Wednesday, January 6, 2016

From the radish patch: Marxist "Radish" tries to cast doubt on my Benedict Arnold period.

"China's brand of socialism never was fully welcomed in Moscow, Stalin having accused Mao of being a 'radish communist': red on the surface, white on the inside." -- Modernization and Revolution in China by June Grasso, et al
From an "Unrepentant Marxist." "Mike Vanderboegh: portrait of an agent-provocateur." Among the charges:
This sounds like utter bullshit to me. If you know anything about the PLP, you know that the last thing they would be up to is robbing dope dealers or slashing tires in National Guard armory parking lots. Most likely, a PLP member would be selling their unreadable newspaper in front of plant gates, the same kind of activity that the SWP would eventually take up. The PLP was a workerist sect that was involved with some major campus struggles such as the San Francisco State student strike of 1968. But its working class intervention was pretty focused on “serving the people” trade union organizing that was anything but adventuristic. In Boston, they were focused on getting their members into the GE plant in Lynn or into the local hospitals.
This is both true, false and at the least uninformed as well. I was indeed brought into PLP through joining an off-shoot of the party called the Workers' Action Movement. I was recruited, at least in part, because I was then a shop steward and organizer for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at University Hospital in Columbus. But PLP, like all communist parties, always had a public face and a private face. If the writer was a member of the Socialist Workers' Party he understands that. SWP had the same set up. In any case, as a Trotskyist (which was what SWP was) he would have had NO experience with the Maoist PLP, let alone their secret party. One might as well ask a blind member of a debating society (which was what SWP was -- all talk and no action -- which was why I left them) to describe the actions of a street gang. It is beyond his understanding and experience.
Try to remember, those of you whose memories extend back that far, what other groups such as the Weathermen were doing back then. Many, not just the Weather crazies, expected the workers to rise up and join the "revolutionary forces" in street actions leading to a general strike backed up by the armed wing of "urban guerrillas." That PLP's secret party countenanced such activities as those we did was hardly surprising, although later (after I sought to separate from the party) I was accused of "ideological deviations" by the same folks I reported to and who knew in general outlines what I was up to. In retrospect it was obvious that I did my job too well, and I scared the Maoist crap out people who waved the Great Leader's little red book and spoke of "political power growing out of the barrel of a gun."
Finally, on his “Benedict Arnold” period at the Ohio Historical Society. I just got off the phone with the librarian there and she told me that the box contains nothing but pamphlets, buttons, leaflets, newspapers, posters, etc. and not a single thing he produced. I was interested in any of his personal correspondence since that would give me some clues into his likely agent-provocateur past. Since there was none, I had to assume that he joined leftist groups without even a modicum of familiarity with socialist politics that allowed Ed Heisler, another FBI informant, to end up on the SWP national committee.
This Trotskyist radish is either lying or he got hold of a VERY lazy employee of the Ohio Historical Society. There are at least two documents in that file (which does include pamphlets and organizational materials from each and every organization I belonged to and some -- like the Weathermen -- which I did not) that are carbons of my own reports back to the secret party leadership of PLP on our activities, including a detailed inventory of collected arms. I have xeroxes of these documents in my own files. My public party contact (who was largely, and naturally, out of the loop on the doings of our secret cell toward the end of our activities) is still alive and, like the author of this screed, an unrepentant Marxist. I know because I reached out to him a few years back and he refused to talk to me seeing as how I had, in his worldview, "gone over to the enemy."
In any case, the "Unrepentant Marxist's" charge that I was an FBI provocateur is absolutely false. I was who I said I was, to my undying shame and reported to no one except the secret party leadership who recruited me. Radishes cannot pretend to understand the doings of killer tomatoes. They come from a different part of the collectivist intellectual vegetable patch.


Anonymous said...

The degree to which the designated character assassins come after you show how dangerous they see you and your legacy as being. We all have sins to atone for, as I one day must before my God.
You are an honest man, saying what must be said. You have had the courage to face up to public atonement, something scant few can muster the spine to do. It is an act that will never be seen in Washington, D.C. (as you aptly call it, "Mordor on the Potomac") or in any state house.
You have set the bar high for honesty in your work and disclosure. May others (including myself) have the same moral rectitude.

Chiu ChunLing said...

It's a bit ironic that Stalin should have accused Mao of only being red on the outside, when in reality Maoism was so much bloodier under the surface.

One wonders whether "Trotskyist radish" types are even capable of lying as we understand the term. They sometimes seem to lack the essential connection between words and reality which makes it possible for a statement to be significantly true or false in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Not thats its our bussiness...
But this idiot site got your age wrong, did they not?
DisInfo i would assume
It's down in the coments section
Ahhhh, Mordern Journalism.

SFMedic said...

"I was who I said I was, to my undying shame and reported to no one except the secret party leadership who recruited me."

Mike there is no shame in your life's path, you have been forthright and honest in who you are and were (unlike many who profess to be "patriots"). Winston Churchill once said; "If a man is not a liberal at 20 and a conservative at 50, then there is something wrong with him." I too had a similar epiphany as you and it took a Wehrmacht Luftwaffe mechanic who survived not only Hitler but three years in a Soviet gulag and then 20 years in the USMC, to open my eyes. I wish you God's speed in your journey. You have already done more to aid the cause of freedom than most of us will ever accomplish You are on my list of people I want to meet someday, in this life or the next.

Louis Proyect said...

So you were in the SWP. Really? What branch were you in? Who were some of the people you knew? What were your assignments?

Dutchman6 said...

Ah, the Trotskyist radish speaks. At the remove of so many years, it is difficult to recall specific names. As with most SWPers I was recruited out of the Young Socialist Alliance (having joined them after SDS and the Weatherman split -- those crazies were positive loons -- as reflected in several documents in my Benedict Arnold period papers including, if I recall correctly, their position document Prairie Fire). My contact in Columbus OH at the time was Shirley Pasholk (sp?). At the time we were engaged in trolling the anti-war movement at Ohio State for likely recruits for YSA and SWP.

Chiu ChunLing said...


Did the radish just try a "Stolen Valor" check on whether Mike was actually red in his youth?

That goes so far beyond "disconnected from reality" that just reading it made me wonder if I'm having a psychotic break.