Culture Wars/Current Controversies

“Snowflakes” vs. “Reactionaries” at the P2P Foundation

On one hand, I am in favor of total freedom of association. If members of a group cannot get along with the rest of the group then they should separate. One the other hand, this is a classic example of how leftists refuse to acknowledge authoritarian tendencies within their own ranks or address allegations of authoritarianism in any serious or honest way. I know nothing about this Michel Bauwens guy, and he may be the biggest asshole for all I know, but the contents of this “letter of disassociation” are standard fare for leftists and illustrates why leftists in power almost always create a system that is at least as authoritarian as whatever they replaced.

Center for a Stateless Society

In recent years the P2P Foundation has become the dominion of a single man: its founder Michel Bauwens. Despite its stated commitment to the “commons”, under Bauwens’ direction the P2P Foundation has increasingly come to represent an understanding of the commons as a place of white privilege and punitive male fragility.

Over the last few years, despite concern from long-standing members and close associates, Bauwens has transformed the P2P Facebook and P2P Foundation Wiki pages into what many of us perceive to be a pulpit for reactionary and conservative politics. This is done to the extent that members who identify as and with women, people of colour and the LGBT community have felt unheard, demeaned, disparaged and unsafe.

Bauwens’ posts and curation in the P2P Foundation’s Facebook group have increasingly promoted anti-left, anti-feminist, anti-justice “Intellectual Dark Web” and even alt-right videos and talk pieces.* This has been extended to include offshoots like the P2P Research Clusters and P2P Politics and Policy groups. Right-wing tropes are commonly found in the posts Bauwens curated in recent years, including: the claim that anti-racists and feminists promote “reverse racism” and “misandry”, that Black Lives Matter is a “neo racialist” movement seeking societal domination, that white privilege theory oppresses whites because of innate characteristics, that the transgender rights movement is “anti-woman”, and that social justice movements seek “inverse status hierarchies” or “reverse hierarchies of domination” in which white males are permanently at the bottom.

To many, Bauwens’ posts and curation regurgitate, in various different forms, the general reactionary trope that “those people don’t just want to be equal, they want to be superior.” Members of the community have repeatedly expressed dismay at this content which promotes many of the same dangerous tropes about “SJWs”, “cancel culture”, “snowflakes” and being “woke” that emerged from post-2014 GamerGate and Channer culture.* As the screenshots of his activity in the Appendix demonstrate, this is neither infrequent nor done in the spirit of advancing discussion of P2P ideas. In fact his constant focus on fighting “identity politics” is pursued to the near total exclusion of advancing the commons.

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