Why no policy on authors?

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akai
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Jan 21 2013 17:31
Why no policy on authors?

Can I ask why Libcom does not seem to have a policy on authors for the portal? Does this mean that any nationalist, totalitarian freak or whatever can post on here provided the given article not include the aforementioned ideas?

The less space given for promoters of those ideas, the better.

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Operaista
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Jan 21 2013 17:46

Can you think of specific examples of articles that fall afoul of this?

My main concern, if there was a strict policy for authors, would be that criteria would be too narrow and exclude a lot of useful ideas, rather than whatever non-objectionable works by objectionable authors, however that would be defined, seem to have snuck through.

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Steven.
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Jan 21 2013 18:43

Akai, but our general policy for content is that we want anything with useful factual information about working class struggles, libertarian communist theoretical texts and texts which would otherwise be of interest to libertarian communists or radical workers.

We contain a fair bit of content by authors we have big disagreements with on some areas, including people/groups like Marx, CrimethInc., John Zerzan, Bakunin etc.

However, if we disagree with an article our policy is to have a critical introduction. As we have done with our Bukowski, for example. Or sometimes if we think an article is good but someone's general politics are bad we should also have a critical introduction.

We don't have any texts by Nazis. But we wouldn't necessarily rule it out as it may be useful in some way (for example some leaked documents from a fascist party, or some documents/article which would help expose Nazis masquerading as anti-racists or what have you)

You have raised an issue with a particular author who a user has posted to the library, and we are discussing that particular individual there. So I don't know if you just have an issue with this one author, or if you have a problem with anything else on the site. If the latter, please let us know. If the former, then we can just discuss this individual case beneath the article itself.

Ingersoll
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Jan 26 2013 01:48
Operaista wrote:
Can you think of specific examples of articles that fall afoul of this?

I think akai thought of Mark Ames text "Going postal..." (there should be a link for this forum topic in comments of the text if it is still not removed)

I must agree with akai on this point. Ames is a public person and it is obviously a problem with this writer in itself - posting of such an article is not in accordance even with basic rules of Libcom (see last post). Also it should be said, the mentioned book is using "working class" in a cheap rhetorical attempt to romanticise fascist resentment as some "antihero", marginal tendency countering 'sick' American society (writer is using every incident to express his antiamericanism). It is a very obvious and trivialising attempt to portray this tendency as a result of refusal to be integrated into the society and the breakdown of values (something that could be said for fotball fans/hooligans and a majority of youth today, but certanly not for Virginia Tech shooter)

Now on the article's policy in general:

There are obvious problems with moderation and portal policy on Libcom, although Libcom group is giving a big effort. It's a matter of perceived direction and way of administering forums. This - with text that is not just 'problematic' in some way but against the rules - is just a final consequence of it.

Steven. wrote:
We don't have any texts by Nazis. But we wouldn't necessarily rule it out as it may be useful in some way (for example some leaked documents from a fascist party, or some documents/article which would help expose Nazis masquerading as anti-racists or what have you)

Yes, but should that be the role of Libcom? "Exposing Nazis"? Or it should expose their ideology, instead of information on some group members/group agenda? Questions like this are important, I think, because it very quickly shapes the forum/portal directions.

Steven. wrote:
However, if we disagree with an article our policy is to have a critical introduction.

I must say, this idea of writing a critical introduction seems pretty confusing to me*. It is hardly possible to make some written rule what text should be published or not, above the basic Libcom's rules. It's impossible to anticipate everything and that's why there are no forums administrated in such a way. Moderation is a thing of administrators' will and their effort to maintain the quality of the discussions. So, I would instead suggest not some new rules, but more strict and rigorous moderation.

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Tian
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Jan 26 2013 08:57

Slippery path. Bakunin was an anti-semite. Should heavy handed admins get rid of everything in the library by him? Or anything that shows prop of the deed in anything but a poor or critical light?

If you have a problem with a particular author or piece, write something about it in the comments. I hardly think throwing it in the library is an act of endorsement, or even much of a platform, however vile the author personally is.

akai
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Jan 26 2013 11:47

Well, there are obviously different approaches to libertarian sites. One is the sort of approach that it should be a repository of whatever, the other approach is that it should contain the work of more or less libertarian authors. Don't think the first approach is too useful, but not my site.

I am at least satisfied if there is a discussion and thank Ingersoll for commenting. He or she is spot on with the observations. This is a reactionary of the sort which accepts and justifies extreme nationalism as a reasonable reaction to "the West", which shows an astoundingly simplistic understanding, devoid of analysis and quite dangerous. This is not a person of the left, but one who smuggles himself through using criticisms of America and the celebration of rebellion.