Why this article has been removed?

480 posts / 0 new
Last post
tastybrain
Offline
Joined: 11-11-07
Oct 21 2011 16:19
Joseph Kay wrote:
Never mind, Stott & Reicher want to crush 'violent minorities'. Oh, Stott & Reicher are reformists who think "riots are the voice of the powerless" and argue explicitly against the "repression agenda"?

JK, the article you link to contains this passage:

Quote:
That is, you need to look at the experience of relations between rioting communities and those with power, authority and influence in our society. The danger is that the repression agenda not only ignores this but that it actually creates experiences that both increase the sense of illegitimacy and decrease the sense of alternatives.

So the accusation of mindlessness, the lazy language of the "mob", and the use of discredited deindividuation theories, is not just wrong. It is positively dangerous. It stops us paying attention to what crowd actions tells us about how rioters understand their society. It stops us from addressing how these understandings come about. It dooms us to more disaffection, more division and more violence.

So Stott and Reicher want to prevent the "danger" that repression "creates experiences that both increase the sense of illegitimacy and decrease the sense of alternatives". They wish to maintain the legitimacy of the state and emphasize the "alternatives" which exist within the state paradigm. The state needs to understand how rioters understand their society so they might better control how they understand the society (put it in a more positive light). They wish to prevent "disaffection", "division", and anti-state "violence", all things which we want to increase, if I'm not mistaken!

Stott and Reicher do in fact want to crush violent minorities. They don't say as much in this article but if you read between the lines it's very clear. They are against a knee-jerk "repression response" but only so repression can be doled out more intelligently and precisely. In other work of theirs they explicitly lay out their theory for how the violent minorities can be isolated and crushed! (And Dr. J's ethnology of anti-roads protests is part of the basis for such a model).

They quote MLK on riots, but much like him they take that approach solely so they can deflate such militant forms of protest. Both MLK and Reicher/Stott see the riot as the "voice of the powerless", but the goal in both instances is to give the rioters a real "voice" and real "power" within the realm of state relationships.

Reformism is not always benign. Often it is the best defense capitalism has against its own contradictions. By trotting out "kinder, gentler" aspects of capitalism rulers can demobilize revolutionary movements.

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Oct 21 2011 19:39
Samothnaf wrote:
I've not heard ONE bit of verifiable information

Of course not, you've refused to speak to Aufheben, and ignored them when they contacted you. If you refuse to talk to the people in possession of the verifiable information, of course you're not going to hear it.

Aufheben 
Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre
P.O. Box 2536
Rottingdean
Brighton
UK
BN2 6LX

aufheben99[AT]yahoo.co.uk

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
Oct 21 2011 20:50

Joseph,

This is going round in circles because... when you notice someone who seems generally intelligent and who you often feel at least sympathetic with but who is currently arguing something that you not only disagree with but which sounds patently fallacious, then you think, "well, let's try one more go at it and see if he can somehow get it".

All issues were gone over by the first two pages of this thread but I'm here for the above reason. Maybe I'm the one with the fallacious and you can show me why I'm full of shit. Please, if so, do me the favor.

But until you show me that, I have the impression that you are the one who's arguing stuff that isn't just incorrect but clearly wrong and contradictory and you simply don't see this clear contradiction because you are caught up in the psychological dynamic of the situation. Like I said, it could be the exactly opposite. I'm open to that. But perhaps we could just engage in looking this stuff even more closely keeping in mind that one of the two positions being argued might just be totally bonkers and we might not know which it is.

Anyway...

Quote:
And I'm not telling anyone to take my word for it. By all means don't. But nobody is in a position to opine about how "plausible" or "unbelievable" Aufheben's explanation is unless they've checked it out, otherwise it's just more hot air in cyberspace.

This statement looks to me to be confused on both a practical and a logical way.

The practical part first; IE, what precisely is involved with checking "it" out? There is a wider anti-state communist milieu beyond London and beyond the UK. Is every hypothetical reader of Aufheben expected to email them about Dr. Who if they happen to find TPTG's piece online? Are they expected not to have an opinion on the subject?

Practical Point: Seriously, can you outline in detail what you imagine would or should go through the head of a hypothetical Aufheben reader who Google them and discovers the TPTG discussion? How exactly could they accept the Aufheben explanation if they did not take either your or Aufheben's word on the subject.

Also, it doesn't seem you are getting the meaning of "plausible" here. Plausible means "believable", not true or false. Aufheben's statements are not plausible to me or to a number of readers. That doesn't prove they're to true or false. But the point is that as written, the statement look like, uh, bullshit.

If I say "got my money from selling a meteorite of pure gold that fell into my back yard", I would be making an implausible statement. In the unlikely event that, despite sounding implausible, the statement was true, I might be able to supply supporting information to back it up. Anyone who was going to actually believe me would have to either have gotten that information or take on the trust the word of someone had gotten the information.

With that background on what plausible means, let's look at your statement in more detail (and again, I appologize if I sound like an ass here, you can show me how deluded I am if you bear with me now).

Aufheben's statement, as written, is either plausible or not. In the "ordinary course of events", no one requires corroborating evidence to determine if a given statement is plausible, that is no one inherently need additional evidence to read a statement and decide whether sounds like could be true. Now, if Aufheben's statement depends on private information (the "email trail") then whether the statement is plausible or not, any observer would need that private information to determine whether the statement is true.

So, you can at least say logically say "nobody is in a position to opine about whether Aufheben's explanation is true unless they've checked the (secret) evidence". But your original statement, about plausibility, is more or less "an abuse of language". Anyone should be in the position to decide whether a given statement plausible.

And "we critics" are definitely talking plausibility, not truth. Of course I don't know what happened. I'm on the US West Coast, I've all the parties involved but very briefly, years ago. I don't know what's really the case but I still know that the story you're telling me is implausible. Not just a little implausible but wildly implausible. To use the old detective term, "it stinks". This is a statement of appearance. Aufheben's text and your posts here together are unconvincing and (at least) seem contradictory.

And this seems like one of the several flaws in what you've been arguing.

Logical Point: Communists should not simply not work with the police. Communists should also not appear to work with the police. If a communist appears to work if the police, he or she should remove that appearance. If the information seeming to, appearing, to link a communist with the police is public and the information debunking that appearance is private then someone looking in public must trust those who know the private information.

The above paragraph is my logical statement of why appearances matter, why supposedly exonerating information being private is problematic. I know repetition is annoying and patronizing and if I'm wrong I apologize in advance though I'll apologize more afterwards.

But if I'm wrong, it doesn't seem like I'm the only one making this mistake so it would still be worth your while to go in detail to show why I'm wrong.

Best,

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Oct 22 2011 01:29

pdf of my text in unbowdlerised form is available if you contact: endangeredphoenix@aliceadsl.fr

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 23 2011 13:44

Fair play to dinosavros, he came and found me at the bookfair, we had a sensible conversation and I introduced him to Aufheben. It became pretty clear this cannot possibly be resolved online: forwarded emails can be edited, screen-grabs of emails can be photoshopped and so on. I think they're going to sort out either a meet-up or something with a neutral third party.

Apparently Aufheben had tens of complaints about the 25p inflation price rise, but apart from dinosavros nobody complained about this at all. This tends to confirm my impression all this sound and fury is a storm in cyber tea cup. This thread self-selects for the handful of people who give a shit and are willing to bash out post after post, giving it disproportionate prominence.

RedHughs: this isn't a question of formal logic, it's really simple. If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, ask them to back it up. There's no "secret evidence" here. Libcom spoke to Aufheben and they were completely open with us. By all means do the same. Contact details are on libcom, and have been posted on this thread. As it is you're just gossipping on the internet about things of which you have no first-hand knowledge, have no connection to, and are refusing to look into. Idle talk. You'd just better hope your comrades have higher standards when some ultra-left Inquisitors, or an investigative journalist, or a state snitchjacket paints a target on you. I wouldn't want anything to do with 'comrades' who'd accept such serious allegations without even bothering to talk to the accused.

tastybrain: I'm glad we agree Stott & Reicher are liberal reformists, as for much of this thread I've been attacked for saying that! I also agree that liberal reformism (in general) is not necessarily harmless. What I'm saying is in Stott & Reicher's case it is.

Stott & Reicher attack the mainstream view that riots are a meaningless, random and untargetted phenomenon, which leads to 'solutions' which increase the coercive power of the state to be able to put down such 'random' outbursts of 'the mob' (watercannon! troops on streets!). By contrast, they say collective violence is targetted, selective and meaningful, and therefore 'solutions' should be found in social change (relationships with the police, poverty etc). This analysis is fairly common amongst anarchists and passes without comment, e.g. the WSM's analysis of the August Riots says "apparently the solution to murderous police violence is to be more murderous police violence". The only difference is the reformists think nicer police and a better welfare state is sufficient, whereas anarchists say the police not being nice is a structural necessity and the contradictions in capitalism can't be abolished with a few social democratic trimmings.

Another way of looking at is that if the class struggle can be pacified by the police talking to people instead of twatting them, then it isn't a fundamental social antagonism at all, but a mere technical problem of how to regulate an otherwise harmonious society. Obviously liberals do think this. But they're wrong, and thus harmless when they base policy proposals on this false premise. However, TPTG seem to share the same equation of violence with class antagonism, only whereas the liberals want to reduce it with nicer police and more youth centres, TPTG seem to want the opposite and thus see these things as sinister new methods of crowd control (since without police provocation, where could antagonism come from?). Both share the same fallacious premise of equating class conflict with violence. This is fetishism: because revolution is violent, they see violence as revolutionary, and anything which (may) reduce it as counter-revolutionary.

Yet another way of looking at this: "the best way of (...) keeping the Wobblies and other unions at bay is to take steps now to insure employees have no reason or desire to organize". This might be true, as far as it goes. But it doesn't really help the bosses all that much because it means making concessions without a fight to eliminate possible grievances, concessions cost them money and this goes against their social role. Similarly, the police might know that repression can escalate struggles against them, but they have to do it anyway for material reasons dictated by their social role. Grievances are inherent to wage labour and conflict with the state is inherent to class struggle. These material imperatives simply can't be bypassed by clever intellectual 'insights'.

whatisinevidence
Offline
Joined: 10-10-11
Oct 23 2011 16:29

I am sorry to those who have to share a milieu with you. I hope the lack of anger about this at the bookfair was because those who would have been angry were too disgusted to attend.

Quote:
If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, ask them to back it up.

This is ridiculous. JD ought to be condemned purely on the terms of his defense (ie. at the very least, he did speak in front of police about crowds, he did work closely with people writing policing policy papers, he has made a career out of understanding crowds to aid state responses to emergencies, etc). If those things - which are acknowledged as true by Aufheben in their damage control document - are not enough for you, you ought to stop calling yourself an anarchist.

Put aside the question of class struggle. JD's research is about how the state can "humanely" control and manage crowds. To be blunt, if your "communist" group is made up of people researching how to control crowds, rather than by those who find themselves victims of this "humane" crowd management, there is a problem. If you get together for your meeting and find that everyone at the table is making a salary researching social movements, there is a problem. The problem is that 'communist theory' is largely the domain of social managers and professionals rather than proletarians. This is not a side issue.

In the end we have the perfect Stalinist farce: JD changed his University page he has no control over to remove the articles he didn't write which are not a problem anyway. Being professionals, Aufheben know how to handle a PR disaster: release a statement that doesn't say much of anything, cover your trail, have others speak for you, and then remain silent. Once time has gone by, you can silence critics by saying, "haven't we gone over this already? Let's move forward instead of staying in the past."

Quote:
These material imperatives simply can't be bypassed by clever intellectual 'insights'.

Quite so! Maybe every communist group should have one member who gives clever intellectual 'insights' to police. I hear the police love clever insights from radical groups. They'd probably even pay for them.

Arbeiten's picture
Arbeiten
Offline
Joined: 28-01-11
Oct 23 2011 16:28

you were too angry by writer in one magazine to attend a bookfair roll eyes

dinosavros
Offline
Joined: 5-05-10
Oct 23 2011 17:32

Joseph just to put things in context,

You said

Joseph Kay wrote:
As it is you're just gossipping on the internet about things of which you have no first-hand knowledge, have no connection to, and are refusing to look into. Idle talk. You'd just better hope your comrades have higher standards when some ultra-left Inquisitors, or an investigative journalist, or a state snitchjacket paints a target on you. I wouldn't want anything to do with 'comrades' who'd accept such serious allegations without even bothering to talk to the accused.

I don't think this is accurate and you keep repeating it... when someone's name appears on articles as an author (and also lists those articles on his faculty page) it is not "gossipping on the internet" or "snitchjacketting" or an "Inquisiton" to take it for granted they are responsible for writing those articles. I said this to you in person too. I think we established yesterday that it is very rare that an academic will attach his name to articles which he had nothing to do with, especially if it is articles that he disagrees with strongly. So the burden of proof is on J.

It is not a matter of "shit-slinging" but of shit that J put himself in. The responses of TPTG, Samotnaf and other users like whatisevidence are all justified given the circumstances. Like Devrim says above

Devrim wrote:
If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

Regarding the specific articles, there's two scenarios, (a) he did help write the articles, and after the letters were published he lied and pretended that he didn't in order to save face, and (b) he really didn't write those articles and stupidly let his name be added to them. Of the two the second seems more implausible, and the first seems much more likely. I said this both to you and Aufheben in person yesterday.

But I am willing to accept that scenario (b) while it is more implausible, it is not impossible. If there really is evidence for this then I would be willing to take the bus down to Brighton one day and verify its truthhood or falsehood - since we also established it is something that cant be done electronically. But I don't know if my doing this is worth it, since I don't know if my word will mean much either way.

Joseph Kay wrote:
Apparently Aufheben had tens of complaints about the 25p inflation price rise, but apart from dinosavros nobody complained about this at all. This tends to confirm my impression all this sound and fury is a storm in cyber tea cup. This thread self-selects for the handful of people who give a shit and are willing to bash out post after post, giving it disproportionate prominence.

Yeah I didnt realize that I was the only one who would come and talk in person (complain?), I assumed a lot of people would have done it too. Personally I dont have much emotionally invested in this whole issue but I followed it fairly closely and took the time to read because of the respect I had for all those involved (TPTG, Aufheben, Samotnaf and some libcommers like you) and the gravity of the accusations (which I find convincing and serious). Approaching you and Aufheben in person just seemed like the right thing to do.

My impression from others I talked to is that not a lot of people had heard about it (some people I talked to yesterday don't like libcom and dont read it) and those that had hadn't read through everything in order to form an opinion. And some people dont want to take sides and would rather stay neutral.

As for Stott and Reicher I don't want to get into this argument in depth, but the two articles co-signed with J are there for anyone to see and TPTG quotes them extensively. Anyone can see them and judge for themselves. They are explicitly aimed at training police into having increased control over crowds by applying psychology methods so that the majority of the crowd identifies with the police and not against it.

dinosavros
Offline
Joined: 5-05-10
Oct 23 2011 17:38
whatisinevidence wrote:
This is ridiculous. JD ought to be condemned purely on the terms of his defense (ie. at the very least, he did speak in front of police about crowds, he did work closely with people writing policing policy papers, he has made a career out of understanding crowds to aid state responses to emergencies, etc). If those things - which are acknowledged as true by Aufheben in their damage control document - are not enough for you, you ought to stop calling yourself an anarchist.

Put aside the question of class struggle. JD's research is about how the state can "humanely" control and manage crowds. To be blunt, if your "communist" group is made up of people researching how to control crowds, rather than by those who find themselves victims of this "humane" crowd management, there is a problem. If you get together for your meeting and find that everyone at the table is making a salary researching social movements, there is a problem. The problem is that 'communist theory' is largely the domain of social managers and professionals rather than proletarians. This is not a side issue.

In the end we have the perfect Stalinist farce: JD changed his University page he has no control over to remove the articles he didn't write which are not a problem anyway. Being professionals, Aufheben know how to handle a PR disaster: release a statement that doesn't say much of anything, cover your trail, have others speak for you, and then remain silent. Once time has gone by, you can silence critics by saying, "haven't we gone over this already? Let's move forward instead of staying in the past."

I think everything whatisevidence says here makes a lot of sense.

At the same time I would like to note that today I also read the main article in the new Aufheben which I bought at the bookfair yesterday and I thought it was an excellent analysis.

Paradox.

mons
Offline
Joined: 6-01-10
Oct 23 2011 20:21
Quote:
Regarding the specific articles, there's two scenarios, (a) he did help write the articles, and after the letters were published he lied and pretended that he didn't in order to save face, and (b) he really didn't write those articles and stupidly let his name be added to them. Of the two the second seems more implausible, and the first seems much more likely.

I wasn't gonna comment anymore because it's all getting too much attention anyway. But I changed my mind and guess I'm now totally in the Aufheben point of view.

Why of the two scenario's does the first seem more likely? The second seems way more likely to me. Why assume J's lying, and Joseph Kay, etc. are lying when they say Aufheben can prove it?! That doesn't make any sense to me.

Also, I'm not even convinced it was that stupid of J to put his name to the articles tbh. It doesn't have any actual negative effect on the class struggle. I mean whether J's name is there or not makes literally no difference. It was only stupid insofar as he didn't anticipate it would lead to all this mess.

Quote:
If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

I disagree Devrim, because J was taking credit from his bosses for the article (which he didn't write), he wasn't expecting it from the communist movement.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Oct 23 2011 23:37

I was going to leave well alone with this thread, but this post kind of niggled me.

mons wrote:
Why of the two scenario's does the first seem more likely? The second seems way more likely to me. Why assume J's lying, and Joseph Kay, etc. are lying when they say Aufheben can prove it?! That doesn't make any sense to me.

You're kidding, right? Only in the land of care bears and my little pony would the second be more likely. But, as was clearly stated, it's not impossible either and J might be allowed benefit of the doubt. But to dismiss the more plausible reason on the basis that it makes JK look like a liar is not a reason to dismiss it. I don't think JK is a liar by the way but whatever you or I think about his honesty is not relevant as far as J is concerned.

mons wrote:
Also, I'm not even convinced it was that stupid of J to put his name to the articles tbh. It doesn't have any actual negative effect on the class struggle. I mean whether J's name is there or not makes literally no difference. It was only stupid insofar as he didn't anticipate it would lead to all this mess.

Not stupid? When it comes to understanding the revolutionary scene he is involved with, then for an educated person, J would appear to not have the sense to come in out of the fucking rain. How anyone could not anticipate such a shit storm over allowing one's name to be added to a policing article is beyond me. Mind you, being an idiot to the N-th fucking degree in this instance is possibly J's saving grace, because if he's not an idiot, it's much more serious. Idiocy is forgivable, the alternative is not.

mons wrote:
Quote:
If you sign something in order to take some credit from it, then surely you take the flack too.

I disagree Devrim, because J was taking credit from his bosses for the article (which he didn't write), he wasn't expecting it from the communist movement.

Have a word with yourself. This is just silly. If your name appears in such an article to take credit from your bosses, then that is fucking shite. To not expect flak from communists for it is mental.

Mons, please stop defending J as you're really doing him no favours here. There was me willing to accept he might have made a very stupid error of judgement, and now you go and ruin it all by making him look an even bigger twat.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Oct 24 2011 07:13

Just to reiterate, perhaps a bit more strongly and with more detail, my only other post in this thread, TPTG and Samontaf....you did this wrong. The entire style of this exposal not only borders polemic, it often strays into defining the word itself. That is not the point of exposing someone at all. It is not to make ideological points, besides, maybe brief ones for the purpose of mainstream media.

In 2008, while a group I was involved in was organizing for the Republican National Convention protests, there was an individual with a number of different names, but to us was known as Valvilis, or Val for short. Val claimed he was a conscientiousness objector from the military, which gained a great deal of sympathy from the antiwar group he and many of us in an anarchist group were involved with.

He also, apparently, was hard up, not being able to find employment, much like many veterans, and he was housed, fed and borrowed money to by a number of members of the university anti-war group he was a part of.

Around August 2008, a month before the RNC, Val came to a couple of us, saying that he had been approached by the FBI, wanting him to turn informant. He told us he said no. And while, we had our suspicions, without any hard evidence, we took him at his word. In any case, the affinity group style of organizing we were doing left his knowledge of what others outside his group were doing somewhat ambiguous. Despite what was to come, I think this was a good decision, because without any hard evidence, any action would have been a gamble. One with dire and destructive consequences if we were wrong.

The RNC came, and his role was as a medic. In fact, he "treated" me as I was showing signs of heat stroke after marching for 5 miles, than running from riot cops for 3 hours in 95 degree weather, dressed in black with a cigarette hanging from my mouth.

As with all summit type mobilizations, there is intense repression immediately prior and after them. The case of the RNC 8 and countless others proved this was no different. As court proceedings started and the FBI, sherrif's office, police and prosecutors unloaded their evidence, a set of documents was sent to us from the Twin Cities that revealed there was an FBI informant in the group.

At first, only 2 of us had these documents. We read them, found it easy to figure out who the informant was (despite the documents never naming him) through process of elimination and selected quotes. We decided to meet with everyone named in the documents privately, giving them a copy, and then to set up a group meeting of the people named. These people including folks pretty close to Val, including one of the people who housed him and one person who was a co-worker.

We had 3 objectives with this meeting.

1)Come to a consensus that the 'confidential human source' was Val.
2)Confront him and isolate him from our groups if we did indeed decide it was him.
3) Publicly expose him in case he jumped town.

In the meeting, there was no doubt from anyone that he was the 'CHS'. I and another person were tasked with confronting him. This occured at his place of work where we informed him that we knew that he was working for the FBI and that he needed to stay away from our groups and all individuals involved in them. He tried to bait me into an argument, but my task was to make that demand and leave.

Our next task was to inform the antiwar group and the anarchist group about the situation. Due to specific instructions given to us by the people who gave us the documents, we couldn't show it to people who weren't named, but the 6-7 of us made our case and because we were trusted organizers, we were believed and the decision was made to formally kick Val out of both groups. The process wasn't easy, though. Val's girlfriend came, contesting our accusations, and informed Val of who was accusing him and what they were accusing him of. He, of course, at first, denied it.

Then some of us started Facebook and email messaging him, directly asking him. He eventually admitted it, justifying it for a number of reasons, including a James Bond style mission to find out a supposed (and never discovered) second informant, so he could expose them for us. He actually came clean about a lot of the stuff, presumably in the hopes of being forgiven. Whether the amounts of money he was paid or some of the other information he provided was true or not...who knows. Who knows if he was even a CO, much less in the military at all.

After the overwhelming consensus was made in our locality, we privately went to the national groupings we were associated with. Some of them, apparantly, recieved the documents through one of us who were named, and we also had long phone conversations with them. Because of the number of us making the accusations (6-7) and who we were (core organizers), there wasn't much doubt. And they too put a call out through the national channels about him.

We then wrote a exposal letter, posted it around the internet, with contact info. Since we were instructed to not make the documents public, we had to rely on the fact that there was full agreement in Iowa City on the statement and had people more well known in the national group vouch for our version of events.

Eventually, the documents were leaked to the media (uncensored) by somebody either in Iowa or the Twin Cities, and the whole thing blew up. It made the national media, and we had magazines like Mother Jones and The Progressive contacting us for info.

A little later, me and another person in Iowa, recieved around 500 pages of FBI documents through a Freedom of Information Act that further revealed the extent of the investigation on us.

Now, I don't think we went about this perfectly. Now that I'm more experienced, a bit older and smarter, I would have done things differently. However, there are a couple key things we did, that I feel are a must in these types of broad situations (recognizing the case with J is a whole different thing, but part of the same broad context).

1)We held back going public until we had hard evidence.

2)Once we had hard evidence, we approached individuals and the groups associated with him to build a consensus around his activities, trying to avoid any doubts that would lead to angry splits and heated arguments. If our main aim was to eventually expose him and keep him from continuing his activities somewhere else, we needed to prevent controversy and contested accounts which would throw doubt on whether he was an informant or not.

3)We confronted him in person and thorough electronic means, giving him some amount of time to contest or admit it.

4)We contacted the wider milieu privately, to make sure they knew what was going on and there wasn't going to be a great amount of controversy.

5)We exposed him.

Don't get me wrong, this whole process was nerve racking and probably one of the most stressful moments of my life. For others with certain legal and employment ramifications in their life, it was beyond what I experienced. However, we avoided splits in the 'radical community;, either locally, regionally or nationally because we made a concerted effort to include everyone who dealt with him.

I don't see the same level of effort going into this at all.

For those interested in this whole situation:

A History of Wild Rose Rebellion
http://libcom.org/history/history-wild-rose-rebellion-2007-2009

FBI Infiltrates Iowa City Protest Group
http://www.progressive.org/mc052609.html

Cointelpro Gothic: Docs prove Iowa FBI's Wild Rose Rebellion a pretend RNC "Terrorism Enterprise" for great "statistical accomplishment"
http://www.hongpong.com/archives/2010/10/13/cointelpro-gothic-docs-prove-iowa-fbis-wild-rose-rebellion-pretend-rnc-terrorism

FBI files on investigation of Iowa City peace activists made public
http://iowaindependent.com/43846/fbi-files-on-investigation-of-iowa-city-peace-group-made-public

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
Oct 24 2011 07:38
JosephK wrote:
it's really simple. If you don't accept Aufheben's explanation, ask them to back it up. There's no "secret evidence" here

I'll comment more later, maybe. But apparent absurdity in just these two sentences is astounding.

What exactly will Aufheben do when they are asked to "back it up". Your next sentence implies that they won't provide any non-public information. So what do they do? Some Steve Jobs-type reality distortion field. Show me their wide-eyed, innocent gaze? Or is there information-we-don't-make-public which is not "secret because" ?? because secret sounds bad and we're not bad??

Anyway, I want Aufheben to backup their story publicly, to the world. I don't find the argument plausible. I suspect they read this thread - J had an account someone linked to a while back.

And just consider, what use would it be for them to clear their name to just me anyway? They need to clear their name to world. How is that not obvious? How??

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 24 2011 08:06

@RedHughs. I think JK is suggesting that if someone contacts Aufheben directly and they can reasonably expect that this person won't then post that private correspondence all over the internet that they'll show them the same information they showed JK.

Personally I also think that whatever can be shared with with people over e-mail could also be posted publicly (or at least made clearer how to get hold of it if they don't want it googlable). So I'm going to e-mail Aufheben to suggest they do that.

If not, then they could show that information to x number of groups, and those groups could make up their minds, then collectively sign (or not sign) a statement - then it wouldn't come down to Aufheben + libcom admins vs. TPTG + Samotnaf which is a fucking stupid situation that is pissing me off.

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Oct 24 2011 08:14

What is obvious is that no one, beyond an ever decreasing circle of internet ultra-leftists, actually cares.

no1
Offline
Joined: 3-12-07
Oct 24 2011 08:32

Juan, your mistake is to take the charge of police collaboration literally. J has not literally collaborated with cops, instead he has been involved with emergency services (including some cops) in strategies of dealing with mass emergencies ; and his name was put on papers by a colleague pursuing a misguided but (according to J) harmless project of trying to make policing of political protest less violent. J thus stands accused of ideological crimes which in the strange world of 'samotnaf' and TPTG obviate the need for any proper process such as finding out the facts and putting them to the people in question, and instead call for a full blown public denunciation and character assassination campaign. As acknowledged in the Aufheben response J made the mistake of allowing his name to be added to papers he disagrees with, which is all there is. Somehow TPTG and 'samotnaf' think they can pursue their denunciation campaign if they compensate for the lack of substance with bluster, paranoia, endless repetition of the word 'cop collaborator', conspiracy theories and unreadably tedious missives. This is all about ideology, not about the actual damage which police informants do.

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Oct 24 2011 10:27
Fall Back wrote:
What is obvious is that no one, beyond an ever decreasing circle of internet ultra-leftists, actually cares.

I fucking hate this. This kind of comment has been repeated several times. However, it bears no relation to anything and is just a feeble attempt at the old 10,000,000,000 flies can't be wrong argument. Yes, in the scheme of things, 'nobody' cares about J, TPTG and the ultra left milieu; 'nobody' cares about Aufheben or Libcom; 'nobody' cares about class struggle anarchism or revolutionary politics in general. In fact, you'll find that far more people care about the fortunes of the Labour or Conservative Party, or who wins the X-factor, or who some film or pop star is shagging. So, what’s the point of this kind of comment, apart from making you sound like a complete tit?

This is part of the problem. Yes, those who exposed this situation went about it all wrong but those who defend J have also got it wrong, and daft comments like Fall Back’s don’t help. Both sides talk shit and let either their faith in J or their vivid imaginations run away with things. So behave.

Point of fact, it doesn't matter how many of us care about this nasty episode within our movement. What matters is that some of us care, however few in numbers, and that's good enough for me.

Thanks for fixing my account though, Fall Back embarrassed

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
Offline
Joined: 22-09-03
Oct 24 2011 10:36

Serge - I think you read my post at cross purposes - my fault for not quoting RedHughes there, as Mike replied in between.

It was a direct response to

Quote:
They need to clear their name to world. How is that not obvious? How??

ie, refuting the idea that they "obviously" need clear there name to the world, whereas actually even in the terms of our mileau, the world by and large doesn't care.

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
Oct 24 2011 23:16

@Mike Harmon

Mike, I think your suggestions sound good or at least sound like some movement on the question...

Keep us, "the public" informed how this goes...

I still am at a loss how it could be that the outline of the information could not be disclosed. Perhaps We'll find out something here, though

tastybrain
Offline
Joined: 11-11-07
Oct 25 2011 01:06
Joseph Kay wrote:
tastybrain: I'm glad we agree Stott & Reicher are liberal reformists, as for much of this thread I've been attacked for saying that! I also agree that liberal reformism (in general) is not necessarily harmless. What I'm saying is in Stott & Reicher's case it is.

Stott & Reicher attack the mainstream view that riots are a meaningless, random and untargetted phenomenon, which leads to 'solutions' which increase the coercive power of the state to be able to put down such 'random' outbursts of 'the mob' (watercannon! troops on streets!). By contrast, they say collective violence is targetted, selective and meaningful, and therefore 'solutions' should be found in social change (relationships with the police, poverty etc). This analysis is fairly common amongst anarchists and passes without comment, e.g. the WSM's analysis of the August Riots says "apparently the solution to murderous police violence is to be more murderous police violence". The only difference is the reformists think nicer police and a better welfare state is sufficient, whereas anarchists say the police not being nice is a structural necessity and the contradictions in capitalism can't be abolished with a few social democratic trimmings.

Another way of looking at is that if the class struggle can be pacified by the police talking to people instead of twatting them, then it isn't a fundamental social antagonism at all, but a mere technical problem of how to regulate an otherwise harmonious society. Obviously liberals do think this. But they're wrong, and thus harmless when they base policy proposals on this false premise. However, TPTG seem to share the same equation of violence with class antagonism, only whereas the liberals want to reduce it with nicer police and more youth centres, TPTG seem to want the opposite and thus see these things as sinister new methods of crowd control (since without police provocation, where could antagonism come from?). Both share the same fallacious premise of equating class conflict with violence. This is fetishism: because revolution is violent, they see violence as revolutionary, and anything which (may) reduce it as counter-revolutionary.

Yet another way of looking at this: "the best way of (...) keeping the Wobblies and other unions at bay is to take steps now to insure employees have no reason or desire to organize". This might be true, as far as it goes. But it doesn't really help the bosses all that much because it means making concessions without a fight to eliminate possible grievances, concessions cost them money and this goes against their social role. Similarly, the police might know that repression can escalate struggles against them, but they have to do it anyway for material reasons dictated by their social role. Grievances are inherent to wage labour and conflict with the state is inherent to class struggle. These material imperatives simply can't be bypassed by clever intellectual 'insights'.

JK, you know as well as I do that everything people do has a subjective component. The presence of "fundamental social antagonism" does not produce violence or rebellion in every case. If you take a view of "material imperatives" entirely determining class struggle then the third world should be having a revolution right now. As for the uselessness of "intellectual insights", do you really think the cops are smart enough to be doing everything right? I have to agree with Whatisinevidence. The wrongness of JD's actions starts long before cops can realize actual gains with the research. It begins with the attempt in and of itself.

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Oct 25 2011 14:24
tastybrain wrote:
Joseph Kay wrote:
[...]
Another way of looking at is that if the class struggle can be pacified by the police talking to people instead of twatting them, then it isn't a fundamental social antagonism at all, but a mere technical problem of how to regulate an otherwise harmonious society. Obviously liberals do think this. But they're wrong, and thus harmless when they base policy proposals on this false premise. However, TPTG seem to share the same equation of violence with class antagonism, only whereas the liberals want to reduce it with nicer police and more youth centres, TPTG seem to want the opposite and thus see these things as sinister new methods of crowd control (since without police provocation, where could antagonism come from?). Both share the same fallacious premise of equating class conflict with violence. This is fetishism: because revolution is violent, they see violence as revolutionary, and anything which (may) reduce it as counter-revolutionary.

Yet another way of looking at this: "the best way of (...) keeping the Wobblies and other unions at bay is to take steps now to insure employees have no reason or desire to organize". This might be true, as far as it goes. But it doesn't really help the bosses all that much because it means making concessions without a fight to eliminate possible grievances, concessions cost them money and this goes against their social role. Similarly, the police might know that repression can escalate struggles against them, but they have to do it anyway for material reasons dictated by their social role. Grievances are inherent to wage labour and conflict with the state is inherent to class struggle. These material imperatives simply can't be bypassed by clever intellectual 'insights'.

JK, you know as well as I do that everything people do has a subjective component. The presence of "fundamental social antagonism" does not produce violence or rebellion in every case. If you take a view of "material imperatives" entirely determining class struggle then the third world should be having a revolution right now. As for the uselessness of "intellectual insights", do you really think the cops are smart enough to be doing everything right? I have to agree with Whatisinevidence. The wrongness of JD's actions starts long before cops can realize actual gains with the research. It begins with the attempt in and of itself.

Absolutely. There is fetishism here, but it is fetishism of reified categories of "fundamental social antagonism" whose movement is the motive force of history, a play in which human actors are reduced to mere vehicles. This is Objectivism as the return of the repressed. A fetished view of social forces that evacuates from class struggle the very element of real struggle itself. According to this perspective the contigencies of police response in particular situations can have no role in the wider development of social struggles. NYPD pig Anthony Bologna maceing those women in the face, can in no way be a factor in the development of the Occupy movement. The shooting of 14 people dead on the streets of Derry in January 1972 had no effect on the development of social conflict for the next decades of Northern Irish history. And so on. Reductio ad absurdam.

Yet at the same time, there's a yawning abyss of contradiction between the objectivist "fundamental social antagonism" position and the accompanying "too many mediations" one, which insists that the interplay between police repression and crowd composition is so contigent, that no direct relation can be inferred between them. Two arguments which appear side by side to argue for the same conclusion, yet the logic of each gives the lie to that of the other.

Faced with the example of JD's writing on the Wanstead conflict, JK has partly retreated from the position that "intelligent policing" can only have an impact in cases where there is no fundamental division between police and public (but as the above shows, not completely). But there was something bugging me, namely that the argument looked similar to one in the Aufheben reply, but somehow different. Looking back I found the original "division" question in the reply:

Quote:
The research on which the paper is based shows that policing perceived by crowd members as illegitimate and indiscriminate brings them together against the police; the premise, therefore, is those situations where people are not already united against the police. The research and ideas don’t explain how the police’s actions can create difference in a crowd where it didn’t exist previously.

This division is about the division between the crowd itself. And here we are treated to something extraordinary. The idea of a crowd that, from the outset, contains no differences. Here we have the same problem as the objectivism of the "fundamental forces" argument - the lack of any consideration of process, of composition. In other words, a "true" antagonist force is assumed to already exist - perhaps due to the action of the "fundamental antagonisms" - that which is to be demonstrated is taken as a presupposition. In that context, and that context only, we could say that the actions of one side of the class struggle has no effect on the development of the unity, consciousness and determination of the other, because the latter have already been predetermined by these reified categorical forces. In other words, the passage from class for itself to class in itself, is presupposed as an externally given, objective fait accompli, in true orthodox style.

Back in the real world, it is clear that the composition of unity, whether of crowd or class, cannot be taken as a starting point (as yesterday in Syntagma Square so bloodily demonstrated), and that therefore, the technocrats who attempt to turn "divide and rule" into a science and train the police in it's use, so as to retard or obstruct the composition of that antagonist collectivity, are defenders of the status quo and we should withdraw cooperation from their research wherever possible and obstruct it whenever we can.

no1
Offline
Joined: 3-12-07
Oct 25 2011 16:53
ocelot wrote:
Absolutely. There is fetishism here, but it is fetishism of reified categories of "fundamental social antagonism" whose movement is the motive force of history, a play in which human actors are reduced to mere vehicles. This is Objectivism as the return of the repressed. A fetished view of social forces that evacuates from class struggle the very element of real struggle itself. According to this perspective the contigencies of police response in particular situations can have no role in the wider development of social struggles. NYPD pig Anthony Bologna maceing those women in the face, can in no way be a factor in the development of the Occupy movement. The shooting of 14 people dead on the streets of Derry in January 1972 had no effect on the development of social conflict for the next decades of Northern Irish history. And so on. Reductio ad absurdam.

You know what is absurd? Being pompous as fuck, using bullshit phrases like "fetishism of reified categories of fundamental social antagonism", and then getting your Latin declension wrong.

But it's even more absurd that you think you found a communist guilty of not living up to your standard of communist purity while you're actually agreeing with a liberal, whose work you confuse for the communist's work, and which the communist in question rejects.

And a million buckets of flowery pseudo-intellectual bullshit can't hide the lack of comradeship displayed by an ongoing campaign of character assassination and denunciation.

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Oct 25 2011 16:59
no1 wrote:
ocelot wrote:
[...] And so on. Reductio ad absurdam.

You know what is absurd? Being pompous as fuck, using bullshit phrases like "fetishism of reified categories of fundamental social antagonism", and then getting your Latin declension wrong.

I had actually spotted the s/dam/dum/ typo but I didn't bother editing the post again as I couldn't see anyone would be petty enough to make a point out of it. As far as political responses goes, it speaks for itself.

freedomforfans's picture
freedomforfans
Offline
Joined: 16-10-11
Nov 2 2011 13:03

Who says that the research done by "liberals" is useless?
J.D. seems to believe the opposite:
Check this out:
While the book presents a critical perspective it is also a constructive one. The ultimate test of the authors' `hooligan' hypothesis was what they describe as `the biggest social psychology experiment ever carried out'. When the European championships were held in Portugal in 2004, the researchers were able to brief half of the local police forces involved with the principles derived from these research. Fan behaviour at events policed by these forces showed almost a complete absence of hooliganism, whereas in other areas the `English disease' was still evident. The intervention was judged such a success that Cliff and Geoff's research later came to inform the European Union handbook on the policing of football fans abroad.
You can find it all here
http://www.amazon.com/Football-hooliganism-Clifford-Stott/product-reviews/1906015678/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

I hope you can read it before Amazon "hides" it!

waslax's picture
waslax
Offline
Joined: 6-12-07
Nov 3 2011 00:23

Yes, but the apologists for JD here will simply assert that those aren't his words or that he doesn't agree with them. It is all so easy for them.

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Nov 3 2011 04:44

I think this would be a good tactic for all of us - every time we say something we regret we could say "I didn't say that - somebody put words into my mouth", or "I only said that to get my numbers up for the University" or "I only pretended to co-author it for the money" - not so much hearsay evidence, more heredidn'tsay evidence.

(any comeback on this from Joseph Kay et al, my response has already been written - just take your pick from any of the above alibis)

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Nov 6 2011 17:11

I had sworn off this thread (I'm happy that the political points I wanted to make have been made), but I was just reading this article from Friday's Financial Times by Gillian Tett and I had to smile. Tett is now the US editor of the FT, but comes from an Anthropology background rather than the more usual Economics academic formation for FT contributers. (which is possibly why she picked up on the derivatives story before the 2007-2008 crash, while her more mainstream econ colleagues continued to swallow the then official line that because derivatives net to zero, they had no overall economic effect, or even the moronic Bernanke line that they reduced systemic risk). Tett's article, entitled "Interrogation is not a social science" is about the controversy in the AAA before their upcoming conference about "embedded" social anthropologist working with the US military in Afghanistan, advising on interrogations (torture sessions). Tett's position is that anthropology has always had a schizophrenic relationship to established power and ends with this observation.

Quote:
This [interrogation issue] probably only affects a tiny minority of anthropologists. But it has sparked horror. Indeed, the AAA now operates a so-called “rapid response” team to offer ethical advice. This supports anthropologists who want to help, say, aid programmes – but not interrogations. “Advising people on how to extract information from people who don’t want information extracted, that is the antithesis of what the anthropological encounter is supposed to look like,” Hugh Gusterson, a network leader, has observed. But the pressures will not die away soon; not when budgets are being cut, jobs are scarce and governments (and corporations) are desperate to get better information about culture. To put it another way, precisely because anthropologists are good at analysing cultures and power structures, their research is of interest to people in… er… power. It is a bitter irony; even – or especially – in Afghanistan.

Compare and contrast the awareness of these issues between the editors of the Financial Times and Aufheben. grin

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Nov 7 2011 15:50

http://libcom.org/forums/general/aufhebens-crowd-controlling-cop-consultant-strange-case-dr-who-mr-bowdler-1610201?page=2#comment-453140

lurdan
Offline
Joined: 11-10-06
Nov 7 2011 17:00

Over in the other, now locked, thread a link was posted to an article by JD. It was called "What critical psychology can(’t) do for the ‘anti-capitalist movement’" and was published in volume three of the journal 'Annual Review of Critical Psychology' in 2003. This was a special issue on the theme of Anti-Capitalism edited by Melancholic Trogladytes. Here is more user friendly link to the page for that issue of the journal containing a link to a downloadable version of it in doc format.
http://www.discourseunit.com/arcp/3.htm

The article is a very cogent argument about the limits of academic work and the (limited) opportunities it offers for anything of use to the anti-capitalist movement. (Actually given the interest in the issues it raises I'd have thought it could usefully find a place in the Libcom library).

Quote:
Academia is alienating essentially because it is the institutionalization of specialized knowledge. Within itself, it fragments this knowledge through the separation of the distinct disciplines and obscure specialisms of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. In relation to the wider world, academia embodies the dehumanizing division of labour between the mental and the manual that characterizes capitalism. It is a realm of knowledge abstracted from practical concerns; as such, it is (along with the media) part of a one-sided ideological realm whose inhabitants are one-sidedly intellectual. It is the counter-part to those practical realms (i.e. most other work) where the inhabitants are largely denied from fully exercising their intellectual faculties.

When I say that academia is alienating, therefore, I mean that it is an institution, which subsumes our (intellectual) activity within alien needs and purposes – i.e. those of capital. In a moment, I will suggest in what capacity academia functions for capital. For now, the argument is that academia cannot stand outside a revolution that abolishes the capital relation but must itself be abolished. Put differently, if our specialized roles are alienated, we need to act out of role rather than try to hang onto them as part of our supposed radicality. This kind of point was ably made in Refuse:

Quote:
The ‘opposition’ by counter-specialists to the authoritarian expertise of the authoritarian experts offers yet another false choice to the political consumer. These ‘radical’ specialists (radical lawyers, radical architects, radical philosophers, radical psychologists, radical social workers – everything but radical people) attempt to use their expertise to de-mystify expertise … The academic counter-specialists attempt to attack (purely bourgeois) ideology at the point of production: the university. Unwilling to attack the institution, the academic milieu, the very concept of education as a separate activity from which ideas of separate power arise, they remain trapped in the fragmented categories they attempt to criticize … [But] when [others] participate in the class struggle they don’t do so by ‘radicalizing’ their specific place in the division of labour (e.g. radical dockers, radical mechanics) but by revolting against it (pp 10-11, 23).BM Combustion (1978).

Well worth reading imo.

avantiultras's picture
avantiultras
Offline
Joined: 8-10-11
Nov 7 2011 18:38

Hi,
since the thread Aufheben's Crowd Controlling Cop Consultant: The Strange Case Of Dr. Who? And Mr. Bowdler has been locked by libcom administrators I post here a very interesting analysis by "lines".

This post concerns the article in the most recent Aufheben, written by Aufheben, entitled:
“Intakes: Communities, commodities and class in the August 2011 riots – Aufheben”

It begins with a section from this article, parts of which will be referred to later. To make it clear, it would seem that, on reflection, there is a connection between the ideology of Aufheben, and the recent ‘scandal’. This connection is no surprise to some, some of us have criticised the theory, conclusions and style, and the haughty attitude of Aufheben from the beginning of their endeavours.

Aufheben: “‘Cops, slaves to the commodity’
What were the cops doing in all this? There was some outrage in the bourgeois press that they apparently ‘stood by’ and let the ‘rioters’ do what they wanted. Clearly they didn’t always ‘stand by’, since they were ‘proactive’ in Hackney and certain other places, and they protected some places but not others. Yet some of those on the side of the ‘rioters’ have also seen something sinister in the sight of cops standing back from burning cop-cars and from certain attacks on property. In the otherwise really good YouTube film ‘Rebellion in Tottenham’,68 the fact that the cops apparently allowed people to trash and burn two of their vehicles is interpreted by some speakers as a deliberate ploy; the cars were left there so that people would attack them so that the cops would then be able to legitimately escalate their riot tactics. The cops deliberately escalated the riot, apparently.

Where have we heard this kind of explanation before? Almost every time there is a kick-off, it seems. According to one of the Militant stewards at the time, the great poll tax riot of 1990 was set up by police ‘agent provocateurs’; apparently, the cops, working at the behest of the government, ‘wanted’ the riot in order to ‘discredit’ the anti-poll tax movement.69 Similarly, when the Tory headquarters at Millbank got trashed at the student demo last year, there was a claim that the lack of cops outside was evidence of a conspiracy to make the student movement look bad. On the student demo two weeks later, the police van abandoned in Whitehall was supposedly left there ‘deliberately’ so that people would trash it, to discredit the protest and to give the cops an excuse to attack the crowd (which they were kind of doing anyway with an indiscriminate ‘kettle’ of all and sundry).

These kinds of explanations are typically premised upon an understanding of ‘politics’,
within which the cops and the crowd are competing to win over an audience in the ‘middle ground’ who only support ‘rioters’ when they are victims. These kinds of explanations are politically disempowering, for the ‘victims’ are inevitably outwitted by the Machiavellian planning and superior anticipation of the super-intelligent cops.
If such conspiracy theories are true, there is no point taking action for the real action takes place behind the scenes. However, explanations such as this are rarely true and in general are complete bollocks. The supposed clever strategies of the cops at the poll
tax and the student demonstrations appear to have backfired somewhat, for it was the cops who were the losers and victims, the ones treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and made to look like incompetent fools, while the movements each took encouragement from the events. In the case of Tottenham, there is a simpler and much more plausible explanation for what happened that night than cop conspiracy. One of
the main concerns for the cops when the cars were burning and they stood back was most likely to be Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the ‘right to life’.

In other words, they stood back because they believed that someone could have died if they got stuck in; and if it was a toss up between a car and a life the choice was obvious to them. They didn't want to risk either another Blakelock70 (corporate manslaughter) or killing a rioter, with all that would have implied for an escalation – against them. Acting Assistant Chief Constable Tim Godwin of the Metropolitan Police stated to a Home Affairs Committee after Tottenham:
‘I think we would be having a different conversation if we had a young person on life support at the moment as a result of a brain bleed or some other injury. I take great pride in the fact that we filled up prison places as opposed to hospital beds’.’
So from their perspective it was a good result - because nobody got killed. In general, the cops simply are not sophisticated or organized enough to plot in the way that some people imagine. They just react from one set of circumstances to another; and, in many cases (poll tax, Millbank) ‘cock-up’ is simply a far more plausible explanation for what the cops are up to than conspiracy. During the ‘riots’ in London in August, it took the Metropolitan Police two days to assemble 1,900 officers trained in public order (riot police) after the incident in Tottenham. On the first night (Saturday) they had 480 available for duty and on the Sunday evening 1,27573 for the whole of Greater London.

As senior officers explained, the ‘thin blue line’ was spread very thin and these logistical problems were compounded by the rapid and diffuse spread of disturbances in the capital as well as the intelligent manoeuvring of the looting crowds. By the time the Met had procured enough riot units to potentially control the situation, the horse had already bolted. These concrete factors are far more realistic explanations for the apparent ‘lack of action’ by the Met, than conspiracies based around ‘police angry about cuts’ and sinister stories of them ‘allowing it happen’ for hidden political reasons.

What is more interesting were the tactics employed by the various constabularies. Thirty years before in 1981 the police had (similarly) been caught hopping by the scale and ferocity of the initial ‘riots’ in Brixton, London (April) and Toxteth, Liverpool (July). Although at the time partially tooled up with large unwieldy riot shields, their initial tactics essentially involved static phalanxes of police officers plodding (sic) on
foot slowly forward in an attempt to retake neighbourhoods under the control of rioters. As a result, their casualties in the face of missiles and petrol bombs were massive. The escalation and modification of policing tactics, particularly in Manchester over 7th-9th July 1981, were a direct result of the injuries sustained by police and their perception of ‘defeat’ during their deployment to the neighbouring city of Liverpool in the preceding Toxteth disorders. These new tactics included the use of mobile police units, ‘snatch squads’ to target ‘ring leaders’ and most controversially the use of semi-armoured police vehicles as high speed battering rams to break up crowds.

This aggressive policing style, previously unseen in mainland Britain (though developed and long-used by the security forces in Northern Ireland), was a significant factor in the suppression of further disorders in Moss Side and Greater Manchester over the following week. Their ‘successful’ use in further disturbances in Toxteth later in that month led to a death and serious injuries to several ‘rioters’.

In August 2011, a similar pattern emerged, however this time the police were already ‘tooled up’ to a much greater degree. Failures to effectively disperse crowds in Tottenham and other areas of London on Saturday and Sunday night led to the deployment of armoured vehicles in several locations in London during the third night of rioting (Monday 8th).

These ‘Jankels’ were used to scatter crowds and drive them out of contested areas. Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh of the Met. stated: ‘The use of armoured vehicles driving at speed towards these looting individuals is a new tactic never used before. It's quite shocking for the people of London to see that's what we have to do.’ Despite Kavanagh’s lack of historical knowledge of policing, it appears that many in the Met saw these ‘old tactics’ from Northern Ireland and July 1981 as the way forward.”
ETC

From: http://libcom.org/files/Communities,%20commodities%20and%20class%20-%20Aufheben.pdf

The whole of the article is fascinating. Not for the insights it gives (the police are not that clever) but for the gathering of information and the relation this information has to the perspectives of those involved in the production of Aufheben and those who have formulated the Elaborated Social Identity Model (Stott, Reicher and a member of Aufheben), which seems to be being taken up, or is being encouraged to be taken up by Stott and his team, by police forces around the world. (See, for example, http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/)

I always mistook the reason for Aufheben’s writing style as symptomatic of their attempts at journalism. It has now become evident that the style is also generated by the tenets of academic discourse and research – with the occasional tossing in of the word ‘bollocks’ in order to display ‘proletarian intelligentsia’ credentials.

Why the fascination with statistics and graphs and a writing style that resembles journalistic analysis? Well, it is part of the passion of one of the members of Aufheben, and it is his job, of course. It will probably be wondered by a few here if the Aufheben writer has worked, in his capacity as an advising social psychologist, with any of the police officers mentioned in the article?

I am uncertain as to what the argument of the article actually is, beyond informing us that the police are not clever enough to be conspiratorial all the time. But even this platitude becomes strangely interesting in light of the social psychologist’s work. Would it be better if the police were more conspiratorial? But not in order to escalate tensions, rather, in order to dissipate them? If they followed the advice of Stott and the team then they would certainly be able to ‘infiltrate’ and control crowds in a more subtle way – and this has been proven, apparently, in the controlling of football crowds.

The Aufheben article quite openly argues the case that the police are not too clever, and, more importantly, that they suffer losses and damage in their mismanagement of situations. This is described in situations from the 1981 in the UK through to the riots last August. See the text above.

It is very useful to know that the police aren’t so clever, and that things they do may not be conspiratorial - but this is ‘common knowledge’ for many of us, a platitude. It is invariably in the mismanagement of situations, or the mismanagement of the economy, that human beings rebel against the status quo. We have seen this countless times. We saw it in World War One; we are now seeing it in Greece and, in a minor way, in Oakland. How far these rebellions go, of course, is another matter. Some would argue, for example, Paul Mattick, or the nihilist communists, that it is only in economic catastrophe, or, in other words, catastrophic mismanagement of the economy, that communism is possible.

What is really weird is that the article argues that when the cops mismanage things then the crowd makes gains against them….

From the section of the article above, Aufheben:

“The supposed clever strategies of the cops at the poll tax and the student demonstrations appear to have backfired somewhat, for it was the cops who were the losers and victims, the ones treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and made to look like incompetent fools, while the movements each took encouragement from the events.”

“Thirty years before in 1981 the police had (similarly) been caught hopping by the scale and ferocity of the initial ‘riots’ in Brixton, London (April) and Toxteth, Liverpool (July). Although at the time partially tooled up with large unwieldy riot shields, their initial tactics essentially involved static phalanxes of police officers plodding (sic) on
foot slowly forward in an attempt to retake neighbourhoods under the control of rioters. As a result, their casualties in the face of missiles and petrol bombs were massive.”

…YET, the work of Stott and the team, through their ESIM framework, and through their direct workshopping/training/whatever with the police, are actively trying to encourage the police to manage crowds more intelligently (more humanely too, of course) and the basis of their advice is their research. Which, quite clearly, it could be argued, this Aufheben article is a product of or, even, a part of.

This leads us onto more interesting terrain, the closing of ranks around the Aufheben member.

As the writer Steven said, we have more pressing matters on our hands than agonising over this issue, like the austerity measures and the stuff in Oakland – these matters take up all my time, don’t you know, even if I am not in the same country in which they are happening… because they are the class struggle. I don’t even have time to go to work or talk to my wife because of my commitments to battling the austerity measures. Already the class have wondered where I am as I have spent so much time on the Aufheben scandal.

Of course, Steven and others are only repeating part of the argument Aufheben used in their initial response to TPTG which they used, it could be argued, to deflect attention from this ‘minor’ affair. As a friend said, “I don't know what is more depressing - the defence of [the Aufheben member] or Steven et al believing they are playing an important role in current events.” He also pointed out that that the original text came from activists in Greece…

Is someone going to get hold of the secret Aufheben response (only sent to trusted comrades) and publish it?

Is the real issue here (for Aufheben and Libcom) the fact that J has been exposed to the cops as a ‘communist’?

But why would that be a problem since he doesn’t agree with anything written by Stott and Reicher, and he has only had his name put on things he doesn’t agree with, and he has had to speak to cops as part of his day job?

The real problem for the rest of us (not Aufheben or the Libcom administrators) is that this affair reveals more about the ideological bases, or the modus operandi of Aufheben than it does about one person’s infidelities. This is why some people here have used the word ‘shame’. ‘Shame on us’ as one poster put it. This is the really important aspect – and it is the reason that this affair will not be resolved, only passed over and forgotten. The milieu which visits Libcom and elsewhere is weak. There are no lines in the sand.

It is the theoretical/ideological core of Aufheben and, by extension, the libertarian/communist/anarchist/marxist left/milieu which is the problem – it is this core of errors, at the heart of communist politics, which should be rooted out and laid bare.

Put very simply, on one side you have people who say that the consciousness of people must be changed before communism can happen, and that communism is a progression developing on from capitalism – which means, in essence, that people’s ideas have to change while the structure of production (minus private owners) remains the same.

On the other side you have people who say that people’s ideas only change when they are forced to change by new circumstances… and from this perspective we are left with the possibility of communism only coming about through and after the catastrophic mismanagement of capitalism (when the fall of current ideology will create the space for new ideas – new consciousnesses).

The Aufheben member is quite clearly, for some of us, part of a LEFT (in Aufheben) and ESTABLISHMENT (in academia) process that works for the continued sensible management of capitalism.

As has been said long ago, this perspective, like that of all other reformist attitudes and initiatives forms the basis of all future modifications of capitalism and its sociological/ideological dominance.

Just like the environmentalists, for example, the true, though largely unrecognised, objective for the extended leftwing milieu that surrounds Aufheben is the saving of capitalism. One hundred years of history have not been enough to make this fact clear.

The baseline for communists is that we don’t cooperate with capitalism as communists. Even if this means going home and doing nothing. Instead of promoting the self-management of production we should be putting forward the much more problematic slogan, “Destroy all Workplaces.”

There will be no solution to this affair in Libcom, and possibly none in the wider libertarian community. (But I would like to be surprised here.) The Aufheben/Libcom strategy clearly seems to be the managerial and PR one of toughing it out. After the steam has gone from this then we will all be able to move on. If anyone brings it up again they will be told, “But we have gone over this all before, there is no point bringing it up again, we need to move on.”

Destroy all Workplaces.

(PS – please feel free to begin the abuse at your leisure smile )

(PPS – an interesting analysis: http://madlib.anarchyplanet.org/ )

PPPS:
If Aufheben didn't write the article then why did they write this at the beginning of it:

"Aufheben's detailed analysis of the August 2011 UK riots.

The following article was written in the immediate wake of the August ‘riots’ of 2011 in Britain and is an attempt to provide an empirical base to an analysis of the unrest. Commentators across the political spectrum have spewed out speculative explanations for the disturbances. What unites most of them is their lack of evidence and fixation on anecdotal or exceptional incidents within the ‘disorders’. Within the limited time available, we have attempted to gather as much quantitative and qualitative evidence as possible to underpin this examination. This evidence comes from various sources, including mainstream media statistics (events, arrestees, locales), relevant academic studies, social media, video and audio footage, some interviews with ‘looters and rioters’ and our own experiences as participants.
The first part of this article presents a brief ‘history’ of the August events. This is followed by an analytical comparison with the ‘riots’ of July 1981 that considers their spatial and temporal characteristics. The final part employs quantitative and qualitative evidence to examine aspects of the August events such as ‘looting’, the composition of the crowds and policing tactics."

Even if this wasn't written by an actual member of Aufheben (maybe it was written by a recent ex-member, for example) the article is in their style and fits perfectly the perpsectives of Aufheben.

Who did write it then?