanastasi that they thought that "Karapis" may have been a pseudonym for the Spartacist League's James Robertson.
19. LaRouche ("Karapis") said that I Mami not also "published considerable coverage of the Palestine struggle, but have taken energetic measures on this problem," which may suggest some kind of close relationship with the DPFLP. Although Syvriotis seems to have spent his time in Hamburg and Cologne, I Mami was published from London. However the London address may have been a cover post office box.
20. As to the group that took over the Epanastasi network, one would be that it may have been closer either the pro-violence PAK or to Ernest Mandel's Fourth International. In the early 1970s, for example, Mandel's principal political group in France, the Ligue Communiste, endorsed a "Guevarist" line in support of armed guerrilla warfare in Latin America.
21. Preobrazhensky was one of the last theorists inside the USSR to advance the idea of a capitalist collapse as crucial to Marxism. He was opposed in this by Eugene Varga, who essentially adopted a neo-Keynesian viewpoint.
22. Possibly a reference to the Calas network.
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