AK Press allegations against Michael Schmidt

Submitted by Steven. on September 25, 2015

Admin: thread name changed as it's over two weeks with no substantiation yet [edit: allegations now being published, leaving thread title generic].

Extremely bizarre news on the AK Press Facebook page:

We have some ugly and upsetting news...
About six months ago, we started hearing some disturbing rumors that one of our authors, Michael Schmidt, was an undercover fascist. Soon after, another one of our authors, Alexander Reid Ross, provided us with actual evidence. We helped him investigate further for several weeks and then put him in touch with another writer. Over the past months, we have received and compiled what we consider to be incontrovertible evidence that Michael Schmidt is a white nationalist trying to infiltrate the anarchist movement.
Alexander will soon be publishing an article that presents all the details in a more comprehensive manner, but we are not comfortable sitting on this information any longer. We have always drawn strength from the history of anarchism as an internationalist movement concerned with the destruction of capitalism, the state, and hierarchal social relations. Those social relations clearly include racism and white supremacy. We are committed enemies of fascists and their sympathizers. The anarchist movement won’t tolerate their sick credo and, when they are found hiding in our midst, they must be dragged from the shadows.
We have cancelled Schmidt’s upcoming book and have put the two books of his that we’ve already published out of print. Please stay tuned for the whole story.
In Solidarity,
The AK Press Collective

https://www.facebook.com/AKPress/posts/10156164515845249

anyone know any more about this?

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The comments on the Anarchist News page give links the Schmidt's defenses in earlier periods of national anarchism. If anything, it seems like the logical outcome of an anarchist tendency that cannot let go of nationalism because of the overhang of 60's era political ideologies and delusions. It often manifests it's self in a sort of class-based "noble-savage" approach to workers and poor people that says "Through their nationalism, they will be more revolutionary!" For Schmidt it's pernicious because he points out that poor Afrikaners historically united (at times) with poor people of different races against British imperialism and capitalists. They also united with whites to kill blacks etc.

The problem is of course seeing in their nationalist myth ("We cut ties with Europe and are AFRIKANER!") the same thing that many on the left support in the nationalist myths of other races/countries who happen to be "Anti-Imperialists" (really just looking after their own state interests like any state).

The irony of this politics is it prides itself on overcoming the "color-blind class-reductionist" politics of the old day. I don't know whats so "racially sensitive" about suggesting that blacks and whites are so different that they cannot meet together, or that they need their own country, or that Muslim workers in South Thailand and their Buddhist counterparts don't have anything in common; they do. They work to death for capital, and get duped into slaughtering eachther over charms around necks or skin tone. Horsehit.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Scary. I met the guy when he did a speaking tour for Black Flame. Seemed to me to be a really nice guy from the day I hung out wit him.

Fall Back

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Unless there's an indication he's a direct danger to people in a manner where the word needs to be hot out now, I think people should be really careful spreading it.

Obviously stuff may come out and there may well be good reason, but at this point I'm finding it very uncomfortable with the whole "the evidence is coming in a couple weeks". Like, obviously AK are a credible source and I can't see why they'd have reason to lie, but tbh we're not talking about some random dude, and unless there's compelling reasons, I'd think there should be erring on the side of benefit of the doubt and waiting for more information.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't want to really get deep into this at this time. having been in the movement for 40 something years, my only advice is to wait until the documentation is released. And a reply by Michael issued.
Although there is some stuff written by MS on line which, sadly, is not very positive.

While I am not a platformist or in that tradition, I would say, if true (and I hope not) that this could happen in anyone of the traditions we may adhere to.

bootsy

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid that's ridiculous. Schmidt has openly advocated multiracial working class solidarity in South Africa.

The national liberationist politics of the anarkismo groups may be flawed but they're sure as hell not laying the ground work for anarchist support of white supremacist politics. Quite the opposite, any platformist will tell you that their support for national liberation is based on their opposition to white supremacy.

The accusation is that Schmidt is an undercover fascist who has infiltrated the anarchist movement. If its true then that is on Schmidt, it isn't a reason to denounce all platformist groups as quasi white supremacists.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

several people have quoted this, from http://www.anarkismo.net/article/23404

Misdiagnosed by most anarchists as fascist, “national anarchism” fuses radical decentralism, anti-hegemonic anti-statism (and often anti-capitalism), with a strong self-determinist thrust that stresses cultural-ethnic homogeneity with a traditional past justifying a radical future; this is hardly “fascism” or a rebranding of “fascism,” for what is fascism without the state, hierarchy and class, authoritarianism, and the führer-principle?

as evidence that he is sympathetic to national anarchism.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks radical, that's partly what I was referring to.

Black nationalism is extremely limited in it's capacity to fight white-supremacy/nationalism. It may be useful for galvanizing support to fight particular white-nationalists, but utilizes the same logic of nationalism generally which has as it's logical consequence "us vs. them" as well as the idea that at some point, for example, American Workers have more in common with American bosses than say with German or Russian workers.

I said he advocated multi-racial fighting against capitalism, but as the quote provided by radical shows, he seems to think there is something in national anarchism. There isn't. Nationalism is a dead road, the hollow husk of bourgeois mysticism. A bunch of romantic nonsense.

It seems like he's saying "Look here, a bunch of non-european, anti-european even, white ethnics and their peasant/ early capitalist struggles! Look how special they are!" And of course they are workers and poor peasants, so of course we should be thinking about how they fit in the fight for communism, and even more he's suggested that there does need to be a "multi-racial" alliance. But based on what? Based on class? Or based upon the categories of race as given, whether reified as natural, or "purely social"?

Jamal

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I feel like I'm always ranting on and on about the importance of privacy and security in revolutionary organizations. No one ever seems to give a fuck.

Well, here you go.

Haven't similar things happened with Admin on this website?

bootsy

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You're preaching to the converted here Pennoid I agree that nationalist politics are a dead end. But it is also quite ludicrous to draw a connection between the national liberationist politics of anarkismo groups like Zabalaza and white supremacist politics. Its actually quite insulting to anarchists who oppose white supremacy with the (flawed) view that it should be overthrown with a national liberationist political movement.

Don't use the accusations against Schmidt (which are unproven so far, keep that in mind) to take a potshot at huge numbers of anarchists who find white racism and fascism absolutely vile.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Scary. I met the guy when he did a speaking tour for Black Flame. Seemed to me to be a really nice guy from the day I hung out wit him.

Idk man. The dude has one of those goatee's minus the mustache- creepy. Weird facial hair is always a warning flag IMO.

im gonna wait till actual evidence is presented until making a judgement, however.

bootsy

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal

I feel like I'm always ranting on and on about the importance of privacy and security in revolutionary organizations. No one ever seems to give a fuck.

Well, here you go.

Haven't similar things happened with Admin on this website

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/10/486344.html
https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1342466/
http://dialectical-delinquents.com/articles/uncategorised/the-strange-case-of-dr-johnny-and-mr-drury/
http://dialectical-delinquents.com/articles/uncategorised/cop-out-the-significance-of-aufhebengate/
http://www.wildcat-www.de/en/wildcat/96/e_w96_berufubewegung.html

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yea, while that nationalist anarchist quote does sound pretty dodgy, I think we need to be pretty careful throwing around terms like "infiltrator" and "fascist" - mind you, I think there could be good reason for AK press to disassociate from him, but you need some pretty firm evidence before making those claims, IMO.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Idk man. The dude has one of those goatee's minus the mustache- creepy. Weird facial hair is always a warning flag IMO.

im gonna wait till actual evidence is presented until making a judgement, however.

He was clean shaven when I met him.... But yeah, the verdict is still out on this one.

Mr. Jolly

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anarchism without the adjectives?

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anarchism without nationalism?

Jamal

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Unicorns?

seahorse

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

radicalgraffiti

several people have quoted this, from http://www.anarkismo.net/article/23404

Misdiagnosed by most anarchists as fascist, “national anarchism” fuses radical decentralism, anti-hegemonic anti-statism (and often anti-capitalism), with a strong self-determinist thrust that stresses cultural-ethnic homogeneity with a traditional past justifying a radical future; this is hardly “fascism” or a rebranding of “fascism,” for what is fascism without the state, hierarchy and class, authoritarianism, and the führer-principle?

as evidence that he is sympathetic to national anarchism.

Well I think he makes a convincing case that "nationalist anarchism" is not fascism. It is inherently racist and/or xenophobic. Bad enough! But while fascism is racist and xenophobic, racism and xenophobia is not always fascist.

I'm sad to hear about this scandal. Like others, I'm waiting on evidence before making any judgments. I really hope it's not true!

Edit: I'm not sure why this was down voted? Let me be clear, I think "national anarchism" is shameful, dangerous, and terrible due to it being racist/xenophobic. I just don't think it's fascist. Why? Because it is stateless and *the state is an essential part of fascism.* As for saying that racists/xenophobes aren't always fascist, I thought this was obvious? Again to be clear, I think racists/xenophobes are always horrendous, whether they're fascist or not.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, idk about this infiltrator label. The why of that seems a little far fetched. Far more likely he is a national anarchist. But he was called a "self-described fascist" by Alexander Reid Ross, so that's a big burden of proof on him. He better get his butt in gear with this evidence and publish his expose'.

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Looking through reactions it surely seems that it would have been better to either provide some evidence or wait on the announcement. That said, I would hope that this situation could lead to a wider discussion about ideological problems and the encroachment of nationalist and fascist ideas amongst those who consider themselves against. This isn't about one person, it is about the places where nationalist and fascists can smuggle their ideas and gain acceptance amongst anarchists. I am from E. Europe where this has been a problem for many years. A lot of people outside of our region don't really get this because they don't know the source material. What I would hope could come out of this is a deeper understanding and consistent responses to rejecting certain ideas.

Without knowing more about the situation, I would suppose the "infiltrator" label would not be accurate. Most times it is exposed that somebody had ideas like this, other people saw it but just explained them away in some ways.

happychaos

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi all,

I also feel pretty queezy about how this announcement has been made.

Anarchist practice should exemplify the principles of natural justice.

kingzog

Yeah, idk about this infiltrator label. The why of that seems a little far fetched. Far more likely he is a national anarchist. But he was called a "self-described fascist" by Alexander Reid Ross, so that's a big burden of proof on him. He better get his butt in gear with this evidence and publish his expose'.

The burden of proof is on Alexander Reid Ross and Ak Press as it is Ak Press who has published the statement.

Not only do they need to substantiate their claims, they should also provide evidence to justify why the statement was made without said evidence. Presumably someone's safety was at risk.

If this turns out to be false, serious damage will be done to Michael Schmidts credibility nonetheless.

Regards,
HC

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Happy, the ones that stand to lose credibility are AK, if it turns out that there was no evidence. So I find it highly unlikely that they would publish this without a reason. However, it is important that people reserve opinions on this aspect of Schmidt until this is actually presented.

On the other hand, I think it is fair to discuss quotes like the one on nationalism anarchism or other dodgy things at this point. It is also, in my opinion, a time to discuss problems with the national question, other anarchists who are racists and nationalists, etc. etc.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If its false or a mistake or even just an exaggeration, AK's rep will be irreparably demaged.

jef costello

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've never liked this idea of publishing a warning without evidence, even if it's a group I trust. It's acceptable in some cases, and I have taken things like this on faith if I know who is vouching for it as well. It makes it look like a smear regardless of the merit of the accusations.
What they have published here seems unclear and, as has been mentioned above, is not clear on why having sympathies with NAtional Anarchism etc makes him a fascist infiltrator.

edit: badly expressed, I meant something more like 'being soft on nationalism'

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I would certainly argue with any apologetic sentiments towards National Anarchism and think that people should be taken to task for them. The quote by MS disgusts me. It is one thing to argue whether something is fascism or needs another label, but quite another to rebrand something like National Anarchism using vocabularly that connotes something positively espoused by the author elsewhere (self-determinism).

That said, as I mentioned before, an infiltrator is somebody who enters a movement in bad faith in order to undermine it, destroy it or divert it and the word may be used very incorrectly here. But if further thoughts like this come up, then obviously we at the very least have somebody who condones the uncondonable.

So again, I think the bigger issue is not MS, but what happens when anarchism is infected by fascistic, nationalist ideas or when people turn a blind eye to them and try to justify them. Personally, if I look at what is written, I think it does go beyond just trying to question whether all fucked up nationalist stuff is "fascism", but it actually attempts to in some way justify national anarchism.

ajjohnstone

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is this a AK Press UK or AK Press USA or joint statement? I'm not particularly clued up on their operating structure.

My question is to what purpose does he think (if he does) that subverting the broad anarchist movement by presenting a camoflaged national anarchist agenda can be fruitful.

It is not like there is a central anarchist command that he can capture ideologically as in some Democratic Centralism Trot pyramid?

The overt national anarchists have i think been easily given short shrift and ostracised from anarchist movement. How did he expect (if he did) to become more open with his philosophy and not meet a similar challenge? After all, all we have on this thread is a few ambiguous quotes and not screeds of written documentary evidence.

I suppose just as if it isn't supported would discredit a publisher like AK, if later exposure and confirmation would also discredit them. I'm at lost though, to tell the truth.

I'm just puzzled by the motive. Perhaps some can offer reasons.

While we await further explanations from Ross and AK, we also expect Schmidt to reply to the accusation.

The Scottish Referendum should have given us an inkling how easy nationalists can present themselves as "anarchists for decentralisation and local control and democracy? But again i didn't consider their attempts as plausible

Black Badger

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

... as if the execrable and deliberately sectarian "Black Flame" weren't disruptive on its own ...

If part of the point of being an infiltrator is to sow confusion, discord, and mistrust, then Schmidt and Van Der Walt (and AK by originally publishing BF) have already done plenty.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

radicalgraffiti

several people have quoted this, from http://www.anarkismo.net/article/23404

Misdiagnosed by most anarchists as fascist, “national anarchism” fuses radical decentralism, anti-hegemonic anti-statism (and often anti-capitalism), with a strong self-determinist thrust that stresses cultural-ethnic homogeneity with a traditional past justifying a radical future; this is hardly “fascism” or a rebranding of “fascism,” for what is fascism without the state, hierarchy and class, authoritarianism, and the führer-principle?

as evidence that he is sympathetic to national anarchism.

It's a bit disingenuous to post that snippet as evidence when if you post the full quote it changes the meaning significantly:

""So what do we make of Gandhi himself? Speaking plainly, I do not like Gandhi because I am a militant anti-militarist who believes that pacifism enables militarism. I am very suspicious of Gandhi’s central role in midwifing the Indian state. On balance, in his völkisch nationalist decentralism, I would argue for him to be seen as something of a forebearer of “national anarchism,” that strange hybrid of recent years. Misdiagnosed by most anarchists as fascist, “national anarchism” fuses radical decentralism, anti-hegemonic anti-statism (and often anti-capitalism), with a strong self-determinist thrust that stresses cultural-ethnic homogeneity with a traditional past justifying a radical future; this is hardly “fascism” or a rebranding of “fascism,” for what is fascism without the state, hierarchy and class, authoritarianism, and the führer-principle?"

He is making a claim about the classification of an ideology he states here that he doesn't like. If the allegations turn out to be true, that is not the evidence of it.

satawal

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I thought Black Flame was a horribly sectarian re-write of anarchist history so I have no particular need to defend MS and definitely no allegiance to nationalism of any kind not least the crazy of National Anarchism. Some people obviously do move from the far-left to the far-right and vice-versa so it wouldn’t surprise me if MS did so. However whatever the truth of the matter I worry about AK putting out this statement without any factual back up. I suppose they may have felt that if they didn’t disown MS now they would risk major reputational damage. It’s no excuse but they were probably stuck between a rock and a hard place… unlike the AFED! What possible excuse is there for putting this up on the front page of the AFED website with a big picture of MS… it’s not a tumblr feed but the front piece of a democratic organisation.

https://afed.org.uk/michael-schmidt-revealed-as-fascist-let-this-be-a-wake-up-call/

Apart from anything else it says :
“Schmidt is also linked by AK Press to Troy Southgate, a former member of the National Front and a third-positionist who self-describes as a ‘nationalist anarchist’.”

It wouldn’t surprise me if a link between MS and Troy Southgate might turn out to exist but AK have not said this so far as I can tell. I tracked back where AFed website got this and unless I am mistaken it is from the blog they admit to copying most of the article from which says AK said this in the comments to their facebook post. I looked this up and they do no such thing- they pull up someone else defending MS :

“ Brecht de Sténay: a "fascist", as in "someone I disagree with"?
AK Press: No Brecht, white supremacist scum like yourself with ads for National-Anarchist Movement conferences on their FB wall and sick friends like Troy Southgate and Keith Preston.”
https://www.facebook.com/AKPress

This regurgitating of this inaccurate description of AKs present statements, the veracity of which the persons doing the AFED website didn’t bother to check, is probably a symptom of trying to keep current without putting the time in to find out about it themselves. Could AFED members arrange to get this stuff changed on the AFED website? It makes us class struggle anarchists look like wankers. If MS has moved towards National Anarchism that's a shame, but no reason for us to not hold ourselves to better standards of conduct as anarchists. We neither have to have cover ups or unsubstantiated character assassinations.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flava O Flav

Here is Schmidt's response

That response seems like it could be credible as far as it goes.

Does it seems believable to anyone who knows him and his work better than myself?

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As i posted on FB, this would prolly be an appropriate time for ZACF to issue an initial statement

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is one thing to argue whether something is fascism or needs another label, but quite another to rebrand something like National Anarchism using vocabularly that connotes something positively espoused by the author elsewhere (self-determinism).

Well, NA's do support self-determination. I've seen footage of them marching with Tibetan independence demonstrators. It's not really rebranding. It's a key part of their ideology since they are ethno-spereatists. If you read the whole passage from MS you'll see he poses National Anarchism in a negative light as he connects it with Ghandi, whom we harshly criticizes.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

these also this article
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/16353

And the way Terre’Blanche died was the way so… ordinary; it was the way many poor rural whites die, hacked to death in their beds for reasons grand and petty, criminal and (despite strong government denials) racial. It’s not that there is a “Boer Genocide” (as yet) as many on the far right already proclaim, but some powder-keg combination of race and class is killing our white farmers at an alarming rate.

he also compares nazis murdering jews with the killing of racist white farmers

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wow, reading Schmidt's response, I think AK press has made one helluva mistake.

Edit: as in they should have releases any evidence they had with the announcement.....

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, they really should have. MS has given his evidence, and without AK's it's very difficult to figure out what's what.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Radical graffiti, where does he compare black youths killing white farmers with Nazi's?

radicalgraffiti

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kingzog

Radical graffiti, where does he compare black youths killing white farmers with Nazi's?

near the end

Only with Terre’Blanche’s death is the mainstream belatedly making a tentative link between ANC hate speech calling for the killing of the Boers and, well, the actual killing of Boers. Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous statement of his own ethical failing – that when the Nazis came for the communists he did not speak out for he was not a communist – runs naggingly around and around in my head.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That passage looks reasonable to me. Also, MS, in the article says he sheds no tears for Blanche and that he probably deserved it, but he argues its still messed up and part of a larger problem having to do with inequality and the corrupt state, which the ANC is a part of.

That's not proof of MS being a white supremecist at all.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You know, the ppl who are citing those articles as evidence I think are being dishonest and are doing so because they are wolves who have smelled blood. Speaks to the overall dogpilling culture of social media shaming. Its vert alarming.

Those articles are not definitely not the evidence AK is purported to have. I think everyone should be putting pressure on AK to present the real evidence immediately. We don't need an article to tell us what the evidence means.

Everyone

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wow! If true, then this really is the most shocking episode in recent anarchist history (a fash infiltrator coauthoring one of the most important contributions to anarchist theory in over a century... Imagine!).

However, I'm going to insist on withholding judgement until after AK Press provides the proof they've been promising. I've no interest in joining any witch hunts, for a start, and the evidence thus far provided (mostly of a circumstantial nature and including a few misquotes as it does) is perfectly consistent with MS's own explanation of undercover investigative journalism.

I can't wait until AK provides their expose so I can make up my mind.

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have asked people who know better but so far, only one opinion which is suspicious about MS's explanation. The reason for that is that his opinion is that reading through National Anarchist stuff probably would have provided as much insight as the supposed infiltration and that MS, posing as a National Anarchist also went so far as to try to contact real anarchists and agitate on behalf of NA. In other words, an opinion that MS's activity went to far.

No idea, but the illness excuse is a bit shady.

I have others to discuss on this, since there are anti-fascists who infiltrate fascist internet forums and I know a few. I'd be interested to know what they think of the methods used by MS.

I was really sickened by MS's posts on Stormfront BTW.

To sum it up, we still have to see what AK will release. If it is only this blog and Stormfront piece, I am afraid that many people will just have to give MS the benefit of the doubt, even if his explanation is in my opinion a bit shady. But I suppose it will be more.

As for other comments here on Black Flame, I also have many disagreements with this book, but I am afraid that many people would take criticisms of it at this time very negatively because of these accusations. I would hope there will be a good time for them later.

Also, I am a little sad about how this is playing out because the topic is very important to me and if it turns out that the accusations against MS are not too solid or can be easily rebuffed, then the next time that somebody says anything on national anarchist infiltration, people might not take it seriously.

ajjohnstone

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

One side - the defence - now explained - the other - the prosecution - to be heard...(really should be the other way around, shouldn't it?)

If he is an infiltrator into the anarchist movement, then i think we require to know that some of the fascists were aware of his true identity and his activities and for what benefit it brought to them.

I'm still confused at the purpose of the pretence if there was one whereas his pretence to be a fascist is full explained and plausible.

Occams Razor again?

Juan Conatz

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is unfortunate that AK Press decided to throw out this accusation before releasing any hard evidence. I understand sometimes you can't do this, for example, a group that I was a part of exposed an FBI informant, but we couldn't release any hard evidence because what we had was related to an ongoing legal case at the time. We decided that we would put our reputation on the line by putting that accusation out there, but we did get some heat, even here on libcom.org for not putting out any hard evidence.

But this is a little different, since AK claims they have quite a bit of hard evidence they plan on releasing in the next week or two. I think they should have just waited until then to make this public. Unless someone's safety was in danger, I don't understand the purpose of making this public before the evidence.

Already, there's tons of speculation about this, from the quite ridiculous assertion in this thread that you can tell someone's political beliefs by their facial hair, to the '2-minute Google Search squad' bringing up various articles written by Schmidt has "proof" that he was a fascist.

One of the links constantly posted is from a site called 'Why We Are White Refugees', which can be found here: http://why-we-are- [LINK BROKEN] white-refugees.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/inst-adv-of-journalism-exdir-michael.html

This site seems to be a Third Positionist site out of South Africa. But this post is just a reposting of an article by Schmidt that originally appeared on Anarkismo, as well as an interview he did with the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, which as far as I can tell, has nothing to with any fascist group but is a professional journalist association.

There's no proof that Schmidt has anything to do with the reposting of this stuff on the Third Positionist blog. I, and some others on libcom, have had their writings reposted by fascist blogs in the past. This is not something one can really control, and is not proof of collaboration.

Another link that people are posting as "proof" of Scmidt's fascist sympathies is the Anarkismo article he wrote, entitled 'Death and the Mielieboer: The Eugène Terre’Blanche Murder & Poor-White Canon-fodder in South Africa'.

While admittedly, I am not super familiar with the politics and race relations of South Africa, reading that, I don't really see much objectionable. It's basically saying that poor rural whites and poor blacks have interests in common, apartheid was partially maintained by dividing the class, the death of Boer farmers is largely ignored by the media, the death of a once infamous white supermasist doesn't mean issues in South Africa are resolved.

Am I missing something here? I mean I understand that the farmer killings are typically something the conservative to far right bring up, but is this solely the case?

Lastly, one more thing being sent around as "proof" is one paragraph out of a larger review or piece on Ghandi in which Schmidt sees him as a forerunner of 'national anarchism', which he doesn't consider fascist. I'm not sure I agree with that, but there is a lot of discussion and disagreement about whether certain groups, tendencies and regimes were actually fascist. Many historians, including some that I think have done quite a bit to help us understand fascism, don't consider Francoist Spain as fascist. I'm sure many anarchists vehemently would disagree with this. Does this make those historians fascists or fascist sympathizers?

It's very possible that AK has some irrefutable hard evidence, but what has been put forward in the absence of this evidence has been mostly a bunch of BS.

radicalgraffiti

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i don't think any of what i posed proves him to be a fascist, it is as i said things other people have posted that supports that idea he is sympathetic to national anarchism.
But it does show that he is at least "soft" on national anarchism, and that he tends to equate racists with power to people reacting to said racist with power. The fact that fascists can quote him as supporting their view shows at the vary least that the way he presents his ideas looks like support for fascism.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

People say this is his alleged "alias" in racist forums: Karelianblue. If you google it, you will find info on stormfront and other sites.

This blog which purports to watch third-positionists and out their bullshit has a post with some stuff that, if Karelianblue is indeed Schmidt, would fit in with line of thought sympathetic with Boer white supremacy, through national anarchist lens. Or was he really tricking them?!?!

Black Battlefront is a racially-aware, anti-racist revolutionary cadre network of White African politico-social soldiers defending our unique culture, under the anarchist black flag! We are pan-secessionist militants who staunchly oppose Boer Genocide and we work for the establishment of White African base area communities in South Africa and Namibia (in particular, but also elsewhere in Africa) where we can live out our cultural prerogatives unmolested by the Black majority. We take our inspiration from militants and cultural warriors of the calibre of Nestor Makhno, Kai Murros, Jim Goad and Troy Southgate. Interested people can apply to join our facebook group and if we believe you are genuine, we’ll sign you up.

Juan Conatz

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

radicalgraffiti

i don't think any of what i posed proves him to be a fascist, it is as i said things other people have posted that supports that idea he is sympathetic to national anarchism.
But it does show that he is at least "soft" on national anarchism, and that he tends to equate racists with power to people reacting to said racist with power. The fact that fascists can quote him as supporting their view shows at the vary least that the way he presents his ideas looks like support for fascism.

My review of SolFed's 'Fighting For Ourselves' was reposted in full by a 'national anarchist' blog. So this means that I or SolFed present our ideas in a way that "looks like support for fascism"? That is clearly ridiculous.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Uhm, I think that we ought to make this line of thought clearer. Simply copying and pasting something is no big deal. Suggesting that something is both nationalist and genuinely anti-capitalist is bad politics and ignorant beyond excusable belief. It's one thing to point out that they are ideologically anti-capitalist, but that begs the clarification that genuine struggle against capitalism necessitates a break with nationalism and all forms of patriotism. Short of this, you have as haven all the wonderful myths about the special status of poor Boers, or anyone else finding identity and "revolutionary inspiration" from their nationality, which is so much horseshit.

So either Schmidt is genuinely infiltrating a group, and maintaining his cardboard, 1960's new-left anti-racist views as stated (not great but not worthy of this "scandal") or he's drifted through his shitty views into worse ones; ones that share as their basis the idea that there can be a "community" in any longterm or meaningfully revolutionary sense, between people based on their melanin.

Yeah, we may have to wait for AK to put out the "truly damning" info. But if he is Blue Keralian, or if he did put this out: Calling a Black author a Black Racist It does suggest to me some dodgy shit.

Juan Conatz

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't read that from those pieces. I think its fine to describe "National Anarchism" as anti-capitalist, because I don't think anti-capitalism means only communist internationalism. I think there's also a significant racist, anti-Semitic and nationalist version of anti-capitalism that has and does exist and it serves no one to just try and wash our hands of it. Otherwise all we're doing here is arguing about authenticity and who's the true Scotsman.

The thing about the author/activist/politician seems dodgy but I don't know anything about the person or his politics. I also don't think disagreement about the definition of racism as 'power + prejudice' is necessarily indicative of something. Many people have called the Hebrew Israelites or New Black Panther Party racists, and I think they are, because their aspirations are exactly that definition of racism.

bootsy

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I searched 'Black Battlefront' on Facebook, which is the group he claims to have set up as part of his infiltration of the fascist scene. Its a closed group however this person is the admin, which I assume must be him. If you check the wall posts there is bunch of racist shit which you would expect however he also links to a bunch of Anarkismo articles. If he's trying to go undercover in the fascist scene then why is he linking to Anarkismo? I would have thought that might risk blowing his cover. Is he trying to turn the right-wingers on to Anarchist Communism? I don't understand.

Bizarre, utterly bizarre.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan, the facial hair thing was just a joke. As you can read, I totally agree that AK messed up and there is no real evidence so far.

Devrim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Regardless of whether or not this is true, the overriding impression I get is that I wouldn't want to be in the same organisation as this sort of 'investigative political journalist'.

Devrim

Serge Forward

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

Regardless of whether or not this is true, the overriding impression I get is that I wouldn't want to be in the same organisation as this sort of 'investigative political journalist'.

...is the right answer! :D

That said, this has been handled incredibly poorly.

happychaos

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi all,

Some commentators elsewhere have raised questions about:

1.) The strategic value of any left-wing revolutionary going undercover in right-wing groups,
2.) Was MS's undercover work strategic?, and
3.) Did MS go too far?

We can't really answer the second two questions without giving MS the opportunity to explain what he did and what was achieved. (I'm not sure he'll have a fair chance of doing this now.) Even if he was being un-strategic or went too far this wouldn't be enough to substantiate the claims put forward by Ak Press.

As far as the first question point goes, while I can't say I'd feel comfortable about going under cover myself, I can see some value in it happening even to the point of making fake personas and actively posting bad stuff. It would get murkier the more they were doing bad stuff. It would all depend on the context. In fascist Spain, Germany or Italy there might have been no choice.

I'd want to know:

* What the group or individual was trying to achieve? What were their goals?,
* What did they achieve,
* Did they have a realistic strategy to achieve their goals?
* Was there an obviously better (less risky/less damaging) alternative strategy?, and
* Did the outcome outweigh the risks (especially the tactics - posting bad shit etc).

Of course all of this couldn't be discussed publicly before, during or in most cases even after.

Regards,
HC

Devrim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think this sort of thing is something that you be undertaken off an individual's own back. If it is to be done, it should be part of some organised intervention, and directed by an organisation.

Secondly though I think there is an immense problem with his job anyway.

Devrim

bootsy

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From his stormfront account:

Regarding the supposed "degeneracy" of tattoos, while I do understand and approve of the "my uniform is my skin" position (the truth of this is always dead certain in a race-war), I see no historical reason to utterly reject tattoos. Every race has historically marked its skin with symbols relevant to its culture and whites are no exception, whether they align spiritually as Christian, Norse, Teutonic, Celtic or other. My tattoos include my 14th Century family crest which includes two crescent moons as symbols of the Crusades my ancestors fought in, a Scythian chieftain's tattoos from the 5th Century BC (the oldest tattoo known; the Scythians were a white horse people who ruled the steppes from present-day Ukraine to the Altai Mountains), and a lebensrune. It demonstrates (unlike stick-ons) that I am serious about my heritage.

I guess one way to get to the bottom of all of this would be to find out whether or not he actually has these tattoos.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A couple of things that don't add up to me - what AK/Reid Ross have actually accused Schmidt of is being a Fascist infiltrator in the anarchist movement. The drift towards NA stuff is speculation from various FB threads and forums based erroeuosly on Schmidt's writings (selective quotation) and Schmidt's own admission that he was working undercover to get close to NA's under supervision from his job. We can choose to believe or disbelieve his reasoning - it seems plausable in his role as an investigative journalist (he did not claim to be doing it for the movement), but whether we believe that or not, what AK actually accuse him of is being an undercover Fascist.

So if he was a fascist, what exactly did he infiltrate? He left ZACF in 2009 so would not have had access to a lot of useful information. If he was undercover fash the logical place for him to be is at the heart of an organisation, a membership secretary or something. Secondly, what would be the purpose of spending all that time researching and writing about the global anarchist movement (whatever you think of his work, even as a platformist I'm not the biggest fan of Black Flame, but it's not really a project that would make sense for an undercover fascist to undertake)?

To be honest, I do find some of his writing a bit problematic, for example if he had submitted that Terre Blanche article for the Irish Anarchist Review, I'm pretty sure I would have either argued against publishing it or asked for an extensive rewrite, however it is not fascist. Then the claim that from that quote on Ghandi we can ascertain that he is soft on NA. Well he calls it bizarre, he calls it racist so I don't think we can, and while we can disagree with his classification of NA, it doesn't make him one. For the record, I think he has a point in asking, what is fascism without the state, where I think his analysis falters slightly is that even in the unlikely event of a NA style revolution, racist laws could not be sustained without a state so it would end with fascism.

So unless AK have some other evidence that shows he was actively working as a fascist within the anarchist movement, that he was using information to undermine the movement and putting comrades in danger (Why? How? Who?) - then I think they have acted in a premature way that is damaging for our movement as a whole. Their silence since Friday has me irritated to say the least, they need to release what they have now or give an adequate explanation as to why they can't.

Steven.

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal

I feel like I'm always ranting on and on about the importance of privacy and security in revolutionary organizations. No one ever seems to give a fuck.

Well, here you go.

Haven't similar things happened with Admin on this website?

Not sure what you mean here?

Going back to the original topic, his response seems pretty reasonable. Although I see in the comments that Aragorn isn't buying it…

AvengingAngel

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Whether he's a facscist infiltrator or 'just' an investigative journalist, does it really make any difference? Anarchists are far too tolerant of these professional recuparasites.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Whether he's a facscist infiltrator or 'just' an investigative journalist, does it really make any difference?

That is an absolutely ridiculous statement Angel.

AvengingAngel

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Of course, for he's 'just doing his job'. Journalists (and academics, teachers, 'professional' activists and so on) do as much to sabotage the class as fascists.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"As much", are you out of your mind?

You know what journalist I hate? Kropotkin.

pgh2a

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Someone asked about his profiles on Black Battlefront's facebook page. There were two other profiles there the other day, that were then deleted. I identified one of them because it was of a woman who said she was in "risk managment" which was the same industry stated by Kirelianblue's profile on stormfront. Schmidt wrote he created a husband and wife profile. Both of them were deleted from the facebook page. Why would he have created a husband and wife profile if he just wanted an alter ego to support his fascist activities?

P.S. Can an admin please change my screen name to pgh2a ?

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

pgh2a

Why would he have created a husband and wife profile if he just wanted an alter ego to support his fascist activities?

To create a believable back story perhaps? Turn that around, if he was a fascist infiltrating the anarchist movement or if he was simply a National Anarchist, why would he create a husband and wife as two alternate personas to use within the fascist/NA movement?

pgh2a

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The only reasonable construction I can make of these two different profiles is that he would want to make Black Battlefront look like it had more members. But then wouldn't most people have decided to make two different, unrelated (unmarried) profiles to show that the "movement" isn't just a couple that went in together but rather a more diverse (irony noted) group? I think it supports his story that he was trying to infiltrate the national anarchist movement and not the other way around.

P.S. Thanks, admin!

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

FWIW, My own position is to play this straight down the middle until everything is on the table, full documentation by AK and full reply by MS., ZACF statement(s) and that of LvdW. It's right and fair. My own allegiance is to fairness at this point And fairness to me is making sure that all info is open and on the table.

Serge Forward

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AvengingAngel

Of course, for he's 'just doing his job'. Journalists (and academics, teachers, 'professional' activists and so on) do as much to sabotage the class as fascists.

spaceman spiff

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This whole thing stinks, and smacks of a high-school level smear campaign. You can't just potentially ruin a man's career and reputation without providing full evidence.

And what's more, I can't understand this story of fascist infiltration. What sort of a man spends years writing an academic treatise on a political ideology just to 'infiltrate' a movement? Who has the time and inclination for such a thing? And to what end? To sow some cancerous seeds of nationalist racist ideology in the minds of young anarchists? To slowly take down the movement from within?

I've read plenty of positive reviews of Black Flame. The work should stand for itself, accusations of thought-crimes notwithstanding.

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Institute for Anarchist Theory and History (of which Schmidt is a member) has put out a very sensible statement: https://ithanarquista.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/akpressschmidt/

spaceman spiff

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AK Press has already tried, condemned and sentenced Michael Schmidt (in a “juridical” sense). They alone received and compiled the evidence, interpreted it, reached judgment and sentenced Michael Schmidt by cancelling his upcoming book, and by putting out of print two previous books in which he was involved.

All this was done without presenting evidence to the public, and without allowing him the right to defend himself.[2] We think that these measures – which are guaranteed in the most basic of the “democratic” states that we so regularly criticize – must surely be guaranteed in any model of libertarian “justice.”

Absolutely well stated

Rob Ray

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just on the issue of AK announcing before they had the evidence ready, it should probably be borne in mind that they were likely in a difficult position when they came to the conclusion that MS wasn't on the level.

From their perspective, they clearly would have wanted to give Ross* time to complete his investigation before tipping off MS, but were also in the process of publishing his book. What it sounds like is they ran out of time on the schedule and decided they would have to cancel it, but obv you can't do that without questions being raised and effectively tipping MS off that something's wrong. Hence the brief explanation.

It sounds like they should have done more due diligence, if MS is right that they only sent one email to an alternate account of his and didn't try any other method of getting in touch that's pretty rubbish. But it doesn't feel like they're doing a Satmonaf to me.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* As a note AK aren't the ones investigating, one of their authors is

Battlescarred

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Satmonaf??

Rob Ray

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Samotnaf, even. The fellow in France who did that super-long denunciation against Aufheben/Libcom and then flounced spectacularly when people started criticising him for not bothering to actually talk to the people he was denouncing (he later started crying because whackos were citing him in full-on conspiracy theorising about Libcom being a state front, as though this wasn't a very predictable outcome).

petey

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

he gave me my custom title

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AK Press can chose who they publish or not, especially if they decide that there are contrast of political interests (to say the least) about a writer/researcher. They have obviously decided that the information that has been brought forward is sufficient to distance themselves from Michael Schmidt rather than go ahead with previous arrangements.

I agree with the suggestion that has been made that ZACF and also specifically Lucien van der Walt should make statements about this, and include sharing anonymised full versions of all internal documents written by Schmidt which mention specifically race, particularly if any controvertial writings by him exist.

I agree that there is a need for analysis of nationalist depature from social revolutionary theory and practice.

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

AK Press can chose who they publish or not, especially if they decide that there are contrast of political interests (to say the least) about a writer/researcher. They have obviously decided that the information that has been brought forward is sufficient to distance themselves from Michael Schmidt rather than go ahead with previous arrangements.

Hang on, it's a bit early for this kind of revisionism. AK Press have not said that the information they have seen has lead them to feel that a sufficient level of suspicion has been raised over MS's activities and political views, that they feel they are no longer comfortable continuing their association. That would be another thing entirely.

They have said that MS is:

1. "an undercover fascist"
2. "a white nationalist trying to infiltrate the anarchist movement"

Which are extremely serious allegations and ones, which if sincerely believed, would certainly open the accused to serious physical violence, if not summary execution, in many of the more repressive political circumstances or militant cultures*.

That they then sanctimoniously claim:

"we are not comfortable sitting on this information any longer"

and then proceed to do precisely that - i.e. sit on the information - is outrageous.

Regardless of what the actual truths of the matter turn out to be, when we get a chance to view the actual evidence, and the accused gets a right of reply, this act by AK, is entirely an unacceptable way to behave for a movement that holds to any notion of justice and prefigurative politics.

It is a regrettable reality that our movement (and indeed any political movement, outside the state) periodically needs to deal with the difficult process of responding to the most serious allegations against members.

Everybody needs to accept that the way AK Press have done this, is the picture in the dictionary of "how not to do it".

Unless such practices are stamped out, then the movement is open to the kind of COINTELPRO-style manipulations that have destroyed so many historical movements.

Rigorous process is not simply a matter of ethics, its an existential matter of self-defence.

----
* I mean if you tried denouncing someone as a cop or an undercover loyalist spy in Irish republican circles and then said "...sure, we'll have the evidence in a bit", you'd get knee-capped. And no-one, republican or not, would find that in the least surprising.

Black Badger

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

... as if this were the first time that AK folks had done something disappointing, stupid, sectarian, or outrageous ...

888

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maybe they wanted to bait MS into posting a reply that they could then demonstrate was untrue.

pgh2a

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

888

Maybe they wanted to bait MS into posting a reply that they could then demonstrate was untrue.

Look, either they have the evidence or they don't. They need to stop being coy or withdraw their accusation.

Red Marriott

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RR

Samotnaf, even. The fellow in France who did that super-long denunciation against Aufheben/Libcom and then flounced spectacularly when people started criticising him for not bothering to actually talk to the people he was denouncing (he later started crying because whackos were citing him in full-on conspiracy theorising about Libcom being a state front, as though this wasn't a very predictable outcome).

That is a poor biased summary of a long convoluted dispute. In any case the essential criticisms of Dr J have been reinforced by more recent damning facts; see my comments on p.1 & 2 under article here; http://libcom.org/library/sic-international-journal-communisation
There are better and worse ways to handle issues and 'out' them; but unfortunately people sometimes try to distract from/bury inconvenient truths by trying to discredit their presentation/delivery.

Edit; The only rational conclusion I can come to is - in the face of the now-available evidence - that those who deny or doubt Dr J is involved in helping develop policing tactics must be either really stupid or blatantly dishonest or know they've been misled but are trying to save face by refusing to acknowledge it. I don't think anyone here is that stupid - and, as I've said, the fact they'll always try to trash the messenger rather than deal with the evidence doesn't add to anyone's credibility.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anarkismo peeps ------ http://www.anarkismo.net/article/28576

mikail firtinaci

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't know much about MS' case but I think the relation between professionals and revolutionary movements present an important problem. Historically, especially before the WWI and in the Second International the working class tended to pay for its own professional intellectuals. German SDP had its own papers with paid journalists, its own party schools with teachers. Pannekoek, Luxemburg, Radek, Ruhle etc and several others lived with the support of these kind of institutions. No doubt SDP was independent of the state - more like a state within the state- until WWI. However, as its foreign policy became milder and more conciliatory towards the Germany's policy orientation, it was also simultaneously becoming more bureaucratic escaping the control of the workers. Many faced the choice of either being thrown into misery and defend internationalism, or serving the state and Burgfreide and betraying the workers in order to preserve their social status and well being when faced with the world war in 1914. Revolutionary intellectuals chose the difficult path without hesitation.

Still we see revolutionary intellectuals tied to the state first in the Soviet Russia. In 1920s and 30s revolutionary intellectuals began working for soviet universities or communist international organizations as propagandists, journalists or translators. Later during the WWII leftist intellectuals increasingly entered the service of their own states in the west. Take Christopher Hill from the British CP for instance, who worked for the British intelligence. This became possible only thanks to popular front tactics (in their trotskyist, stalinist or even "anarchist" forms).

Cold War established this trend as a norm with leftists entering academia and journalism everywhere. Some produced really good works. Some universities became leftists strongholds (like Wisconsin in the US, Vincennes in France etc). With the crisis of the strong left parties in the west, the university and journalism intellectuals lost their political allies in 70s and 80s. Thus intellectuals lost their political direction. This was the age of Foucault, post-structuralism and rise of "interest" in anarchism in the academia. In the US academy academics w/o political backings tended towards campaign building and single issue struggles aiming for building civil society class blind coalitions. So, it is possible to see in "radical intellectuals" with most ignominious careers reflections of the most horrible defeats of the working class.

The situation is changing now. Capitalism is unable to confront the proletarians with a systematic and coherent ideological outlook. It increasingly relies on force rather than consent. Hence its reliance on intellectuals is diminishing. Today an increasing number of intellectuals are desperate. They are proletarianized. In academia or outside of it, most academic jobs are repetitive, administrative, dull and uncreative. They pay little. Many social scientists are without tenure, many young PhDs hardly have a safe prospect of finding jobs. Many young journalists are insecure and their work is outsourced. Leftist intellectuals in order to build "successful" careers have to find more and more scandalous ways to stand out in the crowd, because competition is ferocious and cruel.

There is no point in denigrating this stratum because of its misery and shame. Working class would be stronger with its intellectuals serving its class needs. The solution can only lie in stronger political organizations that would direct and orient intellectuals -who are unprecedentedly poorer and insecure- towards the general goals of the working class, towards communism. intellectuals don't own their own means of production. Their labor is devalued to the point that they are unable to reproduce themselves even in the basest minimum. Communist organizations must show these intellectuals that only a proletarian revolution can pull them out of their misery and hopelessness. Only organization can give hope and a collective sense of security for independent thinking and honest intellectual labor. It is true, revolutionary organizations can not give a sense of financial security or social status to intellectuals. However, it can show them the strength of class solidarity, give them a confidence in the future. For the best of intellectuals such a push would suffice.

Devrim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think the issue with this guy's job isn't that he is a journalist, but that he is a political investigative journalist. I wouldn't have a problem with a journalist who wrot about fashion, or the horses being part of an organisation. What is problematic about this guy's job is that it is, in itself, political. I think that this brings up all sorts of potential problems.

One of these problems which is outstandingly clear to me from his reply is the whole idea of an investigation into the far right. If something like this is to take place do people think it should be organised through an organisation, or by individuals keeping it secret for OK their organisation?

I also think there are parralleles with the Aufhaben case in many ways always, and regardless of what people think about how one individual pr dented it, there were real problematic issues there.

Devrim

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

I think the issue with this guy's job isn't that he is a journalist, but that he is a political investigative journalist. I wouldn't have a problem with a journalist who wrot about fashion, or the horses being part of an organisation. What is problematic about this guy's job is that it is, in itself, political. I think that this brings up all sorts of potential problems.

One of these problems which is outstandingly clear to me from his reply is the whole idea of an investigation into the far right. If something like this is to take place do people think it should be organised through an organisation, or by individuals keeping it secret for OK their organisation?

I also think there are parralleles with the Aufhaben case in many ways always, and regardless of what people think about how one individual pr dented it, there were real problematic issues there.

Devrim

That's a whole different matter though.

Devrim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flava O Flav

That's a whole different matter though.

It's a whole different matter from what?

Devrim

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

Flava O Flav

That's a whole different matter though.

It's a whole different matter from what?

Devrim

From the allegations made against MS by AK. The OP.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim, what job isn't political?

I believe we've both been in English teaching? You don't think there's political implications to the fact that we generally teach either people who want English for business purposes or migrants who are moving country for economic reasons? Language teaching is intimately tied up with the flow of global capital. That's pretty political.

mikail firtinaci

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anti-intellectualism is 100 more times dangerous than having academics/journalists in a political organization. After all fascism itself is partially a crude socialist-nationalist demagogy combined with hateful anti-intellectualism (sometimes expressing itself as antisemitism). The first step towards a proper understanding of intellectuals role in the revolutionary struggle is to completely discard anti-intellectualism.

Devrim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

Devrim, what job isn't political?

I believe we've both been in English teaching? You don't think there's political implications to the fact that we generally teach either people who want English for business purposes or migrants who are moving country for economic reasons? Language teaching is intimately tied up with the flow of global capital. That's pretty political.

No, I don't think it's political in the same way. I'm not politically attached to my work, and heather I'm teaching English or laying bricks, or in the past delivering letters in the same way that a political journalist investigating anti-fascists is. I don't see my work as having a political content in that way.

Devrim

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, you would say that, wouldn't you Mikhail Flirtini?

Hardly surprising from someone who has Karl Marx - academic, intellectual, and journalist par excellence - listed as one of his favorite thinkers!

Devrim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

From the allegations made against MS by AK. The OP.

They don't concern n me in particular though. I'm not a member of, or even particularly sympathetic to the anarchismo groups. I'd imagin bits important to th m in a way it isn't to us. I'm trying to draw some more general conclusions related to the affair.

Devrim

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'll be honest, Devrim, that feels like a bit of a cop-out. Without trying to put too fine a point on it, that's what capitalism does: it obscures the political nature of labor. Just because we don't feel there's political content to our work, doesn't mean it's not there.

Not to belabor the issue, but one of the key aspect of the military and the police in liberal democracies is that they're "non-political" institutions - and I think if you talk to most cops they'll tell you that there's no political content to their job. We know that's bullshit.

So what I'm trying to say here is that the distinction between explicitly political and implicitly political work - and consciousness of that distinction - isn't actually a very useful demarcation in terms of someone's role in class society.

Devrim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think it's a cop out at all. I think it's a really important distinction. If somebody feels that their job has political content in a way that it is something that they feel is progressive l, they have a completely different attitude to adds their work than someone who doesn't. I'm talking here about people like this 'invest agarics political journalist, Marxist academics, feminists working on the gender pay gap, union organisers etc.

Don't you think there is a real difference here?

Devrim

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If somebody feels that their job has political content in a way that it is something that they feel is progressive l, they have a completely different attitude to adds their work than someone who doesn't.

Ah, okay, from the perspective I do see a bit more of a distinction - but I'm still not sure it's as cut-and-dried as you present it. Anybody who sees a progressive aspect to their job - building the union, building class consciousness, whatever - they're going to be approach their job in different way than somebody who doesn't.

Similarly, there's a big difference - in my opinion, anyway - in someone like a union official whose role is inherently tied up with mediating class society and an academic or teacher who can at least challenge that aspect of their role. Not to mention that, really, all jobs have similar roles reproducing capitalism on both an ideological and material level.

Devrim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think you are sort of missing my point, and my feeling is that you are doing it deliberately, so I won't bother continuing.

Devrim

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

being part of an organisation

or by individuals keeping it secret for OK their organisation?

My understanding is that Michael Schmidt hasn't been part of ZACF since 2009. His largest organizational tie may have been his ongoing relationship with AK Press as his publisher.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also Michael Schmidt has been publishing on anarkismo.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

Also Michael Schmidt has been publishing on anarkismo.

As does libcom. Anarkismo publishes many articles from many individuals and groups that are not part of Anarkismo groups. I don't think Libom has group membership like that.

Steven.

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Admin note:Numerous off topic posts unpublished. I guess it was bound to happen as Rob Ray brought up Aufhebengate, but this was adequately responded to by Red, so let's not derail this discussion any further. There are plenty of discussions about this subject elsewhere on the site people can resurrect if they really want to: so no more off topic comments on this thread please. Further derailing comments will be removed, and persistent deraillers will be banned.

Red Marriott

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So are you saying Aufgate can't be discussed here at all in relation to the Schmidt issue?

Steven.

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

So are you saying Aufgate can't be discussed here at all in relation to the Schmidt issue?

If it's related to the allegation that Schmidt is a white nationalist who has infiltrated the anarchist movement, then fair enough (although I'm not really sure how that is in any way related. And if it is brought up in this context people need to steer clear of just going over old ground and making personal attacks and smears - not that I'm accusing you of having done this, Red).

However if the point some people want to make is that it doesn't matter if he is a fascist or not, the problem is that he is a journalist, then that is off topic, so people should start their own thread for that (this obviously would have more parallels with JD)

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

syndicalist

anarkismo peeps ------ http://www.anarkismo.net/article/28576

Although I may not share in the politics or traditions of the Anarkismo network, I'd like to reiterate my viewpoint here. Whatever the ultimate outcome might be, as an anarchist, my own allegiance is to openness, fairness, libertarian integrity and principle.

In this spirit, I agree with this portion of their statement:

Before we can make any pronouncements on the matter, however, we need to carefully examine both the AK Press evidence, the article by Alexander Reid Ross, as well as Michael Schmidt’s response to the evidence and article. As a network Anarkismo has not taken sides, and will not accuse the accuser or the accused before there is more information and all the evidence has been presented. Both sides will have to explain themselves thoroughly first and be available for answering any serious questions about the information

Battlescarred

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Totally agree, with the above. Now let's stop talking about this until all of this comes out, i.e,. the AK Press evidence, MS's reply, ARR's article. Just to add that Lucien, MS's co-writer should not at all be blamed for any of this, and that this specific case should not be used as a club to beat the platformist/especifismo currents.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

Also Michael Schmidt has been publishing on anarkismo.

You could go onto anarkismo and publish something right now if you wanted. It's pretty much open publishing, well, it gets approved or hidden (if the content was way off tack) by an editor and that's about it. Articles deemed particularly important and in line with anarkismo politics get promoted to feature by the editorial collective. I assume libcom has a similar process?

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Michael Schmidt has been directly involved with anarkismo and several of it's associated organisations, so there's an actual direct connection.

I'll decide whether platformism has anything to do with Michael Schmidt's racism when the arguements are made.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

I'll decide whether platformism has anything to do with Michael Schmidt's racism when the arguements are made.

Oh come the fuck on. Don't even start that sectarian shit on this.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sectarian is when you substitute your own interests for the interests of the working class.

Michael Schmidt is one of the foremost theorists of platformism - he has made a career of slagging off all other forms of anarchism, syndicalism, socialism and communism. Anarkismo is directly connected to Michael Schmidt. The ideas and practice of platformism should be considered in the event of one of its main theorists being seriously criticised of racism/fascism (and the main website which advocates platformism).

I am originally from South Africa. I was a founding member of Anarchist Revolutionary Movement (ARM) and Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF).

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We've yet to see any evidence and there's already thousands of posts of increasingly polarised polemic all over the place. If, and it's a big if, AK can substantiate their allegation, it's still dubious to try and use that against platformism or Anarkismo. Nobody's immune from infiltration. Criticism of platformism needs to be based on political positions, organisational practice etc, not the (currently unsubstantiated) misfortune of infiltration. I'm no fan of platformism but using unsubstantiated allegations to score political points is bullshit.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Neither can Platformism be exonerated before information is shared, which is what is being attempted by extending "solidarity with ZACF" and claiming as above that "this specific case should not be used as a club to beat the platformist/especifismo" which is bullshit.

Of course, the credibility of platformism should be put in question when one of its main theorists is seriously accused of racism.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh.... ok so Stalinism just fell from the sky? There's no connection between Marxism and the 2nd international, and Stalinsim, at ALL? Wow, well I was wondering when I'd find a lot of anarchists willing to finally admit to this "truth".

This is part of a bigger problem; the refusal to clean up your own clubhouse when it turns out someone you invited over to play yatzee for years is a white nationalist. I agree that we have to wait for the evidence, but stop pretending like there is this neat line between individual action, ideological argument, and belief. If you read NAM stuff, you can see that it's rife with applications and synthetic use of Bakunin, Kropotkin, A/S stuff. Is it really so wild to suggest that the logic of left nationalism can lend itself to the emergence of white nationalism, in an otherwise "anarchist" guy?

I understand that the ideology is practically impossible, much like Socialism in One Country, but we cannot dust our hands of it so quickly. That's the whole issue, why is an ideology that is practically impossible, so appealing, when one much more practically suited not? Hell people from the NAM movement even support "trans-nationalist" nationalism, that is, international work with Golden Dawn and groups like that, in support of autonomous groups of self-organized races/nations. They think you can have autonomous communes of nations alongside "free" markets. It's complete fantasy. But can we not see the aspect of this which is pulled from anarchism? Is it not then important for anarchists to clarify their positions? To show why this is a practically impossible politics?

What's with the rush to defend your sect so hardcore?

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Syndicalism and the General Strike is Fascist because of Sorel".... can we please not play this game.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hey, can you be my editor? How did you put my words so succinctly? You have a gift, my friend.

Also, a minor thing, if MS was investigating White nationalists for a journalism job, where are the articles and exposes he wrote over a like almost 10 year period?

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Syndicalism emerged from the self organised (mostly anarchist) workers of the IWMA of the 1860s and reached fruition in the early 1900s, usually opponents of syndicalism (who don't know any better or are malevolent) refer to Sorel as the theorist of Syndicalism.

Michael Schmidt is one of the main theorists of platformism and is getting serious accusations of racism/fascism made against him - but apparently his platformist ideas and organisational practice have no significance and cannot be considered?. I don't accept that position, particularly from my direct experience of early anarchist organisations in South Africa.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

Sectarian is when you substitute your own interests for the interests of the working class.

Michael Schmidt is one of the foremost theorists of platformism - he has made a career of slagging off all other forms of anarchism, syndicalism, socialism and communism. Anarkismo is directly connected to Michael Schmidt. The ideas and practice of platformism should be considered in the event of one of its main theorists being seriously criticised of racism/fascism (and the main website which advocates platformism).

I am originally from South Africa. I was a founding member of Anarchist Revolutionary Movement (ARM) and Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF).

You've clearly had an axe to grind for a long time. You must be giddy with the opportunity. Must be hard to only imply that its platformism's fault without any evidence actually being presented yet. You'll just have to restrain yourself until then being satisfied with vague allusions.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm originally from South Africa and was involved with ARM and WSF but had nothing to do with platformism and ZACF because I opposed its ideas and practice.

This is probably more disappointing for me than most because I have actually been directly involved and hopeful of the development of revolutionary anarchism in SA.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Neither can Platformism be exonerated before information is shared

The burden of evidence rests on the accuser, no?

And that's not even taking into account that the accusations, if substantiated, can somehow be linked to Schmidt's involvement in platformist organizations.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm old enough to remember that WSF was both Syndicalist and Platformist. Look, I don't know what two decade old political disagreement you have with your former WSF comrades who went on to form ZACF and write several books, but Platformism is bigger than Schmidt. But there is literally no evidence presented by AK Press yet, just an accusation.

I know it might be hard to believe, but in other quarters Schmidt and "Black Flame" are being criticized as having been insufficiently supportive of left nationalism and THUS that "why Schmidt became a white nationalist". Sure, that sounds ridiculous. But everybody who had a problem with "Black Flame" or Schmidt is bringing up their favorite ideological issues claiming that whatever aspect of Schmidt's politics they don't like leads to fascism. In other areas (*cough* anarchist news *cough*) say that it shows the problem is that "Black Flame" is Leftist (the insult from "post-leftists" in this case, not left communists)--and that the emphasis on mass organization and syndicalism (surely something AES doesn't disagree with) is what leads to fascism.

Remember folks, Platformism is supposed to lead to Leninism! R.I.P. AWG!

All the cool kids call it especifismo these days, anyway.

Jim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, I think it's important to remember the person making the accusations is involved in Earth First!, they also don't seem to have any evidence Schmidt is involved in IRL far-right organising, all they seem to have is evidence he posted things on the internet saying he was a fascist, under false identities. Schmidt says this was him researching far-right groups, the AK author says Schmidt was moonlighting as a fascist. My money is on the Earth First! guy being a loon.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There was an article which noted "All solidarity with comrades in the ZACF" but has been replaced with the text "NB: This article has been removed at this time on the back of internal discussions within the AF and communications with the ZACF. We should have an extensively updated version of this article available shortly."

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I was a founder member of ARM before Lucien van der Walt joined. WSF was not Platformist at the outset, I left WSF at the conference where the platform was introduced to the WSF Constitution because it was not circulated and debated with the membership. The main WSF booklet was called "What is Anarcho-syndicalism"

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For the avoidance of doubt Platformism in South Africa was a very definate break with working class self-organisation, in favour of a minute organisation controlled by career academics. In a heavily segregated country such as South Africa there is a massive significance to that specific departure from revolutionary anarchism.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

Michael Schmidt has been directly involved with anarkismo and several of it's associated organisations, so there's an actual direct connection.

I'll decide whether platformism has anything to do with Michael Schmidt's racism when the arguements are made.

This is an absolutely sickening and opportunistic attempt to score points. For starters, MS hasn't been organisationally involved in ZACF or Anarkismo since 2009. Calling him one of the main theorists of platformism is a huge fucking stretch. He wrote what is essentially a history book - Black Flame, it is not so influencial to be universally acclaimed in platformist circles. There are people who like it and people who think it's meh, me being in the latter category. And I think, while your definition of sectarianism is correct, it fits you down to the ground, your eagerness to put the boot in to another tendency of anarchism without evidence and by playing fast and loose with the facts is fairly apparent.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I chose my words carefully. I'll comment further when the evidence is available, from AK Press and relevant documents from ZACF.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

For the avoidance of doubt Platformism in South Africa was a very definate break with working class self-organisation, in favour of a minute organisation controlled by career academics. In a heavily segregated country such as South Africa there is a massive significance to that specific departure from revolutionary anarchism.

That's also playing fast and loose with the facts - platformism does not oppose working class self organisation but favours dual organisation - a theoretically and tactically united political organisation AND mass working class organisation - the union.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So what would you say to a "Platformist" "[*white*] theoretically and tactically united political organisation [OVER] a [*black*] mass working class organisation - the union." ?

Would that be racist?

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A few thoughts. The first is that one this thread we have seen people say, "don't drag Platformism into this", "don't make generalizations on Platformism", etc. but on the other hand we see ideas that because the author was in EF!, he must be a loon. Same syndrom, different stereotypes.

About the questions of Platformism, MS and Black Flame, I think that, in general, if somebody didn't like Black Flame, they would be better off separating their criticisms of that with those of MS related to these accusations, if only because some people perceive this now as taking shots at somebody accused with no evidence presented. Regardless of what your points might be, you probably would not be properly read at this point. That said, when the accusations are published and if any of them reflect racist ideas and anybody has theories that these all also found in the book or elsewhere in platformist texts, it's certainly legitimate to bring these up.

If AK is to make any convincing point about MS's racism (and I believe, from what I've heard, this is more about racism than fascism), then they should refer to examples not made in the context of the alleged infiltration of Stormfront, but elsewhere. And if this comes out, and if these incidents date back to the time of MS's collaboration with ZACF, then it is appropriate to ask questions to or about ZACF. If this is later (since people have pointed out he has been out of ZACF several years), then perhaps the only question is to LVDW.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

So what would you say to a "Platformist" "[*white*] theoretically and tactically united political organisation [OVER] a [*black*] mass working class organisation - the union." ?

I'd say you might be speculating on the current demographics of ZACF in a crude effort to racebait. Looking at the latest copy of Zabalaza #14 that Maisiri, Nyalungu, Maponyane, Sefalafala and Mompe don't sound like English, Dutch, Afrikaner or Boer names. But who knows with the anarchist tendency to use aliases. I don't know if that's reflective ot the current membership demographic.

Unless a small organization prioritizes recruitment along racial lines with particular quotas, it is very easy for a small organization to get demographics that seem skewed. Same could be said for gender. The smaller the group, the least more likely there is going to be a missmatch there. Unions being mass organizations are less likely to be that way--EXCEPT when certain trades/industries are themselves skewed along racial and gender lines that don't match overall society.

Ireland is relatively racially homogenous, the U.S. and South Africa are not (though some areas of the U.S. are less diverse than others).

In the UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and the US... the anarchist milieu tends to be majority white and majority male. There have been improvements there; but that's still the trend. Thats the way it is in the IWW, no? It is problematic, but I don't think it means that anarchism as an ideology and practice is a stepping stone to white nationalism or men's rights patriarchy. We can also say the same thing for Trotskyism or the Green Party in the same countries.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

So what would you say to a "Platformist" "[*white*] theoretically and tactically united political organisation [OVER] a [*black*] mass working class organisation - the union." ?

Would that be racist?

Your method really is that of the sewer, given that A ZACF is certainly not all white, and doesn't position itself over the movement.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

akai

If AK is to make any convincing point about MS's racism (and I believe, from what I've heard, this is more about racism than fascism).

Well the only official statement from AK on this cited fascism in particular rather than racism in general, so unless there is some backtracking going on, that's where things stand.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We'll wait for further information, including any internal ZACF documents relevant to concerns about racism.

Also, as I say, I was directly involved with ARM and WSF.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

Also, as I say, I was directly involved with ARM and WSF.

More than 20 years ago. If you've been sitting on evidence that Michael Schmidt is a racist for 20 years, you better share it!

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Obviously what I'm saying is that (together with other anarchists) I was a member of ARM and WSF before it became platformist and the later formation of ZACF.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

Obviously what I'm saying is that (together with other anarchists) I was a member of ARM and WSF before it became platformist and the later formation of ZACF.

If that gives you some special insight to make a persuasive argument... well we are all waiting to hear it! But so far it looks like you have an axe to grind with platformism because the WSF went platformist early on and you didn't have the votes to counter it. So you are looking at the current accusation of AK Press against Michael Schmidt to score some points in your two decade old grudge against South African platformists who... as far as the rest of the world is concerned your politics are nearly identical with (most people not having a concern about a unitary mass organization in the form of a labor union verses specific political organizations that work with and support a mass organization in the form a labor union).

So far, you've only engaged in guilt by association and insinuation. You really aren't helping whatever kind of argument you are trying to make. If you want to show how platformism leads to white nationalism--I think you are going to have trouble coming up with a lot of examples.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have not actually made any arguements yet other than that Michael Schmidt is a Platformist and the organisations and websites he has had an involvement in are also needing be considered in the oncoming arguements. Of course this is because there were previous posts/comments made claiming (without knowing the arguements) that Schmidt is a separate issue to Platformism, and even expressing "Solidarity with the ZACF" (that article has been removed since).

I'm against Platformism because of my direct experience with it in South Africa. I was not outnumbered by platformists, the decision to introduce the Platform to the WSF Constitution at a Conference without circulating it to the membership and creating a two tier membership in a racially segregated situation is inconsistent with equality. I left in disgust because of incompatibility.

I went on to work with other anarchists to set up a workers assembly at a factory which is one of the only cases of direct action by anarchists within a workplace during Apartheid.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES

I have not actually made any arguements.

Believe me, we know.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Smug.

Serge Forward

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AES, wind your neck in and stop being a right bell. All we have at the moment is this:

1. Michael Schmidt has platformist politics.
2. He may or may not be an undercover fascist as well.
3. You don't agree with platformism (hey, neither do I, funnily enough).
4. We know fuck all else about the situation.

All the rest of your 'guilt by association' claptrap is giving me the shits. Pack it in mate.

AES

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes we'll need to wait.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can only say that I hope whatever comes out of this is conclusive. If not, we will just continue to have the same round and round leading nowhere.

jef costello

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm glad they unpublished all those posts and got this back on track. :rolleyes:

seahorse

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

seahorse

radicalgraffiti

several people have quoted this, from http://www.anarkismo.net/article/23404

Misdiagnosed by most anarchists as fascist, “national anarchism” fuses radical decentralism, anti-hegemonic anti-statism (and often anti-capitalism), with a strong self-determinist thrust that stresses cultural-ethnic homogeneity with a traditional past justifying a radical future; this is hardly “fascism” or a rebranding of “fascism,” for what is fascism without the state, hierarchy and class, authoritarianism, and the führer-principle?

as evidence that he is sympathetic to national anarchism.

Well I think he makes a convincing case that "nationalist anarchism" is not fascism. It is inherently racist and/or xenophobic. Bad enough! But while fascism is racist and xenophobic, racism and xenophobia is not always fascist.

I'm sad to hear about this scandal. Like others, I'm waiting on evidence before making any judgments. I really hope it's not true!

I'm not sure why this was down voted? Let me be clear, I think "national anarchism" is shameful, dangerous, and terrible due to it being racist/xenophobic. I just don't think it's fascist. Why? Because it is stateless and *the state is an essential part of fascism.* As for saying that racists/xenophobes aren't always fascist, I thought this was obvious? Again to be clear, I think racists/xenophobes are always horrendous, whether they're fascist or not.

If there's something wrong with my post, please educate me, tell me. I try to be open minded to my mistakes.

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, despite decades of wrangling between historians of the "archetypal" fascist regimes of the mid-20th century, there is no common agreed definition of the essential characteristics of fascism. From a definition of fascism that emphasises it as a form of extreme statism, then the quoted text is just a logical conclusion from that premiss. Obviously, if you took an alternative definition like Roger Griffen's "palingenetic ultranationalism" then NA would clearly fall within that scope. The debate on what characterises fascism is open and not a simple left-right one, in terms of sides and competing definitions. It's certainly not a basis for finger-pointing or imputing closet fash or racist sympathies to anyone.

rooieravotr

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think "national anarchism" is shameful, dangerous, and terrible due to it being racist/xenophobic. I just don't think it's fascist. Why? Because it is stateless and *the state is an essential part of fascism.*

I think that will not do. National anarchism is not stateless; it implies a state in practice even if it denies it in words. Racism/ xenophobia, if it ha top be imposed to society, will need a violent authority to do so. Communities built upon racism cannot do without a state to keep them "pure" in their racist terms. The stateless character of national anarchism is shallow, a state is implied by the whole logic of its arguments, weh ther adherents recognize it or not. National anarchism is, at the very least, a close relative of fascism.

By the way, I accept that my post borders on off-topic. On the Schmidt controversy, I think we should wait for clarification from the side of AK Press, and Schmidt 's reaction to such clarification, before condemning or supporting him in this case. Hasty and ininformed judgements tend to be bad judgements. The way AK brings the news - condemnation without evidence - does not seem right to me.

seahorse

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

Yeah, despite decades of wrangling between historians of the "archetypal" fascist regimes of the mid-20th century, there is no common agreed definition of the essential characteristics of fascism.

Ah. I had no idea there was a controversy.

ocelot

an alternative definition like Roger Griffen's "palingenetic ultranationalism" then NA would clearly fall within that scope.

Yep, that's a clear fit. Nationalist "anarchism" (oh god the abuse the word anarchism has taken!) is definitely fascist if it's defined on these grounds.

rooieravotr

I think that will not do. National anarchism is not stateless; it implies a state in practice even if it denies it in words. Racism/ xenophobia, if it ha top be imposed to society, will need a violent authority to do so.

True, I could easily see a state developing. But I could also imagine it being enforced through mob violence. Or militias of volunteers with elected commanders. (How Durruti would spin in his grave!)

rooieravotr

I think we should wait for clarification from the side of AK Press, and Schmidt 's reaction to such clarification, before condemning or supporting him in this case. Hasty and ininformed judgements tend to be bad judgements. The way AK brings the news - condemnation without evidence - does not seem right to me.

Totally agree. It's really fucking with my head because I don't know whether to despise the guy for being a racist/fascist or to feel sorry for him that his reputation is being wrongly dragged through the shit pile! Before the announcement I respected him, so being in this limbo zone of not knowing how to feel or what to think of him has been a bit draining emotionally. I wish AK Press had delayed the announcement until they were ready to put the evidence forward.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rooieravotr

I think "national anarchism" is shameful, dangerous, and terrible due to it being racist/xenophobic. I just don't think it's fascist. Why? Because it is stateless and *the state is an essential part of fascism.*

I think that will not do. National anarchism is not stateless; it implies a state in practice even if it denies it in words. Racism/ xenophobia, if it ha top be imposed to society, will need a violent authority to do so. Communities built upon racism cannot do without a state to keep them "pure" in their racist terms. The stateless character of national anarchism is shallow, a state is implied by the whole logic of its arguments, weh ther adherents recognize it or not. National anarchism is, at the very least, a close relative of fascism.

By the way, I accept that my post borders on off-topic

True but it is probably a debate that is long overdue, considering most of us would have spent a fair chunk of time defining so called anarcho-capitalism. Anything claiming the name of anarchism should be subject to a rigorous critique. I would agree with the close relative of fascism but not full on fascism classification. I think the most likely scenario would be a drift towards traditional statist fascism but would be cautious about declaring it a fait accompli. Given that a revolution could well require a racist minority to be suppressed through means of force, I don't think it is impossible that a racist majority, using democratic (albeit racially exclusionary) committees could enforce it without the traditional state, however, whatever it is, it is not anarchism. There is still a hierarchy, and it is an idea that needs to be crushed, like it's statist cousin.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I could easily see a statless society being racist. A community of racists could democratically enact racist measures. I think what's being confused here is governance and a state.

Even in a statless society(emphasis on society) there will be governance and forms of coercion and incentives(even in the most primitive societies this has been the case). A racist community(majority of members are racist) could forcibly exclude minorities from there community as much as they would capitalist enterprises. However, if the society included different "races" but "included " them as seperate classes with a subordinate or less equal class for the upper class to exploit; that would be a (racially based) class system which would then require a true "state" to enforce the existence of the classes and to mediate between them

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We could likely split this to a different thread, maybe a discussion on the pitfalls of Nationalism in different permutations, but I wanted to make a point:

The social division of labor based upon race, ethnicity, and nation presupposes the ideology of racism. I think this is important to consider, as it poses these categories not as the classic dichotomy of either 'purely ideological/social' or 'actual'. Instead they are the fetish (if you will) of a particular set of historically specific social relations. It further implies that they can be altered, so long as those relations are altered, and that this means we need to go further than "consciousness raising" feel-goodery and two-dimensional views of inherently racists "people" or even individuals. It also means that even with a minority of people holding overtly racist attitudes, their can still exist racist relations of production and distribution, which can engender those attitudes and so on, not to mention structure social life in a way that purposes misery for millions of a particular appearance.

I think it also means that "pure democracy" is a pretty utopian notion, and kinda bleeds into forms of nationalism, because of it's abstract nature; it comments little on the leeway given to those enfranchised in the rural areas of Florida, Georgia, or South Africa for that matter, to deal with what they perceive to be their problem (jewish banksters, immigrants, black "thugs" etc.).

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We could likely split this to a different thread, maybe a discussion on the pitfalls of Nationalism in different permutations,

That would be a good thing.

Steven.

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Going back to the OP, it's been a fair while now and still nothing in the way of evidence from AK…

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

Going back to the OP, it's been a fair while now and still nothing in the way of evidence from AK…

A bit more then a week. I suspect they did not have it together before making an announcement.
Piss poor way for AK to go about this, regardless of the final disposition

pgh2a

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'll ask them to mail me a book, and let them know I'll try to pay in the next week or two.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They said up to two weeks nearly 10 days ago. So they have about 4 days to actually come up with something.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

10 business days

;)

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kingzog

They said up to two weeks nearly 10 days ago. So they have about 4 days to actually come up with something.

Though I tweeted at Alexander Reid Ross a week ago asking when they'd put up the evidence and he said later (last) week, I.E. going by that I was expecting something by Friday.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

At this point I'd rather see a well documented report, then a sloppy rush job.
After all, these are serious charges and someone's reputation is also on the line

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, AK is looking worse and worse by the minute... The report better be damn good and thorough, presenting irrefutable evidence.

Steven.

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Yeah, AK is looking worse and worse by the minute... The report better be damn good and thorough, presenting irrefutable evidence.

Yep. Right now looks like there is no way what they said has any truth to it. Regardless of any evidence, purely on a logical basis it just makes no sense

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What's been the reaction to all this on other anarchist forums, anyone know?

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

What's been the reaction to all this on other anarchist forums, anyone know?

people taking political potshots at platformits from whatever the politics of the speaker are. A few people talking about national anarchism. People complaining how AK PRESS handled it. People who claim they knew forvyears, have evidence, but don't provide it. People requesting the evidence.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wait, how does it logically fall apart because the elapse of time?

Serge Forward

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't see why it would fall apart, if there's actual evidence the guy's a fascist. It wouldn't however change the fact that AK have dealt with this piss poorly.

ajjohnstone

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AK have dealt with this piss poorly

If he is some sort of "infiltrator" but AK Press fails to prove it convincingly, i imagine he could put it out of business with a whole assortment of legal action against them, from libel and defamation to his character to breach of contract in relation to his books.

If that does not occur, would it not be evidence that he is not what they say he is and instead places the general good of the movement before himself by such comradely considerations as not to sue one of the few radical publishers around.

Just an idle thought as like the rest of you i await further developments

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Making accusations without putting one dot of evidence up or adding your own take on it (making shit up) is very disturbing.

After spending 30 minutes reading this thread (such a waste), it makes us left communists look positivally normal in comparison :D

Steven.

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

Wait, how does it logically fall apart because the elapse of time?

Is not the lapse of time which makes it not make sense, it's just what seem to be the facts of the matter so far.

He ran a bunch of accounts on stormfront, on which he said a bunch of racist stuff. In the absence of anything else, this seems to be the bulk of the evidence.

Now he says he set these up as part of his job as an investigative journalist, which he says his employer can back up.

But AK Press says he is a fascist who has infiltrated the anarchist movement.

But if this were the case, why would he be running multiple accounts on stormfront? Why wouldn't he just have one? And if he was "infiltrating", why would he write Black Flame? Surely he would be disrupting things, like antifascist activities, or leaking information about antifa activists etc which ZACF would probably have been able to figure out.

It just doesn't make any sense

radicalgraffiti

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

He ran a bunch of accounts on stormfront, on which he said a bunch of racist stuff. In the absence of anything else, this seems to be the bulk of the evidence.

this is not the evidence though, its his deffence, of cause it doesn't make him look like a fascist infiltrate.
there are a couple of strange things about it though, he says he was found out when an anarchist recognized his face, like he posted his face on storm front? this seems spectacularly baldly judged, regardless of why he was running the account.
Also, his thing about how he was ill and didn't know what he was writing, sounds like hes tried to set up a plausible deniability for something form that period.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If he was infiltrating the white nationalist movement for so long, where are his voluminous works on it? He was specifically doing it for an employer, for whom it was his job to publish articles, correct? Shouldn't we see these articles? Shouldn't we be able to find them?

Further, the terminology regarding fascism is a clusterfuck; I think the person who is drafting the article, Alex Reid Ross, has said multiple times that he "moonlighted" as a white nationalist, which is a different diagnosis than "was a fascist infiltrator." Further, this charecterization, freed somewhat from hyperbole, corresponds with what he posted (if indeed his name was KarelianBlue) and what he admitted he posted (The Black Battlefront stuff, which specifically mentions Makhno and I think NA, stuff) which KarelianBlue posts about on stormfront (bolstering the fact that this handle is Michael; why not read the posts by Karelianblue where he discusses his lamentation that there are no race-aware white women in SA, alongside very National Anarchist sounding posts).

I don't think we'll have any degree of closure on this stuff until/unless AK press release their documentation and it backs it up, but I thought I'd offer up an interpretation that, while lacking full qualification, makes some coherent sense.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

If he was infiltrating the white nationalist movement for so long, where are his voluminous works on it? He was specifically doing it for an employer, for whom it was his job to publish articles, correct? Shouldn't we see these articles? Shouldn't we be able to find them?

Setting up fake profiles on stormfront and other white supremacist sites is standard practice for antifa. As well as setting up fake racist profiles on facebook/twitter and linking to other racists in social media. One of the best ways to get some intel is tell them you are a teenage racist woman.

Its not all that surprising that if a fake profile is accepted and hasn't been outed as antifa that someone would keep it for later use. Occasionally post it it to keep it active. Overtime, the longevity of the profile that hasn't been outed as antifa grants it further legitimacy. Usually these things break down when the online persona is requested to appear out in person in the real world.

Alex Reid Ross, has said multiple times that he "moonlighted" as a white nationalist, which is a different diagnosis than "was a fascist infiltrator."

SInce Ross is also doing a book on fascism and is clearly looking at stormfront, I wouldn't be surprised if Ross also didn't have some fake accounts.

where he discusses his lamentation that there are no race-aware white women in SA

"Where are all the white women at?" is such a standard refrain in white nationalists circles. Which is why it tends to make them vulnerable in the short term to antifa pretending to be "race-aware white women". Ofcourse, that's a short term game because the white nationalists males really really really want to meet white nationalist females in person. Posts lamenting the lack of racist white women is just fitting in. Ofcourse my understanding is that Schmidt's two fake personas were married!

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think speculation is helpful. The truth of things like whether he was hospitalised/medicated or working as an undercover journalist cannot be determined by miscellaneous people (myself included) chatting on the internet, it's a question of evidence (e.g. medical records, his editor's corroboration).

Unless there was an urgent reason to go public, that's the kind of minimal due diligence to do before making serious public allegations. Otherwise all sorts of cognitive biases come in to play - people make up their mind in advance then only see confirmation in whatever evidence is subsequently released, people see a big shitstorm and assume the truth must be somewhere in the middle etc.

This is from the conclusion a guide to dealing with (suspected) infiltrators that came out of the Spycops experiences:

Activist Security

...gossip is destructive. We cannot emphasise enough how dangerous it is to idly speculate with a group of friends about whether someone might be a grass or informer without substantiating it. It is detrimental to a group’s internal dynamic and invariably the subject of the gossip will hear about it or pick up on it. The allegation should never be made lightly or without proof.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Activist Security wrote:
...gossip is destructive. We cannot emphasise enough how dangerous it is to idly speculate with a group of friends about whether someone might be a grass or informer without substantiating it. It is detrimental to a group’s internal dynamic and invariably the subject of the gossip will hear about it or pick up on it. The allegation should never be made lightly or without proof.

Yes, a million times yes. And this is why AK should have released the evidence right away.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think speculation is helpful.

Really. Can't folks just let this drop until something real and substantial -- or not -- comes out, win, loose or draw.

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the meantime Black Flame is now "out of stock" at AK Press UK and US, amazon.co.uk* has 2 left in stock and amazon US has only 20 left.

Within a few weeks this book will have effectively been banned by its publishers (who presumably hold the copyright, preventing anyone else publishing it).

I may not agree with all of the political lines developed in that book, but nonetheless I consider it a useful contribution to anarchist historiography. If any state agency had banned it, we'd be in uproar. Somehow the fact that an anarchist publisher has banned it, on the basis of - so far - fuck all evidence, seems to pass without comment. It may be a little premature to say we owe the state security services an ironic round of applause, but evenso...

----
*disclaimer: no endorsement of choosing to buy or not buy from amazon is implied

no1

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree that we need to wait for the actual report to come out and not speculate. AK have said MS is "an undercover fascist" trying to "infiltrate the anarchist movement". To my mind this statement implies that he has been acting in the interest of a fascist organisation or wider movement, for example by disclosing the identity of anti-fascists, or by passing on harmful information about the anarchist movement. So I would expect AK to have evidence of actual activity like that - if it's all just about him expressing dodgy views or associating with fascists online, then that will fall far far short of the accusation they have made.

However, regardles of whether the accusations will stand up or not, AK have acted in an appalling manner by making public accusations without making the evidence public at the same time.

Steven.

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

In the meantime Black Flame is now "out of stock" at AK Press UK and US, amazon.co.uk* has 2 left in stock and amazon US has only 20 left.

Within a few weeks this book will have effectively been banned by its publishers (who presumably hold the copyright, preventing anyone else publishing it).

They are fine with us hosting an online copy of it here: https://libcom.org/library/black-flame-volume-1-lucien-van-der-walt-michael-schmidt

888

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

ocelot

In the meantime Black Flame is now "out of stock" at AK Press UK and US, amazon.co.uk* has 2 left in stock and amazon US has only 20 left.

Within a few weeks this book will have effectively been banned by its publishers (who presumably hold the copyright, preventing anyone else publishing it).

They are fine with us hosting an online copy of it here: https://libcom.org/library/black-flame-volume-1-lucien-van-der-walt-michael-schmidt

Make sure you don't take it down, it's still valuable whether or not he's a fascist.

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

ocelot

In the meantime Black Flame is now "out of stock" at AK Press UK and US, amazon.co.uk* has 2 left in stock and amazon US has only 20 left.

Within a few weeks this book will have effectively been banned by its publishers (who presumably hold the copyright, preventing anyone else publishing it).

They are fine with us hosting an online copy of it here: https://libcom.org/library/black-flame-volume-1-lucien-van-der-walt-michael-schmidt

Well if they have signalled that they won't pursue libcom for copyright for hosting an online copy, then that's a good thing.

I think the availability of printed paper books is still a significant channel of insertion, in terms of stocking and restocking public and educational establishment libraries, individuals preferences for reading long works in book form, etc. I still think unpublishing the physical book is an act of censorship that damages the study of anarchism as a historical movement.

edit: I mean it's pretty crass that (unless something changes) as of next year an undergrad student of politics in, say, Lagos, will be able to get a copy of Mein Kampf from the library, but not Black Flame because, er...

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I didn't even think black flame was very good.....

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In pulling or leaving on line BF. while not my politics, I wouldn't pull it either.

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

I didn't even think black flame was very good.....

If you search for "history of anarchism" on amazon.com or amazon.co.uk* you get Peter Marshall at #1 on both, and the US site mentions Nettlau's book. The UK site doesn't (and amusingly has "Donald Trump for President the 2016 Election Guide" as the number 4 result, someone taketh the piss. methinks...).

Much as I appreciate Nettlau's short intro, it's over 100 years old and is, at best, idiosyncratic, and at worst not much more credible as a serious scholarly source, by today's standards, as your average food not bombs pamphlet on knitting your own undies from skipped materials.

Peter Marshall, is imo, also entirely unsuitable. If BF did anything useful, starting by nailing the "Seven Sages" historiography has to be welcomed.

But the main point is, although all historians inevitably have their own political agenda to push, the other quality of their work is the amount of research and referenced sources and "facts" they include in their argumentation. The point being that even if you disagree with the particular political line they are pushing, they are at the same time providing you with the sources to check their workings and proposing "facts" that can be counter-checked by your own research. In the historiography of the Third Reich, for e.g., there are right-wing historians who, in the process of advocating a political interpretation any vaguely left-wing reader would reject, have contributed enormously towards the historiography of the period by the amount and quality of research they assemble - as even their most ardent Marxist and other leftist historiographer opponents will attest.

Agree or disagree with BF, it raises the bar (admittedly from a very low level) of existing historiography of the global movement (leaving aside the relatively higher quality of work in more temporarily and geographically focused work). If anarchist historiographers of the present and the future want to argue for a different interpretation, then they will have to do so on the basis of an equal or greater amount of research and verifiable sources (or be dismissed as mere opinion or propaganda). That's a good thing.

In a similar vein, I may not share Anarcho's enthusiasm for Proudhon or mutualism, but I welcome the effect of his work in countering the mouldering morass of slander, half-truths and outright fibs, that decades of lazy Marxist sectarianism has piled on those topics and anarchism in general. I may not find the AFAQ something I want to take as my poolside reading on my holliers, but I think it is an important contribution also.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've always been a big advocate of Guerin's book, though it's a bit older. I also think that the scholarship (actual scholarship) on any specific topics in anarchism/anarchist history, are much more useful than a poor synthesis (Avrich for example). But I think we're derailing the thread again, perhaps we could start another?

factvalue

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

temporally

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

I've always been a big advocate of Guerin's book, though it's a bit older. I also think that the scholarship (actual scholarship) on any specific topics in anarchism/anarchist history, are much more useful than a poor synthesis (Avrich for example). But I think we're derailing the thread again, perhaps we could start another?

Meh

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, its been over 2 weeks now. Alex Ross said expect something "this week" on Sept 28. Then he said 5 days ago, something by the end of the week. So any minute now.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meh to the thread? Meh to Guerin? MEH TO AVRICH!

I MUST KNOW!!!

:P

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

Meh to the thread? Meh to Guerin? MEH TO AVRICH!
I MUST KNOW!!!
:P

To Guerin's "Anarchism"..... When I first read it in the 1970s it sorta confused me a bit.
"Black Flag" expanded the bounds of syndicalism in certain directions, "Anarchism" did so in a marxist direction. As did another early book I read, Cohen-Bendit "Obsolete Communism"
[ https://libcom.org/history/obsolete-communism-left-wing-alternative ]

Battlescarred

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Marinas?

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Battlescarred

Marinas?

Sorry, my cell phone must be thinking nautical
I corrected it to read: marxist

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

But I think we're derailing the thread again, perhaps we could start another?

Guilty as charged, I'm afraid. My bad. Might be an interesting thread (like syndicalist I'm also a bit meh on Guerin and Cohn-Bendit)

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Update:

Alexander Reid-Ross

For those of y'all anticipating the coming report, I'm sorry that it's taken so long to get out to you. My co-author and I have been taking appropriate steps to have the report properly vetted by third parties, which has taken longer than expected. Depending on what we hear this evening, we're probably going to begin release of the report tomorrow, barring any further complications that may arise. As a side note: those who have been associating the report with AK Press are missing the mark a bit—while AK has offered support in researching the piece, they are not responsible for the report's contents nor for the span of time it has taken to publish it. Thanks very much for your patience in this process.

https://www.facebook.com/sasha.reidross/posts/917745164270

Still nothing to say about the allegations without seeing the evidence and Schmidt's response, but regarding the side-note I can say this isn't how either common sense or legal liability works. AK Press have made an allegation without providing any evidence for it. I'd be shocked if a *publisher* wasn't aware that that could constitute libel.

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Someone messaged me about why anarchists should care about libel law here. May as well post answer here too:

If you believe someone is a hostile infiltrator but you're not in a position to substantiate it, and yet you publish the allegation anyway, then you are giving a hostile infiltrator the opportunity to bankrupt you with a libel suit.

If you believe the allegations to be true, this is clearly a bad idea because it gives a hostile party an opportunity to bankrupt you.

If you don't believe (or aren't sure) the allegations are true, then it's a bad idea to publish the allegations in the first place.

In this instance, it sounds like AK have taken it on trust from Alexander Reid-Ross, but having published (and possibly Chinese-whispered the allegation into something else, since ARR has said 'moonlighting' not 'infiltrating') they're now a hostage to fortune, relying on a third party to substantiate the allegations they've put their name to.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I guess I wonder at what point does a publisher intervene in matters of unreleased allegations ?
And while I get that AK is not writing the report, unless their prepublication info is so dead on, it all seems out of sorts to me. But I'm not a publisher and obviously can't get inside other peoples heads

rudo

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

so... "About six months ago, we started hearing some disturbing rumors that one of our authors, Michael Schmidt, was an undercover fascist. Soon after, another one of our authors, Alexander Reid Ross, provided us with actual evidence"

If that's the case why the fuck is the attempts to verify this evidence through 3rd parties occuring now after the public allegation? You had 6 fucking months to do that!

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This was just posted on the internal WSA list. this is Part 1 of what will be a multi-part report released over a period of time.

I HAVE NOT READ IT YET. and posting only to share the information received

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-1-1a6fa255b528

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

sat down comfortably on Schmidt’s wooden furniture in his spacious garden, near a lemon tree

White Swiss Shepherd puppies

All we need to know really.

Rob Ray

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From a skim:

[*]That initial bit about saying blacks can't organise seems pretty bleedin' bad
[*]His proposals to split ZACF into black/white cadres are uh... yeah.
[*]Not sure about the whole blaming him on his tod for the split, seems a stretch.
[*]The key document Ross is working off is this ZACF confidential internal document which does look pretty bonkers
[*]ZACF has some explaining to do regarding their response, or lack of it, to Schmidt's writeup

That said, the article could have done with a whole lot less about his lovely house/celeb friends/drinking problems imo, which tbh just come across as petty ad hominems. I mean lines like "in local conditions of anarchist organisation, middle-class white activists are peerless" prompt enough questions without going all Rita Skeeter about it.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, after having read the article I think it is obvious- Schmidt is definitely a racist.

AK press handled this wrong, so there is a lesson to be learned there, but now that Alexander Ross has finally delivered we can see the evidence and its very compelling.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lookin' grim.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kingzog

Well, after having read the article I think it is obvious- Schmidt is definitely a racist.

AK press handled this wrong, so there is a lesson to be learned there, but now that Alexander Ross has finally delivered we can see the evidence and its very compelling.

I'll wait until all the stuff is actually out, Not just piece meal.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Whoever downed my comment is a fucking jerk. really, you don't even want to see all the evidnece? Unless you know the person and have heard him make racist remarks, at least let everything be put on the table

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's almost like a daily Mail serialisation of a allegation with the aim releasing bits at a time to keep the story going for entertainment purposes.

Soapy

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

storm in a teacup

Jim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm not even convinced Schmidt is a racist after reading that, sure he makes what appear to be some seriously dodgy comments but there's nothing there which 100% confirms he is a racist.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

storm in a teacup

yes, it is. but it's our teacup hence the interest.

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The MS document is really disgusting and racist. i hope nobody is going to buy that this is some sort of "description" or some shit like that.

is it not obvious?

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

akai

nobody is going to buy that this is some sort of "description"

Sorry, description of?

Serge Forward

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not read it yet but I'm okay with spoilers. So.... do any dead pigs get fucked?

A few mins later... I've give it a skim on my phone and prima facie (pardon my Latin) it looks pretty damn damning. Bugger me. Those quotes from Schmidt, from the earlier Zabalaza document... have ZACF people verified it? If so, I'd say he's got some very dodgy racist views, though not fascist as I understand the term.

pgh2a

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Of course if we assume, for the sake of argument, that his comments are racist, that still doesn't mean he is a white supremacist. Of course it puts his "undercover work" in an arguably different light.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Again, we can deliberate all day long about the nuanced differences between a "white nationalist" and a "white supremacist" the reality is that they go hand in hand ("The white anarchist are *better* than the black ones!"). Those ideas have no place in a communist organization or movement like nationalist ideas more broadly.

Shame that on his development as a radical did not involve a thorough theoretical routing of nationalist myths and thinking.

There is no national road to communism/anarchism.

klas batalo

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from everything i know so far i think it is very fair and easy to claim that he has bad race politics, even racist politics, but still believe they have a huge hill to climb before being able to prove without a doubt that he was a white nationalist infiltrator. i think it will come down more as he made a political turn and/ or flirted with shit politics. they are apparently sitting on another like 3 parts, fucking losers not being responsible and just releasing it to protect the movement and put this issue to a rest. that leaves all of us to what i think syndicalist puts forth, we will have to wait for the full expose i guess to really know.

Serge Forward

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Shit method of infiltration if your technique involves writing a document chock full of racist twaddle then inviting your comrades round to chat about it and tease out any issues.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Having just skimmed the document myself, I don't think I have anything new to add. Yeah, that document looks racist as shit - but it doesn't prove he's a fascist or an infiltrator.

AK has been shit in how they've dealt with this and a more honest accounting of Schmidt's politics would have done them and the movement a much greater justice. As it stands now, it looks like hyperbole, absurdly flowery language, and this serializing thing - they should have had this shit ready to go the day they made the accusation. And if there was a good reason to delay their evidence, they haven't presented it.

Any response from Schmidt yet?

vicent

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That document helps explain why Zabalaza seems so disconnected from the proles, you would never imagine that South Africa has had consistently high (probably highest in the world) level of class struggle, from reading their media. Michael had used the platform to allow the whites to control the blacks, who all left en masse.
Hopefully this spurs a recomposition in the anti state left because the proles in South Africa desperately need radical and independent media to allow communication and reflection amongst themselves

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

1. Has a stormfront account with years of posts spouting racist shit. (claims it was for research for newspaper articles that don't exist)
2. Advocated(maybe still currently does) a white vanguard.

Yep, lookin' grim.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How is this all playing out within Zabalaza, anybody know?

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Honestly, I don't think it even matters whether or not he was a true infiltrator. Like, after reading all his stormfront shit and def after the article- what difference does it make? Yeah AK made a big mistake the way they announced it, sure. Bigger issue is how and why someone like Schmidt made this "turn" or whatever and also this issue of national anarchism and nationalism in anarchism in general. I think anarchos have some "soul searching to do"

no1

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I really dislike the journalistic style and serialisation. This isn't meant to be a feature in some shitty newspaper supplement, and we're not your audience asking to be entertained. Please give us the facts and leave out the editorialising.
Schmidt sounds like a racist shitbag, but we need to work out what kind of racist shitbag. So far there's nothing in there supporting the notion he's a 'fascist infiltrator' - making him out to be some kind of outside agent seems like a way to dissociate the wider milieu from culpability.
Also, the attempt to associate platformism and more generally class politics with white supremacism is beneath contempt.

Jim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kingzog

Honestly, I don't think it even matters whether or not he was a true infiltrator. Like, after reading all his stormfront shit and def after the article- what difference does it make? Yeah AK made a big mistake the way they announced it, sure. Bigger issue is how and why someone like Schmidt made this "turn" or whatever and also this issue of national anarchism and nationalism in anarchism in general. I think anarchos have some "soul searching to do"

If he was a true infiltrator he's potentially been passing information on anarchists around the world to the far-right which could put hundreds of people at risk. The amount of information he will have been able to gather as a respected author who has toured the world and leading anarchist in his own country will be massive. Think about all the comrades who will have met him, who will have put him up, worked along him etc. If you think the far-right getting hold of that kind of information is less important than some philosophical shit about political positions your priorities are fucked up.

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kingzog

Honestly, I don't think it even matters whether or not he was a true infiltrator. Like, after reading all his stormfront shit and def after the article- what difference does it make?

Because if he's an infiltrator the immediate concern is security - has he ever had access to membership lists, email lists, did he ever request info on people buying his book or solicit active anti-fascists to contact him for 'research' etc?

If he's 'just' got racist rationalisations for the proles not following his vanguard grouplet that has different implications; how was this dealt with within ZACF, who was aware, were suspicions investigated/acted upon?

I was expecting a document dump with a summary explaining the contents and provenence of the documents. I guess we'll just have to stay tuned for the next thrilling episode from the author of the forthcoming book Against the Fascist Creep (AK Press) [pre-order your copy now!].

Ed

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

I was expecting a document dump with a summary explaining the contents and provenence of the documents. I guess we'll just have to stay tuned for the next thrilling episode from the author of the orthcoming book Against the Fascist Creep (AK Press) [pre-order your copy now!].

This is actually the bit that really pisses me off tbh. Considering how serious the implications are if true, it's a bit of a pisstake for the Reed Ross guy to be using it to milk as much publicity for his upcoming book as possible..

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fwiw, Alexander Reid-Ross's book blurb makes the following claim:

AK Press

Against the Fascist Creep maps the connections and names the names, showing how infiltration is a conscious and clandestine program for white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups. After the election of Obama, their activity expanded, and they have attempted to co-opt new social movements against the financial crisis and police repression to influence both mainstream and radical groups, including anarchists.

So there's presumably much more to come to substantiate the claim of a global clandestine infiltration program.

Jim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

At the moment the way Reid-Ross has handled this leads me to believe the book will be shit, poorly researched and leaping to a load of incorrect conclusions. Like a lot of the claims in the blurb sound like nonsense.

ajjohnstone

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

One person at the meeting, who asked not to be named for this piece, recalled, “Michael asked about thoughts on the document. Everyone was awkwardly quiet and pretended they hadn’t read it.”

Umm...what does this say about the group as a whole...that they refrained from any criticism of another comrade (even if the meeting was held in his home)...reminded me of what i read in the Tyranny of Structurelessness...members a political group reluctant to disagree with a "leader" figure. I'm used to comrades challenging every dot and comma.

The quoted document certainly doesn't represent an anarchist critique as i understand it to be but more a Trotskyist uneven development of consciousness analysis. Some of it such as the Brasilian analogy was above my head, i have to confess, though

I have concerns with this Reid-Ross who feels it necessary to pad out his expose by telling us Schmidt lives in a cosy bungalow and has two pedigree dogs if this makes any difference if he lived in a single-end tenement with a mongrel. We simply wish the evidence laid out in a oner, for us to read everything and not go flicking back and forth separate posts.

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

How is this all playing out within Zabalaza, anybody know?

I hear that Zabalaza intend to await seeing the whole of the case for the prosecution and Schmidt's defence to same, before making their statement on both. Which, arguably, is probably the only approach that approximates natural justice

(with the obvious caveat that the emergence of any evidence of an actual security threat to comrades who have had contact with Schmidt in the past would justify a more expedited response.)

edit: goes without saying that I am equally frustrated with everybody else by this "tune into next week's exciting installment" approach, which is not only crass and completely inappropriate, but at this rate will drag all this out for weeks if not months before the Zabs get a chance to have their say.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How.... Invested are people in black flame as a resource or the "zabs" as point people in SA (what like 6 people?) that they're not seeing the writing on the wall here.....? The implication is that they knew his politics for years and did nothing. And yet we all whine about ak and Reid Ross ( not excusing then either but let's keep it in perspective).

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to his Facebook

next one on Wednesday

Rob Ray

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh Jesus don't start that again, no-one's "invested" in anything, no-one's arguing Schmidt's article is anything but awful. Criticisms of how Ross and AK have broached the subject are just that, not precursors to some conspiracy to shut down discussion.

As a request, if there's going to be debate can we please just keep it on the subject matter rather than insinuating dodgy motives on the part of anyone disagreeing.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

IMO there's an odd smell of Leninism off the document - replace black with working class and you pretty much have passages straight out of What is to be done? He also uses the exact phrase, "better fewer but better" that was the title of a Lenin essay. The vanguard logic - which is on a whole different level to any platformism I'm familiar with - taken to an extreme by white people in a society like South Africa is logically going to bring about racist conclusions. So there is that, and the bizarre aside on how he identifies as opposed to how Lucien identifies. Then there is the bit where he says he is not arguing for permanent segragation and praising mostly black organisations elsewhere, it makes for a very confused piece with a strong elitist tone and conclusions that can only be described as racist - though if he had simply said that the poor level of education inherited from apartheid South Africa and the cultural hegemony of black nationalism makes it difficult to recruit to anarchism from the majority black population - it probably would have been fine. To deny these things were major factors would be to deny that religion and sectarianism were factors in the six counties. The terms, 'not capable' and white vanguard are where the racism lies in his conclusions - but certainly no proof of fascist infiltration.

On Reid Ross, I'm quite annoyed about how he's playing this, which seems to put his journalistic ambitions ahead of any sense of justice. As I said to him on twitter "you should be releasing the evidence that he's a fascist, not a serialised Norman Maileresque version of it." I want to know if the allegation is still of fascist infiltration or if it is drift towards National Anarchism or that he has a tendency towards dodgy racist views (clearly it's at least the last one). I want to see all the documents that prove this (with relevant sections highlighted).

If the answer is fascist infiltration, I want to know to what end, what information has been gathered, is anyone in danger? If it is NA, what is his game? Why did he write all those books, is there a hidden message in them that leans towards NA, what has he done organisationally, for, within the NA movement? If it is that he has dodgy racist views, why not just say that in the first place?

It really isn't the time for flowery prose and I don't care what kind of dogs he has or what their names are or about knowing about his home decor preferences (unless there's a lot of swastikas and celtic crosses about the place)

Rob Ray

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If the answer is fascist infiltration, I want to know to what end, what information has been gathered, is anyone in danger?

This should be the priority stuff, because it's the most time sensitive. There's all the space in the world to expound on documents highlighting racist tendencies, but if he's an infiltrator and he thinks he's being outed then it needs to be on the table asap so affected comrades can do something about it.

If Schmidt is indeed fact gathering for fash and knows he's soon to be exposed then he's just had two weeks to copy and paste everything he can get his hands on, tap up people who don't know about it or who are unconvinced there's anything wrong, sow discord and disruption, bury important follow-up evidence pointing to any allies etc, and the clock's still ticking.

jef costello

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

guess we'll just have to stay tuned for the next thrilling episode from the author of the forthcoming book Against the Fascist Creep (AK Press) [pre-order your copy now!].

I really hoped this was a joke.

So Michael Schmidt is a racist, although he sounds more like a patronising elitist who couches racism in "I'm not racist but .." constructions than a fascist infiltrator.

As has been said if the interest here is the anarchist movement then getting this information out so that militants can defend themselves is the priority, not acting like someone trying to build up buzz. Exposing a fascist infiltrator or denouncing a comrade is a serious thing, it's not a marketing tool.

kingzog

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

if he was a true infiltrator he's potentially been passing information on anarchists around the world to the far-right which could put hundreds of people at risk. The amount of information he will have been able to gather as a respected author who has toured the world and leading anarchist in his own country will be massive. Think about all the comrades who will have met him, who will have put him up, worked along him etc. If you think the far-right getting hold of that kind of information is less important than some philosophical shit about political positions your priorities are fucked up.

And just what would they do with this "info"? What sort of info? Personal info? What would they do with it? Especially in this age of fb and the internet where there is so much public about ones life?

really, I think you are thinking the anarchist " movement " is more significant than it really is. The most an infiltrator could do, realistically the best use of their situation, would be to poach people over to their side.

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

How.... Invested are people in [...] the "zabs" as point people in SA (what like 6 people?) [...]

Just as an FYI for those that don't know, in the years since MS left ZACF (effectively in 2009) and LvdW dropped down to supporter status, the ZACF has changed in composition substantially such that today it is a majority black organisation, most of whom were not around at the time MS was in the process of leaving the organisation.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Kingzog, I'm a bit too much of a pansy to be heavily involved in anti-fascist stuff, but I can tell you that if, for example, Schmidt was trusted enough to have access to names and numbers from antifa, yeah, him sharing that information could put people seriously at risk. Not to mention the potential access to cut keys or whatever to anarchist spaces.

I mean, you are aware the Freedom bookshop has been f*cking firebombed more than once in its history? Somehow I don't think that was a recruitment exercise...

ocelot

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flava O Flav

Then there is the bit where he says he is not arguing for permanent segragation and praising mostly black organisations elsewhere, it makes for a very confused piece with a strong elitist tone and conclusions that can only be described as racist - though if he had simply said that the poor level of education inherited from apartheid South Africa and the cultural hegemony of black nationalism makes it difficult to recruit to anarchism from the majority black population - it probably would have been fine. To deny these things were major factors would be to deny that religion and sectarianism were factors in the six counties. The terms, 'not capable' and white vanguard are where the racism lies in his conclusions - but certainly no proof of fascist infiltration.

The document is more than confused. It contains this passage, which kinda leaped out at me (but then maybe that's just me).

[Because ....dodgy racist claptrap...] Thus, a libertarian socialist Revolution is impossible in SA under current and foreseeable internal politico-social conditions

It is pretty unsurprising that the author effectively dropped out of the organisation a few months after writing that.

Aside from it's obnoxious content, no actual strategy is proposed in the document. Overall it reads as a confession of despair masquerading as an attempt at self-justification.

Fall Back

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kingzog

And just what would they do with this "info"? What sort of info? Personal info? What would they do with it? Especially in this age of fb and the internet where there is so much public about ones life?

really, I think you are thinking the anarchist " movement " is more significant than it really is. The most an infiltrator could do, realistically the best use of their situation, would be to poach people over to their side.

You're genuinely asking what an organised fascist could do with personal information on anarchists, anti-fascists and anti-racists collected over an extended period of time?

Setting people up for physical attack, costing people their jobs, passing on information of illegal activity to law enforcement, passing information about activists to the media, disrupting planned activities, just as a start.

Sure there are bits of that you could get off Facebook, but there's a shit load more you'd have at your fingertips if you'd posed as people's trusted comrade for 20 years. And we're talking internationally here too, given his travels and profile.

So yes, it does make a huge, practical difference whether he's an infiltrator or not.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So once the white vangaurdist left the racial composition changed dramtically.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kingzog

The most an infiltrator could do, realistically the best use of their situation, would be to poach people over to their side.

They could provide easy information about the location and security of people's homes and a few boneheads could come along to beat or kill someone. But beyond that, nothing to worry about.

Yeah, its not impossible to get people's home addresses if someone is a determined enough investigator, but crime is often as much about opportunity. I don't want to post my home address on stormfront. Sometimes it happens when there is a big arrest of antifa and people usually take steps when that happens. Folks have gotten harassed because of that in the recent past.

Maybe it is best for you not to define what other people are concerned about.

Mr. Jolly

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Soapy

storm in a teacup

Stormfront in a proper tea is theft cup.

Mr. Jolly

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Having just skimmed the document, how come noone said, 'hold on, what did you just say?'

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mr. Jolly

Having just skimmed the document, how come noone said, 'hold on, what did you just say?'

How do we know they didn't? Well it seems like they didn't adopt it anyway.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flava O Flav

Well it seems like they didn't adopt it anyway.

Sure, but I don't see how they could have had much hope of political unity with the author and they should have cut ties.

Mr. Jolly

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flava O Flav

Mr. Jolly

Having just skimmed the document, how come noone said, 'hold on, what did you just say?'

How do we know they didn't? Well it seems like they didn't adopt it anyway.

So its a case of 'what goes on in The Cadre stays in The Cadre?'.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fucking christ. I don't think it's a conspiracy; I think it's a sense of guilt manifesting as doubt. The amount of vacillating here and among some anarchists is pretty despicable. Just because you gave BF a positive review doesn't make you an accidental racist, you can cut ties, it's no big deal.

Fall Back

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

Fucking christ. I don't think it's a conspiracy; I think it's a sense of guilt manifesting as doubt. The amount of vacillating here and among some anarchists is pretty despicable. Just because you gave BF a positive review doesn't make you an accidental racist, you can cut ties, it's no big deal.

Who are you even arguing with here? Saying AK have fucked up or doubting whether he's a fascist infiltrator isn't vacillating. It's attempting to get to the bottom of what's happened.

As far as I see here, no one has said anything that implies he isn't a white supremacist or that this isn't a problem.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry, I was following it on FB a bit too and there was some shitty hair splitting and vacillating, even after this first "installment". As for on here it seems that Jim:

I'm not even convinced Schmidt is a racist after reading that, sure he makes what appear to be some seriously dodgy comments but there's nothing there which 100% confirms he is a racist.

And pgh2a:

Of course if we assume, for the sake of argument, that his comments are racist, that still doesn't mean he is a white supremacist. Of course it puts his "undercover work" in an arguably different light.

Are not quite convinced by his advocacy of a white vanguard..... would it help if I drew a tiny mustache on him?

Jim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

When I say I'm not convinced I mean I'm not sure how the statements which are clearly racist fit in with Schmidt's wider outlook and political activity. This seems to be more a case of an active anti-racist and anarchist having some horrific racist politics than a racist infiltrating the anarchist movement to subtly advocate racist politics and cause a shift to the right. But then I don't know what else is going to be released, if it's just the 'research' then I don't know if I can accept this guy is an ideologically committed white nationalist which is what's being alleged. Maybe something more definitive will come out, I don't know.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mr. Jolly

Flava O Flav

Mr. Jolly

Having just skimmed the document, how come noone said, 'hold on, what did you just say?'

How do we know they didn't? Well it seems like they didn't adopt it anyway.

So its a case of 'what goes on in The Cadre stays in The Cadre?'.

What? Where did insinuate that?

ajjohnstone

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

My message #222 relates to that

One person at the meeting, who asked not to be named for this piece, recalled, “Michael asked about thoughts on the document. Everyone was awkwardly quiet and pretended they hadn’t read it.

Umm...what does this say about the group as a whole...that they refrained from any criticism of another comrade (even if the meeting was held in his home)...reminded me of what i read in the Tyranny of Structurelessness...members a political group reluctant to disagree with a "leader" figure. I'm used to comrades challenging every dot and comma.

seahorse

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well fuck. Just got the news. And it's worse than I thought because not only is Michael Schmidt advocating some racist bullshit, but Zabalaza didn't have the decency to kick him out for it or at least vigorously debate him on it.

Well at least I'm very glad to hear this:

ocelot

Just as an FYI for those that don't know, in the years since MS left ZACF (effectively in 2009) and LvdW dropped down to supporter status, the ZACF has changed in composition substantially such that today it is a majority black organisation, most of whom were not around at the time MS was in the process of leaving the organisation.

888

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Seeks most likely that MS gradually adopted racist ideas and moved in a national liberation -> national anarchism direction. My guess would be that he isn't particularly committed to the currently existing far right - his ideal dream would be fostering a large split from platformism/syndicalism towards racial seperatist/nationalist attitudes.

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BTW, somewhere MS has apparently answered in predictable fashion:

Here we can read:

[So it took my former publishers in the US a whole 18 days to come up with a single 2008 internal discussion document in which I ask difficult – and no doubt politically incorrect – questions as to why the ZACF had failed to (at that stage; they have now) attract significant black membership, as their “proof” that for decades I’ve been an undercover white supremacist. I’d say I was devastated if I hadn’t regained my sense of humour about all this buffoonery.

In fact the document was given to them by those who started this whispering campaign against me, so they probably had it 18 days ago; why wait so long? Because they are clutching at straws!

http://antifascistnews.net/2015/10/14/as-expose-is-released-michael-schmidt-continues-to-deny/

Having a lot of experience with these kinds of people (nationalist, authoritarian vanguard white males), this is exactly the type of response l expected. lnstead of addressing the issue in any meaningful way, claiming that people who complained about it are fools. And of course the explanation that this was an attempt to ask difficult questions.

l don't know about all of you, but l have been in discussions about what happens in groups with women, about how foreigners, people of color, etc. feel and sometimes are not integrated. The last time was at the Balkan Anarchosyndicalist Conference. ln addition to this, l brought up how organizations can be based too much on intellectual activity or create an atmosphere where people from outside any established political milieu feel alienated. l would consider talks like that to be honest efforts to deal with problems we see and they are very, very different than Schmidt's disgusting vanguard shit.

Schmidt may even eventually argue that he was merely thinking that segregated groups would allow better cohesion or whatever bullshit he might come up with. l am gonna keeps tabs on who are so foolish to believe that stuff. l am especially curious about claims that other Platformist organizations were consulted on these issues. l know some of them he mentioned to have shady politics on national questions and am now wondering how shady they can really get in private conversations.

Yes, the good news is the vanguardist, racist douchebag and his cohort pulled away a bit and the organization could develop in probably a healthier direction.

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

akai

l am especially curious about claims that other Platformist organizations were consulted on these issues.

Just to nip this in the bud, I'd imagine the best candidate Schmidt might try to shop this around would be the U.S. with its recent history of segregation, how the left is often still racially divided including in the anarchist milieu (as well as in the IWW), a history of black nationalism in the left, ongoing racist police issues, a common language of English (since that is what Schmidt is writing in so no translation needed).

At the time, NEFAC was the largest platformist group in the U.S. and it was engaged in dialogues with other class struggle groups about some sort of regroupment. That was around the time of Northeastern Anarchist Issue #13, Spring 2008. This document was never presented to the membership. I never heard of it.

So maybe we could hold off on the whole "how many platformists know about this?" particularly when it is a vague assertion.

l know some of them he mentioned to have shady politics on national questions and am now wondering how shady they can really get in private conversations.

If you are going to talk shit on an organization's politics... do it. State the organization and point to the politics. But probably just about any other time would be better to do it than during this serialized drama release of evidence.

Fall Back

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Having a lot of experience with these kinds of people (nationalist, authoritarian vanguard white males), this is exactly the type of response l expected. lnstead of addressing the issue in any meaningful way, claiming that people who complained about it are fools.

This is surely part of the whole giant fuck up AK (and AK made the initial allegation, backed up with their reputation, no amount have of weaselling will change that, they hold responsibility) made.

They've had over 2 weeks to produce the promised evidence they promised. All they've done is produce a document that shows he's a white supremacist, but NOT a fascist infiltrator as they claimed. So of course they've made it easy for him to throw shot at the whole thing, given they haven't even remotely proven what they claimed, or even really attempted it. They may well have demonstrated he's a shit, but this isn't the claim they made.

And let's not ignore the elephant in the room here - the article is ~awful~. Not just politically, but journalistically. The only thing that makes a case against him is his own document. The entire shitty article just weakens it. As time goes on, this is just getting worse, and sorry but just because it's looking pretty certain that Schmidt is a racist prick, doesn't make the irresponsible and potentially dangerous way AK have acted any better. If anything it makes it worse because 'vindication' will just firm up the idea that this was an ok way to act because it all came out right in the end.

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The reason l mentioned some Platformist groups is because MS wrote that ZACF was refounded as a "unitary organization" and in doing so lost its black members in Swaziland, making it a white "national" organization, and that this was done after considering advice from WSM, FdCA and OLC. So yes, l think it is rather legit to ask what kind of advice they gave.

MS does not anywhere mention NEFAC, so that organization is not relevant here.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

akai

The reason l mentioned some Platformist groups is because MS wrote that ZACF was refounded as a "unitary organization" and in doing so lost its black members in Swaziland, making it a white "national" organization, and that this was done after considering advice from WSM, FdCA and OLC. So yes, l think it is rather legit to ask what kind of advice they gave.

It was only a matter of time before the platformist bating kicked in. While I can't shed any light on what discussion took place at the time as I only joined WSM in 2010 (have dropped to supporter status a few months ago so not a full member at the moment either), but racial segragation is not advice that WSM would have given. We've never, for example, advocated for seperate organisations of catholic and protestant in the north of Ireland.

In contrast, our position paper on the partition of Ireland states:

However in opposing imperialism we see no form of nationalism as offering a definitive solution to either the working class in Ireland or the working class across the globe. In the final analysis nationalism argues for a common interest between workers and bosses of one 'nation' against the workers and bosses of another. As anarchists we stand for international working class solidarity against all bosses.

There is an example of the organisation virtually falling apart in the late 80's and paring back to a small cadre but the criticism leveled against those who split (and later joined the SWP) was their emphasis on ideological purity - something I would level at Schmidt and Black Flame.

Furthermore, when we had discussions on the composition of our own organisation, one outcome was this position paper, in which we wrote:

Historically there has been a tension in the left (including much of our own previous work) between recognising what is outlined above and still strategically going on to see unity as being a question of identifying the main contradiction in society and lining up behind a single unifying identity, most often that of a white, male industrial worker. A ‘Unity is Strength’ approach has then all too often meant the silencing or minimising of voices that do not easily fit into this identity.

9. In contrast to this approach we argue that there is a need to give voice to all oppressions, even those that may not affect large groups rather than to silence such voices behind a single representative figure. We recognise that, depending on their life circumstances, people experience oppressions in different ways.

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for the comment. But still would be actually interested in what was said. I also could imagine MS spoke to only one person from those groups but used the name of the org. Those things happen

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Surely we could fill another thread with over 200 posts detailing the problems of platformism.....

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Any sign of part 2 yet? Due out today

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They're North Americans so 'today' is up to 8 hours behind.

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Part 2 is out https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-2-1849e232b943

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Significantly, part 2 includes a denial of Schmidt's cover story by his editor. Looks like he got caught in that lie.

Rob Ray

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ross seems to have dropped most of the flowery language at least, which is something. And there's definitely worrying notes, though the word-by-word analysis of his posts on Stormfront left me a bit cold (the most plausible cover story is the one that requires the least tracking of what you've said - ie. base it on real stuff you can remember).

For my money the worst bits are Ross's note on the "Black Battlefront" national anarchist blog Scmidt set up:

According to a web designer we talked to, Schmidt and a friend pitched him the idea for developing a similar white nationalist internet site as early as 2002

That pitches Schmidt's interest in national anarchism way earlier than any link to what he says was his investigative period.

The key lines from Schmidt's editor:

When we tracked down Brendan Seery — the editor Schmidt claims authorized his journalistic foray into the depths of the white-nationalist internet — he seemed bewildered by Schmidt’s story. “Mike did work for us as a senior reporter and on a number of big stories,” he told us. “[A]nd because of his seniority and the way newspapers work, I would not have to give him permission at all to investigate. That would be something a good investigative journalist would do off his own bat.”

My style as an editor is that journalists should be as upfront as possible in order to get a story with subterfuge only as a last resort,” Seery told us. “If, however, you mean that we ordered or gave permission to him to pose as a right-winger, then I certainly don’t recall that.

And the photos of him wearing/tattooed with hard-right symbols which... I dunno man, how would people not notice that??

It does seem he's seriously flirted with national anarchism for a long time from this anyway.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Edit: cross-posted with Rob Ray.

Was just about to post the exact same thing JK. Here's the quote including the reply from MS's editor:

When we tracked down Brian Seery — the editor Schmidt claims authorized his journalistic foray into the depths of the white-nationalist internet — he seemed bewildered by Schmidt’s story. “Mike did work for us as a senior reporter and on a number of big stories,” he told us. “[A]nd because of his seniority and the way newspapers work, I would not have to give him permission at all to investigate. That would be something a good investigative journalist would do off his own bat.”

Also, it makes me really uncomfortable knowing that he was into all this shit when he went on a speaking tour for Black Flame. We hosted two lectures with him in my city. While the contents of the talk wasn't racist or anything like that, what concerns me is that the dude has gone on a massive speaking tour and have met so many anarchists. I do live in a very right-wing city where Blood and Honour has tried to start up several times. Did he note down people's names? What about addresses? Not that I think I am in any danger (and he didn't stay with me here), but this is something that bothers me a lot. What if he did collect "intel"? Who did he pass it on to? While the case for him being a fascist infiltrator is so far not solid (it's more like he's just a fucking scumbag racist, nationalist)... I dunno. Should people be worried?

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

: Didn't see Rob and others' posts :

seahorse

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Part 2 is sickening. His racism runs so much deeper and more extreme than I would have guessed based on Part 1 alone.

And I'm really pissed off he is using Nestor Makhno as some sort of nationalist-anarchist hero. Yeah right! Makhno executed anti-Semites and would have kicked Michael Schmidt's ass for the shit he advocates.

Edit:
Also, wasn't Ukraine ethnically diverse, and the anarchist movement there reflected that diversity? Sure they were all white, but whiteness being a social construct anyways, and in 1918 that social construct had not made its way to Ukraine. They did not see themselves as a "white race", and their ethnic and cultural differences were deep. The anarchist movement in Ukraine sought unity among the various ethnic groups, did it not?

I'm pretty ignorant about Ukraine demographics (now or in 1918) so maybe I'm overestimating the ethnic diversity there. Does anyone know more about this? But I know at least that Makhno sought unity among Jews and non-Jews, which was a pretty big divide in those times.

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, after reading Part 2, l really question what MS was doing with this blog and profile on Stormfront. ln any case, he went beyond what would be reasonable in an investigation and actually generated new fascist junk on the internet - which would suggest trying to establish a network more than gather information.

And yeah, l would have been a bit suspicious of those tats.

Looking bad.

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to say there are three more instalments to come so Ross says on his Facebook page.

kurekmurek

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

First post

Admin: thread name changed as it's over two weeks with no substantiation yet.

Well you can turn it back to original now :D

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Editor = his boss, bosses never tell lies, cover shit up, always tell the gods honest truth. Anyone remember the phone hacking, News of the World? and a billion other events.

His boss said so, so must be true?

I'm just saying.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It isn't about white supremacy it's about ethics in anarchist journalism.

Fall Back

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Part 2 definitely moves towards actually making a case (and is much better written and generally more convincing). I think part 1 left him with no case to answer (in terms of being a fascist), that is no longer the case. It's a shame this sort of thing wasn't out much earlier, if only so people potentially vulnerable could take precautions.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Editor = his boss, bosses never tell lies, cover shit up, always tell the gods honest truth. Anyone remember the phone hacking, News of the World? and a billion other events.

His boss said so, so must be true?

I'm just saying.

I get what you're saying, but what's the motive of his editor lying about this? And in the context of the rest of A.R-R's analysis, it appears to be true to me. Remember that this is to refute that MS had talked with his editor about his "infiltration" of fasc movements as part of writing a story and that's why he had so many accounts on various sites etc.

klas batalo

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not surprised by the limited info the authors sent to platformists this is what I expected. They still need to just release it all, c'mon people care more about the movement's saftey than your damn book and careers.

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Editor = his boss, bosses never tell lies, cover shit up, always tell the gods honest truth. Anyone remember the phone hacking, News of the World? and a billion other events.

His boss said so, so must be true?

I'm just saying.

I get what you're saying, but what's the motive of his editor lying about this? And in the context of the rest of A.R-R's analysis, it appears to be true to me. Remember that this is to refute that MS had talked with his editor about his "infiltration" of fasc movements as part of writing a story and that's why he had so many accounts on various sites etc.

Looking at the stuff that was posted it is clear any editor whether in the know or not would have to deny it and sometimes investigative journalists (undercover cops do it as we know) get themselves deeper in than they meant to. Likewise I'm sure it will have happened many times with anti-fascists accounts on places like stormwatch.

Discrepancies with dates and cos the boss said so doesn't make it fact. Regardless of this, the guy clearly has some serious racist issues, beyond that I think it is best to wait and see all the evidence together as one piece.

On a side note this Ross character is clearly a complete wanker :)

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And the next "instalment" is Friday, seems there maybe a pattern to it?

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, I'm more confused than anything now. I mean, the first time I read it I was shocked, then I went back and read it again and I was just baffled. I think the infiltration thing is clearly not the case, unless some startling new evidence comes in the next parts. So for me, we're left with either - a white anarchist whose convictions didn't hold up when put to the test of losing his white privilege and drifted towards national anarchism, or, a guy who went off the rails on a multiple personality disorder level. For me, neither of their stories - Schmidt's or Red Ross's add up now. On the level of bourgeois justice, there's an awful lot of circumstantial stuff in there. I mean it's not unknown for Irish anti-fascists to have celtic tattoos, I don't get the bit about the hat, it just looks like a hat to me, or is it some SA nazi thing? The Stormfront posts we already knew about, but yeah they are weird and it looks like more than just a cover.

Yeah I'm none the wiser, other than he's some sort of racist. Wish they'd just release the rest of it.

ajjohnstone

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Certain questions raised

Why is Part 2 quoting Schmidt's "defence" which i assume came out after the allegations...Seems as this accusation is itself a rushed job, written afterwards, which makes me now ask why AK Press does not release their original correspondence that made them cancel the book deal and existing contracts. They do have the emails, don't they?

When i tried to link to the Strandwolf blog i found it is now removed ...When did it get removed so i have an idea when these screenshots of it was taken, to determine just how long someone has been sitting on it?

I'm also curious to know how Ross Reid got to learn of all this in the first place. They have been amiss in describing their own involvement started in the uncovering of this saga (hope the use of that word doesn't link me to Nordic racial history) Who actually drew their attention to it? The whistle-blower? (Did i miss something in Part One)

Part One had an anonymous source (at the informal meeting on the document)...and Part Two has an anonymous "eye-witness" of Schmidt entering a store where you can buy German/Nazi paraphenalia. ...What do they say in courts...hear-say is not permissible, particularly from un-named sources.

S. Artesian

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Did Schmidt ever file a single story about his "penetration" of right-wing groups? That's the questions that settle the issue of his "under-cover" status.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Did Schmidt ever file a single story about his "penetration" of right-wing groups? That's the questions that settle the issue of his "under-cover" status.

Well not necessarily, I raised that in a conversation with someone earlier and made the exact point you made, and they were saying, well, lots of people do extensive research for books and projects they never complete. (In fact they way I phrased it was, "as Nessa said in Gavin and Stacy, 'Where's the book Pete?'")

Edit: http://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.ie/2015/09/proposed-cover-for-taste-of-bitter.html

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone

When i tried to link to the Strandwolf blog i found it is now removed ...When did it get removed so i have an idea when these screenshots of it was taken, to determine just how long someone has been sitting on it?
.

Well I tried the wayback machine and there seemed to have been activity on it on the fourth of August, but there are no snapshots so it seems to have been removed from that too.

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fwiw I've been cynical about the way this is being released. People who know AK people on Facebook have said that AK went public before ARR was ready to publish, which then put him on the clock, hence putting it out in instalments. That seems a plausible alternative to book-promotion, so I might be wrong about that. I think if the 'memo' had been put online on day 1, with a promise that the rest of the evidence was complicated and would be released once it was formatted/presented clearly, this would have been a lot less messy.

On the actual content, it looks pretty damning, especially as he's apparently been caught lying in his pre-emptive defence. Imho the comment from his editor disproves beyond reasonable doubt his cover story (however implausible you thought it sounded, if his editor had backed him up it would have been a much messier case of showing he went beyond plausible cover and that he hadn't produced either sufficient journalistic output or actionable anti-fascist intelligence to justify it).

The comment from a web designer (assuming we trust an unnamed source here) about Schmidt soliciting a white nationalist site in 2002 also demonstrates this is a long term interest, not a work-related infiltration or a later disillusionment leading to racist conclusions.

Edit: I'm told Schmidt *did* publish journalistic articles on fash in this period, though I haven't seen links from him or his critics. If that's so, his editor not backing him up may not be as conclusive.

klas batalo

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From everything I've heard from IAS contacts, the timeline you sorta put out is true. They said AK Press folks feel like they fucked up (probably even messed up saying he was an infiltrator) though Reid Ross I think has a broader definition of infiltration than many here would hold.

Specifically on the MS' editor though, he basically said he wouldn't need to give permission? So sorta weird both ways O.o

“[A]nd because of his seniority and the way newspapers work, I would not have to give him permission at all to investigate. That would be something a good investigative journalist would do off his own bat.”

Joseph Kay

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I mean, Schmidt does have a forthcoming book partly on neo-Nazis. But he specifically named that editor as someone who could vouch for him, and he hasn't. And his reaction to the memo suggests he doesn't see anything wrong with it, even in hindsight. So on the two points we have Schmidt's side of the story, neither appear to stand up.

orange.ruffy

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think it's very telling that KarelianBlue was grinding axes from Schmidt's other political existence. If the goal was to deceive people on Stormfront, why not only pander to their existing biases? Why rail against Debord? Or even Guevara? Taking a strong stance against Debord's "post-modernism" isn't going to earn you many points in bonehead circles. But it does likely reflect authentically-felt frustrations about the state of discussion in anarchist circles.

This indicates something sloppier and more confusing than what either Ross or Schmidt are indicating. Whether he was infiltrating the anarchist or the fascist movement, Schmidt wasn't making efficient or coherent moves. As a former friend was quoted as saying, Schmidt is "compartmentalized," but it seems likely that that's an understatement - rather than assume that he's either telling the truth or that he's a lying WN-infiltrator, it's quite possible he's just very split, broken, and isolated.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That's an interesting interpretation.

Pennoid

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian, I raised the same point. In response to Flava: Didn't he say it was in his capacity as a journalist? Didn't he say it was for a specific boss? And (I may be wrong on this one) didn't he claim to have published articles?

I know journalists can write books, but don't they make their money publishing articles, and wouldn't his editor want material to print?

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Has anyone been self-loathing enough to see how this is playing out on Stormfront?

akai

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here in Poland we have a history of third positionists writing in both the anarchist press and fascist press at the same time. And not covertly. The "anarchists" simply had no analysis and, unfortunately, to this day, a lot of nationalist shit is passed as normal. ln Russia, where l used to live, also. The reason l say this is that l have seen those who are living in two worlds in action and after reading these Stormfront pieces, l can say l recognize some things in common. l am rather pressed for time, but probably it would be informative to compare some of the positions of these people.

BTW, in the case of Poland, it was always this way that the "anarchist press" knew exactly that these authors were writing in fascist press, just like all the "anarchists" knew when certain self-professed anarchosyndicalists were appearing at events with fascists. But for years we heard explanations such as "well, we have to reach out to everybody" or that it is good to find common points. On the few occasions where observers from other countries actually said something about this, which isn't always the case these days, the anarchists have tended to claim that they "didn't know" and have been "infiltrated".

This might not be relevant to the MS situation, but due to this, l always have questions about who knew what and am suspicious of claims of infiltration. Sorry if it annoys some people, but really.

BTW, somebody asks about the Strandwolf stuff and when it was deleted, etc. Somebody who was following it suggested it was deleted recently, perhaps as the AK allegations appeared.

pgh2a

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I believe MS wrote he had permission from his boss, and I suppose one could say he did if he didn't have to ask for it and that was understood ...however MS implies there was some affirmative permission given, especially where he talks about what he did being vetted. That's one of the things for which I'm most interested in seeing his response.

ajjohnstone

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It was me who asked about the blog.

If it was as recent as you say, it suggests to me that MS endeavoured to carry out a (politely) damage-limitation or (ungenerously) cover-up of his tracks and not declare full transparency of activities that i would expect from someone claiming to be sincere.

So far i agree with Khawaga in seeing Orange.ruffy's MS's personality defect/character flaw as so far the strongest analysis rather than sinister infiltration motives where i still struggle to identify the purpose.

I remember in my youth i was drawn to the fantasy literature of sword and sorcery such as Conan and Kull the Conqueror with their imaginary lands and mysterious peoples...(some enjoy computer games of similar nature, these days)...perhaps MS forgot to leave childish things behind and re-lived them in his make-believe world of Nordic/Germanic/Boer nationalism/racism.

Serge Forward

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It reads a bit like one of those "bigamous bloke" stories you get in the meeja, where they have a wife and 2.5 kids (x2) in different towns where neither family knows about hubby's other "secret life"...

Either way, he comes across a big racist twat and, increasingly, some sort of quasi-fascist fantasist.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

S. Artesian, I raised the same point. In response to Flava: Didn't he say it was in his capacity as a journalist? Didn't he say it was for a specific boss? And (I may be wrong on this one) didn't he claim to have published articles?

He did say he started doing it for The Star under a specific editor, I don't think he mentioned specific articles, did a quick google search and nothing relevent came up but googling his name and far right or neo nazi now throws up a lot of stuff about the allegations that makes older stuff harder to find. I guess if he wrote them, he'll supply them as evidence when he responds.

orange.ruffy

This indicates something sloppier and more confusing than what either Ross or Schmidt are indicating. Whether he was infiltrating the anarchist or the fascist movement, Schmidt wasn't making efficient or coherent moves. As a former friend was quoted as saying, Schmidt is "compartmentalized," but it seems likely that that's an understatement - rather than assume that he's either telling the truth or that he's a lying WN-infiltrator, it's quite possible he's just very split, broken, and isolated.

In support of this and Serge's bigamist musings, while I was searching I came accross this, an interview from last year (Page 56) that reads like it's a different person to the one who wrote the stormfront posts.

bootsy

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bootsy

From his stormfront account:

Regarding the supposed "degeneracy" of tattoos, while I do understand and approve of the "my uniform is my skin" position (the truth of this is always dead certain in a race-war), I see no historical reason to utterly reject tattoos. Every race has historically marked its skin with symbols relevant to its culture and whites are no exception, whether they align spiritually as Christian, Norse, Teutonic, Celtic or other. My tattoos include my 14th Century family crest which includes two crescent moons as symbols of the Crusades my ancestors fought in, a Scythian chieftain's tattoos from the 5th Century BC (the oldest tattoo known; the Scythians were a white horse people who ruled the steppes from present-day Ukraine to the Altai Mountains), and a lebensrune. It demonstrates (unlike stick-ons) that I am serious about my heritage.

I guess one way to get to the bottom of all of this would be to find out whether or not he actually has these tattoos.

Can't add the image because my computer is going doo-lally however the link is here for those who want to take a look. It would appear that Schmidt does indeed has these tattoos. The 'Scythian Chief' Tattoos are on his arms.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*q_xD1UIHN9CfoBmbfnTuIA.jpeg

Burgers

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Do we have a timeline for the tattoos?

WattTyler1381

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

from a guy in South Africa about the current Michael Schmidt “scandal”:

As for Schmidt my immediate reaction was that he is going to be getting a
lot of flak for at least trying to address consciously the exact same
dynamics that are simply taken for granted in pretty much every anarchist
and leftist organisation. The way he did so was obviously completely wrong
but hardly ‘fascist’ as the allegations state. What better explanations do
all the members of these little groupscules that are jumping to condemn him
have to offer for the fact that you can observe exactly the same sort of
shit in their own relations? The division between unofficial leaders and
followers seen in all leftist scenes around the world often takes a
uniquely racial form in SA, and Schmidt is one of the few who dares to face
up to it. Sure, he does so in a pretty stupid way, but how different is his
attempt “to have this divide [of] explicitly recognized (white) rearward
collectives …[from] (black) frontline collectives” from Bakunin’s invisible
dictatorship? What stands out with Bakunin and Schmidt is not that they
accepted the existence of hierarchical practice despite their professed
anti-authoritarian theories, but that they did so “explicitly” whereas most
anti-authoritarians are either too delusional or too cowardly to do this
and prefer to accept it “implicitly”.

It seems to me that Schmidt’s position regarding blacks is similar to what
you considered the reactionary position of Knabb towards women: if they
have thus far been unable to participate fully as equals it is their
responsibility to try harder rather than expecting the more capable to
stoop down to their level. The difference being that (in theory) Knabb
adopted this position so as to “refuse” any hierarchical relation whereas
for Schmidt it was a means to adopt such a vanguard role “consciously” rather
than attempt to “paper over the cracks between members’ vastly disparate
levels” (of understanding, competence, activity, participation, etc) as
most anti-authoritarians prefer to do.

In general much of this has to do with the entirely ahistorical attitude
most leftists adopt towards questions of organisation. To be able to ask a
question as stupid as “whether the black proletariat is more “politico-culturally” inclined towards Marxist-Leninist or African socialist
authoritarianism” you have to completely ignore the question of whether the
present society is more historically inclined towards conditions favourable
to forms of organisation dominated by passive and spectacular relations –
conditions that can and must be consciously subverted. Indeed for most
leftists, anti-authoritarian or otherwise, such a question will be the last
one ever to enter their heads. And it shows.

As long as leftists remain determined to keep the relation between
themselves and their own practice at the level of the unconscious their associations will remain fundamentally reactionary both internally and externally. This is what happens when you try to imagine revolutionary activity can carve a niche for itself outside the spectacle. It is the inevitable result of separating subversion from everyday life. Don’t expect 99% of these self-righteous libtards to benefit in the slightest from this latest in the long list of pseudo-scandals.

One half of them will simply use it to score points in the usual sectarian
way (‘libertarian communists’ yapping about how this proves the inadequacy
of ‘platformism’, etc) while the other half will try to say that this bears
no reflection whatsoever on anything beyond the ‘purely individual’
attitudes of Schmidt and anyone that says otherwise is sectarian.

I must admit that his talk about “the physical and intellectual rigours of
the anarchist communist organisation” made me smile. The fact that this
person can even mention “in the case of the SACP/YCL, the sale of branded
communist gear’ in the context of serious ‘attempts to (re)build a
popular-class counterculture through something other than toyi-toyi” says a lot about what his idea of “physical and intellectual rigours” might be.
Then again in the very same breath he says that because “logical process,
self-discipline and autonomous strategic thinking has been strangled at
birth” (of course this strangulation is in fact perpetrated by the
spectacle against “all” individuals “on a continuous basis”) every
rebellion “naturally” reverts to authoritarian, leader-led,
anti-autonomous modes of behaviour. Thus, a libertarian socialist
Revolution is impossible in SA under current and foreseeable internal
“politico-social” conditions.

Now, you might as well stop here. What more is there to say for a vanguard
that puts itself at the head of a revolution pre-emptively condemned to
abortion by its own leading theorist? What is there to say for a
self-professed anti-capitalist who believes the propaganda that capitalism,
conflated with human nature, ‘naturally’ renders all attempts at revolution
impossible? In that case, as the surrealists suggested, why not try
suicide? It’s precisely due to his ahistorical perspective that he adopts
this self-defeating determinism. The idea that unfavourable historical
tendencies can be strategically and practically subverted in the everyday
lives of the masses – masses of individuals who are no more or less
stupefied than their self-proclaimed vanguards, vanguards composed of those
who were once just as ‘unconscious’ as the masses but came to adopt
revolutionary positions in an “unnatural” historical process that might
equally embrace masses of individuals, and has done so before – such an
idea has clearly never occurred to this physically and intellectually
rigorous comrade.

Lastly, it should be pointed out that the various reactionary aspects of
this guy have everything to do with a tunnel vision where the point of
reference is shifted from “the real movement” to a ‘revolutionary’
subculture/scene/organisation. It was as if the real problem were the
absence of black cadres in his groupscule rather than the fact that his
‘movement’ is not now nor ever has been even slightly significant to the
actually existing class struggle in this country. The international furore
produced by this entire scandal is equally symptomatic. The amount of
attention, emotion and verbiage expended on this non-event is exponentially
greater than the amount of interest displayed, judging from the written
evidence, towards the real developments fraught with possibility blossoming
in countless interesting actions among millions of people on the ground all
around the world. For all the condemnation of ‘substitutionism’ among
these supposedly ‘theoretically advanced’ people it is undeniable that idle
gossip and inconsequential scandal is today a substitute for anything
resembling intelligent and informed discussion and debate about real social
contestation.

I see from here that there is apparently much more to the fascist allegations than is
mentioned in chapter one ‘from the author of the forthcoming book Against
the Fascist Creep (AK Press) [pre-order your copy now!]’… basically that
he created facebook accounts and a ‘white supremacy’ website called
Stormfront posting apparently very racist content as well as formed some
sort of national-anarchist group. His explanation being that he was
infiltrating NA networks, rather than working as a NA infiltrator of
anarchist-communist networks. Since I’ve yet to see any evidence that NA =
fascism even this information is hardly serious. If he were an undercover
fascist obviously that potentially puts a lot of people in danger so I can
understand why a lot of the anarchist ‘community’ would be very concerned
by it, but I have yet to see evidence for anything of the kind. Also, his
comrades from Zabalaza have apparently already seen all this NA
infiltration stuff and believe his story. Then again the fact that Zabalaza
could recieve a discussion paper like that and make no comment certainly
demonstrates a more than questionable judgement. So I guess we’ll have to
wait for this promised definitively damning evidence. How pathetic it all
is!

PS
Just read ‘Anarchism as Spectacle’ and pleasantly surprised that somebody beat me to the punch saying this stuff, some of it, like the bit about gossip v. news of opposition, almost word for word!

- from this.

r-exist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flava o Flav. You cite the interview and I went and took a read. How does this idea of historical research on anarchism sound to you? I'm not intending mixing this discussion with the question of his racism, but I am interested if people share that this approach is quite problematic...

On page 57 of the interview he says:
"The results of this historically-revealed universalism are vitally important to any holistic understanding of anarchism and syndicalism."

"historically revealed universalism" so that means there is a final truth and then if there is who is the owner of it? the researchers who reveal it?

radicalgraffiti

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

WattTyler1381

snip

some good points there, but our politics has to progress through examining the results of existing politics in practice, if its possible for someone with fascist politics to become a prominent anarchist thats indicative of some pretty major flaws, and we can improve by examining them. minimizing this as not worth discussing is a good way to perpetuate a environment where theory and practice are disconnected.

seahorse

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What do people think of Michael Schmidt claiming that Nestor Makhno is a nationalist-anarchist?

I think it's total bullshit -- and explain my reasons in post #264 (https://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-25092015?page=8#comment-566781). But since that post got a couple downvotes, it's making me wonder if some people believe Makhno was a nationalist?

If so I'd really like to know why.

Yeah he fought against Russian imperialism, but he also fought against Ukrainian nationalists! They were his bitter enemies. So I'm pretty confused.

Jim

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well we don't know for sure that Michael Schmidt definitely thinks Makhno is a national anarchist and Schmidt is saying that those comments were made while he was researching the right. But Makhno is cited as a national hero in Ukraine, plenty of Ukrainian fascists see him as a hero. Far-right group Right Sector, the sponsors of the Azov Batallion, have been seen with Makhnovist flags. But the far-rights co-option of Makhno doesn't make him a nationalist, he was an anarcho-communist. It's probably best starting another thread if anybody wants to discuss this point further.

Flava O Flav

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

r-exist

Flava o Flav. You cite the interview and I went and took a read. How does this idea of historical research on anarchism sound to you? I'm not intending mixing this discussion with the question of his racism, but I am interested if people share that this approach is quite problematic...

On page 57 of the interview he says:
"The results of this historically-revealed universalism are vitally important to any holistic understanding of anarchism and syndicalism."

"historically revealed universalism" so that means there is a final truth and then if there is who is the owner of it? the researchers who reveal it?

I think it's part an parcel of the ideological dogmatism that is in Black Flame, that as a former Trotskyist I find disturbingly familiar.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I dunno about this. I mean, I have very serious differences, but not sure I'd agree with this sentiment:

Flava O Flav

I think it's part an parcel of the ideological dogmatism that is in Black Flame, that as a former Trotskyist I find disturbingly familiar.

Chilli Sauce

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to add, I find the tattoos as pretty damning evidence as well. If you're doing undercover research you don't disclose true and such easily identifiable personal characteristics.