Aral Balkan

“Women, I will let you in on a male secret. Men know that constantly self-proclaiming male 'feminists' are often predatory sleaze bags … they are viewed to be sex traitors.“—Julian Assange, DiEM25 Advisory Panel

“I am utterly a feminist in my disposition.”—Yanis Varoufakis, DiEM25 Coordinating Collective

These two statements are incompatible. DiEM members have a right to know where DiEM stands on this.

@aral Assange is a consent-ignoring, boundary-pushing asshole.

@aral When I found out that Assange has a role with DiEM25, I immediately lost any interest in the organisation, btw.

@aral This motherfucker is good at his job but he is a disgusting individual in his personal life.

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@johnribbon @aral
would also say so. By just reading the statement it seems to me Assange means ppl like Weinstein and that police officer.
Then both statments are compatible.
I just don't know why they are called feminists in the first place?

@aral why is assange allowed on the panel when he still has uncleared rape charges against him?!

@Gargron @aral You know, there is a propoganda principle called "rotten herring".
It works like this: if your opponent says something you don't like, throw a herring at them. The herring is a charge or even allegation of anything disgusting: child abuse, sex crimes. Homosexuality is popular in our country (because it's a homophobic shithole). The more disgusting and absurd, the better. If it is true or not, it does not matter. The goal is, to spark a discussion about if it's true or not.

@aral @Gargron And that's it. There will be some who say it is not true, and some who say it is. But at that point, it does not matter. The victim is forever associated with those crimes, whether they are guilty or not. The fact that the discussion exists already void everything they will say in their defense (which also won't help anyway).
So, no. Those charges will never be cleared or lifted. Even if they will be the information about them is already in your head, you can not un-know it.

@Gargron @aral Example, Micheal Jackson. Was there real hard-science evidence for his accusations? No, not really. He was found not guilty by the court. Did it matter in the end? No. He was forever associated with child abuse in public mind. Because we are wired to not accept the absence of evidence as the evidence of absence. "There's no smoke without fire" they say.

@drequivalent @aral I strongly suggest you pick a different personality to defend than Assange, I get what you're trying to say but in this case the charges came from a legal system and he had years to fight those charges, instead he hid in the Ecuadorian embassy

Even without all that, his careless leaks put many on-the-field soldiers' lives at risk, he even leaked Turkish voters' personal information, to say nothing of his personal vendetta against Clinton during the election

@Gargron @aral Not that I'm defending anyone. He is not a saint. I still don't know what to make of those Clinton leaks. We'll see.
All I'm saying is, the public opinion is not really hard to manipulate. So always stay skeptical, and check what you know, what you don't know, and what you can't know. Everything we know may easily be wrong.

@Gargron @aral I think you should read up on what actually happened. There is no actual "charge" from the Swedish legal system. Unfortunately, you're just parroting propaganda against the man there.

And regarding "dangerous" leaks: how on Earth are soldiers lives more important than civilian lives? Why wouldn't we want war crimes exposed? What do you mean by "putting on-the-field soldiers' lives at risk"? They are at risk by defintion of being a soldier doing their job.

@aral "constantly self-proclaiming" is a vague statement, however probably doesn't refer to somebody claiming to be a feminist when specifically asked about it

@aral it's not really a big thing, personal opinions don't matter in a board and the company or (corp.) isn't entitled to a explaination.


The whole DiEM thing is incoherent by itself. They want democracy and €urope at the same time, but they are incompatible as well.

It's funny because Varufakis should know it well, having seen with his very eyes, with the 2015 referendum, how much they are incompatible.

@gabriele A democratic EU is not incompatible. It does need to be democratised before it is fit for purpose, however. I now realise that this a network problem. It will not happen via centralised movements.

@aral @gabriele This is why the democracy in a box idea never worked. You can't parachute in democracy and have it hit the ground running instead of like a dead cat, or decree from a soap box that "you will all now be democratic. Go forth and deliberate".

If democracy exists at all it comes from the culture and its history.

@bob @gabriele Exactly. It cannot be injected from a centralised court of benevolent leaders. We must democratise the network and allow it to emerge. Without sovereign citizens who have agency (and the means to communicate + spontaneously organise), we cannot move to a decentralised world. Centralised institutions are incapable of embracing decentralisation, no matter how benevolent the members of the court may be.

@aral @gabriele ...because to do so would be to nullify their own power. It might also be the other way around, that a free people can't exist without decentralized systems of governance, but the two have to emerge simultaneously.

In the 19th century I think this idea was called "the social revolution". It's the counter-intuitive thing that 20th century organisations may never be able to fully embrace. You succeed by letting others succeed.


I'd really like to believe this, but I can't see a democratization of EU happening anytime soon.

There is no interest in it, simply because today, in 2017, the best way to protect national interest is still the nation state. European nations are not ready to unite. Try again in 100 hundred years maybe.

And I don't trust Varufakis. If he was a competent and good person, he would withdrew Greece from Maastricht treaty in 2015. But he didn't.

@aral I think it is obvious that DiEM is feminist. We actually proclaim that in the manifest so maybe we are all sleaze bag sex traitors then?

i do not know which point assange is trying to make but i do not see the conflict with his DiEM role.

@aral I get the argument you make, but I nonetheless disagree. I don't think these statements contradict one-another.

Core of the matter is "feminist by proclamation vs. by virtue/action". Assange criticises the first (by self-proclamation). In common words, people calling themselves something without anybody asking, to boost image, self-esteem, etc.

Varoufakis responds to a question (no "self-proclamation"), and, crucially, describes it as a disposition, or virtue, to act in a certain way.

@Wessel_Dublin I’ve made my point and know where I stand on this. Read his timeline. This isn't an isolated incident. I’m done debating this as I have zero desire to draw the ire of his alt-right following especially now that I understand that it is futile to discuss this issue within DiEM.

@aral Sorry, I didn't want to discredit the overall sentiment, just this specific argument. I haven't studied Assange's timeline and I also have my doubts with regards to his views and following. Only wanted to respond to the stated contradiction between the two statements.

I don't think it is futile to discuss this within DiEM, for I think many members share your reservations. However, people don't have the insights you have - so informed debate is needed.

@aral It would for instance be valuable if you could support your overall sentiment with some explicit arguments, that are supported by evidence (e.g. parts of Assange's timeline that support your points). This would give non-experts insight in the matter and wouldn't require them to engage in in-depth study of a Twitter timeline or one person's online presence.

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