AK Press allegations against Michael Schmidt

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syndicalist
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Oct 9 2015 23:52
Pennoid wrote:
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
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Oct 10 2015 02:30

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.

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Pennoid
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Oct 10 2015 02:52

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

I MUST KNOW!!!

tongue

syndicalist
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Oct 10 2015 12:04
Pennoid wrote:
Meh to the thread? Meh to Guerin? MEH TO AVRICH!
I MUST KNOW!!!
tongue

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
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Oct 10 2015 10:26

Marinas?

syndicalist
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Oct 10 2015 12:05
Battlescarred wrote:
Marinas?

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

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ocelot
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Oct 11 2015 15:51
Pennoid wrote:
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)

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 12 2015 08:42

Update:

Alexander Reid-Ross wrote:
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.

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 12 2015 12:22

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
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Oct 12 2015 13:01

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
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Oct 12 2015 16:13

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
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Oct 12 2015 16:24

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
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Oct 12 2015 16:36
Quote:
sat down comfortably on Schmidt’s wooden furniture in his spacious garden, near a lemon tree
Quote:
White Swiss Shepherd puppies

All we need to know really.

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Rob Ray
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Oct 12 2015 18:01

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
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Oct 12 2015 17:53

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.

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Pennoid
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Oct 12 2015 18:03

Lookin' grim.

syndicalist
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Oct 12 2015 18:28
kingzog wrote:
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
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Oct 12 2015 18:39

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
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Oct 12 2015 18:50

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.

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Soapy
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Oct 12 2015 18:55

storm in a teacup

Jim
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Oct 12 2015 18:56

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.

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Khawaga
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Oct 12 2015 18:59
Quote:
storm in a teacup

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

akai
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Oct 12 2015 19:09

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
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Oct 12 2015 19:29
akai wrote:
nobody is going to buy that this is some sort of "description"

Sorry, description of?

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Serge Forward
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Oct 12 2015 20:18

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
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Oct 12 2015 20:12

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.

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Pennoid
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Oct 12 2015 20:31

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.

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klas batalo
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Oct 12 2015 21:29

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.

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Serge Forward
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Oct 12 2015 22:27

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.

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Oct 13 2015 01:10

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?