Beautiful Nihilists, Pretty Anarchists, Red Virgins and Others
The newest addition to the Libertarian Labyrinth archive is The Beautiful Nihilist: Representations of Revolutionary Women. The project is to gather material from the popular press depicting radical and particularly militant women, in all its sensationalist and often exploitative glory. The articles and tales collected here document a familiar fascination with a political variety of femme fatale, often with a great deal of emphasis on the sexual desirability and social status of the women portrayed in presumably “unwomanly” acts of violence. At the same time, however, the tabloid presentation often allows important bits of history and biography to show through. Indeed, in many cases, this spectacular journalism is all that we have to document the lives of women who were on the front lines of the most militant sorts of struggles.
After a bit of a break, I’m continuing with the installments from the “Anarchist Current,” the Afterword to Volume Three of my anthology of anarchist writings from ancient China to the present day, Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. This section discusses different anarchist approaches to economic organization.
When mass civil protests in Russia were defeated in 2011-12 the Putinist police regime started open political repressions against militants of social and political movements, including anarchists and antifascists. Many have been sentenced to prison terms in the course of the last 5 years in Russia.
In 2008, a small rebellion began in Olympia, the capitol of the state of Washington. While the global economy collapsed into a recession, numerous people began to smash banks, fight the police, and spread new ideas in their little corner of the world.
Like the current moment, 2008 was an election year in the United States, a time when the Democrats and the Republicans were planning their conventions and trying to take the White House. The entire country was in shock, unable to comprehend the magnitude of the financial crisis and those responsible for it. And soon enough they would all have a new iPhone to take away their pain.
There haven't been many new people around our circles lately. Perhaps this is due to living in a big City and not because of some structural flaw but I've heard the same issue exists in most places in North America. I've heard that since Occupy there has not been a fresh crop of fresh faced anarchists turning up to replenish the ranks who left radical politics after 2011. Is this true where you live?