C4SS Under Attack

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You may have noticed that the C4SS website is down (or possibly, by the time you read this, redirecting). Here’s the story.

The Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) has an associated student group, Students for a Stateless Society (S4SS), with affiliates around the world. A couple of weeks ago, S4SS noticed that its affiliate at the University of Ghent in Belgium (S4SS UGent) was being taken over by racists and Islamophobic bigots, so it issued a public statement disaffiliating with the group, and explained why. The explanation included quotations from bigoted comments made on the S4SS UGent facebook page – a page that was public at the time, though it has since been made private. C4SS then put up a link to the S4SSstatement.

One of the racists quoted in the statement, a certain Olivier Janssens, demanded that the notice be taken down, alleging that a) his comments were copyrighted and shouldn’t be quoted without his consent, and b) his privacy was violated, and personal safety threatened, since we had made public his comments from a private forum. Since we judged that explaining the disaffiliation, and warning potential comrades against Janssens and his entryist colleagues, created a fair-use context for the quotations – and since, contrary to Janssens’s assertions, the forum in which the comments were made was actually public at the time he made them – we declined his request (with some asperity).

Apparently unaware of the concept of the “Streisand Effect,” Janssens engaged a lawyer – one who publicly brags about the ease of using flimsy DMCA claims to intimidate web hosts into compliance – who thereupon used a flimsy DMCA claim to intimidate C4SS/S4SS’s web host into compliance, and both the C4SS and S4SS websites were shut down.

More information here, here, here, here, and here.

Legal work is under way to get our sites back. Any financial help at this time would be especially appreciated:

Bitcoin: 129pipr12a5UUZ447bLYjx1paRnCXqG5vi
WePay: http://www.wepay.com/donations/73427
PayPal: iradical@praxeology.net

In the meantime, to combat censorship (and help that Streisand Effect along), here is the
S4SS post that Olivier Janssens doesn’t want anyone to be allowed to read:


S4SS’ UGent Not Anarchists (or Comrades)

September 11, 2013 by S4SS Admin

From the inception of Students for a Stateless Society we have strived to provide a space to learn about liberty and engage in projects to further its cause. We seek to provide a networked structure that will allow for maximum autonomy of our chapters while fostering maximum inter/intra-chapter participation, communication and coordination. Although we do not ‘own’ the S4SS ‘trademark’ we feel it is necessary to emphasize that we do decide for ourselves which individuals, groups and chapters we recognize as being part of our network.

For the last few months we have been observing a rapid change of subject and tone in the discussions held at the facebook group of the S4SS chapter in Belgium; Students for a Stateless Society UGent. The atmosphere present in that group is becoming increasingly hostile towards fellow liberty-advocates, liberty-oriented organizations, and – most clearly – those of the Islamic faith. In accordance with our organizational orientation which states:

3. S4SS spaces are safe and valued spaces. We are dedicated to not only identifying agents of aggression, but dissolving institutions of oppression.”

We feel S4SS U-gent is not representing this orientation in their structure or discussions. In fact we feel they are actively promoting oppression of Muslim minorities, as evidenced by the following facebook-conversations:

Piece 1: https://www.facebook.com/groups/452955004728164/permalink/637332409623755/

S4SS UGent Facebook 1

Everaert: According to Lode Cossaer and his fellow Trotskyists it is “redundant to talk about the problems in the Arab world” and “we should focus ourselves on signs of hope.” I propose sending him on a one way trip to Syria. He can go and ignore the bullets and beheadings (they’re redundant anyway), and look for hope. Surely he won’t return. That kid won’t even survive reality.

Arnaert: Cossaer denies reality? Behold the most important attitude of the left!

Everaert: Reality is redundant, so not relevant and pointless. Bleri Lleshi = Lode Cossaer (ed. Bleri Lleshi is a leftist Belgian philosopher, documentary filmmaker and political scientist who focuses on things like identity, equality and neo-liberalism)

Janssens: It would be relevant enough if you know that the SPA/PS (Leftist political parties in Belgium) are growing in power because of the muslims, and that the Arab world is helping them accomplish this. Unless his hope is is ‘not being beheaded in 20 years because he is a Christian’.

Verdyck: He has no capital and his ambition to work for the government all his life.

Xavier Everaert, Brecht Arnaert, Olivier Janssens and Yannick Verdyck share very islamophobic viewpoints as visible from the above conversation. Let us be clear; We do not believe the Muslim world is helping leftist political parties gain power. Muslims are individuals with their own thoughts, their actions and political beliefs are not a result of their skin color or belief in a certain deity. Additionally:

Piece 2: https://www.facebook.com/groups/452955004728164/permalink/636924376331225/

In response to a story involving a recommendation to the government to change public holidays to involve more multi-cultural festivities instead of just Christian ones.(http://m.gva.be/nieuws/binnenland/aid988952/pasen-hemelvaartsdag-en-allerheiligen-geen-wettelijke-feestdagen-meer.aspx) A selection of comments has been translated.

S4SS UGent Facebook 2

Janssens: Men, it’s time for revolution

Kint: ‘recommendation’

Jacobs: Funny how the result of ‘inter-cultural dialogue’ always comes down to giving Muslims more advantages while Catholics get doused in shit every day by our regime’s media.

Janssens: Enough is enough.

Arnaert: I don’t think they’re taking it far enough. I think western names like John, Peter and Paul are quite upsetting as well.

Verdyck: And of course, everyone who thinks this will cause trouble between original-Belgians and muslims is obviously a xenophobe.

Everaert: Guns. Guns to kill all those sand-niggers and their servants like Lode Cossaer, just like the animals they are.

Verdyck: I have never been able to find the difference between Mein Kampf and the Koran, but according to Lode Cossaer and Joelle Milquet there is definitely a difference. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in German, that xenophobic nationalist!

Let us highlight Everaert’s comment: ֻGuns. Guns to kill all those sand-niggers and their servants like Lode Cossaer, just like the animals they are.” Do we really need say more? In no way can you call this critical of religion. This is pure racism. S4SS is supposed to provide safe spaces for students of all sorts, including individuals with minority religious and ethnic backgrounds. In addition this comment is a threat to initiate violence against peaceful people; S4SS should not associate itself with people who make threats to the life and liberty of others. If this wasn’t enough, here is more:

Piece 3: https://www.facebook.com/groups/452955004728164/permalink/628664343823895/

Janssens: HHH (ed. Hans Herman Hoppe) has the balls to say that, thanks to our welfare state, our genetic pool is fucked. Exactly my thoughts. The only reason the Muslim parasite can breed at a 10 times faster pace than us. Totally love this guy.

Hoppe Extract

Kint: Truefax. A virus can’t survive without a host.

And finally:

Piece 4: https://www.facebook.com/groups/452955004728164/permalink/619657114724618/

In response to: http://www.nieuwsblad.be/article/detail.aspx?articleid=dmf20130723_00667877 A selection of comments has been translated.

S4SS UGent Facebook 4

Kint: My problem is that mohammedan promise 5 times a day that they will chop my head off, and that I have to pay for them to do this.

Kint: Under normal circumstances people like that would be institutionalized, or better yet: deported. Because the kuffar (unbeliever) keeps paying to finance and maintain that fascist death-cult. Stop welfare checks and the problem is solved.

Kint: Mohammedans who do not promise this are not good mohemmedans. The ‘existence’ of the so-called moderate muslim is irrelevant in this discussion. The question is: what side will the moderate muslim take when all hell breaks loose?

Kint: Servititude is the worst. Breivik had the idea.

(ed. Breivik: Anders Behring Breivik http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik )

Kint: Mohammedans must practice Jihad in multiple ways. One of the techniques is to soothe the Kuffar to sleep by becoming ‘moderate’ or becoming your friend.

Everaert: ‘I know friendly muslims, so there is no problem’ , how cute.

Everaert: I know how you will defend yourself. You will convert and collaborate and decapitate your mother and father because your moderate friends ask you nicely, just like in Syria.

Kint: Collaborators of islamofascists will be the first targets. The fear has to spread to the other side. http://wiki.artikel20.com/

Kint: Moderate muslims are a fiction created by Mohammed himself. They are the first wave of the Jihad. The anthrax in your carpet. This is where the discussion ends for me, you are in a deep comatose sleep. You won’t care if your head is removed. Insh’allah! (ed. If god wills it!)

Everaert: First point is to get rid of collaborators like you because we have the suspicion that you will pick their side. Just like the liberals have picked the side of the salafists in the middle-east, is there any reason to think why they won’t do that here?

Again, there is no conspiracy of world domination by which ‘the Muslims’ are seeking power. Suggesting that people are automatically part of a plot just because of their religion or ethnic ancestry is racism. Also, posting references to kill-lists set up by racist groups does not qualify S4SS UGent as a safe space, which S4SS chapters should be.

We would like to take the opportunity to point out the continuous hostility towards Lode Cossaer, president of the Murray Rothbard Institute in Belgium. Throughout multiple conversations he has been ridiculed, verbally attacked and his life has been threatened. As S4SS members we feel deeply ashamed that personal attacks like this have happened in a chapter that we consider part of our network. If you’re reading this, Lode, we would like to apologize for not taking action on this at a sooner date. We empathize with the possible fear and under appreciation you feel because of S4SS UGent.

In response to the evidence provided above we have decided to dissociate ourselves with S4SS UGent as well as the members that most prominently voiced racist opinions and threats; Xavier Everaert, Brecht Arnaert, Olivier Janssens, Yannick Verdyck and Peter Kint. We suggest that the members of S4SS UGent who are not part of its racist core to start a different chapter, a safe and valued space, so that the idea of a stateless society may continue to grow in their university and their country.

Finally, we would like to provide the opportunity for anyone else to sign this message with or without additional comments. As a closing statement let us reiterate our orginizational orientation:

The Students for a Stateless Society (S4SS) agree to the following four design principles:

1. “Student” does not mean subservient, submissive, or subordinate. A student is anyone who desires knowledge. A student can be either a teacher or a learner.

2. A stateless society is anarchy. Students have a right to contribute to and have a voice in the institutions they participate or constitute. As anarchists we will actively pursue and support hierarchy dissolving and mutual aid projects. Our time as students is not a time of passivity or mindless discipline, but a time for activity and creativity.

3. S4SS spaces are safe and valued spaces. We are dedicated to not only identifying agents of aggression, but dissolving institutions of oppression.

4. All chapters of S4SS, to be considered active, must have at least one volunteer “point of contact” that can be reached by interested students or encouraging chapters. There is no limit to the number of S4SS chapters that can be on any one campus – swarm and take over!

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19 Responses to C4SS Under Attack

  1. K. Kaprow September 25, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Firefox 23.0 Windows 7

    Anarchists battling anarchists. It’s a pity somebody has to win.

  2. K. Kaprow September 25, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Firefox 23.0 Windows 7

    “Although we do not ‘own’ the S4SS ‘trademark’ we feel it is necessary to emphasize that we do decide for ourselves which individuals, groups and chapters we recognize as being part of our network.”

    In other words, you want to have your cake and eat it too. You either believe in intellectual property (copyrights) and an impartial, neutral entity empowered to protect those rights and properties (a government) or you don’t. You can have the rule of law or you can have the rule of gangs, but you can’t have both. A rival S4SS anarchist gang, acting ostensibly under the auspices of the C4SS, is behaving badly. That’s a shame. It’s always painful and embarrassing when the chickens come home to roost.

    “3. S4SS spaces are safe and valued spaces. We are dedicated to not only identifying agents of aggression, but dissolving institutions of oppression.”

    How noble, how idealistic! I hate to be a stickler for details, but how, pray tell, will you “dissolve” those “institutions of oppression” and defeat those “agents of aggression” without the power of a government? With your own violent, private vigilante gangs? Is aggression and violence to be accepted and permitted, so long as it isn’t a government that’s doing all the aggressing?

    [S]warm and take over!

    Hmmm…sounds aggressive to me!

    • kuro September 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

      Chrome 29.0.1547.76 Windows 7

      How did you get from “we decide with whom we associate” to “we want to use copyright law to prevent anyone from using a brand name“? Do you have some sort of impediment to understanding the things you read?

      Basic libertarian theory -and I do mean basic- only defines initiation of force against one’s person or property as unjust. Anything in defense of one’s person or property isn’t frowned upon by any libertarian.

    • Marcel Dubois September 26, 2013 at 3:30 am #

      Firefox 23.0 Windows 7

      You can have the rule of law or you can have the rule of gangs, but you can’t have both.

      Freedom of association is what happened here, not the rule of law. If some fascist thugs come into a group and use it to put out their views, the group is perfectly within its rights to exclude the thugs.

    • JOR September 26, 2013 at 5:53 am #

      Firefox 23.0 Windows 7

      Rule of law is an anti-concept; it’s just another form of rule of gangs. Neutral third-party arbitration or law is impossible in principle; once an arbitrator or lawmaker judges in favor of one side or another they are not neutral (and if they don’t judge in favor of one side or the other they’ve just wasted everyone’s time). Neutrality is a lie used to conceal the responsibility of the powerful for the consequences of their decisions, that is, their responsibility for the status quo.

      If ‘oppressive institutions’ in question are violent, then it’s not aggression to use violence to dissolve them. If they’re non-violent, then it’s clearly the case that social systems can be established or changed or whatever for good or ill without violence, and therefore working to dissolve oppressive institutions does not imply any use of violence. In this particular case, the only violence that has been threatened as been threatened by the neo-nazi and his lawyer.

    • Rad Geek September 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Chrome 29.0.1547.76 Windows Vista

      You either believe in intellectual property (copyrights) and an impartial, neutral entity empowered to protect those rights and properties (a government) or you don’t.

      Correct. And we don’t.

      Publicly stating that “We have no control over what people call themselves, but we have no desire to associate with these Nazi fucks, and even though they use the name ‘Students for a Stateless Society’ they aren’t part of our network” is not an example of “believing in intellectual property . . . and an impartial, neutral [sic] entity empowered to protect those rights.” In fact you may notice the post explicitly refused to claim any enforceable “intellectual property” whatever over the S4SS name.

  3. Bryton September 25, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    Chrome 24.0.1312.57 MacIntosh

    This was so damn annoying to deal with…

  4. K. Kaprow September 26, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Firefox 23.0 Windows 7

    I get a kick out of C4SS’s content notice:

    Take our content, please!

    […]

    [T]he only requirement is to provide attribution to the author and C4SS.

    Another instance of wanting to have your cake and eat it too. The C4SS anarchists oppose the concept of intellectual property, and yet they insist upon attribution — citing the intellectual product and property — of the authors and C4SS! If intellectual property is a bogus concept, and such “property” is indeed valueless, why insist upon attribution?

    But no worries. After all, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of all those other people.

    • kuro September 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

      Chrome 29.0.1547.76 Windows 7

      can you provide any example of c4ss using the law to prevent anyone from not giving credit? There is no having of cake and there is no eating of it, either.

      To say that asking for attribution is the *same* as using the copyright law to enforce it as IP, well you’re just full of logical fallacies aren’t you?.

      Also, you wouldn’t happen to be the same Kaprow trolling on Thomas L Knapp’s comments section would you?

    • Rad Geek September 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Chrome 29.0.1547.76 Windows Vista

      Nice try. But that sentence that you are quoting is an everyday-language explanation of the requirements of the CC-BY license, which we provide on all of our pages as a service for any readers who might want to copy our content but would like a formal, legal defense against claims of infringement if at any time in the future, we suddenly turned evil. I wish there were a good way to put up a legally protective license that didn’t require even the attribution, but crafting these things so that they might possibly hold up in court one day is actually pretty hard. So someone who wants the piece of paper in hand will have to suffer under more burdens than I would like.

      The fact that we offer the license as an explicit formal protection doesn’t mean that we have any intention of going after anybody who copies content without doing so under the terms of the license. In fact, if you’re curious to know how serious we are about this, then I really do encourage you to copy C4SS’s content without proper attribution, or even to do so with completely false attribution. And then see whether anyone makes any attempt whatsoever at legal action against you.

      (We may of course pursue non-legal, social action to clarify the issue, e.g. by pointing out where the copying came from, if the ambiguity is in any way annoying to us. If we choose to do so then of course that would be easily documented, since all our stuff is easily found on the public web. But of course that’s a different can of worms, and involves no legal coercion whatever — it is making our case through the expansion of free speech, not through assaults on it.)

  5. Irfan Khawaja September 26, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Chrome 29.0.1547.76 Windows XP

    This is sad. Even those of us who accept the in-principle legitimacy of intellectual property would have to acknowledge that the potential for the (massive) abuse of copyright is there. And when copyright is abused, free speech dies.

    Incidentally, the distinction between an attribution and a property-ascription is pretty obvious. Attributing a claim to someone is at best a necessary condition for ascribing ownership to any intellectual property they might have in some physical object expressing the claim. Merely speaking out loud doesn’t give you an exclusive right to the words you’ve just spoken, and you can’t stop someone from pointing out that you’ve said what you just said. Any reasonable doctrine of intellectual property has to allow for some conception of a Fair Use doctrine. Intellectual property without a fair use proviso is just a recipe for intellectual irresponsibility: people write stupid or immoral things and no one is allowed to provide evidence of their stupidity or immorality without their permission–which they have no incentive to give. You might as well live in the most benighted parts of the Islamic world. Mentally speaking, most Islamophobes do.

    • K. Kaprow September 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Firefox 23.0 Windows 7

      “Any reasonable doctrine of intellectual property has to allow for some conception of a Fair Use doctrine.”

      And it does. The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use:

      “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

      http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

      “When copyright is abused, free speech dies.”

      That would depend on the circumstances, of course, and your definition of “abuse.” But most anarchists view intellectual property as an “abuse” of copyright protections. In other words, they view the legal means that a creator uses to protect his own property as an infringement upon the so-called “rights” of the public to steal his property. Anarchists don’t limit themselves to the fair-use instances noted above. Anarchists believe that they have a right to steal any property that happens to exist in digital form. “If you can’t see it or hold it in your hand,” (the anarchists childishly insist), “then it can’t be property.”

      A real-world example of this double standard regarding property would be the anarchist who, after downloading 20 pirated movies, goes out for a cup of coffee and returns to his apartment, only to get really pissed off upon discovering that somebody has stolen his laptop.

      • JOR September 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

        Firefox 23.0 Windows 7

        Jesus Christ, you’re stupid. Are you Gene Callahan’s sock puppet? The combination of boring snobbery and tortured non sequiturs in pursuit of imagined libertarian hypocrisy really remind me of him.

        • kuro September 26, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

          Chrome 29.0.1547.76 Windows 7

          I just noticed he’s doing the same thing on another left-libertarian site. The guy just copypastas non-sequitrs and logical fallacies, and refutes arguments no one has ever made.

      • JOR September 27, 2013 at 4:12 am #

        Firefox 23.0 Windows 7

        That crazy abolitionist went out and helped some slaves escape their owners and then got home and was mad when he found out someone stole his cows? Hypocrisy!

        That crazy libertarian ‘steals’ from the government by evading taxes or dodging the draft and then whines about getting robbed by a mugger? Hypocrisy!

  6. Joe September 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Firefox 17.0Iceweasel Linux

    “… Olivier Janssens, demanded that the notice be taken down, alleging that … his privacy was violated, and personal safety threatened …”

    Last night’s South Park is so apropos: Eric Cartman accusing Kyle of invading his privacy for listening to Cartman’s cellphone speakerphone conversations.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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