I understand from Alf that he's been banned - can I ask why?

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PartyBucket
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Apr 6 2011 19:24
Joseph Kay wrote:
(Turkish prisons!!!11)

Battlescarred
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Apr 6 2011 19:26

" however it is not your critics who are saying that libcom is like the Turkish prisons, or that there is a secret conspiracy against the ICC - it is you who are putting these words into their mouths, you are twisting what is being said instead of responding."
Actually they did say these things, not a question of "putting words into their mouths".
I f moderators ask over a period of time for links not to be posted, and sufficient warnings are given, then if someone flouts that request, I see nothing wrong with issuing a temporary ban. We're anarchists, not liberals.

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Apr 6 2011 19:34
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Actually they did say these things

Maybe you should go back and read what was written in the mentioned posts.

Battlescarred
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Apr 6 2011 19:40

I did and they did.e.g. " In Turkey the state is banning books even before they are published and jailing the authors, claiming that those books by certain socialists are promoting terrorism... But unfortunately even the Turkish state has a more reasonable argument in this comparison. " Mikail

radicalgraffiti
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Apr 6 2011 19:37
Leo wrote:
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revleft (i think thats what you mean) isn't really a serious communist website though.

Having lots of posters who are new to politics and who have lots of questions, doubts and confusions does not make a forum any less serious. If anything, it makes it more worthy to participate in. While fundamentally I do recognize the positive role of the libcom, especially its news and library, I personally think that the revleft forum is far more significant on an international basis than the libcom forum, especially with the increasing locker room atmosphere of the latter.

its not the new poster that make it none serious, its the tolerance of trolls like the maoists and other nutters and the rep system, and the pretend democracy.

I think the atmosphere on libcom has been improving recently.

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Apr 6 2011 19:39

Strange, I thought libertarian communism was about free association.

As you were.

petey
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Apr 6 2011 19:42
Leo wrote:
the increasing locker room atmosphere of the latter.

'decreasing' surely?

Lurch
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Apr 6 2011 19:53

I too believe this ‘example’ being made of Alf is ridiculous.

There’s no way of judging whether his post was “not contributing to discussion” as it’s been removed. And as for posting in a discussion about economic blockades a link to a freshly minted article on that subject – that makes a great deal of sense to me, whichever individual or organisation was making it.

Furthermore, the whole notion of “ICC spam” is itself testimony to a bad attitude on Libcom that others have addressed. It’s a pejorative term - it puts a serious political organisation on the same level as porn-pushers and people wanting to market their commodities.

On links, I’m still in the dark. Are they banned in general, for the ICC, or what? Last I saw was this:

Quote:
“baboon, there is no official position on links, we've just said that we think it is a problem and it is something we are discussing.”

Tommy Ascaso, Dec 10 2010 15:49

In my experience, some people ask for links. More usually they’re proffered (and people can make up their own minds whether or not to use them). Sometimes you even get a courteous:

Quote:
“Lurch, cheers i'll check out the ICC link from work tomorrow. let me guess, the communal councils are further proof of capital's decadence yeah? wink

(Joseph Kay, Jan 17 2007 17:57, Discussion on Venezuela.

Khawaga wrote:

Quote:
“... All I was arguing was the people would just stop reading threads when they have to go through pointless minutae that a lot of ICC discussions end up. It would just turn them away from discussion period....'

One man’s “pointless minutae” is another person’s interesting point of view or treasured fact. What really puts people off, IMO, is rudeness, pointless sarcasm, the deliberate sabotaging of debate because you don’t agree with this or that person.

In this regard, Tommy Ascaso owes Miles – and anyone else who saw it (including his fellow admins) – a public apology for his rank response on the thread debating the Black Bloc tactics (a tirade which has since been wiped, erased without trace, as if it never happened).

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Apr 6 2011 20:29
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I did and they did.e.g. " In Turkey the state is banning books even before they are published and jailing the authors, claiming that those books by certain socialists are promoting terrorism... But unfortunately even the Turkish state has a more reasonable argument in this comparison. " Mikail

Yes, he is saying that the Turkish state has a more reasonable argument while banning books and jailing authors than libcom suspending Alf for posting links - he is not saying "omgomg libcom is just like a turkish jail help1!!!!!!1!", nor is he comparing Libcom to the Turkish state. He is merely comparing the two different arguments. It is not a particularly strong comparison and one can easily refute it with a couple of questions. Mocking it by turning it into something it isn't, however, is rather sad. Mocking the other poster by trying to paint him as a conspiracy theorist was even worse.

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its the tolerance of trolls like the maoists and other nutters

I think it is perfectly fair for maoists and others like them who see themselves within the revolutionary left to be able to express their opinions and discuss in an open discussion forum. A discussion forum is a discussion forum - it is not a political organization. If there aren't any disagreements, there isn't anything to discuss.

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and the rep system

I will admit it is a bit childish, but fundamentally harmless.

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and the pretend democracy.

That no longer exists.

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I think the atmosphere on libcom has been improving recently.

This incident and the comments in this thread made by some posters (which are nothing less than openly trolling, ironic coming from those who defend suspending someone for alleged spamming) about it is an evidence to the contrary in my opinion.

Quote:
'decreasing' surely?

Well, english is my second language after all, even though I teach it. What I meant was that the locker room atmosphere was becoming more dominant - doesn't increase express that?

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Apr 6 2011 20:31

Well it is either my analogy is stupid or people do not see banning a communist militant for trying to promote and defend his ideas a serious issue. This is not about being for free-speech or some sort of liberal idea. This is about alienating your comrades and not taking seariously the idea of solidarity. I gave the example of turkish state because recently an independent socialist journalist in Turkey (Ahmet Şık) was put into a prison without even a trial and the only possible reason is writing a book on the police departments corruption and an islamist sects' secret organisation attempt in it. The book was also banned from publication. I am sorry if my daily experience on certain "abstract" issues like expression of ideas is so dense... but It just came a bit surprising to me that banning could also be applied among revolutionaries... So forgive me for considering anarchist comrades banning a left communist comrade as a very important issue related to principles of class politics. Obviously I could not catch how irrelevant that issue was and how am I spamming by being such a blockhead. Sorry for boring some of you with such nonsense arguments.

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Apr 6 2011 20:28
Lurch wrote:
One man’s “pointless minutae” is another person’s interesting point of view or treasured fact. What really puts people off, IMO, is rudeness, pointless sarcasm, the deliberate sabotaging of debate because you don’t agree with this or that person.

Of course, I don't disagree at all. But there was a point where nearly "everything" seemed to devolve into something ICC related. Now I think this could be solved by splitting off more threads, but that again would require more work from the admins and mods.

rata
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Apr 6 2011 22:57
mikail firtinaci wrote:
I am sorry if my daily experience on certain "abstract" issues like expression of ideas is so dense... .

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Apr 6 2011 23:20

rata:

I have translated a solidarity leaflet into turkish when 6 militants belonging to your organisation was jailed in Serbia, feeling myself bad because that was the only thing I could do. I am sure if I did not someone else would do that small translation but my point is; we can start to see each other as comrades and not as enemies. I really appreciate IWA's struggle since I am more familiar with it after meeting comrade akai. But the issue of banning sounds really serious to me. I do not think Alf or ICC would suffer from getting banned as much as those anarchist comrades who does not take this issue seriously as an issue of principle. I can only hope you take this as a comradely criticism and reevaluate your position.

rata
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Apr 6 2011 23:43
mikail firtinaci wrote:
rata:

I have translated a solidarity leaflet into turkish when 6 militants belonging to your organisation was jailed in Serbia, feeling myself bad because that was the only thing I could do. I am sure if I did not someone else would do that small translation but my point is; we can start to see each other as comrades and not as enemies. I really appreciate IWA's struggle since I am more familiar with it after meeting comrade akai. But the issue of banning sounds really serious to me. I do not think Alf or ICC would suffer from getting banned as much as those anarchist comrades who does not take this issue seriously as an issue of principle. I can only hope you take this as a comradely criticism and reevaluate your position.

My ironical posting of an crying smiley image had nothing to do with the question of banning, but with the way you are argumenting for your position. In other and this discussion, and even in this reply to me, you are doing the same thing - you are making irrelevant comments, and inappropriate comparisons, which should soften the harts of the people reading them while making your position more appealing. That is not an argument. The fact that you live in Turkey in hard conditions is not an argument. The fact that you did activities in support of us in prison (we are very grateful, of course) is also not an argument in this discussion. I know, you will say that those are not your arguments, but it's bothering me that I see this kind of pathos quite often interlaced with your position.

And to make it clear, I can not see anybody who sees a role of the state in revolution, as ICC does, as a comrade. I might think that those people are nice individuals, that some of them might be intelligent and learned, but, politically, that is one of the walls that exist between libertarian communists and you guys.

Intifada1988
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Apr 7 2011 01:10
Quote:
And to make it clear, I can not see anybody who sees a role of the state in revolution, as ICC does, as a comrade. I might think that those people are nice individuals, that some of them might be intelligent and learned, but, politically, that is one of the walls that exist between libertarian communists and you guys.

Yeh! Let's just put up some more walls. As if capitalism doesn't do that enough for us! Way to advance the struggle admin: flaming removed --- and that's not even the official ICC line on the issue.

I would post a simple link to an ICC article to help clarify for the AP but I don't wanna run the risk of getting banned.

Joseph Kay wrote:
Lurch, cheers i'll check out the ICC link from work tomorrow. let me guess, the communal councils are further proof of capital's decadence yeah? wink

See they can be helpful

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Apr 7 2011 06:42

rata:

the logical relation I want to form -as my language abilities let me do so- is just; if we are comrades, we can be more patient, respectful and understanding toward each other. I think that is something you may also agree with and that is really my whole point. I think that would have changed a lot.

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Apr 7 2011 06:46

Curious, was there any previous 'forum resistance' for alf beforehand when he posted ICC links and deleted afterwords due to LIBCOP repression?

Mike Harman
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Apr 7 2011 07:09
mikail firtinaci wrote:
rata:

the logical relation I want to form -as my language abilities let me do so- is just; if we are comrades, we can be more patient, respectful and understanding toward each other.

Would that include not engaging in organised interventions on web forums over a period of six years too?

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Apr 7 2011 08:09
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Would that include not engaging in organised interventions on web forums over a period of six years too?

We've never made any secret that we make a conscious effort to intervene on libcom and other forums as well. We try to do the same in strike committees, public meetings, etc. We try to go where the discussion is. There's not much point being a revolutionary if you don't try to propagate revolutionary positions in the working class or engage in discussion with revolutionaries with political differences.

I asked earlier on the thread for "concrete examples demonstrating where we "push a line" and others where we engage in a discussion". Given that the "pushing a political line" seems to be one of the reasons / justifications for Alf's ban, I think this should be clarified.

Lurch
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Apr 7 2011 09:01

In agreement with what Devrim wrote earlier about the ICC (and in my case, its sympathisers) taking its share of responsibility for the current situation, I believe that the multiple postings of and linkings to a particular ICC leaflet last December was a good case in point.

It was an ICC cock-up (not a conspiracy) and I can quite well understand why it pissed the admins (and others) off - it was no good for Libcom, its readers/contributors, or the ICC. I won’t go into the minutia of it but as the first poster of this leaflet, I played a poor part in creating this particular mess.

I still can’t escape the impression, however, that the mods were ‘looking for it’; that talk of a ban then (and the reality of it now) was not the right way forward; that personally, I’m still in the dark about ‘the rules’ on links; agree with what Demo (above) has written, and would welcome an honest response from Tommy Ascaso to my earlier post.

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Apr 7 2011 09:28
Mike Harman wrote:
mikail firtinaci wrote:
rata:
the logical relation I want to form -as my language abilities let me do so- is just; if we are comrades, we can be more patient, respectful and understanding toward each other.

Would that include not engaging in organised interventions on web forums over a period of six years too?

Mikail isn't a member of the ICC, so this of course doesn't apply to him. This, ironically, must be one of the most linked to pieces on the entire ICC site from Libcom, and it isn't done by us.

Unfortunately the ICC is not quite as well organised as it might like to present itself as, and I don't think that we have had "organised interventions on web forums over a period of six years".

I defend the idea, and I would like to seriously ask what is wrong with an organisation deciding that certain points are the important ones to be raising on a particular issue, and raising them in discussions either on web forums or in general.

Devrim

Edit: typo corrected

Cleishbotham
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Apr 7 2011 09:19

Devrim

Did you mean "Unfortunately the ICC is NOT quite as well organised as...". I thought I had a monopoly on saying the opposite of what I meant!

Whilst agreeing with Shug, Devrim and Ronan here this whole business diminishes libcom (and revolutionaries in general). I take it from the posts above that Alf will be reinstated on April 12th.

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Apr 7 2011 10:31

The 72 hours is up at midnight tonight when he will be un-banned

Samotnaf
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Apr 7 2011 10:50

This issue is far far too important for it to end at midnight tonight, so I'm going to start a thread called "I understand from Alf that he's been unbanned - can I ask why?"

mons
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Apr 7 2011 11:31

Devrim's clearly written the most clear-thinking posts on this thread.
I don't think Alf was ever banned just because he was posting links to the ICC. It's because of a general way most ICC (and SPGB) posters post, something that since the last argument has mainly gone away, but the admins (in my opinion wrongly) thought there was a danger of it coming back and so decided to ban Alf for a few days, which is fair enough. It's not a big deal, but I think it was probably a misjudgement - but only because I think the link was relevant and they weren't making the debate about the ICC in this case.

LBird
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Apr 7 2011 12:25
mons wrote:
I don't think Alf was ever banned just because he was posting links to the ICC. It's because of a general way most ICC (and SPGB) posters post...

Yeah, I think mons is onto something here, with the concept of a 'general way'.

This needs defining, and I'd think mons means the methods some posters use, as opposed to what I would call 'open-minded discussion'.

The characteristic of the former is chunks of quotes from current or older 'experts', like a party's present position or Marx/Engels/Lenin/Bakunin texts (or excessive links to any of these). This line is adhered to, even in the face of counter-argument. It is not really a discussion, but an 'informing of the truth'.

The characteristic of the latter is self-written ideas, perhaps drawing on earlier thinkers and giving selective quotes to illustrate, but mostly from the poster themself. The poster seeks new ideas, is more open to persuasion, and can be seen (at least sometimes) to change their opinion in the light of fellow posters opinions. It is a dialogue.

Having said that, the banning of Alf was ill-considered. Although I can understand it, and I think I might have taken the same action if I was an exasperated moderator under pressure, I think banning, for any period, really should be a last resort. The decision should always be a collective one, not made by an individual moderator. A collective is more likely to see the implications than an harassed individual.

petey
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Apr 7 2011 15:44
Leo wrote:
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'decreasing' surely?

Well, english is my second language after all, even though I teach it. What I meant was that the locker room atmosphere was becoming more dominant - doesn't increase express that?

i'm making no comment on your english, which is excellent, and i assumed you meant what you said, but the atmosphere around here used to be "lad-ier", and libcommunity posts were taken off the 'recent posts' page to discourage this somewhat, which worked, along with other developments.

i mean on the big picture though you'll see above that i agree fully with your sentiments on the alf-banning.

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Apr 7 2011 18:47
Demogorgon303 wrote:
We've never made any secret that we make a conscious effort to intervene on libcom .

This is exactly why you should not be on this forum, because your talking at us instead of to us like equals.

gypsy
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Apr 7 2011 18:49
Demogorgon303 wrote:
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Would that include not engaging in organised interventions on web forums over a period of six years too?

We've never made any secret that we make a conscious effort to intervene on libcom and other forums as well. We try to do the same in strike committees, public meetings, etc. We try to go where the discussion is. There's not much point being a revolutionary if you don't try to propagate revolutionary positions in the working class or engage in discussion with revolutionaries with political differences.

I asked earlier on the thread for "concrete examples demonstrating where we "push a line" and others where we engage in a discussion". Given that the "pushing a political line" seems to be one of the reasons / justifications for Alf's ban, I think this should be clarified.

Its quite weird all this 'intervening' to be honest.

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Apr 7 2011 19:05
gypsy wrote:
Its quite weird all this 'intervening' to be honest.

It isn't a great choice of words. It is translated from the French, and almost certainly over used in English in places where it isn't really at all appropriate. I think 'post' is probably a more suitable term for internet forums.

Devrim