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Posts Tagged ‘Wildcat (Germany)’

Profession and Movement – Aufheben Scandal (UK)

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Libcom & Aufheben – Snitches, collaborators and enemies

Three years ago a small scandal took place when the Greek group TGTP published in an open letter that the co-founder of Aufheben, John Drury, lead workshops for the police and military and is known as a “provider of ideas” in these circles. These workshops took part within the framework of his academic career researching Crowd Control, mass panics and rescue operations. Together with his closest colleagues Stott and Reicher he has developed the Elaborated Social Identity Model (ESIM). The social psychologist Stott is renowned to be one of the globally leading experts for protests and violent uprisings. ESIM claims that a ‘mob’ acts according to certain patterns: people in a crowd have individual thoughts and emotions, so when the crowd is attacked indifferently by the police, people act in solidarity with each other and resist together. Therefore ESIM advices that the police should proceed in a multi-levelled approach and extract ‘individual perpetrators’ from the crowd. Using such kind of methods, Stott coordinated security preparations for the European football cup in Poland and Ukraine in 2012. (for more details see both open letters by TPTG)[1]

Aufheben is a group from Brighton, which publishes one of the few collectively produced magazines of the radical left in England. The magazine consists of mainly long articles tackling fundamental questions (what was the Soviet Union, decadence theory, “Green New Capitalism” etc.). They often deal with similar subjects as us (theory of the oil rent, criticism of Negri’s autonomist marxism, debate about Beverly Silver’s book). We have translated some of their articles (21st century Intifada, criticism of the commons thesis by Massimo de Angelis, Dole Autonomy) and have criticised them at certain points (e.g. in wildcat 89, “The oil rent, Ricardians amongst themselves”). We share similar positions when it comes to the issues of working-time reductions and guaranteed income. During the end of the 90s we initiated a closer collaboration with Aufheben and other collectives in Europe, which ultimately failed.

Therefore the revelation about John Drury came as quite a shock – which in itself would not have been a reason to write in Wildcat about it. But the way the debate about this case was lead within the left-communist scene in Europe has initially left us speechless. Most of the people shook it off (“let’s move on”) or attacked those who had made these scandalous facts public. (more…)

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Posted in Social Control