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Aufheben riots article discussion

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Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
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Nov 4 2011 21:17
Aufheben riots article discussion

Discussion of authorship and other tangents split here from the article comments. Article is here.

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Steven.
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Nov 5 2011 10:05

Is this going to be put in text format? If it's not underway, I could have a go next week.

Also, one thing I wondered was where the data came from about what stores were attacked?

lines
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Nov 6 2011 20:31

Did 'Aufheben' write this article?

If not, then who did?

Does the article represent the views of Aufheben?

I am confused.

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Fall Back
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Nov 6 2011 20:49
Quote:
. 'Intakes' articles in Aufheben are 'guest' articles and so do not go through the normal editorial process (of editing, criticism etc.) but nevertheless are considered useful contributions. For these reasons, we do not necessarily have to agree with everything written in an 'Intakes' article (although such articles usually share basic assumptions with us).
Mike Harman
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Nov 7 2011 02:39
lines wrote:
Did 'Aufheben' write this article?

If not, then who did?

Does the article represent the views of Aufheben?

I am confused.

I've updated the introduction to the article to make it clear it was an Intakes article, the original introduction described it as "Aufheben's detailed analysis" which works if you're referring to the publication itself rather than the group but otherwise is very ambiguous by itself.

lines
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Nov 7 2011 09:05

Dear Mike Harman,

It is still not clear to me as to what connection the writer has to the Aufehebn group.

It was originally implied that it was written by Aufheben. You have now corrected this at the top of the article.

But the concluding part of the article still leaves one with the impression that this article was written by Aufheben or by someone who is very, very close to them.

I think that the authorship of this article is an important issue in light of the recent discussion concerning an Aufheben member and in light of the connections I have made between the modus operandi, or ideology of Aufheben and the work of the ESIM team.

The probem is that people will be left to wonder if the article was written by J - but maybe he is no longer a member of Aufheben (which would be an important fact in itself). The other possibility would be that the article was written by Clifford Stott, which I think is unlikely, but not completely out of the question, of course. Or maybe it is the case that the Aufheben group supply critique and analysis to J in his work persona? I mean by this, are all of Aufheben engaged in social psychology work/study?

The other reason that the authorship of this particular article is important is that it could be seen as 'brazen' that Aufheben continue to pursue this feature of (seeming to) combining their academic study with their political interventions - in the light of the recent controversy.

Mike Harman
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Nov 7 2011 09:31
Quote:
It is still not clear to me as to what connection the writer has to the Aufehebn group.

Me neither. They have had 'guest' articles in the past (for example Class War/Paper Tiger springs to mind), but in general articles are not credited to anyone iirc (although I did not thumb through to check). Perhaps you should ask them?

Quote:
It was originally implied that it was written by Aufheben. You have now corrected this at the top of the article.

I don't think it implied they wrote it, just very ambiguous - it's common to refer to publications as well as individual authors when writing intros.

Quote:
The other reason that the authorship of this particular article is important is that it could be seen as 'brazen' that Aufheben continue to pursue this feature of (seeming to) combining their academic study with their political interventions - in the light of the recent controversy.

It was mentioned in another thread that only one member of Aufheben is an academic.

lines
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Nov 7 2011 10:04

Oh, you are coming across here as being somewhat disingenuous when you say, "I don't think it implied they wrote it, just very ambiguous." Come on, let's stop playing around! It wasn't ambiguous, it clearly implied, before you changed the wording, that the article was from Aufheben (as does the rest of the piece).

What contact email should I use to contact Aufheben? There do seem to be problems in actually making contact with Aufheben, as described elsewhere.

When you say that only one member of Aufheben is an acedemic does that just mean salaried academic, or does it include students?

Rachel
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Nov 7 2011 10:05

The idea that Aufheben or Libcom should feel the need to declare the author of an article so he or she can answer to ‘lines, ‘whatisinevidence’ ‘radprole’ or any of the rest of the jury is ridiculous. Who the hell are you? (my impression is that some people joined libcom specially to take part in this debate, others who were already active on libcom but didn’t want to take a side in the trial under their ‘real’ pseudonym, so rejoined under another name). Calling this a kangaroo court is an insult to kangaroos.

If this thread is about the article as well as mysterious formatting issues then may I say that I thought it was excellent. Some of us don’t think that research and statistics are counterrevolutionary – we’d actually like to know what happened in the August riots as part of trying to understand them . It might even be a prerequisite for saying anything useful about the riots, unless you think that a better strategy is to wheel out a pre-written anarchist riot article.

If you are generally against research, footnotes, evidence well then Aufheben’s never going to be your cup of tea.

Apart from all the information in the article, I found useful the caution against conspiracy theories about policing. But then they WOULD say that, wouldn't they?

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Nov 7 2011 10:37
Quote:
Oh, you are coming across here as being somewhat disingenuous when you say, "I don't think it implied they wrote it, just very ambiguous." Come on, let's stop playing around! It wasn't ambiguous, it clearly implied, before you changed the wording, that the article was from Aufheben (as does the rest of the piece).

It is from Aufheben. The magazine. This is where it comes from. The statement was factually correct, but as Mike said, ambiguous. Hence the intro was edited to clarify.

It's also clearly an Intakes piece, as said in the first word of the title. As i quoted above, this means it wasn't written by the Aufheben collective, and so hasn't been through the same collective writting/editting process as other articles. Sure, what an Intakes piece is could have been made clearer, but it was obviously put up in a hurry - hence the discussion above about getting it in other than as PDF.

Still, amusing to shit people like lines are talking - using here an article not written by Aufheben people, in a very different style to Aufheben "house style" as an example to criticise the style of Aufheben. What a joke.

lines
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Nov 7 2011 11:01

Yes, it does all seem like a bit of a joke.

Do you take nothing seriously?

Mike Harman
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Nov 7 2011 11:19
lines wrote:
Oh, you are coming across here as being somewhat disingenuous when you say, "I don't think it implied they wrote it, just very ambiguous." Come on, let's stop playing around! It wasn't ambiguous, it clearly implied, before you changed the wording, that the article was from Aufheben (as does the rest of the piece).

It is 'from Aufheben' - it was published in the magazine, which is called Aufheben - which in terms of their Intake series (and afaik only in terms of that) is distinct from Aufheben the editorial collective that publishes it and writes most of the articles that go in it. So implying that it's 'not from Aufheben' would be as inaccurate as implying that it's 'from Aufheben', depending on whether you're referring to the collective or the publication.

I don't think this is disingenuous, it's just very confusing.

Quote:
When you say that only one member of Aufheben is an acedemic does that just mean salaried academic, or does it include students?

I don't know, generally I wouldn't include degree students as 'academics' though, gets a bit more blurred for masters and PhD.

Quote:
What contact email should I use to contact Aufheben? There do seem to be problems in actually making contact with Aufheben, as described elsewhere.

afaik the yahoo one is correct, but I have had trouble with this myself. Since they appear quite keen on being e-mailed it would make sense for them to sort this out.

lines
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Nov 7 2011 20:50

As it seems impossible to contact Aufheben or get a reply, wouldn't it just be easier for Joseph Kay, for example, to pass on here how Aufheben regards this article.

As you say, Mike Harman, the strange way the article is presented implies that is is both from the house of Aufheben and not from the house of Aufheben...

There now springs to mind a horrible similarity to the way that it has been argued that J did not author or agree with certain important/relevant articles that have been published with his name on.

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Nov 7 2011 21:26
lines wrote:
As it seems impossible to contact Aufheben or get a reply, wouldn't it just be easier for Joseph Kay, for example, to pass on here how Aufheben regards this article.

I've got enough on my plate without being the personal secretary of random people off the internet. Two people had email problems, which have now been resolved. And there's no mystery here at all. Aufheben is not a membership organisation, it's a magazine. Articles which are proposed and go through a lengthy collective discussion and editing process are signed as 'Aufheben', ones that don't (for whatever reason) are published in Aufheben as 'Intakes'. Not all that complicated, really.

Trevor Brooking
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Nov 8 2011 12:42

In order to halt this timewasting and irrelevant 'witch hunt' about who the author of this article was, here is the 'truth' for the 'truthers':

1. The article was Part 1 of a two part article written by two comrades (including myself) who are not part of the Aufheben group. This is why it was an intake. Part 2 is scheduled for the next issue of Aufheben.

2. Neither of us are paid academics, though we do think we are a 'bit clever' (sic).

3. As far as we are aware neither of us is Clifford Stott (or JD).

4. Maybe we should concentrate on the article comrades?

Cheers me dears,

West Ham and Leeds

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Nov 8 2011 19:23

Thanks for that clarification Trevor, we did not feel it was for us to "out" the authors of the piece when you are not named in the article.

The intervention here of "lines" is, however, a brilliant indication of the intelligence of the Aufheben witch hunters, so thank you for that. As for the style of this article, it is very different from Aufheben's normal style, and anyone familiar with the publication could tell that. But it is still a highly informative piece.

lines
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Nov 8 2011 20:42

Thanks for that information about the writers of the article.

The perspectives in the article are fully in line with the social psychology work of JD.

Therefore, it is obvious that Aufeheben, and those around them, share the aims of the originators of the ESIM, which is a reformist initiative designed to prevent violence and give the police greater control of crowds.

People should concentrate on this article because it helps to lay bare the counter-revolutionary heart of Aufheben.

No communist (as a communist) should be involved with this kind of sociological work, nor should they allow themselves to take on its tenets and methods and reproduce them shamelessly in a supposedly communist magazine.

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Nov 8 2011 20:47
lines wrote:
Thanks for that information about the writers of the article.

The perspectives in the article are fully in line with the social psychology work of JD.

Therefore, it is obvious that Aufeheben, and those around them, share the aims of the originators of the ESIM, which is a reformist initiative designed to prevent violence and give the police greater control of crowds.

People should concentrate on this article because it helps to lay bare the counter-revolutionary heart of Aufheben.

No communist (as a communist) should be involved with this kind of sociological work, nor should they allow themselves to take on its tenets and methods and reproduce them shamelessly in a supposedly communist magazine.

this is hilarious. I bet you 20 quid neither of the authors have even read any of J's professional research! (Which is of course completely separate from his politics)

Wellclose Square
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Nov 8 2011 22:30

Hmmm... Considering this thread is dedicated to a particular article, lines' close reading and criticism of said article is hardly off-topic and warrants more than snidely defensive comments (intended to impugn the integrity of the critic) along the lines of - "this is hilarious", "witchhunt", "kangaroo court", "'truth' for the 'truthers'", "conspiracy theories"...

Steven describes it as "a highly informative piece". That's fine. We all want to be informed. Such information is hardly neutral, however, evoking the old phrase (from "All the King's Men"?), information is the poetry of power. I think lines is on to something when s/he focuses on the sociological character of the information presented in the Intakes article, a sociology perfectly compatible with J's professional research. Sociology is not to be confused with social critique. The sociological orientation of this article seems all of a piece with the 'social realism' of Aufheben's 'journalistic turn', addressed here
http://madlib.anarchyplanet.org/2010/04/19/why-aufheben-dumped-critique-in-its-dash-for-reality/

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Nov 8 2011 23:33
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the counter-revolutionary heart of Aufheben

Definitely the new Aufheben tagline.

Trevor, just to echo Mons, fantastic article.

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Nov 9 2011 12:37

For anyone still interested, I'd urge you to read the link Wellclose posted above. This is what the critics here think is a useful argument. I honestly don't think it needs refuting, just quoting.

http://madlib.anarchyplanet.org/2010/04/19/why-aufheben-dumped-critique-in-its-dash-for-reality/

Some choice bits:

"Political analysis is never anything more than participation within the established political milieu"

"there is only involvement and non-involvement. Aufheben have chosen involvement and are thus dictated to by what they have become involved in."

(in the context of the Occupation of Iraq in an article which is highly critical of "the resistance".) "Other indicators of this muddle within the text are the uncritical deployment of inherited terms such as occupation and resistance … Of course, occupation within the context of world capitalism makes no sense and the word resistances evokes an image that is inappropriately positively charged"

"Generally speaking, the opinions of the proletarian, their political beliefs, their religious identity and their cultural practices are all objectively irrelevant to their revolutionary potential"

and best of al the conclusionl... "communists reject this historical continuum and identify instead an unrealized, and therefore unreal, aspect of human existence which they think must stand as the basis of communist society. Where the Left is drawn into a desert of analyzing, and counter-analyzing, the world historical significance of phenomena such as Political Islam in relation to the Left’s chances of seizing political power, the communists consider all beliefs to have been rendered objectively irrelevant by the capitalist productive relation, and see in people opinions only a chaff that is blown away by the wind."

I don't think anything needs to be said here. Go read the original article and see I'm not taking it out of context. This is what we're supposed to believe is a useful critique - that the problem with Aufheben is that they analyse things.

Spikymike
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Nov 9 2011 14:36

For the record the link is to a discussion between several people over at least two pages with the references to the specific article on Iraq being just a small part - Madlib's stuff is more straightforward than Belotes. You don't have to agree with it but it's still worth considering.

Wellclose Square
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Nov 9 2011 17:51
Spikymike wrote:
For the record the link is to a discussion between several people over at least two pages with the references to the specific article on Iraq being just a small part - Madlib's stuff is more straightforward than Belotes. You don't have to agree with it but it's still worth considering.

Yes.

lines
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Nov 10 2011 20:11

Fallback, thank you for finding these excellent quotes from a critique of Aufheben:

"Political analysis is never anything more than participation within the established political milieu"

"there is only involvement and non-involvement. Aufheben have chosen involvement and are thus dictated to by what they have become involved in."

If we think about what is said here it might remind us that the interventions of communists/anarchists might be better based on a concept of ‘anti-politics’.

It is beyond doubt, in my mind, that Aufheben have, from the start, engaged in communism from the perspective not of people who are theoretically immovable in their opposition to capitalism, but of people who have used the precepts and methodology of sociology and journalism to shape their participation.

Thus they can participate in all of the dominant, establishment discourses.

Thus they are forced to participate in these discourses on the terms set by establishment perspectives.

This is the modus operandi of any reformist organisation. And, though Aufheben are one of the most skilful at this, they are certainly only doing what all the Organisations here do.

For more of an analysis of how Aufheben and others have arrived at this point you may like to look at Posts 101and 109 on the ‘Pro-Revolutionaries in Academia’ thread.

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Nov 10 2011 20:40
lines wrote:
Fallback, thank you for finding these excellent quotes from a critique of Aufheben:

I bet you smiled when you wrote that... wink

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Nov 11 2011 09:32
Trevor Brooking wrote:
In order to halt this timewasting and irrelevant 'witch hunt' about who the author of this article was, here is the 'truth' for the 'truthers':

1. The article was Part 1 of a two part article written by two comrades (including myself) who are not part of the Aufheben group. This is why it was an intake. Part 2 is scheduled for the next issue of Aufheben.

2. Neither of us are paid academics, though we do think we are a 'bit clever' (sic).

3. As far as we are aware neither of us is Clifford Stott (or JD).

4. Maybe we should concentrate on the article comrades?

Cheers me dears,

West Ham and Leeds

Trevor Brooking? West Ham? Ha, ha, ha... You little creep! I was wondering which of your multiple identities you were hiding behind in this site. After the defense team team worked so hard and successfully for you, now you feel confident enough to play your wretched games again... “Cheers ne dears”? Ha, ha, ha... I recognize your usual, silly greeting to the idiots in the revolutionary milieu that wrote to your collective Aufheben-mail address and to the guinea pigs in the movement that gave you interviews and boosted your career. “Intake”? Ha, ha, ha... What new research project for the police and the security services is this UK riots piece part of? Sth you are in the process of doing with Dr. Novelli, Dr,. Stott, Dr. Reicher, Dr. Adang of the Dutch National Police College or one of your students? Who will be the next ones who will put your dumb, fucked name on it as a “favour”? You must be more careful though... you forgot to eliminate your police perspective from the last part of this long extract from your new police research and at least one poster (lines) on this counter-revolutioanry site managed to detect it. Take my advice you pezzo di merda: stop hiding! We love you and we wonna kiss you! Come down here to Verona and bring your good friend Dr. Stott: Some ultras will be ready to prepare everything needed for a warm reception!

Admin edit: no names please

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Steven.
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Nov 11 2011 10:00

More fruits of this pointless witchhunt there - it was only a matter of time until this turned to threats of violence. Needless to say, Trevor is not J - as is now public knowledge, J is part of Aufheben, so why on earth would they publish an article they wrote themselves as an intake?

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Nov 11 2011 10:14

@avantiultras lol

lines
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Nov 12 2011 00:21

I think there is a need for a reply from Trevor Brooking to Avantiultras accusation and possibly a further elaboration from Avantiultras in regard to language used by Trevor Brooking and JD which would indicate that they are the same person - but this might not be needed if Trevor Brooking explains why Avantiultras might draw such a conclusion.

In Trevor Brooking’s post he does deny that he and the other writer of the article is JD. But Avantiultras has said that this is a lie.

For some of us now it is clear that the Aufheben group and those who work closely around it share the same perspectives and methodology of JD.

So, for some of us, it does not really matter who JD is anymore, since it would appear that JD is anyone who is in, or works with, Aufheben. Everyone associated with Aufheben is, in effect, JD.

There are some other interesting ‘technicalities’ here which are also possibly of interest.

It is no longer clear what Aufheben is.

It is most often described as being a ‘group’, for example, by Trevor Brooking, when he says: ‘The article was Part 1 of a two part article written by two comrades (including myself) who are not part of the Aufheben group”.

But Joseph Kay describes Aufheben thus:

“Aufheben is not a membership organisation, it's a magazine. Articles which are proposed and go through a lengthy collective discussion and editing process are signed as 'Aufheben', ones that don't (for whatever reason) are published in Aufheben as 'Intakes'. Not all that complicated, really.”

This means that fellow comrades may write articles which are submitted for inclusion into Aufheben by the editorial collective.

If the editorial collective like the article and want to publish it as from Aufheben, then they put the article through “a lengthy collective discussion and editing process [before it is] signed as Aufheben”.

If they have some doubts as to the brilliance of the article, or can’t fix it up to their satisfaction, they put it into the Intakes section.

Now, the question begs itself… originally the Crowd/Riot article we are discussing was presented as being fully in line with the editorial line of Aufheben, even though it was put into their ‘Intakes’ section. To rectify this, Mike Harman changed some of the wording in the Introduction to the piece (is Mike Harman on the editorial collective?).

Was there some confusion amongst the editorial board over the provenance (source or ownership) of this article?

The description of the constitution of the Aufheben collective is also problematic in this situation, since it is possible that no one is a member of Aufheben and everyone associated with it is a member. Comrades could perhaps choose at different times whether to describe themselves as members or not (Trevor Brooking has described himself as a non-member).

This would make possible the situation where JD is not a member of Aufheben. It would make possible the situation where Joseph Kay, or Mike Harman, for example, are members or not members.

But it would be odd for a ‘non-member’ of an editorial collective to have the unilateral right to change the wording of a piece of text written by that editorial collective, as Mike Harman has done.

It is also odd that Joseph Kay and others seem to speak for the Aufheben Editorial Collective but are not members of it. Maybe they were on the Editorial Collective last week, but not on it this week?

Another odd thing. I re-joined Libcom 5 days ago, having scrambled my password a good while ago. I hadn’t looked at Libcom for ages until a friend let me know that this kerfuffle was in process. I resisted making any comments for as long as I could, but the flesh is weak. Others also seem to have joined the site (or re-joined the site) in order to comment on this situation.

But the interesting thing is that Trevor Brooking joined the site only 6 days ago also. Given the close relationship between the Libcom administrators and Aufheben I think it would be reasonable to assume that all those comrades around Aufheben would already be members of Libcom.

Just what is going on here?

PS Steven, please don’t jump onto your keyboard to tell everyone this is hilarious witch-huntery. Each time you comment another communist gets her wings.

Wellclose Square
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Nov 12 2011 00:41
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lines wrote Steven, please don’t jump onto your keyboard to tell everyone this is hilarious witch-huntery.

Frankly, with JD's crossing the line by helping develop a 'philosophy' of public order policing and the 'self-outing' of Aufheben/Libcom as supporters of his right to do that (at considerable cost to their credibility), I couldn't help but see the posting of this article as a kind of 'reverse witch-hunt' (enacted by people who actually believe there's a witch-hunt), along the lines of "We couldn't give a fuck what you think, we're posting this shit up anyway to rub your faces in our denial."

By adopting the ultra-defensive, arms-folded, head-shaking pose regarding questions around JD's research Aufheben/Libcom have ensured that any text (including this 'Intake') is going to be ultra-critically analysed (quite rightly) for every nuance that may shed light on the 'pathology' of JD's research and the 'pathology' of his defenders.

Mike Harman
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Nov 12 2011 01:48
lines wrote:
But it would be odd for a ‘non-member’ of an editorial collective to have the unilateral right to change the wording of a piece of text written by that editorial collective, as Mike Harman has done.

1. I am not, and never have been, a member of Aufheben.

2. I am a libcom admin, which means I have "the unilateral right to change the wording" of the one line introduction added by the person who posted it on libcom.

We even discussed the introduction several posts ago but you appear to have forgotten?

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