Backwoods: A Journal of Anarchy and Wortcunning
We are excited to announce the publication of issue one of Backwoods, this one subtitled A Journal of Anarchy and Wortcunning. This journal evolved out of a series of conversations among the other two editors (Fera Sylvain and Thuggy Whiskers, PhD) and me about how we thought there was room for, and a need for, a third anti-civ publication in North America.
Black And Green Review and Black Seed each have their strengths and weaknesses; I am glad that both exist and have respect and admiration for the editors for their efforts in what can sometimes feel like projects for which one gets a lot of flak and little appreciation. But we felt our particular focus was not present in either, and we wanted to reach an audience that did not necessarily self-identify as anarchist or interact specifically with those milieux - specifically, we are trying to reach out to the permaculture and rewilding/primitive skills milieux as well as the anarchist ones.
While we will not a hold a fierce line as editors and will print things with which we do not totally agree, Backwoods has a focus on trying to live according to anti-civilization values here and now, with a suggested praxis of "desertion, autarky, and reinhabitation" - that is, withdrawing from civilization materially and psychically as much as is practical and possible; learning how to meet one's needs through foraging, horticulture, and small-group networks; and developing intimacy with one's landbase. Themes of the journal include but are not limited to: anarchy and liberation; forest gardening and tending the wild; foraging, hunting, natural building, and wild plants; exodus and evasion; ecological science, spirituality, and philosophy; slavery and civilization; existentialism and its relationship to nature; stories and advice from those actively pursuing subsistence lifeways; and technology and Luddism.
The table of contents for issue one is:
An Invitation to Desertion, by Bellamy Fitzpatrick - a position piece laying out the anti-civ critique and our suggested praxis to establish the editors' overall perspective.
Subsistence and Slavery, by Fera Sylvain - a history piece showing how undermining individual and small group subsistence has long been a strategy of civilized enslavers.
"Pockets of Happiness" - a transcript of a 2014 interview by Bellamy with late permaculturist and anarchist Toby Hemenway, talking about the state of the world and what is possible in terms of liberation. A post-script at the end examines the interview from the perspective of four years later, after Toby's death.
A Forest Garden Primer, by Sylvia Wilde - the first in what will be an ongoing series by Sylvia giving practical advice for those interested in forest gardening - what can be done here and now to seek out subsistence outside civilization and restore the health of the land.
The Garden Path, by Kanzan Kitsune - a poetic description of a subsistence lifeway by a practicing forest gardener.
Reviews of two U.S.-based permaculture periodicals by Bellamy, a review of Kaczynski's new book by Peter Lamborn Wilson, and a review of LBC's In Search of the Masterless Men by Bellamy.
Against Sustainability, by Peter Lamborn Wilson - our first backpage rant, as each issue will close with a rant against civilization. PLW's target this time is the lie of "sustainability".
Issue two will go to print this autumn, and will feature, among other pieces:
What Does the World Desire?: Anima Mundi and Its Ethical Implications, by Bellamy Fitzpatrick - an examination of Gaia Theory, panpsychism, and the notion that the whole biosphere may be a sentient, intentional, emergent being.
There is no such thing as renewable energy, by Alexander Dunlap - a concise takedown of the renewable energy nonsense by an anthropologist who has studied counter-insurgency and the green economy.
A Forest Garden Primer, part II by Sylvia Wilde
Abdullah Öcalan's Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization, reviewed by Peter Lamborn Wilson
Jacque Ellul's The Technological Society, reviewed by Bellamy Fitzpatrick
Dale Pendell's The Great Bay, reviewed by Vincent Vulgare
Backwoods will be print-only. Issue one is already printed and is available from both Enemy Combatant Publications (who did a lovely job of printing it) and Little Black Cart Books. We hope you will consider subscribing to support us and to receive future issues. The Backwoods editors can be reached for commentary, criticism, submissions, and free copies of issue one for those willing to distribute multiple copies in their area at:
PO Box 238
Poestenkill, NY, 12018
That's all for now - thanks for reading, and please reach out to us if you are interested.