Backwoods 3: Call for submissions

Backwoods, volume 3 - call for submissions

It has been our great pleasure to renew and recreate Backwoods as a new editorial team, after unexpected life circumstances unrelated to the project caused two among the first group of editors to leave the journal one at a time after the first two issues. The new group has made a joint decision to release larger (150 - 250-page) volumes on an irregular schedule, whenever we have a suite of content with which we are happy.

First, what is Backwoods? - a journal which aims to bring together the unfortunately often distinct tendencies of anarchism and permaculture. We see permaculture as offering a manner of meeting one's own needs – a form of direct action which allows for the autonomy fundamental to anarchism. We need a way forward that involves ecological harmony, decentralization, hyperlocalism, and a cultivation of relationships with plants and wider ecologies that are enlivening rather than dissociative - and permaculture offers a path towards these ends. At the same time, if permaculture is to manifest as something other than a means to reform the monstrous industrial agriculture system or a marketing term for boutique consumers, it must wed itself to the ethics and vision of anarchism. By creating this new platform for discourse, critique, exchange and honing of ideas, and the upwelling of new questions, we hope to bring forth new ideas, techniques of self-reliance, and a melding of critique with practice that inspires action through discovering new ways to be free even within the clutches of Leviathan, our world-eating, authoritarian, industrial society.

We have decided, going forward, to make issues themed, though with multidimensional topics that can be interpreted or engaged with in a variety of ways. For this volume, we are exploring 'New Discourses on Voluntary Servitude.' Any serious political radical must consider, and revisit, the question of how and why the many are so consistently, and sometimes seemingly irrevocably, dominated by the few. Most people, in small and large ways, act against their own interests in order to benefit their ruling power elite who tend to treat them with disinterest at best, and often with open contempt or even predation. While every state in history has relied on the use and threat of force, including truly horrific forms of force, the fact remains that every state ultimately depends on a high level of compliance - be it enthusiastic, reluctant but resigned, or bamboozled - from its host population. At the same time, every ruling elite wishing to stay in power must neutralize and recuperate rebellious elements by misdirecting them or appealing to their dominating instincts to make them share in, rather than abolish, the dominator hierarchies.

One of the earliest modern treatments of this problem was Étienne la Boétie, who wrote Discourse on Voluntary Servitude in the mid-16th century to explore his frustration with what he saw as widespread passive resignation to parasitic domination. His provocative essay has inspired a number of responses and engagements over the years from other radical thinkers, and we at Backwoods are interested in revisiting the question of whether, to what extent, how, and why ‘the Everyperson’ (however construed) puts up with, fails to resist, or even welcomes their diverse subjections. Why are radicals a perennial minority? Can this situation be changed? What are the implications, as radicals, of our answers to these questions? How has the state-building project cut away at bonds with ecology and place that have fostered autonomy? How can reclaiming self-reliance provide answers to these questions, or is self-reliance not enough?

We welcome your thoughts on these questions, which might be essays, speculative questioning, stories of servitude or its unraveling, practical lines of flight and routes to liberation, and so on. Some topics already slated to be covered are:

- A surrealist account of servitude as the domination of the imaginary
- Voluntary servitude as a default source of meaning in the face of spiritual alienation
- Recuperation of anarchist resistance
- A blueprint for a practical, homestead-scale, self-sufficient forest garden diet as possible escape from servitude
= An examination of Ernst Jünger's ambiguous figure of the "anarch," the protagonist of his post-apocalyptic novel Eumeswil

Essays and articles unrelated to the theme of the puzzle of voluntary servitude will still be considered for publication, but will be weighted relatively lower. Letters to the editor, reviews, and review essays may be of any topic within the Backwoods purview without weighting.

You may reach us at backwoodsjournal at protonmail dot com.

We look forward to hearing from you,
The Editors

There are 22 Comments

You can read Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, by Étienne la Boétie at the Anarchist Library.

As well as Voluntary Servitude Reconsidered: Radical Politics and the Problem of Self-Domination, by Saul Newman, and various articles from previous issues of Backwoods.

You may find more texts on these topics and much more at the Anarchist Library, as well as printed books, journals, pamphlets and more of interest to anarchists available at Little Black Cart

I have a 15,000 word essay on the differences between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's conception of liberty that would be perfect for you!

Of course since we gotta appeal to our recently added Proud Boys fan base of a few thousands, such essay might come in handy.

Save Muh-muh-muhrika from ANTIFA commies.

Ecosociable proposition in verses. Pentru Terra-Horti-Sofia, gândire comună și specială. Un micro.memo(randum) ecosociabil./Pour Terra-Horti-Sophie, pensée commune et spéciale. Un micro.memo(randum) écosociable/ For Terra-Horti-Sophy, a common and special thought

La aniversarea lui Vincent-du-Coeur Van Gogh, 30 martie 1853.

Să amintim, Pacea și Rațiunea sunt

Fundamentele Fericirii bune.

Ca oameni-zei, învățând, îmblânzind,

Cu Orfeu și Epicur în blândețe viețuind,

S-aducem Terrei întâi Pază, nu ”sume”.

Să facem Rai, nu Iad în Lume.

Terra-Horti-Sofia fie gând comun.

Rappelons, Paix et Raison sont

Les fondements de la bonne Raison.

Comme humains-dieux, apprenant, domptant,

Avec Orphée et Epicure en gentillesse vivant,

Apportons à la Terre d’abord Garde, non «montants».

Faisons Paradis, non Enfer dans le Monde.

Terra-Horti-Sophie soit pensée commune.

Remember, Peace and Reason are

The foundaments of Good Happiness.

As humans-gods, learning, taming,

With Orpheus and Epicurus in meekness living,

Let us bring to Earth first Guard, not “sums”,

Make Paradise, not Hell in the World.

Terra-Horti-Sophy be common thought.

*memorandum=a more ideomaterialist (imaterialist, or not excessively materialist) alternative to manifesto, which in Latin means etymologically caught/indicated by the hand, or revealed.

title completion: ... An ecosociable micro.memo(randum)

"At the same time, if permaculture is to manifest as something other than a means to reform the monstrous industrial agriculture system or a marketing term for boutique consumers, it must wed itself to the ethics and vision of anarchism."

am i the only one that sees that as the epitomy of reification?



I see it as a loose statement about rejecting reformism and greenwashing - pretty standard stuff.

seriously? did the earlier two editors leave because they didnt want to be involved in fascistic drivel? gonna pan-secede into evola worship next issue?

Let's try putting two and two together - the theme is on "voluntary servitude" and one of the essays is on Junger's "anarch"...possibly the review is, I don't know, a critique of the "anarch" concept as "voluntary servitude?" Nah, don't think about it too much - you got 'im, brave keyboard warrior.

Nice try, bro. Jünger is irrevocably tainted and nothing of value (positive or negative) can be gleaned from his fascist bullshit. Backwoods and Bellamy -- and any other fool who contributes -- have put themselves beyond the pale. Voluntarily. Let them go the way of ITS

Wow, I was thinking about contributing an essay, but then I learned:

Reading people with bad ideas = bad, because it's "irrevocably tainted." In fact, you'll spend hours in the shower trying to wash that taint off.

Criticizing people with bad ideas = even worse!

Contributing unrelated articles to journals run by people who have read about bad things and criticized them = Are you stupid? Don't even think about it!

I hear you. I am listening. I will do better.

Post Storm of Steel and pre Catholic conversion, there was a window of perception when he wrote Waldgänger, or Forest Fleer an analysis of the superman free of State and cultural constitution. Death of the author and all that, this brief period is worth consideration by keen individualists, rewilders and dropouts looking for their own sovereignty in a world dominated by authority.

Reading Jünger saved me from becoming a smug whining leftist liberal bureaucrat protesting for better working conditions for sweatshop workers in ghettos!

It's not surprising that Bellamy would want to publish (or write?) something on Eumeswil because it is heavily based on Stirner's ideas. Jünger is a flawed person with dangerous ideas, just like Nietzsche, Marx, Foucault, and many other people anarchists draw from. Stop stirring up pointless controversy. Bellamy's permutations over the past several years are pretty standard fare individualist anarchist stuff that can only be weird and scary for Reds who don't know a lot of anarchist history. Bellamy is basically pushing a new wave bolo'bolo/drop out idea with some green anarchist/spiritual additions and modifications. I don't think it will 'work' any more than similar ideas from the past (sorry Bellamy, but it's true), but it's a recurring anarchist and utopian socialist idea that's totally within the normal oeuvre of anarchist history and is certainly not "fascism," the most abused word of the decade.

Oh, so we're not allowed to drop out of the indùstrial authoritarian society as individuals because it lacks integrity to a collective anarchist ethos? It is you who is flawed and needs adjustment.

wow troll ... your reading comprehension is deliberately bad or your brain is busted.

Don't think the "drop out" thing is supposed to work or not work as a prefigurative thing, it just might work for some people with the necessary resources and disposition for it. If people want to avoid as much crap as possible by carving out a slice of the woods, that makes as much sense as anything else.

to be an anti-civ counseler, i kinda wanted to do the same a normal job, make enough money to pay the bills while doing it, and help people explore their issues. Yet, that's the problem: how is a psych patient going to be satisfied with a relationship that charges only them $100+ dollars an hour? Therapists over all have trouble being anything other than condescending and bureacratic. Really, i just made the conclusion that all I needed to do is learn to be a non-professional therapist to myself and other people when i can, because the other route just leads to all this recuperation of civ's delusions...maybe BF can learn to do it for free through the welfare mechanisms of the state, or do it a lot cheaper than average (which is probably more in line with his ideas)? I don't know.


I read your comment back when you posted it, and I feel inspired to share an idea Ive been sitting on for myself which might also interest you. It requires land ... so perhaps all this talk about the inner world and when I think about BF, I think about land-projects.

Sorry, I am so tired ... just bare with me.

At the 22:21 mark. "Conservation Burial"

The land becomes hallowed ground! Legally - USA sanctioned ... which means shit but maybe for a bit.

I know all this is not the most anarchist thing to propose ... just bury your dead illegally! Frame an enemy with my bones!

But money is useful and, like I said, Im personally attracted to death-work. (I think I just coined that term.)

So perhaps we could nerd-out about it together.

"Death-work and Conservation Burials"

i personally want to be put directly into the ground once i'm dead. This all works out great if you have good friends, otherwise the state might try to say you're a murderer for the "improper disposal of a corpse"...

I use to say, "Funerals are for the living."

But that seems a bit harsh to me lately.

I might want to be buried in a basket.

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