Announcing the First Issue of The BASTARD Chronicles: Social War
From LBC Books
The BASTARD (Berkeley Anarchist Students of Theory And Research & Development) conference first happened in 2000, and has happened every year since then. It was born from the Long Haul anarchist study group, which has been meeting for longer than that every week from 8-10pm on Tuesday evenings. The study group was born from a free school anarchist history course, (the teacher of the class was part of the group for more than a decade). BASTARD is the name of the conference, not the name of the study group.
The semi-joking hostility of the name does describe more-or-less accurately one of the main attitudes of the study group (which could also be described as an unwillingness to suffer fools), one that regular attendees either bring with them or learn to appreciate the group for. The study group has been a influence in Bay Area anarchist projects and continues to inform conversations like this years conference: Social War.
"It can be anything anarchists want it to be."
"Social war is a concept taken from Foucault that sounds cool and definitely lends itself to grandiose rhetoric, but has little to do with what we are actually trying to accomplish."
"Social war is this process of doing something. It is our concerted effort to rupture the ever-present deadliness of the social peace."
"Social War may be one of the few forms of refusal that all anarchists can agree upon and pursue. And that pursuit, of the concrete activities of the Social War, will ideally be done in an aggressive and principled manner."
These readings are mostly writings from the presenters, from Jason McQuinn to Tom Nomad, William Gillis to Aragorn! The significant exception is the piece on the presentation with CrimethInc and Institute for Experimental Freedom, for which there is a conversation based on the presentation.
Given the conflicting, at times mutually exclusive, ideas about what social war is, this conference allowed people to explore those contradictions and alliances.