AK Press allegations against Michael Schmidt

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kurekmurek
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Oct 15 2015 21:13

Adding to Chilli, how till today nobody noticed them? I really do not get this? There is a guy with very suspicious "germanic" tattoos in his arms and nobody even asks why the f*ck he has them? Seriously? Did this guy planned all his trips to Europe or USA in winter? Did not anybody who let him sleep in his house noticed them at all?

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Reddebrek
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Oct 15 2015 21:29

I don't know, the tats were a bit obscure, how many people outside of Fascist circles are familiar with the Sycthian myth and its place in White racial theory? I mean I've seen plenty of people mistake the Celtic Cross -I much more common Fash emblem- as the `Fascist plus symbol`. Yeah its obvious once its been pointed out and there's confirmation that the guy's a racist but on its own?

I grew up around some hardcore, British racists and they all had the usual nationalist tattoos' -bulldogs and knights- and despite being overtly nationalistic and violent I didn't realise the connection until after they actually started talking about migrants and blacks and muslims. Maybe I'm just naive but unless the double lighting bolt a Swastika or an SS deaths head I wouldn't be able to tell alone.

Now having tattoo's whilst posing with a knife to look hard on social media on the otherhand is a bit of a giveway.

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Khawaga
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Oct 15 2015 21:59

IIRC when I met him, I didn't notice any tats or anything like that, but then again I am not into them so I usually won't notice them in the first place unless it is of something I would recognize. While I am familiar with some fash/nazi symbols, I doubt that even if I were interested in tats and saw his I'd be able to recognize them for what they are. As Reddebeck say, they are a bit obscure.

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Flava O Flav
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Oct 15 2015 22:07
syndicalist wrote:
I dunno about this. I mean, I have very serious differences, but not sure I'd agree with this sentiment:
Flava O Flav wrote:
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.

Well the idea of a discernible ultimate objective truth in all cases that those with the right ideas can impart on the masses is quite orthodox Marxist.

syndicalist
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Oct 15 2015 22:15
Flava O Flav wrote:
syndicalist wrote:
I dunno about this. I mean, I have very serious differences, but not sure I'd agree with this sentiment:
Flava O Flav wrote:
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.

Well the idea of a discernible ultimate objective truth in all cases that those with the right ideas can impart on the masses is quite orthodox Marxist.

I suppose another convo. But I didn't get THAT impression from the book. That said, I have political problems with the book

Flint
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Oct 15 2015 22:26

The Lebensrune is also the symbol of the National Alliance in the U.S. So antifa in the U.S. would have recognized it.

The "Scythian horse tattoos"... oldest known tattoos in the world... that's really obscure. I think they only discovered around 1993 .

Siberian Princess reveals her 2,500 year old tattoos.

When I heard about them, I thought that was pretty cool and how interesting that they even look like modern tattoos.

If I saw someone with these tattoos, I would strike up a conversation with them about archaeology rather than think the were neo-nazis.

But the Lebensrune, I'd think they were a neo-nazis.

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Steven.
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Oct 15 2015 22:50

Yeah, after part 2 it is certainly not looking good for Schmidt…

radicalgraffiti
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Oct 15 2015 23:05

the Lebensrune (which i haven't heard of before) are quite high up his arms, even short sleeves would hide them

r-exist
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Oct 16 2015 01:07

I would go with Flav o Flav on the Marxist orthodox track. The book obviously impresses by the broadness of facts and infos. Yet again, just by naming countries, just like Schmidt does in the interview where anarchists were at work and say this would be the proof classic anarchism has nothing to do with possible eurocentricity to me seems superfluous, too. What about class and racial relations in all the situation he cites?

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888
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Oct 16 2015 01:55
Joseph Kay wrote:
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.

Well why were they writing it in a ridiculous journalistic style and trying to get it published in Vice? Definitely self-promotion.

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Khawaga
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Oct 16 2015 02:41

WTF? They were trying to get it published in Vice? And I thought they had handled it bad with how they made the announcement way to early, but with this they come off as callous fucking pricks.

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Pennoid
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Oct 16 2015 02:58

Evidence of this?

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Fnordie
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Oct 16 2015 05:07

I liked Black Flame. I gave that fucking book to people as a primer on anarchism.

On the bright side, AK Press aren't liars.

Excuse me, I'm going to go puke.

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klas batalo
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Oct 16 2015 05:20

not sure about vice, but definitely trying to shop it around to one of the rags JS usually writes for...for sure.

Gawker, AlterNet, Truthout, etc

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888
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Oct 16 2015 06:08

Other libcom posters would be able to confirm the vice thing, I was just repeating what I had seen discussed on facebook. If that wasn't supposed to be repeated, I apologise to the person who said it...

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 16 2015 06:13
888 wrote:
Joseph Kay wrote:
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.

Well why were they writing it in a ridiculous journalistic style and trying to get it published in Vice? Definitely self-promotion.

I don't know. I'm just wary that I've cautioned against speculation, yet been sucked into speculating myself (which is difficult to avoid when discussing something without all the necessary information). I guess once it's all out we can get clarification from AK, assess why it's been handled this way etc.

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Rob Ray
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Oct 16 2015 09:17
fnordie wrote:
I liked Black Flame. I gave that fucking book to people as a primer on anarchism.

I wouldn't say you were wrong to do so necessarily. Some of it can (and should) be read in a different light now it's clear Schmidt's attitude to race is dodgy but much of the research is still useful and some of the arguments are still worth reflecting on (whether from Schmidt himself or Van der Walt, who's not been accused of same thus far).

Lots of people who have done good work for the anarchist cause have had weird views on certain things, or gone on to do dodgy shit later, Proudhon was a misogynist, Bakunin a racist, Kropotkin thought World War One was a great plan, Goldman had a huge class chip on her shoulder (she once said the masses "are crude, lame and pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled"). The point is to read critically, rather than beat yourself up for reading at all.

Battlescarred
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Oct 16 2015 10:03

https://www.facebook.com/zabalazanews
Meanwhile the ZACF are facing State repression

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ocelot
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Oct 16 2015 10:54

Battlescarred got there before me.

Quote:
[...]
South Africa, 16 October 2015: On the evening of Friday 9 October 2015, a militant of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front in the impoverished black township of Khutsong (west of Johannesburg), was threatened with violence for his political work by a group of youths. The next morning, a political school that he and another member run in the area, was forcibly disrupted by an even larger mob.
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On the Friday night, comrade “Tebogo” (real name concealed for security reasons) was confronted by eight men, He was instructed to “stop promoting anarchism” and resisting the government because “the African National Congress [ANC] must rule the township” or face severe consequences. On the Saturday morning, comrades “Tebogo” and “Boitumelo” (*real name concealed) were confronted by around 15 thugs while preparing to host the monthly ZACF / Zabalaza political education session at a local venue. They were able to prevent the group gaining entry, but the event was disrupted. Rocks were thrown, threats were made.
[...]
It is common for township-based political party elites to hire thugs to do the dirty work of intimidating and attacking activists. Earlier this year, for example, a community meeting organised by activists from Abahlali baseFreedom Park, south of Johannesburg, was attacked by thugs allegedly hired by a local ANC councillor and his cronies. Several community members were hospitalised, one put in intensive care. Attacks on basic human rights and freedom are ongoing.
.
We are relieved that our comrades from Khutsong did not suffer the same fate, and that the comrades with whom we work in Freedom Park continue to fight back.
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But we are also conscious that no one is out of harm’s way, that similar fates await activists who dare to speak out and stand up against the exploitation, misrule, corruption, discrimination and profiteering that oppresses the black working class – and that benefits the elites.
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Entdinglichung
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Oct 16 2015 15:01

the Lebensrune doesn't necessarily points to a neo-nazi or voelkish religious background, it is also used by all kinds of non-political or non-right-wing Asatru people or Viking enthusiasts ... all Scythian stuff is highly popular especially in some French New Right circles, they say due to a misreading of the Ossetic Nart myths as "Scythian" by the French scholar George Dumezil (who himself was part of the far right at least for a part of his life) that they represent some primordial Indo-European (Aryan) social structures like the Tripartite division of society (sovereignty/religion, warfare, production), pretty hierarchical and out of fashion among most serious academics

Battlescarred
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Oct 16 2015 12:00

He got in completely wrong re the Ossetic Narts as the ancestors of the Ossetes are the Sarmatians/Alans not the Scythians

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Chilli Sauce
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Oct 16 2015 12:18

Even if the tats weren't explicitly fash, the fact he was showing them off still undermines his story though about the clandestine nature of research he was doing on Stormfront. The fascist symbolism behind them only makes him look that much worse.

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ocelot
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Oct 16 2015 14:20
Battlescarred wrote:
He got in completely wrong re the Ossetic Narts as the ancestors of the Ossetes are the Sarmatians/Alans not the Scythians

(off-topic). For some reason I have no problem with visual imagery association with the Sarmations and Scythians, yet when it comes to the Alans I always get this inappropriate image of trainspotter types in their NHS specs, duffle coats, woolly hats and thermos flasks wandering around the steppe looking slightly lost. That and Alan Partridge.

On a less flippant note, I'm a little sceptical as to how well delineated these various tribes of Iranian-speaking horse nomads really were in practice.

As well as Dumezil, the other Third Positionist/Nouvelle Droite author that likes to go back to this whole proto-Aryan cthonic origins shite is Julius Evola. As the cachet "elite" author of would-be fash intellectuals, Evola's themes would constitute a useful fingerprint for detecting this sort of Third Positionist/NA "metapolitical offensive" stuff. But frankly I have had neither the time nor inclination thus far to make a proper study of Evola's sinister (and voluminous) writings.

What little I do know, as an aside, seems to show an odd mirroring of Marija Gimbutas' feminist mythologizing of a matriarchal prehistoric Eden overtaken by a patriarchal horse/chariot warrior culture from the Pontic Steppe. Gimbutas' fantasy history has a lot more supporters than you might think amongst the left (and the more essentialist 2-wave feminists - let's not even mention the primmos and neopagans) due to it's coincidence with Engel's recycling of the Victorian matriarchy myth. Also a strong influence on Ocalan/PKK feminist pre-history.

orange.ruffy
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Oct 16 2015 14:22
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Well why were they writing it in a ridiculous journalistic style and trying to get it published in Vice? Definitely self-promotion.

First, this has all the structure of a rumor. Where did Ross and co. say they wanted to publish this in Vice?

Second, Schmidt, for example, is a professional journalist. He also published in mainstream publications. I don't love this as a career choice, but that doesn't damn him, and publishing in Vice wouldn't necessarily damn Ross and co. either. One of the editors of Vice is a long-time anarchist of the autogestion variety. Though if this was considered for publication there, I appreciate the restraint of all involved in not airing out our dirty laundry even more publicly.

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Operaista
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Oct 16 2015 14:54

I agree with Flint - seeing a lone algiz rune is immediately going to have me go to thinking it's a lebensrune and suspecting the person is a white nationalist. That could be because in the US context it's the symbol of a neo-Nazi group; and the scrutiny is going to be more intense than that faced by seeing most other runes or general Norse/Germanic pagan imagery (though any of that is going to attract some attention and people who are non-racist/anti-racist who display such imagery get used to it and know to expect it).

Beyond whether there are possible non-white nationalist readings of his tattoos, let's be real here. To expand on what Chilli Sauce said, no one who is infiltrating the far right, or even undercover as a journalist, is going to give them more potentially identifying information than they have to. And he made absolutely no attempt to hide who he was. Had he had completely innocuous tattoos of baked goods, and described them in detail and provided pictures, that would have cast a lot of doubt on his research story, just due to the unnecessary level of risk that information would add. White nationalists are not exactly known for nonviolence and peaceful understanding. The tattoos he does add lead to even more head shaking and questions on how this took so long to all come out.

A lot of rumors went around Facebook about the why there was such a delay, but what has been publicly stated is that AK Press came forward on their own, at a time information was still being reviewed, assembled, and fact checked. Portions of the report are being published now as they are finished.

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Entdinglichung
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Oct 16 2015 14:59

btw. has anyone figured out what the tattoo on his left forearm means?

Burgers
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Oct 16 2015 15:36
Entdinglichung wrote:
btw. has anyone figured out what the tattoo on his left forearm means?

It did remind me a little of a RAHOWA graphic for a second , but it's not and just a thought (I doubt they are), but could they be fake?

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ocelot
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Oct 16 2015 15:57
Entdinglichung wrote:
btw. has anyone figured out what the tattoo on his left forearm means?

You mean his right forearm? The one that's visible? Looks like an anchor to me with a *smudge* U. S. A. - something Union of S. A? Presumably old forces or navy tattoo?

Also that pic looks like a rather lame emulation of a Die Antwoord photo-shot. Pretty sad in itself.

Flint
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Oct 16 2015 16:27
Entdinglichung wrote:
btw. has anyone figured out what the tattoo on his left forearm means?

Its his family's crest. The crusader one.

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Oct 16 2015 16:31

Any mention of when part 3 is coming?