Both of these intriguing new works take critical views of the Russian Revolution, whose centenary has just passed. Anarchist Encounters comprises an edited volume of eyewitness reports written by Spanish and Italian anarcho-syndicalists who visited Russia in the years 1920-1921 that also includes Emma Goldman’s critique of Bolshevik hegemony over the Revolution, based on the two years she spent living there. Eric Lee’s The Experiment examines the relatively unknown Georgian Democratic Republic, a three-year period of Menshevik, social-democratic governance in Russia’s southern neighbor and former colony that was crushed by the Red Army in 1921.
This book is a collection of new translations of articles by Victor Serge (1890-1947). Born of Russian anti-Tsarist exiles in Belgium, Serge is of note for his odyssey from anarchism to Bolshevism, then from Trotskyism to some kind of libertarian Marxism. He is regularly trotted out by Leninists when anarchist influence is on the rise or when Bolshevik tyranny needs to be justified, usually in regard to the crushing of the Kronstadt revolt of 1921. The lesson is clear – Serge came to recognise the limitations of anarchism so follow his lead.
From ediciones inéditos by Gilles Dauvé
What follows is a long essay by the French communization theorist, Gilles Dauvé. It is a long read, a read which varies in content and tone but a text which masterfully summarizes the communist critique of work. The original can be found here at Troploin. He also dutifully notes that without the abolition of work there can be no communist revolution or communism. We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed translating it. ¡A la chingada con el trabajo!
I wasn’t there on Aberdeen or Locke that night. I don’t know who was, and I’m not interested in knowing who was. I don’t necessarily think it was the most strategic or timely action in Hamilton’s history of resistance, but I certainly don’t condemn it. Far from it. I think it was brave, I think it was well-executed, and I think it was a meaningful and justified act of political action against a neighbourhood that sits way too comfortably on a mountain of unearned privileges, and that flamboyantly basks in the luxuries afforded by a destructive and exploitative system.
What happened on Saturday night in the Kirkendall neighborhood was both complicated and beautiful.
From The Tower, Hamilton's Anarchist Social Centre, after their windows were smashed Sunday night and then their door kicked in Tuesday night
We’ve held off on making any public statements so far because it’s really not our desire to have conversations on the internet, such a toxic and alienating place. But having had our space attacked twice in the last couple of days, we feel like it’s important to share a few reflections and be clear about where we stand.
First, no, the actions on Locke and Aberdeen on Saturday night were not organized by the Tower, but yes, we support what happened and are in solidarity with those who carried them out. Class war is happening every day in this city, with constant attacks on poor and working people. It’s disappointing that so many only care about the occasional moment when a bit of anger flows back the other way. The ongoing effects of gentrification in this city are heartbreaking – waves of displacement, growing violence, and intensifying poverty. You cannot expect for all of this to just be swept under the proverbial rug. We have zero tears to shed for Locke st.
(at least, the part that's already happened)
by David Graeber & David Wengrow
The story we have been telling ourselves about our origins is wrong, and perpetuates the idea of inevitable social inequality. David Graeber and David Wengrow ask why the myth of 'agricultural revolution' remains so persistent, and argue that there is a whole lot more we can learn from our ancestors.
The tendency of civilization to decline appears consistent throughout its lifespan. As it periodically starts to shed its rotten flesh, civilization must dissect, consume, and incorporate both the living and the dead in order to continue maintaining itself. Decomposition describes the specific moments when appendages of civilization become gangrene and they must be replaced. When the beast Leviathan has its belly filled, it rests and remains hidden; all is quiet in Erebor.
Despite its limitations, Cappelletti’s work, as the introduction so aptly describes, is “groundbreaking,” if for no other reason than its ambitious scope. Anarchism in Latin America is hopefully just the beginning in a series of reflective studies, translations, and “rediscoveries” of anarchist literature and thought from throughout Latin America.