Me getting banned from libcom

Noa
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Noa
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Joined: December 28th, 2012, 12:10 am

June 2nd, 2018, 6:26 pm #1

https://libcom.org/forums/theory/povert ... 18?page=10

Mike Harman wrote:
Noa if you continue to derail threads it's going to be time for a temp ban, I've wasted too much time the past week or so cleaning up after you.
...
admin - Noa was warned about derailing and ignored it, three contentless posts in a row is enough, banned
72 hours have past (usual time for a temp ban) since, so I'm not sure if I'm permanently banned. But in any case it can be the groundwork for a permanent ban.

I certainly wouldn't have taken the risk to be permanently banned, since I've made many contributions to the library which I think warrants me to stay present on the site (even if I discontinue my participation in the forums). A ban from merely the forum section would be less of a problem for me, but still, I'm a long time member, so even that would be unfortunate.

The reason I bring up the matter here, is because my ban wasn't officially publicized to the libcom users, so that even a moderator wasn't aware of it:

https://libcom.org/forums/general/any-s ... ent-606711

jef costello (a moderator) wrote:

I have been tempted to ban Noa, but that is up to the admins.
Mike Harman (admin) could have informed jef and the others about my ban at this moment, but Mike chose not to do so. His decision was only announced on the thread itself (and another one on which I was active at the time), but which most people would probably miss.

Instead Mike complained about the time-consuming role of being an admin, though his own forum posts are often very long and contain many specifically google-searched info.

The stated reason for my ban is "derailing", which must imply "deliberate" derailing on my part. https://libcom.org/forums/feedback-cont ... g-29052018

Leaving aside the subjective (/weak) ground of this charge, the creator of the Identity Politics thread himself (i.e. Link) did not complain about my posts as derailing (and btw, neither did Lucky Black Cat on the incel thread, which she created). The position of Link (and LBC) is closer to my views, than it is to Mike's et al. I definitely took that in consideration when I started posting on the thread. I probably wouldn't have bothered to begin with otherwise.

There was no justification given by Mike why he considers my posts as "derailing", and he didn't warn me (or better ""us", because many people participated in these "derails") beforehand. But even if I would concede that certain of the comments should be split-off to a new thread, this happened in a unilateral manner by Mike (creating his own titles for them).

As to my last posts for which I was banned, I can accept that they can be considered "three contentless posts in a row" – but only because I held up a mirror to Mike's et al. own argument. They (following Fleur) were repeatedly asking me for a definition of Identity Politics (perhaps up to 10 times), which I thought was an insincere question, so I asked one of them to define the "non-anarchist/bad/liberal" kind of Identity Politics, which they espouse to reject. If they sincerely cared about precise definitions, they would have taken the effort to clarify their own use of "identity politics". So I was just giving them a taste of their own medicine. Perhaps that's a childish debate tactic, but the basic point I had already raised way earlier on the thread (and they refused to answer it).

Their alleged concern is that the rightwing too uses the term "Identity Politics", so as a communist one cannot simply use that term in a blanket way.
If the use by rightwingers of certain terms should limit us in our choice of language, then what about the use by the rightwing of Mike Harman's own blog post against Nagle? ReturnsofKings (a "red pill" blog) relied on Mike's post to attack Nagle:

The initial complaints over the copy-and-paste effort of Angela Nagle came from Libcom, a sort of communist blog run by Mike Harman. In one example about Russian political theorist Aleksandr Dugin, Harman notes how she stole information from Wikipedia and presented it as her own.
But all this was just about unjustified reasons for my ban. Now to the heart of the matter, what do they find disagreeable about my opinion on Identity Politics? I didn't give any elaborate formulation or claim anything controversial. I just start by looking at the origins of the modern concepts/terms "identity" and "gender". One can find the origin for "gender" (namely in psychoanalysis, and John Money who specialized in transgenders) even on wikipedia.

This origin of the term "gender" is widely accepted in the literature (cf. Donald Opitz 2015, p. 386 in A Companion to the History of American Science).

And I think the term "identity" also derives from American psychoanalytic, or in general, university circles.

Barbara Smith, her sister and Demita Frazier, the authors of the Combahee River Collective Statement, which is credited as the founding document of "identity politics" as well as "intersectionality" (cf.  Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith), attended university and were well-read women in the leftist literature of the time. Zillah R. Eisenstein asked them to write their Statement for the 1978 anthology Capitalist patriarchy and the case for socialist feminism. This book contained contributions from people like Nancy Chodorow, who was a psychoanalyst. The specific term "gender identity" is used a couple of times in the book.

As further evidence that the modern use of the term "identity" mainly comes from psychoanalytic/university circles, I searched for earliest use of the term "black identity". I found it in Stuart Hauser's 1971 Black and white identity formation: studies in the psychosocial development of lower socioeconomic class adolescent boys.

In 1970 there is Black identity;: A thematic reader, by Francis Edward Kearns (university-educated, probably professor in literature, and here I can be wrong, but his name sounds Irish).

(In 1972 there is African Identity and Black Liberation, by Chukwudum Barnabas Okolo, who seems to be into Liberation Theology, from Nigeria).

All in all, we can conclude that the terms "gender" and "identity" come from the psychoanalytic field.

They have a ring/aura of scientific legitimacy to them, and the only seemingly "controversial" thing I (following Robert Stoller) point out is, that they lack any scientific worth. For Stoller's admission, see my quotes here:
https://libcom.org/forums/theory/john-m ... ent-606641
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Noa
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Noa
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Joined: December 28th, 2012, 12:10 am

June 2nd, 2018, 8:41 pm #2

Now my thread on "Talking about love/sex on forums" has been deleted by the admin: https://libcom.org/forums/general/talki ... s-15112017

Probably after someone called it "TERFy". My thread was actually trying to allow trans people to express their sexuality on the libcom forums (something which the others opposed, in general for anyone).

Since there have also been complaints about Serge (who understandably doesn't bother to respond to them), let me point out that on that thread he never advocated the use of the term 'tranny', but rather that some in the trans community (mostly the older generation) use that term in a non-offensive way for themselves. The user Noah Fence, who is trying now to show his pro-trans cred with the crowd, was actually the one there who made an outburst about the over-sensitiveness/-reaction of people about the word 'tranny'.

Actually the first time I personally came across the term 'tranny' in a negative way was on the libcom forum itself by one of the most popular shitposters and close mates of the admins, who used it in a comment on a picture of woman's face (her pronounced jaw), so it was sexist as well. There was no objection from anyone of the admins at that time. This was on the libcommunity section of the forum, which over time was closed down, allegedly because it was not of a serious enough quality, but in reality because they didn't want anyone to find out all the stupid things they said.

Another more serious case (not in the jokey libcommunity section), that I didn't myself witness, but it has acquired legendary reputation for the admin's hypocrisy now, was when JK (no longer so active on the forum, moved to twitter: https://twitter.com/JosephKay76) decried that "black vaginas" had been given preference over him when he was searching for a job.

One can still find a remnant of libcom's past here, where there is an "ironic" antisemitic meme about Aufhebengate: https://libcom.org/gallery/libcommunity-image-gallery

Furthermore, recently one of the long-time moderators Khawaga, who is now so po-faced about abuse of women in left orgs etc., was himself accused of being friends with an abuser in a left organisation, and the woman who raised this point said she herself considered also filing a procedure against him (I think e.g. for doubting her story about abuse), but there has been no comment from anyone of libcom/admins, except me (and he didn't respond):  https://libcom.org/forums/organise/issu ... e-23052018

Now there have been calls to liquidate the whole libcom forum. The key reason in particular given is "terf"/trans-hatred that keeps popping up on the forum. I think indeed on social media it's more difficult to discuss trans issues, and the forums was a sort of last refuge. So the call to close down the libcom forum makes sense from that perspective.
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Noa
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Noa
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Joined: December 28th, 2012, 12:10 am

June 3rd, 2018, 9:20 am #3

In 2016, when Artesian still bothered with libcom, he objected to the casual use of the term "cunt" by the admin Steven (and others' defense of it), on the grounds that it is a sexist term:
All women have "cunts" but stupid or unpleasant people are called cunts-- right, there's not a bit of sexism.
https://libcom.org/forums/feedback-cont ... ent-580836

One of the replies to this from libcom (Fall Back) was:
This is transphobic bullshit.
-

Also, the above-mentioned JK (a libcom admin) for the longest time had the meme "Bitches Don't Know Bout My Dick" as his avatar-picture. (His variation of the meme was a picture of Durruti with the text "Bitches Don't Know Bout My Column"). Not particularly high-brow humor. Now he lectures others about feminism etc.
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Broletariat
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Joined: March 31st, 2011, 2:13 am

June 3rd, 2018, 1:46 pm #4

Fairly sad state of affairs, been kicked out of better places than that I imagine eh?

Sucks about the amount of work you put in there though, does it get removed with your ban or do you lose access to it etc.?
Creation isn't beautiful. You inspire the ugliest things.
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Noa
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Noa
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Joined: December 28th, 2012, 12:10 am

June 3rd, 2018, 8:35 pm #5

I lose the ability to place additional info to the translated texts that I put up there, in case I stumble on some further relevant interesting material.

Now I'm translating texts for official publication, which does a much better service to the material.

I was thinking already that my presence on libcom gave them undeserved legitimacy as a worthy place/partner of debate. RedMarx is the proper place for marxists/leftcom debate, and I hope some of the better posters will find there way here (of course I include the trans demographic among young internet marxists/leftcoms).
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S.Artesian
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Joined: April 7th, 2011, 9:55 pm

June 4th, 2018, 2:38 am #6

Hope so, too.   Libcom is a sad state of affairs. 
Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it?
That's what it is to live the life of a slave.
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The Idler
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Joined: November 22nd, 2011, 12:11 am

July 8th, 2018, 1:08 pm #7

It doesn't seem to have been the reason for the ban, but the Bolshevism sympathies would seem to be incompatible with libertarian communism.
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Noa
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Noa
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Joined: December 28th, 2012, 12:10 am

July 13th, 2018, 10:38 am #8

I have sent this message to the admins via the contact page on libcom, without receiving a reply:

Dear admins,

It's now been almost one and a half month since my ban (officially for derailing threads), which I was warned by Mike would be only temporary. By now the Identity Politics subject has faded somewhat from the top of the agenda. However, voices had been raised to ban me permanently, hence my legitimate concern that the ban has now turned permanent, without announcement.

My prime wish is to keep access to my posts in the library, especially in case some information/literature needs to be added (in the comments). If I knew it would help to persuade you to unban me, I would even offer to cease my participation in the forums.

But I have low hopes to be allowed back, despite having caused no harm to any users, and having expressed no personal hostility to any of the admins, and being a long-time contributor to the library. Therefore, if I may be permitted at least a "final request", I hope that the admins announce (on the 'Noa and derailing' thread) whether you have decided to make my ban permanent (or not).

I thought I was really on good terms with the admins (Mike and Steven), and even thought about volunteering as a moderator to help with the forums (though I guess I can forget about that now).

Kind regards,
Noa
Just insult to injury, but I was banned through a really cowardly/opportunist move.
 doesn't seem to have been the reason for the ban, but the Bolshevism sympathies would seem to be incompatible with libertarian communism.
Disagreements on the "Identity Politics" subject was the underlying reason. It started on the now deleted 'Talking about sex/love thread' in late 2017. And continued here; https://libcom.org/forums/general/micha ... 017?page=1 in January 2018). Unable to challenge my arguments, Mike tried to distract attention with his "Lenin orders massacre of prostitutes" thread, and more in general the soviet position expressed by e.g. Kollontai against prostitution (because prostitutes were women, and nowadays often trans people, ergo criticism of identity politics means attacking prostitution, hence an attack on these identity groups). I nevertheless spent a lot of time on the 'Lenin orders massacre of prostitutes' thread, just to get the details right, and without expressing any "Bolshevism sympathies": it's surely pointless to try to convince libcom anarchists (or pseudo-Marxists – iirc Mike could even have been a former Trot) who in all seriousness argue that Trotsky deserved the ice pick to his head.
In the course of this thread there was some more interesting information found and topics broached. I posted this quick translation about the White Terror in Russia: chronicle-of-first-months-of-white-terr ... t1535.html
It spawned another thread (not created by me), where I argued that the Reds in the  "democratic" Spanish civil war (which was supported by e.g. the 'menshevik' SPGB) killed more people than the Russian Civil War: https://libcom.org/forums/history/spani ... r-30042018
There was no hint of banning me over this. On the contrary, I felt they appreciated my engagement, though likely because this topic (of Bolshevik terror etc.) was a welcome distraction from the internal anachist fighting about identity politics (the Anarchist Federation recently split in the wake of the 2017 Book Fair incident). For a brief moment both anarchist sides could unite in their hatred of Bolshevism again. Perhaps after having served my purpose as an amusing Bolshevik play toy, I could then be discarded.
But I stood my ground also on this "Bolshevik" subject, so their distraction maneouvre ultimately failed (and I would say backfired, since I turned the tables on them with the Spanish Red Terror).
When Link created his 'The Poverty of Identity Politics' thread, the subject reared its head again for a sparking head-on debate. I again stood my ground and all that was necessary now was any ol' excuse to ban me. Another critic of Identity Politics was restricted from posting (Craftwork), but not banned, despite the fact that he created a parody news article against an admin. If I may be cynical, he's alllowed to post again because he's less-experienced in debate, so can be easier handled (as token-opposition).
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The Idler
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Joined: November 22nd, 2011, 12:11 am

July 16th, 2018, 11:24 pm #9

Yes, like I say it doesn't seem to be the official reason for the ban, and I'm not speaking for libcom.org here (not being part of their admin), but Bolshevik sympathies would seem to be incompatible with libertarian communism.
Also, the Spanish Civil War wasn't supported by the SPGB and a prominent member called Jacomb found himself outside the party for supporting the Spanish Civil War. Read https://libcom.org/library/jacombs-case ... list-party which I've also attached here
“ While the S.P.G.B. is in favour of democratic methods, this is nevertheless a secondary consideration. It is fundamental to the progress of the Socialist movement, that the S.P.G.B, should maintain its absolute independence, . , . " (“ The S.P.G.B. and the Spanish Civil War," 1936.)
spgb-critic-1940-jacomb.docx (27.03 KiB)
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S.Artesian
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Joined: April 7th, 2011, 9:55 pm

July 17th, 2018, 12:32 am #10

What does that mean:  "supporting the Spanish Civil War"???  The war like the all civil wars was a class conflict.  Recognizing it as a class conflict does not require supporting the Popular Front.
Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it?
That's what it is to live the life of a slave.
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