review

It Could Happen Here: A Review

Anarchy-ish: comfortably relegated to the realm of the hypothetical, the reassuring plausible deniability of speculative fiction, with a cast of do-gooders to assuage liberal listeners.

from Anathema

While only charlatans confidently predict what will happen, it's always interesting to explore what could happen. This is especially true if the coulds being explored are pertinent to the unfolding of struggles against the State and Capital. In the past couple of years, the podcaster Robert Evans has become known for this kind of exploration in his popular podcast It Could Happen Here. Podcasts, especially non-anarchist podcasts, do not normally get much attention in anarchist newspapers like Anathema. A review of Evans's podcast could seem out of place in these pages.

Critical Theory in Ursula Le Guin’s Always Coming Home

home is where the anarchy is! <3

From Notes toward an International Libertarian Eco-Socialism

These are my comments, presented on October 9, 2021, at the Ninth Biennial International Herbert Marcuse conference, on the panel “Ecology and Revolution.” My co-panelists were Thais Gobo, Sergio Bedoya Cortés, and Dan Fischer.

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

from the nation.com by David Graeber and David Wengrow, review by Daniel Immerwahr

Protest speaks a language of forceful insistence. “Defund the police,” “Build the wall”—the unyielding demands go back to Moses’ “Let my people go.” So it was curious when the July 2011 issue of the Vancouver-based magazine Adbusters ran a cryptic call to arms: a ballerina posing atop the famous Charging Bull statue on Wall Street, with the question “What is our one demand?” printed above her in red. The question wasn’t answered; readers were only told, “#OccupyWallStreet. September 17th. Bring tent.”

Review: The Operating System by Eric Laursen

"The Operating System: An Anarchist Analysis of the State" (2021) by Eric Laursen VS "The Desktop Regulatory State: The Countervailing Power of Individuals and Networks" (2016) by Kevin Carson

from Center for a Stateless Society

by Kevin Carson

Laursen is wrong, in my opinion, to define statism in entirely qualitative rather than quantitative terms, and to posit such a low threshold of engagement with the state (anything that “occupies cracks and corners within the operating system,” or relies on “infrastructure of roads, airports, housing, postal systems,” etc.) as sufficient for defining it as a component of the state.

Dancing & Digging by Seaweed/Shaun Woods – a review

Not so much a review, but a blurb...but hey, slow week.

from Eco Revolt by Julian Langer

Seaweed affirms that “(f)ree wanderers spread anarchy”; that “(a) cluster of free wanderers is anarchy”; that “(n)ature is the marvelous that the surrealist seeks”; and that “(l)aughter is a formidable philosophical position”. Seaweed also reminded me that “(t)he tragedy of civilization is that self-creation is absent”; that “(i)ndividual refusal is the most urgent move”; and that “(d)iversity makes life interesting, technology erases difference” – all resonating intensely with my individualist-eco-anarchist perspective!

Review of Laursen's new book on anarchism and the state

"The operating metaphor: a clickbait title for what passes for theory"

from Anarkismo by Wayne Price

His overriding metaphor of the state is as a master operating system. Whatever its advantages in showing society as dynamic and interacting, it leads to underestimating the internal conflicts within the society, such as between capitalists and the state. Particularly, it leads to downplaying the class conflict within capitalism. The book is also weak in considering what an alternate social system might be like.

When We Are Human, by John Zerzan – a review

WWJZD? i ask myself as i go about my day

From Eco-revolt by Julian Langer

When I found that a copy of Zerzan’s new book, When We Are Human, had reached me I was immediately excited and keen to read. I am continually moved by Zerzan’s thought and writings, despite many points of difference in perspective or approach. It was largely a desire to encounter these differences that motivated me to email John and ask him to send me a copy of the book, to review. As I encountered these points of difference in perspective I was mostly very glad to experience them, because they affirmed my experience of John Zerzan as someone who is not me and someone I can appreciate for being-them and the thought being-theirs – there is one point of the text, which I go into more detail on in a more critical section of this review, that, I will share at this point, did offend me and is in my eyes the worst thing I’ve ever read by Zerzan; but I will state that much of this text is some of the best and most beautiful writings by Zerzan. 

Eric Laursen Owes Me a Lamp

from It's Going Down

Eric Laursen Owes Me a Lamp: Some Reactions to ‘The Operating System: An Anarchist Theory of the Modern State’

In the meantime, I’d love it if he reimbursed me for the lamp he made me break, or better yet throw that amount of money (it was $14.99 plus tax) onto the commissary fund of one of the hundreds of real people who will get real time for doing some beautiful real shit that really did happen.

Review: Anarchism in North East England 1882 – 1992

Review: Anarchism in North East England 1882 – 1992

From Freedom News UK

by Tyneside Anarchist Archive

This impressive and comprehensive contribution caps a canny few years of the careful development of the Tyneside Anarchist Archive. This phenomenon started life as bundles of leaflets and zines from the 1980s boxed in the founder’s bedroom, and subsequently – inspired by examples such as the Kate Sharpley Library in London as well as Newcastle’s Canny Little Library – has grown into an important and extensive collection of material not only from Tyneside and North East England but also books, journals and magazines representing much of the history and records of the activities of anarchists and fellow-travellers across the UK and further afield. But it is the local and regional texture which sparkles in this volume, written with the intention of providing a ‘history from below’ to match the corresponding libertarian principles of organisation.

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April's Anarchist Zines & Pamphlets

"Go print some press boy, we've got wood to chop!" - John Zerzan

From Sprout Distro

The following zines were published in the broad anarchist space over the past month. We encourage folks to read, discuss, debate, and circulate the zines they find relevant. We have heard of folks using these round-ups as a way of staying informed, as the basis for sending mailings to prisons, and for reading groups.

Note: It has been a while since we have done one of these, but we will be publishing these monthly again. If you have suggestions for zines to include, please contact us.

Who The Hell Is Jack London?

call of the wild, awooo

From The Transmetropolitan Review

Who the hell is Jack London? That’s a complicated question. If you superficially glance through the Google Search results for Jack London, it’s easy enough to find out that he was a socialist. If you dig a little bit deeper, you’ll see he also wrote horribly racist things about indigenous, Greek, Mexican, and Asian people. If you dig even deeper, you’ll see that Jack London was an especially virulent anti-Asian racist. So why did Alexander Berkman personally ask Jack London to write the introduction to his Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist? Like I said, it’s complicated.

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