In Memory of Mateusz Malesa (1994-2020)
It is with a heavy heart that we say that after years of battling depression, the Polish sympathiser of Revolutionary Regroupment, comrade Mateusz Malesa (also known by other names including Feliks Domański and M. Krakowski) has took his own life at the age of 25. He is remembered among other things for his humour, intelligence and political wit. As an unapologetic Trotskyist, he fought hard until the very end of his life for the project of proletarian revolution even against the monstrous reactionary tide in Poland. He will be sorely missed.
As a teenager, Mateusz moved from anarchism to sympathising with the Internationalist Communist Tendency, a small ultra-left ostensible Marxist organisation where he worked with them translating their articles to Polish, as well as writing articles of his own. Being repelled from ostensible Trotskyists, who try to bend Trotsky to fit their opportunist needs, he had realised that there is more to Trotskyism and Trotsky than these reformists have to provide, as well as the validity of Trotsky’s analysis of the bureaucratically degenerated and deformed workers states over the “state capitalist” theory. On recounting his political evolution, he noted: “[I] came to conclusion that my politics at [that] point were just discount/poor man’s Trotskyism and better embrace the original brand”.
Being won over to Trotskyism, he found Revolutionary Regroupment, and soon became a sympathiser. In his final years, he took an active role in translating many of our articles to Polish as well as writing many articles about the political situation in Poland and internationally. Knowing English, Polish and learning Portuguese, Mateusz played an incredibly important role in such translations, allowing our positions to be broadcast worldwide. Beyond just a literary presence, he also intervened in numerous protests with our works in hand, propagating communism in the harsh Polish political scenario. In his final months, he had also aided comrades in Australia of Bolshevik-Leninist, and had begun to politically collaborate with them before his life was tragically cut short.
Mateusz was a committed communist. Despite the fact that his precarious living situation and personal hardships led to moments of doubts and disillusionment with the communist project, he continued to work towards this goal. He was a huge aid to our work of international regroupment, and his writings and translations will continue to aid us in this task. He will not be forgotten. His work will live on and will continue to honour him.
An account of Mateusz by a comrade from Bolshevik-Leninist Australia:
I had first met Mateusz (or Feliks, as he is known on Facebook), when I had begun to fall into RR’s orbit. While at first our conversations were rather short and infrequent, it had soon changed and we became much closer on a personal level. It was not long before I came to him with a myriad of questions on his positions on a whole wide array of topics. From current and past political events to video games and life, there was no end to what we would talk about. He had told me about his personal troubles, and I had told him mine. We shared quite a bit, and we could solidarize there. I wasn’t the most knowledgeable here, but I really tried my best to give him advice from what I knew. I hope he took my advice to heart, at least for a moment. An honest young man, he often enjoyed reading and playing video games, in which he found relief from the troubles of his life, once commenting that “when I play video games the thoughts stop and I feel relatively at peace; when I quit they creep back in”.
He was so incredibly well read, and although he was young, to me he had more experience politically than I could ever dream off. Holding his own as a politically active communist in Poland was a tremendous task, and I had immense respect for his ability to swim against the current. He was such a committed writer and translator, especially given his personal hardships, that his work ethic was impressive. In these manners, I had aspired, and still aspire, to be more like him one day in the future.
We both suffered from the disease of “Leftbook”, being unable to not read and cringe at all the horrible opportunism that seeped through that wretched section of the internet. From this, we had formed a bond where we would find solace in complaining to each other about this or that horrid political take. He was often the first, and at times only, person I’d see to whine and joke with. He never ran out of witty comments, and he had the sharpest tone against these types.
I recall one time, in a private message to me in reference to a thread where he was arguing with ultra-leftists who had butchered a quote by Trotsky to justify their position that the USSR was imperialist, he had quipped that “I could be playing Conan Exiles or translating an article from RR and yet I’m trying to argue with them instead”. Those were wise words. I think soon after that I had took his advice there and begun to move on to more enjoyable or productive activities than such pointless arguments on the internet. One must choose their political battles wisely, prioritising those that can actually be won over to Marxism, which usually include honest and serious people, which are often rare in internet forums and discussions.
He wasn’t very skilled at video games, which, if I had to pick something I was not good at it would probably be that. But he did enjoy them, and had plenty of knowledge about various games. There was this one time when he told me about this game, “Hearts of Iron IV”, in which he had gotten Trotsky to head the Soviet Union, as well as having the proletariat win in Spain and inciting revolution in France. I had hoped one day I could play one of these games with him when my schedule freed up. I always felt so stressed and bogged down with study, but now these classes seem so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
I always imagined one day meeting him in person, shaking his hand, having dinner together, talking about politics together, and going for some drinks even. He was a shy fellow, but I think in good company he would have opened up, like the lonely first flower opens as spring dawns, the first of many as spring went on, I had hoped. A few nights ago I had woken from a dream that he was alright, he was just taking a break from the internet. He had come back, he was still sad, but he was improving. I can’t explain the relief I felt, for a second I thought he was really gone, but now he was back, and I had so much to tell him. I wanted to ask him about what he thought about the protests in America, was it not such a beacon of hope for world revolution? I wanted to talk about the politics of this and that ostensible Trotskyist grouping. I wanted to tell him I was sorry he wasn’t able to take that holiday abroad to Portugal he’d planned, before the coronavirus lockdown happened. He was so devastated being locked up in his house for months. It hurt him very badly. I wanted to tell him again that if he’d just held on for a bit longer I was sure he could go on this much needed break from his home life. But alas, it was just a dream.