Alexandros Gezerlis: a Sad Case of Opportunism
It is always sad for the associates of an ex-assistant editor of the journal —even if his period of service was very brief, i.e. just two years (2002/3) out of the journal’s 15-year history as S&N/D&N and, consequently, in its present form, IJID— to be forced to turn against him. Particularly if they are forced to do so under the disgraceful circumstances which he himself has created. We are very well aware of how tiresome internal disputes are to the third-party readers of a journal, and particularly the many friends of the Inclusive Democracy (ID) project all over the world who, perhaps, never expected the sort of disputes tormenting traditional Left organisations to be repeated here. However, this is not even a dispute about theoretical or political issues, despite the belated ludicrous attempt of Alexandros Gezerlis (A.G.) to turn it into one. Not only did A.G. never express, either publicly or privately, the slightest political disagreement with our journal during his entire career in it —which, even if we include his years as editorial assistant (2000/1), still represents a small fraction of the journal’s course— but on the contrary, as the readers of this journal know only too well, he was far from sparing in his enthusiastic support of the ID project, whose basic ideas and analysis he simply reproduced in every published text bearing his signature.
It is indicative that, even though A.G. is now busy mocking the journal, trying hard to harm it in any way possible and conducting a shameful campaign to defame his former associates and degrade the ID project, as we shall see below, he does not have any qualms about proudly presenting his contributions to the journals and magazines of Inclusive Democracy in his bio as his main publications —which are, in fact, his only publications! As far as A.G.’s anonymous mud-slinging aimed at the founder of the theoretical project of ID is concerned, it is enough to mention that Takis Fotopoulos (T.F.) played a decisive role not only with respect to A.G.’s writing activity, but also in terms of his transformation from an unknown student in his early twenties with insignificant political or writing experience to the editor of the Greek ID magazine and the assistant editor of a well-established theoretical journal of the international radical Left —a post envied by people with a significant and internationally-recognized body of published work— exactly because T.F. saw in him the potential to be a significant future associate of the ID project itself.
A.G. left the ID journal and magazine at the end of 2003, at the time of his departure from Greece to continue his studies, at postgraduate level, in the USA. The excuse was that, in his translation work, he was not prepared to accept any ‘interference’ (as he characterized the advice of T.F. who, of course, has several decades of writing experience behind him, including translation), despite the fact that this is a normal procedure, particularly in the case of a political journal like D&N which was always intended to be the product of collective work. Some time later, A.G. ‘discovered’ that there were informal hierarchical structures within the Greek ID magazine, as a result of which Fotopoulos supposedly side-stepped him in his role as editor —something that was not only clearly a figment of his fertile imagination, but also completely incompatible with the actual principles of organization promoted by the ID project. When everybody else in the editorial committee of the Greek ID magazine refused to follow him in his new ‘discoveries’ and, instead, unanimously expressed--directly or indirectly--their disapproval of him, A.G. did not hesitate to turn against his former associates as well, whom he began calling various names (TF’s “stooges”, “Stalinist acolytes” etc). It was from this moment onwards that his slippery descent began, which transformed him from being an ardent supporter of the ID project to being one of its most miserable enemies —and the ID project, as our readers may suspect, has many enemies, as a result of its consistently anti-systemic approach. In fact, lately, as we shall see next, A.G. has even been taking sides with such people against ID!
It would neither be necessary at this point nor, we suspect, of particular interest to our readers, to enter into a psychological or political analysis of this both common and old phenomenon of the Left. However, one would be justified in feeling utterly surprised by the nerve of a young activist, at the very first stage of his political life, in calling a well-known and internationally acclaimed writer like T. F., whose work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, an ‘ignoramus’—something inconceivable even for future significant thinkers of a similar age. It is now clear, though, that this ‘little giant’ of thought has a huge degree of self-confidence, the like of which one would be hard pressed to find even in really important thinkers in their early years. It is also well known that such overconfidence characterizes foolish people, so we feel that there is no need to waste time analyzing the phenomenon. We shall, therefore, limit ourselves to a description of his disgraceful activities against the ID project over the last few months.
A.G.’s descent began a few months after he left ID, at the very moment at which T.F., despite A.G.’s insulting behavior, proposed to Steve Best, (the well-known thinker and academic who was functioning as the editor of a new collection of essays on the ID project) that an article by A.G., first published in D&N, be included in this volume of essays by internationally acclaimed writers of the Left . A.G.’s ‘thank you’ in return for this honorable invitation was a demand that the proposed title for his article in the volume (“Recent theoretical developments in the ID project”) be replaced with the title “The project of Inclusive Democracy: no longer a toddler”—with the obvious intention of belittling the significance of the ID project, if not giving the false impression that it had begun to mature only with the launching of this dialogue, presumably also due to his participation in it! This, despite the fact that, as he knew very well, the ID project had been subject to similar debates from the moment it had appeared in the journal, almost a decade ago. And when both Steve Best and T.F. expressed their explicit opposition to this change, he began insulting both of them, finding in Steve Best another of T.F.’s ‘pawns’ etc. Furthermore, when he heard that T. F. had proposed that the same article be included in a collection of articles on ID being prepared by the Argentinian journal Theomai, he directly contacted its editor, Guido Galafassi,–without Takis’s prior knowledge and possibly without mentioning his dissociation from the journal—and not only requested the publication of his article with the new pejorative title, but also demanded that a long addendum be included with a strong attack against the ID project, highly revealing of why he had wanted the change of title in the first instance. Galafassi, presumably embarrassed to see someone whom he knew to be a strong supporter of the ID project proposing a clearly polemical article against it, of course rejected the request for the publication of the addendum, although he accepted the proposal for the new title, presumably in full ignorance of the fact that this proposal had already been declined by Steve Best.
Next, A.G., well aware of the theoretical dispute between the ID project and the projects of social ecology/communalism (Bookchin) and autonomy (Castoriadis), came into contact with Bookchin and Curtis (the translator of Castoriadis’s work into English and a close associate of his who, today, has undertaken the promotion of Castoriadis’ work) as soon as he left ID, in order to express to them his support for their projects and to receive, in exchange, corresponding praise from them, combined with the expected negative remarks against the ID project and T.F. personally. It is worth noting here that for as long as A.G. was a member of the ID project and a contributor to the publications relating to it, he never expressed, publicly or privately, any disagreement with the ID’s position on the social ecology and autonomy projects. And yet, as soon as he left the ID project, like a new Saul on the road to Damascus he saw the ‘true light’, agreeing with all the negative comments he heard from his new friends and even promoting and exceeding them in his “contribution” on the matter in an international forum (Wikipedia), as we shall see next.
As it is known, Wikipedia is an international ‘encyclopedia’ available free over the internet. The distinguishing feature of Wikipedia, which radically differentiates it from any normal encyclopedia, is that any of its users can propose and make changes to its entries—a process which clearly creates huge problems of reliability on the kind of knowledge provided by this ‘encyclopedia’, which has repeatedly been criticized on this account by the world press (see the announcement by the Editorial Committee of this journal). However, given that over 600,000 people visit Wikipedia every day and that it hosts entries on all current theoretical projects and their creators, we decided, in October last year, to help the Wikipedia team to create entries on the ID conception, the activities of the International ID network, the international journals D&N and its successor IJID and T.F.
Within a few days of the appearance of these entries, A.G., using the old Castoriadis pseudonym Paul Cardan (!)—as he himself admitted in his correspondence with members of the Greek ID magazine—began a systematic campaign to distort the D&N entry with two aims in mind: a) to promote himself, not hesitating to add his own name to the list of significant international and Greek contributors-- deleting, in the process, that of Dr Koumentakis, a well-known practitioner of preventive medicine in Greece, and, b) to belittle the ID theoretical project by presenting it, in effect, as just a by-product of the thought of Bookchin (described as co-founder of the journal!) and Castoriadis, and not as the outcome of a synthesis of historical traditions and currents, as he himself used to declare in his articles. This, when it is well known to anyone with even a vague idea of the ID project that the projects of autonomy and social ecology/communalism, though important, as elements of the above-mentioned historical traditions and currents, in the formation of the ID synthesis, are also fundamentally different to the ID project in certain important ways, as Bookchin and Castoriadis first discovered and consequently distanced themselves (the former explicitly and the latter implicitly) from the ID project.
A.G. hit rock-bottom when, in a discussion forum on D&N in Wikipedia, he wrote that “Democracy & Nature… was simply a biased journal that Fotopoulos used to promote his own confused theoretical "line". This “line” was of course the same theoretical line which A.G. had promoted enthusiastically in his few publications! The inevitable consequence of the repeated changes to the D&N entry, back and forth, was a user’s initiation of a procedure to delete the entire D&N entry, which we managed to save only at the very last moment, when the vast majority of users who had got involved in the process voted in favour of keeping it. This, of course, did not deter A.G., and a few days later he began a new dirty campaign against us, this time initiating the deletion process of the IJID entry in Wikipedia himself. Now using a different pseudonym (although he had already begun using it, in parallel to the Paul Cardan one used in the D&N discussion) he had no qualms, in his determined effort to have the present journal’s entry deleted, about writing: “Vanity Page, mere reproductions of already published journals, no publisher, no original contributions, self-promotion for one Mr. Fotopoulos, not an international but a local (Greek) editorial board”. Interestingly enough, the “libertarian” A.G. presumably does not consider a journal like the present one, which is published online and not by an established capitalist publisher, to be worthy of a Wikipedia entry!
In the discussion that followed, in which members of the ID network from Athens, Salonica and New Jersey participated, all the above allegations made by A.G were shown to be blatant lies —no wonder that he never admitted to being the user who had adopted the pseudonym Paul Cardan in the D&N discussion, despite being explicitly challenged on this. Next, two of the Wikipedia administrators (one of whom is a self-declared Roman catholic who rejects Darwin’s theory of evolution!) voted in favor of deleting the IJID entry without providing any explanation for it, and after rejecting the votes of all the other users (of whom there were about ten) who had voted against deletion, on the flimsy argument that they had not previously made enough contributions to Wikipedia discussions, they decided to delete the entry on the present journal. At this stage, a new discussion was opened by members of the ID network in which the effective coup in deleting the IJID entry was denounced, while other administrators who took part in this discussion supported the deletion. Prominent among those supporting the deletion of the IJID entry were a self-declared anarcho-capitalist (sic!), a supporter of the British Liberal-Democrats, a liberal US Buddist, a self-declared Freemason who played a leading role in the attempt to delete the D&N entry and some other clearly apolitical users. These are the new political allies of A.G. in his dirty campaign against Inclusive Democracy!
His “success” in deleting the entry on the IJID presumably created in him an appetite for more deletions of ID entries. It seems that he then acted indirectly, through some new friends that he had made among some Wikipedia administrators who demanded (and succeeded in bringing about) the deletion of the entries on the ID International Network, and then the entry on the ID conception itself, on the basis of the legalistic argument that the Wikipedia copyright rules had been violated because of the similarities of the text we had provided to the Routledge encyclopedia entry on Inclusive Democracy. No wonder that the same administrators who had supported the deletion of the entries on the IJID and the Network (the Freemason, the anarcho-capitalist, the British Liberal Democrat etc) also supported this deletion.
However, it seems that every deception eventually reaches its limits, even where Wikipedia are concerned. Thus, when we demanded a Wikipedia enquiry into our suspicion that A.G. had used multiple usernames in order to bring about the deletion of the ID entries, this led to technical research by Wikipedia that resulted in a conclusion which clearly implied that A.G. behaved like a crook who, having indeed used multiple usernames and skilfully violated the Wikipedia regulations, which he had presumably studied in depth, had acted with the sole purpose of getting all the ID entries deleted —something completely different, of course, to the frequent use of multiple user names in Indymedia, in which, by contrast, commentators do not have the power to determine which entries are valid and which not— in other words, what constitutes knowledge itself!
The outcome of this shameful campaign by a miserable opportunist was that significant ID entries have already disappeared from Wikipedia, while the rest are in danger of having the same fate in future, at the hands of right-wing religious administrators, Blairites and Left reformists, who seem to dominate Wikipedia —all this thanks to the golden opportunity offered to them by A.G.’s dirty campaign against us. Of course, this also reflects badly on the reliability of this joke-of-an-encyclopedia, and does not in the least affect the long entries on ID in real encyclopedias like the Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy, the long references in international biographical dictionaries to T.F. and ID etc. Furthermore, this whole saga reflects badly on A.G.’s political reliability as a libertarian, or whatever else he calls himself these days.
Periektiki Dimokratia (Greek ID magazine)
 This volume, under the title Global Capitalism and the Demise of the Left: Renewing Radicalism through Inclusive Democracy, is to be published early next year by Ellinika Grammata (Athens)
 A.G. was of course well aware of Bookchin’s resignation from the journal’s IAB and presumably also knew Curtis’ allegation that Castoriadis was also planning just before his death to withdraw from the journal. Furthermore, it seems, in view of present events, that A.G. was told by Curtis —if they did not plan together— of his planned vitriolic attack in Agora International against the journal and T.F.
 It should be noted that Curtis is in clear competition with the Castoriadis’ family –a competition which has led to various disputes and to what Curtis currently describes as a labour dispute “with the management”!)-- as to who would be the authentic cultural heir of Castoriadis’ legacy, with all the benefits, social and financial, that this implies.
 see on the differences between the social ecology/communalism, autonomy and ID projects “The ID project and Social Ecology”, IJID, Vol.1, No. 3 (May 2005) and on the differences between the autonomy and the ID projects “On a distorted view of the Inclusive Democracy project”, D&N Vol. 5, No. 1 (March 1999).
 Wikipedia, Talk: Democracy & Nature / Archive1 18 November 2005 http://en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Democracy_%26_Nature/Archive1#Final_Comment
 This is how the result of the technical inquiry was announced in Wikipedia: ”The technical evidence indicates that User:DisposableAccount, User:Paulcardan, User:Llbb, and User:Bbll are all the same editor. I've blocked Llbb and Bbll, but I wasn't sure which of the other two to block, since DisposableAccount is the older one, but Paulcardan appears to be the real one. They should both be blocked, one permanently, and one temporarily to discourage sockpuppeting; I leave it to other admins as to which. Also, I've permanently blocked User:Marx marvelous; though the technical evidence tying it to the others isn't strong, it's still obviously a sockpuppet created for the purpose of policy violation. Jayjg 00:27, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it seems that Alexandros Gezerlis is still continuing his dirty campaign against Inclusive Democracy. The campaign is, yet again, anonymous, since this is the only way he can attack the project ¯which he so greatly admired in all his published work¯ and escape ridicule. Of course, given the anonymity of his attacks we can never be sure that he is behind them, but all the characteristics, as well as the fact that in the past he has never had any qualms about using similar methods (for which, fortunately, he was caught by the Wikipedia administrators) very much point the finger in his direction. First, he participated actively in a similarly dirty campaign ¯also going on¯ by Curtis (who at least does not have any reservations about ridiculing himself by name). Curtis, in his latest Agora delirium (December 2006) noted that the editors of the journal “in their latest production, a translation, [they] REPORTEDLY alter the original by adding the adjective theoretical in order to soften a renewed claim, published in Greek just a year ago, about Fotopoulos the "founder." Clearly, Curtis’ assumption was that careless readers would not put two and two together and realise who gave this report to Curtis —a non-Greek speaker—i.e. Alexandros Gezerlis! Second, while Curtis was continuing his dirty campaign unashamedly for the third consecutive issue of Agora, which he has converted into a house organ for his personal attacks (his only original achievement in radical literature, apart from his translations of the works of others), it seems that Alexandros was organising another attack in Wikipedia. This time, the target was the Inclusive Democracy entry itself, and his attack was concentrated against a “politics stub” on this topic, which was all that was left in Wikipedia, after a full article ¯which we had prepared based on Takis’s ID entry in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Political Economy¯ was repeatedly deleted by “administrators” on the grounds that it was a “copyright violation”! Then, last November, somebody under the pseudonym of Drake Dun began making copy-editing comments on various entries (usually obscure entries on Buddhism, anarchism and Islam etc). At the beginning of the year, having methodically presented himself as a “responsible” Wikipedia user, “Drake Dun” went on to create a wikipedia page on the “identification of bias”, indirectly specifying the area in which he wanted to offer his “expertise” and, immediately afterwards, proceeding to nominate the entry on Inclusive Democracy for deletion on the grounds that, a) the topic was not “notable” and b) it was “submarine advertisement” by people involved in the Inclusive Democracy project. However, when a full-length article on ID was offered with many external references, which made his declaration of the topic’s non-notability look silly, he concluded that only two or at most four of them might be characterised as “notable”—one of them, “by chance”, being by David Curtis! In so doing, he dismissed references to the work of significant writers of the international Left (unlike the completely insignificant original work of Curtis) like Steven Best, Ted Trainer, Arran Gare, Serge Latouche and many others! As regards the charge that the article was written by people involved in the ID project, he was effectively silenced when he was referred to the similar practice behind almost all Wikipedia entries like, for instance, the one on Parecon. Seeing, then, that he was alone in this new attack and that not a single administrator was prepared to support him and wishing to confirm the impression that he had created of himself as a “responsible user”, (possibly to allow him to apply for an “administrator” post in future from which he could continue and expand his attacks against ID), he withdrew his nomination for deletion.
As far as we are concerned, we shall repeat once more that we will use any means available to us to expose the people who prefer to attack us anonymously. WATCH THIS SPACE!
The Editorial Committee
January 21, 2007
And here is the sad end of Gezerlis' political career as a libertarian
Alex Gezerlis formerly of the anti-systemic Left was recently seen presenting a paper at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The mission of Los Alamos is homeland security through research and development in order to build new generations of weapons of mass destruction and see to it that no other nations do the same. Los Alamos applies its expertise in defense science and technology.
The programs they support directly relate to defense preparedness through collaborations with the Department Of Defense Science and Technology community and with industry (industrial/military complex).
Los Alamos' core values combine security awareness, "intellectual freedom", and scientific excellence with securing the homeland. Maintaining the nation's nuclear stockpile is Los Alamos' most important job. The Laboratory is the second-largest manufacturing site in the nuclear weapons complex and one of only two national laboratories operating at this high level of mission importance and scientific excellence.
Alex joined the nuclear physics T16 group of scientists whose "applied physics encompasses nuclear physics relevant to Threat Reduction and Stockpile Stewardship, including studies of nuclear reactions and nuclear structure and providing nuclear data to the Laboratory and Nation."
The Editorial Committee
July 18, 2007