Why this article has been removed?

480 posts / 0 new
Last post
georgestapleton's picture
georgestapleton
Offline
Joined: 4-08-05
Oct 8 2011 20:55

Yeah I have to say that I while I don't think Dr J's sins are as egregious as others seem to, I think libcom's response and Aufheben's response is pretty bad.

I think the way libcom have prefaced the piece by identifying it as a smear is pretty bad. People can probably judge whether it is a smear for themselves I don't think they need to be told it is. And I think the person who is posting on this thread who is a former member of Aufheben should probably say that they are a former member of Aufheben.

To me there does't seem to be anything factually wrong in the TPTG letter that isn't based on lies told by Dr J himself.

Aufheben say "J did not write the ‘Policing’ paper" but he is listed as an author and it is listed as one of his publications on his personal page on the university. So he says he is an author of the paper but he didn't actual write it. Fine. I can believe this. But the worst that can be said of TPTG here is that they believed a lie Dr J told about himself.

After that, Aufheben say that TPTG are wrong to highlight the ‘policing major incidents’ meeting:

Quote:
As TPTG know, The talks to the ‘policing major incidents’ meeting, the CBRN centre, and Civil Contingencies Secretariat were each about his research on mass emergencies. They were part of the dissemination of his research to the emergency services and other relevant organizations that he is expected to do as part of his work at the university. The ‘blue light services’ work closely together; and so talking about emergencies means probably talking to cops as well as the others.

But if we look at the site of this "meeting" we see that it isn't simple a 'meeting'. The subheading of the event is "A World Class Professional Development Course for Operational Police Officers." It is a training course for cops. For Aufheben to say that this is an event for "emergency services" and talking at it unfortunately "means probably talking to cops as well as the others" is extremely disingenuous.

I really don't see how the letter can be called a smear. It presents facts and discusses them. I think if Dr J says that he is the author of a piece I think criticising Dr J for what is written in the piece is totally fair. Ok he didn't write it, fine but then he is lying and can't get annoyed at people for believing his lies. You can disagree with the discussion of the article but I don't think it veers very far from the facts they present.

All of this is on the response to TPTGs letter. But to avoid people assuming that I am baying for Dr J's blood or something, I should probably say something about what I actually think about the issue.

My personal opinion is that we all live contradictory lives. We produce capital and capitalist social relations and we struggle against this. It is our own actions that we struggle against. Working class autonomy is a political principle not a social reality. Nobody is completely on the side of capital and nobody is completely on the side of the working class. A part of struggle is dealing with this. The struggle is in our everyday life and it is not just against our boss (who often is just another wage worker anyway), it is over every aspect of our lives. To give a very different example, the struggle against patriarchy involves changing and challenging the sexual distribution of labour i.e. men need to clean, cook, care etc. This isn't a political position its practical activity. This means that you are NOT finished once you have the right analysis. Being feminist doesn't mean saying the inequalities of wealth and power that arise from the sexual division of labour can be gotten rid with capitalism, it means saying that and struggling in the hear and now to challenge this. And that struggle isn't easy. It necessarily involves fuck ups and missteps. But this challenge affects all of our social existence. We struggle within our movements, homes, relationships, work practices everywhere we can. And of course this never works out as well as we'd hope and of course we are always compromised. We live in a world of greys. Things are not black and white. But sometimes things are more black than grey or white than grey. Sometimes we do things that put simply, goes over the line. Wheelers article on the riots, Mark Barnsley hitting Fall Back, Sam (AF) being abusive with women, the womble threatening/hitting/whatever Steven., Danny Cohn Bendit becoming an MEP, Casa del Obrero Mundial killing Zapatistas etc. etc. These are all not just 'bad', we all do bad things, they are worse and should ideally be redressed in someway. And I suppose for me an important thing is that its not the case that if you do something bad you then are no longer in our camp or something. Rather if you are doing something bad, 1. stop doing it, 2. if necessary find someway of fixing what you did. Given all this, for me the issue is 1. is Dr J doing something bad, 2.is is not just 'bad' but somehow worse than that - has he crossed 'the line'. I think he pretty obviously is doing something bad. Teaching cops is bad. I presume everyone agrees with that. Has he crossed the line? Here I think I'd disagree with Joseph K. I think he has crossed the line. I haven't read the papers he has written, and I obviously haven't attended the course for cops he teaches on, but I think teaching cops how to control riots is 'over the line'.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 8 2011 21:08
georgestapleton wrote:
And I think the person who is posting on this thread who is a former member of Aufheben should probably say that they are a former member of Aufheben.

I have written for them and may well again. The advantage of this is I know what I'm talking about, whereas the critics are hundreds of miles away and have never met the person they're smearing. libcom have been well aware of this issue for a while, have fully discussed it as a collective, and took appropriate action when it was posted up.

georgestapleton wrote:
Aufheben say "J did not write the ‘Policing’ paper" but he is listed as an author and it is listed as one of his publications on his personal page on the university.

J has little control over the page. TPTG knew J did not write the paper and rejects fully the paper. They chose to carry on pretending it was his, and attributing it to him.

georgestapleton wrote:
It is a training course for cops.

At which he presented work on mass emergencies, nothing to do with policing tactics or pacifying class struggles.

This nowhere near justifies the claims made in the TPTG piece. Labelling someone a state collaborator is an extremely serious act. They could have chosen to ask questions. They didn't. They drew conclusions based on information they knew to be false, and then made these allegations publicly. That's extremely damaging behaviour. And it's bullshit whoever's on the receiving end.

georgestapleton wrote:
I think teaching cops how to control riots is 'over the line'.

This is precisely why such smears are so dirty and insidious, because otherwise intelligent people see all the smoke and conclude there must be a fire. J, categorically, is not and has never taught "cops how to control riots". This is a smear, now repeated, presumably in good faith. As stated in the Aufheben letter, J's presentations to cops have been about his work on mass emergencies, nothing to do with how to control riots.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 8 2011 21:14
georgestapleton wrote:
I think he has crossed the line. I haven't read the papers he has written

I would just like to draw attention to this, because while george is being honest this is obviously the case with most of the people weighing in on this, who presumably haven't apprised themselves of the ESIM literature, J's academic output etc in the last 48 hours. Aufheben have long been aware of J's work and have no problem. Aufheben don't work with cop collaborators. The libcom collective also looked into this in some detail a month or so back and concluded it's just a smear. It's very disappointing people are rushing to make judgements based on a dishonest hatchet job, without any idea what they're talking about.

Wellclose Square
Offline
Joined: 9-05-08
Oct 8 2011 21:27
Joseph Kay wrote:
georgestapleton wrote:
And I think the person who is posting on this thread who is a former member of Aufheben should probably say that they are a former member of Aufheben.

I have written for them and may well again. The advantage of this is I know what I'm talking about, whereas the critics are hundreds of miles away and have never met the person they're smearing. libcom have been well aware of this issue for a while, have fully discussed it as a collective, and took appropriate action when it was posted up.

georgestapleton wrote:
Aufheben say "J did not write the ‘Policing’ paper" but he is listed as an author and it is listed as one of his publications on his personal page on the university.

J has little control over the page. TPTG knew J did not write the paper and rejects fully the paper. They chose to carry on pretending it was his, and attributing it to him.

georgestapleton wrote:
It is a training course for cops.

At which he presented work on mass emergencies, nothing to do with policing tactics or pacifying class struggles.

This nowhere near justifies the claims made in the TPTG piece. Labelling someone a state collaborator is an extremely serious act. They could have chosen to ask questions. They didn't. They drew conclusions based on information they knew to be false, and then made these allegations publicly. That's extremely damaging behaviour. And it's bullshit whoever's on the receiving end.

georgestapleton wrote:
I think teaching cops how to control riots is 'over the line'.

This is precisely why such smears are so dirty and insidious, because otherwise intelligent people see all the smoke and conclude there must be a fire. J, categorically, is not and has never taught "cops how to control riots". This is a smear, now repeated, presumably in good faith. As stated in the Aufheben letter, J's presentations to cops have been about his work on mass emergencies, [b]nothing to do with how to control riots.

[/b]

I'm not bringing this up to heap further blame on J's head, but I don't think you can truly distinguish between the rulers' strategies for 'mass emergencies' on the one hand and riot control on the other. How many 'humanitarian interventions' have 'accidentally-on-purpose' become policing operations?

bootsy
Offline
Joined: 30-11-09
Oct 8 2011 21:29

JK why would TPTG simply want to smear Aufheben?

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Oct 8 2011 21:33

Well, I'd suggest the most obvious is that the international ultra-left scene is a tiny incestuous scene, and scene's like that love gossip and scandal?

The truth is banal and boring. Having uncovered a secret police agent is sexy and attention grabbing.

bootsy
Offline
Joined: 30-11-09
Oct 8 2011 21:34
Khawaga wrote:
I read TPTG's accusation as big logical fallacy. J is guilty by association. Maybe TPTG should do an analysis of academic conditions of work; while the association from an ultra-left point of view is unfortunate, from the point of view of an academic worker it is simply about the concrete labour of academics and how knowledge production is organized. It is not about being an "academic", but about being a worker.
Quote:
Psychologists advise ‘softly softly’ approach to protests (or was this another accidental bit of false association, this time by J's employer)

Again, fallacious argumentation. Take issue with J, not the ones that J works for and with.

If anything what this says to me is that revolutionaries should seriously reconsider a career in academia, not that academics should be given extra slack.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 8 2011 21:37
bootsy wrote:
JK why would TPTG simply want to smear Aufheben?

I have no idea. I've never to my knowledge met any of them, and don't know them beyond having read some of their articles. So I cannot attribute motives. What I do know is they published information they knew to be false, as a lengthy email was sent to them in August.

georgestapleton's picture
georgestapleton
Offline
Joined: 4-08-05
Oct 8 2011 21:59


Quote:
J has little control over the page.

Honestly I can't believe that. I have a university personal page and I decide what goes up on it. I tell the IT guy what to put up. And I know from talking to friends that the same thing happens in other universities.

If he had no control over it, then you would imagine all the profile pages would look the same. They don't:

http://www.sussexBROKEN.ac.uk/profiles/157572
http://www.sussexBROKEN.ac.uk/profiles/280
http://www.sussexBROKEN.ac.uk/profiles/1266

Quote:
TPTG knew J did not write the paper and rejects fully the paper. They chose to carry on pretending it was his, and attributing it to him.

This may be true but he is also choosing to carry on pretending it was his and attributing it to himself.

The question of his collaboration with the state is clearly grounded in what he did. They are accusing him of no more than doing research and teaching that is directly or indirectly for the police. I think the term collaborator is sloppy. I think its pretty clear that Dr J was not an informant. And using the term 'collaborator' makes it sound like he was.

On the question of them making contact, and asking questions. I should maybe say that I was at a summer school where a frequent libcom poster had produced a text laying into Dr J on this. TPTG were there and I talked to them about this issue. I was under the strong impression that they had contacted Aufheben. FWIW, when I talked to TPTG about this I said what I am saying now - that he isn't an informant. At worse he is doing extremely problematic research, teaching cops how to control crowds, and is using his knowledge from being an activist in these activities.

Further, in terms of motivation I think that Fall Back is way off on why TPTG decided to publish this letter. My impression is that rather they wrote the letter because the issue was going to be made public in some form, and they wanted it to be done in a manner that was not a witch hunt of either Dr J or Aufheben. I think they perAs Joseph and Fall Back know TPTG has a long and good relationship with Aufheben, I don't think their intention is to damage that for no reason. Generally, I think talking about this in terms of motivation is wrong. Either TPTGs concerns are baseless or they aren't that is what matters. We can really only guess peoples motivations.

Its worth noting how bizarre this letter and reply is. First, TPTG give a close reading of one of Dr J's texts and point to how problematic it is. Then, Aufheben respond saying that Dr J never wrote the text despite his name being on it and actually totally opposes the text, despite him being happy to have his name on it and advertising it as a text he co-authored. I mean I have no reason to think Aufhben are not telling the truth, but it is a very, very bizarre truth.

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Oct 8 2011 22:04
Quote:
I don't think their intention is to damage that for no reason

Which is why they decided to spread his real name all over the internet, for no reason. Of course.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 8 2011 22:07
georgestapleton wrote:
Honestly I can't believe that.

Well then gossip away. The problem is you're adding your speculations to an already speculative set of allegations. For example, I don't think TPTG even claim that J trains the police to control riots, but you've casually added that to the mix. I'm sure you're not intentionally embellishing the smear, but this is how smears work.

georgestapleton wrote:
Its worth noting how bizarre this letter and reply is. First, TPTG give a close reading of one of Dr J's texts and point to how problematic it is. Then, Aufheben respond saying that Dr J never wrote the text despite his name being on it and actually totally opposes the text, despite him being happy to have his name on it and advertising it as a text he co-authored. I mean I have no reason to think Aufhben are not telling the truth, but it is a very, very bizarre truth.

No, what's worth noting is that TPTG simply ignore the explanation. They don't call it a lie. They don't say it's bizarre. They just ignore it, despite being informed of this first-hand from Aufheben in August, and probably along the ultra-left grapevine before that. Frankly whether you find it "bizarre" or not is beside the point. Aufheben and J clearly reject the article. TPTG were told this, and published anyway.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Oct 8 2011 22:08
Quote:
If anything what this says to me is that revolutionaries should seriously reconsider a career in academia, not that academics should be given extra slack.

That could be said for almost any job. You can always find something objectionable with a job.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 8 2011 22:10
Fall Back wrote:
Which is why they decided to spread his real name all over the internet, for no reason. Of course.

Fall Back, I do think it's unwise to attribute motives to TPTG, which is basically unknowable, and difficult to infer from the information available.

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Oct 8 2011 22:14

Fair enough - but I do think that fact alone pretty much negates any claim it was benign.

madashell's picture
madashell
Offline
Joined: 19-06-06
Oct 9 2011 00:28

Is it normal for accademics to allow their names to be attached to papers they completely reject? Serious question, I'm not familiar with how accademia operates.

For all I know this could be completely standard practice, because of pressure from the institutions they work for, or whatever (in which case calling him a liar is a pretty out of line), but perhaps Aufheben could be a little clearer on this in their response.

avantiultras's picture
avantiultras
Offline
Joined: 8-10-11
Oct 9 2011 01:33

Joseph Kay, it's late and I will not touch other issues apart from the press release. I have to state though that it's you who' s proven to be a liar with "no regard for truth".

Joseph Kay wrote:
No, this is a press release, written by his employers (well, their press team), which refers to the fact a HMIC report references work with Stott and Reicher - which is almost certainly the same paper TPTG base their article on and which J didn't write. Nowhere in the press release, contrary to the title, does J "advise ‘softly softly’ approach to protests".

Since it's very common that people do not bother to follow the links and read the references, I copy and paste from the University of Sussex press release:

press release wrote:
Police forces dealing with public protests need to change their crowd control tactics if they are to avoid the violent confrontations witnessed at the G20 summit in London earlier this year, says a new report by a University of Sussex psychologist. As the Copenhagen climate change summit gets under way this week, police around Europe are preparing their response to mass demonstrations, protests and possible violence. But they shouldn’t rely on old methods according to University of Sussex psychologist Dr JD and his fellow researchers. Leading crowd behaviour experts Dr D, Dr Clifford Stott (Liverpool) and Professor Steve Reicher (St Andrews) were consulted by the HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) review into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London. Now the HMIC’s report – Adapting to Protest – Nurturing the British Model of Policing – reasserts the principles of the traditional British model of approachable, impartial and accountable policing based on minimum force for major public order events. The researchers’ ‘new psychology of crowds’ formed the basis for the recommendations of the report. They emphasise that most crowd members have peaceful intentions and would normally shun advocates of violence. However, this can change if people that feel they are being mistreated by the police. Effective policing therefore needs to be based on a ‘dialogue’ approach. This approach has three core elements: an understanding of the aims and intentions of crowd members; a focus on helping crowd achieve legitimate aims; and a series of graded interventions which target those causing disorder without denying the rights of the majority. These ideas have already transformed policing in several European countries through the team’s consultancy, led by Dr Stott. The researchers conclude that, if implemented in the UK, they would be equally effective in minimising crowd violence here. Dr D, a social psychologist at the University of Sussex, commented, “Our recommendations form part of a new agenda for the mass democratisation of crowd management. We have designed interventions based on our approach and have shown that they work."

So, much differently to what you say, the press release does not simply "refer to the fact HMIC report references work with Stott and Reicher - which is almost certainly the same paper TPTG base their article on and which J didn't write. On the contrary, it clearly states that: "Dr D, Dr Clifford Stott (Liverpool) and Professor Steve Reicher (St Andrews) were consulted by the HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) review into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London. Now the HMIC’s report – Adapting to Protest – Nurturing the British Model of Policing – reasserts the principles of the traditional British model of approachable, impartial and accountable policing based on minimum force for major public order events. The researchers’ ‘new psychology of crowds’ formed the basis for the recommendations of the report.". Who makes misleading claims here?

Further, it's totally untrue that "nowhere in the press release does J "advise ‘softly softly’ approach to protests. On the contrary, J commented EXPLICITLY ": "Our recommendations form part of a new agenda for the mass democratisation of crowd management. We have designed interventions based on our approach and have shown that they work." And, it's also clear from the press release that J participates fully in these activities: "But they shouldn’t rely on old methods according to University of Sussex psychologist Dr JD and his fellow researchers"

It's totally and utterly ridiculus to claim that J was compelled to accept this press release by his bosses. Everyone who has even the slightest experience from the university environment knows very well that the degree of autonomy is much, much greater than what you absurdly imply.

As far as I see it, the previously mentioned lies and distortions should make everybody really sceptical about what Joseph Kay generally says and claims about this issue. I can understand of course the need to defend one's circle...

(most of the emphases above are mine)

Admin edited out personal info

jesuithitsquad's picture
jesuithitsquad
Offline
Joined: 11-10-08
Oct 9 2011 01:50
Quote:
As far as I see it, the previously mentioned lies and distortions should make everybody really sceptical about what Joseph Kay generally says and claims about this issue.

says the guy who created his account today . . .

georgestapleton's picture
georgestapleton
Offline
Joined: 4-08-05
Oct 9 2011 02:26
madashell wrote:
Is it normal for accademics to allow their names to be attached to papers they completely reject? Serious question, I'm not familiar with how accademia operates.

No its not at all normal. Having your name on an article you had no part in is considered extremely bad academic practice. Having your name on an article you had nothing to do with and completely reject is just bizarre. I've never heard of it happening before.

lurdan
Offline
Joined: 11-10-06
Oct 9 2011 03:12

Good grief. With friends like JD's who needs enemies ?

Joseph Kay I presume your defense of JD is made in good faith so I'd invite you to take a deep breath and consider how your ludicrous rhetorical over-inflation plays to those of us who haven't been privy to this potential storm in a teacup for months.

Quote:
"The advantage of this is I know what I'm talking about"

- this would inspire greater confidence if there wasn't a glaring gulf between your increasingly strident demands that everyone else is careful about their choice of words while you feel free to exaggerate and mis-characterise what TPTG are saying. You've used the words snitchjacketing three times in this thread alone - do TPTG accuse of being a police informant ? No they don't. Do you imagine that we can't see that they don't ? And since they don't the other aspect of snitchjacketing - that it's done deliberately to get someone harmed or to deliberately damage a political group - scarcely arises, does it ?

You repeat that this allegation of being a police informant - which they don't actually make - is 'dangerous'

Quote:
"If some Indymedia mental takes this at face value it could have real world consequences."

Well I guess if some fool were to keep shouting the words 'Cop Collaborator' often enough (your score is three times so far) mud might stick and it might hamper JD's ability to do ethnographic research amongst protest groups. But create a serious risk of physical harm ? Do me a favour.

(Yes, you point out he no longer does such research. What a genius argument on his behalf that is in context - 'my client doesn't beat women and in any case he hasn't been near one for ages').

TPTG revealing that JD holds radical views might come as a surprise to some of the official client groups he deals with through his work. But JD doesn't seem concerned about making this perfectly clear in his Social Psychology Network profile.

Quote:
Since power is partly sustained through systems of meaning, I also use critical discourse analysis as a way of understanding exposing and subverting domination, and thereby creating the space for 'liberatory' discourses. An example of this is the way that crowds (particularly working class crowds, protest crowds and mass emergency crowds) are routinely pathologized and/or criminalized; such constructions have important implications for policy and practice. In my research, I have sought to problematize such accounts and hence suggest a language for the crowd that recognizes and indeed celebrates its positive role in the social world.

In fact JD seems to have a fairly clear view of the risks inherent in his work (not to mention rather more balls than you have on his behalf). On his blog he posted a piece about the Mark Kennedy affair in which he explicitly relates the implications of a police informant going native to his own research work with protest groups. I'd strongly recommend people read it for themselves. While clearly aware of the risks he is also clearly quite confident that he can avoid them.

JD would not be the first radical academic to become overconfident about his ability to sup with the devil. The sort of overconfidence that might lead someone to allow their name to be put on a contentious article they didn't agree with and then allow it to be listed on their college web site. However that happened the kindest thing that can be said about it is that it was fucking dumb. Aufheben state that it was a mistake. By contrast you suggesting that he doesn't control what articles are listed on his college page just looks stupid and desperate.

What also comes across loud and clear is your conviction that the problem isn't just 'Indymedia mentals' but most of us reading this who are incapable of resisting the impulse to pick up our pitchforks and form a lynch mob. On the other thread under Aufheben's response you ask if we've actually read JD's work - perhaps you should follow your own advice, starting with the idea of how crowds without any especial investment in a situation can be brought together in opposition to heavy handed attempts to police them.

petey
Offline
Joined: 13-10-05
Oct 9 2011 03:26

as george says you wouldn't put your name on something you didn't materially contribute to. if your research is used by the authors, no matter how extensively, that goes into a footnote. if you collaborate with others and wind up disagreeing with them normally you would take your bit of the research and go write your own article. in my neighborhood (latin/greek) books (or articles) will have prefaces (or first footnotes) in which the author thanks others who have read it ahead and offered critiques, but there is always a sentence along the lines of "the author retains responsibility for all claims."

ps - i have no opinion on any of the dispute above.
pps - but i'm familiar only with humanities (english, classics, philosophy et al).

georgestapleton's picture
georgestapleton
Offline
Joined: 4-08-05
Oct 9 2011 04:17
Quote:
as george says you wouldn't put your name on something you didn't materially contribute to.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that he did write the article. I don't know the guy but trust the people from Aufheben generally and I see no reason to think they are lying. So I assume he didn't write the article. All I am saying is that it is extremely weird to have nothing to do with an article, disagree with it and say you authored it. Weird things do happen though.

jesuithitsquad's picture
jesuithitsquad
Offline
Joined: 11-10-08
Oct 9 2011 04:31

Georgestapleton & petey- in the other thread (seems like it would be useful to merge the two) it is referenced several times in the article and subsequent comments that this is a normal process.

Juan Conatz wrote:
The way it was explained to me by someone in academia is that it is standard practice to include as co-author, those who's research forms a significant basis for study.

For example, one academic puts out a paper on A. Then a second academic puts out a paper on B, but uses A as a significant basis for B. That second academic puts the first academic's name as co-author, even though they had no part in that work other that their paper on A was used as a major part of the research for paper on B.

Is it your experience then that this is not the case?

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Oct 9 2011 04:54
petey wrote:
as george says you wouldn't put your name on something you didn't materially contribute to. if your research is used by the authors, no matter how extensively, that goes into a footnote. if you collaborate with others and wind up disagreeing with them normally you would take your bit of the research and go write your own article.

From what I know this is the most common practice in the arts and humanities. I do know, however, that in the sciences it's a bit different. If you're a prof owning a lab or dolls out some grant money, the prof often gets credited as author of the paper even if they did no research or didn't write a single thing.

I've never heard of the practice Juan Conatz refers to, but the way in which credit is given (or taken) in academia never ceases to amaze me.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Oct 9 2011 05:41

This what the person I know (who is an academic) said:

Quote:
"By the way, Aufheben are correct about "standard academic practice." But that's only because "standard academic practice" around this sort of shit sucks."

and

Quote:
" Yeah--and it's one of the reasons academic work sucks and so often riddled with supidity. The pressures to publish are so ridiculous that people sign off on shit they've never even read just to get their name on a peer-reviewed article.

But this isn't any reason to doubt J or Aufheben. It's a reason to doubt anything that is published that goes through the so-called "peer-review" rigmarole."

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Oct 9 2011 05:43

I am not questioning you at all Juan. It makes sense in a fucked up way because of the pressure to publish or perish.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Oct 9 2011 08:22
lurdan wrote:
In fact JD seems to have a fairly clear view of the risks inherent in his work (not to mention rather more balls than you have on his behalf). On his blog he posted a piece about the Mark Kennedy affair in which he explicitly relates the implications of a police informant going native to his own research work with protest groups. I'd strongly recommend people read it for themselves. While clearly aware of the risks he is also clearly quite confident that he can avoid them.

He quite clearly states in that that he does not risk 'going native' as he is not opposed to what is happening. The risk is that he will fail to be objective because of his sympathies and this is why he uses a research methodology.
The articles thing does sound fishy but as far as I know academics (and their departments) need to publish constantly so getting your name on a paper is good for you career-wise. I'm not sure if it's a goood idea to have your name attached to this paper though.

I think the problem here is that TPTG needed to discuss this with Aufheben, rather than posting something up online that would obviously lead to allegations of informing and collaboration. I haven't got time to go into all the articles here but although there are some problematic elements here I think the response seems to deal with them fairly well. Either way a dialogue was what was needed and open letters are not a way to initiate a dialogue, they are a way of informing everyone of something and an invitation to react to that.

avantiultras's picture
avantiultras
Offline
Joined: 8-10-11
Oct 9 2011 09:57
jesuithitsquad wrote:
says the guy who created his account today . . .

I was not aware that there is a seniority list in Libcom according to which the truth of one's words is attested. It does not sound neither libertarian nor communist. On the contrary, it reeks of hierarchical relationships and partiality.

bootsy
Offline
Joined: 30-11-09
Oct 9 2011 10:17

I do not want to comment on the validity of the allegations from TPTG. JK is right to demand further research from myself and others before giving our two cents on that matter.

Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
If anything what this says to me is that revolutionaries should seriously reconsider a career in academia, not that academics should be given extra slack.

That could be said for almost any job. You can always find something objectionable with a job.

However this statement is bullshit. We draw the line in the sand somewhere, we don't collaborate with cops, or with managers, politicians etc. It is possible for an academic to collaborate with the State, it is possible for academics to collaborate with other functionaries of capital. I read over this thread, I read over the response from Aufheben and the comments from JK in response to me, and I can't help but getting the feeling that the underlying assumption here is that revolutionaries should be flexible with their principals in order to accommodate the careers of academics. Nah, that's backwards. If an academic career if going to compromise our movement then the responsibility falls on the academic to reconsider their choice of career.

Khawanga's attitude is a cop-out, pure and simple.

Wellclose Square
Offline
Joined: 9-05-08
Oct 9 2011 10:56
bootsy wrote:
If anything what this says to me is that revolutionaries should seriously reconsider a career in academia, not that academics should be given extra slack.

Whatever the minutiae of 'levels of complicity' of us all in 'the system' I think the nail has been hit on the head here.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Oct 9 2011 12:58

Sure, bootsy, we do draw the line in the sand somewhere. I completely agree, but in order to draw the line it does help to know how a particular workplace is organized and what are some of the institutional pressures etc. Seems like few people have an appreciation of what the pressure to publish or perish might lead to. Or how university admin is constantly trying to turn academics into managers of students (and TAs) rather than leaving them to be teachers and researchers.

I can understand, however, that this whole thing seems dodgy, but the explanation is quite likely more pedestrian. TPTG's accusation was just a huge logical fallacy, making someone guilty by association is just poor argumentation. Some of the commentors in this thread has done a better job than the original TPTG letter.