Just a few hours after it was posted to http://libcom.org, an allegedly "libertarian communist" website, our translation of a text about Gilles Dauve's father, Guy Dauve, was removed; and, without warning or rational explanation, we ourselves were summarily banned for "pointless smearing and being a general obnoxious arsehole." LibCom is completely alone in their belief that the text we translated should be censored: Infoshop saw no problem with posting it; Anarchist News was OK with it, too. And that's because, in translation or in the original French, the text is a legitimate, significant and valuable piece of reporting. If LibCom rushed to suppress it, the problem lies with LibCom, and not with the text.
In the words of Ultra-151: "This text from Bill Brown is interesting as not just an exemplary tale of how spookdom works in practise & where it recruits its' functionaries from, but also in the comments, of the dubious integrity of the 'libertarian' community Libcom." And, in the words of Lawrence, a reader of Infoshop News, the fact "that LibCom banned BNB and disappeared this essay speaks poorly of the intellectual courage of the administrators of LibCom."
To follow the history of this unconscionable instance of censorship, see our original comments concerning Dauve's dodgy text "The X-Filers"; the page that formerly hosted our translation of Didier Daeninckx's text about Guy Dauve; and the text as it currently appears on the NOT BORED! website.
Note well that, now that the messenger has been killed, these alleged "libertarian communists" now feel themselves at liberty to discuss the contents of his message amongst themselves. In the awkward words of "jweidner," "Please keep the discussion to verified, legitimately sourced and preferably english information."
Note well: anything that is written in or translated from the language in which Dauve himself writes is not "preferable" because it cannot be "verified" or considered "legitimately sourced" by people who do not know French and must rely upon translators to read his writings! And so, when the French "edition" of Wikipedia says Ne en 1947, il est le fils de Guy Dauve (commissaire des Renseignements Generaux), while the English "edition" says nothing at all about a "Guy Dauve," this can only mean . . . what? that the former is lying or engaging in a "smear" campaign? is the French "edition," unlike its honorable English counter-part, engaging in what "jweidner" calls "vicious anti-Dauve hysteria and vitriol"? No, of course, not. But in the xenophobic (or at least Francophobic) world of these "libertarian communists," logic and rationality aren't in great supply. For example: Bone-stupid "Steven" can pass for smart among these befuddled people when he realizes that "It would be good if [Gilles Dauve] could just comment himself, because it can be difficult to tell exactly what someone means by their writing" -- especially when "their writing" is only available to you in translation!
In the aforementioned thread, one encounters the following:
"Steven" (same as above), the site administrator who likes to pretend he is even-handed and yet banned us without due cause from his electronic sandbox, concedes that "The role played by Dauve's father in allegedly helping break the communist movement in France during and after World War II is very interesting."
"jweidner," the worst of the ad hominen attackers against the messenger himself, admits that "[Gilles Dauve] often seems a bit glib about taboo type stuff."
"revol68" allows that "in a few of Dauve's texts I think he runs too far in his 'anti moralism' and I can see how it could possibly sit fit with, if not an actual apologism, perhaps a kind of dismissal of the issue as being little more than a side concern of bourgeois morality. Likewise I think his comments about the Holocaust in 'Fascism and Anti Fascism' are too glib and don't address the specific mechanisms of the Holocaust that make it stand out from other genocides."
"Jef Costello" declares that "I think that this [remark by Gilles Dauve] is extremely close to the defences of paedophilia which we are all too accustomed to seeing within anarchist circles and given the nature of the writing it's hardly surprising that I gave up at around this point." Furthermore, "I'm not convinced that [Dauve's text] uses the example of the child in a very sensible or relevant way" and "On the whole I think the problem with this text is that it flirts with these ideas and uses them in what seems to me to [be] a cheap lunge for shock value. I pretty much agree with revol and jweidner on that."
Not content with just one thread to discuss the matter amongst themselves, these "libertarian communists" have created a second page in which to express themselves without undue distractions.
"Vlad336" concedes that "hardly anyone knows anything about [Gilles Dauve's] background," allows that "I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to actually check," and insists that "pro-paed bullshit was published in LB, undoubtedly with Dauve's permission" and that "the issue of Dauve's paed apologism is real enough to merit some discussion."
Someone who hides behind the moniker "treeofjudas" was able to discover, all by himself, that "Pierre Guillaume, owner of the Old Mole, who was, in fact, a supporter of gas chamber negationists, at least according to this Zionist Holocaust-botherer text I've got."
A "Felix Frost" is smart enough to realize that "Dauve's connections with Guillaume and other ultra-leftists turned negationists are the main reason for these attacks against him."
"Jef Costello" realizes -- too late, alas! -- that "Some person started making mental claims about Dauve's Da and Holocaust denial but in doing so brought to light an actual proper issue with Dauve's nonce apologism."
During the night, the privilege of being a member of the LibCom "community" was restored to us. But members of the general public, or even other members of this "community," would be hard pressed to find the bland announcement of this restoration, because it -- "admin: BNBs temporary ban has ended" -- was buried, if not hidden, at the bottom of a post by someone named "lumpnboy" (not within a proper post by the LibCom administrators) and posted to the thread concerning Dauve's dodgy text "The X-Filers" (not in a new thread, nor in either of the two threads [see above] that were started in response to our comments about Dauve, nor in the older, long-forgotten thread that various members of the LibCom "community" found and resuscitated with the sole intent of ridiculing our work and insulting us). These injuries were certainly made worse by the preposterous notion that the ban upon us was "temporary." This ban was illegitimate from the start, and so any attempt to distinguish it from a "permanent" ban cannot be taken seriously.
We note with disgust that this restoration of our privileges, like our banning, was delivered without any explanations or apologies. The manner in which we were privately informed of this restoration was just as insulting, inadequate and cowardly: a simple email from a robot indicating that "Your account at libcom.org has been activated," as if we'd just created this account, and had not been in possession of it for almost an entire year.
What are we supposed to do with such access? And access to a website that is both administrated and (for the most part) visited by cowards, Francophobes, arrogant know-nothings, bullies, and character assassins? We know full well the type of trap that has been set for us. If we attempt to answer any or all of the dozens of ridiculous comments, calumnies or complaints that have been made about us during our "temporary" absence from the LibCom "community," we will be quickly re-convicted of being an "obnoxious arsehole" and, once again without any warning or rational explanation, we will be "permanently" banned.
But these, of course, are minor matters compared with LibCom's unconscionable removal of our translation of Didier Daeninckx's text about Guy Dauve, which is still censored. This remains unacceptable, and is the worst possible indictment of these "libertarian communists" that we could imagine. Of course, we will never again participate in LibCom, and we will continue to publicize their scandalous behavior, even if apologies are made and this censored text is restored.
The responses to this "affair" from people who speak French fluently are beginning to come in. Dimitri from Hors-d'Oeuvre (Montreal) says:
As for the polemic with libcom.org, we do not have sufficient information to follow the affair and take a position upon it. Nevertheless, after reading [what you've written], the censorship appears to be idiotic and counter-productive, and this is why we support the initiatives that you have undertaken so as to denounce the managers of that site. (29 Dec 09, our translation)
Afanasius Jerry from Aaargh International says (30 Dec 09, in English):
BILL "NOTBORED" and Daeninkxxx are tow big unctuous heaps of shit.
It would appear that "tow" is a typo, and that "two" was the intended word.
Another discussion of this affair has begun at a blog called Anti-German Translation, which has also added a wealth of information on the subject.
Even though it is now six months later, these "libertarian communists" have found it necessary to create a third thread concerning their censorship of the translated text about Guy Dauve (still in force) and their decision to "temporarily ban" me.
I take some comfort in the fact that some people who contribute to LibCom, whether as a result of my efforts or not (it doesn't matter), are beginning to ask good questions about Gilles Dauve.
Inevitably -- it only took seven months -- someone who posts to LibCom (a fellow named Peter) has managed to say a few truthful words about Gilles Dauve: "His father was definitely a cop and not just an ordinary plod on the beat but one involved in surveillance/repression of the left. Hence Dauve's use of a pseudonym in his early writings." Fortunately for Peter, he has not been banned ("temporarily" or "permanently") by any of LibCom's misadministrators, not has he been subjected to any personal attacks, calumnies, etc. from the peanut gallery.