Omadeon's Meta-Blog

11/02/2012

David Ames Curtis disproves false claims by Takis Fotopoulos about Noam Chomsky, the Faurisson case and himself (EXCLUSIVE)

David Ames Curtis

David Ames Curtis

A few days ago, I received a fascinating e-missive from Mr. David Ames Curtis. In this post I will reproduce it, since it includes an explicit permission to do so. This e-mail demonstrates with fact-based rationalism, that (among other things) contrary to Takis Fotopoulos’ claims, Mr. Curtis never demanded Noam Chomsky to “be removed from the International Advisory Board of the journal ‘Democracy and Nature'”.

For example, Mr. Curtis stated

Anyone reading http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb1.html , with its added footnote 18a, can easily see that, contrary to Takis’s made-up claims, there was never any demand on my part that Noam Chomsky—whose position on Robert Faurisson I criticized (though, of course, not on the basis of any sort of anti-free-speech stance on my part)—be removed from the Democracy & Nature International Advisory Board (IAB).

(Mr. Curtis’ e-mail is reproduced in full, below).

English: A portrait of Noam Chomsky that I too...

However, despite some wild claims against me, as well, persistently expressed by Takis Fotopoulos, who wrote several times that I am a “hooded internet-gangster” and a “master-slanderer” conspiring with others against him, trying to undermine his reputation (etc.) I… quite frankly don’t give a damn about “undermining the reputation” of Takis Fotopoulos!  🙂 

The only reason I am posting the following e-missive is intellectual consistency: -A desire to discover and restore the truth, about what really happened, as much as possible. At this stage (or at the time of writing) I don’t even feel the need to state my conclusions in detail, since -after all- Mr. Curtis presents and substantiates his side of the story quite eloquently; making what follows a fascinating piece to  read, full of valuable information, as well as… amusing wit -in the end:

From: David Ames Curtis (curtis@msh-paris.fr)
Sent: Saturday, 28 January 2012 3:56:59 pm
To: George Omadeon (omadeon@hotmail.com)


Dear George:

Thanks for this posting:

https://metaomadeon.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/debunking-takis-fotopoulos-myths/

I’ve now verified that you have correctly made the changes for the last two minor editorial corrections I suggested.

Yes, now that there is a full translation of Takis’s inaccurate and insulting e-mail to you:

https://metaomadeon.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/the-dark-side-of-takis-fotopoulos/

I do see that there are two additional, and interrelated, issues Takis Fotopoulos brings up.  Both are without substance: two more “invidious scenario[s] in his head . . . stated . . . as fact[s], without any support,” as I said about Takis’s astoundingly silly charge that, right after Castoriadis’s death, I would have demanded of the Castoriadis heirs a “total monopoly over Castoriadis’s works.”  (As I wrote earlier, in https://metaomadeon.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/debunking-takis-fotopoulos-myths/ , with documents to back me up, six years after Castoriadis’s death I was still calmly and politely negotiating with the family; strangely and significantly, it was when we got to “Yes” that the family cut off all further contact with me and engaged a scab translator, Helen Arnold.)

There is the issue of my take on Noam Chomsky in a footnote to a text Takis and the editorial board of Democracy & Nature asked me to write:

EN1999v 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): http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb1.html .
Electronic version, missing material rejected by Democracy & Nature: http://democracynature.org/dn/vol5/curtis_bookchin.htm .

Anyone reading http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb1.html , with its added footnote 18a, can easily see that, contrary to Takis’s made-up claims, there was never any demand on my part that Noam Chomsky—whose position on Robert Faurisson I criticized (though, of course, not on the basis of any sort of anti-free-speech stance on my part)—be removed from the Democracy & Nature International Advisory Board (IAB).

Here is the original, rejected footnote:

I have my own concerns about other Board members [than Murray Bookchin, who had just resigned].  Fotopoulos assured me that my joining the Board did not entail an endorsement of what I consider Noam Chomsky’s irresponsible public depiction of Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson as “a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort” who is merely presenting his “findings” on the question of the existence of Nazi gas chambers.

Thus, no demand that Chomsky be forced out as a condition for my joining the IAB  (the editorial board had already assured me of exactly the opposite).  No attack on Chomsky’s right to free speech.  Just a disagreement with Chomsky’s inaccurate, publicly expressed characterization of Faurisson, a disagreement I felt should be made clear at the outset, at the moment I was joining an IAB on which Chomsky already sat (and, presumably, would continue to sit).

And here is a subsequent draft version of the same footnote, also rejected by Takis and his collaborators:

I, too, have a rather strong disagreement with some of the views of at least one other member of the D&N International Advisory Board, but—in contrast to Bookchin, who is departing—my disagreement did not prevent me from joining this Board.  When I sought, in the original draft of this text, to communicate in one sentence who that member was and why I disagreed with him, to my surprise I was informed by the Editorial Board that such a short statement was “unacceptable”—this, despite an assurance from the EB, before I joined the IAB, that my membership did not entail an endorsement of the views of any present IAB member.  I had assumed that I would be able, for the record, to express this disagreement in passing, the matter being no big deal and easily taken care of in a phrase.  It is my desire that the EB publish, in a subsequent issue, EB member Nikos Raptis’s brief [a dossier or argument of some sort]—never communicated to me—against publishing this one-sentence observation; that the EB publicly explain its position; and that I be given an opportunity to reply within the pages of D&N.

So, without in the least demanding Chomsky’s resignation or his exclusion and without in any way attacking Chomsky’s or anyone else’s free-speech rights,* I was told that I could have this solicited essay published only if my quite moderate and reasonable footnoted remarks were completely excised.  Not even a call for further, free and open discussion would be allowed by such a “defender” of free speech as Takis Fotopoulos.  Castoriadis and I resolved that, as soon as this truncated and, we believed, censored—here we have the second point at issue—version of my reply to Bookchin was published in D&N, we would both leave D&N’s IAB, as Bookchin had done earlier.  However, for merely having first insisted on the point, in the meantime I was “disinvited” from the international advisory board of a journal calling itself “Democracy & Nature.”  And all this in the name of Takis’s idea of defending free speech!  Castoriadis died before the article was published, and so he was not able formally to become, like Bookchin and me, a former D&N IAB member.

You had already, with a few commentaries of your own, made reference, in

https://metaomadeon.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/the-dark-side-of-takis-fotopoulos/

to my five-part series regarding D&N/Inclusive Democracy:

http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb1.html “On the Bookchin/Biehl Resignations and the Creation of a New Liberatory Project“
http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb2.html “Addendum,  Or: the Cornelius Castoriadis/Agora International Website Receives a Threat”
http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb3.html “A Second, Interim Response”
http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb4.html “A Third, Interim Response, to Inclusive Democracy’s Second Final Reply” (subtitle: “I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING: COMING FULL CIRCLE”)
http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb5.html ”Inclusive Democracy Throws in the Towel on its Empty Threat”

Since Takis and his colleagues never provided a substantive reply to my last installment, dnweb5, where I noted that Inclusive Democracy had “throw[n] in the towel on its empty threat.”  I’m surprised that Takis would write to you, repeating unsubstantiated charges he had stopped trying to defend a half-decade ago.

The creation in Greece of mathematical proof—mathematics itself, though not the practice of proof, had already been highly developed by the Egyptians—was conditioned by the creation in Greece of a public space for discussion, reflection, and exchange (what may in general terms be called an agora).  In geometrical mathematical proofs, mathematicians sometimes posit the existence of an additional point or points and, on that basis, establish what they want to prove.  A fine example of the power of the imagination—bound, however, by the requirement that there be a coherency with the rest of the geometrical points, lines, etc. being posited in the problem to be proved publicly, subject to further review, examination, and discussion.

Takis Fotopoulos is a sort of “mathematician” who, proving to have a very expansive–though not always coherent–imagination, often posits the existence of such additional points.  In Takis’s “proofs,”  however, these additional points have the exorbitant power and characteristic that they are posited not only to exist but would be ones that, by themselves alone, establish the character and nature and limits of all other points, lines, etc., thereby altering beyond recognition their original character, nature, and limits.  Such “proofs” cannot withstand open public scrutiny.  As with the story he simply made up about me as having decided to “turn against Castoriadis’s family  . . . as soon as [sic] Castoriadis died,” in the case of the issues of my rather reasonable and modest footnote on Chomsky and the subsequent censorship by D&N of said footnote, Takis invents wild, invidious suppositions that have no basis in fact.  Exercising my free speech by calling an IAB member “irresponsible” for having offered in public a mischaracterization of a Holocaust denier as a “relatively apolitical liberal” presenting “findings” while also saying that I was now part of this same IAB can hardly be considered a demand that Chomsky resign or be excluded.  I have a more humble idea of my powers, and my intention was just the opposite, viz.: to say that we could both coexist, speak out, disagree, and eventually (though I did not envision this at the time) debate.  Similarly, it requires quite an inventive, though not very compelling or coherent, imagination to assert that it is not censorship to insist that a considered opinion be removed from a text as a condition for that text to be published in a journal, especially when I, the author of this solicited text, was suggesting, after this little point became controversial for Takis et al. (despite their previous assurances), that further debate could ensue within the pages of the journal.

Oh, two last delicious little Takis-isms:

Takis has insisted all along that he has followed very closely and always been extremely informed about the controversy surrounding Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson.  And yet, once again—I’ve already corrected him previously on this misspelling—Fotopoulos still can’t spell Robert Faurisson’s last name correctly!  In his threatening letter to you, the one that denigrates me in at least three inaccurate ways, he spells that surname as “Fourisson.”  So much for his supreme knowledge and expertise on the matter. . . .  This is another inadvertent bit of dark humor, since what Faurisson denies, along with the Nazi gas chambers, is the purpose of the fours crématoires (French for the “crematory ovens” that were used to destroy the evidence).

Please note that this whole matter, which I thought had been put to rest a half-decade ago when Inclusive Democracy “thr[ew] in the towel on its empty threat,” has been revived only because Takis Fotopoulos has brought it up again, in the context of his threatening remarks to you that provide wildly inaccurate information about me, my intentions, and my actions.

The other delicious little Takis-ism: In making those threatening and insulting remarks to you (which incidentally referenced me—you would have descended to the “ultimate, lowest scumbag level” simply for having mentioned, or been associated with, me), one of Takis’s central complaints seems to be that he considers you to be an anonymous blogger.  Well, the new threat I received, subsequent to the threats and insults you received, came to me via e-mail from takis@takisfotopoulos.com. I did a “whois” lookup at:

http://who.godaddy.com/whois.aspx?domain=takisfotopoulos.com&prog_id=GoDaddy

and found out that this is a strictly “private” registration made via domainsbyproxy.com, whose registered trademark motto is “Your identity is nobody’s business but ours.”  As I already said a half-decade ago in

http://www.agorainternational.org/dnweb4.html

“I cannot stop laughing.”  I still cannot stop laughing.

Yours in the Struggle,

David Ames Curtis

*And without, of course, having taken a stand in favor Zionism, the Israeli Occupation, etc., as such positions have never been mine.

P.S.: You are welcome to publish this additional reply, so long as it appears verbatim and you inform me of its whereabouts.  I have no objection to its being properly translated either, based on these same conditions.

Robert Faurisson

Robert Faurisson

About Robert Faurisson:

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3 Comments »

  1. […] blogger Χάρη Μόχλα, τον [μεταφραστή του Καστοριάδη] David Ames Curtis, κ.ά. (ενώ από τη λάσπη του δεν γλύτωσε… μετά θάνατον, […]

    Pingback by Η Χρυσή Αυγή τιμά τον ‘έντιμο αριστερό’ Τάκη Φωτόπουλο (Sieg Heil, Herr Takis)! | OMADEON — 24/09/2013 @ 12:54 am

  2. […] Σχόλιά μου στο blog “XYZ contagion” (πρώτα αυτό και μετά αυτό) που για τη λάσπη που έριξε ο Τάκης Φωτόπουλος στον… Noam Chomsky (ενώ στο παρελθόν είχε χρησιμοποιήσει την “υποστήριξή του” προς τον Chomsky για να πλήξει άλλον… “εχθρό του”, τον μεταφραστή του Καστοριάδη David Ames Curtis). Ορισμένα ψεύδη του Φωτόπουλου σε βάρος του Curtis ξεσκεπάστηκαν αργότερα από τον Curtis, αλλά και από τον ίδιο τον Chosmky, ο οποίος τα επιβεβαίωσε, αφού πρώτα ενημερώθηκε προσωπικά (από τον Curtis) για το σχετικό άρθρο μου: “David Ames Curtis disproves false claims by Takis Fotopoulos about Noam Chomsky, the Faurisson case …“. […]

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  3. […] ιστολόγος Χάρης Μόχλας?-Ο μεταφραστής του Καστοριάδη David Ames Curtis?  [τέσσερις… στόχοι του Τ.Φ. λίγο πιο […]

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