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Anarchy Bang: Introducing Episode 37 – Criticism/Self-Criticism

From Anarchy Bang

This week we are going to talk about a hypothetical topic of criticism and how it lives in the world as a political phenomenon. On the one hand we have the ideal way in which we should learn from our mistakes and on the other we have a toxic political phenomenon that descends from Maoism. How do we navigate the facts and need of intelligent, sensitive criticism in our work while also recognizing that many of the same people who are those we need to do criticism with are also the people who are likely to hurt, harm, or destroy us.

Pioneers of anarchism: Varlam Cherkezishvili (Tcherkesoff)

From Freedom Press UK

Lesser-known of two “anarchist princes” exiled to London in the 1890s (the other being Peter Kropotkin), Cherkezishvili (Warlaam Tcherkesoff in the Russian manner) was an influence on British and wider European movements up to the beginning of the First World War.

How we invaded Cuba

On 26 August 1963 at 1.30 pm, “more than a dozen” anarchists assembled outside the Cuban Embassy building in London, walked though the unlocked front door, and upstairs through the unlocked doors into the Embassy itself. A surprisingly hostile column in the next Peace News said they “marched arrogantly”. Far from it. The invasion was celebrated in Freedom as a demonstration of the movement’s ability to keep secrets, but there were no plans for further action, because everyone expected they would be locked out.

Tales of the Jewish Working Class: Anarchism and the Multicultural Joys of New York

Sometime in the middle 1970s I found myself at one of the congenial meetings of the old-time anarchists—they ran a lecture series under the rubric of the Libertarian Book Club, their traditional organization—where the name of Eleanor Roosevelt happened to be mentioned. And I was taken aback to see a room crowded with elderly Jewish ladies who read the Freie Arbeiter Stimme or helped put it out, together with possibly a white-haired Italian ex-terrorist or two, or maybe a grizzled veteran of the St. Petersburg uprisings of 1917, and a number of tough-guy harbor Wobblies and I don’t know who else, burst into spontaneous applause. Eleanor Roosevelt, hooray! Such was the spirit of working-class anarchism in New York, among its hard-bitten surviving militants, in their retirement days. Well, not all of them, but enough to make a resounding applause.

Tales of the Jewish Working Class: Crackup and Transformation of the Jewish Left

There was something sweet tempered about those people, the Jewish labor anarchists of the 1920s and ’30s. You can see it in Pesotta’s autobiography—in her account of her young girl’s life in the Ukraine, and her old-school father and the danger of an arranged marriage (which, as much as czarism and the pogroms, led her to flee to America). That is what Stolberg, the journalist, saw in Morris Sigman, the non-hard-boiled union strongman. But there was no reason why sweetness and ferocity couldn’t go together. I wonder if, in the Jewish labor movement, anybody was tougher than the anarchists. Anyway, in their sweet-tempered way, they racked up some very fine achievements over the next years.

Tales of the Jewish Working Class: The Ancient Dream of the Jewish Left

And the Ideal blossomed, as well, among the anarchists, some of them—blossomed in the writings of Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman—blossomed as an inexpressible yearning that was poetic and political at the same time—blossomed into the belief that a life dedicated to the Ideal could be lived, if only as a continual and aesthetically shaped protest against the world, or perhaps as a morbid self-sacrifice. Those were religious notions, very nearly—notions about how, under the buoyant and not necessarily benign guidance of the ethereal Ideal, you should feel and think and what kinds of things you should do.

These Women Provided Illegal Abortions Before Roe v. Wade. Will Activists Have to Go Underground Again?

from democracy now.

As Roe v. Wade faces unprecedented attacks across the country, we look at the history of a radical underground feminist organization called Jane that provided safe abortions for women despite the procedure being illegal. The story begins in 1969, when a group of women in Chicago set up a hotline to offer counseling and provide abortion services to women in need. To reach the underground feminist abortion service, all you had to do was call a phone number and ask for Jane. The group went on to provide at least 11,000 women with abortions before Roe was decided in 1973. In Part 2 of our discussion, we speak with two former members of Jane: Laura Kaplan and Alice Fox. Laura Kaplan is the author of “The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.”

Publication - Anarchism and eugenics: An unlikely convergence, 1890-1940

To announce the publication of the 14th monograph in the Contemporary Anarchist Studies book series, Richard Cleminson's Anarchism and eugenics: An unlikely convergence, 1890-1940, the book description follows:

Anarchism and Socialism in Puerto Rico

From From Below Podcast

Interview and discussion with historian Jorell Meléndez-Badillo on the history of anarchism and socialism in Puerto Rico covering the early 20th century, the rise of urban and rural workers movement, feminism and figures such as Luisa Capetillo, the rise of the nationalist movement and discussion of contemporary activism since the impact of Hurricane Maria. Hosts Markie and Pedro relate the discussion to themes of historical memory, woman in the Sandinista revolution and more.

Jorell Meléndez-Badillo is a historian and assistant professor at Dartmouth College focusing on the global circulation of radical ideas from the standpoint of working-class intellectual communities in the Caribbean and Latin America. He is the author of “Voces libertarias: Orígenes del anarquismo en Puerto Rico.” (PDF version)

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