AK Press allegations against Michael Schmidt

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Devrim's picture
Devrim
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Sep 30 2015 14:14
ocelot wrote:
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

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Sep 30 2015 14:24

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.

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Sep 30 2015 14:42

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

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Sep 30 2015 15:04
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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.

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Sep 30 2015 15:19

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
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Sep 30 2015 19:51
Devrim wrote:
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.

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Sep 30 2015 20:29

Also Michael Schmidt has been publishing on anarkismo.

Flint
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Sep 30 2015 20:51
AES wrote:
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.

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Sep 30 2015 22:35

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.

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Sep 30 2015 22:42

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

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Sep 30 2015 23:09
Red Marriott wrote:
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
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Oct 1 2015 00:50
syndicalist wrote:
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:

Quote:
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
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Oct 1 2015 08:38

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.

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Oct 1 2015 09:54
AES wrote:
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?

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Oct 1 2015 10:49

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
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Oct 1 2015 12:30
AES wrote:
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.

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Oct 1 2015 13:33

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).

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Oct 1 2015 12:48

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.

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Oct 1 2015 12:58

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.

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Oct 1 2015 13:10

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
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Oct 1 2015 13:20

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

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Oct 1 2015 13:23

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?

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Oct 1 2015 13:30

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
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Oct 1 2015 13:37
AES wrote:
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.

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Oct 1 2015 13:41

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.

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Oct 1 2015 13:49
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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
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Oct 1 2015 13:53

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
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Oct 1 2015 13:53

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.

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Oct 1 2015 13:58

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."

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Oct 1 2015 14:02

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"