review

Review of Romantic Rationalist: A William Godwin Reader

  • Posted on: 23 February 2017
  • By: thecollective

From Gods and Radicals by Christopher Scott Thompson

Romantic Rationalist: A William Godwin Reader, edited and introduced by Peter Marshall, is a brief but wide-ranging introduction to the writings of a man who is often considered the founder of anarchism. William Godwin (1756–1836) was the first major philosopher to propose a decentralized directly-democratic society made up of small self-governing communities, and he also anticipated several of the major arguments of later radicals such as Marx and Kropotkin on issues such as private property and the labor theory of value. If you’re interested in the classical anarchist philosophers but you don’t know where to start, you could definitely do worse than this collection of short passages drawn from Godwin’s works. Unlike Bakunin and Kropotkin, who can be difficult to read because of their frequent references to events and conditions that are no longer current, Godwin expressed himself in general principles. This gives his ideas a clarity and directness often lacking in other works. Here’s his argument against the benefits of government:

Review: Strategy and Geography: The Anarchist Horizon by Simon Springer

  • Posted on: 10 February 2017
  • By: thecollective

From Earth First! Newswire by Alexander Reid Ross

The Anarchist Roots of Geography explores the groundwork of anarchist theory in the works of Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin, Mikhail Bakunin, and Elissee Reclus, in particular. Locating crucial premises of solidarity grounded in geographic decentralization, Springer hones in on the works of Kropotkin and Reclus.

The Anarcho-Syndicalist Genesis of Orwell's Revolutionary Years

  • Posted on: 4 December 2016
  • By: thecollective

From Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #68, Fall 2016 by Raymond S. Solomon

Orwell had four phases during his revolutionary years, lasting from late December 1936 until about the early fall of 1940. Each was significant, but all were rooted in Orwell's observations of Spain's, and especially Catalonia's, anarcho-syndicalist revolution. When Orwell went to Spain he did not know exactly what he would find. He had a letter of introduction from the Independent Labour Party. He wanted to fight against fascism, defend democracy, and support workers.

The Authoritarian Vision of Che Guevara

  • Posted on: 29 November 2016
  • By: thecollective

From Anarkismo by Wayne Price

Review of Samuel Farber, The Politics of Che Guevara (2016)

The recent death of Fidel Castro makes it timely to review this account of how Che Guevara and Fidel Castro created the ideology and social structure of "Communist" Cuba.

Review: Genesee River Rebellion

  • Posted on: 16 August 2016
  • By: rocinante

From stalking the earth

The Genesee River Rebellion(GRR) is a new quarterly publication from the Rochester Black Rose Anarchist Federation. It's a large 4-page newspaper with 6 articles of varying length that we picked up for free from the distribution bin inside a local Rochester restaurant. There was a stack full of copies placed in the distro and it appears that there are stacks of this paper around a handful of local establishments for the curious reader to find. There also appears to be a subscription based model along with some other perks for those that signed up via the GoFundMe page, which accordingly raised around $1,500 of a $2,000 goal for printing costs, etc. Aesthetically, the local publication looks nice and it was exciting to find an anarchist newspaper circulating around in hand on our way to get some food. On the other hand, there are also some gripes about the publication and the ideas behind it. Below is a brief review of the new publication, along with some shared experiences from the Black Rose Anarchist Federation.

Max Stirner: mixed bag with a pomo twist

  • Posted on: 8 August 2016
  • By: thecollective

From Modern Slavery review by Jason McQuinn

Max Stirner edited by Saul Newman (Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2011) 223 pages, $90.00 hardcover.

One more sign of the ongoing revival of interest in the still-generally-ignored seminal writings of Max Stirner is the appearance of the first collection of essays to be published in the English language on the subject of his life and work. You can bet it won’t be the last.

The Individualist Anarchist Wears No Clothes

  • Posted on: 4 March 2016
  • By: thecollective

From C4SS - by Nick Ford

Introduction: Who Was Emile Armand?

Emile Armand (a pseudonym for Ernest-Lucien Juin) is at the center of the collection Individualist Anarchism – Revolutionary Sexualism: Writings by Emile Armand (2012) published by Pallaksch Press and distributed by Little Black Cart.

Armand was a French egoist/individualist anarchist, arguably an early proponent of polyamory within the anarchist scene and among other things, a pacifist. He was one of the few anarchists from the late 19th century that not only remained an anarchist until he died but managed to live past the Spanish Revolution until his death in 1963. In doing so he outlived many other prominent figures such as Benjamin Tucker and Emma Goldman.

Facing the Counter-Revolution: A review of Burning Country, by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami

  • Posted on: 17 February 2016
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

“In 2011 and 2012, Syrians launched a popular revolution of enormous consequence and reach. New forms of organisation and expression emerged which reconfigured social relationships away from those based on hierarchy and domination towards the empowerment of individuals and communities. From 2013 on, however, these experiments were increasingly submerged by fierce counter-revolutionary trends, both Assadist and regional. War dismantled the country's infrastructure and social fabric. Over half the population fled its homes. What does this mean for revolution as a desired end?” (219)

Anti-authoritarians Leila Al-Shami and Robin Yassin-Kassab look back over the past fifteen years of resistance movements in Syria, to understand the anarchistic currents that emerged during the revolution that began in 2011. Altough this revolution has gone farther than any other in recent memory, it is poorly understand and has received little support. With Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, the authors seek to change that.

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