Cornelius Castoriadis Agora International Website
Inclusive Democracy Throws in the Towel on its Empty Threat
The new electronic issue of Inclusive Democracy (vol. 3, no. 1, January 2007) has finally come out. And with it, the ID Editors' August 2006 threat to publish a protest Letter in that journal issue has come to naught. Their empty protest-threat concerned a brief Murray Bookchin death notice that had appeared earlier the same month on the Cornelius Castoriadis/Agora International Website.
HERE IS THE ORIGINAL BOOKCHIN DEATH NOTICE FROM THE CC/AI WEBSITE'S "NEWS" PAGE:
We have received word of the death of Murray Bookchin on July 30, 2006. Bookchin (b. January 14, 1921), a former Trotskyist like Castoriadis, shared Castoriadis's advocacy of direct democracy and even preceded the latter in his concern with environmental issues. Castoriadis discussed Bookchin's municipally-based, ecologically-informed, anarchist views briefly in Crossroads in the Labyrinth. They both joined the Editorial Advisory Board of Society & Nature in the 1990s. When Bookchin and his partner Janet Biehl resigned from this journal in 1997--considering it, among other things, too "Castoriadian"--Agora International's David Ames Curtis wrote a reply, "On the Bookchin/Biehl Resignations and the Creation of the New Liberatory Project," at Castoriadis's request and with his approval, the text appearing only a year and a half later in censored form in the successor journal, Democracy & Nature. It was on account of D&N's censorship effort that Castoriadis had determined to leave its Editorial Advisory Board as soon as the censored version appeared, a decision he was not able to carry out, however, due to his own intervening illness and death. Bookchin later wrote Curtis a conciliatory letter acknowledging that Castoriadis's views deserved further examination, but ill health and other priorities kept Bookchin from realizing his aim of writing such a text.
AND HERE IS WHAT I WROTE LAST MONTH REGARDING THE ID EDITORS' EMPTY THREAT:
While the ID Editors are rather creative in their writings, altering at will what they have already said or previously promised, it seems that a limited number of options remain for them. Either they will reprint their original Letter in the January issue of the ID Journal, as they had pledged, or they will not. If they do not, they prove themselves unwilling to fulfill what they had threatened to do, in which case all claims, charges, allegations, criticisms, etc. made in this Letter and in their subsequent contributions on this issue can be viewed as without substance or consequence, and there is no need for further responses to what they have decided against printing where they said they would print it. Case closed, to their detriment and embarrassment for failure to keep their promise. If they do print this Letter in the ID Journal but fail to print my replies, thereby going against the open policy articulated in that very Letter, all claims, charges, allegations, criticisms, etc. made in this Letter and in their subsequent contributions on this issue can be viewed as without substance or consequence, since they are unwilling to allow a right of response, thereby reconfirming their censorious streak. Case closed, to their detriment and embarrassment for failure to keep their commitment. Should they, in order to avoid a glaring appearance of hypocrisy, reverse themselves and print in their journal their Letter as well as my and their subsequent exchanges, I shall simply reserve the right to respond further, answering in particular anything they feel is still outstanding as regards this brief but accurate death notice that has been the occasion for such controversy. (I made a similar offer in my November response, asking any person to contact me about any feature of this controversy that still bothered them. The only replies I received laid out criticisms of the ID Editors; no one brought up the least concern about even the tiniest issue raised by ID.) Thus, they are also welcome to make a third final reply, should they so wish. It should again prove hilarious. I look forward to the possibility.
BULLIES WITHOUT COURAGE OR CONSISTENCY:
The ID Editors are apparently afraid that, had they actually followed through on their threat as they themselves had made it, they might also have had to publish my replies in that same place. They deemed it better to prove themselves, in the eyes of the public, blustering and bumbling buffoons than to allow their readers to consider both sides of a controversy they once claimed was vital while denying that any censorship had occurred. These Editors have not even dared to present their original protest letter on its own where they had threatened to print it.
I consider the case closed, to the ID Editors' detriment and embarrassment for failure to keep their promise. All claims, charges, allegations, criticisms, etc. made in the original protest Letter and in their subsequent contributions on this issue can be viewed as without substance or consequence.
I simply request that the present statement be sent to all the members of their Advisory Board as confirmation of my previous e-missive to these ID Advisory Board members, which stated that it was a mistake on the part of the ID Editors to have made such a confused threat in the first place.
Anyone still interested in this matter, which the ID Editors have inconsequentially dragged on and on in the most untrustworthy manner, may read through the relevant exchanges, starting with my original piece, which they partially censored:
David Ames Curtis. "On the Bookchin/Biehl Resignations and the Creation of the New Liberatory Project." Democracy & Nature: The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, 5:1 (March 1999): 163-74.
Electronic version, with additional information (Note 18a): < dnweb1.html >.
Electronic version, missing material rejected by Democracy & Nature: http://democracynature.org/dn/vol5/curtis_bookchin.htm.
Takis Fotopoulos. On a distorted view of the Inclusive Democracy project. Democracy & Nature: The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, 5:1 (March 1999): 175-88.
David Ames Curtis. "Addendum," Or the Cornelius Castoriadis/Agora International Website Receives a Threat. (September 2006)
Inclusive Democracy. The Autonomy and Inclusive Democracy Projects and "Agora's" Defamatory Delirium (October 9, 2006; revised in November with an Addendum)
David Ames Curtis. A Second, Interim Response (October-November 2006)
David Ames Curtis, A Third, Interim Response, to Inclusive Democracy's Second Final Reply (December 2006)
Anyone still concerned about any allegation that has been made may contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . I am no more scared of responding to these silly charges the ID Editors have now in effect withdrawn than I was worried about their original threat, which lacked both substance and coherence.
A LAST BIT OF AMUSEMENT AND A FITTING END TO A LONG HISTORY OF CENSORSHIP:
My original D&N piece on the Bookchin/Biehl resignations is now presented on the D&N website, in its censored form, as having been written by an "Ames Curtis"--all the better to make it difficult for a reader to consult even this censored version, except when the poor impressionable reader is protected by the proximity of D&N Editor Takis Fotopoulos's reply to me on the same website. I cannot stop laughing.
David Ames Curtis
Paris, January 2007