A Rabble Reaction

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes, it "might have sufficed," or it might have become a lightning rod of who-agrees-with-whom pyrotechnics. Now we'll never know!

Anyway, I'm not really sure the nature of your complaint, or if there is a complaint, but here's the source of my last intervention in that thread: 

Debater wrote:
Remember that those who post here are not representative of most Liberal-NDP-Green voters....I realize many of the folks here are hard-core activists who have worked in the trenches for many years and who don't want to ever work with anyone other than a pure, left-wing socialist party, but that is not realistic and is not representative of where most Canadians are.

The "Remember" struck me as classic concern trolling and the post-ellipsis bit struck me as a harmful (and untrue) caricature of leftist politics. Exactly the kind that's unwelcome here and exactly the kind I've called out before, from Liberals and Dippers alike.

By the way, this is the only time I can recall censuring Debater for his posts here. There may well be others like this one, but the vast majority of my posts in response to an interaction which include Debater resemble this one.

I also don't think there's much equivalency between a "lover" and a "harpy" as terms of endearment.

Slumberjack

Catchfire wrote:
Anyway, I'm not really sure the nature of your complaint, or if there is a complaint,

Heavens no, no complaints.  Everything is peaches.  Its more of a question about standards of enforcement.

Quote:
but here's the source of my last intervention in that thread:

The "Remember" struck me as classic concern trolling and the post-ellipsis bit struck me as a harmful (and untrue) caricature of leftist politics. Exactly the kind that's unwelcome here and exactly the kind I've called out before, from Liberals and Dippers alike.

  • Remember that those who post here are not representative of most Liberal-NDP-Green voters....I realize many of the folks here are hard-core activists who have worked in the trenches for many years and who don't want to ever work with anyone other than a pure, left-wing socialist party, but that is not realistic and is not representative of where most Canadians are.

 

As for the first line, with a few exceptions its certainly not been my subjective experience.  Wouldn't that be a relief!?  Hard core activists, hard work in the trenches for years, working together...how nice.  It's strikingly rare for compliments to flow between Liberals and Dippers wouldn't you say?  And about the punch line in bold, I don't know how else to put it, but absurdity and intent aren't always paired together.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes, well we can always dream.

NDPP

Bad call. Heavy handed, completely unnecessary and unfair interference in both cases Debater and SJ.

Slumberjack

The Rape in Syria Thread

Just wanted to voice an objection to Fidel's latest suspension.  By all indications, speech is difficult enough among the female posters in that forum, let alone for anyone else.  But this hair trigger sport where Fidel and others are concerned is unseemly.

onlinediscountanvils

Slumberjack wrote:
The Rape in Syria Thread

Just wanted to voice an objection to Fidel's latest suspension.  By all indications, speech is difficult enough among the female posters in that forum, let alone for anyone else.  But this hair trigger sport where Fidel and others are concerned is unseemly.

 

Although his suspension was handed down in the thread you posted, I'm pretty sure it was his [url=http://rabble.ca/comment/1390180#comment-1390180]comment in the other Syria thread[/url] that earned him his suspension. Of course, reasonable people may still disagree with that decision, but that might shed some light on the situation.

MegB

Fidel is a repeat-offender and has been told not to post in the Feminist Forum because he does not respect its mandate - yet he posted again and practically begged to be suspended.

He, once again, insulted the forum, calling it "code for pro-imperialism, anti-communism" and suggested that it was full of man-haters, violating both the FF mandate and babble policy. All of the above - taken singly or on the whole - are grounds for suspension.

Apart from that Slumberjack, your defense of Fidel doesn't hold much water since you yourself have been asked not to post in that forum.

Slumberjack

I was ordered actually, but I've defended Fidel in other forums.  Thanks for marginalizing the concerns though in this manner.

MegB

We're not talking about other forums. We're talking about a forum with a very simple rule - discuss issues from a pro-feminist perspective. Anyone who does not understand what pro-feminist means is invited to educate themselves and participate. Those who are unwilling to do so and persist in posting in violation of this mandate are told to leave. Keep coming back and the poster is suspended.

There are only a few forums that have this kind of rule. The FF is one of them. The overwhelming majority of babble is pretty much a free-for-all.

Complaining about these few mandated forums, this tiny fraction of the board with a few simple rules designed to keep the worst excesses of babble's dominant culture in check, speaks to an enormous sense of privilege and entitlement.

(I could just cut and paste the above, as I post it several times a year. )

NDPP

re: Fidel

Whenever I post to older threads, I find far too many names of people that aren't here anymore. All of them were active posters in the foreign affairs areas, and many of them were ran off this place by mods who disagreed with their views. The place has been rendered poorer, less interesting, somewhat lifeless as a result. I would hate to see one of the few surviving independent thinkers taken out as well and note the irony of this happening on a 'progressive site' in much the same way that such voices, views and outlooks have been smothered and strangled in the rightist landscape outside.

Slumberjack

Well, I think we have to disagree that the rest of Babble is a free for all.  It's governed elsewhere in much the same way, except that certain zones are set aside for occasional and arbitrary exercises of power that serve as general reminders to all.

MegB

I can't speak to what past moderators have done, but I will say that similar observations have been made for almost as long as I've been a member (more than a decade).

I will also add that many vibrant new voices have been run off by the aggression, hostility and dogmatism of veteran babblers. It's hard to encourage a new voice when they've gotten attacked almost before they could get their first post out. There is a small elite of babble posters who seem to be under the impression that this is a private party where the worst behavior is to be tolerated, even applauded.

Slumberjack

I've been making similar observations here for over a decade as well.  The go-to solution of superimposing one form of domination over another continues to endure practically everywhere.  My suggestion is that this should change.

NDPP

The chilly climate being cultured here sees progressive discussions shut down while bourgeois, pro-imperialist, authoritarian collaborationist views are allowed to proliferate. This is far more toxic and stultifying than allegedly bad 'behaviour' or anything else in my view.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

What happened to Debater?

Unionist

Lou Arab wrote:

What happened to Debater?

He was "suspended indefinitely" (whatever that means).

It started [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/federal-election-2015-predicti... and finished [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/federal-election-2015-predicti....

 

pookie

Thank you Unionist.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Debater was suspended indefinitely for repeatedly stating that style is a factor in determining who some women vote for. He was not thrown of the island for being the only Liberal supporter daring to post on this NDP dominated site.

Debater wrote:

I didn't say it was the only factor in the way women vote, but it is a factor that both women AND men consider when they evaluate leaders and it is relevant to the topic because charisma and sex appeal are impossible to separate from politics.  JFK, Bill Clinton, Obama & Trudeau all have this as part of their political appeal, and women voters (and some men) admit this.  It is not insulting and it is very relevant to the topic and you will continue to see it discussed by many voters and commentators.

As for the meaning of "indefinitely suspended" but not banned as far as I can tell it is like the difference between a life sentence for a crime and having the chance for parole. I suspect that it includes having to make a plea to the moderators that acknowledges one's crime and repenting and promising never to do it again. Given Debater recalcitrant attitude about this issue it seems to mean he will not be rejoining the debate on babble again.

 

MegB

Debater was re-instated several days ago. By saying that women will vote according to who is the most attractive male candidate he not only insulted women's political intellect, but also assumed that all women voters are heterosexual. That in and of itself isn't a suspendible post, but having the offensiveness of the remark explained to him, refused to acknowledge that it could be offensive to anyone. Repeatedly refused. That's what earned him his timeout.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Rebecca West wrote:

Debater was re-instated several days ago.

Excellent

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think it's touching that babbelrs are defending Fidel's tendency to assert anti-imperialist politics with anti-feminist rhetoric and conspiracy-theory paranoia. I think it would be nice if people would defend the anti-oppression politics that we all pretend to espouse with equal vigour and determination.

Slumberjack

Yes, that would nice for a change.

MegB

NDPP wrote:

The chilly climate being cultured here sees progressive discussions shut down while bourgeois, pro-imperialist, authoritarian collaborationist views are allowed to proliferate. This is far more toxic and stultifying than allegedly bad 'behaviour' or anything else in my view.

Bourgeois pro-imperialist authoritarian collaborationist views? Yeah, I can see that, if Solzhenitsyn wrote an episode of The Simpsons parodying Stalinist Russia. Otherwise, not so much.

Slumberjack

I think our objections are being entertained after all.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Slumberjack, your objection has been noted. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. I disagree with your characterization of the feminism forum that it is "set aside for occasional and arbitrary exercises of power that serve as general reminders to all." And of course I disagree with your metaphor which suggests that moderation on this board is akin to oppressive geopolitics generally ("The go-to solution of superimposing one form of domination over another continues to endure practically everywhere"); in fact, I think that kind of heightened rhetoric (exemplified par excellence by NDPP's absurdity above) makes actual discussion with moderators difficult.

The moderation of the feminism forum isn't arbitrary, but it is more direct. Even Fidel knew he was being offensive, and prefaced his post accordingly. I'm not sure why others would fail to notice what Fidel did. Part of the problem is that we don't have as strong a feminist presence here as we once did to remind us simply through its being and voice what it means to be feminist and to have feminist conversations. As a result, I feel the feminist discourse is mostly instrumentalized here: about this or that policy, not saying this or that word. Not, for example, actually talking about things, discursively speaking, in a feminist mode of speech which respects feminist views and speaking positions like a fish swims in salt water.

I would argue that making a fuss about every small move a moderator makes to try to guide us in a different direction (moves which are getting smaller and les and less frequent) is not helpful in this sense. That defending hostility to the idea of a feminist forum because it comes from babble's favourite eccentric is hostile to the board's mandate itself. I would argue that if you're worried about board politics or whatever, picking fights with moderators might be a fun way to get one's rocks off when conversation about Julian Assange drags, but it's a pretty shitty way to improve site culture, which, presumably, is the ultimate end goal of a thread like this.

Slumberjack

Rebecca West wrote:
There are only a few forums that have this kind of rule. The FF is one of them. The overwhelming majority of babble is pretty much a free-for-all. Complaining about these few mandated forums, this tiny fraction of the board with a few simple rules designed to keep the worst excesses of babble's dominant culture in check, speaks to an enormous sense of privilege and entitlement. (I could just cut and paste the above, as I post it several times a year. )

What it actually speaks to, irrespective of the way its outlined for us here, is the discomfort associated with state of exception zones.  If all of babble is pro-feminist, as the scattershot moderating that has taken place outside of the FF suggests; then the same principles and standards would necessarily hold sway everywhere, negating at least in theory the requirement for special enforcement zones.  Which now that I think about it, calls into question why any of us are still around to complain in the first instance?  It's in this sense that we're questioning the satisfaction you're getting out the use of special rules.

Unionist

Catchfire: I mostly agree with you. And I don't much appreciate posts ridiculing or harassing the mods. It's destructive in countless ways to what we're about here.

But I'd like to make a couple of comments, recognizing my take may be right or wrong.

1. Mods, I think, should look at the whole picture. In what you said above, you ignored Michelle's contribution to the Syria thread in the FF.

2. As we all know, all of babble must be women-friendly. Not just the FF. I think the FF is where male posters must consciously stand back and let women's voices predominate and be heard, without having to outshout the boys.

3. All of babble must be anti-imperialist. That includes the FF. While opinions may, do, and will vary as to what that means, it is (IMHO) unacceptable that pro-imperialist (or racist or homophobic or anti-worker) opinions be given a simple pass in the FF. The critique needs to be sensitive to the nature of the forum - but it must not be simply prohibited. I think that was Michelle's point in different words, and I think it's fundamental. If we don't agree on that, let's talk about it some more.

4. When mods intervene to uphold babble policy, they should (I think) be very specific - who they're talking about, what the problem is. Making general blanket exaggerated statements can be unhelpful. This happens rarely - but when it does, it causes nothing but damage. I'm not going to post examples here from recent days, because I don't want to start a fight. All I want to say is that it's called "moderator" with good reason.

 

 

MegB

Slumberjack wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:
There are only a few forums that have this kind of rule. The FF is one of them. The overwhelming majority of babble is pretty much a free-for-all. Complaining about these few mandated forums, this tiny fraction of the board with a few simple rules designed to keep the worst excesses of babble's dominant culture in check, speaks to an enormous sense of privilege and entitlement. (I could just cut and paste the above, as I post it several times a year. )

What it actually speaks to, irrespective of the way its outlined for us here, is the discomfort associated with state of exception zones.  If all of babble is pro-feminist, as the scattershot moderating that has taken place outside of the FF suggests; then the same principles and standards would necessarily hold sway everywhere, negating at least in theory the requirement for special enforcement zones.  Which now that I think about it, calls into question why any of us are still around to complain in the first instance?  It's in this sense that we're questioning the satisfaction you're getting out the use of special rules.

Are you arguing that feminists, aboriginal people or sex trade workers shouldn't have a space where they can be relatively free of the forces that attempt to dominate them? That this somehow infringes on your sense of fairness?

Slumberjack

Catchfire wrote:
I would argue that making a fuss about every small move a moderator makes to try to guide us in a different direction (moves which are getting smaller and les and less frequent) is not helpful in this sense. That defending hostility to the idea of a feminist forum because it comes from babble's favourite eccentric is hostile to the board's mandate itself. I would argue that if you're worried about board politics or whatever, picking fights with moderators might be a fun way to get one's rocks off when conversation about Julian Assange drags, but it's a pretty shitty way to improve site culture, which, presumably, is the ultimate end goal of a thread like this.

A simple objection was raised, not a fight, and certainly not a revolt.  I and others felt that Fidel had otherwise made some valid points in the offending post concerning the varying uses of western propaganda with respect to violence against women.  There was an attempt at least to consider the scope of the issue, and of course hackles get raised because that's the way we're wired to respond, and what we tend to do in fact.

Slumberjack

Rebecca West wrote:
 Are you arguing that feminists, aboriginal people or sex trade workers shouldn't have a space where they can be relatively free of the forces that attempt to dominate them? That this somehow infringes on your sense of fairness?

Of course.  That's what I really want to turn Babble into, a manly man's dick swinging parlour.  Why is it that every conversation needs to take this route?

MegB

Slumberjack wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:
 Are you arguing that feminists, aboriginal people or sex trade workers shouldn't have a space where they can be relatively free of the forces that attempt to dominate them? That this somehow infringes on your sense of fairness?

Of course.  That's what I really want to turn Babble into, a manly man's dick swinging parlour.  Why is it that every conversation needs to take this route?

I think if you had to come in here to work 6-7 days a week and had to deal with the abuse queue, with all it's pleas for moderation, you'd see that it's already a "manly man's dick-swinging parlor." Mercifully, you're spared that.

Paladin1

Rebecca West wrote:
Slumberjack wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:
 Are you arguing that feminists, aboriginal people or sex trade workers shouldn't have a space where they can be relatively free of the forces that attempt to dominate them? That this somehow infringes on your sense of fairness?

Of course.  That's what I really want to turn Babble into, a manly man's dick swinging parlour.  Why is it that every conversation needs to take this route?

I think if you had to come in here to work 6-7 days a week and had to deal with the abuse queue, with all it's pleas for moderation, you'd see that it's already a "manly man's dick-swinging parlor." Mercifully, you're spared that.

 

On average how many report to moderator reports to mods get in a day?

Slumberjack

Enough to have that type of language deployed constantly to describe speech.

MegB

OathofStone wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:
Slumberjack wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:
 Are you arguing that feminists, aboriginal people or sex trade workers shouldn't have a space where they can be relatively free of the forces that attempt to dominate them? That this somehow infringes on your sense of fairness?

Of course.  That's what I really want to turn Babble into, a manly man's dick swinging parlour.  Why is it that every conversation needs to take this route?

I think if you had to come in here to work 6-7 days a week and had to deal with the abuse queue, with all it's pleas for moderation, you'd see that it's already a "manly man's dick-swinging parlor." Mercifully, you're spared that.

 

On average how many report to moderator reports to mods get in a day?

Depends on the day. During spam attacks it can be at least half a dozen abuse reports a day. We get trolling attacks as well, and those are comparable to spam attacks. In addition to these we get reports of violations of babble policy, reports of abusive posts and reports of violations of the mandates of particular forums. Not all require a response but many do, and the responses vary according to the nature of the report.

ETA I just had the pleasure of eliminating 22 pieces of spam, all posted in the wee hours by a single spammer. What a royal pain.

Paladin1

I'll never understand why posters who report other posters feel the need to tell everyone in the thread about it.

Seems like  naaah naaah I'm telling.

6079_Smith_W

OathofStone wrote:

I'll never understand why posters who report other posters feel the need to tell everyone in the thread about it.

Seems like  naaah naaah I'm telling.

I have only done it on a few occasions, and I have always told the person I was doing it, so as to be open and up front about it. I think if I was on the receiving end I'd appreciate the honesty.

It's only gloating if you actually gloat.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

OathofStone wrote:

I'll never understand why posters who report other posters feel the need to tell everyone in the thread about it.

Seems like  naaah naaah I'm telling.

^^^ nodding, vigorously, in agreement. The only exception being a little "the above has already been reported as spam" entry... I have written a few of those myself thinking it might save the mods from multiple alerts about exactly the same thing.

What I find even less understandable are the "threats" to report something.... "if you do that again I'm telling your mum". Either someone has crossed the line, or they haven't - if they have, take the appropriate action - otherwise engage them on the substance or ignore them.

sherpa-finn

 

NDPP: The chilly climate being cultured here sees progressive discussions shut down while bourgeois, pro-imperialist, authoritarian collaborationist views are allowed to proliferate. This is far more toxic and stultifying than allegedly bad 'behaviour' or anything else in my view.

First of all, NDPP - nice to see a personal comment and not just a link. As one of those who has effectively been accused of such views (bourgeois, pro-imperialist, authoritarian, collaborationist, etc etc) by the usual suspects, I do want to challenge this analysis - hopefully without lapsing into 'dick-swinging'mode. 

Here is my quck personal reflection as a relative Babble "newbie":  to my eye, and experience, the tone of the conversation seems generally much more tolerant in the Canadian political threads than in the International pages.  For example, on the assorted political threads (NDP, Harper, Coalitions, polls, etc), there are a whole range of views expressed from a relatively diverse range of liberal, green, NDP, socialist and other perspectives. And these different perspectives are generally tolerated in so much as there is debate and pushback, but relatively little abuse.  (OK, OK. Elizabeth May seems to be a special case.)  

But on the international pages, nothing less than a hard-core old-school leftist line (I couldn't tell you which faction we're talking about - the IS?) seems tolerated. The views of mainstream socialists / social democrats are not. Just to illustrate with a couple of egs,- a few days back I cited a report from a progressive think tank affiliated to the British Labour Party - so a group effectively located several paces to the left of the NDP - and I was basically called out as an apologist of the Iraqi War. Not helpful for deepening a discussion.  A few days earlier I had cited Ed Broadbent's work on human rights and was denounced again as a toad or lackey.

As I have said elsewhere, I am a big boy, so can and will give as good as I get.  And I'm happy to match my anti-imperialist credentials up against those of any of my critics. Hear that Catchfire? (Oops, - was that lapsing into dick-swinging? Sorry!)  Anyhow, I  personally find such efforts to silence divergent views wholly unhelpful for cultivating a conversation.  Which possibly confirms impressions that I am a bourgeois liberal, but so be it.

Here is my own two cents as to why this situation has arisen on Babble - ie., Canadian politics generally inclusive vs. International politics generally exclusive.

It has to do with praxis.  Most Babblers (I suspect) are actively engaged (or have been) in the practice of Canadian politics - electoral or activist. And so have some appreciation for the realites of political work ... what does it take to get voters on side, people out in the streets, parties to adopt progressive policies, etc. So there is a certain underlying respect for the political craft of other Babblers. Even when people strongly disagree with the positions of others, there is at least the common bond that we are all trying to figure out how to make progressive change happen, and improve the lives of poor and marginalised Canadians. 

By contrast, the International pages seem to be all political theory and no praxis.  The threads are dominated (it appears to me) by arm chair observers at best, and political marketers at worse. ie people engaged in watching, interpreting, judging and selling. But not folks actively engaged in actually trying to make practical changes in this world beyond Canadian borders. So the conversation becomes all about "my" understanding of reality, and how to twist or bend the world to fit into my theoretical construct. It has little to do (often nothing at all) with the lives or voices of real people on the ground. As result, any conversation quickly denegerates into name-callling, interrupted only by long sequences of links to Russian Television.

Anyhow, that's my theory. Not sure I have a tangible suggestion as to possible improvements ..... but do think I'll hang around a while longer to try and cultivate some substantive conversations about progressive internationalism, grounded in my understanding of democratic socialism. And informed by what I know of the work of many tens of thousands of Canadian activists working every day to try and make this world a better place through solidarity campaigns and political work. (Spoiler Alert: Watching Russian TV isn't high on the list!) 

 

Bacchus

I called your mom bagkitty, your in for it now

Caissa

Thanks for your analysis Sherpa-Finn. Much food for thought.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:
on the international pages, nothing less than a hard-core old-school leftist line (I couldn't tell you which faction we're talking about - the IS?) seems tolerated. The views of mainstream socialists / social democrats are not. Just to illustrate with a couple of egs,- a few days back I cited a report from a progressive think tank affiliated to the British Labour Party - so a group effectively located several paces to the left of the NDP - and I was basically called out as an apologist of the Iraqi War. Not helpful for deepening a discussion.  A few days earlier I had cited Ed Broadbent's work on human rights and was denounced again as a toad or lackey.

As I have said elsewhere, I am a big boy, so can and will give as good as I get.  And I'm happy to match my anti-imperialist credentials up against those of any of my critics. Hear that Catchfire? (Oops, - was that lapsing into dick-swinging? Sorry!)  Anyhow, I  personally find such efforts to silence divergent views wholly unhelpful for cultivating a conversation.  Which possibly confirms impressions that I am a bourgeois liberal, but so be it.

First of all, let me declare my admiration that someone who has been with babbler for so short a time can levy such a withering, comprehensive critique that we have in no way heard countless times before. Might I suggest that instead of taunting the moderator (again), you might spend some time here to learn the board culture before speaking ex cathedra.

The point you seem to be missing is that babble is not here to listen to a diversity of voices as you describe it. Indeed, this is written into babble policy which you agreed to when you signed up last year: babble is NOT intended as a place where the basic and fundamental values of human rights, feminism, anti-racism and labour rights are to be debated or refought.

We have no interest in hearing Tony Blair defend the Iraq war, because we choose a different starting point in our discussion in the interests of developing the conversation on the left side of the spectrum. I should also say that you seem decidedly unable to see the differences inherent in what you contemptuously call the "hard-core old-school leftist line." I think that all those you group under that title (which is against babble policy, incidentally) would be amused to think of themselves as politically homogeneous. I can think of a few who would not be amused.

But all this is silly, since, of course, you are still here, and you have been permitted to write your opinions on this board without fetters -- censured only when you choose to ridicule those who disagree with your position. That's what isn't allowed here. You've been encouraged, but not forced, to consider a real, robust anti-imperialist position, and you've refused. Yet Lo! You are still here!

NDPP

unlike many others who aren't and should be...

Slumberjack

sherpa-finn wrote:
 But on the international pages, nothing less than a hard-core old-school leftist line (I couldn't tell you which faction we're talking about - the IS?) seems tolerated. The views of mainstream socialists / social democrats are not. Just to illustrate with a couple of egs,- a few days back I cited a report from a progressive think tank affiliated to the British Labour Party - so a group effectively located several paces to the left of the NDP - and I was basically called out as an apologist of the Iraqi War. Not helpful for deepening a discussion.  A few days earlier I had cited Ed Broadbent's work on human rights and was denounced again as a toad or lackey.

Sounds like you've encountered what some refer to as the politics of refusal, meaning the refusal of common cause with anything announcing common cause with deadly imperialism, to wit the NDP and the British Labour Party.  For some, merely introducing these two entities in particular to a discussion with the expectation that their policies and actions be received from a leftist perspective, is to invite critique, justifiable in whichever form it will take imo.  Mainstream socialism simply doesn't exist where it's been thoroughly compromised.  The NDP will benefit from finally realizing this soon enough, by steamrolling the word socialism into the pavement they're driving over.

ETA:

Quote:
A few days earlier I had cited Ed Broadbent's work on human rights and was denounced again as a toad or lackey.

Laughing

sherpa-finn

Slumberjack: Sounds like you've encountered what some refer to as the politics of refusal, meaning the refusal of common cause with anything announcing common cause with deadly imperialism, to wit the NDP and the British Labour Party. 

I will take that as agreement with my analysis (or at least prima facie evidence) as to why there is such a dearth of active engagement on the International pages, compared to the Canadian pages.

It appears that there are a lot more Babblers happily engaged in debating the future of mainstream socialism (compromised or not) in Canada than engaging with the politics of refusal as you describe over on the International pages. 

And from what I can see, they are a happily if pugnacious set of "diverse voices", which I take is a deep disappointment to Catchfire.

But if that's the line in the sand you are inclined to draw on matters global (NDP = "common cause with deadly imperialism") its Babble's loss, I think. 

Reminds me of Garbo's classic line in that old B+W classic Ninotchka "There are going to be fewer but better Russians".

Fidel

Rebecca West wrote:
Fidel is a repeat-offender and has been told not to post in the Feminist Forum because he does not respect its mandate - yet he posted again and practically begged to be suspended. He, once again, insulted the forum, calling it "code for pro-imperialism, anti-communism" and suggested that it was full of man-haters, violating both the FF mandate and babble policy.

Yes that was an unfortunate choice of words on my part. And I admit to being a serial poster in the FF -after posting just last week and the time before that...last JUNE! But I did say that "I sometimes think that" it is code for bla bla and knee-jerk reference to man haters. But then I wrote "I mean..." which was meant to clarify what I was actually concerned about, and that was being told off about posting 'drivel and conspiracy theory.' U.S.-backed war crimes from last century to this one are not conspiracy theory - it's part of the historical record, pattern and precedent etcetera. There are truth and reconcilation commission reports on those war crimes for everyone interested to gaze upon at their leisure. However, I refuse to debate that with you or anyone else here. Socialists and human rights advocates martyred during the dirty war years will not go gently into that goodnight on your say so.

The following comment by Catchfire illustrates exactly what I meant, and more specifically about being ridiculed, browbeat and mocked by moderators for what are not just my beliefs about a modern day invisible army of darkness, or that one which no mortal human bean has actually verified to exist in actuality,  as in an actual court of law with witnesses and testimonies and all the legit evidenciary proceedings recognized by countries not politically affiliated with the UsSA in this time of colder war military aggressions by the empire of good and enlightenment for humanity known as the U.S.-led NATO which now finds its "defensive" nuclear-armed military forces wandering well beyond the North Atlantic region.

Catchfire wrote:
I think it's touching that babbelrs are defending Fidel's tendency to assert anti-imperialist politics with anti-feminist rhetoric and conspiracy-theory paranoia.

Leslie Hughes anyone? Are you sure you're not a Liberal Party plant sent to monitor unAmerican activities on babble? Wink

It's not just me who posts "conspiracy" theory concerning the modern day imperialist empire peddling trumped-up pretexts for military aggressions. Other babblers have expressed similar opinions. Apparently you disagree with not just me but a number of other babblers as well. And I think when you browbeat and make derogatory references about me, you are spreading that unlove to your other clients here namely other babblers concerned about imperialist military aggressions based on false and phoney pretexts in the style and manner of fascist dictatorships of recent history. You should think more of the people depending on you to facilitate discussions and not shepherding us into conforming to your narrow frame of political thought.

And now I must return to reading Paulo Freire and Pedagogy of the Oppressed. It's a very good read.

ETA: Michelle, Julie Levesque, Slumberjack, NDPP, bagkitty, Kropotkin,  Unionist, Ken Burch and some more of you,  what more can I say? You ARE the truth! The truth is right here on babble!

NDPP

Good to see you posting here again Fidelio!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sineed wrote:

It's not a discussion in a political context that's the problem. It's the higher burden of proof some babblers seem to require to believe allegations of rape when the perpetrators are perceived to be on the left. So if, say, American soldiers in Afghanistan are accused of rape, everyone here presumes guilt without question. But if Hugo Chavez was accused of rape, then the level of skepticism is high.

This was posted in the thread about rape in Syria. I had to respond to this outrageous statement but that thread is not the place to have that discussion.

American soldiers have been implicated in rape in many wars, going back to the Indian Wars (or Indian Genocide ) and the Mexican American war and those crimes are well documented. The evidence from Vietnam is clear that some American forces rapes women in that country as well. The pictures from American soldiers themselves in Afghanistan show gross examples of rape and sexual assault. So if one accuses some of the soldiers it is natural to think well its happened before so it might have happened again. It has nothing to do with political views but merely a reaction to past crimes.

The idea of comparing that to Hugo Chavez should have no place on babble. He has never been accused of rape and given that he has been accused of every other crime under the sun how can this gross statement fit under the mandate of this board. What the fuck is it with vilifying this man who lead a democratic socialist party to electoral victory after electoral victory?

Now if you wanted to compare it to say the response of some people on this board to allegations of rape against Julian Assange then it might be a valid point.  One could even compare it to allegations that Jack Layton hired hookers while married to Olivia. At least those have a factual basis for suspicion unlike the nasty innuendo against Chavez that was posted on this board.

 

Fidel

Their proxy armies and paramilitaries in 1980's Latin America left a trail of rape, torture, mutilations, and murder in more than one country. Their war on communism resulted in the murder of hundreds of thousands of defenseless indigenous people and peasants whose crimes were to want schools, hospitals and clean water which were being provided by Marxists and politically neutral volunteers from the USA, Canada, and other countries. The terrorists and their backers were afraid that millions of ordinary people would choose those ideas over cold war promise for middle class capitalism based on consumption which, we all know now,  is an unrealistic lie for the other 85% humanity.

Their SOA grads raped, tortured, mutilated and murdered women and children in order to instill fear and crush the people's will for democracy at a time when the Goebbels-like propaganda machine was focused on revealing to the world news about a few thousand Eastern Europeans shot to death climbing over a Wall. Meanwhile the real terror network was busy bombing infrastructure and murdering Europeans and blaming it on the communists so that the public would demand increased security. As Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman said about it, nobody fits  their own definition for terrorism quite like the original sword operators themselves.

Washington's direct and indirect support for brutal right wing military regimes was a real conspiracy. And the ordinary men and women who basically had nothing,  fought for noble ideas, like freedom, liberty, and democracy. They fought bravely and courageously against well funded militaries and brutal regimes not just for themselves but on behalf of all of us, in a war that continues to be waged against all of us.

Viva la revolucion!

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
Yes that was an unfortunate choice of words on my part.

Welcome back Fidel. The bad news about it is that I'm beginning to confuse your two day suspensions with weekends. Many of us who complain about this or that act of moderating are not taking swipes for fun, or taunting, as it was compared to. We're saying something was done in the community that we're part of that we didn't agree with. Now we know from past and recent experience that Rabble has often wielded an authoritarian glove in the context of the Babble community. We're under no illusion that this is a collective or a democracy when it comes down to it. But people are compelled to speak out no matter what, whether it's miniaturized situations like this or the full blown monty of a dictatorship, the globular economy. In our entire history of social imbalance, the committee was also always present. I'd consider it an improvement if the moderators understood these exchanges and our position within them as well as Empire does, so that they can better understand from whence we speak, so as to not conflate it with workplace harassment, or having a dig at someone's expense.

Fidel

I think I am a marked babbler because I tend to "connect the dots" a little too often. Their mistake, though, was to describe my connecting U.S.-backed war crimes of the recent past with those of the present as "conspiracy theory." And with their knee-jerk responses to my misplaced posts in the FF and calling me a conspiracy theorist, one moderator became guilty of overrusing the term conspiracy theorizing when he, and with or without realizing it, referred to the real history of cold war era dirty wars against tiny Latin American and other defenseless nations of mainly peasants as "conspiracy theory." Perhaps he was born after 1985 or some such, but we should probably give him the benefit of the doubt for making such a careless comment.

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