Beautiful Nihilists, Pretty Anarchists, Red Virgins and Others
The newest addition to the Libertarian Labyrinth archive is The Beautiful Nihilist: Representations of Revolutionary Women. The project is to gather material from the popular press depicting radical and particularly militant women, in all its sensationalist and often exploitative glory. The articles and tales collected here document a familiar fascination with a political variety of femme fatale, often with a great deal of emphasis on the sexual desirability and social status of the women portrayed in presumably “unwomanly” acts of violence. At the same time, however, the tabloid presentation often allows important bits of history and biography to show through. Indeed, in many cases, this spectacular journalism is all that we have to document the lives of women who were on the front lines of the most militant sorts of struggles.
After a bit of a break, I’m continuing with the installments from the “Anarchist Current,” the Afterword to Volume Three of my anthology of anarchist writings from ancient China to the present day, Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. This section discusses different anarchist approaches to economic organization.
When mass civil protests in Russia were defeated in 2011-12 the Putinist police regime started open political repressions against militants of social and political movements, including anarchists and antifascists. Many have been sentenced to prison terms in the course of the last 5 years in Russia.
In 2008, a small rebellion began in Olympia, the capitol of the state of Washington. While the global economy collapsed into a recession, numerous people began to smash banks, fight the police, and spread new ideas in their little corner of the world.
Like the current moment, 2008 was an election year in the United States, a time when the Democrats and the Republicans were planning their conventions and trying to take the White House. The entire country was in shock, unable to comprehend the magnitude of the financial crisis and those responsible for it. And soon enough they would all have a new iPhone to take away their pain.
There haven't been many new people around our circles lately. Perhaps this is due to living in a big City and not because of some structural flaw but I've heard the same issue exists in most places in North America. I've heard that since Occupy there has not been a fresh crop of fresh faced anarchists turning up to replenish the ranks who left radical politics after 2011. Is this true where you live?
Here is a short run-down of events and actions that occurred in Bloomington related to the June 11th international day of solidarity with Marius Mason and all long-term anarchist prisoners:
– A benefit in late May raised over $350 for anarchist prisoners.
– A benefit dance party in late May raised over $600 for queer and trans prisoners, including anarchist comrade Michael Kimble.
– A ‘packathon’ event put together packages of books for prisoners.
– A letter writing night signed and mailed cards and letters to over 20 anarchist prisoners in the USA, Chile, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Russia. Individuals’ translation skills enabled these to be written in the languages understood by comrades outside of the US.
Resistance to civilization has existed as long as civilization itself. There have always been those who reject this way of life. Critiques of technology, urban life, agriculture, domestication, and symbolic culture can be found in cultures all around the world and throughout history. As anarcho-primitivists searching for ways to understand the nature of civilization and wildness in the 21st century, I believe we can draw on the work of those critics of the past. There is perhaps no region on earth where civilization has been more entrenched for so long than China. Likewise I believe that there is no more potent critique of civilization from the ancient world than daoism.
Pandora II dismissed!
The case against nine anarchists arrested in October 2015 in Barcelona and Manresa has been dismissed. They were accused of criminal organization under the antiterrorism law. The magistrate of the Audiencia Nacional affirmed that the mossos d'escuadra [Catalan police force responsible for the investigation] "had limited themselves to informing about meetings, trips, and visits to penitentiary institutions" and had not showed any link with the dozens of sabotage actions the police and press had attributed to them.