What Happened To Libcom

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 4, 2023

Hello everyone!

Feeling somewhat disconcerted - I occasionally drop in on Libcom but it seems that this once vibrant place is very quiet, and most worryingly seems to no longer have discussions taking place below the articles recently published. For me this was what Libcom was all about and for myself at least, where the real learning happened. I guess one solution could be to start commenting myself, though I doubt that would work.

Anyways, could somebody break the trend and reply to this? Am I missing something and being a technology div? Someone? Anyone???!!!!!!!!!!

syndicalist

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by syndicalist on May 5, 2023

I used to enjoy many of the conversations as well. That said, I still appreciate many of the postings/publications.

Fozzie

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Fozzie on May 5, 2023

My take on this is that the nature of online conversation has changed radically in the last 10 years or so and that forum are no longer a main way for this to happen.

There was less conversation here prior to the new site being launched but I think that did accelerate this process. It does seem harder now to find old conversation threads via search fwiw. But also there have been interesting threads on the Ukraine war recently:

https://libcom.org/article/british-anarchism-succumbs-war-fever

I miss the old days too and they were also a good education for me. I don't think much can be done to go back there though unfortunately...

Serge Forward

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Serge Forward on May 5, 2023

I think social media mostly killed that side of things, Noah... which was a bit of a bugger for those of us who have no desire to use social media. Also, shutting down the old libcommunity forums meant there was a fair bit of people dropping off here. Sure, libcommunity type forums had their shite moments but there were some great conversations on there too.

I also think the move to make this site into more like an (almost academic) archive of libertarian communist/anarchist etc documents and ideas has tended to make those sort of friendly discussions dwindle.

Serge Forward

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Serge Forward on May 5, 2023

Oh, just to add, there doesn't seem to be any way to message other users on here, which will also contribute to the decline in the 'interactive experience' on here.

Noah Fence

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 5, 2023

Thanks everyone.

Yeah, I noticed that my DMs have all gone which is very upsetting. In particular my conversations with our passed comrade, Pikel, held great meaning for me. Also, I was pretty tight with Hieronymous and now have no way of checking on his wellbeing. With others, in particular Ultraviolet are now well established friends and comrades in real life. From the point of view of education and connection Libcom has been an incredibly important influence in my life and my god, spats and the bad behaviour of myself and others aside, it was so much fun!!! Guess I’m feeling nostalgic.

Mike Harman

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Mike Harman on May 5, 2023

Comments have been on a downward trajectory for the past fifteen years and especially in the past ten, I grabbed the past five years just now, we can then join them up to the 2017 traffic analysis post which includes 2017 all the way back to 2004:

Comments:
2022: 1469
2021: 2166
2020: 3956
2019: 4735
2018: 8386

The 2017 post says we had 98942 comments in 2007 (the most ever for one year) vs. 11187 in 2017.

On the other hand articles and image galleries are creeping back up again after hitting the lowest point since 2008:
2022: 1149
2021: 1050
2020: 1679
2019: 1296
2018: 1970

Private messages we removed as part of the migration for two reasons:

1. They weren't encrypted, so if the site ever got hacked it could put users at risk (this is also true for twitter dms and etc., encrypting stuff that's stored on a website for multiple different users is not easy).

2. While we were able to migrate all the visible content on the site successfully (after a lot of work) migrating old dms on top of that would have meant even more work on top of everything else. We did announce this as long in advance as we could.

I think social media is the main reason that discussion has gone quiet, new users just don't sign up to forums much if at all any more and they're dwindling everywhere. It's also the case that we never had a good moderation system for the forums either at their peak or when they've been quiet.

For articles there is a surprising amount of new content every year given the quantity of stuff on the site already. However our news section is moribund - we've tried to revive it in different ways at different times, and each effort failed after a few months. Also blogs are quiet which I mostly blame on social media again, but the people who do maintain blogs put them on medium/substack/patreon, which I don't like but we can't fully compete with for features.

Steven.

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Steven. on May 5, 2023

Hey, nice to see you again!
But yes this is something which has definitely changed over the years.
While the number of people visiting libcom keeps going up, the number of people commenting has collapsed.
This has been the trend since 2007, when we had nearly 100,000 comments, which had gone down to around 40,000 by 2012, which halved in 2013 and continued to go down to only around 2,000 by 2021, the year before the upgrade. (By contrast, the number of new articles posted is pretty much the same now as in 2007, around 1,000-1,300 per year.)
As Fozzie says, we think this is because the nature of the Internet has changed. With the rise of social media, people much more were having discussions on there, rather than on Internet forums. And this wasn't something we could combat. Even though in many ways I think this is a real shame. Because while discussions in public forums are open, so they can be read by anyone – and plenty of our discussions were read by tens of thousands of people – who can then learn from them. On social media, discussions are much more siloed, and often just happen in the comments below private Facebook posts or in private Facebook groups, or in relatively closed Twitter exchanges.
Partly though as well we think the decline in comments would also be due to the completely broken nature of the old site. Where it was almost impossible for new users to register accounts, and existing users who forgot their passwords couldn't do password resets. So this probably helped kill off discussion as well, and we were only able to fix this stuff with the major upgrade last year.
So the redesign of the site, deprioritising the forums, was more just recognising what had happened anyway.
Of course, we do welcome constructive comments, so it would be great if you felt like contributing more, however, replies are definitely harder to come by these days.
With private messages, unfortunately these were unsecure, so TBH it wasn't great for security reasons that we ever had them. And they were very much abused by spam accounts which was difficult to deal with. So we couldn't really keep these. However, we did warn users multiple times and give many months notice, advising people to backup private messages they wanted to keep and exchange contact information with anyone they wanted to (e.g.: https://libcom.org/article/libcom-site-upgrade).
On a personal level, I could try to connect you with Hieronymous if you like, and see if he would be okay to share his email address with you?
I am sometimes nostalgic for the old days as well, however it is also worth remembering there was a lot of poor quality nonsense as well, as well as downright offensive, thoughtless and rude stuff in the comments!

nastyned

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by nastyned on May 5, 2023

As every new article posted appears in discussions actual discussions get lost in a sea of Situationist scans.

Noah Fence

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 5, 2023

Hey Steven, nice to see you too!
Yes, please let Hieronymous know I asked after him and either give him my email or get his for me. Much appreciated.
Maybe I’ll try posting a little? And yes, I appreciate that you tried to warn us about loss of private stuff on here - I don’t know how I missed it coz I only stopped checking in for a short while. Maybe it’s coz I didn’t sign in or maybe because my visits were very brief.
I completely abandoned social media a couple of years ago which was a very positive move. The quality of discussions I saw never even approached the quality I used to experience on here.
I do know that a close friend of mine has a pretty big folder of screenshots of some of the most amusing or interesting Libcom threads - I’m visiting her across the pond in July and one of our planned endeavours is to go through them and see what useful stuff we can turn up.
Anyways, maybe we’ll get that pizza one day? Be good to meet you. Gonna be living in London for a few months later in the year so maybe I’ll see you then.

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 5, 2023

nastyned wrote: As every new article posted appears in discussions actual discussions get lost in a sea of Situationist scans.

Yeah, I noticed that. Not much of a ‘spectacle’ is it really!🤦‍♂️

Submitted by Fozzie on May 5, 2023

nastyned wrote: As every new article posted appears in discussions actual discussions get lost in a sea of Situationist scans.

Fair comment. I do try to limit the ones I post to a couple a day! And it is reasonably easy to spot which things have been commented on.

(Also I think the end is in sight with the situ stuff for me so that will probably be a relief 😂)

Steven.

11 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Steven. on May 5, 2023

Noah, that would be great but I'm afraid I no longer live there!
I will drop Hieronymus a line. Would you give me permission to get your email address by looking at your libcom profile?
In terms of discussions including new articles as well, Fozzie, definitely don't feel bad about your contributions!
We are working on building a user navigation dashboard, which will enable people to browse different types of content more easily. So hopefully this can include some way of perhaps either only browsing Discussions, or only browsing content which has comments. We will have a think about the best way to do this.
But we want as many contributions to the archive as possible, so we never want anyone to feel they need to limit their contributions!
At the moment, if you go to the very front page you can go to the recent comments section to see where the most recent comments have been posted.

Submitted by Fozzie on May 5, 2023

Steven. wrote:
In terms of discussions including new articles as well, Fozzie, definitely don't feel bad about your contributions!.

I still enjoy it tbf. A man can have too much situationism in his life though, so it will be good to move onto something else. 👍🏼

Submitted by nastyned on May 5, 2023

Fozzie wrote:

Fair comment. I do try to limit the ones I post to a couple a day! And it is reasonably easy to spot which things have been commented on.

Don't be put off posting stuff, the site's just not geared up for being a discussion forum anymore.

Submitted by R Totale on May 7, 2023

nastyned wrote: As every new article posted appears in discussions actual discussions get lost in a sea of Situationist scans.

I think you can still use the "tracker" thing which shows what articles/discussions have new comments and which ones are just the articles, but then there doesn't seem to be any visible link to it anywhere, I've just been accessing it cos my browser remembers the url.

nastyned

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by nastyned on May 8, 2023

Yeah, but you still get all the articles which often drowns out the discussions.

Noah Fence

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 8, 2023

Yes Steven, please let him have my email. I’m not entirely sure what one I use on here. Does it have noahfence in it?

redsdisease

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by redsdisease on May 9, 2023

I just wanted to say that, as a longtime (mostly) lurker, I also miss the days when the libcom forums were really active. I probably learned more about politics from libcom threads than all of the books and articles that I've read. This is not the only forum that I used to belong to that has become moribund, in fact, I don't think any of the forums that I used to read are active at all anymore. Unfortunately, there isn't anything that has managed to replaced them; good luck finding 20 pages of informed debate about the last 30 years of global anarcho-syndicalist history or 1000+ post threads of updates and discussion about various global social movements (the threads about Tahrir Square, 2010 uk student movement, Occupy, etc were incredible) on instagram or reddit.

I joined libcom at a particular inflection point in my life when I could have fallen away from revolutionary politics; the group in which I had come up as an organizer had fallen apart and I had moved to a small town without many like minded people. The forums provided a place for me to feel like the movements that I was aligned with had a real vitality and introduced me to a whole slew of thinkers which helped me develop a more focused and well-rounded set of politics. Over the past decade and change, I have not fallen away from revolutionary politics, but have remained active (sometimes more, sometimes less) in revolutionary organizations and in my workplace. If asked, I'd still identify myself first as a libertarian communist. I think I have the libcom forums to thank for much of that.

Noah Fence

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 9, 2023

Red Disease, sounds like you’ve had a pretty similar experience to me and like you(I think?) I feel Libcom has had a very significant affect on my life as well as my politics. Once I’d read and participated in the forums and listened to some of the particularly patient posters who cut me a load of slack and kept on explaining things to me I broke out of the trap of the nebulous and somewhat nihilistic anarchism that I’d had with me since my youth and began to see that there were ideas and possibilities out there that had real meaning and just might one day gain traction and make the world a decent place to live. It was incredibly exciting and transformative! Honestly, if I’d never found Libcom my worldview and my life would be very different. For example, I changed the way I earned a living once I understood properly what class really means. I’m extremely grateful to the site and the people on it, including those I had unfortunate fall outs with when things got heated on here.

sherbu-kteer

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by sherbu-kteer on May 9, 2023

I really like libcom and owe a lot to it too, and feel strange we're sort of talking in the past sense about the community aspect. While I appreciate the redesign, I feel the decision to not even have a proper archive of all the old forum posts was a misplaced one.

There was a lot of good things in there, like very smart people explaining very complicated things, reports about events, people sharing experiences with actions, other groups etc... it's a step backwards to have that go and replace it with a non-stop feed of every post on the website that is impossible to follow.

Steven.

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Steven. on May 9, 2023

Thanks for the feedback, really interesting and nice to read, redsdisease.

Sherbu, really not sure what you mean here though. The old forum posts are still mostly here, and now we actually have a functioning site search, so you can search the site for them. On the old site, which was completely broken, we had a situation where we had over 600,000 comments, with no way of searching them. All you could try to do would be to try to remember which sub- forum they were in, then manually look through hundreds or even thousands of pages of threads looking for the right one.

That said, as I have said above, and as we have said many times, this upgrade is an ongoing process. And we are working on an improved user dashboard with better ways of navigating active discussions.

Submitted by Fozzie on May 9, 2023

Steven. wrote: The old forum posts are still mostly here, and now we actually have a functioning site search, so you can search the site for them.

I'm not sure you can though? If you type "What Happened To Libcom" (the title of this discussion) into the search box you get zero results. If you do it without quote marks you get lots of results but they are all articles and not this discussion....

Submitted by Steven. on May 9, 2023

Fozzie wrote:

Steven. wrote: The old forum posts are still mostly here, and now we actually have a functioning site search, so you can search the site for them.

I'm not sure you can though? If you type "What Happened To Libcom" (the title of this discussion) into the search box you get zero results. If you do it without quote marks you get lots of results but they are all articles and not this discussion....

Good spot. We will look into this and get back to everyone

Noah Fence

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 9, 2023

You can find this thread by putting the title into Google. That was how I used to find things I was looking for on the old site

adri

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by adri on May 10, 2023

Would also be pretty nice to have a comment-history page for users (the old site had a tracker or page for this I believe). It's pretty useful to be able to look up your comments on something from a couple months or years ago, especially if you don't remember the article/thread name

Submitted by Steven. on May 10, 2023

adri wrote: Would also be pretty nice to have a comment-history page for users (the old site had a tracker or page for this I believe). It's pretty useful to be able to look up your comments on something from a couple months or years ago, especially if you don't remember the article/thread name

Yeah that's on the to-do list!

Hieronymous

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Hieronymous on May 10, 2023

Hey Noah (and all you other esteemed comrades),

Thanks for starting this thread. Yes, I too miss the fun and engaged discussions we used to have here.

Sorry for the brevity of this. As the former Governator once said, "I'll be back!"

Noah, thanks again for drawing some of back to libcom,

Hieronymous

Reddebrek

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Reddebrek on May 10, 2023

If it's any comfort, this isn't unique to libcom, it seems to be a general trend. Practically all of the forums and chats similar to this place I've been involved with or know about has also slipped into severe decline. Or much worse see for some examples (https://reddebreksbowl.blogspot.com/2023/04/notes-on-lefty-pol.html)

One thing thats a barrier to using this site is that there doesn't appear to be anyway to search for discussion threads alone even though they're still a feature of the site. This can make some threads essentially buried under library entries that have similar key words. I used to use the threads as prompts for reading quite regularly and that's now impossible.

Noah Fence

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 10, 2023

Some good suggestions here. Thanks all for engaging with my OP.
I notice also that the voting facility has gone. Honestly, I think all that upvoting shit is pretty stupid but I must say I enjoyed accumulating downvotes when it was possible!

Hieronymous

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Hieronymous on May 12, 2023

On Monday an old family friend, who was in his 80s and had Parkinson's for the last several years, passed away. So getting an e-mail from Steven. on Tuesday, mentioning that Noah was trying to get in touch with me, really improved my spirits as I was dealing with grief.

15 years ago, during the heyday of vibrant discussion forums here on libcom, I know I could be a real dick. During heated debates, insults cascaded back and forth. I gave as well as I got. Yet I made several friends on libcom, some of whom I even met in-person, from as far away as New York City and London (I live in San Francisco). Some continue to be friends to this day. Conversely, a few former friends participated in the libcom forums and it was sad to see how acrimony continued to fester in cyberspace.

Yet what makes me relieved to see this thread is that it is a reminder of the real mutual aid and compassion some of us bonded over, ironically on the internet. In 2016 I had major surgery, then almost a year later I had another operation for a less serious hernia. I can't remember the exact chronology, but Noah went under the knife back then too -- and there were times when we got updates on threads which made us fear we were going to lose him. Thankfully, he recovered and he and I connected, then had wonderful private chats here on libcom.

History doesn't move in reverse, but perhaps we could carve out a little space on libcom and use it to continue communicating among ourselves. Thanks Noah, seeing you on this thread -- and several others -- really made my week! Let's keep in touch.

Agent of the I…

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Agent of the I… on May 12, 2023

This is still the best website on the internet. I can't think of any other website that comes close.

Agent of the I…

11 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Agent of the I… on May 12, 2023

When you use google to search libcom, use the following if you want to bring up only past forum discussions: "site:libcom.org/discussion [whatever your looking for]"

Edit to add: I just tried it myself and it doesn't seem to be working properly. Like I tried "site:libcom.org/discussion mutualism" and not a lot of threads appeared. I expected a lot more than what showed up in the results.

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 14, 2023

Hieronymous wrote: On Monday an old family friend, who was in his 80s and had Parkinson's for the last several years, passed away. So getting an e-mail from Steven. on Tuesday, mentioning that Noah was trying to get in touch with me, really improved my spirits as I was dealing with grief.

15 years ago, during the heyday of vibrant discussion forums here on libcom, I know I could be a real dick. During heated debates, insults cascaded back and forth. I gave as well as I got. Yet I made several friends on libcom, some of whom I even met in-person, from as far away as New York City and London (I live in San Francisco). Some continue to be friends to this day. Conversely, a few former friends participated in the libcom forums and it was sad to see how acrimony continued to fester in cyberspace.

Yet what makes me relieved to see this thread is that it is a reminder of the real mutual aid and compassion some of us bonded over, ironically on the internet. In 2016 I had major surgery, then almost a year later I had another operation for a less serious hernia. I can't remember the exact chronology, but Noah went under the knife back then too -- and there were times when we got updates on threads which made us fear we were going to lose him. Thankfully, he recovered and he and I connected, then had wonderful private chats here on libcom.

History doesn't move in reverse, but perhaps we could carve out a little space on libcom and use it to keep in touch. Thanks Noah, seeing you on this thread -- and several others -- really made my week! Let's keep in touch.

Haha, funnily enough, just before checking in here I sent you an email and one of the things I asked was if you thought it was worth trying to reignite Libcom as a place for discussion.. Looks like I got my answer! How about the rest of you - do you think that with the right type of posts we could make Libcom more casually interactive?
Obviously the site is an incredible resource but for me it was always the discussions that taught me most and excited me most. Such broad ranging discussions too, from detailed descriptions of political philosophy, to disgust and derision of Jamie Oliver, from the existence of free will to whether it was right to gloat about the death of fascists, even whether or not you are sporting a socialist beard or if the ownership of a garlic press makes you middle class! All fascinating and entertaining stuff! Obviously times have changed and there are many new subjects and situations to look at and as Hieronymous says, we can’t turn back time, but I think that Libcom could definitely become more dynamic and participatory if enough people are up for it. What do you all think?

Auto

11 months ago

Submitted by Auto on May 14, 2023

I also greatly miss the old Libcom discussions; the whole reason I ended up becoming an Anarchist at all was because someone gave me a Libcom flyer on some TUC A-to-B Hyde Park march when I was unemployed after graduating university.

Multiple times over the past few years I've thought or experienced something that has left me wondering what Libcom would have thought about it: only to find there's no discussion on the topic. A perfect example has been the massive increase in Strikes across Europe but especially the UK. When I was back in Britain over the winter it was wall-to-wall strikes across multiple sectors and what's more they seemed to command general public support. Old Libcom would have had a field day discussing those kinds of current issues.

Now I agree it's an obvious fact that social media killed a lot of forums, but I do find myself thinking that maybe it's ground we ceded too easily. It's true that most of my old forum-going friends use social media these days , but it's equally true that pretty much all of them fucking hate it. Like a lot of capitalist ventures, social media suckered people in with a better version of what the previous competition offered, and then once they had a captive (and sometimes addicted) audience, they started to degrade the product for profit.

In other words, while social media killed forums, I think it's still the case that people still want what forums offered: a sense of community around shared goals and interests.

R Totale

11 months ago

Submitted by R Totale on May 15, 2023

As someone who only quite recently gave in and started using Discord, I wonder if Discord replicates the "forum experience" better than any other social media platform? Although their servers are closed and non-public by default, which have their pros and cons.

Submitted by Hieronymous on May 15, 2023

R Totale wrote:

Hieronymous wrote:
Noah, thanks again for drawing some of back to libcom,

Hieronymous

Good to hear from you!

Same here, feels good seeing all of you again too!

Submitted by Reddebrek on May 15, 2023

R Totale wrote: As someone who only quite recently gave in and started using Discord, I wonder if Discord replicates the "forum experience" better than any other social media platform? Although their servers are closed and non-public by default, which have their pros and cons.

Just a quick word of warning to others who are new to discord, it is technically private, but its very easy to copy all the information that goes on in those groups, I would urge caution when discussing things that are sensitive, and to give as little personal information as possible.

Rob Ray

11 months ago

Submitted by Rob Ray on May 15, 2023

Discord is definitely more where younger people are to be found having these conversations I think, though groups like Signal/WhatsApp and comments on social media also play a fairly significant role. People have gotten used to a fairly "live" approach, which make static forum structures appeal relatively staid. I like forums but I'm also in my 40s ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Submitted by Craftwork on May 15, 2023

Rob Ray wrote: Discord is definitely more where younger people are to be found having these conversations I think, though groups like Signal/WhatsApp and comments on social media also play a fairly significant role. People have gotten used to a fairly "live" approach, which make static forum structures appeal relatively staid. I like forums but I'm also in my 40s ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Messaging apps are not conducive to the kind of detailed, long-form discussion required by communist theory in order to develop, and the great thing about libcom is that it's all publicly accessible, not hidden away.

Discord is not end-to-end encrypted, so users should not treat it as private.

Rob Ray

11 months ago

Submitted by Rob Ray on May 15, 2023

You're probably best off telling them that, rather than me. Though I'll note that "publicly accessible" isn't always in and of itself a selling point for young people. Encryption doesn't mean very much if anyone curious can just publicly link your handle to years of comments.

Steven.

11 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on May 16, 2023

Thanks for all of these comments. We were definitely be up for people having a go at trying to resurrect discussion on here. I think before we try this in a concerted way, we want to make a couple of changes to help, and we will try to do these shortly.
What we plan on doing is:
- Building a new index which shows everything which has the latest comments on it, in the Recent section
- Building a new index just to show items posted with the content type Discussions.
These should help people keep up-to-date and monitor discussions as they happen.

Submitted by Noah Fence on May 16, 2023

Steven. wrote: Thanks for all of these comments. We were definitely be up for people having a go at trying to resurrect discussion on here. I think before we try this in a concerted way, we want to make a couple of changes to help, and we will try to do these shortly.
What we plan on doing is:
- Building a new index which shows everything which has the latest comments on it, in the Recent section
- Building a new index just to show items posted with the content type Discussions.
These should help people keep up-to-date and monitor discussions as they happen.

This is great Steven!

Submitted by westartfromhere on May 17, 2023

Thanks Noah, for starting this discussion, and for reminding me that a Google search is one means of finding what you're looking for here, which I have utilised. Steven, that is a good plan to highlight discussions on the site, which I am keen to see reinvigorated and rejoin.

Hieronymous

10 months 4 weeks ago

Submitted by Hieronymous on May 21, 2023

It's been great being back in touch. Yesterday, Noah and I talked by video chat for a couple hours and it was great catching up, talking about everything from anarchist politics, hiking and nature, to books and music. It was so nice to talk with a kindred soul!

Agent of the I…

10 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by Agent of the I… on June 4, 2023

A lot of forum threads seem to be missing. What happened? Did these threads fail to make it to the new site? Every time I search something, it's the same set of threads that keeps popping up.

Hieronymous

10 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Hieronymous on June 10, 2023

Last Wednesday (7 June) my comrades here in the San Francisco Bay Area lost a militant to cancer at the much too young age of 62. He was an Uber/Lyft driver and was instrumental in creating the driver-led Rideshare Drivers United to struggle against the independent-contractor scam and to fight the bosses. Thankfully, I had friends like Noah to turn to in my time of grief. I'm so thankful for reconnecting with him and others. It's great to back in touch!

Steven.

10 months 1 week ago

Submitted by Steven. on June 11, 2023

So sorry for your loss

Agent of the I…

10 months ago

Submitted by Agent of the I… on June 12, 2023

By the way, you can look for threads under site:libcom.org/forums and site:libcom.org/discussion. I'm not sure why it's like that. But still, searching the former way, there are still a lot of threads missing. I hope they aren't lost forever.

noslavery

10 months ago

Submitted by noslavery on June 18, 2023

There are three problems, I guess.
1 - Anarchism is not formulated yet and is suffering from faults of historical materialism. This let Marxian reactionaries to take advantage of young people. We need to fight Marxism, specially its inclination to create cult of personality.
2 - Libcom web doesn't use a web page efficiently. Its pages are too large and have too much blank spaces. Images are large too. Title/Content ratio is high.
3 - Social media is a problem, yes. Social media is a very wrong and dangerous media for anti authoritarian movement (anarchist movement). We have just let people use it without criticism. So many have been arrested, tortured, imprisoned, assassinated and executed using social media for revolutionary activities - just check what Iranian government did to the people who revolted against the fascist regime last year. People relied too much on social media and web sites. New tech, cameras and hacking, are also works well against revolutionaries. Criminals will go to jail for few years, revolutionaries will be monitored for life long. We need to basically rely on traditional method of communication. Just use social media for non political reason.

jef costello

8 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by jef costello on July 23, 2023

I miss forums.
I think the massive drop in comments was as the "social" side moved to social media, but when you stop the social side you tend to log on a lot less often so the overtly political stuff dries up too.
It makes me think of the pub, most of the time we talked shite, but there were some good conversations that made a difference.
The other thing is access. I used to use my computer on evening shifts at work. I wrote loads of the CPE blog and news articles there, I wouldn't do that now.
There was a lot of good on libcom back in the day, but those days are gone, now it is more of a library.
I wish I had archived some messages, but there were thousands on there and I didn't know how to do that, so I dithered and did nothing. It was a shame, but then I had a long time to look at that stuff and never did.
It is a shame that those discussions are not visible easily, because like many here, I learnt a lot from the discussions.
I was thinking about the news section before I saw this thread. It has been dead for a long time. It takes a fair amount of work and you need a fair few contributors.
Noah, if you click on a username you can send someone an email through the contact form.
Assuming they still use the address.

Submitted by darren p on July 24, 2023

jef costello wrote:if you click on a username you can send someone an email through the contact form.
Assuming they still use the address.

Actually, if I click on a username all I can see is the length of time they've been subscribed. I can't see any 'contact' option.

Submitted by ZJW on July 25, 2023

darren p wrote:

jef costello wrote:if you click on a username you can send someone an email through the contact form.
Assuming they still use the address.

Actually, if I click on a username all I can see is the length of time they've been subscribed. I can't see any 'contact' option.

Yes, same here. I see the exactly the same as darren p does. Being able to message a fellow user was one of the benefits of the old site. If it is indeed possible now, how?

adri

8 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by adri on July 25, 2023

I think it's just because people with admin privileges see more info... so you better be nice to jef, or else they'll subscribe you to a whole bunch of Trotskyist mailing lists

jef costello

8 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by jef costello on July 25, 2023

The contact page doesn"t show you the other person's email address.

Also Trotskyists pay very poorly for leads.

adri

8 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by adri on July 25, 2023

Do you mind if I ask what you're talking about then? You're not talking about the libcom contact button are you? (I also wasn't implying that you're a Trotskyist; I just meant subscribing people to Trotskyist mailing lists as a form of punishment.)

Submitted by Steven. on July 26, 2023

Noah, if you click on a username you can send someone an email through the contact form.
Assuming they still use the address.

FYI, getting rid of the contact form was something we did with the upgrade. This was massively abused by spammers on the old site. We had several million spam accounts on the old site, and they sent huge amounts of spam through this form. This resulted in us losing the ability to send user emails. This is why many new users could no longer register accounts, and no one could do password resets for several years. This was one of the really significant things which was massively broken on our site for a very long time, but which regular users didn't really notice because they already had their accounts.
Private messaging through the site was also unencrypted and insecure, and so is not safe for us to keep on the site. It could be potentially accessed by people involved in hosting companies, and law enforcement agencies could get access using search warrants. Also they would be vulnerable in the event of a hack.
jef can see the contact tab in the new site because he has been an administrator for years, and so can see functionality which other users cannot. jef, let us know if you would like to keep these permissions by the way, if you still occasionally help admin content/spammers etc.

syndicalist

8 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by syndicalist on July 26, 2023

I've always like the forums. I understand that with the diminution of discussions, some shitty flame out and some morons, participation basically trickled out. Miss 'em, but understand why they disappeared.

Submitted by jef costello on July 27, 2023

Steven. wrote:

Noah, if you click on a username you can send someone an email through the contact form.
Assuming they still use the address.

FYI, getting rid of the contact form was something we did with the upgrade. This was massively abused by spammers on the old site. We had several million spam accounts on the old site, and they sent huge amounts of spam through this form. This resulted in us losing the ability to send user emails. This is why many new users could no longer register accounts, and no one could do password resets for several years. This was one of the really significant things which was massively broken on our site for a very long time, but which regular users didn't really notice because they already had their accounts.
Private messaging through the site was also unencrypted and insecure, and so is not safe for us to keep on the site. It could be potentially accessed by people involved in hosting companies, and law enforcement agencies could get access using search warrants. Also they would be vulnerable in the event of a hack.
jef can see the contact tab in the new site because he has been an administrator for years, and so can see functionality which other users cannot. jef, let us know if you would like to keep these permissions by the way, if you still occasionally help admin content/spammers etc.

Yes I'd like to help out a bit more. I need to get the hang of the new site.

Submitted by darren p on July 27, 2023

Steven. wrote:FYI, getting rid of the contact form was something we did with the upgrade

So if we wanted to contact a user, for example to republish an article or something like that, would it only be possible to do that via contacting an admin and getting them to pass a message on?

adri

8 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by adri on July 30, 2023

Regarding site improvements, I've noticed that the font changes every so often when I load/re-load a page. I'm not sure why it does that, but it would be nice if there was just one font.

Craftwork

7 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by Craftwork on August 21, 2023

May I suggest libcom get on bluesky? Its value-proposition is that:
- it’s not the fascist bird app, run by erratic, right-wing billionaire
- it’s not a Meta app (threads)
- it’s more scalable than ActivityPub/Mastodon
- it will support decentralisation and account portability (thus avoiding being at the mercy of erratic billionaires)
- it’s still early days, therefore good opportunity to stake a claim

Steven.

7 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by Steven. on August 23, 2023

It's a good idea, we just don't have the capacity to run another social channel at the moment

Noah Fence

7 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by Noah Fence on August 23, 2023

Thanks for the continued responses to my post.
It really has been great reconnecting with Hieronymous.
Does anyone feel there is really anything positive to say about the anarchist scene(I say scene coz I think the word ‘movement’ would be an exaggeration) in the UK. Is there anything going on at all? I’m aware of groups that publish articles etc. I’m aware of split after split with accusations(unfortunately justified by the look of it) of transphobia, but is there anything actually being built? I know that I’m doing pretty much nothing apart from helping out with the Lucky Black Cat channel, which whilst I think is of value, it’s not UK oriented and it’s not actually ‘doing’ anything.
I’m kind of isolated in rural East Anglia but if there’s anyone in my neck of the woods who’s interested in meeting up and knocking some ideas around please let me know.

Submitted by R Totale on August 23, 2023

Noah Fence wrote: Thanks for the continued responses to my post.
It really has been great reconnecting with Hieronymous.
Does anyone feel there is really anything positive to say about the anarchist scene (I say scene coz I think the word ‘movement’ would be an exaggeration) in the UK. Is there anything going on at all? I’m aware of groups that publish articles etc. I’m aware of split after split with accusations (unfortunately justified by the look of it) of transphobia, but is there anything actually being built?

Big question, I would sadly find it hard to answer with anything too positive though. I've been pretty busy over the last year or so with the strike wave and other things, which has been very worthwhile, but I don't know if the anarchist scene has had anything much to contribute to this moment.

Submitted by Reddebrek on August 24, 2023

Steven. wrote: It's a good idea, we just don't have the capacity to run another social channel at the moment

I get the strain, but I'd recommend claiming an account to start with, you can leave it dormant until you have more time, or it's needed. I set up a Mastodon account several years ago, barely used for ages, and now I use it on a weekly basis. So far I think Blue Sky won't amount to a twitter/Xit killer for awhile, but that service is extremely frustrating and seems to be getting worse. I have some invite codes if you want.

Noah Fence wrote: Thanks for the continued responses to my post.
It really has been great reconnecting with Hieronymous.
Does anyone feel there is really anything positive to say about the anarchist scene(I say scene coz I think the word ‘movement’ would be an exaggeration) in the UK. Is there anything going on at all? I’m aware of groups that publish articles etc. I’m aware of split after split with accusations(unfortunately justified by the look of it) of transphobia, but is there anything actually being built? I know that I’m doing pretty much nothing apart from helping out with the Lucky Black Cat channel, which whilst I think is of value, it’s not UK oriented and it’s not actually ‘doing’ anything.
I’m kind of isolated in rural East Anglia but if there’s anyone in my neck of the woods who’s interested in meeting up and knocking some ideas around please let me know.

Well, the East Anglia AFed was active last time I looked, which was awhile a go. The IWW has been active in the strike wave and in some smaller scale disputes that were finished quickly. There's been some more stuff going on with delivery and fast food couriers, but I'm out of the loop on that. Also some expansion in the education and tech and comms departments.

I've seen some Solfed material about some workplace disputes, too. I've ended up essentially in charge of the Audible Anarchist group, so if anyone wants to record audio, let me know at [email protected] and we'll walk you through the steps.

Noah Fence

7 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by Noah Fence on August 25, 2023

Thanks Reddebrek. I actually contacted Afed maybe six months ago expressing an interest in getting involved but never heard back. Gave my details to some Solfed guys in Norwich who said they would be in touch but never heard from them either. Pretty disappointing really. Honestly though, I was pretty sceptical with Afed because of the stuff I’ve heard about them becoming less class oriented and more identity oriented in their interests but was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and find out first hand if the rumours were true. Still, it hardly matters either way if they’re not going to engage with interested parties. Maybe I’m being too harsh though? Are then any Afed members reading this thread?

R Totale

7 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by R Totale on August 25, 2023

From what I remember, I think East Anglia AFed are an autonomous group not actually affiliated with national AFed: https://eastangliaafed.noblogs.org/about-us/
Although, as you say, it doesn't makes a huge amount of difference one way or another if they don't answer their emails.

asn

7 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by asn on August 26, 2023

The way you are going it may take only a few thousand years to get any where significant on the industrial front. I don't think you have that time.
Check out per google search Rebel Worker Review of "A Beautiful Idea: A history of Freedom Press Anarchists" for a critique and a way forward

Submitted by Uncreative on August 26, 2023

asn wrote: The way you are going it may take only a few thousand years to get any where significant on the industrial front. I don't think you have that time.
Check out per google search Rebel Worker Review of "A Beautiful Idea: A history of Freedom Press Anarchists" for a critique and a way forward

One weird trick to get somewhere on the industrial front in under a thousand years (capitalists hate it!)

Submitted by Reddebrek on September 12, 2023

Noah Fence wrote: Thanks Reddebrek. I actually contacted Afed maybe six months ago expressing an interest in getting involved but never heard back. Gave my details to some Solfed guys in Norwich who said they would be in touch but never heard from them either. Pretty disappointing really. Honestly though, I was pretty sceptical with Afed because of the stuff I’ve heard about them becoming less class oriented and more identity oriented in their interests but was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and find out first hand if the rumours were true. Still, it hardly matters either way if they’re not going to engage with interested parties. Maybe I’m being too harsh though? Are then any Afed members reading this thread?

I sympathise with the frustrations but admin work is very difficult especially for groups on a voluntary basis. I've just received an e-mail for Disabled People Against Cuts apologising for the lack of response as the membership person was unavailable. I had applied so long ago, I had forgotten I had done so. I recommend sending follow-up emails to anyone who hasn't heard back for a while.

Mike Harman

6 months ago

Submitted by Mike Harman on October 10, 2023

fwiw there's now a new 'comments' tab in recent, showing any post with one or more comments
https://libcom.org/recent/comments

And the discussions tab only shows discussions now.

westartfromhere

6 months ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on October 10, 2023

Still feels a bit like the Negev here Mike.

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 12, 2024

Steven. wrote:
This has been the trend since 2007, when we had nearly 100,000 comments, which had gone down to around 40,000 by 2012, which halved in 2013 and continued to go down to only around 2,000 by 2021, the year before the upgrade. (By contrast, the number of new articles posted is pretty much the same now as in 2007, around 1,000-1,300 per year.)

"New articles" is not quite the right term as the majority of articles are rehashed old articles gleaned from other sources on the World Wide Web.

As to comments reducing to a trickle, perhaps this has something to do with the purge of users that were banned, or perhaps the tendency of veterans to resort to personal jibes and sectarian positions?

Friends that we have invited to look at the site state that they are baffled by the sheer amount of content.

One further possible explanation for the exodus from discussions/forums that hasn't been mentioned above could be the photoshopping of the Aufheben Gate affair:

The following threads on this affair have been locked by Aufheben's minders in libcom admin:
The Strange Case of Dr.Who and MrBowdler
...
Aufheben riots article discussion
A cop consultant? A reading list.

Plus, may I remind you of the TPTG's Second Open Letter to those concerned with the progress of our enemies which libcom never put up at all.

Fleur

2 weeks 2 days ago

Submitted by Fleur on March 28, 2024

Absolutely spot on. I'm sure the change in direction this site has taken is largely down to a decade old scandal, involving a small group of British academics and a tiny circulation journal almost nobody has ever heard of, and not at all to do with most of the world having moved away from shit posting in forums. I expect this place was a nightmare to moderate and everyone is now shouting at each other on discord.
Hi folks, I still lurk.

westartfromhere

2 weeks 1 day ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on March 29, 2024

Missed you Fleur, like a hole in the head. ;-)

Seriously though, Aufheben might appear as a minor academic journal from afar but within the anarchist milieu in the UK it was captivating. The revelations regarding one of its key academics sent shockwaves quite out of proportion. It formed a rupture between the once homogenous, cross classist body of anarchism.

Submitted by Red Marriott on March 30, 2024

westartfromhere wrote:
Seriously though, Aufheben might appear as a minor academic journal from afar but within the anarchist milieu in the UK it was captivating. The revelations regarding one of its key academics sent shockwaves quite out of proportion. It formed a rupture between the once homogenous, cross classist body of anarchism.

The above is uninformed nonsense;
Aufheben had one academic member.
The controversy had a minor long term influence on this site, the main influence on forum decline was the shift away to social media.
Aufhebengate didn't cause any ruptures of the kind you claim.
A journal that appeared once a year didn't have the kind of influence you claim.

westartfromhere

1 week 6 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on March 31, 2024

Aufheben had one academic member.

Not sure what you mean? Its whole output was academic, in both senses of the word.

The controversy had a minor long term influence on this site, the main influence on forum decline was the shift away to social media.

Is libcom.org not Social Media?

Aufhebengate didn't cause any ruptures of the kind you claim.

Are you sure?

A journal that appeared once a year didn't have the kind of influence you claim.

Some copies were more threadbare than a Zane Grey paperback. There is no doubt it captivated the anarchist milieu for a decade.

This was just one reason for the decline. Other reasons, already cited above, were the banning of large numbers of users, understandable on a commercial website, but strange on an avowedly "libertarian" one; the disparaging attitude of certain users; the volume of trite content...

Battlescarred

1 week 6 days ago

Submitted by Battlescarred on March 31, 2024

What nonsense. Captivated the anarchist milieu? I don't think so.

darren p

1 week 6 days ago

Submitted by darren p on March 31, 2024

The above is uninformed nonsense

Unfortunately, this seems to be a recurring pattern in posts from this user.

westartfromhere

1 week 6 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on March 31, 2024

Foolish dogs bark at the moon. Better to keep stúmm.

Submitted by Red Marriott on March 31, 2024

You said;

westartfromhere wrote:The revelations regarding one of its key academics

- which most sane people would understand as meaning Aufheben had more than one academic professional member. Which is untrue.

Is libcom.org not Social Media?

That you apparently don't understand that the rise of Facebook, Twitter etc was obviously being referred to shows, yet again, how little you really know of the subjects you claim to talk of with such authority. On the other farmer protests thread you're still peddling your nonsense claiming - in the name of Marx! - that peasants and small businesses are part of your mythical "rural proletariat".

Better to keep stúmm.

Take your own advice: stop littering this site with your nonsensical ignorant crap.

westartfromhere

1 week 6 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on March 31, 2024

Red Marriot: "Take your own advice: stop littering this site with your nonsensical ignorant crap": "At least in the UK... the rural proletariat is small..."

In 2022, the urban population of the United Kingdom was approximately 56.52 million, while the rural population was around 10.45 million.

academic

adjective

1. relating to education and scholarship.
"academic achievement"
2. not of practical relevance; of only theoretical interest.
"the debate has been largely academic"

social media

noun

websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

Better to keep stúmm.

adri

1 week 5 days ago

Submitted by adri on April 1, 2024

It can get a bit quiet around here, though I think the site's still useful for archivig purposes, and there are some interesting discussions every now and then. Are people still mostly using Twitter/X these days? It doesn't seem like that many people have really left it for Mastodon. Also, what Discords are people referring to in this thread (like invite-only-type groups or groups that are open to anyone)?

darren p

1 week 5 days ago

Submitted by darren p on April 1, 2024

Not sure if you mean people that used to use Libcom or people who engage in discussions in general. I've always given Twitter a wide berth and not signed up for Mastodon or anything like that. I was in some quite busy Facebook anarchist groups probably about five years ago, but they rapidly degraded into a cesspool of Maoism and identitarian politics.

For me, the era of naive optimism about social media and Facebook discussions has passed. The best discussions I now have are via invite-only Zoom reading groups, or face-to-face if I'm lucky.

I don't know how good Reddit is for this kind of thing? Some YouTube comments sections can seem quite busy too.

Reddebrek

1 week 5 days ago

Submitted by Reddebrek on April 1, 2024

Reddit is fucking terrible for discussions. 99% of the commenters/participants will not read or watch the thing that started the thread, I don't mean they disagree so they couldn't have, I mean they will not bother looking at the thing at all. YouTube is about the worst online platform for discussion, comments only still exist purely to drive algorithms.

Red Marriott

1 week 5 days ago

Submitted by Red Marriott on April 1, 2024

westartfromhere wrote: In 2022, the urban population of the United Kingdom was approximately 56.52 million, while the rural population was around 10.45 million.

What I wrote, which was in regard to discussing the farmer protests;

At least in the UK, farmer protests will be a majority of this [small business/middle] class - the rural proletariat is small and more likely to work in retail and tourism. The agricultural workforce only accounts for 1% of the total UK workforce and only some will be "rural proletarians". https://libcom.org/discussion/farmers-movement-europe

Thanks for proving my point; as you show, only around 20% of the UK population is rural. And many aren't proletarians, so yes, relatively small. The total size of a rural population tells you little about the size of "the rural proletariat"; unless you use the ridiculous lump definition that you do; ie, including small businesses/farmers, peasants, large landowners etc - all supposedly being "proletarians" (as well as anyone who clashes with cops on Countryside Alliance demos), as seen in comments in link above.

Most people understand the difference between forums like these and social media like Facebook, Twitter etc. But apparently that's beyond you.

Aufheben had an academic approach in many respects but they weren't, with one exception, academics; they were politically active without academic professional roles.

If you try to insist on conformity with dictionary definitions - regardless of commonly understood meanings within particular contexts - maybe that's one reason why you don't understand what you're talking about; be it Aufheben, Marx, farmers, proletarians or whatever.

adri

1 week 4 days ago

Submitted by adri on April 2, 2024

Reddit hasn't been that bad in my experience (I was on r/marxism_101 a few years back), though I'm sure other people's experiences may have varied. I'm not sure if popular subreddits like r/antiwork, which is a wonderful new development in my opinion, are really the places for serious discussions though; it's mostly just people writing about how much they dislike (capitalist) work. (Just for reference r/antiwork currently has over 2.8 million members; other subreddits like, say r/anarchism, have around 267,000.) I wouldn't mind giving Discord a try, but I'm not aware of any groups. I'm also kind of put off by how the platform seems geared more towards gamers/younger people. Mastodon also seems quite empty still. Oh well

westartfromhere

1 week 4 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 2, 2024

Red Marriot, the millions that compose the rural proletariat are not "small", relative or otherwise. Why you chose to mention employment in tourism and retail in this context perhaps says more about your interaction with the countryside of England than anything else? As a typical rural proletarian myself, I have been employed in many agricultural roles, as trussmaker, chicken hatcher, drayman, car part manufacturer, pallet maker, passenger assistant, cleaner, stadium seating constructer, bottle plant operative, surplus labourer...

The long and the short of it is the comments have dropped from 10,000 in 2007—by, I would estimate, commenters in the thousands—to a trickle—now predominantly by Members who have invested more than 10 years service to the site.

A perusal of this thread (partially deleted by the administrators) will give readers further insight as to why there is a reluctance to pass through here.

Submitted by Red Marriott on April 2, 2024

westartfromhere wrote:
A perusal of this thread (partially deleted by the administrators) will give readers further insight as to why there is a reluctance to pass through here.

I don't think it will at all - a poster quickly banned for anti-Semitic remarks in a 7-yr old thread buried among thousands on this site, so what? Or do you mean the ramblings of schmoopie, who sounds quite like you? If it's central to your point why don't you just say what you think is wrong with that thread?

the millions that compose the rural proletariat are not "small", relative or otherwise. Why you chose to mention employment in tourism and retail in this context perhaps says more about your interaction with the countryside of England than anything else?

I've lived in rural areas and know people who still do so am not as uninformed as you like to think.
Out of a total English working population of 27.4 million in 2020 the rural working population was 4.8 million, 25% of which were home workers (so not farmers or agri-workers). The total agricultural workforce is only 1% of the total workforce, under 300,000 - so a small proportion even of the rural workforce. According to Gov.uk rural tourism employs 0.6 million - as I previously said, more than agriculture. Forestry is the biggest rural employer. The total English rural population being around 10 million, of whom many will not be proletarians (wealthy retirees etc) and only around half of whom work; of those working 10% are self-employed (higher than in urban areas), many others are small businesses plus small, medium to large farmers and landowners.
If one is to gauge size, it’s generally in relation to something else, in this case sensibly the wider nationwide workforce; so yes, as I initially said, a relatively small rural proletariat. 4.8 million rural workers against 27.4 million urban workers – yes, small. What proportion of that 4.8 million are proles? A half, two thirds? Whatever, still definitely small in comparison.

westartfromhere

1 week 4 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 2, 2024

"Instaban" was the first thing that struck me as strange. Then, the fact that a portion of the discussion has disappeared into the ether. The fact that many of the contributers' accounts are no longer live—there does not appear to be any way of unenrolling from the site. What's poor Schmoopie done to offend you? This does not read as rambling but common sense:

Zionism is anti-Semitism.

Auld-bod In reply to Schmoopie #27

Please explain.

Zionism is a foreign (European) bourgeois institution imposed upon the native Semitic working population. Does that explain Auld-bold, #28?

Auld-bod In reply to Schmoopie #35

Thanks.

...

Our role as communists/anarchists is not to broker a peace between competing factions of the bourgeoisie. Our role is steadfastly to delineate between the force for revolution (in this instance the insurgent Palestinian working class) and the force of reaction (the Israeli State and Palestinian nationalist aspiration for a state).

...

Historically, the main factor that distinguished Jew from gentile in European history has been the exclusion of Jews from agriculture. This exclusion by the ruling Christian elite forced Jews to find other means of earning their bread. One of these pursuits was usury, another the Stage, diplomacy, tailoring, etc.

Have been reading this from your former co-writer and friend, Red. Yo man, it's a good yarn.

The proletariat form the majority of both the rural and urban population. We are not small.

This is the context in which rural proletariat was used in the Farmers' Movement thread.

Logistically, the forces of order are not capable of using the same tactics on the rural proletariat as on the proletariat concentrated en masse in the city. Once the rural proletariat converges on centres of capital—Rugis, Brussels, London, Delhi, for example—"15,000 police and gendarmes had been mobilised to prevent the tractors from entering Paris and other cities", mass arrests have taken place, as well as gas and bludgeoning...

This has nothing to do with the relative size of the rural proletariat to the urban. Besides, in discussing the proletariat, why concentrate on the "working population". In bourgie terms, the working population excludes those in full time education, those invalidated from working, those economically inactive. These at least equal quantitively the number of the "working population".

Submitted by Red Marriott on April 3, 2024

westartfromhere wrote:
Have been reading this from your former co-writer and friend, Red. Yo man, it's a good yarn.

It was submitted by Samotnaf, not written by them.

This is the context in which rural proletariat was used in the Farmers' Movement thread.

[quote]Logistically, the forces of order are not capable of using the same tactics on the rural proletariat as on the proletariat concentrated en masse in the city. Once the rural proletariat converges on centres of capital—Rugis, Brussels, London, Delhi, for example—"15,000 police and gendarmes had been mobilised t

Same old wrong definition of farmers & peasants as proles, go read and understand the Marx you quote/copy & paste so often. If you still can't get that right, not much point discussing anything else about proles.

westartfromhere

1 week 3 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 3, 2024

We know that "Sam" wrote it. He told us you used to write with him. Who are "them"?

We haven't discussed anything. You have simply berated.

Fozzie

1 week 3 days ago

Submitted by Fozzie on April 3, 2024

FWIW Samotnaf has asked for all the material written solely by them to be removed from Libcom. (I found this out because I inadvertently posted something by them here.) As far as I know they have not asked for that piece to be removed.

I'm not entirely sure what is meant by "The fact that many of the contributers' accounts are no longer live—there does not appear to be any way of unenrolling from the site." but it appears to me that most of the user accounts on the thread referred to are still "live" - i.e. that those people can still post here if they wish to do so.

As several others have said, there appears to have been a general decline in the use of internet forums similar to Libcom over the last ten years.

Perhaps some people are put off posting here for other reasons. I am sure we could speculate about that indefinitely.

It appears that the wildly pedantic discussion above has not encouraged other people to flock to Libcom to participate - with the welcome exception of Fleur. Perhaps that is not the intention or perhaps the discusison is just not yet pedantic enough - one more effort!

westartfromhere

1 week 3 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 3, 2024

Most, the majority, of the Members' accounts are live on this thread, i.e. when one clicks on the name this is displayed on the screen, e.g. westartfromhere, Member for 10 months 2 weeks. The accounts that are not live count as follows: Sleeper, fidel gastro, Schmoopie, S. Artesian, Zeronowhere, factvalue. As an adminstrator of the site and Member for 20 years 3 months, Fozzie, you will possibly know how these Members' accounts became dead.

One Member, factvalue, appears to have been banned by the arbitrators of life and death of Members' accounts for writing material such as this:

The propaganda that facilitates all this braying of 'anti-Semitism!!' when the actions of the Israeli State are compared with those of the Nazis, not long ago resulted in that putrid arch-Zionist Alan Dershowitz alleging on the Harvard Law School website that Norman Finkelstein's deceased mother, who'd been through the worst of the Nazi holocaust from the Warsaw ghetto to concentration and slave labour camps and who, like his father, had lost her entire family, had been a Nazi collaborator.

As Finkelstein said at the time, it's the type of strategy promoted by Hitler in Mein Kampf: a lie's credibility is directly proportional to its size, so make your lies as spectacular as possible if you want people to believe you. Make your claims as brazen as possible and couch them in the crudest form you can and the mud will stick. Because 'after all' people will say, 'surely no-one would make such allegations unless they were true. Yes, mm, and that would explain why he's criticising Israel, mm, mm'. Dershowitz and those like him understand these things.

As Samotnaf has documented, we now know that collusion between the National Socialist regime of Germany and representatives of the nascent Zionist state did occur, so why the banning?

Noah posed the question. We have done our best to answer it.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 3, 2024

As an adminstrator of the site and Member for 20 years 3 months, fozzie, you will possibly know how these Members' accounts became dead.

I've not been involved (and do not wish to be involved) with banning or blocking users from Libcom, with the exception of obvious spam accounts. I don't recall any of those people being banned, although perhaps they have - that is hardly an unusual occurence on internet forums.

I vaguely recall that people had to reactivate their accounts when the site was upgraded, so conceivably it relates to that. Possibly it doesn't.

Submitted by Red Marriott on April 3, 2024

westartfromhere wrote: We know that "Sam" wrote it.

Wrong again. He had no involvement at all in writing it and I don't believe he would tell you otherwise. That we on occasion wrote together doesn't refute that. So much that you think you know is wrong.

westartfromhere

1 week 3 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 3, 2024

'Ever since I touch down in England, everything I do is "wrong".'

westartfromhere

1 week 2 days ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 4, 2024

On the exodus of active Members from Forums/Discussions of libcom.org

1. Hosting of a known White supremacist, Michael Schmidt
2. Purge of Members and deletion of their comments
3. Support for a Police collaborator (site rules prohibit the naming of this individual)
4. Removal of posted material deemed politically incorrect. For example, Dead Cities, by The Exploited

Submitted by Fozzie on April 4, 2024

4. Removal of posted material deemed politically incorrect. For example, Dead Cities, by The Exploited

But wait! There is good news for fans of the cartoon nihilism of Wattie Buchan. Dead Cities, by The Exploited already features on Libcom as part of Like a summer with a thousand Julys …and other seasons… by the always politically correct BM Blob.

The Lingering Death Of Rock n' Roll

I would personally argue that this was the highpoint of the Scottish spiky-tops' relevance and that it has been downhill for them since then. But like most people I have not really been paying attention.

adri

1 week 2 days ago

Submitted by adri on April 4, 2024

4. Removal of posted material deemed politically incorrect. For example, Dead Cities, by The Exploited

I doubt it would have been removed for political incorrectness, especially when libcom mods have stood by (on Twitter) other groups like Killdren in the past, along with their hit song "Kill Tory Scum."

Incidentally, I was also right in that stupid thread about that Crimethinc article, in which the author was trying to argue that violent imagery among the left and in socialist propaganda (e.g. guillotine imagery, songs like the Coup's "We Got the Guillotine" etc.) should be done away with since it supposedly promotes actual violence. Boots Riley is shite for other reasons, but I still doubt most people who listen to "We Got the Guillotine," or DK's "Let's Lynch the Landlord," then want to go out and behead billionaires or lynch landlords. It was also quite the irony that, around the same time, some libcom mod then proceeded to defend the group who (metaphorically) sang in favor of "Tory genocide"! In any case, I'm open to apologies from certain people within this thread whenever they're ready to admit that they and the article were wrong.

R Totale wrote: Happy to say that I'd give the DKs a pretty clean bill of health here, in that, as far as you can take it as a serious statement of intent, lynching the landlord would still be much closer to the kinds of hands-on, spontaneous, insurrectional violence, rather than something comething from a state system of punishment like a guillotine.

adri wrote: So you're ok with lynching landlords [...] but not with artistic usage of guillotines in people's music videos, even when the latter said vengeance was not the message?

Joe Meek might also be up your alley in that case.

Noah wrote: Maybe I’m being thick but I really don’t understand this comment. Help me out?

Joe Meek killed his landlord.

adri

1 week 2 days ago

Submitted by adri on April 4, 2024

Sorry for derailing the above argument, which is a derailment of this thread anyway. (I just really dislike Crimethinc.) Carry on derailing!

petey

1 week ago

Submitted by petey on April 7, 2024

well! it looks like things are heating up again, at least on this thread.
though i will forever miss the mess that was libcom c. 2010.
is devrim about?

westartfromhere

1 week ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 7, 2024

Instead of advocating the taking of human life, "the kinds of hands-on, spontaneous, insurrectional violence" that libertarian communists should be promoting is the stripping naked of an entire squadron of Police in south-east Asia that occured in recent years of the proletarian revolution.

Joe Meek was a British music engineer that pioneered the use of the recording studio as an instrument in its own right to produce music. Despite the huge amount of labour he carried out producing music, Joe ended up indebted to the capital. He ended his days and the days of his landlady with a shotgun.

Devrim is still flirting around the skirts of the Left wing of the Borg.

Reddebrek

6 days 14 hours ago

Submitted by Reddebrek on April 7, 2024

So, since the site is still being tweaked and this thread served as a something of bug report in the past, I'm finding it difficult distinguishing in threads and comments where one person ends and another begins, perhaps a more noticeable border where the username and time posted could help with that.

In addition, I think the loss of messages was a detriment to the site, I understand most users didn't use them, but members who did use them used them for a reason, I used to stay in contact with several users, co-ordinate archiving and report issues to the admins, not sure what we're supposed to do now, make a thread or contact the libcom social media accounts? This could cut down on the "is ____ still around?" posts that are cropping up.

R Totale

6 days 12 hours ago

Submitted by R Totale on April 7, 2024

Absolutely fascinated by the suggestion that the reason not as many people post on libcom anymore is because you can't post Exploited songs.

adri

6 days 11 hours ago

Submitted by adri on April 7, 2024

Happy to say that I'd give the DKs a pretty clean bill of health here, in that, as far as you can take it as a serious statement of intent, lynching the landlord would still be much closer to the kinds of hands-on, spontaneous, insurrectional violence, rather than something comething from a state system of punishment like a guillotine.

Also kind of ignoring how the Chinese Communist Party and Viet Minh/North Vietnamese (as just two examples) killed thousands of landlords before and after coming to power, so it's not like there's anything "intrinsically anti-state or anarchist" about lynching landlords, if that's what's being suggested. What you're saying is even more gruesome considering how you weren't even talking about agricultural landlords in, say, pre-industrial China or Vietnam (where conditions were far worse and landlords far more despotic), but presumably just modern-day landlords in industrialized countries. It's difficult to imagine any modern revolutionary situation where "lynching landlords" would actually play a part (especially if they posed no threat, and even then there would likely be other ways of dealing with them), but it's nice to know that you're ready and waiting.

R Totale

6 days 11 hours ago

Submitted by R Totale on April 7, 2024

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

adri

6 days 10 hours ago

Submitted by adri on April 7, 2024

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Is that the last face a landlord will see before you clobber him to death with what seems to be sticks? Sickening. *ok that's all*

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 8, 2024

R Totale wrote: Absolutely fascinated by the suggestion that the reason not as many people post on libcom anymore is because you can't post Exploited songs.

Not songs, just this one:

I'm filled up with aggression
Want to smash your television
Saturday night you watch TV
Saturday night does nothing for me
Dead cities dead cities
Dead cities dead cities
See the man in the electric chair
They beat him up and shave his hair
There is no future to behold
In the city of dead you'll be there
Dead cities dead cities
Dead cities dead cities
I'm getting wasted in this city
Those council houses are getting me down
Go up town see who's there
There's nothing to do its getting me down
Dead cities dead cities
Dead cities dead cities
Snarling and gobbing and falling around
I really enjoy the freedom I've found
My mate's besides me lying on the ground
His ears are bursting with the volume of sound

It's not W. B. Yeats but it is an expression of our class experience. And perhaps more enthralling than a western German economist rubbishing Marx to sell a lie?

Submitted by Steven. on April 11, 2024

Reddebrek wrote: So, since the site is still being tweaked and this thread served as a something of bug report in the past, I'm finding it difficult distinguishing in threads and comments where one person ends and another begins, perhaps a more noticeable border where the username and time posted could help with that.

Could you maybe do a little mockup of what you're suggesting? Not really clear what you are trying to say exactly.

In addition, I think the loss of messages was a detriment to the site, I understand most users didn't use them, but members who did use them used them for a reason, I used to stay in contact with several users, co-ordinate archiving and report issues to the admins, not sure what we're supposed to do now, make a thread or contact the libcom social media accounts? This could cut down on the "is ____ still around?" posts that are cropping up.

Yeah it was a shame to remove this feature, however we didn't remove it because it wasn't used. Basically we had to remove it for multiple reasons. Primarily it was a security issue: all these private messages were unencrypted and insecure.
Another huge problem with it was that spam accounts abused it. Over the years, we had several million spam accounts register, and they were using the contact options, which caused us problems, including getting all emails sent from our site, including password resets, blocked as spam.
So unfortunately there wasn't a way we could keep messaging, while adequately protecting users' privacy, and protecting users, and our site, from spam.
Fleur, so great to "see" you! Hope you are doing well.
I still often think of that thread where you completely demolished the 9/11 denier.

Submitted by westartfromhere on April 12, 2024

Steven wrote: ...you completely demolished the 9/11 denier.

It is unimaginable that any communist would either refute or affirm the machinations of the bourgeois states (Saudi Arabia, USA...) in the destruction of the World Trade Center and the partial destruction of the Pentagon.

Perhaps this remark above has more to do with Steven's unfounded accusations levelled against the modest group of revolutionaries of the Groupe Communiste Internationaliste and the misrepresentation of this article?

Fleur

18 hours 3 min ago

Submitted by Fleur on April 13, 2024

Hi Steven! I'm good, surviving, which I'm lead to believe is better than the alternative :) Hope you're happy and well.

I remember that thread. Doesn't that feel like a hundred years and several lifetimes ago? We live in interesting times....

Reddebrek

14 hours 43 min ago

Submitted by Reddebrek on April 13, 2024

"Could you maybe do a little mockup of what you're suggesting? Not really clear what you are trying to say exactly."

Well let's start with what we have now, we have user name in small font size, the date time in faint font colour and a red box that says new if the comment is new, and the rest is empty space. And at the bottom of the comment, there's a thin line separating comments.

If I'm trying to find a specific comment to reply to or re-read that part blends into the body of the text. It doesn't stand out very well to me. Perhaps increase font size and change the background colour and extend the background to the width of the comment since the space is empty. Divide the space between the user and the message.

"Also kind of ignoring how the Chinese Communist Party and Viet Minh/North Vietnamese (as just two examples) killed thousands of landlords before and after coming to power, so it's not like there's anything "intrinsically anti-state or anarchist" about lynching landlords, if that's what's being suggested."
In both those examples, it wasn't landlords as a group but those who opposed them that were targetted for repression, they both defended landlords from their tenants if those landlords co-operated with them. That was the distinction between patriotic/democratic/progressive bourgeoisie and reactionary bourgeoisie was for.

In China, the Mao approved war on all landlords was during the Cultural Revolution and targetted people who hadn't been landlords since 1952 when the state took ownership of all land and housing making it the sole landlord, their relatives (except for Mao whose father had exploited rents and loans against his poor neighbours, that son of the landlords was exempt for some reason) and people who had no connection to owning land but accusing them of that was a convenient justification.

Submitted by Steven. on April 13, 2024

Okay thanks, Reddebrek, we will have a think and see if there is anything we can do.

Fleur wrote: Hi Steven! I'm good, surviving, which I'm lead to believe is better than the alternative :) Hope you're happy and well.

I remember that thread. Doesn't that feel like a hundred years and several lifetimes ago? We live in interesting times....

Yes, I'm all good thanks! And it does feel a long time ago now, as does the whole libcom forum culture TBH. A medium from a different era…

Submitted by petey on April 13, 2024

westartfromhere wrote:
Joe Meek was a British music engineer that pioneered the use of the recording studio as an instrument in its own right to produce music. Despite the huge amount of labour he carried out producing music, Joe ended up indebted to the capital. He ended his days and the days of his landlady with a shotgun..

well okay, but

"February 3rd 1967. On that day Joe got into one of his regular arguments with his long suffering landlady Violet Shenton, concerning the noise levels coming from upstairs.

They also argued about the amount of back rent Joe still owed. His anger getting the better of him Joe picked up his shotgun and killed Mrs Shenton before turning the gun on himself."

as an apartment dweller i have sympathy with those oppressed by noise levels. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12511423/violet-ethel-shenton

anyway. good to see personages still active here.

adri

1 hour 40 min ago

Submitted by adri on April 14, 2024

In both those examples, it wasn't landlords as a group but those who opposed them that were targetted for repression, they both defended landlords from their tenants if those landlords co-operated with them. That was the distinction between patriotic/democratic/progressive bourgeoisie and reactionary bourgeoisie was for [my emphasis].

The CCP never viewed agricultural landlords as being part of the (“progressive”) bourgeoisie! The CCP mostly regarded them as “feudal elements” who were holding back China’s development towards capitalism. Additionally, the fact that the CCP were much less harsh in their treatment of certain landlords, particularly those who supported the CCP and were apologetic about their past exploitation of peasants, does not refute the fact that the CCP essentially won the Chinese Civil War by appealing to the peasantry and targeting the landlord class.[1]

Sticking with the CCP during the Civil War, their fraternization with the upper classes was actually more true for the much smaller capitalist class in China (i.e. capitalists who allied themselves with the CCP) than it was for landlords, who the CCP more often viewed as entirely reactionary. The CCP wanted “communist”-sympathizing capitalists to stick around seeing as how they regarded them as “historically progressive” and thought that they could assist the CCP in industrializing China. These people were the so-called “progressive bourgeoisie” who you seem to be referring to, and by definition they had very little to do with landlords who primarily built their wealth by exploiting peasants. The Shanghai manufacturer Liu Hongsheng would be just one example of such a CCP-sympathizing capitalist who the CCP had persuaded to stay following their victory against the GMD in the Civil War.

With respect to landlords during the Civil War, the CCP were much less severe in their treatment of landlords who openly aligned themselves with the CCP and acknowledged their past wrongdoings against peasants, but one could hardly describe this treatment as the CCP “allying itself with certain landlords.” There were also points during the Japanese invasion/Civil War where the CCP only urged landlords to decrease their demands on peasants (e.g. rents), seeing as how they did not want to prematurely turn the entire landlord class against them by advocating a policy of expropriation at such a critical time. Nonetheless, the fact that the CCP targeted landlords as a class, both during the Civil War (1927-1949) and the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), is not really up for debate. Their opposition to the landlord class was the main thrust of their land reform policies both before and after coming to power, and indeed, this opposition also largely explains why the CCP were able to gain such massive peasant support, not unlike the Viet Minh/North Vietnamese in Vietnam.

We can also start another thread if you want to continue this discussion about China and Vietnam; I don’t think this is really the place for it.

1. Although some CCP members, notably Peng Pai in Haifeng, had successfully organized among peasants prior to the 1927 Shanghai Massacre (i.e. the GMD’s betrayal of the CCP, who had been cooperating with the GMD against warlords during the Warlord Period), the CCP only really began to focus on the peasantry after this date, particularly as the GMD then drove the CCP out of the cities. Previously the CCP, following instructions from the Soviet Union, had appealed to the much smaller Chinese working class/proletariat, which the Soviet Union would continue to insist that the CCP do following the GMD betrayal.