AK Press allegations against Michael Schmidt

1024 posts / 0 new
Last post
pgh2a
Offline
Joined: 9-12-06
Oct 5 2015 01:09

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
Offline
Joined: 28-10-09
Oct 5 2015 03:11

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

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Oct 5 2015 03:32

10 business days

wink

Flava O Flav's picture
Flava O Flav
Offline
Joined: 10-04-13
Oct 5 2015 09:11
kingzog wrote:
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
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Oct 5 2015 11:21

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's picture
Khawaga
Online
Joined: 7-08-06
Oct 6 2015 20:41

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

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Oct 6 2015 23:19
Khawaga wrote:
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's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Oct 6 2015 23:59

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

Flint
Offline
Joined: 17-12-05
Oct 7 2015 00:18
Chilli Sauce wrote:
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's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Oct 7 2015 01:24

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

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Oct 7 2015 06:39

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
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Oct 7 2015 07:58
Quote:
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
Offline
Joined: 20-08-14
Oct 7 2015 08:16

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 grin

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Oct 7 2015 10:24
Pennoid wrote:
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
Offline
Joined: 4-11-07
Oct 7 2015 15:24
Steven. wrote:
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's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Oct 7 2015 15:42

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
Offline
Joined: 17-12-05
Oct 7 2015 16:01
Pennoid wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 7 2015 16:02

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 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.
Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Online
Joined: 7-08-06
Oct 7 2015 16:08
Quote:
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
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Oct 7 2015 20:05
Quote:
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's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Oct 8 2015 11:19

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
Offline
Joined: 3-12-07
Oct 8 2015 11:34

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.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Oct 8 2015 23:13
ocelot wrote:
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's picture
888
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Oct 9 2015 02:17
Steven. wrote:
ocelot wrote:
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's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Oct 9 2015 09:29
Steven. wrote:
ocelot wrote:
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's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Oct 9 2015 12:54

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

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Oct 9 2015 13:15

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

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Oct 9 2015 15:41
Pennoid wrote:
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's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Oct 9 2015 16:11

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
Offline
Joined: 29-03-11
Oct 9 2015 22:16

temporally