What's New with LBC - Winter 2016

  • Posted on: 21 January 2016
  • By: lbc

From Little Black Cart

A lot has changed in the past quarter. The heat of summer finally abated and the El Nino rains have begun! There has been a noticeable downtick in drama around these parts and the fourth annual East Bay Book & Conversation Event went swimmingly. We are very proud of the titles we have to offer you this quarter and look forward to your feedback.

New Titles

Everything Must Go - by Bruno Astarian & Gilles Duavé

LBC Books

Bruno Astarian argues, from a Marxist perspective, that communization must be anti-work; discusses what makes an insurrection (and what makes it special); introduces (among many things) a more granular definition for capital and the concepts of non-value, and devaloration. The Astarian pieces lead to the final part of the book, by Dauve, who continues the discussion of insurrections, international and in various times, their limitations and opportunities. Dauve also brings limits to technology into the equation, arguing appropriateness.

Common sense sometimes is our most deceptive ally: it hammers in the idea that after defeating the State, we must re-start production in order to fulfil real and pressing needs. Not in a capitalist way, of course: obviously we must self-organise an economy with no boss, no profit, no value accumulation. (...) It is not a matter of empty stomachs aiming at being fed, but of creating social relations with fellow proles. The insurgents' first need is to come together to arm themselves with whatever weapons are available. Only in extreme cases do men and women want to eat only to stay alive, and it is in these cases, starving in a concentration camp for instance, that social bonds are the most disconnected. Otherwise, the first human need is the need for another human being: the theoretical difficulty is to divest this principle of its usual idealist mind-set.

- Gilles Duavé

For more information - Everything Must Go


Is Space the Place? Yes/No

Ardent Press

Modeled on the old-school science fiction Ace doubles here is a fun and quirky tête-bêche format book that addresses the question of the best relationship of current-day humans to non-earth terrain(s). Reprints from the surreal Association of Autonomous Astronauts are the bulk of one side (which demonstrate editoral ambivalence), while the other features pieces by science fiction authors, among others, and both yea and nay have heartfelt introductions from the editors.

For more information - Is Space the Place? Yes/No

Tiqqun and the Matter of Bloom in Contemporary Political Philosophy - by Pedro José Mariblanca Corrales

Repartee

A brand new piece from Spain on the meaning and relevance of Tiqqun's analysis and activity for a larger, more vibrant movement. Part of our ongoing series on the impact that Tiqqun and related project have had on the anarchist space starting with the publication of "The Theory of Bloom"

Negation is important to Tiqqun. However, negation only creates movement. Negation is opposition and opposition is not enough. The insurrection is interesting as a negation--it implies rupture--but the rupture needs something else, it needs to create its own temporality. This temporality can be that of the communes, but if the communes represent the outside that moves inside, how can these dialectical realities be interconnected? Tiqqun defends desertion, but deserting means fleeing. Thus there is no interrelation between the outside and the inside.

For more information - Tiqqun and the Matter of Bloom in Contemporary Political Philosophy

Worker's Book of 50 Sectarian Crosswords

Ardent Press

For those anarchistnews fans who miss Worker's acerbic and insightful bon mots on modern-day anarchy and anarchists, here is a fix (however temporary) for you. Fifty crossword puzzles of occasionally ludicrous difficulty for your education and amusement.

Anarchistnews.org is the most popular, utilized, and non-sectarian news source pertaining to anarchists in North America. Its open commenting system continues to be one of the few spaces in which anarchists, nationally and internationally, converse about topics of the day, challenge each other, and critically engage with a wide variety of issues and events.
Worker retired from running the site after eleven years... Since then they have reflected on their time in the daily trenches of running the site, and this book is the result. These crossword puzzles speak to the years of comment threads, the ridiculousness and wonderfulness of the anarchist space in North America, and finally the absurdity of working with cantankerous, stubborn, and self-righteous people by way of essay or manifesto.
These puzzles should probably be done by a reading group or a group of friends. They are supposed to make you think, laugh, and perhaps smack your head. A more perfect metaphor for North American anarchism cannot be found.

For more information - 50 Sectarian Crossword Puzzles

Recent LBC Titles

  1. Art as Resistance - A pretty book about the Autonomen and their artistic expression.
  2. Black Eye - A book about the Lower East Side of NYC in the 80s, it's decay, and what some friends tried to do about it.
  3. Breaking Loose - Ron Sakolsky writes contra despair and our choices to self-repress.
  4. It's Crazy How Many Things do not Exist Jean-Pierre Voyer has been an unorthodox post-Situationist for four decades+. He is woefully unknown in North America, here is an attempt to change that.
  5. The Manual for Revolutionary Leaders. - What to do and how to do it.

Become an Accomplice

This is the last year of our accomplice program! Don't miss a title. Do you like what we are trying to do with Little Black Cart? If you like a vibrant and engaged anarchist press, please consider helping us by becoming an LBC Accomplice!

For $20 / month (domestic, $40 international) you get every new title we publish (over 50 since 2012), 20% off of every Little Black Cart distribution item, and we start you out with a free book or t-shirt of your choosing.

This quarter our accomplices received three books, a magazine, a zine, a great new zine, and a newspaper that is not listed on the LBC site!

Here is how to learn more about becoming an LBC Accomplice

The rest

Want to help?

Are you in the Bay Area and would you like to help make LBC projects happen? Drop us a line.

Are you a writer?

Send manuscript proposals to us at info@lbc

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Comments

This isn't directed at LBC but the front page of @ news right now says something about the state of anarchism. Books, magazines, articles, conferences, radio shows. Blah fucking blah. So much talk, so little action.

Point me towards those who are capable of doing "very much" in the Bay Area. I would like to hear more about them.

you assume that those doing the "books, magazines, articles, conferences, radio shows" are not also doing other things? and that the books, magazines, articles, conferences, radio shows are not valid? if so, it seems easy to do that when it you probably don't personally know anyone doing those things (actions, imo) and what they do in their day to day lives. much of it is probably not going to make it on to the pages of anarchist news because not everything must be on the internet for all to judge.

get off the internet.

Anarchists can't create widespread rebellion. Leftists believe that they themselves can-consider their prairie fire sort of theories. But the best anarchists can do is small level attacks as individuals and small groups of friends, take some local power away from the bosses/believers so we can enjoy life before we die, withdraw and create/take some space to experiment within and share our ideas with a wider public. Anyone doing all of these things is a stellar anarchist in my opinion. If everyone did that, then all of these small struggles and acts of resistance might coalesce in an organic way. As for why spontaneous, widespread uprisings occur in some places and not in others, well that remains a mystery.

The IGD types, fetishists of 'actions', generally don't realize that the means create the ends. The world they would accept is a world of humorless activists and fighters. The most successful/interesting/hopeful/anarchic rebellions have involved entire communities-Chiapas, Rojava, Catalonia, Kanesetake, etc. This means making room for fighters and dreamers, thinkers and warriors, old and young, the serious and the satirical, the patient and impatient, etc.

Besides, as someone else pointed out, just because there wasn't a communique doesn't mean nothing happened. And how do we know what sorts of activities authors and publishers are engaged in outside of their propaganda activities?

If widespread revolt is the sum total of these smaller actions from a community, then just because anarchists are few in number, the stuff they do won't necessary appear to be "widespread revolt" but I'm certainly making room for all those people you mentioned and I know the IGD folks are too so ... maybe its time to revisit the whole purpose of anarchist media? Hint: spread the word about shit the corporate media either omits or misrepresents. They`re accomplishing this IMHO so what`s the problem

That said, I`m too broke to give them money cause I`m lumpen as fuck

I can't understand what you are trying to say. But I would like to know.

Excellent idea. What is the purpose of anarchist media? As someone who has published several anarchist zines and newspapers and pamphlets and distributed other peoples publications and volunteered in anarchist bookstores and published essays and translations and volunteered at various community and pirate radio stations...I must believe that there is some important purpose.

I guess I became an anarchist largely by stumbling across an anarchist paper. So I drew from that that if I helped distribute or produced anarchist papers others like me might also become anarchists and our numbers would grow. But is this the case?

Recently I have started to think that there is a limited and specific demographic that is receptive to extreme/radical/deep explanations of the world we live in. In other words, there is only a set quantity of people who would potentially become anarchists simply by reading or being exposed to the ideas.

The rest become anarchists in some other way. Some by cultural interventions or projects-bands, art groups, etc. (Personally, even though I was in a band, I have never given a sh*t about anarchist bands and the whole punk scene turned me off within a few months of its inception way back when I was a teenager in the 70s. So that method doesn't work on 'people like me')

Other people need to experience some form of practical experiment-an intentional community, a cooperative permaculture farm, an alternative health center or whatever.

Finally some folks need to participate directly in resistance-an occupation, a riot, a squat, etc.

Writing or talking about any of the above in a podcast or in a zine or book isn't the same as experiencing them. So only people interested in ideas will be inspired by the contents. As I said, I think that there is a built in limit to the number of people who will become anarchists by reading about anarchist ideas or actions. The rest of us need a different experience to become inspired or curious or excited.

The strategy then would be for anarchists to be a lot more hopeful, optimistic and mutually supportive in our activities and for each project/approach to stop seeing themselves as the best or only or superior one. I don't get the competition and animosity between many milieus/scenes and individuals. Its great to debate and have conversations, but generally this isn't the case. Anyway, I am getting off topic.

What is the point of anarchist media? If it is to help spawn new anarchists then I think that its effectiveness is quite limited in that regard. If it is to share the activities of like minded folk, to give us ideas and inspiration, then that can work sometimes too, but then we have to be careful not to create a culture of vicariousness. I am worried that IGD does that.

Ultimately face to face interaction is probably the best approach that we should be encouraging and supporting for spreading ideas and sharing stories of resistance. If we are going to go the media route, then lets do it on a massive scale so that at least we can reach the potential demographic.

You were critiquing and I was trying to clarify what that critique was. Something about how IGD are ``action fetishists`` as opposed to making room for everyone else ... which isn`t the case in my experience at all, its just the focus of the zine-website.

I am glad to hear that IGD are more complex and open minded than I thought or than the impression their website gave me. I have never met any of them.

Yeah, they`re just trying to spread the threat of a good example with an emphasis on autonomous action

Retreat! This is exactly what I'm talking about. It's impossible for anarchists to create widespread rebellion? The entire anarchist history has been one of people agitating and organizing to do just that. Sometimes with more success than others, but if that isn't what you're working towards, then wtf is your end game? A nice little semi bourgeois life for yourself to create your art? I'm not saying that direct action is the only thing anarchists should be doing but if it's not a focal point of your praxis, then you're more of a naval gazing hipster with some anarchist ideas than an actual anarchist. I would be much more interested in hearing about these supposed acts of resistance taking place, but for some reason it's better for them to remain a secret? Maybe because they're hypothetical?

Withdrawing isn't retreating. Its an essential aspect of attacking.

I don't think I said "impossible". But extremely highly unlikely. If creating widespread rebellion was as simple as committed comrades with a good plan then what explains the failed history of the last century and a half of millions of anarchists? Widespread rebellion is like a natural phenomena-a wild storm whose causes are so varied and complex as to make it impossible to pinpoint one 'cause'. You are completely deluded and lack a sense of history if you think that anarchists can 'create widespread rebellion'. We can participate in it, we can agitate for it, we can dream about it, but we can't create it.

And gee, I don't know if its a generational thing or internet culture, but is inflammatory language and hyperbole always par for the course now in any interaction? In ten sentences you squeezed in more insults and insinuations than a drunken basement dweller. How about ideas or exchanges?

And no the acts of resistance that I referenced are not 'supposed'. Do you really think that every time the comrades fight against developers, help out at indigenous re-occupation camps, attack a corporate gathering, fight in the streets against police brutality, smash various symbols and equipment, reclaim public space, spray graffiti, organize for or against an institution or person, and on and on and on...that they write a communique?

As to who is "an actual anarchist", I have to say that you sound more like an activist or leftist than an anarchist to me but I wouldn't say that you aren't an anarchist. To my mind true anarchists are always learning and growing. In 5 years you'll have shed tons of your ideas and outlooks and be a new person, who will look back on the person you are today and say : " Wow! Was I ever confused. I had so much wrong." But you will still be an anarchist.

``I don't know if its a generational thing or internet culture, but is inflammatory language and hyperbole always par for the course now in any interaction?``

It`s both and yes, par for the course. I call it the can`t-get-punched-in-the-face phenomenon.

And why exactly would now be a strategic time for withdrawal? There is so much momentum that would lend itself to anarchist intervention right now, and the ground is being ceded to leftists, because to try to do anything is just 'activism.' Much more useful to endlessly pontificate on anarchism than to try to manifest it. No matter what little piece of pretend autonomy you carve out for yourself, it's illusory as long as the State exists and can take it from you at will. If your work hasn't been the target of repression, it's probably because it doesn't pose any kind of significant threat. As to how rebellion develops, it certainly isn't cut and dry. A certain zeitgeist has to lend itself to the successful intervention of anarchists. This moment in time is one that's being squandered. Not to shit on anarchist media, but when it becomes more visible than anarchist action, there's a problem. Anarchism isn't an opinion to hold, without advancing the attack on capitalists and the state, personal beliefs hold little weight. In any event, as with most online interactions, this isn't so much an attempt at conversation as it is a cathartic lashing out at enemies real and imagined. You, dear anonymous commenter, are easy to project so many frustrations on to. My apologies, perhaps you aren't the conservative anarcho-careerist shit bag that I've imagined you to be.

I think that you aren't reading my comments but rather just cherry picking half sentences here and there so you can have a caricature to vent against and project your frustrations on.

Nowhere did I say that anarchists should retreat. Nowhere did I say that the most sensible thing for anarchists to do today is to withdraw. I was trying to make a distinction, a nuanced point, between withdrawal and retreating. For some communities, for some individuals, for some groups of friends, there are times when it is best to withdraw-to regroup, to heal, to train, to study, to have fun, to make new plans, to build arsenals, to hide, to create covert camps, etc. In this sense withdrawal isn't the opposite of attacking, it is an aspect of attacking.

There is plenty of activity that isn't leftism-I listed several examples. At the same time it is largely because anarchists were soft on leftism that what could have been great successes in the past were hijacked and turned into failures. So it does make sense to keep an eye on leftist attitudes-including activism-so that we don't get hijacked again.

I don't agree that it is as simple as 'all autonomy is illusory'. There are moments of genuine freedom. There are places where the enemy is weaker. Sure civilization occupies every inch-but from the middle of riots, to a night of love making in a squat, to getting away with crimes, to hiking deep in the wilderness, to playing music with friends, playing with children, there are degrees of autonomy and hints of freedom waiting to be experienced. I'm not even sure what real autonomy would look like. Green anarchists and anti-civ anarchists make compelling arguments that even if the state was destroyed and capitalism abolished, that there would still be room for all sorts of dystopias-anarcho syndicalism for one. I agree that from one point of view all we can do is create little bubbles-(liberal, naive, hippie, or whatever). But from another we might call them oases. Places to recover and heal and experience intimacy and some degree of freedom.

Well I am a dirt poor person without a career or university degree, who has been an anarchist since 1979-80.

You mention successful intervention of anarchists. Are you talking about interventions in popular uprisings? Or...?

"People rely on Causes because they haven't been able to make their own life a Cause sufficient unto itself." still has much validity. Its about balancing for me. No sacrifice (pain, risk, etc.) will keep us at a standstill, but too much sacrifice is leftism.

Learning, training, hiding and regrouping are all important parts of a revolution. They are not, however, an "attack" in any sense of the word. OP may have been harsh, but he wasn't wrong - there's a real problem these days with flowery/incendiary language being used to describe anything and everything but actual insurrection, which at the end of the day really just amounts to aesthetics which, btw, a certain trendy youth subculture (which shall remain nameless) has proven extremely effective at recuperating.

I'm not against freedom in any of it's forms - hiking, lovemaking, playing with the resulting children, etc. They're fun, they're rewarding, and fundamentally they're the kind of thing we're fighting for. The problem comes when people want to conflate fighting for freedom and freedom itself, which quickly becomes a recipe for rationalizing self-indulgence and inaction. All sorts of random crap sounds revolutionary when you constantly contextualize them within the framework of a broader struggle for freedom, and that's at least as true of lifestylist bullshit as the "leftism" and "activism" you're so critical of.

The real issue, and the one which most people (other than a few angry trolls) have been avoiding is the lurking authoritarianism within a lot of this rhetoric. Between work and various struggles I've met/known a good chunk of the rich/powerful/influential assholes who run my city, and what's really striking is how similar their worldview is to many contemporary "anarchists". If I were to describe their stranglehold on power in one word, it wouldn't be "violence" or "bureaucracy", it would be "friendship". All the important deals, decisions and alliances happen outside of "work" through a network of informal personal relationships (parties, etc). Their ultimate goals? To achieve (personal) "independence" from wage slavery and to change/better the world/city/community. Unsurprisingly, many of these people started out as alleged allies and comrades, and even originally framed their projects in anarchistic terms, especially the young up-and-coming set who specialize in gentrificiation. And yes, a good chunk of this involves various kinds of establishment leftists, but at least as much involves a nihilistic/individualistic rejection of (typical early-twenties middle-class) radicalism in favour of the pursuit of personal liberties (like a private jet, which enables a lot of "freedom"). It's the oldest fucking cliche in the book.

People with an aesthetic awareness of existence are way above the activist creed.

Sounds like the social mobility needed to sustain the system. I don't know what's individual liberty about this though. Maybe if one removes context in a randian way.

With a private jet, one must rely on all sorts of people's services. There's storage, maintenance, pilots, fuel, etc... There's the exhaust shaping conditions for various life forms in ways that can't really be measured. Likewise with the factories, and extraction sites needed to make the planes in the first place.

Sounds like a world heavily reliant on people staying in their assigned positions, and one heavily reliant on other people (putting one's life in their hands). I don't understand what makes this individual pursuit.

Then again, freewill is a theological fiction...

Ok thanks. You are more mature and interesting than the other frustrated and insulting person.( " Playing with the resulting children" cracked me up btw.) Lets get right down to something. What specific types of activities/actions would you like to see anarchists engaged in?

You mention avoiding insurrection. So how does your ideal anarchist act in relation to the desire for insurrection?

Withdrawing is in may senses attacking. When the Chiapas people withdrew for years to train before they came out on that New Years day guns ablazing, that whole time of training and studying and planning was part of the attack. No?

Every North American anarchist seems to be pointing at every other NA anarchist and yelling: " Its your fault nothing is happening here. You're not doing anything! You're just putting out a zine or starting a liberal hippy intentional community or writing to leftist prisoners or smashing a few windows at night and exaggerating its importance or sitting in your comfortable armchair studying radical theory or getting drunk in your squat or volunteering in your info shop or playing banjo in your stupid rail car or..."

But are any of those anarchists actually opposed to insurrection? Why do we assume that? How do we/can we collectivize our agency? If anarchists could do that, considering our limited numbers in most places, what sorts of things besides coops and anti-police brutality marches can we accomplish?

whose own life is a cause sufficient unto itself? what of the neighborhood for our children's future? humane evolution is greater than one's own life, and none is excluded from the process. egoist reactionaries will always feel threatened by our awkward tomfoolery, hence the endless pejoratives…the cause is here, now but, the chaos don't ever stop so, we got to keep on it.

The state is the illusion. The concrete relationships you carve out in time are all that matter. Registered danger to the state has no bearing whatsoever on whether there is good anarchic relationships going on. Isis is a registered danger and target of the state, means nothing.

Then again you want messianic anarchism, some of us know that anarchy is a reality at all times and places when the right temporal relations are in place. Anarchy will always be now.

right, we can have our little anarchy now, even under the heel of the police, as long as we stay indoors (!) and don't break the law!!!!

That's not what was said.

So, every moment of your life comes with an authority breathing down your neck? Everything you do? Every decision? Every moment is not policed or presided over. Not even in prison.

Some folks love their mental cages, and rationalizing their own powerlessness.

Most people act, speak without an authority presiding over them every single day. We're already halfway there.

There are real limits to control...

But the stupid proles haven't learnt to call the authoritarian's bluff!

The day they realize their sheer might by numbers as well as the power of belief, behavior and correspondence alone.

Yes, people have mental cages, but there are also physical prison cells and some of us have/have had managers breathing down our necks at work. There are real limits to control, but there are also assholes just looking for any opportunity to break those limits.

Of a baseline belief in discipline and punishment that is a long standing monkey behavior among this species. As Stirner would say, it's the people who believe in and legitimize the prisons and police that are the worse of the variables. I work with one or two neck breathing managers also, much as I hate them, I know where they come from down to the corresponding language and belief. It is that that has to be eroded.

Proles are a pitiable species, while I do not put disproportionate blame on them, there are a lot of little things they could do to at least begin to put a stop to this reality.

breathing down your neck right now?

Is there any chance you will ever realize the difference between that stupid little solipsist argument of yours and what the grown-ups are talking about?

Given that 'grown-ups' are just over grown children who repeat their conditions that doesn't mean much. Solipsism(which I don't quite advocate) makes much more sense for anarchic orientation then your silly agitpro rituals which will never generally affect anything.

It's not even a question of advocating a viewpoint ... although an egoist WOULD say that. The point is you can't see a fucking thing beyond the end of your own nose. That's why you can't relate to those of us actually interacting with the external world ...

It's how you are doing it that is the issue.

Agreed. And doing stuff in this case means slinging straw men, as if that's somehow effective.

Yeah but nothing compared to the ultimate power of pedantically condescending on everyone with big ridiculous words that sounds like taken from a Jane Austin novel.

These comments started with me dismissing the idea that anarchy and autonomy needs to be surrounded by a general state of statelessness as well as pointing out what the actual illusion is.

I for one am happy to see that LBC has now made a book about this beloved website of ours.

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