review

Book Review: Bakunin. Selected Texts 1868-1875 (Edited and Translated by A.W. Zurbrugg)

  • Posted on: 11 April 2017
  • By: thecollective

From Anarkismo

Although the 20th century may have seemingly signalled the eclipse of libertarian forms of socialist thought under the bureaucratic weight of ‘real socialism’, Bakunin views are an urgent reminder of what socialism could be. His voice, in spite of some antiquated expressions, resonates a hundred and a half years later with the same vital energy.

Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman, annotated and introduced by Jessica Moran and Barry Pateman

  • Posted on: 4 April 2017
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From Kate Sharpley Library

Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist is a classic for good reason: the drama of the story drives it along. Berkman’s mission to assassinate Frick is interspersed with effective flashbacks showing his development to that point. In the prison there’s plenty of conflict which makes you wonder: how can he survive 22 years? Can the prisoners expose their mistreatment and the scams of the management? Will the escape plan work? I loved the cover: a piano with a pick and shovel leaning against it as a nod the outside comrades who dug a tunnel for him, covered by Vella Kinsella ‘tinkling the ivories’. There’s also the odd bit of unintentional comedy, like Berkman’s puzzlement when he first comes across prison slang: ‘I should “keep my lamps lit.” What lamps? There are none in the cell; where am I to get them? And what “screws” must I watch? And the “stools,”—I have only a chair here. Why should I watch it? Perhaps it’s to be used as a weapon.’ [p112]

Anarchist Zines & Pamphlets Published in February 2017

  • Posted on: 15 March 2017
  • By: thecollective

From Sprout Distro

Here’s our semi-monthly (only because we missed last month) round-up of zines and pamphlets published and posted online during February 2017. While they aren’t all explicitly anarchist, they should be of general interest to much of the broad anarchist space.

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.

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