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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Octobre - South Africa: Why Michael Schmidt was banned (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 5 Nov 2017 09:36:26 +0200

The surprise was great when readers of Michael Schmidt, author of books and articles on the history of anarchism, learned that he was actively participating in far-right groups. Back on the treatment of the case by the international libertarian communist network Anarkismo. ---- Michael Schmidt, historian and journalist based in South Africa, who claims to be anarchist and has published a lot on this subject, notably at AK Press and on Anarkismo.net, has been identified as a participant in extreme right web groups under different pseudo , few years ago. He tried to create a synthesis of anarchism and white supremacism. He first claimed that it was for the purpose of conducting research, although it lacked credibility. Then in 2017, he wrote a partial confession, and admitted to being influenced by these far-right groups and ideas during his investigative work, but also actively diverted investigations of his activities by the Front Anarcho-Communist Zabalaza (ZACF, South Africa) and have lied to comrades as well as the Anarkismo network. ; it is also a website ( www.anarkismo.net ) where the expression of the network, member organizations and individual contributors and contributors is relayed.

This case had a relatively important echo in the anarchist Anglo-Saxon environment. Since Michael Schmidt published articles on the Anarkismo website, the network broke the links with him. Similarly, in 2017, following his letter of partial confession, the Institute of Anarchist Theory and History, of which he was a member, decided to exclude him. Previously, Anarkismo wanted to set up an ethics commission open to other organizations of the anarchist movement, in order to judge it.

A case that cost time and energy

This commission was drafted for a few years, but finally no structure outside the network responded to the call to participate. At the time of writing these lines, Anarkismo gave up setting up an internal commission and stuck to the consensual decision to ban Michael Schmidt from the movement. To the latest news, this one must not continue the series of works entitled Counter-Power, inaugurated with the book Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism.

This case cost energy to the comrades who invested time to treat it ; nevertheless, lessons can be learned to manage similar cases. The assessment that can be drawn from this case has lasted for several years has highlighted limitations of the operation of Anarkismo, in terms of responsiveness for example. Beyond this problem in particular, Alternative Libertaire should invest more than it has done in the network, which is being done gradually.

Quentin (AL Rennes)

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