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?

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flint

syndicalist

And your impressions of the document, Flint?

Even if I had read it (which I haven't), I wouldn't be at liberty to discuss it.

Yes of course. Silly to have asked

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chew on this while you wait for the inevitable leaked ZACF response. Much of this is being published here first.

Schmidt/Strandwolf's Creed:
http://filepi.com/i/P2OoSTj

Fascist Schmidt posts:
http://filepi.com/i/S5r9NDz

More Fascist Schmidt posts:
http://filepi.com/i/lyj47N9

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

PDF version: http://www.pdf-archive.com/2016/01/27/michael-schmidt-strandwolfs-creed/
MarkDown Source: http://pastebin.com/zFsEdJdE

“Strandwolf’s Creed” by Michael Schmidt


The Black Battlefront Manifesto


Introduction


These are ideological blog posts by prominent anarcho-fascist writer Michael Schmidt from 2010 and 2011. These posts were once published at strandwolf.blogspot.com but were taken down by Schmidt in 2015 once his identity as the writer was revealed. Before being outed as a white supremacist, Schmidt was best known for co-authoring the controversial anarchist history Black Flame with longtime friend and collaborator Lucien van der Walt.
“Strandwolf’s Creed” is deeply personal, revealing the author’s political vision as the product of his proud Afrikaner heritage. Schmidt’s outline for Boer progress is steeped in history, providing a racist, elitist, and deterministic view of not only human evolution, but human progress well into the 21st Century. Through his writings as “Strandwolf” (or, early on, “Ardent Vinlander”), Schmidt is building the plan for his movement, a red-brown admixture of anarchism and white power.
Black Battlefront, the militant group fueled by this manifesto, would be the culmination of decades of activism for Schmidt, allowing him to recruit activists into a whites-only organization with aggressive racism at its core (curiously an “anti-racist” concept to the author). Schmidt’s calls for racial segregation closely mirror his recommendations for the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), revealed in a leaked internal memo.
These writings coincide with posts by Schmidt as “Karelianblue” (in the white supremacist Stormfront forums) and “Françoise Le Sueur” (on Facebook), where Schmidt was actively recruiting for Black Battlefront. For background, see Schmidt’s posts here or here.
“Strandwolf’s Creed” has been reassembled for clarity and legibility, but the original text has not been altered (even misspellings and typos have been kept). There are bound to be other minor formatting errors from the OCR/transcribing process; feel free to download the text as MarkDown or PDF and fix these bugs.
See screenshots of the original posts, complete with white nationalist imagery, here or here.


about me


White African National-Anarchist


The Strandwolf (“beach wolf”) is the brown hyaena found on the lonely Atlantic beaches of the Namib desert: with more powerful jaws and greater stamina than a lion, the hyaena hunt in matriarchal packs and, inverting their clitori, are impossible to rape. They are viewed by the indigenous people as spirit-animals. Strandwolf is the blog of Black Battlefront, an anti-racist revolutionary cadre network of White African politico-social soldiers in Southern Africa who aim at defending our unique culture, under the anarchist black flag! We take our inspiration from militants and cultural warriors of the calibre of Nestor Makhno, Kai Murros, Jim Goad and Troy Southgate. Strandwolf is a ghost in the machine of the African night, a spectral flicker on the shores of the Skeleton Coast, a low-slung hunter on the night-time highway that stretches forever away from the roiling smokes of Johannesburg into the bleach-and-acetate reaches of the platteland where gaunt windpompe scratch stars in the sky.


MY CREED PART I: CONQUEST – by Ardent Vinlander

Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 4:48am

  1. The white (wo)man is in Africa by conquest. This is inescapable; that gunpowder beats spear, wolves rule over sheep. And yet we are human and not animals, thus we mark our territory not with urine but blood.
  2. This right of conquest may not be ethically “right” but it is the forge of history – and the alloy that results, its temper and strength are then set. How we deal with that is both rooted in, and starts, now.
  3. The implication is that primitivism, Africanism or any qualified or absolute return to a pre-colonial “state of grace” is impossible. Also clear is that redress and reparations for past wrongs, grievous though they may be, are impossible. Thus may the Herero seek apology from the Germans for genocide, but not redress.
  4. And so, only those directly guilty of actual crimes can be held responsible; future generations cannot be made to pay for the “sins of their fathers”.
  5. The Xhosa nation was a formidable foe – the Battle of Amatola being the supreme example – and it took nine wars to suppress them. The Zulu nation was a formidable foe – the Battle of Isandlwana being the supreme example – but shortly they too were reduced, as others before them. There is no shame in going down fighting to superior forces.
  6. Our enemies are not those who fight us in the open, hoping to mark their territory with our blood, but those who rot us from within, corrupting the will.
  7. The inescapable lot of the defeated is humility and servitude, but there is no shame in lowly status, for all parts need to function for the good of the whole.
  8. Gunpowder and the lash are not in themselves progress, but they disciplined fractious hordes to a common purpose, for the good of the whole.
  9. That purpose was civilisation, as the white (wo)man brought electric light, roads, canals, plantations, mines, engines, aircraft, automobiles, schooling, faith – both inspiration and aspiration, without which all peoples go to seed.


MY CREED PART II: CULTURE – by Ardent Vinlander

Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 4:51am

  1. Cultural identity is not fixed – and often involves “sub-cultural” norms defined by peer group education and experience, locality, dialect and so forth.
  2. So there are no cultural absolutes, no “pure” culture. The example of the West African origins of rock 'n roll is evidence of this.
  3. And yet cultural identity proves exceptionally strong – determinant of identity, adherence, cleavage, and ultimately of a people’s fate.
  4. In the age of the Internet and mobile communications, one’s “community” is often no longer localised or even restricted to much more than a dialect group or interest group. Thus while some communities are entirely “virtual”, others are very much bound by real-time/space.
  5. In this period of flux, then, cultural currents and sub-cultural undertows pull in various directions – towards fragmentation and specialisation, the niche, and towards consolidation and universalism, the global.
  6. Both are “artificial” to the extent that they are intentionally striven for, yet both are “natural” to the extent that they are instinctually driven.
  7. This may manifest both – and often simultaneously – in autarch-individualism and in mob-mentality herd instinct.
  8. Culture then cannot be assessed as “reactionary” merely because it seeks to conserve, artificially or naturally, a set of values, beliefs, practices and artefacts. In the same light, a culture cannot be assessed as “progressive” merely because it seeks to change, artificially or naturally, a set of values, beliefs, practices and artefacts.
  9. Progress and reaction only have meaning in relation to human rights and ethics, in other words, in relation to the standard of the Golden Rule. But the Golden Rule is rusted by weakness: it allows no place for defensive actions aimed at supporting a culture’s right to life, limb and liberty. In other words, ethics need to come armed.


MY CREED PART III: AGGRESSION – by Ardent Vinlander

Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 6:00am

  1. Aggression is a natural and artificial human capability. In other words, it is both an instinctive fighting mechanism, defending life, limb and liberty – and a conscious defence of higher values, Including territory, beliefs, practices and artefacts.
  2. Aggression is not always expressed as violence although it always contains within it the threat of violence – as it is also expressed as territory, authority, ability and consciousness, all of which are a combination of both artificial and natural prerogatives.
  3. Natural prerogatives are essentially grounded in biological warfare, the defence of the species and of its ability to survive and propagate, its instinctive motor ability to grasp and shape the physical realm; they are the flint-tipped spears by which our ancient ancestors routed bears from the caves which became our shelters.
  4. Artificial prerogatives are essentially grounded in psychological (some would call it spiritual) warfare, the defence of the species’ ability to interpret and predict, its learned diagnostic ability to intuit and give shape to our dreams; they are the ochred cave paintings of Lascaux and other Palaeolithic sites
  5. The origins of these ingrained prerogatives are shrouded in the emergence of consciousness within the fog of pre-history – those unrecorded centuries of our coming into being.
  6. And yet we know that the development of speech, the root of both natural and especially of artificial prerogatives, was driven by the need to communicate defence against the sabre-toothed which stalked our early kind.
  7. Forged in the fires of social defence against our racial enemies, speech gave flight to consciousness. Thus was aggression the foundation on which we were able to later erect the flying buttresses of philosophical thought.
  8. So equipped with social organisation, communication, the tools of biological and psychological warfare, and higher consciousness, we ascended from the status of animals undifferentiated from the natural landscape to the Colossus which stands astride the world.
  9. And yet we retain our binary nature: our feet planted in the soil of our origins, our eyes searching deep into the far reaches of interstellar space, knowing we are not the measure of all things – and yet measuring all things, knowing we conquer by understanding.
  10. Thus social aggression is the foundation of our racial consciousness and our racial consciousness is the tool by which we conquer.


MY CREED PART IV: RACE

Sunday, September 26, 2010, 2:08am

  1. Homo Sapiens Sapiens is the sole survivor of discrete, parallel yet seldom contemporaneous and only sometimes competing human strains of development. It is in reference to this sole survivor that we incorrectly speak of the “human race” which outiasted other proto-human races including the Neanderthals, Homo Erectus and Homo Robustus.
  2. And yet the Sapiens Sapiens species is diverse, with its greatest smorgasbord of genes pooled in the great mother-continent of Africa – which by the law of averages should thus have produced its highest levels of cultural diversity, consciousness and civilisation. And yet the brute tribalism that dominates from the Sahara to the Savannah is almost undifferentiated in its suffocating, stultified primitiveness, locked in to ancestor-worship voodoo and unquestioning authoritarianism. Even the physical features of the people have only slightly evolved, producing a narrow range almost entirely represented by the Nilotics and the Bantu.
  3. Only the slender archaic haplogroup F strand of this great gene-pool proved adventurous, trekking further afield to leave Africa and establish a unique root-race in what is today the Middle East. It is from this root-race that the greatest physical-cultural diversity of the world emerged, from the blackest Papuan headhunters, to the reddest Pictish warriors.
  4. These incredibly diverse haplogroup populations were differentiated by hundreds of thousands of years of genetic adaptation, mutation, in a word, evolution. The result was the great racial gene-pools of what would today be recognised as Asiatics, Native Americans, Australasians, South Asians – and our own race, the Europeans, in particular represented by the haplogroups R1a, R1b, and I1.
  5. Each race is uniquely adapted to their environmental conditions, in other words, they have a genetic connection to the landscapes within which they developed. This is expressed in terms of the race’s physique: stocky build, black skin, brown eyes and broad noses for the Aborigines of arid Australasia; tall build, white skin, pale eyes and narrow noses for the Nordics of icy Scandinavia. And it is also expressed in terms of culture: the Aboriginal cave paintings of Ayers Rock have the same function as the Cro Magnon cave paintings of Lascaux, the interpretation of the natural-physical world in spiritual-psycological terms; these expressions tie the race to the landscape, a landscape which very directly gave rise to their racial form; thus each modern race has a natural ancestral homeland.
  6. Neccesity is indeed the mother of invention. The extreme environments into which proto-Europeans wandered demanded the utmost of their ingenuity, skill, cunning and inventiveness. We presume there were proto-Europeans who also tried to sit on their bums drinking maize-beer watching the women work, but that they were wiped out in their first winter. And yet we still find “21st Century Hunter-gatherers” – derived from the same root-race as the Europeans – who have clearly not been pressed by circumstance to evolve over the past 10,000 years; no hoes, no millet, no necessity, no invention.
  7. Some of the tension in forming civilisations arises between sedentaries (those who build settlements, based on agricultural surplus), and nomads (who at the most, drive cattle). But there is a clear distinction between the wandering Vikings who built ships and roamed far and wide for plunder and women – establishing settlements with permanent structures and a written culture along the way in many cases, and the African herdsmen who simply chase the seasons from waterhole to waterhole. In other words, the Viking was never a true nomad.
  8. Africans did build tribal-militarist kingdoms with some elements of civilisation and some attempt at building large-scale settlements: Ashante, Ulundi, Great Zimbabwe etc. But although the Portuguese, on first arriving in West Africa in the 1500s, treated the local king as equal because they had a standing army, a form of “university” and a bureaucracy, the West Africans had fallen from that quasi-Medieval state into savagely warring factions by the time European civilisation penetrated the interior – and never recovered.
  9. So “Medieval” is the closest that blacks have come to civilisation, while some still today languish 10,000 years behind the Europeans who gave Africa its science, industry, infrastructure, education, medicine and large-scale agriculture, most of it fallen into terrible disrepair under black rule since the late 1950s. In order to, if not forestall this decay, at least build the bulwarks of a white redoubt strong enough to stand against this darkling tide, we require organisation.


MY CREED PART V


Editor’s Note: There is no post with this title in known screenshots of strandwolf.blogspot.com. Keeping this placeholder in case the text surfaces.


MY CREED PART VI: NATIONAL-ANARCHISM

Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 9:54am

  1. The form of organisation worst suited to the creation of intelligently-run, ergonomic, environmentally sustainable, progressive, innovative white communities is statist capitalism, capitalism because it is an alien Judeo-Christian system which lives parasitically off the social wealth created by all races, the white foremost among them, and statism because it is the armoured claw of the parasites, the enforcer of the inequality which keeps the majority of our people poor.
  2. Previous forms of organisation aimed at creating a whole society have failed dismally, especially grand apartheid and its British, Dutch, and Afrikaner predecessors. The apartheid state was a corruption of white rule not only because of the abominable, inhuman way in which it treated its black neighbours – but because it lived parasitically off the white working class which it employed as its ultimately disposable enforcers of minority elite privilege. Likewise, white separatism such as the Orania project which are merely this system in miniature, are anathema to us, as is self-defeating white terrorism such as the Wit Wolve, devoid as it is of ethics or strategic thinking.
  3. The form of organisation best suited to the creation of a white society of recognisably human and humane form is revolutionary anarchism, a progressive socio-political form which eschews the reactionary reinforcement of white supremacist state/capitalist oppression and exploitation, and which also avoids the pitfalls of either precipitate, terroristic adventurism or the seductions of a retreat into an unattainable mystical past – a form that boldly attacks privilege and parasitism on all fronts, the sweeping, multidimensional battlespace.
  4. And the form of revolutionary anarchism that best suits the construction of an alternate, autogestive white society is one that draws on an eclectic set of principles derived from various leading-edge traditions. From Jim Goad we take the sensibility of a combative working class mentality that is plainspoken and honest. From Nestor Makhno we take the military-tactical lessons of locating ourselves within the heartlands of our communities, and of being internally of one mind yet externally pluralistic in our alliances. From Troy Southgate we take the metapolitical lessons of our spiritual-psychological ties to the landscape of Africa, land we won by right of conquest.
  5. These ideological wellsprings enable us to ground our battle in an actual physical and mental space. An in order to be truly grounded, we need to be scrupulously egalitarian and what this means in the southern African battlespace is that we are compelled to judicially recognise the right of white anarchists and black anarchists to establish their own separate, culturally-distinct formal organisations and informal networks. For while African revolutionary anarchists, by the rationale of even the Bolshevik-tainted international anarchist movement, it is entirely legitimate to establish separate white anarchist organisations, based on the following three points:
  6. Our status as a demographic / cultural minority (in the US that means blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans, but here it means whites, Asians, Coloureds and Indigenous). This might refer to a group being a minority in a specific geographic locality but also relates to white cultural hegemony which obviously no longer obtains in terms of primary cultural indicators such as the content of national public broadcasters. Secondary cultural indicators, such as the wearing of Western dress by most blacks, is not, however, evidence of the survival of white hegemony.
  7. Our status as a vulnerable group. Here the driving factors range from the declining white population (about 500,000 white South Africans have emigrated since 1994, while fertility rates also decline), to the economic status, the class, of the white population group. According to a 2009 Unisa study, 1.5-million out of 4 million whites are poor, often unemployed, working class, another 1.8-million are in the better paid skilled section of the working class. Only 423,000 are middle class and only 310,000 are wealthy. This points to the necessity, with 3,3-million whites in the working class or unemployed underclass, of organising primarily among those classes.
  8. Our status as a group suffering judicial or extrajudicial discrimination. Here the factors include the wave of largely unrecognised race-hate crimes against the farming community, especially in Zimbabwe and South Africa, and of course race-discriminatory legislation aimed at curbing the socio-economic mobility of whites, again marked in those two countries in particular.
  9. So, in order to organise as a legitimate social-revolutionary force, grounded in southern African realities, and to fight in an ethically-armed, community-grounded manner against the extinction of the remnants of our hard-won geographic and cultural conquests in Africa, we form a revolutionary “black” (ie: anarchist) organisation, to engage on the multidimensional battlefront: Black Battlefront.


MY CREED PART VII: HEARTLAND

Sunday, April 17, 2011, 6:20am

  1. In order for the Aryan African working class to adequately defend itself against its enemies, it is first necessary to define our territory and to be explicit about who those enemies are. Though the demographic demon of black genetic propagation is our acknowledged primary threat and challenge to our foothold on the continent, black people per se are not our enemies. In fact, in order to adequately argue in the court of international opinion our right to self-determination requires that we fundamentally acknowledge the black’s equal right to those parts of Africa that they in turn won by right of conquest, however defined.
  2. This in turn requires a Swiss-like cantonal policy of armed neutrality, of watchful good-neighbourliness, which will allow black and Aryan Africans to live peaceably according to their own separate traditions, in their agreed territories, and where necessary, naturally to conduct cordial, if not fraternal, bilateral diplomatic and commercial relations in an anti-imperialist fashion.
  3. So then, who are our enemies? They include the propagators of abstraction: Jesus, Mohammed, Freud and other progenitors of the idea of an invisible, voodoo power that knows better than we, the living biological distillation of millions of years of real, hardcore survivalist evolution. This includes post-modernists like Deboard, zero-sum fanatics like Pol Pot and other obfuscators of real life as lived by real people. These enemies obscure clear thought among Aryan people.
  4. The propagators of guilt: Mandela, Fanon, King, Guevara and other debasers of Aryan culture – plus their liberal media and marketing hacks, who push this crippling dogma via their footholds in insecure Western institutions of debased learning and culture. This includes feminists, Maoists and others who deny the right of conquest – and its uplifting, civilising mission. These enemies sap our will by denying our unassailable centuries of cultural, military, scientific and economic achievement.
  5. The propagators of parasitism: Stalin, Rothschild, Oppenheimer, Rupert, Sexwale and other drum-majorettes of the capitalist dysfunction whereby the hard-working, honest majority in the Occident (most often Aryan) is regularly dispossessed by non-productive Oriental elements (sometimes Semitic – both Arab and Jew). This includes investment bankers and all supra-national expressions of parasitic, non-productive greed, usury and outright robbery of the public purse.
  6. And in dispossessing our enemies, what then should our territory be? Our territories can historical be defined in numerous ways, and many resconstructionist projects look towards the old Boer Republics of the Transvall and Orange Free State – but these agrarian cultures have long been lost to British imperialism and their local comprador lackeys, swallowed up by liberal, multicultural industrialisation. Not that we reject industrialisation, but rather its deleterious effects: the compound system of impressed immigrant labour, the deliberate creation of a black underclass to undercut already slender white working class gains.
  7. We can rather lay claim to the western portions of the Old Cape and its hinterland, settled from 1652: from Cape Town as far east as Graaf-Reinet, sweeping northwards to embrace the Karoo and Kalahari and further, across the Orange River into Old German South-West Africa, as far north as the Karas region’s northern boundary and as far west as Lüderitz. Surrendering the gold- and coal-mining, industrial and financial heartland plus the eastern ports, farms and plantations to majority-black South Africa would nevertheless leave us with a coherent territory, predominantly Afrikaans-speaking, with a white and coloured majority, of hardy seafaring and farming folk, whose economic strength rests on the civil port of Cape Town, on wine and fruit growing, on diamond-mining, tourism, clothing mills, fishing, game and sheep farming, with its own university, hospitals and tertiary institutions, navy, air force, press, broadcasters and unique cultural traditions stretching back three and a half centuries.
  8. But it is insufficient to simply lop off this historical Aryan African heartland: its civil, judicial, legislative and military powers must be decentralised to District level, all Districts to be federated horizontally and to be administered by regularly rotated, immediately-recallable delegates narrowly delegated by quarterly plenary District Conventions whereby residents hold all executive decision-making powers. And all Districts shall gather their delegates annually or as often as required to form a Convention of Districts which shall be narrowly mandated to decide on matters of national importance.
  9. On the national question, while all black and Asian residents of the territory shall automatically be deemed without prejudice to be foreigners, most of the blacks presumed to be South African citizens, all Aryan, Coloured and Bushman residents of proven Old Cape / Karras heritage shall automatically be citizens, with preferred residency and citizenship offered to Aryans of any origin, provided that the four historic towns of Stellenbosch (1679), Franschhoek (1687), Swellendam (1743) and Graaf-Reinet (1786) be reserved exclusively for Aryans, and that each District Convention have the right to decide on racial zones of use and exclusion.

Appendix

More strandwolf.blogspot.com posts by Michael Schmidt

  1. Ode to a Dying Race (Saturday, February 13, 2010, 2:25am)

  2. Strandwolf is back in action! (Sunday, September 16, 2007, 3:36am)

    • “mas vale morir de pie que vivir de rodillas! it is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!” – praxedis guerrero, mexico, (1882-1910) killed while lighting the fuse on the mexican revolution, aged 28
  3. Platform of the Anarchist Communists of Bulgaria, 1945

Juan Conatz

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for posting that, however it isn't necessary to post that same thing on multiple articles and threads.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've slectively read parts (due to time constraaints), this is some crazy ass stuff.

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

my source wanted me to spread it so I did. If you are members on anarchist mailing lists, I would appreciate spreading there as well...people really don't understand the depths of this and need to... Schmidt is still enjoying a fruitful career as a celebrated lefty writer -- https://www.facebook.com/Drinking.with.Ghosts

That goes double for those who can spread this Creed and the screenshots on Zabalaza list(s). They need to know while their statement on MS is still being drafted.

subcomandante_juan

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

Thanks for posting that, however it isn't necessary to post that same thing on multiple articles and threads.

Juan, as you know this data dump at Anarkismo has already been beneficial because others, including Wayne Price, have seen and commented about this new content under the Price article. And we can see Price already condemned these Schmidt posts. (Comments section worth reading: http://www.anarkismo.net/article/28923)

Schmidt has not only campaigned for a vile racist agenda, but he has incited racist violence and hatred to extremist white supremacist audiences. Nobody knows exactly who reads which site or forum thread, and each audience deserves to be informed.

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan is objecting to my duplicate posts on BF and Schmidt interviews on libcom, all three of which were removed... I'm done here anyway. We all need to raise awareness outside of a single libcom thread. Many other things going on in the world, sure, but Schmidt and his ideology are cancer to our movement and it hasn't been addressed by even the comrades and groups closest to him. Except cowardly defenses of course... mean while Schmidt is a welcome guest at conferences about journalists, integrity, and persecution -- http://pensouthafrica.co.za/sa-cities-of-refuge-project-repaying-south-african-exiles-debt-of-hospitality/

James MacBryde

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for the post, William. It's about the funniest thing I've read. Here's a taster:

The white (wo)man is in Africa by conquest. This is inescapable; that gunpowder beats spear, wolves rule over sheep. And yet we are human and not animals, thus we mark our territory not with urine but blood.

This right of conquest may not be ethically “right” but it is the forge of history – and the alloy that results, its temper and strength are then set. How we deal with that is both rooted in, and starts, now.

The implication is that primitivism, Africanism or any qualified or absolute return to a pre-colonial “state of grace” is impossible. Also clear is that redress and reparations for past wrongs, grievous though they may be, are impossible. Thus may the Herero seek apology from the Germans for genocide, but not redress.

Ardent Vinlander

Dannny

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

With the best will in the world, I can't really get my head round why people aren't falling over themselves to publicly break from him at this point. Maybe people who were close to him personally are frozen by shock?

lucien_lies_too

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Considerations of the Anarkismo network about the accusations against Michael Schmidt" http://www.anarkismo.net/article/29047

"The Anarkismo network has already published a statement that it would wait until all parts of the accusations by Reid Ross and Stephens were published, as well as the answers of M. Schmidt, before making any judgements on the case. Now that this has been forthcoming, as well as two more responses by Reid Ross, we are issuing a second statement to make public our intentions regarding the present situation.

It is difficult for us to draw definitive conclusions about this case based on the evidence provided so far by both sides. This is because to do so would require translating all the material, accusations and defence, into numerous languages in order to allow debate in each organisation, with organisations then debating each other through their delegates to the Anarkismo network. This is impossible to carry out with our current capacity – especially for organisations with daily militancy and work of social insertion and/or operating under difficult social contexts – without sacrificing other daily activities. However, the accusations against Schmidt are extremely serious and we take the issue of fighting racism and white supremacy as high priority. Therefore, the Anarkismo network has decided to call for a commission of enquiry to investigate more closely both the accusations and the defence, and to make recommendations to the broader anarchist movement based on their findings. As it is well known that Schmidt was a former militant in one of our member organizations and both helped to found and contributed extensively to the anarkismo.net website, it is our intention that the commission should include members of other tendencies and non-affiliated anarchists in order to avoid partiality.

We have already stated in our previous statement how we feel about the methods of the accusers. Further than the specific case of M. Schmidt, those methods raised an internal debate about how we deal with such situations. The accusations may be true or not: this will be for the commission to settle. We cannot ignore that the methods used by the accusers – especially the lack of a criteria for minimum of justice – could be used one day in an unjustified accusation against any one of us in order to defame a militant, an organisation or a whole movement. As political organizations we have a duty to protect our members. While Schmidt may not be a member of any of our affiliated organisations, the way we deal with the current situation will have consequences for similar situations in the future.

This is why the Anarkismo network, before sending an invitation to members of other tendencies to join the commission of enquiry, will now work internally to figure out the commission's composition, the parameters of what decisions are within its range and on the questions of how we define justice and ethics in a way that does not reproduce the modus operandi of mainstream society. This is in order to propose a methodological and ethical framework for this commission (which, then, will need to be discussed with the tendencies we wish to invite to form the commission). We think this is necessary because, if this commission has no clear criteria, it will end up adopting, as a result of a dynamic of social pressure, those of the movement in general. And unfortunately, we cannot say that the criteria of ethics and justice today in our milieu are the best.

This work will take us a while. Not only because it is a vast discussion, but also because we lack the capacity to deal properly with this case without stopping our daily work.

There will be a further communication when the Anarkismo network is ready to make a formal proposal.

The Anarkismo Network
January 2016"

S. Artesian

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is difficult for us to draw definitive conclusions about this case based on the evidence provided so far by both sides. This is because to do so would require translating all the material, accusations and defence, into numerous languages in order to allow debate in each organisation, with organisations then debating each other through their delegates to the Anarkismo network.

Which brings us to the question-- how does Anarkismo draw definitive conclusions about anything?

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

basically what has been indicated for the past while.

Black Badger

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By the time this Commission of Enquiry is seated, most of the eyewitnesses will either be long gone from the anarchist milieu and/or dead from old age...

bastarx

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guys, guys haven't you heard, platformist groups operating in a very Leninst manner allows them to respond quickly and decisively to events.

James MacBryde

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dannny:

I can't really get my head round why people aren't falling over themselves to publicly break from him at this point.

To make such a public rupture would be an admission of being bedfellows in the past.

lucien_lies_too

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fascists? Or just some blokes worried about the "Menace in Europe"?

http://wire.novaramedia.com/2016/02/post-dover-5-things-antifascists-can-learn-from-a-motorway-services-in-kent/

http://wire.novaramedia.com/2016/02/post-dover-5-reflections-on-antifascism-today/

https://news.google.com/news/section?q=combat%2018

lucien_lies_too

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Any bets on when the ZACF response will be published? If so, odds that it's just another "we're waiting for a commission to decide" message? How about Lucien?

More important things in the world, yes, but this also shouldn't be that hard unless there's damage control going on.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I gather this has been punted to some commission

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To make such a public rupture would be an admission of being bedfellows in the past.

I say this comradely, but there is an element of truth to this. I mean, after all, he was respected by many for a long time. Wrote stuff that some thought had elements of lots of merit. I can get how some feel. And why some want to defend what they think are the best parts and reputations
of those who have clean hands, but have been associated with a particular tendency.

The end result of some lame commission doesn't do much (for me at least), as it just seems like punting the ball, but I get where some of the more decent and honorable folks are coming from. Tough spot for some.

Red.Black.Writings

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hello.
This is Lucien van der Walt. In early December 2015, I posted several times online, under a once-well-known name I used to use, Red.Black.Writings, on the Schmidt issue. I had resolved not to post or debate online at all, but I got emotional.

I apologise sincerely and unreservedly for engaging the issues under the Red.Black.Writings identity without clearly identifying it as mine. I should have done so, from the start. I am sorry if it was misleading. I acted emotionally, and without care. I am truly sorry. I didn’t create the Red.Black.Writings identity to engage on the Schmidt issue (it has been around for years, and is fairly well-known as mine), and I was posting on a board where pretty much no-one uses their real names. But that does not excuse me.

In these posts I argued that Schmidt’s reply was pretty strong, and that his critics were missing some of its key claims, being a bit selective when using evidence (for example, skipping over Schmidt’s anarchist tattoos, highlighting instead a runic tattoo), not always considering other explanations, and so on. This was soon after Schmidt posted his second reply.

There was one positive outcome of this unhappy experience: I found some of the replies to my points difficult to answer. I left the board because I needed to think these through. I haven’t posted there since.

The fact is that I was forced to do some serious reflection by the exchanges, to recognise more problems in Schmidt’s actions and arguments (as my fuller statement, which I will post now, shows, while I continue to have a range of reservations about the Reid-Ross and Stephens arguments and actions, I have a range of reservations about Schmidt’s too).

I don’t particularly like the way many online debates about the Schmidt affair have been conducted, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize important points when they are made.

Anyway, I am deeply sorry. I am also sorry it has taken so long to reply, but I have stayed away from online debates on the Schmidt issue since mid-December.

Finally, I will be posting a fuller statement on the Schmidt affair after this message, called “Personal statement on the Michael Schmidt affair: Lucien van der Walt, 11 February 2016."

Apologies, again.

Yours sincerely,
Lucien van der Walt, Makana, South Africa, 11 February 2016

Red.Black.Writings

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Personal statement on the Michael Schmidt affair: Lucien van der Walt, 11 February 2016

Many people have asked me to comment on the Schmidt affair, and to those who wrote to me, I said I would comment after all the articles were out, and after all Michael Schmidt’s replies were out. Those following the affair will know it centres on the claim that Schmidt was, from at least 2002, some sort of racist right-winger or fascist working inside the anarchist movement – a charge Schmidt has denied.

Now that what looks to be the final instalment in the series of seven articles by Alexander Reid-Ross and Joshua Stephens has appeared (24 December 2015), and that it seems Schmidt is not issuing a third reply to them (he did two in 2015), I have tried to put pen to paper to comment.

And I have found it very difficult.

The reasons are quite simple. I have mixed feelings, I am unsure what to think. I want to reach a final position, and have tried to do my best to hear all sides of the story, not just those that fit what I initially thought. My views have shifted over time, they shift daily.

I have problems with the actions and arguments of Reid-Ross and Stephens, but I also have problems with the actions and arguments of Schmidt.

I find it difficult to reconcile the Michael Schmidt I saw, with the statements he has admitted to posting online under fake personas. These include comments on boards, as well as what appears to be a longer manifesto, called the “Strandwolf’s Creed.”

I find those online statements to be deeply abhorrent, shocking – no matter what reason is given to explain them, in their own right they are just awful. I completely distance myself from those statements. They embody racist and fascist positions that I find appalling, and that I have opposed consistently, for decades, to the best of my abilities – and let me stress here that, despite my ethnic background, I reject Afrikaner nationalism, in all its forms, as an essentially reactionary current. The “Strandwolf’s Creed,” posted under one of Schmidt’s online fake personas, had clearly racist and fascist content, I reject it entirely. I also believe some of the online posts by these personas were inflammatory and irresponsible, going beyond, in my view, the ethics of journalism and social research.

I also completely reject a document that Schmidt authored in his own capacity, and circulated in 2008 in the South African anarchist political group, Zabalaza/ ZACF, called “Politico-Cultural Dynamics …” I was not part of that organisation at the time. I was not party to the discussions in Zabalaza over it. When I checked later, Zabalaza’s records showed that the organisation rejected the text, and that Schmidt recanted its worst formulations as “bordering on racism,” in 2008. Many years later, when I was informed of this text for the first time, by someone else, I asked Schmidt about it: he stated that he wrote it when disillusioned and burned-out, and that he distanced himself from it. But no matter what his intentions and situation may have been when he wrote it, I think it’s an irredeemable and unacceptable text.

Schmidt’s core defense of the right-wing online statements and the “Creed” that he posted under false personas has been that the statements emphatically did not reflect his real views, but were as fake as the personas he created online. So he says that his online statements (through these personas) were certainly and definitely racist and fascist – but insists that they are inventions, used cynically as part of an undercover investigation into the radical white right, first as a journalist, and then for research towards a book called “Global Fire.” His real views, he insists, are those expressed in a long history of progressive and left-radical political work, and a social life, that locates him firmly in the camp of the country’s black working class.

Reid-Ross and Stephens argue, on the other hand, that Schmidt’s online statements through his various online right-wing personas are far too consistent with elements of his public persona and writings, and far too offensive, to be explained away as simply part of a research project. They also argue against the undercover-journalism defense on the grounds that he has, they insist, produced little in the way of research outputs as a result.

Versions of these claims and counter-claims have been in circulation for some time, at least back into 2011, in some circles. But never as detailed and extensive as now: it is only with Reid-Ross and Stephens’ articles, and the two Schmidt replies, that a fuller picture has started to emerge.

Where does the truth of the matter lie? Does it lie with one or other of the two main narratives that have been put forward? Does it fit uneasily with both?

Right now, I find it difficult to reach definite conclusions.

I was deeply disappointed to read, in Schmidt’s two replies to his accusers, his frank admission that he had not only concealed his claimed undercover journalism from Zabalaza and others for years – and it was even worse, to learn, from those replies, that he had continued to conceal the full scope of his online activities and personas even when he was confronted by Zabalaza and others, including me, from 2011.

I do think that there are important elements of the claims by Reid-Ross and Stephens that have not been clearly addressed by Schmidt’s replies. These are some examples. One is the claim Schmidt has a runic tattoo on one arm, of a symbol associated with the white radical right, and that he got this to signify a radical right position. Another is the allegation that he voted for the Afrikaner nationalist Freedom Front Plus in South Africa’s 2009 general elections. A third is the argument that some of his journalistic articles in the mainstream press show sympathies with the white radical right.

On the other hand, there are important elements of Schmidt’s replies that have not been adequately addressed by Reid-Ross and Stephens, in their responses. These are some examples. One is the claim Reid-Ross and Stephens skip over Schmidt’s tattoos that are clearly anarchist, like an Anarchist Black Cross tattoo, ignoring evidence that does not neatly fit. Another is the allegation that at least one of the major statements they attribute to Schmidt does not actually appear in the text they cite. A third is the argument that, even now, they have not engaged with the bulk of what Schmidt has written, skipping three of five books, various anarchist pamphlets, and most of the many hundreds of articles he’s written, anarchist as well as journalistic. A fourth claim is that they have acted at odds with journalistic ethics, interviewing with Schmidt under false pretenses, not giving him a right-of-reply before publication, displaying overt personal hostility, and making dubious claims to, for instance, treat the fact Schmidt had a black wife and friends as irrelevant, even damning.

Now, let me be clear. I hope that there are simple explanations, from both sides, for all these concerns. I really hope so. I’d like to see all these issues addressed, by both sides. I am not taking sides, because I am not sure what to think.

Well, that’s where I am today, unsure, with reservations about both Schmidt and Reid-Ross and Stephens, in turmoil, not sure how to proceed and hoping for the issues to be resolved.

I have tried to think through the issues, vacillated, changed my mind. Sometimes I have acted emotionally and foolishly – for which I apologize sincerely and unreservedly.

In early December 2015, for example, I posted a several times online, under a once-well-known name I used to use, Red.Black.Writings. I had resolved not to post or debate online at all, but I got emotional. This was soon after Schmidt posted his second reply. In these posts I argued that Schmidt’s reply was pretty strong, and that his critics were missing some of its key claims, being a bit selective when using evidence (for example, skipping over Schmidt’s anarchist tattoos, highlighting instead a runic tattoo), not always considering other explanations, and so on.

I apologise sincerely and unreservedly for engaging the issues under the Red.Black.Writings identity without clearly identifying it as mine. I should have done so, from the start. I am sorry if it was misleading. I acted emotionally, and without care. I am truly sorry. I didn’t create the Red.Black.Writings identity to engage on the Schmidt issue (it has been around for years, and is fairly well-known as mine), and I was posting on a board where pretty much no-one uses their real names. But that does not excuse me.

There was one positive outcome of this unhappy experience: I found some of the replies to my points difficult to answer. I left the board because I needed to think these through. I haven’t posted there since. The fact is that I was forced to do some serious reflection by the exchanges. I was forced to recognise more problems in Schmidt’s arguments. While I continue to have reservations about the Reid-Ross and Stephens arguments, I have, let me state it again, reservations about Schmidt’s arguments.

I don’t particularly like the way many online debates about the Schmidt affair have been conducted, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize important points when they are made.

To understand the emotional side of the issues, and my conflicted views, let me say something on a personal level: I have known Michael Schmidt for a long time, since the mid-1990s; I was in radical groups with Schmidt from 1995 until about ten years ago, 2007; and I was in contact with him when he got divorced in 2007, and burned-out, ill and depressed from 2008.

Also around ten years ago, my main written collaboration with Schmidt took place. This was, of course, the book “Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism.” Although “Black Flame” appeared in print in 2009, it was largely written in 2005-2006, the proofs for correction arriving late 2007. I was the primary author.

It was an effort at a global, non-Eurocentric account of mainstream anarchist and syndicalist history and theory – one with flaws, certainly, but one with many strengths too. The book went for peer-review, at my insistence, and no reviewer then, or critic later, made any allusion to right-wing themes in the book. Those who criticized the book tended to take issue with its stress on class-struggle, or its definition of anarchism.

Schmidt’s lengthy (second) reply to Reid-Ross and Stephens reminded me of his track record as an activist-writer, and reflected the person I saw. I saw a long history of non-racial action, and dedication to a black working class-based anarchism, which I find difficult just to forget. The Schmidt I saw dedicated a great part of his life to anarchism and syndicalism, in his writings, militancy and daily life. This is the Schmidt that many people, in South Africa and worldwide saw, not just me, a man involved in unions, protests, agitation, and radical publishing.

And in this long period, Michael Schmidt never expressed to me the sorts of views that Reid-Ross and Stephens insist he has held since at least 2002. I never saw him politically active in ways that suggested a radical right-wing agenda. I never saw, in any draft of what became “Black Flame,” or in the drafts that I saw of its successor “Global Fire” (which have been written by Schmidt), the sorts of views critics claim Schmidt has long held. Even when he was grappling, from 2007, with personal demons, job issues, divorce, and general disappointment, he did not express such views to me.

I also never saw the sort of manipulative, duplicitous and aggressive personality described by the Reid-Ross and Stephens’ articles, or some of the anonymous sources they cited. And again, I am not alone in this.

In the long period I have known Schmidt, we have had many disagreements on many issues, including political ones, but the side of himself he showed to me was always that of a pretty standard class-struggle anarchist.

But I say “showed to me,” very deliberately, because I knew his writing and research and militancy basically through his public anarchist and anarchist-related writings and activities in the 1990s and 2000s.

Our interaction was around left-radical projects. Sometimes I worked with him as a co-author. Sometimes he asked for feedback on drafts, on the understanding that he bore final responsibility for their content. I can’t say I followed his newspaper pieces articles very closely. And of course, he was his own man, and he did not run everything by me, as if I was his editor or commissar. Many of his articles I only saw after they were published – I can recall some I hotly rejected, including one on the late, unlamented Eugene Terre’blanche.

And I say “showed to me,” deliberately, because obviously a person can have different sides, not all visible. While I can say the Schmidt I saw seemed the genuine article, I can’t claim I saw every part of Schmidt, I can’t claim that I saw everything he said or did. But if he had another political persona, it was not shown to me.

And I say “showed to me,” deliberately, because the Reid-Ross and Stephens articles have drawn to my attention to a body of materials of which I was not previously aware, and made some criticisms about Schmidt’s explanation for his online fake personas that do need to be addressed – as I have indicated earlier.

And I also say “showed to me,” deliberately, because Schmidt did not inform me he was creating fake online personas, never shared with me the texts he posted through such personas, nor did he state to me and others in the 2000s that he was undertaking a claimed undercover-journalism / research on the radical white right. It’s not just that I did not see all of Schmidt: this activity, at least, was specifically kept under wraps by Schmidt.

It was in early 2011 that Zabalaza was informed, by other sources, that Schmidt was operating false personas on radical white right sites and showing affinities to the radical right. Schmidt had left Zabalaza a year before. I was not in Zabalaza, so I do not know all the details or the exact dates of this informing. I was soon approached by a member of Zabalaza about the matter, and I replied that Zabalaza needed to deal with the issue firmly, and confront Schmidt.

Zabalaza did confront Schmidt in 2011 – as did I, in my own capacity – and he was confronted about these issues several times subsequently. His reply was always roughly the same as that he still maintains, that the fake personas were for undercover research purposes, and emphatically did not represent his real views. Remember also that he had rejected “Politico-Cultural Dynamics …” in 2008, so this matter was not brought into the discussion.

For my part, I took Schmidt’s explanation at face value, based on the Schmidt I knew, and the record of action, that I saw. And based, I must admit, on the fact I respected, trusted and liked him.

Maybe I am naïve, but I have been guided by a belief in human decency, and a trust in people, based on what I have experienced directly. When I express reservations about the case against Schmidt, it does not come from a stubborn effort to see only one side of the story, or to defend anything and everything that Schmidt may have ever done. It does not come from an effort to cover up. It certainly does not come from any sympathy for noxious views or from any hidden agenda.

Yet I warned Schmidt, on these occasions, that if there was substance to the claims that he had was affiliated to the radical white right he would face ostracism and lose friends, that people who did not like him would also actively try to ruin him.

And if now, after all, there is indeed substance to the claims, I and many other will feel deeply betrayed by him, and how he turned his back on his anarchist writings and militancy.

Where to now?

I understand that there is a non-partisan anarchist and syndicalist commission being called to look into the Schmidt affair.

Maybe that can lead to some resolution. Maybe the commission can help anarchism and syndicalism globally think through how to deal with matters like the Schmidt affair in a more constructive, comradely and movement-building manner.

And maybe, in the process, people can consider just what they want to achieve in affairs like this.

There will probably never be a consensus on this case, and people will need to decide how they deal with difference here, and how to move beyond what has become a very vitriolic debate, including insults, smears, and even hate-mail.

For me, for now, my feelings are mixed, my mind not made up, my emotions in turmoil, and my path unclear. I know some people want me to make a clearer statement, but this is where I am right now. Unsure.

So, for now, I wait. I wait for the commission, I discuss with comrades, colleagues and friends.

And I will take a final position after the commission.

Yours sincerely,
Lucien van der Walt, Makana, South Africa, 11 February 2016

Dannny

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for these comments, Lucien. I appreciate this must have been a shitty time for you.
On this point:

On the other hand, there are important elements of Schmidt’s replies that have not been adequately addressed by Reid-Ross and Stephens, in their responses. These are some examples. One is the claim Reid-Ross and Stephens skip over Schmidt’s tattoos that are clearly anarchist, like an Anarchist Black Cross tattoo, ignoring evidence that does not neatly fit. Another is the allegation that at least one of the major statements they attribute to Schmidt does not actually appear in the text they cite. A third is the argument that, even now, they have not engaged with the bulk of what Schmidt has written, skipping three of five books, various anarchist pamphlets, and most of the many hundreds of articles he’s written, anarchist as well as journalistic.

If Schmidt is a fascist then it seems to me that the anarchist activity, tattoos and writings can be explained by two possible factors: 1) he meant them sincerely at the time but changed his position. 2) the 'national anarchism' he advocates is an attempt to make racism and various other tenets of fascism compatible with anarchism, in which case knowledge of and credibility within anarchism are a plus for him, even if to achieve this he has to behave in contradictory ways and write things contrary to what he believes.

For someone who knows him, those explanations might not convince, but that's how it looks from the outside. And from here it looks like Schmidt is a fascist because what kind of undercover anti-fascist activity could feasibly, in a million years, involve advocating a 'black battlefront' that expicitly attempts to wed 'anarchism' to violent racism? So one of those above explanations must broadly suffice, regardless of the content of that activity and those texts. In that sense, the weaknesses of the investigation seem largely irrelevant at this point.

In any case, I hope that all those who were close to Schmidt get through this experience as best they can, without making any concessions to or excuses for racism and nationalism, and I'm glad and gratified to see that approach in your comments.

lucien_lies_too

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

thanks Lucien, my work is done here, so I won't be posting any longer. I know it is difficult to eat crow after those older posts, and the humble response is appreciated. I apologize sincerely for the vitriol and will now spread this response of yours far and wide.

In regard to your analysis so far, I don't think the "my emotions are still blinding me so I wait for the commission decision" response is good enough -- surely an academic of your caliber can dig through all the material? it's really not as complex as you make it sound.

That, and I'm sure you have evidence of your own which would shed some light on the situation... Schmidt's trangressions into "national anarchism" and racist/Boer nationalist outbursts must have creeped into correspondence and other writings -- likely episodes you've seen in person as well. Releasing the rejected Anarkismo articles ("Menace in Europe", "Neither Fish nor Fowl", etc.) as well as any incriminating ZACF memos etc., would not only help make the discussion more open and rational, it would further distance you from a man who has already damaged your career significantly. Even if you think Schmidt is a "sometimes racist", there's no excuse for it, and the fallout has been substantial. You would also do well to distance your colleagues and comrades from him and be proactive about letting them know your position in regard to this; there are still books and articles of Michael's being promoted in SA that contain a more 'politically correct' version of his nationalism/racism.

If your opinion truly does change daily, I hope that you will take the time to look closely at the comments here and what else is out there, and engage thoughtfully with the people here and elsewhere online, before waiting for some drawn-out commission (which is waste of everyone's time and energy). The facts are rather plain when you're at a personal distance from the man himself, even if difficult to fathom. Conclusions from you will likely carry more weight than the response of an entire commission.

I know you've seen most of it, but I'll post again. This is *almost* everything, besides a handful of Stormfront posts that don't add much relevance (though I will make sure they get published in a legible form). I'll leave out Michael's responses, which are obviously linked in the ARR and JS pieces and I'm sure you're quite familiar with.

Primary sources --

http://www.pdf-archive.com/2016/01/27/michael-schmidt-strandwolfs-creed/

http://filepi.com/i/P2OoSTj

http://filepi.com/i/S5r9NDz

http://filepi.com/i/lyj47N9

http://www.pdf-archive.com/2015/10/12/schmidt-memo/preview/page/1/

How the story broke --

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

The story --

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-1-1a6fa255b528#.vjvdrq7k9

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-2-1849e232b943#.658mmwfkq

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-3-7d288d84b170#.jk9526ifg

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchist-movements-throughout-the-world-chapter-4-8ff357d222e3#.nesf4esly

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-5-a6ae0f471e9e?source=latest---------1

https://medium.com/@areidross/michael-schmidt-and-the-fascist-creep-75256cca1f2?source=latest---------2

https://medium.com/@areidross/i-fact-checked-michael-schmidt-s-autobiography-and-it-s-worse-than-we-thought-9df765516095?source=latest---------1

S. Artesian

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

IMO, it all comes down to this:

It was in early 2011 that Zabalaza was informed, by other sources, that Schmidt was operating false personas on radical white right sites and showing affinities to the radical right. Schmidt had left Zabalaza a year before. I was not in Zabalaza, so I do not know all the details or the exact dates of this informing. I was soon approached by a member of Zabalaza about the matter, and I replied that Zabalaza needed to deal with the issue firmly, and confront Schmidt.

Zabalaza did confront Schmidt in 2011 – as did I, in my own capacity – and he was confronted about these issues several times subsequently. His reply was always roughly the same as that he still maintains, that the fake personas were for undercover research purposes,

In 2011. And neither ZACF nor LVDW say a word about this until after the Reid-Ross/Stephens articles expose the mess. Four years of silence. Four years of accepting Schmidt's explanations, without further investigation. No requests for a commission of inquiry then. No awaiting the determination of an independent panel, then.

And after the exposure-- no acknowledgement for months that LVDW already knew about these actions by Schmidt.

Nothing but silence on this. Until now. Now LVDW has "problems" with the methods and the exposures made by Reid-Ross/Stephens. Now LVDW awaits the determination of a commission of inquiry.

Now somebody might consider LVDW's statements, his call and wait for an independent panel of inquiry, part of the same stall, the same cover-up that was engaged in then

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I said I wouldn't be back on here but fuck it. This is not a good enough response from Lucien and I'm sure he knows that.

S. Artesian

In 2011. And neither ZACF nor LVDW say a word about this until after the Reid-Ross/Stephens articles expose the mess. Four years of silence. Four years of accepting Schmidt's explanations, without further investigation. No requests for a commission of inquiry then. No awaiting the determination of an independent panel, then.

And after the exposure-- no acknowledgement for months that LVDW already knew about these actions by Schmidt.

Nothing but silence on this. Until now. Now LVDW has "problems" with the methods and the exposures made by Reid-Ross/Stephens. Now LVDW awaits the determination of a commission of inquiry.

Now somebody might consider LVDW's statements, his call and wait for an independent panel of inquiry, part of the same stall, the same cover-up that was engaged in then

100% fucking right. This echoes one of the other concise statements on this, from user hm on the first Anarkismo statement in September 2015.

http://anarkismo.net/article/28576

...the mess is the consequence of Schmidt's behavior, not anything that AK Press or the authors of the exposé are responsible for. The format of the text they wrote is more self-important than necessary, but we should not be complaining about that--we should be critical of the fact that no one else spoke up about this issue before they did, out of all the people who could have said something. If there is any possible defense of Schmidt's behavior, it is certainly not silence, which is what the people around him opted for across the course of several years.

I agree with the Anarchist Affinity statement, and I will be surprised if Schmidt's next statement, or anything we hear from Anarkismo after their long silence, can be anything but more damning of them both.

Anarchism is critical to the survival of humanity at this historical juncture, and deserves better exponents than we are seeing here.

We who have been working hard to get the information on Schmidt out there have been pleading for strong principled responses, and found few. We certainly don't have any idea how big a potential "cover up" was, or if it was just bad judgment and irrational protection of a friend ("maybe he's not actually racist, he's a good guy" etc.)

It's nice that Lucien is sorry, apologizing for his online conduct, but not apologizing for anything else, like harboring Schmidt. The criticisms keep falling instead on the messengers, the people who are, in many cases, "digging" for info that's already online (really, we're re-packaging it so that it can't be misinterpreted and is very, very clear for Schmidt supporters).

Why did it take so much fucking energy to get this response? Or any response? And we don't need a commission as many have said.

Lucien - if you really care, release everything you know including the articles you rejected via Anarkismo or otherwise. This is an opportunity to turn the corner. You will be badgered for them if you don't, and properly so.

Also, I'm convinced this response is only humble because damage control efforts over the ZACF response were not successful. We know you had a strong hand in the draft of the ZACF response and that it wasn't an indictment of Schmidt like this personal response...all it did was muddy the waters even more, slow down the process even more, proving such a process to be impotent.

Black Badger

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A day late and a dollar short. Lucien's months-long refusal to admit he was RBW when confronted multiple times rings hollow; saying "everyone knows" it was him when he was consistently silent and/or coy is absurd. Waiting for this ridiculous commission of inquiry is equally -- if not more -- ludicrous. Like the ZACF statement, this is wholly inadequate.

syndicalist

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the ZACF response

where is this posted

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Black Badger

A day late and a dollar short. Lucien's months-long refusal to admit he was RBW when confronted multiple times rings hollow; saying "everyone knows" it was him when he was consistently silent and/or coy is absurd. Waiting for this ridiculous commission of inquiry is equally -- if not more -- ludicrous. Like the ZACF statement, this is wholly inadequate.

Right. Confronted (3 or 4 times on just this thread?) before the lucien_lies account was even created. There are clever omissions in even his apology for RBW posts, and you've hit the nail on the head.

The question is whether his behavior now will be good enough to forgive the past. Some seem to think so, I'm not convinced. To start, let's see the ZACF draft and whether or not he had a hand in it. There's no good reason to accept the "waiting for commission" response from everyone close to this affair, especially if there's no actual transparency, and even then it's a fucking joke..... which will no doubt carry mock-stoic pretenses of "justice" and so on.

And, let's not forget, there are years of protection ("naivety" some would claim) for Schmidt going on here... the Creed was circulated most widely by me, but it was the exact same text available to Lucien and ZACF et al in 2011 at strandwolf.blogspot.com Read it. Does anyone believe it's there to be a cover? Why not just make copypasta NeoNazi crap to lure in fash trash..... instead it's a purposeful marriage of anarchism and Boer white supremacy.

I don't want to hear "because it's long it was hard to really understand" or that "it was unpleasant so I didn't read it all" from Lucien and co... some of us had to type up that garbage from screenshots and copyedit it to make sure it matched, and that was much more abysmal. But it had to be done or we'd all still be clockwatching for what few responses we have gotten now.

Edit: to clarify my questions about the creed and last paragraph were not directed at Black Badger.

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

syndicalist

the ZACF response

where is this posted

We only know it from summaries of those who have read it, sorry to give another impression. I would very much like to see the text...I know many others have it but have either been unwilling to publish it or our paths haven't crossed.

I think the draft response may be even more important than the final version and the discrepancy between the two will reveal a lot about how potential "commissions" are going to work (very badly I hazard to guess). If anyone has it, please post it even after the final ZACF response so we can contrast... it may give lie to some things in Lucien's statement above as well.

S. Artesian

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Previous entry removed. Said all I needed to say. I'm out.

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In times like this, when we're being battered down by bullshit, we have to keep moving but we also have to call out our "academic representatives" when we see the shit they wallow in. The coopting of real anarchist movements by academic elites with sketchy excuses must NOT be allowed. We work way too fucking hard, and many others work harder than I do, to keep real movements churning.

For my part, I engage in real community activism and am not so easily swayed by elites claiming to be militant organizers, who either turn out to be fascists or making excuses for them. What real organizing has Lucien et al done recently? All I see is his country awoken by activism and Lucien as an elite meeting even his past comrades with silence and then excuses, failing to engage the next generation at his doorstep whom he should be encouraging. Were I to even have half that opportunity to be a mentor, I would cherish it...... instead we get infantile garbage.

I see nothing from Lucien but outdated reposts of Wobbly-style speeches about class war... there's a complete disconnect between the people close to this story and those involved in actual activism. I don't care about people forming "sacred texts" in isolation and with nothing but armchair rhetoric, and I disdain the approach of the Lucien response the more I digest it. It's a taste of bitter academia.

I'm "unsure" about you, Lucien... if you can't make up your mind about outward racism and fascism (which you acknowledge but won't "take sides" on) perhaps you're too compromised to be part of the movement you supposedly cherish. Or, perhaps, no one should care about you anyway because you're so distant from actual action and might as well be a voice from the past.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here we go again, the classic shitting on teachers and academics for all the faults of anarchism, leftism or whatever.

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Here we go again, the classic shitting on teachers and academics for all the faults of anarchism, leftism or whatever.

No that's not it at all. The problem is the lack of engagement perceived within this small cadre of academics, beyond punting of their own articles and books. You think I'm wrong, fine, but don't twist my words into a kneejerk reaction.

Khawaga

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fair enough, my apologies then. But it's sadly a pretty common refrain. Fwiw, I do agree that a lot of academics' activism stays contained firmly within the gates of the ivory tower.

Juan Conatz

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Haven't posted in this thread for a while but definitely been watching it. Not counting the frankly laughable investigative inquiry that Anarkismo is attempting to solicit, there's not much more to say about this situation other than the effects of it all.

I have to admit, it has been extremely disappointing, indeed, even disillusioning to see what certain people's reaction to this has been. Not just random people on the internet, either, although those are hard to ignore. No, even some people that I've known or respected for many years, that have been part of stuff I have as well, have thrown their hat into the ring to seemingly defend MS at all costs, acting as an informal defense counsel and trying to find any possible holes in the exposé of MS.

Before the authors of the multipart exposé released them, it was understandable to have major problems with how this thing was happening, specifically AK Press. But to keep bringing up objections over process is a de facto defense of not only MS' fascist politics, but of the silence surrounding it by numerous people. This may be a strong statement, but anyone bringing up process after the point where Alexander Reid Ross had released all the entries on the MS series, I basically consider you an apologist for racism and fascism if it suits your political needs.

The broad scene around neoplatformism looks really bad out of all of this. It proves that having structure or organization doesn't necessarily mean anything when it comes to the 'tyranny of structurelessness'. If MS was some random member of one of the Anarkismo groups, he most likely would have been cast out and exposed long ago. Because he co-wrote probably the most important document for the neoplatformists other than The Platform itself, his racism and fascist sympathies were kept silent and/or defended.

ZACF, perhaps the leading purveyor in the world of neoplatformist propaganda and literature, kept silent about MS, even though they knew the majority of what came out in ARR pieces long ago. Lucien, the co-writer of Black Flame, as mentioned one of the most important books for neoplatformists, also kept silent, and uses a significant amount of space in his statement, claiming to not know who to believe, and objected to, again, the process. Wayne Price, although not in any organization, unquestionably is one of the most important people in the English speaking world when it comes to neoplatformism, and he needlessly put out a dreadful defense of MS. Plus, I've seen numerous people I personally know that are in these Anarkismo affiliated organizations go to great lengths on here or Facebook to go after ARR and/or defend MS, based on perceived ideological stakes on how neoplatformists would look.

Of course, it's not just those people either, the defense of MS has crossed over into stuff I have been more involved in, with individuals in the IWW, libcom group or Recomposition also defending MS at a point far longer in this timeline than makes me comfortable.

More than anything I can think of, this has made me question my involvement in the libertarian far left. Can I, as a person from both a Puerto Rican and Jewish background, tolerate an event in which people mindlessly defend a fascist? I am not sure.

William Everard

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Since the tattoos have been shown to be indicative of Schmidt's white pride, we might do well to dig for a while and figure out just exactly which printer that "printer's mark" belongs to, and if it's a printer's mark at all. Though it may seem excessive, Schmidt openly lied before and omitted his lebensrune (through sloppy reading of the ARR/JS article and not looking at the second photo where it's clearly next to the "printer's mark"?)

I have NO racist tattoos. The sum total of all my ink is: my family and a radical Chilean firefighter’s emblem (back); a Chris Achilleos siren and the slogan “No Fate” (right shoulder); the names of two life-long women friends I love, one Indian, written in Sanscrit, the other white, written in Elder Futhark (left and right shoulders); an inverted Renaissance printer’s mark in red – this is not a runic tattoo (left shoulder); recreations of the oldest tattoos known, of the Scythians from the 5th Century BC – remember, science tells us the Scythians were a blend of peoples including European and Asiatic so these cannot be construed as racial tribal tattoos (left and right upper arms and elbows); a naval anchor with the name of my brother Tauca who was killed last year (right forearm); Anarchist Black Cross – South Africa emblem (left forearm); and the line from the IWW song There is Power in a Union, “Money speaks for money; the Devil for his own. Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone?” (right forearm). All of these tattoos were done well before AK Press started its investigation. See https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-2-1849e232b943#.n6gkftdiq). Happily, I had not started my planned tattoo of the AK Press logo of a crossed dagger and quill; I’ve changed my mind on that now – unless I have the dagger drawn as if sunk in my back!

Here is an approximation of the "printer's mark" symbol:
http://oi64.tinypic.com/2hdpt7n.jpg

I have looked through hundreds of printer's marks/devices. Databases are difficult to search and there's no centralized collection. Many printers marks bearing a cross were variants of the orb and cross (globus cruciger), with the orb at the bottom giving room for the printer's initials.

If the tattoo is a printer's mark inverted, there is one approximation I can find, that of the Society of Venetian Printers, circa 1481:

http://markzware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/orb_cross_printers_mark.jpg
http://fameorshame.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/hist-marks.png
http://higheredbcs.wiley.com/legacy/college/meggs/0471699020/html/Chapter07/slides/07-03.jpg
http://higheredbcs.wiley.com/legacy/college/meggs/0471699020/html/Chapter07/slides/07-03.html

However, Schmidt's version is missing one of the cross's arms, and is stylized to closer resemble a celtic cross.... another motif of Aryan pride and mysticism seen in many NeoNazi circles and, notably, Stormfront's logo. There are variants of Nordic runes/artwork that resemble it, but none closely enough to be worth mentioning.

I doubt we'll get much clarification on this, but I thought I'd post to keep a record and also because someone involved in antifa action may recognize it.

Anarcho

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

The broad scene around neoplatformism looks really bad out of all of this. It proves that having structure or organization doesn't necessarily mean anything when it comes to the 'tyranny of structurelessness'. If MS was some random member of one of the Anarkismo groups, he most likely would have been cast out and exposed long ago. Because he co-wrote probably the most important document for the neoplatformists other than The Platform itself, his racism and fascist sympathies were kept silent and/or defended.

Not being a neoplatformist, I do have to say this is unfair -- Black Flame may be many things but it is a good book on anarchism and the anarchist tradition (see my review). No one -- even the most critical -- saw anything fascist, racist or "national anarchist" about it. For good reason -- no such material is in there -- quite the reverse.

This explains much of what was said -- or said belatedly -- by the "broad scene around neoplatformism": simply shock because the book he co-wrote was good and an obviously anarchist book. There was no sign of "his racism and fascist sympathies" to be "kept silent" about in that work. So some context would be nice -- and less willingness to attack others (particularly for things they were not aware of).

As for linking it to "the tyranny of structurelessness", that is just strange. The problem seems to be that AK Press and others did not do a rigorous background check on Schmidt -- does anyone do that routinely anyway? If someone is trying to infiltrate the anarchist movement they are not going to be making it easy for people to identify them as such...

Khawaga

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That's a very strange response to Juan's post and very dismissive of the thrust of his argument.

Anarcho

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

That's a very strange response to Juan's post and very dismissive of the thrust of his argument.

I concentrated on one part of his argument because that part seemed unfair -- and it is. As indicated, Black Flame is not a racist book, while flawed it is (in general) a good introduction to anarchism. This in itself explains much in terms of the response of many people -- shock and disbelief given the work he co-wrote.

The bulk of the evidence produced against Schmidt come from work most anarchists -- including "neoplatformists" -- would not be aware of. As such, shock, surprise, disbelief are to be expected. It wrong to generalise from this to a general comment on "neoplatformists" as done in the post.

William Everard

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.anarkismo.net/article/29106

A few takeaways from this:

* Most of the statement is besides-the-point, and is a history and outline of the ZACF.

* A structure for these responses is beginning to emerge:

1. here's who I am/who we are and our anarchist credentials
2. condemnation of racist/fascist statements by Schmidt's as "inexcusable", "regardless of rationale", "in their own right", while being careful not to attribute them to the "real" Schmidt
3. condemnation of Schmidt only "if proven" to be racist/fascist/national anarchist by a commission
4. shooting the messengers while saying you're not shooting the messengers, "not taking sides" while taking sides against ARR/JS
5. statement that Schmidt was properly questioned/investigated in 2011
6. condemnation of Internet commentators
7. and on and on and on and on...............

* Unique to this statement is the long diatribe(s) about ARR/JS as American Eurocentrists and perhaps even racist. AK is called out on the carpet with similar accusations.

* It is far too long, and strays into sidetracking territory about "settler and nationalist historiographies". We know the draft was leaked in late December as draft #18(!), so we can only assume this version is revision #20+ and it's now obvious why it took so long. It seems the long wait is not primarily an issue of translation or democratic input, but of thesis-length text.

* The so-called questioning/investigation of Schmidt in 2011 is again used as an excuse to claim appropriate steps were taken 4-5 years ago. This is dubious on (at least) three counts:

1. The evidence that ZACF, Lucien, and likely others had in 2011 is the same evidence most strongly denounced in these statements, that of the Strandwolf/Black Battlefront blog. It sat active for half a decade, and was brushed off by Schmidt's closest comrades until brought to prominence first by ARR/JS's articles, and then by a few Internet commentators spreading the full text online (most notably, me).

2. All of the corroborating evidence was also online, a quick Google search away as well as obvious on Facebook, and in some cases linking to the Strandwolf/Black Battlefront blog.

3. If not obvious from appearance (e.g. tattoos, Nazi caps and pins), a fuller picture of Schmidt's ideology should have emerged not only from the controversy surrounding the 2008 memo, but from other political statements, like this gem from a 2010 interview with both LvdW and MS:

MS: It is possible that, should more working class and underclass whites get involved in anarchism, they may feel the need to develop race-specific organisations to deal with their specific minority circumstances. I foresee that any such move would be condemned and misunderstood both here and abroad, because of the projection of Western social norms onto Africa’s very different conditions, and because of the false assumption that white South Africans are automatically wealthy (sometimes a version of the “white privilege” argument which, as indicated, the ZACF rejects) – but I don’t expect any such development is imminent. It is also not a tactical or strategic line that the ZACF would endorse.
http://www.alpineanarchist.org/r_i_africa_english.html

That quote was also revealed through ARR's searching, and he has a thoughtful Feb 16 post referencing it here: http://alexanderreidross.com/ideological-influence-and-the-schmidt-affair/

I started to compile contradictory quotes in the ZACF statement, but there are too many for a post here, and it's perhaps not worth anyone's time.

S. Artesian

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm back just to try to make this as painfully clear to the most casual observer as is humanly possible.

1) The "position" of ZACF, LVDW, and others that they "await" the determination of an independent commission is indefensible in that ZACF, and LVDW, and probably others knew about MS's actions for 4 or 5 years and shut up about it. If it didn't require an independent commission then, why does it now?

2) The position of ZACF, and LVDW, and others that they take exceptions to how RR,S presented their investigations is indefensible in that when proclaiming their reservations they did not forthrightly acknowledge that they knew of these matters 4 or 5 years ago and shut up about it. There is no credibility complaining about the methods and presentations employed to expose information when the information has been suppressed for 4 or 5 years.

syndicalist

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've not read this yet.

ZACF Reply to the Misrepresentation of the ZACF by American Journalists and on the Schmidt Affair
http://anarkismo.net/article/29106&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment16211

Black Badger

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It contains a lot of deflection, and takes a "wait till the commission rules" position -- even after they admit that they knew something was off in 2011, and sat on the information. Not good enough. Oh, and racism.

akai

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ln general, l think if something is contentious, a group of people can come together to make some judgment. However, in this case, a few things are a little stinky. The first is that the folks from S.Africa, while distancing themselves from these racist statements, don't know what to think about the person who made them. The second problem is that one has to wonder about the composition of said commission and how it is that people from around the world are supposed to make a more informed decision that the closest comrades of said person. The last one is that there is still no sign at all that any of these people understand the traits which are common to people who can, on the one hand belt out anarchist ideology and, on the other, be racists or nationalists. ln addition, some of those connected with MS have been known to have rather soft views on nationalism themselves.

Tranq Girl

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is strange how much effort ZACF put into defending thier organization and how little into addressing any issues regarding Schmidt. Do they think that anyone cares enough about a tiny sect to read 50 pages about it? Even if Reid-Ross and Stephens got some things wrong about ZACF itself, such a bizarre and repetitive analysis is unnecessary and completely beside the point to anyone outside the organization.

I doubt they are really that dense. They can read, they've seen the same things that R-R and S have shown everyone: from the sick fascist rants to the mainstream articles about reverse racism that defend white vigilantes "hunting" blacks, to the tattoos, to the continualy uncovering of new lies. To anyone who is more interested in fighting white supremacy than in defending the good name of thier organization, the evidence is clear. The fact that they have wasted what must have been months of their supposedly valuable revolutionary time to produce this ridiculous document can only mean that the real point is to, once again, shoot the messenger and redirect attention away from Schmidt. The same tactics used by every member of the Anarkismo network who has bothered speaking publicly so far (Price, Vander Walt, Bekken, the Anarkismo network itself, the IATH). So much time and effort wasted on constructing fake conspiracy theories, circling the wagons, doing damage control, and character assassination of anyone who has had the courage to actually dig into the Schmidt affair.

And it looks like Schmidt himself is happy. A commenter on the Anarkismo site posted his response to the ZACF document: "Well that's pretty exhaustive. In sum they'll stand by the decisions of the multipartisan commission, which I suspect will be formed of Anarkismo, IWA, IFA and IWW comrades, all those who organised St Imier 2012."

Looks like the fascist is still chummy enough with the Anarkismo network to have the inside scoop on thier "impartial" commission.

akai

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Tranq girl. Thank you for pointing out the comment of Schmidt. l would like to point out something, before a misunderstanding takes place.

The lWA was not an organizer of the St. lmier events. lt was invited to attend and even the organizers put the name in some places - before the lWA was contacted - since lWA members participated. Truly we see that sometimes there is a genuine lack of understanding about such issues. MS, has long been a classic example of failing to understand some basic ideas of anarchosyndicalism - for example, that we write that the Federation particpates when the Federation as a whole has agreed, not when one person FROM that Federation or even when one Section of that Federation takes part ... unless of course it is specifically delegated by said Federation.

What we mean to say is that the lWA has not received any invitation to participate in said commission. lf it did, it would have to set a referendum and ask the Sections (this includes thousands of people) whether or not we should delegate people, then there should be oversight and really this stuff should be somehow approved. Which would make our participation in this rather unpractical.

lt is one thing when you have small organizations which are used to a few intellectuals creating opinions and writing for them - it's another thing if you are dealing with a large federation such as the lWA which still has not gone away from certain principles.

So, l would not like to speculate on what the lWA Sections might say if asked, but you know, personally, if l had a choice between doing my union work, preparing the next Congress or spending who knows how long on a commission of people who l know are soft on nationalism and have been pretty shady in their previous comments, l'd rate the latter a big waste of time. Besides, whatever potential lWA involvement should rely reflect the position of the lWA Sections, not any representatives chosen by Anarkismo (not the Sections). lf the lWA needs to make any statements, it should do so independently, but l don't imagine that this would be seen as a pressing need. Besides, we do allow people to have their own opinions. l have written mine, some other comrades have written theirs.

Another possible correction is that l do not believe Bekken is a member of the Anarkismo network, although l may be wrong. Stranger things have happened.

lf the Anarkismo folks of Schmidt would like to imply that the lWA has been part of a process that it has not agreed to through a federalist form of decision making, or if they misuse the organization's name in that way, they can expect both a disclaimer and a lesson, at least on my part.

MT

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is this anarkismo thing anyway? I mean, are those people relevant in any way in terms of practical organizing and activity? Perhaps an offtopic, but I think it is pretty clear that MS is a weirdo (at best) and even if the flame book was whatever cool and great, why someone thinks that writing a book gives anyone any credit as a personality? There is so many good writers or artists whose work could be admired but you would never shake hands with, isn't it?

Red Marriott

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anarcho

No one -- even the most critical -- saw anything fascist, racist or "national anarchist" about it. For good reason -- no such material is in there -- quite the reverse.
[...]
I concentrated on one part of his argument because that part seemed unfair -- and it is. As indicated, Black Flame is not a racist book, while flawed it is (in general) a good introduction to anarchism. This in itself explains much in terms of the response of many people -- shock and disbelief given the work he co-wrote.

But nor is the racism probably wholly unrelated to BF. Even Anarcho in his review of BF disagreed with its ridiculous partisan revisionism. Now the recent revelations about advocating a Boer-state, MS’s national-anarchism etc surely put BF’s revisionist crap about socialist nationalists like Connelly ‘being in the anarchist tradition’ in a different light; and surely that has some relation to MS’s expressed leaning toward a racialised categorising of nations?

Whatever else it did, Black Flame in part told an idealised and distorted ‘history’ that neatly fitted a preferred ideological agenda for some anarchists; http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/new-historical-syndicalist-book-03032009
http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/books-italian-anarcho-syndicalism-05102010#comment-400771
The intellectual reverence, authority & status given Schmidt & VdW on this basis has encouraged in some – even when presented with such damning evidence - a loyalty beyond all bounds of sense and reason. And, even though some here don’t like drawing the parallel, it remains very relevant to point out that a similar dynamic was at work with the apologetics for Aufhebengate.

BF’s ridiculous partisan revisionism, inaccuracy and distortion of historical sources; this lack of integrity was present way before the present scandal which, arguably, should’ve been warning signals long before now. Due to the BF inaccuracies, even the BF admirers apparently asked for the follow up book to be peer-reviewed/fact-checked before publication. Rather than praise it as some great work I’d see it more as a cause for concern that such a seriously flawed work has been so influential – largely due to the uncritical attitude of too many anarchists. (For balance we can also note that the MS expose author Reid on this thread http://libcom.org/blog/anarchosyndicalism-against-fascism-response-recent-lnsinuations-31102015 was similarly inaccurate as BF was about Italian syndicalism - in this case re. its relationship to fascism- perhaps pursuing their own ideological agenda.)

It’s certainly a recurring tendency in politics to want to defend an image of a group and/or ideology even at the expense of a contradictory reality – so all the praise for BF, with its misuse of historical sources seen as unproblematic/insignificant and largely ignored in favour of praise and lapping up its feel-good idealised history; and a similar reluctance now from some of those feeding from that ideological trough to face inconvenient facts that dispute the idealised view. It seems some just prefer a neat blinkered belief system rather than reality; they truly speak with a forked tongue. The level of attempted deceit in such defences suggests the defenders – even if indulging in chronic self-delusion – are as untrustworthy as what they try to defend.

Another possible parallel with Aufhebengate is that – after MS drawing the prestige for years of being BF co-author and until very recently lecturing & being interviewed etc on that basis – the ZACF & VdW statements now seek to distance him from the bulk of the book, emphasising his involvement ended years before publication. If authors want to claim the benefits of association with a text they have to stand by its content; equally, books will be judged, partly, by the reputations and assumed motives of their authors and the relation of their writing to the content of their acts. With some of the recent comments it’s almost like some have decided ‘well even if we can’t credibly save the reputation of MS the author we must save the reputation of The Great Book’. But presumably the copyright remains with the authors anyway so its reprinting could continue if wanted.

Juan Conatz

... with individuals in the IWW, libcom group or Recomposition also defending MS at a point far longer in this timeline than makes me comfortable.

More than anything I can think of, this has made me question my involvement in the libertarian far left. Can I, as a person from both a Puerto Rican and Jewish background, tolerate an event in which people mindlessly defend a fascist? I am not sure.

Well not everyone is so blinkered. But, yes, in this sense of loyalty based on reverence for the ideological authority of ideological producers, I believe that Aufhebengate is strongly related. And, like with Aufhebengate, if the boot was on the other foot and the accused party had been a rival political current, rather than their ideologically close/admired comrades, that at least some of the defenders would have been leading the condemnation. What is a greater danger than the likes of Dr J, MS etc is the tolerance of them and reluctance to admit their failings by so many who in doing so utterly contradict their own claimed radicalism. Juan Conatz is right to have his doubts.

S. Artesian

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Actually, like Aufhebengate and like the SWP's response to the complaint of sexual abuse brought by a female member against a highly "valued," and placed, cadre. You will recall that SWP set up committee of inquiry, tasked with being neutral, and "weighing the evidence."

And all that rubbish.

Didn't work out too well then, won't work out well now, unless of course, you're looking to make the waters even muddier and exonerate, not so much MS, but those who knew about this and shut up.

akai

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

l agree with much of what Red Marriot is saying.

MT also asks is this Anarkismo thing is really important and who cares about this book. l think that BF is, in many ways, an attempt to revise anarchist history so it is more suited to the ideology of this current, so it is not so much a "good" intro to "anarchism" as it is an intro to how this current wants people to see anarchism.

So yes, people are going to turn a blind eye to things if they revere "the book".

Now, if we want to speculate about how a commission might take place, a lot depends on who will be in it. Having seen a few "commissions" in recent years, l am not at all sure that this will produce anything fruitful.

l have seen a few folks around that network in action when El Libertario was banned from Ainfos. (This is independent of Anarkismo, but the people in question where also in that tendency.) For those who don't know, EL criticized Popular Power as having statist tendencies and there was a large criticism/expose of EL as a right-winger. The "process" (LOL) was actually quite disturbing, with the jury already in before the discussion began, since EL criticized tendencies in S. America that Anarkismo supports. ln short, there was not even any attempt to ask EL for comments and probably not even any information to them that they were being banned and why. When l compare these 2 cases (ie, buddy gets a process, non-buddies do not) and when l hear all the grumbling about AK Press withdrawing BF, there is some double standard. Of course the Anarkismo network has a few hundred people, so l will not make assumptions that these people involved with the EL situation are "typical" of the rest. But just to say that this political bias creates different treatment.

On top of that, so far l have been quite underimpressed by attempts to create huge texts that essentially divert attention from the basic issues.

For Juan Conatz, l am sorry about your feelings. The fact of the matter is that we have an idealized vision of how people can behave which is inherent in anarchist ideas, but people are human and don't always behave as we think they should. Having been around a while, l have run into lots of situations which have disappointed me or made me sick. l also get so fed up sometimes that l question what l am doing with some people. You know, l also question if l should ever open Libcom, which you are part of, because l was very disgusted with shit here. But hopefully we just get through these things and manage to get around and keep true to our own ideas. So hoping you will manage to stick to your guns and manage your disappointment.

Steven.

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interesting to hear about these other articles, "Menace in Europe" and "Neither Fish nor Fowl", which apparently Schmidt wrote but were rejected by anarkismo?

If this is true, and they could be relevant for this discussion then I agree with the above poster who says they should be released. Has anyone requested that anarkismo do this?

OliverTwister

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On a similar vein to Akai's earlier post, the IWW has not been asked to take part in any commission.

Nor did the IWW take part in organizing the St Imier congress, even if some individual members may have been involved.

William Everard

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

Interesting to hear about these other articles, "Menace in Europe" and "Neither Fish nor Fowl", which apparently Schmidt wrote but were rejected by anarkismo?

If this is true, and they could be relevant for this discussion then I agree with the above poster who says they should be released. Has anyone requested that anarkismo do this?

Libcom user ocelot apparently asked Anarkismo to release "Menace" earlier in this thread. He or she reviewed and rejected a copy of it along with other Anarkismo reviewers, but didn't feel comfortable publishing it without their consent, which I highly doubt will be forthcoming, if Anarkismo can truly decide on anything (I'm starting to seriously doubt that).

Either ARR/JS have a copy of "Neither Fish...", or they only have excerpts; they're the only ones who had referenced it although it's been rumoured to have been published on Anarkismo for a short time then taken down. If so, it's nowhere in any Internet Archive snapshots of the website (I've looked).

Although I think disclosures are extremely important and I would like to see any and all articles/evidence relevant to this affair made available for the public, I might feel intimidated by legal threats if I were ARR/JS. We don't know what kind of correspondence they've had with Schmidt, and defamation/libel law is awful in SA....... it doesn't take truth into account -- http://mg.co.za/article/2012-11-02-00-ten-things-about-defamation

akai

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oliver, to tell the truth, if they would want lWW or lWA to be involved, it might be better just to make a statement of those organizations. At least then everyone who know who thinks what. But rather a waste of time to drag our orgs into let.

As for libel laws, actually, the situation in Poland is exactly the same --- except in our situation these laws can become criminal cases. And we have been involved in this a few times and manage to win. That said, if MS wanted to make any case against people, l think if would just be another reason to criticize.

William Everard

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Comrades have stated that Anarkismo is deleting comments on Schmidt's articles that reference his "national anarchist" tendencies.

This article specifically has been called out
http://anarkismo.net/article/23404

Unfortunately, I didn't make copies of every single comment section on a Schmidt article, but will now. The comments would have been left after Sep 21 (last Internet Archive backup) and yesterday. Looking for more information.

ocelot -- any info about this would be great. Not sure if this is a sysadmin issue or someone with administrator access to the content management system would have done that.

syndicalist

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Never mind

Anarcho

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

But nor is the racism probably wholly unrelated to BF. Even Anarcho in his review of BF disagreed with its ridiculous partisan revisionism. Now the recent revelations about advocating a Boer-state, MS’s national-anarchism etc surely put BF’s revisionist crap about socialist nationalists like Connelly ‘being in the anarchist tradition’ in a different light; and surely that has some relation to MS’s expressed leaning toward a racialised categorising of nations?

I always thought their inclusion of James Connolly was driven by his well-known syndicalism rather than his Irish Nationalist tendencies. They also claimed de Leon. As for Connolly, I've never heard anyone claim he was a racist -- his support for Irish independence hardly suggests a "national-socialist" (proto-fascist) position. So I class this as clutching at straws.

Red Marriott

BF’s ridiculous partisan revisionism, inaccuracy and distortion of historical sources; this lack of integrity was present way before the present scandal which, arguably, should’ve been warning signals long before now.

Other than excluding Proudhon and including Connolly, de Leon, etc., I found Black Flame very good -- there are few serious mistakes (every book has mistakes or overeggs at times). That is why I was so surprised by the claims made against Michael Schimdt.

Red Marriott

Rather than praise it as some great work I’d see it more as a cause for concern that such a seriously flawed work has been so influential – largely due to the uncritical attitude of too many anarchists..

I have to disagree with that -- I am critical of certain elements of it, but in general it was a good account of anarchism and anarchist history. It did focus on what modern anarchism is and came from -- class struggle revolutionary libertarian socialism. I know that some people did not like its basic thrust but unfortunately for them, the book's basic thrust was correct -- modern, revolutionary anarchism was born in the First International. They were right to ignore Godwin, Stirner, etc. to focus on anarchism as a theory and as a movement.

In terms of Schimdt, infiltration is precisely that -- he would have hidden his positions in order to gain entry and trust. Unless we do rigorous background checks on all possible joiners to the movement, this sort of thing can happen. There were police spies in the Bolshevik central committee, for example.

William Everard

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmidt via Facebook:

"A week for good news: a) I started working on two new jobs, one pan-African, the other Angolan; b) my Canadian publishers decided, after examining all the evidence, that they stand by me against my accusers and will continue to distribute the French-language edition of my 2nd book - with a Spanish-language edition in the pipeline; and c) my last two books - my 3rd and 4th - are about to be nominated for an award :)

http://oi64.tinypic.com/24edjyb.jpg

Lux Éditeur is the publisher -- http://www.luxediteur.com/catalogue/categorie/auteurs/michael-schmidt/

William Everard

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We need organisations to make statements about Schmidt. Locally in South Africa he's still enjoying success and, for all we know, still recruiting white supremacists behind the scenes (this whole thing may have even stoked his fires). This is the review from the Sunday Times, SA's biggest paper.

"A Taste of Bitter Almonds: Perdition and Promise in South Africa" by Michael Schmidt, 4 out of 5 stars

Journalism is supposed to speak truth to power, which Schmidt does fearlessly (and sometimes personally) in this collection of stories gathered over the course of his long career. A compendium of forgotten histories across all cultures and creeds, as well as a look at some of the stories that threatened to tear South Africa apart, this is a fascinating, if difficult, look at our shared and complex history -- Zoe Hinis @Zoe Hinis"

http://oi63.tinypic.com/2cni2d0.jpg

Red Marriott

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anarcho

Red Marriott

But nor is the racism probably wholly unrelated to BF. Even Anarcho in his review of BF disagreed with its ridiculous partisan revisionism. Now the recent revelations about advocating a Boer-state, MS’s national-anarchism etc surely put BF’s revisionist crap about socialist nationalists like Connelly ‘being in the anarchist tradition’ in a different light; and surely that has some relation to MS’s expressed leaning toward a racialised categorising of nations?

I always thought their inclusion of James Connolly was driven by his well-known syndicalism rather than his Irish Nationalist tendencies. They also claimed de Leon. As for Connolly, I've never heard anyone claim he was a racist -- his support for Irish independence hardly suggests a "national-socialist" (proto-fascist) position. So I class this as clutching at straws.

I'm sure - before the recent revelations – that many people may've thought that

their inclusion of James Connolly was driven by his well-known syndicalism rather than his Irish Nationalist tendencies.

But in light of those revelations - of MS's national-anarchist tendencies etc - to dismiss the likelihood that the nationalist Connelly was approvingly re-labelled an anarchist due to his left nationalism seems more like "clutching at straws".

Anarcho

Red Marriott

BF’s ridiculous partisan revisionism, inaccuracy and distortion of historical sources; this lack of integrity was present way before the present scandal which, arguably, should’ve been warning signals long before now.

Other than excluding Proudhon and including Connolly, de Leon, etc., I found Black Flame very good -- there are few serious mistakes (every book has mistakes or overeggs at times). That is why I was so surprised by the claims made against Michael Schimdt.

Claiming nationalists as anarchists seems about as serious a "mistake" as can be for the remaining integrity and definition of anarchism, as is the attempted minimising of it by those who claim to defend that integrity and its history – so we'll have radically to disagree on that. I've posted links to these threads previously where what I'd consider serious BF errors are shown;
http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/new-historical-syndicalist-book-03032009
http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/books-italian-anarcho-syndicalism-05102010#comment-400771

Alan52

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

Anarcho

I always thought their inclusion of James Connolly was driven by his well-known syndicalism rather than his Irish Nationalist tendencies. They also claimed de Leon. As for Connolly, I've never heard anyone claim he was a racist -- his support for Irish independence hardly suggests a "national-socialist" (proto-fascist) position. So I class this as clutching at straws.

I'm sure - before the recent revelations – that many people may've thought that

their inclusion of James Connolly was driven by his well-known syndicalism rather than his Irish Nationalist tendencies.

But in light of those revelations - of MS's national-anarchist tendencies etc - to dismiss the likelihood that the nationalist Connelly was approvingly re-labelled an anarchist due to his left nationalism seems more like "clutching at straws".

.

Of course Connolly was no anarchist, and neither was Daniel DeLeon. To me, the mistake made in Black Flame was to overestimate the form of organisation (syndicalism) and underestimate the ideas which were dominant among the members (whether it was the 'Detroit IWW' / Socialist Trades & Labor Alliance or Ireland's ITGWU). There is always a battle of ideas and if anarchists don't win it another set of ideas will. People don't wander around with no ideas in their heads.

However the notion that anything in Connolly's legacy could, in any way, be seen as useful to the far right or helping to lead readers in their direction is laughable.

Connolly has been 'interpreted' by many writers to serve their own political positions (most famously by the CPGB's Desmond Greaves). His legacy, or at least parts of it, is claimed by almost the entirity of the Irish left and most trade union activists. Ditto with Irish republicans and nationalists.

But I have never seen any fascist or racist who wanted to be associated with the legacy of the man who declared the socialist of another country is a fellow-patriot, as the capitalist of my own country is a natural enemy.

There is a critical appreciation of Connolly from an anarchist-communist viewpoint, which deals with both his syndicalism & nationalism, on the Irish Anarchist History site.

Red Marriott

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alan52

the notion that anything in Connolly's legacy could, in any way, be seen as useful to the far right or helping to lead readers in their direction is laughable.
Connolly has been 'interpreted' by many writers to serve their own political positions (most famously by the CPGB's Desmond Greaves). His legacy, or at least parts of it, is claimed by almost the entirity of the Irish left and most trade union activists. Ditto with Irish republicans and nationalists.
But I have never seen any fascist or racist who wanted to be associated with the legacy of the man who declared the socialist of another country is a fellow-patriot, as the capitalist of my own country is a natural enemy.

It's "laughable" that Connolly & De Leon should be considered anarchists but it happened in Black Flame. Just because something is "laughable" doesn't mean it's impossible. That those inclined towards national-anarchism should be similarly selective in their interpretation/appropriation of left nationalists like Connolly doesn't seem far-fetched to me. Nor do we know what stage Schmidt's politics was at during his contributions to BF; whether he was then more inclined towards a left anarcho-nationalist position which later mutated maybe nobody – perhaps not even MS – can be sure. But whether by design or not, a process of making connections between those claimed as anarchist and their nationalism as being a valid part of it would seem likely. Whether there was ever a plan of deliberate 'infiltration' or not, to dismiss the possibility of any connection between BF's accommodation of the nationalist Connolly within anarchism and MS's later national-anarchist declarations seems more "laughable".

"Laughable" as it may be, and despite the fact that the Makhnovists fought against Ukrainian nationalists, today there are Ukrainian nationalists who claim Makhno as a hero;

Given the general drift to the right among Ukrainians, it is no surprise that Ukraine and eastern European countries have seen the spread of National Anarchism, in which the rejection of the state goes hand in hand with an attraction to nationalism of various degrees of radicalism, from a tendency to wear national costume to a denial of migrants’ rights.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/denys-gorbach/anarchism-in-makhno%E2%80%99s-homeland-adventures-of-red-and-black-flag

akai

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, l agree with you. ln E. Europe it is not a recent thing though, so it is hard to link it exactly to some "drift".

ajjohnstone

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

My own reservations on Connolly here

http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2016/no-1339-march-2016/did-james-connolly-betray-socialism

As i am oft to repeat, during the time of militant strikes by Edinburgh postal workers, we had one member who was a staunch Orangeman, not just in a lodge, but an independent expelled one at that. He was always on the walks in NI and eventually transferred there. But when it came to union activity he was as equally committed, a unit rep for a time. He had no issue with a banner of Connolly on the picket line, able to distinguish between Connolly the trade unionist and Connolly the nationalist.

Being Scotland the sectarian divide is hard to avoid in the work-place. I found myself describing part of the branch as the Orange Reds ... as distinct from the Blue Loyalists.

Also being Connolly's birth-place and home of Hibernian FC, the football ground was my first taste of Irish nationalism and the rebel songs.

Apologies for the off-topic ramble.

akai

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ln the history of Polish syndicalism, there was historically a big question of nationalism, the situation here being as it was. And there were lots of disagreements about Pilsudski. Now, whether or not these things made sense in their time is one question. Quite another question are those who, in the here and now, like to claim Pilsudski to their socialist tradition or to highlight, as syndicalist today, the importance of Pilsudski or Sorel and try to use this to foster nationalist ideas in "the left".

This is not exactly off topic since it is obvious that the folks doing this have nationalist sympathies and also think it is legitimate to try to claim such people to make their movements more attractive to those with nationalist leanings.

Steven.

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BTW, just to add that someone has sent me a link, apparently to the unpublished article by Schmidt about the EFF referenced in the original exposé, which is very bizarre, in which he bigs up "black racism" in South Africa and tries to argue the EFF are fascist: http://pastebin.com/2ZJ9EJ8P

xx

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

BTW, just to add that someone has sent me a link, apparently to the unpublished article by Schmidt about the EFF referenced in the original exposé, which is very bizarre, in which he bigs up "black racism" in South Africa and tries to argue the EFF are fascist: http://pastebin.com/2ZJ9EJ8P

I think that's not a bad article at all - he clearly as a reasonable point linking the EFF to South American and global populism, and makes a very reasonable conclusion which is clearly more about the danger of the EFF's politics to African migrants rather than Whites, which indeed is the point he makes through out the article. I think the explicit fascism accusation is a bit flimsy, but certainly not strange and his point about most White South Africans being working class is correct, as is his point that the EFF do not propose anything that really threatens South African capital.

Mark.

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

BTW, just to add that someone has sent me a link, apparently to the unpublished article by Schmidt about the EFF referenced in the original exposé, which is very bizarre, in which he bigs up "black racism" in South Africa and tries to argue the EFF are fascist: http://pastebin.com/2ZJ9EJ8P

I'd largely agree with what xx says above. In what way do you think the article is bizarre? I don't know that much about the EFF, so I'd find it hard to judge the claim of closeness to fascism, but I don't find the claim strange in itself. There's no shortage of nationalist movements in Africa that have led to something rather like fascism. Having leftist ideological roots isn't any bar to this.

IrrationallyAngry

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The argument that Black Flame's treatment of James Connolly should be treated as some kind of indication of racist or far right politics is both bizarre and tendentious in the extreme.

Connolly was not an anarchist. He, like De Leon, was a Marxist syndicalist, a species closely related to anarcho-syndicalism but not the same thing. Both men get folded into Black Flame's anarchist tradition because of a desire to bolster the historical significance of anarcho-syndicalism by assimilating other radical syndicalisms to it. It needs no further explanation.

If we were going to look through Black Flame for the suspicious inclusion of "nationalists" or chauvinists we might be better advised to start with various anarchists who supported World War One or the various anarchists with a record of anti-semitic views. I suspect that for instance the support for their "own" side in World War One of Kropotkin and various French anarcho-syndicalists among many others might be more generally approved of by far right elements than Connolly's simultaneous opposition to the war and support for anti-colonial revolution.

William Everard

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Seems there's some confusion in Montreal.

http://picpaste.com/pics/Feyd_2016-03-15-ozI0fT3r.1458072895.png

"I've been asked to clarify that my Canadian publishers, Lux Editeur, have not taken a position for me and against my accusers, but have rather decided, after examining all the evidence on both sides, that although they have concerns about my past actions, they will not involve themselves in the debate, but will continue to distribute the French-language edition of Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism. I apologise for misinterpreting their position. Meanwhile, I have just completed the extensive rewrite of Cartography (longer by 11,000 words) with the aim being its publication in Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic."

Really shameful that they can recognise him as a fash and just brush it off... the "boys will be boys" rule must be in effect: http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Roy_Snyder

Red Marriott

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

IrrationallyAngry

The argument that Black Flame's treatment of James Connolly should be treated as some kind of indication of racist or far right politics is both bizarre and tendentious in the extreme.
Connolly was not an anarchist. He, like De Leon, was a Marxist syndicalist, a species closely related to anarcho-syndicalism but not the same thing. Both men get folded into Black Flame's anarchist tradition because of a desire to bolster the historical significance of anarcho-syndicalism by assimilating other radical syndicalisms to it. It needs no further explanation.

I don't think any of that refutes what I said earlier, which is not quite how you interpret it;

It's "laughable" that Connolly & De Leon should be considered anarchists but it happened in Black Flame. Just because something is "laughable" doesn't mean it's impossible. That those inclined towards national-anarchism should be similarly selective in their interpretation/appropriation of left nationalists like Connolly doesn't seem far-fetched to me. Nor do we know what stage Schmidt's politics was at during his contributions to BF; whether he was then more inclined towards a left anarcho-nationalist position which later mutated maybe nobody – perhaps not even MS – can be sure. But whether by design or not, a process of making connections between those claimed as anarchist and their nationalism as being a valid part of it would seem likely. Whether there was ever a plan of deliberate 'infiltration' or not, to dismiss the possibility of any connection between BF's accommodation of the nationalist Connolly within anarchism and MS's later national-anarchist declarations seems more "laughable".

I didn't say it was evidence "of racist or far right politics" but of a possible trajectory; a creeping nationalism that went from left to right (insofar as any nationalism is ever 'left') is hardly implausible given the later evidence re. MS. That Connolly's nationalism wasn't seen as problematic for his inclusion within the anarchist tradition is hardly irrelevant to the facts so far established (except maybe to 'anarchists' & co who're similarly soft on nationalism), no matter how much devotees of BF may like to pretend otherwise.

IrrationallyAngry

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

That Connolly's nationalism wasn't seen as problematic for his inclusion within the anarchist tradition is hardly irrelevant to the facts so far established (except maybe to 'anarchists' & co who're similarly soft on nationalism), no matter how much devotees of BF may like to pretend otherwise.

Once more:

Connolly doesn't belong in the anarchist tradition because while he was part of a closely related tradition, Marxist syndicalism, he was not an anarchist. The explanation for his inclusion along with De Leon is straightforward and has nothing to do with his nationalism. The book amalgamates radical syndicalisms generally with anarcho-syndicalism.

If however we are to regard there as being something suspicious about the inclusion of people with nationalist views in the anarchist tradition in the pages of Black Flame, Connolly is far from the most egregiously nationalist figure included. Singling his inclusion out as evidence of creeping nationalism is bizarre when the book includes many people who had much more obnoxiously nationalist or ethnic chauvinist views. Like Kropotkin or Jean Grave at much the same time as Connolly. Is the inclusion of anarchists who supported their own ruling classes in the First World War also to be taken as evidence as a slide towards nationalism? Or those who expressed anti-semitic views? And if not, why not?

The whole Connolly issue is completely irrelevant and a distraction from the substantial allegations.

Red Marriott

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If you insist on missing the point I'm making then let's leave it here.

Khawaga

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yup s/he's defo missing your point, Red.

akai

6 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

About what Angry said, BF is quite awful in its revisionist take of anarchosyndicalism, which also just coincides a lot with the ideological biases of the authors. Which is towards reform syndicalism, including the other lines of syndicalism they attach "anarcho" to but l certainly would not. This is part of an ideological plan of that movement to promote these tendencies, nothing more.

l will not comment on the morals of the publishers in Montreal, however that book is quite a deal worse than BF in terms of accuracy.

William Everard

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

akai

l will not comment on the morals of the publishers in Montreal, however that book is quite a deal worse than BF in terms of accuracy.

Seems clear to me that supporting a known racist/fascist through book sales is morally bankrupt, and that AK was correct to pull Black Flame. But yes, I agree, Cartography is full of problems... not the least of which is a strong disdain for any current but platformism.

xx

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

William Everard

Seems there's some confusion in Montreal.

http://picpaste.com/pics/Feyd_2016-03-15-ozI0fT3r.1458072895.png

"I've been asked to clarify that my Canadian publishers, Lux Editeur, have not taken a position for me and against my accusers, but have rather decided, after examining all the evidence on both sides, that although they have concerns about my past actions, they will not involve themselves in the debate, but will continue to distribute the French-language edition of Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism. I apologise for misinterpreting their position. Meanwhile, I have just completed the extensive rewrite of Cartography (longer by 11,000 words) with the aim being its publication in Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic."

Really shameful that they can recognise him as a fash and just brush it off... the "boys will be boys" rule must be in effect: http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Roy_Snyder

And yet the silence on AK's relationship with Adam Palfrey and Feral house as raised previously is deafening.

What a shame you haven't quite yet destroyed a dedicated progressive journalist's career before any charges against him are proven

akai

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

XX, can l ask for a clarification of your politics? Are you from this network with mostly Green and Labour Party folks seeking reform? Do you see Green and Labour Party folk as "progressive"? Just curious.

l agree that AK has sold a lot of shit, not only what you mentioned, so their actions on not consistant.

As far as anybody wanted to destroy a journalists' career, l guess that the press don't give a rats' ass. That doesn't been that anarchists should not care what is being passed off or printed on anarchist portals, etc.

William Everard

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

xx

And yet the silence on AK's relationship with Adam Palfrey and Feral house as raised previously is deafening.

What a shame you haven't quite yet destroyed a dedicated progressive journalist's career before any charges against him are proven

Worth mentioning that someone called out AK on facebook about Hakim Bey and they didn't respond to that... there isn't consistency. But AK has been responsive in the past; they dropped shit like Alex Jones long ago.

At any rate, are you seriously trying to blame me for Schmidt's self-destruction? He's made his own legacy and is an actual racist/fascist, still leading a bizarre double-life and hoping his boys will cover for him again, as they did 5-6 years ago.

"Before any charges against him are proven"? You're clearly blind to the evidence, which could not be clearer... does Schmidt need to actually shout "sieg heil" in range of your ears, or would you excuse that as "undercover journalism", temporary amnesia, or a plot by NIA spooks?

Red Marriott

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Yup s/he's defo missing your point, Red.

The responses above suggest it seemed more like an attempt to try to discredit those who dare to criticise MS/BF rather than a serious argument. But for anyone who genuinely didn't understand;

Irrational

If however we are to regard there as being something suspicious about the inclusion of people with nationalist views in the anarchist tradition in the pages of Black Flame, Connolly is far from the most egregiously nationalist figure included. Singling his inclusion out as evidence of creeping nationalism is bizarre when the book includes many people who had much more obnoxiously nationalist or ethnic chauvinist views. Like Kropotkin or Jean Grave at much the same time as Connolly. Is the inclusion of anarchists who supported their own ruling classes in the First World War also to be taken as evidence as a slide towards nationalism? Or those who expressed anti-semitic views? And if not, why not?

I don't find that a valid comparison, it's not about mere inclusion; unlike Connolly Kroptokin was a self-proclaimed anarchist for most of his life and historically one of the most prominent – so no surprise that he would be included in an anarchist history book. So not "bizarre" to not amalgamate Kropotkin and Connolly. Near the end of his life he then took the wrong 'lesser evil' position for WWI which even at the time was criticised by many as contradictory to anarchism.

Whereas Connolly was never an anarchist but always a nationalist – but BF's revisionism has claimed him as someone who can be defined an anarchist. It's argued above that this is due to his syndicalism (though it's agreed syndicalism isn't in itself necessarily anarchist). But I suggested that BF's choice to not see his nationalism as contradictory to defining him as anarchist is indeed a form of creeping nationalism within their defining of anarchism. (If anyone wanted to dispute that left nationalism is actually contradictory to anarchism then that's a different kettle of - rancid - fish.)

I don't see you can separate Connolly's consistent nationalism (his "precious racial and national history") from his socialist politics;

In Ireland at the present time there are at work a variety of agencies seeking to preserve the national sentiment in the hearts of the people.
These agencies, whether Irish Language movements, Literary Societies or Commemoration Committees, are undoubtedly doing a work of lasting benefit to this country in helping to save from extinction the precious racial and national history, language and characteristics of our people.
Nevertheless, there is a danger that by too strict an adherence to their present methods of propaganda, and consequent neglect of vital living issues, they may only succeed in stereotyping our historical studies into a worship of the past, or crystallising nationalism into a tradition – glorious and heroic indeed, but still only a tradition.
Now traditions may, and frequently do, provide materials for a glorious martyrdom, but can never be strong enough to ride the storm of a successful revolution.
If the national movement of our day is not merely to re-enact the old sad tragedies of our past history, it must show itself capable of rising to the exigencies of the moment.
It must demonstrate to the people of Ireland that our nationalism is not merely a morbid idealising of the past, but is also capable of formulating a distinct and definite answer to the problems of the present and a political and economic creed capable of adjustment to the wants of the future. https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1897/01/socnat.htm

Anarcho

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott

But in light of those revelations - of MS's national-anarchist tendencies etc - to dismiss the likelihood that the nationalist Connelly was approvingly re-labelled an anarchist due to his left nationalism seems more like "clutching at straws".

Again, clutching at straws -- BF included De Leon along with Connolly because of their syndicalism. Unless you are now claiming De Leon was a "Left nationalist" as well?

As many, including myself, argued when it was published both De Leon and Connolly were Marxists and so including them into the "broad anarchist tradition" was just silly -- in spite of their well-known syndicalist ideas.

Red Marriott

Claiming nationalists as anarchists seems about as serious a "mistake" as can be for the remaining integrity and definition of anarchism, as is the attempted minimising of it by those who claim to defend that integrity and its history – so we'll have radically to disagree on that.

The book claimed Marxists as anarchists, not "nationalists" -- Connolly was included because of his syndicalism just as de Leon was. As I indicated my blog:

The first, minor, criticism is the claim that Daniel De Leon, Big Bill Haywood and James Connolly can be included in the broad anarchist tradition. They were Marxists! By no stretch of the imagination can they be considered anarchists. Yes, they were supporters of syndicalism but they were Marxists.

The reason why, for example, "we have described De Leonism as a form of syndicalism" is that "syndicalism was a type of anarchism" and "self-identification as a Marxist or an anarchist is less important than the content of the ideas adopted, and the ideas of the IWW are certainly within the ambit of the broad anarchist tradition" (p. 161). But that is confusing a tactic with a theory. Syndicalism is an anarchist tactic, and like other tactics can be utilised by non-anarchists. Thus we can have Marxist as well as anarchist syndicalists (although the irony of Marxists subscribing to the ideas of Bakunin rather than Marx should be noted). And I think that they themselves know this as they have to suggest that the Italian syndicalists who later became fascists were not really syndicalists. But they were, they just happened to be Marxist syndicalists who broke with key ideas of syndicalism!

And note that BF discusses the Italian Marxist-syndicalists who turned to nationalism in WWI and who later became fascists -- and rightly argued that they were not anarchists or syndicalists when they embraced nationalism. So the notion that BF included James Connolly due to his nationalism rather than his syndicalism is clutching at straws -- the book was wrong to include him within its "broad anarchist tradition" because, as so many have indicated, he was a Marxist albeit one who embraced syndicalist ideas.

Red Marriott

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've always known the official reason is that their syndicalism supposedly qualified them as 'anarchists' in BF - as I've acknowledged previously. (And yes, I'm aware of the history of Italian syndicalism; http://libcom.org/blog/anarchosyndicalism-against-fascism-response-recent-lnsinuations-31102015 see comments below article.) That is not my point. Of course it's no surprise at all that Italian syndicalists who became fascists were excluded from anarchism by BF - despite their syndicalism – but that just shows the selectivity and inconsistency of BF. But you're ignoring the difference between Italian fascist nationalism and the left nationalism of Connolly. Unlike fascism, Connolly's is the kind of nationalism we tend to see some anarchists be soft on (esp. modern platformists; http://libcom.org/forums/organise/whats-your-quarrel-neo-platformism-06042010 ). That MS apparently later went much further rightwards is what broke the scandal. My suggestion is that there may be a development between the soft nationalism and MS's apparent later harder version of national-anarchism. (Which is not to imply that this is a typical occurrence among, eg, platformists. Though for such anarchoes it seems the problem with people like Connolly is not that they were nationalist but that they weren't anarchist...) That this simple point has provoked such a strong reaction from the book's defenders people can interpret as they wish.

We're all interpreting the likely motivations of MS & BF – a difficult task as the authors have hardly been the most open. I remain more convinced by my interpretation;

Whereas Connolly was never an anarchist but always a nationalist – but BF's revisionism has claimed him as someone who can be defined an anarchist. It's argued above that this is due to his syndicalism (though it's agreed syndicalism isn't in itself necessarily anarchist). But I suggested that BF's choice to not see his nationalism as contradictory to defining him as anarchist is indeed a form of creeping nationalism within their defining of anarchism. (If anyone wanted to dispute that left nationalism is actually contradictory to anarchism then that's a different kettle of - rancid - fish.)

As for the "clutching at straws" claim, it implies I'm suddenly desperate to condemn BF. But in fact I've been pointing out the ridiculous revisionism of BF probably longer than anyone; http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/new-historical-syndicalist-book-03032009
http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/books-italian-anarcho-syndicalism-05102010#comment-400771
It may be unsettling for anarcho-experts and 'historians' to find that the elements they glossed over in their praise of The Great Book have returned to haunt them. But continued attempts to gloss look even more unconvincing. The closing ranks in response to this scandal really isn't any better than the SWP's response to their own scandals. For those who claim to be defenders of the credibility of anarchism they couldn't really be doing it any worse damage.

Anarcho

And note that BF discusses the Italian Marxist-syndicalists who turned to nationalism in WWI and who later became fascists -- and rightly argued that they were not anarchists or syndicalists when they embraced nationalism.

Right. And that's why the Black Flame revisionist bullshit of including nationalists like Connolly within anarchism is so contradictory – and made even more damaging to any credibility when 'anarchists' try to excuse/gloss over it and absolutely deny any possibility that it could have any connection to later developments in this sorry tale. And yet Anarcho in earlier posts calls BF "an obviously anarchist book ... a good introduction to anarchism" – a book that embraces a nationalist like Connolly as an anarchist. No contradiction to see there at all folks... Unlike some others I've noted from the beginning that people "were not anarchists or syndicalists when they embraced nationalism".

William Everard

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

An accessible (though very incomplete) critique of BF, which is all the better for the suggestions of "intros to anarchism" at the bottom:

https://solarpunkanarchists.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/a-look-back-at-black-flame-by-lucien-van-der-walt-and-michael-schmidt

William Everard

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anarkismo commission apparently forming:
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/29106

Johnny - Anarkismo Editorial Group

No, it's not a lie

We're actually debating on a draft proposed by comrades from Brazil (which is inspired form their own internal ethical commission)

Mark.

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Radio interview with Michael Schmidt - read what you want into it

http://www.chaifm.com/images/Podcasts/CrimeBusters/160321ACBSA%20MICHAEL%20SCHMIDT.mp3

William Everard

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

Radio interview with Michael Schmidt - read what you want into it

http://www.chaifm.com/images/Podcasts/CrimeBusters/160321ACBSA%20MICHAEL%20SCHMIDT.mp3

listened to it a few days ago. He's very good at self-promotion, name-dropping etc. The last two posts on his blog are obvious pandering; an attempt to bury the admitted neo-Nazi writing by associating himself with a holocaust museum, prominent black activists, etc.

http://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.nl

The takeaway we're supposed to have is "how can such a person be a skinhead??" The time for shock at the contrast between public and private persona is long over. The talk about who his books are published "alongside", as if that creates some association between himself and those authors, is not much different than the "I have black friends" strategy. The sentence about what's on his bookshelf is even more pathetic.

Oh, and any discussion about Schmidt's *publicly admitted racist and fascist writing* is all of a sudden a "defamation campaign".

Quick Edit --- Sometimes I wonder whether or not Schmidt is working with a PR person or has a list of talking points/prepared comments meant to distance himself from his Strandwolf persona. One example from the radio interview- he talks about "being one of the few whiteys to vote for the PAC in '94" (paraphrasing), in obvious contrast to his well-known vote for the FF+.

William Everard

6 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

...and now, the host of one of Schmidt's book launches posing with an antifa shirt, for the express purpose of Michael mentioning it in the blog post:


http://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.nl/2016/04/launches-of-taste-of-bitter-almonds.html

Of note, HSRC/Best Red (or someone) is publishing a South African version of BF. Supposedly, if those copies weren't just left over from previous print runs.

seahorse

6 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just 11 more posts (10 after this one) and we make it to 1,000! Will this be a new libcom record?

Mark.

6 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Book launch/talk by Michael Schmidt. The sound is missing for the introduction so skip to 5:30 for the start of the talk.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VSlO4OdjIpE

William Everard

6 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anarkismo is censoring comments critical of Schmidt under the article ZACF response to ARR/JS (http://www.anarkismo.net/article/29106). Yet Anarkismo is participating in the so-called "commission" for an "unbiased" assessment of the Schmidt affair.

Here's the scoop: Earlier in May a commentator posted derisive remarks to ARR/JS and their backers. Johnny at Anarkismo removed the post and a response to it per Anarkismo comments guidelines, which prohibits trolling and hateful posts (made by the original poster). A few days ago, a commentator "anon" made a post noting that the removed conversation had relevance, in the quote sent to me as follows (verified with screenshots):

Anarkismo editors, you do know we can take screenshots. Who is censoring? Anarkismo wants to involve itself in a so-called "commission" but claims to be unbiased?

Explain to us what violate guidelines of the following post you now removed twice.

REMOVED POST:

The conversation Anarkismo removed was relevant. Above ZACF says:

"27. The ZACF also expresses its serious concern about the venomous and polarised tone that online debates on the Schmidt affair have assumed. A vocal anti-Schmidt current dominates many forums by relying, not on substantive debate, but on innuendos and on labelling, with any disagreement with any part of Reid Ross and Stephens’ / AK Press’ claims treated as the work of fascists, racists, tools of Schmidt etc. In this climate, those with contrary views soon withdraw, rational debate is closed, and more nuanced views that do not fit a neat pro-/ anti-Schmidt position, are lost. This is not a constructive approach to any debate, regardless of the severity of the accusations."

ZACF is wrong. The conversation removed by Anarkismo shows exact opposite.

Almost every poster calling out Schmidt for lies and racism sticks to substance in the comments at Anarkismo and Libcom. Anyone can read them https://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-25092015

When will people admit this?

When will people explain the fact that Schmidt has a Lebensrune, a Nazi symbol, tattooed on his left shoulder pictured in Chapter 2 by Ross and Stephens? https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-seduced-anarchists-around-the-world-chapter-2-1849e232b943

When will people explain the fact that Schmidt lied about having a Nazi tattoo when he listed the "sum total" of his tattoos and left his Lebensrune off the list? http://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.de/2015/11/michael-schmidt-african-anarchist.html

Where do you stand on this Johnny? Anarkismo editors?

After Anarkismo (Johnny?) removed this comment, an additional post was made asking solely about the Nazi Lebensrune symbol that Schmidt has tattooed on his left shoulder and lies about in his blog post.

Even though that post adheres to every tenet of Anarkismo comments policy (read here: http://www.anarkismo.net/editorial), Anarkismo removed it.

On record now, Anarkismo is censoring its audience.

syndicalist

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Institute for Anarchist Theory and History (IATH)
2017 STATEMENT ON MICHAEL SCHMIDW CASE

https://ithanarquista.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/2017-statement-on-michael-schmidt-case-declaracao-sobre-o-caso-michael-schmidt/

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That is a pretty damn good statement. And importantly contains a brief section explaining that Schmidt has actually confessed to some of the things he's been accused of. I recommend everyone to read the statement.

Juan Conatz

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I missed it at first but this statement contains no new information. It just is their take on statements that were already public.

syndicalist

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I posted it as an FYI

Juan Conatz

I missed it at first but this statement contains no new information. It just is their take on statements that were already public.

In some ways, it's a validation of some of the "movement" concerns with MS. The real "value", so to speak, is it comes from people who were politically and academically close to MS.

S. Artesian

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No, there's real information in the letter-- MS admits to the charges made against him, except for the charge of infiltrating the anarchist movement for right-wing purposes. He explains his "turn to the right" by claiming mental incoherence. And he now claims he has renounced the radical right, meaning contrary to previous assertions, he was not "playing" the radical right as part of an undercover mission to "expose" it in the press; and meaning that the defense of MS mounted by other organizations was nothing but a cover-up.

Wonder how Anarkismo is going to handle this.

Steven.

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

I missed it at first but this statement contains no new information. It just is their take on statements that were already public.

yeah like Artesian says there is really significant new information here. That he basically admits he adopted racist ideas from the radical right, is very sorry, says he has mental health problems and says he has now renounced the radical right. Also he says he was only very slightly involved with Black Flame, and that it was mostly written by Lucien.

Very interesting stuff, but as the statement basically says, this is too little too late as before he consistently just denied it, and even wrote a long waffling statement trying to disprove the allegations which were clearly true.

syndicalist

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've not read this yet. For your info.

Statement on the Schmidt Case and Proposed Commission of Inquiry
Tuesday March 28, 2017 04:08author by Anarkismo - Anarkismo network
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/30115

Steven.

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

syndicalist

I've not read this yet. For your info.

Statement on the Schmidt Case and Proposed Commission of Inquiry
Tuesday March 28, 2017 04:08author by Anarkismo - Anarkismo network
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/30115

TLDR version: as he's admitted being a racist they are cutting ties with him and having no communication with him (about time). But they still plan to put together an independent ethics commission to examine the allegations in detail at some point.

Juan Conatz

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah, yes, I thought the IATH statement was referring to something that was already available publicly and online, but it seems like it is talking about a letter or exchange with MS isn't available online.

Basically, the central, and most important point in the various articles that came out about him, is true, then.

Flint

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

1000 posts! Congratulations! We did it, everyone!

Juan Conatz

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meh. Michael Schmidt is the co-author of one of the most read and referred to texts on class struggle anarchism. This is (in part) a class struggle anarchist website. It's not surprising that this would be a controversial situation.

syndicalist

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flint

1000 posts! Congratulations! We did it, everyone!

He brought this shit on himself and dragged Lucien with him.

Jim

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

Basically, the central, and most important point in the various articles that came out about him, is true, then.

I largely agree and suspect what I'm saying is basically semantics now. When the AK statement said Schmidt was an "undercover fascist" and "white nationalist trying to infiltrate the anarchist movement" I was expecting evidence which would show he had fully formed white nationalist and fascist politics before he entered the anarchist movement and that everything he did as an anarchist was an attempt to pull anarchists to the right or gather information on the right's political opponents. But that doesn't seem to be quite what's happened. This seems to be more someone who was racist becoming an anarchist, briefly being less racist and then becoming a white nationalist in secret. So rather than thinking about how we were infiltrated, I think we need to think about how his racism wasn't eradicated while becoming an anarchist, and how he was able to drift to the right while active as an anarchist. Which are slightly different questions to the ones I initially thought we might be needing to answer.

bootsy

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Since Schmidt is one of the more well known Anarchist Communist activists and historians in the world I think a bit of a discussion on the matter is quite justified since its pretty scandalous. As Jim has already begun doing it deserves some serious inward reflection so that we can understand just how it was possible for a secret fascist to operate in the movement for years without anyone becoming aware of it, despite the fact that he has written more than a few articles which blatantly hint at his racist sympathies.

I look forward to the results of Anarkismo's investigation of this sorry saga.

Mike Harman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I missed this thread when it started, but recently caught up all the way through it more or less. Reading 900+ posts in such a short space of time was interesting to say the least...

A few things that came to mind:

Not just with this case, the way that allegations come out about people is often not very well handled. In this case the original statement by AK Press had at best imprecise wording, then the specific allegations were serialised. Neither of these helped the reception of the information itself. It's very, very hard to maintain a distinction between being critical of process vs. undermining the point people are actually trying to get across (speaking to past me as well here).

What this is reflective of is that anarchists/communists don't necessarily handle accountability of individuals any better than other kinds of groups, then get caught wrong-footed. This goes for both abusive behaviour and incompatible politics, and it goes for those releasing information as well as those receiving it.

jim

I think we need to think about how his racism wasn't eradicated while becoming an anarchist, and how he was able to drift to the right while active as an anarchist. Which are slightly different questions to the ones I initially thought we might be needing to answer

I think it goes slightly beyond this in that after an unknown number of ZACF members had seen that position paper, he was able to continue as a member for a fairly long stretch of time. So he wasn't just drifting to the right separate from being active as an anarchist but was specifically pushing bad racial politics (specifically racist politics) within an anarchist group. We don't know how much that got challenged internally, but it also wasn't ZACF that publicly challenged him in the end.

It also immediately made me think of the more recent (but less drawn out?) case of Michael Rectenwald. Looks like Insurgent Notes started a process of removing him from their site, but did a reversal at least for now: https://twitter.com/antipcnyuprof/status/847875555626295296- in this case Rectenwald mostly outed himself, not aware of any explicit statements from places he was involved with disassociating with him yet.

syndicalist

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I wonder if AK Press will ever reprint "Black Flame" with a new authors intro and without mentioning MS? It has long been rumored that LvdW was really the ,main author.

As to how AK rolled out their attack, prolly piss poor. As how LvdW posted under a false name hear, prolly piss poor. That ZACF didn't get out in front, disappointing and who really knows the internal dynamic during most of that period as well (roll over of members, majority new members, etc). It will be interesting to see what report ZACF rolls out. And I hope they are self-reflective in a helpful and positive way.

white-liars-matter

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

two things to start ---

- it's about fucking time we get -some- update.
- the timing is not coincidence. activists have been engaged in a letter writing and online campaign to finally push the 'commision' to give answers, culminating in a final push in early//mid March. some of you in this thread were contacted

a few more food for thought.

1. whoever has letter(s) from Michael Strandwolf should publish them, not hoarde them. a summary that says ' well he kinda admitted he hates blacks or used to' is not good enough. use tor browser and a pastebin or share.riseup.net

2. where are the two articles rejected from Anarkismo? the islamophobic article should see the light of day -- I'm looking at you ocelot and johnny. or is a better name for the 'collective' Klanarkismo? we want transparency, not the cover-your-asses report of 'the commision"

3. Lux Editeur sure doesn't care about the 'lux' part of the name. Why are they still filling the coffers of a known white supremacist, who now finally admits to it? anyone know how to say 'Stop selling nazi books' en francais?

4. a big THANK YOU to AK Press, ARR and Js is in order. perhaps apologies from some.

5. ZACF is a dead org, or needs to distance itself completely from the past statement on Strandwlof which was too much length and too much mental gymnastics, and BLAMING THE VICTIMS. no new statement will correct this without total break from the past (aka harboring of white supremacism)

6. Et tu Lucien? better own up quick, buddy. You've had your time to reflect, and we need clarification. 'I was conflicted' won't hold up too well and your past statement has been given far too much time and sympathy. you gonna still put your coauthor's name in your CV or what? David duke has as much credibility as Strandwolf, so better to break with him before it's too late.

7. hey Strandwolf, I know you're an egotistical ass still trying to save your career, and will eventually read this. How much did you pay off Wayne Price and co to wax philosophical on ur status as 'real anarchist Michael' or 'fake fascist Michael'? Existentialism about the essence of your bigotry will no longer suffice.. 'which Michael wrote [insert article or book]?' no longer passes mustard. Wayne, you know this already and SHAME for bashing Strandwolf's critics on your Anarkismo posts as enemies of anarchism

8. JOIN US. we have been trying to convince publishers and co that Michael Strandwolf is who he is, a white nationalist Boer fascist. Almost no one will listen except those who have already seen some of him in the true light of day. His books can no longer reach bestseller lists and 4-star reviews in perhaps the most racist state on the planet South Africa. He can no longer be the journalist of respect with jobs like this:

Time will tell what themes dominate the news in 2017 in South Africa, but the scourge of ingrained social racism and the structural enablers of white privilege hogged headlines in 2016. I covered the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism / Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Reporting Racism Conference in October for ProJourn's Southern African Cities of Refuge Project.

source

let us not forget the correct words of the intro to Michael Strandwolf's Creed, more true now than ever ---

These are ideological blog posts by prominent anarcho-fascist writer Michael Schmidt from 2010 and 2011. These posts were once published at [strandwolf.blogspot.com](http://strandwolf.blogspot.com) but were taken down by Schmidt in 2015 once his identity as the writer was revealed. Before being outed as a white supremacist, Schmidt was best known for co-authoring the controversial anarchist history [Black Flame](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Flame:_The_Revolutionary_Class_Politics_of_Anarchism_and_Syndicalism_%28Counter-Power_vol._1%29) with longtime friend and collaborator [Lucien van der Walt](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucien_van_der_walt).

"Strandwolf's Creed" is deeply personal, revealing the author's political vision as the product of his proud Afrikaner heritage. Schmidt's outline for Boer progress is steeped in history, providing a racist, elitist, and deterministic view of not only human evolution, but human progress well into the 21st Century. Through his writings as "Strandwolf" (or, early on, "Ardent Vinlander"), Schmidt is building the plan for his movement, a red-brown admixture of anarchism and white power.

Black Battlefront, the militant group fueled by this manifesto, would be the culmination of decades of activism for Schmidt, allowing him to recruit activists into a whites-only organization with aggressive racism at its core (curiously an "anti-racist" concept to the author). Schmidt's calls for racial segregation closely mirror his recommendations for the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF), revealed in a [leaked internal memo](http://www.pdf-archive.com/2015/10/12/schmidt-memo/schmidt-memo.pdf).

if Schmidt 'won' and realized his dream, what would be the result? he wasn't just playing with rightwing ideas he was actively trying to destroy-assimilate anarchism in South Africa. An army of white nationalist Boers with black underlings as footsoldiers... these are the ideas of a dangerous maniac we cannot suffer.

Edit --- fixed link for Schmidt's selfaggrandizing post 'Fallist Politics Critiqued at Racism Conference '
https://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.com/2017/01/fallist-politics-critiqued-at-racism.html

white-liars-matter

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this motherfucker hides behind his output.

THREE projects on the burner.

BLACK FLAME vol 2 (sans Lucien):

https://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.com/2017/04/contents-of-wildfire-global-anarchist.html

Two more histories, one explicitly anarchist ---
https://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.com/2017/04/contents-of-peoples-flag-is-deepest.html

https://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.com/2017/04/contents-of-death-flight-apartheids.html

Anyone out there upset enough to raise the alarm? He's becoming our top 21st century anarchist historian, if he produces at this rate and with this bullishness

William Everard

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

van der Walt reply, with no mention of the sequel to Black Flame

https://ithanarquista.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/lucien-van-der-walt-2017-statement-on-michael-schmidt-affair-10-april-2017/

Schmidt letter

https://share.riseup.net/#nre-DQ6W1OIiUfXnmqoR2w
https://pastebin.com/raw/dXbMUWMF

*******

5 March 2017
TO: The Council
Institute for Anarchist Theory and History (IATH)
RE: Resignation (and yet, Hope)

Dear comrades I am writing this letter in order to make official my resignation with immediate effect from the Council of ITHA, with regret but in good faith and good humour, and in doing so concede ITHA’s right to make public this letter or portions of it as it deems fit in responding as it may to my decision. I will divide this message into thematic sections in order for it to be more readily digestible.

1. The good work of ITHA
I firstly want to stress that my resignation must in no way be interpreted as a signal of any doubt in my mind regarding the great research, analysis and publication undertaken by ITHA, which I was proud to help co-found. I salute ITHA for the invaluable work it continues to undertake in favour of rigorous anarchist analysis with the aim of reconstructing an anarchist movement restored to its prior position of primacy among the oppressed classes.

2. Apology and Caveat
Secondly, but foremost in my mind, I want to humbly apologise for the untenable position that my past actions and omissions in monitoring the far right, first as a journalist and then as an activist, put the Institute in, and the resulting political difficulties that have arisen from that, not least the personal sense of betrayal felt by individual comrades.

In particular I want to stress in a caveat that, as they were not party in any way to my undercover work – as a result of my failure to disclose the full extent of such when questioned – that in no legitimate sense can either ITHA, the ZACF and CAB or their members, the contributors to the Anarkismo project, or especially Black Flame primary author Lucien van der Walt, be considered tarnished or compromised by my actions or omissions. My undercover actions and omissions were secretive and they were mine alone.

3. Reason for my Resignation
I recognise that the failure of the international commission announced more than a year ago to convene has bedeviled ITHA’s good work and its reputation – but also admit the fact that my lengthy published defense in November 2015 failed to supply adequate reasoning for my past actions. This omission was partly because I know the faceless original sources of the allegations against me, and in my view they are partisans of a form of anarchism that seeks to discredit the
movement’s mass-organisational tradition. Nevertheless, I foolishly reacted against the claims as an individual would respond to a personal attack, without, at least initially, recognising that their charges affected more than myself, but also innocent parties: the ZACF, ITHA, CAB, Anarkismo, and the organised movement more broadly.

Taken together, the failure of the commission to convene and my own failure to detail the reasoning behind the substance of my career as a journalist and as an anarchist has left ITHA in an unfair limbo that must not be allowed to continue, so I ask that I may be allowed to resign with immediate effect. I do so with no hard feelings; indeed, I respect ITHA’s honourable and open approach to this problem.

4. The Heart of the Matter
I take to heart in particular ITHA’s concern that in the process following the AK Press accusations in late 2015, I failed to engage in (public) self-criticism. There is a reason for this, and it is a difficult one for me to address for, as the saying goes, a house divided against itself must fall. So I beg your compassion as I lay this out for you, for I am only now having this conversation with myself, and have not yet raised it with my closest comrades, friends or family, so I am writing this as I wrestle with the issue. I am not admitting more than I have previously for there is nothing more to admit to – but what I am doing is giving reasons for my noxious actions and omissions.

It is not easy for me even now to revisit the depth of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression that enveloped me over a successive period of years, starting with my unnerving war experience in Lebanon in July 2006 which turned a patch of my beard white in a single day, escalating with the extremely painful divorce from my wife and the freezing of the Africa Correspondent post I had worked towards for 19 years in 2007, and exacerbated by the horrors of the 2008 Xenophobic Pogroms and the 2012 Marikana Massacre, the delirium caused by meningitis and breaking my spine in five places in 2010, and the losses of my friend Anton Hammerl in the Libyan Civil War in 2011 and of my brother in a motorbike accident in 2014. I subsequently lost my job, my car and my home.

Mental illness is a lonely experience at best, in no small measure because one becomes uncertain of oneself, unable and unwilling to communicate one’s distress to those one loves out of fear they recoil, or even become infected by one’s despair. When my family emigrated to the Antipodes in 2000, I alone remained behind, precisely because I have a heart for Africa and was committed to the democratic transition in South Africa; this has not changed. By the time of the onset of PTSD, my family no longer lived in the country, my closest friends lived in other cities or constantly worked abroad, so there were few I could trust with such intimate details; and though I discussed my life in some detail with my psychologist (but only after I was diagnosed with PTSD in early 2012), I did not know how to express to her the crisis of political conscience I was undergoing in addition to all the depression, violence and the other effects of PTSD.

I stand foursquare by the honest intent of my initial foray into the underworld, the properly authorised (though it seems that fact is forgotten) creation of a Stormfront account as a Group
Special Investigative Writer for Independent Newspapers in 2005. That was indeed straightforward investigative journalism and a watching brief that was legitimately maintained up until at least December 2007 when I left journalism: my publication of strings of stories on the right adequately demonstrates this. That I put noxious words in the mouth of my undercover persona in order to establish a profile with those I was keeping an eye on was distasteful to me, but this does not detract from the nasty, racist content of those posts – and I reject them utterly as being in any way indicative of my true socio-political positions.

But my second foray into the underworld, the creation of false Facebook accounts, initially with the honest intent of trying to understand the marginal phenomenon of so-called “national-anarchism,” took on a life of its own as my mental breakdown increased in successive waves, and things became murkier and more erratic. This is clear from the abhorrent content of the Creed document: though one part of my mind was convinced I wrote it merely to be taken seriously in order to be able to access the intellectual leadership of the “national-anarchist” movement and engage them on an intimate level, the obsessive detail of the document revealed that another part of my mind was toying with its disastrous, racist arguments. Painfully, privately, the foundations of my house were cracking – despite all my numerous and sincere public engagements grappling with pressing issues of the day such as hate speech, massacre, and xenophobia.

Fortunately, if I recall correctly, website analytics proved only sixteen people, most of them already-convinced “national-anarchists,” read that horrible Creed, and as such its impact was essentially zero. It would have remained unknown had AK Press’ agents not unfortunately taken the poor decision to republish it in its entirety – rather than more judiciously selecting damning paragraphs in support of their argument. I reiterate that it was designed to have no possibility of purchase in the South African white right by virtue of its white-coloured-indigenous multiracial framework, its right-radicalism, and the use of symbols such as an inverted cross – all elements which are despised by the SA right which is white-exclusivist, conservative, and Calvinist Christian. As such, I remain confident it has no resonance in the real world.

I need not have admitted to having authored it; there would have been no way for AK Press to have proven provenance. But I publicly admitted authorship in 2015 in the interests of honesty and, restored to my right mind by that stage, I rejected and continue to reject the nasty document in its entirety. I am deeply ashamed that I wrote it, even if only as a key to understand a few right-wing leaders – as I reject the hate-infused sentiment of my Stormfront posts of this period of mental instability.

5. Conflict & Identity in South Africa’s Transition
In the afterglow of Mandela’s ascension to the Presidency, it is often forgotten that South Africa went through a very violent transition from autocracy to democracy, with some 25,000 people murdered in political violence between the unbanning of the liberation movements in February 1990 and the first democratic elections in April 1994. And, as my last two books have detailed, the apartheid state’s exclusionary class-race practice has continued to do damage well into the
democratic era. Even today, we remain a society in often violent class conflict and racism-inflected transition.

During my period of mental instability, I was more than merely, as one comrade abroad suggested, a white African grappling with issues of identity; I was something else grappling with identity in a country with pervasive structural white privilege for a minority, and yet a virulent, rising black majoritarian nationalism that has now taken the form of a populist party that preaches a racialised doctrine. This dynamic is poorly understood by my US accusers. That I am not actually white – a fact that I continually stressed publicly not least with my involvement in the Human Genome Project in 2006 and in A Taste of Bitter Almonds in 2015 – was relevant to me personally, but irrelevant to a society which made presumptions of who and what I was. It does bear repeating, however, that AK’s initial charge that I am a white supremacist cannot stand if in all periods relevant to its charges right up to the present day, I have not considered myself white, but rather an Africanised Latino-Saxon descended from a Bengali slave.

Yet I was indeed a house divided – and that house was falling as my PTSD unraveled my sense of a unified self. Was it Stockholm Syndrome, as some have suggested, that familiarity of discourse with the right, as human beings rather than as political strawmen, lead to a shifting of my sympathies? I initially rejected this idea, for to be intellectually and / or emotionally captured by one’s polar enemy is deeply humiliating. But on painful reflection there is some truth to that. However, that I was never entirely convinced by the racist right or the “national-anarchists” is demonstrated by the facts that:

● I never expressed any racist or right-wing views in my own name, either in public or in private, such engagements being entirely restricted to (anti-)social media in the names of my false online personae;

● I have never in my life met a single racist or right-wing individual let alone group in my personal or political capacity, I have never in my life been a member of any race-exclusivist group, and the tiny and false “group” I set up online was merely a Trojan Horse;

● Until these allegations in 2015, I have never in my personal, political or professional lives ever been accused of racist, discriminatory or other unwholesome actions or beliefs – and this would seem to be impossible If I was truly a racist;

● Throughout the period of my mental illness, despite being deeply troubled, I publicly maintained anarchist ethics and practice, promoted Black Flame, wrote Bulgarian Anarchism Armed, Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism and other unquestionably anarchist works dedicated to restoring the validity of anarchism outside of what could crudely be called the “white” North Atlantic – especially in Africa – and engaged constructively in internationalist dialogues with anarchists of all colours from Canada to Slovenia, Brazil to Lebanon, Kenya to New Zealand, Mexico to Iran, not a single one of whom raised any concerns about my transnational, multiethnic approaches to race;

● In the same period of illness, in my personal life, I not only actively sought work across Africa and in other non-European societies such as Solomon Islands, but maintained good relations and close political friendships with people identifying as black African, Asian, Indian, indigenous, Arab, Berber, Mayan, Maori, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, atheist, etc – and had an intimate relationship lasting more than two years with Eve, who is an African lawyer of Indian descent (this in particular is abhorrent to white supremacists, and if anyone would know whether I was truly a racist, it would be Eve, yet no-one bothered to speak to her); and

● In the same period, my cultural practices in terms of the art I collected, the music I listened to, the events like Chinese New Year that I participated in, show a continued, engaged interest in multiculturalism, even while I wrestled privately with issues of an identity imposed on me by apartheid, and unalleviated by democracy.

6. My Errors
It was only in early 2012, having just been diagnosed with PTSD, and starting out on the long process of mental repair, that the allegations of my misdeeds via my online personae were first brought to the notice of the ZACF. As you know, I immediately admitted to the legitimate undercover journalism work on Stormfront, but not to my engagements with the “national-anarchists”. This naturally amounts to a betrayal of trust of my comrades and friends, which would later have broader ramifications in untrue allegations that the ZACF had failed to weed its garden, and I accept my guilt. I am ashamed I did not feel confident enough at that time to be up-front about everything, and apologise unreservedly to the ZACF for that.

My error was further compounded by a long personal engagement I had sometime in this period with Lucien van der Walt, who as my co-author on the Counter-power project was rightly concerned; but he was unable to get me to talk about the deeper reality of my mental distress and my loss of political moorings. Perhaps if we’d been able to speak at greater length – for he had to go back to work in the Eastern Cape and was only visiting for a weekend – he would have gotten my façade to crack, and we could have been spared all that followed. But I was depressed, secretive, paranoid, confused, embarrassed and unsure of how to raise the real problem, even with my best friend, so he remained in the dark about what was going on. This too, I accept was a betrayal, and I am mortally ashamed of it. I cannot stress enough that Lucien remains wholly innocent in this affair and his wonderful works on anarchism entirely untainted by my silence.

I perhaps need to make at this stage an admission that might be shocking: that I have never read a single paragraph of the exhaustive and meandering seven-part allegations of AK Press’ agents other than AK’s initial Facebook post. This is firstly because I already knew what they consisted of, in reality at least, for with the exception of my period of meningitis-induced delirium in mid to late 2010, I was fully aware of what I had and had not done. But it is also because by the time the allegations – and they are very far from all being true – were made in late 2015, I was well recovered and restored to both my sanity and my undivided adherence to revolutionary anarchism; to read their charges risked my mental health and a return to the wasteland of PTSD. I was not willing to return to that lonely condition, and so vicariously allowed good comrades to fill me in on the necessary and often absurd details. I trust the commission, when it convenes, will determine which of these are true and which constitute character-assassination.

7. My Condition Now
My fear of a return to mental instability is not unfounded: my fragility is demonstrated by the fact that since my brother’s death in June 2014, I have in all my waking hours suffered from olfactory hallucinations. I first experienced this briefly during the Guatemalan Civil War in 1996 when watching a film on army massacres provoked an olfactory hallucination in which I smelt the corpses I had witnessed in the aftermath of the Shobashobane Massacre in Zululand some weeks previously; that condition is now constant and I must tell you, for someone who used to delight in the scents of the world, most unpleasant and destabilising. As far as I understand, there is no sure way to cure this condition.

I trust too that you understand how difficult this is to write, for it presents me with a core conundrum. If, as Polonius’ words in Hamlet have it, the most important rule in venturing into the world is “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man,” with my history of mental illness, what is my own self? Since my emergence from that dark period, I avoided admitting even to myself that any of my noxious words on (anti-)social media were true in the sense that I had been convinced or even partly-convinced of them at the time; for to do so meant admitting to my own self being abhorrent – not the sort of self that one would wish to be true to! To even admit to the existence of that dark alter-ego would mean to admit that my house was sundered by an unbridgeable faultline; this admission alone, I feared, would precipitate its fall. So, in returning to sanity, I have tried to be true to the part of myself that is honourable, anti-racist and anti-fascist – but in doing so, I have been partly false to many women, trans*persons and men, yourselves not least, who were my friends and comrades by not offering full disclosure. I hope you can appreciate how, honestly troubling this position was, and remains, though perhaps this letter is the first step in resolving the conundrum, improving my mental health, and restoring our friendship.

Conclusion
The innocent: In concluding, I stress again that Black Flame is primarily Lucien’s work and that he submitted the manuscript to AK Press in January 2006, before the onset of my PTSD in the wake of the Summer War in Lebanon in July 2006. So the good reputation of that work cannot be damaged in way by my later actions or omissions; more to the point, the text itself is unambiguously anarchist in its multiethnic approaches to race, colonialism and imperialism.

Next, again I emphasise that in the period in which I was mentally ill, neither Lucien nor the ZACF were initially aware of the seriousness of my condition, and when they were made aware of my transgressions, they immediately called me to task: thus, no racially suspect ideas can be claimed to have been current in the ZACF or associated circles; it cannot be construed as their fault that I omitted to tell them everything. The same goes for Anarkismo, ITHA, CAB, and any other organisation that hosted me as a guest speaker, or that I worked for or interacted with in the period concerned: no-one was aware of the severity of my mental disorder, or of my political deviations, and cannot in any way be tainted by the latter, nor even be accused of passive connivance. Again, I humbly apologise for the political difficulties and personal pain I have caused to all concerned.

My politics: I still stand by my 2015 public defense – my life’s work for our cause over a quarter of a century. I want to underline that I worked for decades both as a journalist and an activist among the largely black working class and poor of Africa and continue to do so. But I recognise that my detailing of my career failed to deal with the reasons behind instances where I had indeed diverged from anarchist ethics and practice, even if only by word and never by deed, and then only in narrow far-right online enclaves.

Though I went through a period of mental anguish and political doubt some years ago, I have since recovered my unity of mind and I remain a committed revolutionary anarchist, and as such a firm anti-fascist and anti-racist. I continue to work with a global cohort of activists who provide safe haven to persecuted writers, journalists, authors and musicians of all colours, to work for non-profit organisations operating across Africa on human and LGBTI rights, HIV and other issues, to work on a transnational multilingual online project on massacre and memory, and am currently preparing to work on the ground in countries such as Sri Lanka.

I continue to labour ceaselessly in my own time and at my own expense on numerous studies of our movement, especially regarding Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab World, Latin America, Russia and the CIS, South Asia and Asia-Pacific – including the Anarchist-Communist Mass-Line series, the Arabic and Spanish editions of Cartography, and Wildfire: Global Anarchist Ideological and Organisational Lineages, an intense labour of love of sixteen years and counting which will be, when published, the most comprehensive history in any language of the anarchist movement globally over fifteen decades.

Finally, I wish to thank ITHA for its understanding and wish it all success in its invaluable endeavours.

Red & Black regards
Michael Schmidt

Mike Harman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@white-liars-matter in terms of raising the alarm, I personally think it would be useful to have some of the material around this in the libcom library - although there's a /lot/ at this point so hard to know where to start - I guess re-posting the original 4-5 blog posts with a reference to this discussion would be OK though. Any registered user can post to the library, so if someone was up for archiving some of this material, please go ahead.

This isn't a one off, the situation has parallels with that of Michael Rectenwald and while I haven't read up on it as much, maybe Nick Land? With Rectenwald a rejection of 'identity politics' ended up with him embracing white, male identity politics and rejecting class.

We know that many radical political groups have had poor (but recently improving, maybe?) records of accountability for sexual harassment. I haven't seen many examples of those same accountability processes happening around racism outside of Schmidt.

Flava O Flav

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mike Harman

I haven't seen many examples of those same accountability processes happening around racism outside of Schmidt.

Have there been many instances? What org was Rechtenwald with and what's the story with Nick Land?

Mike Harman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think Rectenwald was in an organisation, he's a full professor at NYU, however he was published by Insurgent Notes and others, from some twitter chatter I got the impression they haven't decided what to do about it yet. https://twitter.com/antipcnyuprof/status/847875555626295296 / thread here: https://libcom.org/forums/general/michael-rectenwald-doing-christopher-hitchens-28022017

Land wrote 'The Dark Enlightenment' (http://www.thedarkenlightenment .com/the-dark-enlightenment-by-nick-land/) which along with Mencius Moldbug has been credited with the development of the NRx movement (popular with Steve Bannon, Peter Thiel etc.) Haven't read the whole thing, it has a lot of dogwhistles/open ranting about the reaction to the killing of Trayvon Martin though. More or Land here: https://shutdownld50.tumblr.com/post/158928600961/no-platform-for-land-on-nick-lands-racist

white-liars-matter

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

quick updates.........

Schmidt published an article with Arts Everywhere:

https://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.com/2017/05/should-i-wait-for-darkness-to-see-stars.html

it talks of 'the rise of right-populism and neo-fascism'....

https://web.archive.org/web/20170421031109/http://artseverywhere.ca/2017/04/11/wait-for-darkness/

the group was horrified by Strandwolf and pulled his article and bio......

http://artseverywhere.ca/2017/04/11/wait-for-darkness/

In other news the SAJBD tweeted this.......

https://twitter.com/SAJBD/status/859714022601568256

they also tweeted this, about neonazi posters featuring a lebensrune symbol...

https://twitter.com/SAJBD/status/864789179460460548

So far they have done nothing when were notified that Schmidt also has lebensrune tattoo and the rest of the scandal.

syndicalist

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I gather this is fresh off the press....

"ANARCHISM, ETHICS AND JUSTICE: THE MICHAEL SCHMIDT CASE....
Anarkismo network framework for international Ethics Commission and statement on convening it"
https://anarkismo.net/article/30351

akai

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, this looks like an attempt to find 7 patsies to help rehabilitate MS.

Also they are very creepy in claiming that there is a "renovated" lWA. Now l have no idea who the worse revisionist is: MS or Anarkismo. Probably the latter.

William Everard

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For anyone still interested, as much as I like this massive thread, please see the "Anarkismo Down" thread and the Black Flame library page, which has a renewed discussion.

https://libcom.org/forums/news/anarkismo-down-13072017
https://libcom.org/library/black-flame-volume-1-lucien-van-der-walt-michael-schmidt

It seems the Anarkismo commission proposal article was removed after a pattern of censorship/removing comments/locking the comments section. The whole time, the Anarkismo website was mysteriously going up and down and being configured incorrectly, along with Schmidt's ProJourn and IAJ sites. How much it's all related is up in the air, but worth reading that Anarkismo Down thread if only for the ZACF contribution.

No more commission proposal means no more commission? What the fuck happened behind the scenes?

Eocentaur

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am honestly very confused about this. I have never heard of Schimdt before this, or Black Flame. But reading all this stuff, him denying it initially it makes this very sketchy and a long letter is not enough to prove he is not a white nationalist. Considering that, it is indeed important to not include him among anarchists until such a day ever comes that he proves these allegations false or the accused white centrism in anarchism becomes true. If I am misreading this, as I very often do because I'm autistic, let me know.

Also, looking into this, I came across some comments and want to know what this professor rat is talking about in regards to libcom and AK Press. And why syndicalism is being equaled to white supremacy. I'm not one but that seems ridiculous. Not sure either why Schmidt's rejection of Proudhon was a sign of white supremacy, wasn't Proudhon racist and very misogynistic? https://anarchistnews.org/content/michael-schmidt#comments

Khawaga

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Professor Rat seems to just be not fond of class struggle anarchists in general, i.e. s/he is being secterian.

Mike Harman

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Catching up with some Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin, I found this paragraph:

Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin

I remember some years ago having a critical discussion with some white South African Anarchists, who put forth a political line of white radical domination of the social change movement and the question crossed my mind whether these people had even taken part in the anti-apartheid struggle there, or just appeared as a tendency after the struggle was over. Clearly they were part of the white settler class, at least ideologically. Now they project themselves as revolutionary "leaders" and lecturers after Black people there have shed blood to overturn a system of racial oppression which benefited a large segment of the white population.

https://libcom.org/library/progressive-plantation-racism-inside-white-radical-social-change-groups

Has to be him.

Steven.

5 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lorenzo is on Facebook, you could always ask him to check, but certainly it sounds like him. Although by his mention of "lecturers" that seems like he is talking about Lucien van der Walt, who has never written anything racist (although did initially defend Schmidt, who was a long-term friend)

bastarx

4 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Professor Rat seems to just be not fond of class struggle anarchists in general, i.e. s/he is being secterian.

Professor Rat has been pestering various anarchoid forums for years and seems like a total crank. I think his professed positions have changed numerous times but the crankishness has been constant.

Red Marriott

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Kom'Boa Ervin comment was actually already quoted on this thread 2 yrs ago by jc; http://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-25092015?page=22#comment-567978

by his mention of "lecturers" that seems like he is talking about Lucien van der Walt

Schmidt has done plenty of speaking engagements, lecture tours etc, eg;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq8BGp1a3io
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHR0wvpNKRo