Why this article has been removed?

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jesuithitsquad's picture
jesuithitsquad
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Oct 18 2011 05:01

Also, in the interest of honest dialogue, I wonder if the DuPonts or other NilCommer would do us the favor of decloaking from their new account? I mean, since everyone has innocent, non-ideological intentions and all...

whatisinevidence
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Oct 18 2011 06:36

How long did J.D. do this work and how long did people know about it? In the Aufheben statement, they mention it being a 'decade old rumor'. If people have known about this shit for ten years and never said anything, that is a problem.

proletarian.
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Oct 18 2011 06:27

Yeah but jesuit, c'mon what you're talking about simply would not have the effect that this whole issue is about re "cop collaboration". i.e effect it will have on the class via the state.

To take another example, talking to a cop cos you've been in a car accident would be quite different from doing research on how to control crowds which is then used by the state or you go and give lectures on it or whatever to actual cops.

I posted a video earlier in this thread to try and lighten the mood a bit and because I thought some people were being completely over the top but there are many valid points being made also by these same people - ones that seem pretty rudimentary. I don't think there's any reason to tell them to fuck off and such like if they say they're going to go they probably will sooner or later.

Anyway, one thing this whole episode has highlighted (and not for the first time) is a lack of democracy or structure within the forum. The idea that because the Libcom group pay for the site etc they should have total control and say, be the admins etc seems pretty undemocratic and not very anarchist. Would it be possible to have admins voted for, rotating admins, less financial burden on the Libcom group and so on? I'm sure others can think of other potential measures. Or am I missing the point, maybe the issues are bigger than this?

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Arbeiten
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Oct 18 2011 06:37

proletarian. your not missing the point, your point is totally invalid. How has this been undemocratic? the libcom group have allowed people to say what they want, against their own judgement. all they have done is taken the name J out of posts. Having their own opinion on a matter is not undemocratic, its politics....

On David jacobs, isn't he just a troll who appears occasionally just to remind everyone else that their politics are shite while his are great?

proletarian.
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Oct 18 2011 07:07

Hi Arbeiten, undemocratic in that members of the Libcom group thought it best to keep certain discussions internal, dismiss an issue that some wanted to bring to the fore. And that they have a certain position over other people in general involved in this forum. Things like "they allowed people to say what they want"..."against their own judgement" yeah, I should think so too. Do they really see Libcom as their own little plaything, their property? I think it is the wrong attitude despite how much time, effort and money they might have ploughed in. Or does having this attitude stop the forum becoming revleft? Serious question.

I don't know who that person is and don't really care either. I wasn't talking about specific individuals.

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Oct 18 2011 07:22

What I meant when I said against their better judgement, was not that it is their property, but that they have the ability to delete posts etc, etc and haven't done. that would be undemocratic. Thats the only de facto 'undemocratic' power a mod has right? As I said in my last post, I don't think having a stance on an issue is undemocratic. That said, I don't think the TPTG letter should have been accompanied with a picture of Pinocchio, but I'm not really sure that that fundamentally challenged the tenants of democracy.

I haven't seen this specific issue discussed on RevLeft, but the discussions on Indymedia have not been nearly as enlightening as what has happened here. I actually think it is much more 'democratic' (if we consider this a value in-itself) to have people disagree and debate an issue rather than comfortably pat our own backs safe in the knowledge we are on the 'right side'.

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Oct 18 2011 07:48
proletarian. wrote:
Anyway, one thing this whole episode has highlighted (and not for the first time) is a lack of democracy or structure within the forum. The idea that because the Libcom group pay for the site etc they should have total control and say, be the admins etc seems pretty undemocratic and not very anarchist. Would it be possible to have admins voted for, rotating admins, less financial burden on the Libcom group and so on? I'm sure others can think of other potential measures. Or am I missing the point, maybe the issues are bigger than this?

I don't quite see this at all. It is their political project. If you were to set up a political group, which developed a successful forum, would you then think that it would be my 'right' to have some sort of part in democratic control over it because I posted there? Do you feel that as a reader of an anarchist paper you also feel that you should have some editorial say in it because they once published a letter you wrote to it?

Devrim

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jesuithitsquad
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Oct 18 2011 08:09

Proletarian.- of course it is different. You have the ability to understand nuance, something the virulent anti-Aufheben/libcom crowd appears incapable of. Look again at the quote I responded to where whatsinevidence states consulting the cops about ANYTHING is unforgivable ... Additionally, the thing about consulting on 'crowd control' is only what he is accused of doing, not what he has done. What he admits to doing is in relation to disaster management, which is what I compared my example to above.

The libcom collective can answer you for themselves, but they've never claimed the site was democratic in anyway other than internally. Making it a closed, member based decision making group with tight theoretical unity is the way they've chosen to ensure the site can present a clear political vision. If it was an open, democratic operation it could present the risk of getting overrun by ancaps or Nazis (in an extreme example but closer to home it could be neo-platformists or pareceonists) who could then change the content to relect their politics.

Finally, I think its brilliant to see the pro Aufheben crowd getting accused of being blinkered on the subject while the other crowd continue to make blind assertions regardless of the responses, like the kid with his fingers in his ears saying, "lalalalala I can't hear you!"

EDIT: cross posted w Devrim

proletarian.
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Oct 18 2011 08:27

Devrim,

Yes, I see a problem with people thinking about organisations as their political project and not a 'project' of the class. And yes, I also think there should be room for some who contribute to be involved more in the actual organisation. Forums are different from propaganda sheets - essentially what communist papers are. Some users on here contribute so much to the forums, uploading texts and so on, countless hours. And not in small numbers but quite a few people.

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2011 09:32

OK I've barely been online (and am still not on much this week) so I've just caught up with the past 200 comments. May or may not have more to say on this but since this is now turning into a spat with libcom as well as between Aufheben and TPTG I'll just quickly respond to this:

proletarian. wrote:
Hi Arbeiten, undemocratic in that members of the Libcom group thought it best to keep certain discussions internal, dismiss an issue that some wanted to bring to the fore.

We made it clear when we first heard about this that 1. posting personal details of people in communist and anarchist groups is not allowed on the site - this is rule we've had since the site opened and it has been applied to people who physically attacked one admin at the anarchist bookfair - so there are no exceptions. 2. That TPTG/Samotnaf should have made some effort to contact Aufheben and deal with the disputed information in the open letter before publishing it.

That conversation ended when Samotnaf sent a pm saying they were going to hold off publishing (anywhere, not just on libcom), which was their decision not ours - there are lots of sites where you can post articles like this if you want (and it's been posted to those too). When they posted much the same thing anyway (and the followups) despite breaching posting guidelines, they have only been unpublished long enough to redact names (which obviously could have been done before posting the article but then you don't get to complain about 'censorship').

When TPTG held of publishing for another couple of months, without telling anyone, was that undemocratic too?

TPTG's website is here: http://www.tapaidiatisgalarias.org/

I don't see any mechanism for people who aren't members of that group to post articles to the site. Are they censoring everyone that's not in their group?

Quote:
And that they have a certain position over other people in general involved in this forum. Things like "they allowed people to say what they want"..."against their own judgement" yeah, I should think so too.

Should we allow spammers to post on the site freely, or is deleting their posts and banning them censorship? What about if someone started to post the complete works of Ayn Rand to the library? What if people start posting up the names and addresses of all the posters on the site? Do you draw any kind of lines with what sort of content should be on here?
Serious question.

Quote:
Do they really see Libcom as their own little plaything, their property? I think it is the wrong attitude despite how much time, effort and money they might have ploughed in. Or does having this attitude stop the forum becoming revleft? Serious question.

The site runs because we work on it. We do not want it to become revleft (nor indymedia) - if it started looking like either of those sites I would personally stop working on it. I'm not going to spend my free time working on a website run by the whims of random people on the internet many of whom hate each other, a couple of sites started up that tried to do this, like meanwhileatthebar, and it did not go well.

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Oct 18 2011 09:45
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Operaismo/Autonomia passed on as a legacy two main concepts or tools. The first, conricerca (from Panzieri), loosely co-research (con - with, ricerca - research). The second, the concept of processes of composition, decompostion and recomposition.

This is conricerca for the Blair generation.

Rachel
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Oct 18 2011 11:02

re the '10 year old gossip' that we keep hearing about.
Actually this story goes back further, it was the mid-90s when the first lot of denunciations were circulated by hand and post, as was the practice then. Obviously some have been simmering with indignation for 15 years, but most others probably worked it out through talking, listening, working and struggling with each other.
I was struck by what Cooked wrote earlier:
Is the drama intended to set an example to prevent others in the movement from slipping into dubious territory?
- Is there an idea that his output is somehow tainted and that the Aufheben texts are no longer valid? If not his you would presumably prefer him continuing his writing?
- Is there a hope he will resign from his job and focus all energy on communism? Thus preventing more crowd controlling theory from being potentially put into practice by the police?
- Is it a strictly moral issue where no outcome is sough other than punishing the fallen.
- Is this a warning to people who might get politically involved with him. If this is the case what are the perceived risks of getting involved with him.
- Is it just a matter of getting the info out so people can make up their minds?
I'd like to echo Jason C (I think) above to ask what it is that TPTG and Samotnaf want to happen now. What would be a good outcome for you? Presumably the plan is for some big drama (even physical violence?) at the anarchist bookfair, then what? I can't help but think that for some involved, the destruction of projects (Aufheben? Libcom?) is in itself is a worthy goal, but I'm not sure that's true of all those who put such effort into these open letters. Beyond the research project you propose: what?

Samotnaf
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Oct 18 2011 11:39

I know I've said I would be off this thread,but I have to clarify this ambiguous statement by Mike Harman, since I'm the only one in a position to clarify the ambiguity:

Quote:
That conversation ended when Samotnaf sent a pm saying they were going to hold off publishing (anywhere, not just on libcom), which was their decision not ours

This heavily implies I'd said we weren't going to publish it at all, but it's vaguely ambiguous enough to also include what I in fact said, which was

Quote:
We've decided not to pursue this for the moment - need some time for reflection

(2 separate PMs, dated 25/8/2011, to Steven and Joseph Kay, the latter never revealing that he'd written for Aufheben or that he'd seen "Chaos Theory", which he now claims he saw in August, but which me and the TPTG only discovered on September 2nd)
There was no mention of

Quote:
anywhere, not just on libcom

Mike Harman - you better confirm this.

The rest of the minimising of this, as if class conflict with someone stops immediately they say they're a communist (pursued to its logical "hyperbolic" conclusion, it would mean the Kronstadt sailors were a little hasty and should have waited till 1989 to express their discontent, or less hyperbolicly, the anarchists in Spain should have had held back from their confrontation with the State in 1937, because after all, there were anarchists in the government...), is getting side-tracked both by a couple of those rightly disgusted with The Doctor but bringing up things that confuse the issue and those who wilfully minimise the issue by claiming to think this professional cop consultant should be treated as if he were, say, just a nurse who sometimes has to give reports to the police (a dismissive attitude I anticipated in my article). I suggest people look at the comments by Blasto, lurdan and ocelot, who have clearly put some effort into showing up why the attitudes of libcom and aufheben and their apologists are totally untenable, to say the least. Their comments have largely been treated with an "ignore it and it'll go away" attitude from the pro-cop consultant camp.

There are obviously a lot more things to say about all this, but I have no desire to pursue this further here except if there are any other things attributed to me which I am in the only position to clarify.

no1
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Oct 18 2011 18:38

edit: (removed unhelpful comment)

Samotnaf
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Oct 18 2011 12:07

Just seen Rachel's comment, so, once again going against my statement about not wanting to continue on this thread, here I am posting up a PM to Cooked dealing with this:

Quote:
Hi -
Since I have no desire to go on a thread where critics of me and the TPTG seem to be talking in their sleep, I will at least show you the polite response you deserve to your post in private; whether you make any aspects of this response public is entirely up to you - I don't mind, but please don't mis-quote or quote me out of context (not that you necessarily would, but I don't know you, so ....).
You said:
"Started typing this post yesterday but though better of it. Now RobRay has raised it and I would appreciate to hear what outcome the anti J people want from this "scandal". I would also like to know why it matters to people who have very little to do with him.
- Is the drama intended to set an example to prevent others in the movement from slipping into dubious territory?
- Is there an idea that his output is somehow tainted and that the Aufheben texts are no longer valid? If not his you would presumably prefer him continuing his writing?
- Is there a hope he will resign from his job and focus all energy on communism? Thus preventing more crowd controlling theory from being potentially put into practice by the police?
- Is it a strictly moral issue where no outcome is sough other than punishing the fallen.
- Is this a warning to people who might get politically involved with him. If this is the case what are the perceived risks of getting involved with him.
- Is it just a matter of getting the info out so people can make up their minds?
My own view is that the best thing would be that the crowd control research doesn't come into the cops hands. If there is a way to achieve that I'm all for it. If there is no likely hood of this happening I can't see why this campaign is waged. Judging by the posts above J is not the driving force behind this angle on the research. I can see a risk of J's Aufheben input diminishing if the campaign is sucessful but I can't see why this would be a good thing.
Only no 4 above, it being a moral issue, would require shaming and punishment involving real names. Or possibly no 3 but him getting fired instead of resigning.
If anyone could give some good answers as to what outcome is sough it would be much appreciated. I cant see how we can affect policing by these means, so I'm only vaguely interested in degree of guilt. What interest me more is thinking behind the public real-name usage."

My answer:
"I would appreciate to hear what outcome the anti J people want from this "scandal". I would also like to know why it matters to people who have very little to do with him."

Who cares whether I've met him or not or have anything to do with him: the guy is playing a two-faced game - giving the cops ideas that help divide and rule social contestation whilst going on demos himself. Look at Chaos Theory if nothing else . Regardless of subjective intentions, his "communist" activity supports his help to the cops . The scandal outs him because Aufheben and libcom wanted to keep all this secret: if you were on a demo and he was next to you, you might want to know about his contradictions. Do you only care about things that directly effect you or about people you have something to do with? In which case, never make a critique of Obama or anybody who's died or ...the list is almost endless.
"Is the drama intended to set an example to prevent others in the movement from slipping into dubious territory?"That's certainly one of the intentions, though "dubious territory" is an understatement - but there are several others that should be clear if you read the 2 texts (in mine, a critique of academia, psychologism and other miseries; in the TPTG as well as mine, an attempt to provoke those who consider themselves part of the movement against this society to look at how the cops and the state are refining their techniques of social control).

" Is there an idea that his output is somehow tainted and that the Aufheben texts are no longer valid? If not his you would presumably prefer him continuing his writing?"

Again - look at my comments (now posted,without footnotes unfortunately, on revleft, though not posted by me). How you can make a split between his "radical" writing and his activity as a cop consultant, I don't know. There are still some very good past articles in Aufheben, but I think in th light of what he's doing and the rest of Aufheben's attitude towards what he is doing, the gaps in, and other aspects of, their critiques could be looked at - though the essential thing is to look to yourself, to the extent to which you (or I, for that matter) and the social movements generally still have to progress in our struggles against this world.
"Is there a hope he will resign from his job and focus all energy on communism? Thus preventing more crowd controlling theory from being potentially put into practice by the police?"

Yes - but quite honestly - fat chance unless he's sacked and then has a breakdown and a breakthrough.
"Is it a strictly moral issue where no outcome is sought other than punishing the fallen."
The religious terminology implies a mocking stance - but if you don't have a "moral" aspect to your revulsion against this society, why have a "moral" feeling against - for example - paedophiles or people who stick the heads of their murder victims in the freezer or the bombing of civilians or anything? "Moral" stances are emotional and need to understand the reasons behind the feelings, but they are still necessary, though parodying them as "moral" just represses these emotions - in yourself and in others.
" Is this a warning to people who might get politically involved with him. If this is the case what are the perceived risks of getting involved with him.
- Is it just a matter of getting the info out so people can make up their minds?"

Yes - but certainly not "JUST a matter..." I think the texts and the above answer these questions.
"My own view is that the best thing would be that the crowd control research doesn't come into the cops hands. If there is a way to achieve that I'm all for it. If there is no likely hood of this happening I can't see why this campaign is waged."
This, I'm afraid, is ignorant and naive : look at the articles, Chaos Theory, the other links to his articles and you'll see that obviously the cops and him work hand in hand.
In fact, we haven't even 'outed' him to his bosses, since they know perfectly well what he's up to, and in fact all the information is given by J himself: we've ' outed' him to those who consider themselves part of a radical milieu.
The idea that because somebody writes radical stuff they are therefore somehow exempt from critiques you would make of anyone else who collaborated with the filth only comes from an inordinate identification with the so-called radical milieu, with what people say about themselves to and for this milieu: the history of the various people who claimed to be revolutionary and then helped the counter-revolution means you should really start from an attempt to break with your tolerance for those who claim to be revolutionary and yet help the very forces they claim to oppose.
Sam

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Fall Back
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Oct 18 2011 16:09

You want that up, redact it yourself or it'll get taken down. "censorship"

proletarian.
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Oct 18 2011 17:22

Hi Mike, what I have tried to get across is that I think the internal structure of the Libcom group should be widened and not consist of a small minority with little to no input from others who use the forum. Obviously there is input from these people like this very sub forum! But I am suggesting something more fundamental. I am not stupid or cretinous enough to be making demands when I say all this I am merely making suggestions to be thought about and discussed (hopefully). For one thing it seems to me to be absurd that there is so much financial burden on so few, of course I don't know what that burden is but when you consider lefty organisations and the money they can rake in! Perhaps if Libcom was not a "personal project" there would be a slightly different attitude to these things? Of course I agree about not posting peoples addresses etc and banning idiots who come along to just fuck about.

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Oct 18 2011 17:27
proletarian. wrote:
For one thing it seems to me to be absurd that there is so much financial burden on so few,

Don't get all dewy-eyed for libcom, they accept donations.

Rachel
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Oct 18 2011 17:38

OK you answered the questions that I copied from Cooked's post. What about this question:
What it is that TPTG and Samotnaf want to happen now? What would be a good outcome for you?

Samotnaf
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Oct 18 2011 18:55

Rachel - I've said, and the TPTG have said, at least some of what they want to happen - is it so hard to understand? Perhaps you could say what you would like to happen.
Mike Harman:

Quote:
TPTG/Samotnaf should have made some effort to contact Aufheben and deal with the disputed information in the open letter before publishing it.

Quote:
“IT ALL COULD HAVE BEEN RESOLVED VIA EMAIL” -a member of Libcom collective
Before we take on the core arguments of the Aufheben group’s response, we will comment briefly on what had happened in the months preceding the publication of our Open Letter. Aufheben say, in the beginning of their response, that we published our letter “despite an email circulated in August clarifying the numerous factual errors and false claims [we] make” and again in the end of their text “[TPTG] made no attempt to clarify the facts – for example by contacting us with a simple e-mail. We circulated an email back in August explaining these facts. It seems to have been ignored.” This is what happened: when we discovered last January that Dr.Who?, whom we knew as a member of Aufheben, was a cop consultant we were shocked (honestly, we have no idea what this “decade-long gossip” his group refers to is about but we would be interested to know how they dealt with it – just ignored it as another “smear”?). We immediately contacted some London comrades we have known since the 90’s, sending them the relevant documents (including the Policing article) and asking them if they had ever heard anything about this guy’s job. Nobody knew anything about his relation to the police neither had they seen any of the documents before. In the past, whenever we had tried to get in contact with Aufheben through their collective email address it was always “Who?” – as The Doctor is known in the milieu - who answered. On principle we refuse to discuss politics with people related to the cops (or at least suspected of working with the cops). That is why we asked the people we know in London if they had any of the other Aufheben members’ personal emails. One of them said that he would try to get their consent to be contacted by us using their email addresses. The other members did not give him this consent (i.e. told him they did not wish to give it) because they wished comments to be made via the Aufheben collective email address. So, there was not a commonly acceptable way we could communicate with the rest of the group. Some months later, in August, somebody gave Aufheben a copy of a draft text on the issue Samotnaf was circulating for discussion and whose final version he was intending to post on Libcom. On August 22nd, they sent him a reply to this draft which they CCed to other people including us. This awkward and weakly argued email, instead of providing us with satisfactory answers, actually increased our suspicions and urged us to look into the matter more closely. Their “response” to us on Libcom dated October 7 is simply a cut and paste answer taken from the first 4 pages of that older email of theirs (which, by the way, we cannot publish here, since they said it is not for circulation; they can do it, if they wish). All they have done is change the names from Samotnaf to TPTG and cut out a few phrases, plus add a couple (which is how they managed to reply within 12 hours to our Open Letter…). From this ready-made response of theirs’ then, our suspicions that all these people cared about was to defend their cop consultant friend at any cost were confirmed. Actually, by not dealing with our specific arguments against knowledge-based public order policing and the concrete examples of how dangerous it can be, they proved - in their only concern to protect their member - their indifference towards the matter of state repression. It is obvious to us that even if we had managed to contact them last spring, we would have been served with the same lies and distortions included in their response. So, since August this question of contact and discussion between us and them has been of no interest to us. Why? Because we don’t like to be treated in a dishonest way, as if we were idiots. To state it bluntly: our initial suspicions about their refusal to let us contact them through their personal emails (thus avoiding Dr.Who) were reinforced by their totally unconvincing email in August, so not even a grain of truth was expected from them anymore. We had to go on with our research on the researcher ourselves.

Fall Back: I cut and pasted just before I had to go off, without realising that I'd pasted Dr. Who?'s real name. I find the consistency of your principles admirable - constantly shutting the stable door again and again long after several horses kept on bolting - but at least you did your best.....

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2011 19:42
Samotnaf wrote:
Quote:
We've decided not to pursue this for the moment - need some time for reflection

Mike Harman - you better confirm this.

I haven't checked the pm but that's the wording I remember yeah - to me 'hold off' and 'not pursue for the moment' are the same thing.

whatisinevidence
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Oct 18 2011 22:53
Rachel wrote:
re the '10 year old gossip' that we keep hearing about.
Actually this story goes back further, it was the mid-90s when the first lot of denunciations were circulated by hand and post, as was the practice then. Obviously some have been simmering with indignation for 15 years, but most others probably worked it out through talking, listening, working and struggling with each other.

So J.D. has been doing this sort of research and consultation since the mid-90's and most people in the milieu knew about it but "worked it out"? That's insane.

This means he was approached about it and criticized back then but never stopped. If Aufheben had any interest in telling the truth, surely they would have mentioned these denunciations from the 90's. If J.D. had any principles, surely he would've stopped doing this shit back then (or if Aufheben had any principles they would have stopped working with him)?

I am glad I am not part of your milieu. It sounds like a very sorry state of affairs full of mendacity and rackets.

RedHughs
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Oct 19 2011 00:47
Rachel wrote:
... Is it just a matter of getting the info out so people can make up their minds? I'd like to echo Jason C (I think) above to ask what it is that TPTG and Samotnaf want to happen now. What would be a good outcome for you?

Without me having talked to Samofnaf or TPTG at all, it seems rather the obvious that the "outcome" should indeed be that everyone finds out and makes up their own minds.

It seems as if the whole "what did you want to accomplish" and "what is a good outcome" question frame the discussion as if the original situation involved a personal grievance of Samofnaf and TPTG against Auf. I would say that instead it involved them discovering some things that a lot of reader of Auf would be interested in knowing. They may have discovered the situation but the number of those who would interested is larger. Now, they could have decided, as Auf did, that they would be the "outcome deciders" and filter that information to determine one or another outcomes themselves. Instead, I think they took the appropriate action and let the information out to where a wide group of concerned parties could come to their own conclusions.

Trust is always relative but I would say that when I trust someone as a collaborator in a mutual project for the destruction of the state and capital, that this person doesn't withhold information relevant to this struggle. I would say that a given person's collaboration with the state's repressive apparatus can certainly be relevant information. Thus Samofnaf and TPTG were behaving as trusted comrades.

Now, what outcome should we all seek now is relevant question but that question is for all of us, not Samofnaf and TPTG. Of course, we may each come to different conclusions here.

Quote:
If Aufheben had any interest in telling the truth, surely they would have mentioned these denunciations from the 90's.

Even in the what-now-seems-wildly-unlikely case they had a perfectly reasonable and defensible explanation for how things looked when you did a little digging, they had a rather strong obligation to lay all their cards on the table.

One of the many bad parts of collaboration with the cops is the lies that you need to tell to justify it along with the need to get others to also justify it.

Wellclose Square
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Oct 19 2011 06:14

Good post, Red.

I had quietly withdrawn from this, until Nate very articulately threw around "dumbfuck" and "asshole" on the reply to TPTG thread, thus keeping the issue 'alive' for me... However, I've said pretty much what I want to say. I couldn't better the tenacity and precision of ocelot, lurdan and blasto, and Spiky Mike and Serge Forward have set the tone in a really insioghtful and respectful way. Well done to you all.

Rob Ray, yes I'm sorry, I hurriedly misread your earlier post - and you're right, it's ridiculous to extrapolate from the argument that someone's research and consultancies compromises them to the claim that Libcom is riddled with collaborators and police spies. Of course that's not true.

As to "Who the fuck is David Jacobs?" - All I can think is I'm going to miss Melodies For You

Yours in haste....

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 19 2011 09:48

Just to pick up on a few more of the points here. The idea libcom have acted 'hastily' is still doing the rounds, as is an apparent 'surprise' that we/I had read the relevant material back in August. I'm not sure why this is surprising, because very serious charges were being made and we wanted to know the score. I can see why our actions might have appeared hasty to people unaware of the chronology. To clarify:

- Some of the libcom admins had been hearing rumours from several sources all summer. We discussed this as a group in August when we heard a text had been circulated that was apparently going to be posted on libcom. We obviously took the allegations very seriously. On the one hand if they were true it meant a member of a group we've worked with and host on libcom was collaborating with the police, putting us at risk. On the other hand if they weren't true, these were very dangerous allegations to be spreading about anyone, let alone another communist. Consequently we spoke to both Samotnaf and Aufheben.

- Samotnaf showed us a draft blog, and we replied that he was making very serious allegations and we'd need to look into them as they may breach site rules relating to personal information and untrue smears. (He was saying Aufheben had responded with silence, but it transpired he hadn't actually contacted them). He then got back to us saying there was no rush as he wasn't publishing imminently (he'd previously set us a deadline of several days to get back to him). We made sure we looked into it anyway.

- When we put the allegations to Aufheben, they were completely open, showing us the documents in question as well as related material. We also did some searching of our own; looking at J's profile, clicking through links and googling. I personally read numerous things including the 'Chaos Theory' and the 'Policing' papers.

- J gave an account of his work and listed all contact he'd had with the cops and for what purpose, as well as showing how the 'consultancies' were basically bullshitting his bosses about the 'impact' of his research, which the university was happy to play along with as it made them look better too. For example the 'NATO consultancy' was a mention in a literature review on psychosocial care by the Department of Health in turn acting on behalf of EAPC (NATO's civilian/political wing).

- J claimed he wasn't the author of the public order stuff (despite his name being on it), and Aufheben have showed us evidence which shows definitively he was not the author, but was added as a 'favour' by the others.

- Several weeks after this arose, nothing had been published and that seemed to be the end of it as far as libcom were concerned. But when TPTG published a similar piece (according to Samotnaf, in co-ordination with him), we were in a position to respond having already investigated the matter in detail. This was about 6 weeks after we first started looking into it.

To be honest what stands out here is that we're apparently the only people who have actually investigated this beyond a few google searches, and the only people who've actually put the charges to Aufheben. And far from covering anything up they've showed us the relevant documents and evidence and explained that while it looks bad on the surface, it's really a far more banal matter of J allowing his name to be used on papers he didn't write and bullshitting about 'consultancies' to please his university. And crucially they've backed that explanation up with concrete evidence.

Really this is the minimum anyone making such accusations should do: put the charges to the accused, see what they have to say for themselves, see if what they say can be backed up with evidence. The most important point here is we're not rushing into 'hasty' decisions or 'defending our mates'. We've looked into this in detail. In fact it appears we've looked into the matter far more thoroughly than anyone else, TPTG and Samotnaf included.

dinosavros
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Oct 19 2011 10:00


Joseph Kay wrote:
Aufheben have showed us evidence which shows definitively he was not the author... And crucially they've backed that explanation up with concrete evidence.

Joseph what evidence is that? What kind of evidence can even prove something like that? Where is it and why can't everybody else see it too?

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 19 2011 10:02
RedHughs wrote:
I think they took the appropriate action and let the information out to where a wide group of concerned parties could come to their own conclusions.

Well, that's not what they did is it. They didn't say 'here's the facts come to your own conclusions', they sat on it for 9 months, ignored contrary information (some of whom from people who are no friends of Aufheben), then launched a "co-ordinated" (Samotnaf's word) polemic over somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 words drawing very explicit conclusions that J was a state collaborator. And after 9 months, they just happened to co-ordinate this two weeks before the biggest event in the British anarchist calendar. Even if you've come to the conclusions you have, it's a bit naive to say they've just put the facts on the table and let people make their own minds up. If the evidence is so damning, why all the polemic?

RedHughs wrote:
they had a rather strong obligation to lay all their cards on the table.

Think about this for a moment: nothing was hidden from people who knew his name. So the logic of this is that communist groups should make available real names and CVs of their members so they can be checked for 'collaboration'. This public denunciation ritual is a hobby of Samotnaf's (over three decades, i'm told by people reluctant to post and incur his vitriol). This is absolutely not the way to deal with suspected spies or collaborators, and in fact is fertile ground for the kind of COINTELPRO strategies deployed by the state in the past. If we want to deny the state that ability in future, we need to make sure things are dealt with properly (Juan Conatz's example and the Mark Kennedy case would seem fairly good models - and J isn't accused of being anything near as bad as an active mole in a live investigation).

RedHughs wrote:
One of the many bad parts of collaboration with the cops is the lies that you need to tell to justify it along with the need to get others to also justify it.

Perhaps it would be clearer if you'd specify who you're accusing of lying and about what. J's explanation checks out. Nobody bar libcom seems to have bothered to investigate the evidence, but have rather formed opinions based solely on internet polemics. Of course it looks bad if you take the word of those who are wilfully twisting the facts to fit their chosen narrative.

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 19 2011 10:18
dinosavros wrote:

Joseph Kay wrote:
Aufheben have showed us evidence which shows definitively he was not the author... And crucially they've backed that explanation up with concrete evidence.

Joseph what evidence is that? What kind of evidence can even prove something like that? Where is it and why can't everybody else see it too?

There's email trails showing how the authorship came about which have been shown to libcom when we asked Aufheben. If nobody else has seen them that's probably because nobody else has attempted to independently verify the facts, but are just taking the accusers words for it. If TPTG or Samotnaf had disputed Aufheben's explanation in August, I assume they would have been shown them too. But they apparently ignored Aufheben's email, labelled them liars and carried on without ever asking them to prove it.

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Rob Ray
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Oct 19 2011 10:48
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It seems as if the whole "what did you want to accomplish" and "what is a good outcome" question frame the discussion as if the original situation involved a personal grievance of Samofnaf and TPTG against Auf.

Not at all, I don't think for a moment that Sam and TPTG have a personal grievance (well, ok I think Sam has a thing about academics in general but I wouldn't suggest that's what's driving such specific stuff). I do think that TPTG and Sam have gotten bogged down in the accusations part of the equation to the extent that it's mostly ended up as ADMIT YOU'RE WRONG AND I'M RIGHT though rather than thinking about the fact that:

a) Shouting about libcops and Defence Teams and censorship serves to entrench Us vs Them so it won't get resolved in a practical manner, and undermines their own argument that they're conducting a fair investigation at least as much as people shouting back that they're snitchjacketing.

b) There's absolutely no way they can force a rethink on libcom's part, as they don't have any physical contact/leverage with any of the people they're accusing. So what's the point in getting so aggro? Is it because they're so impotent? Surely laying things down calmly and encouraging a rethink is more realistic if they want things to end constructively rather than just spark a flame war which (as several people have said) merely serves to turn people off the movement altogether?

Samotnaf
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Oct 19 2011 11:50

For the moment, I'll just post this:

Quote:
Originally, back in late January when the TPTG discovered this about Dr. Who? (no-one I know has ever heard about it being “10 year old gossip”), I wanted to write an article about this guy, but for various reasons (personal crises, financial problems, discouraging attitudes, etc.) this was put aside for the moment. Then in late July I started to write, prompted partly by renewed concerns of friends in the TPTG. An earlier version, a first draft, of this text – fairly different from this final version – was given to 2 former members of Aufheben in early August, clearly indicating it was not the final version. This got into the hands of Aufheben and some of their friends, who, fearful of making this public, responded disparagingly, to say the least. Worse, so did a few friends (though not all) in London. A later draft was sent to libcom in private because, having heard about it from Aufheben, they wanted to see it before it was put up – an unusual practice involving pre-moderation. Clearly under pressure from Aufheben, they decided after looking at it that if I were to put it up, it would be taken down immediately afterwards, mainly for the ostensible reason that he could possibly lose his job. If he loses his sinecure as a cop consultant, I’d regard that as a result (though, sadly, such a sacking is unlikely, as it could discourage others from helping the state). The chances of him losing his job in the University, which quite possibly have already known about his connections with Aufheben for some time, seem unlikely because it would cause the University more problems (uproar from lefty academics, who might turn him into a cause celebre and liken it to lefties losing their jobs under Hitler) than it solves - and even the idea of solving the problem of the University’s possible image would be fraught with the contradiction of exacerbating their bad image (in, say, The Daily Mail’s eyes).
This final version follows further research made from the beginning of September onwards. Originally, we wanted to put up the first text mid-September (we wanted Aufheben to openly state what they’d said in private to us, which they did last week; when it comes to such things as this, publicity is the best way to have things out; in privacy, gossip, hearsay, Chinese whispers – all the things attributed to the TPTG, of which they are the least guilty – dominate and nothing gets clarified). However, the trivial distraction of the class war in Greece, plus a few other things, slowed us down.

- from my text here.
The choice was simple: being public about it or covering it up.
I'll answer the rest of these curious, and often utter bullshit, attitudes and calumnies later, probably some time later as this is distracting me from very basic survival things I've got to do.