“The history of people who have a history is, we are told, the history of class struggle. The history of people without a history is, we might say with at least as much truth, the history of their struggle against the state.” Pierre Clastres,
La société contre l’État, 1974.
The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, James C. Scott, Yale University Press, 2009 – 442 pages
Whole societies without a State have existed until recently in Zomia, the vast mountainous region of south-east Asia which is far from the urban centers and significant economic activity.
This zone is also situated between eight nation-states, where several cosmologies and religious traditio... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) [ed. – The following was presented and followed by a discussion at the 2015 East Bay Anarchist Book & Conversation Event in Oakland, U.S.A. One of the central prompts was; “Can there be an anarchism that lives outside the box of the human social project?” The recommended conversation which followed this reading can be found in the original audio, later released by the project Free Radical Radio (now on hiatus). Any mistakes or omissions in the transcription, we take responsibility for.]
In his profound work, Nature and Madness, human ecologist Paul Shepard offers what he feels to be the culmination of his life's work. An interdisciplinary, comprehensive exploration of the 20-year psychogenesis of the human animal, the... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) As an anarchist my feelings are not of detachment, I don't think with the politics that I have that I can easily divorce them from the personal, our emotional make-ups are going to be different depending on our life experiences, we may share some goals but carry different baggage, so how we go forward & jump hurdles in life will differ so it would be easier if politically close friends would find the patience to see that maybe we can't all be one happy family – some of us never had the faith, the social skill set in the first place to ever believe the tribe was the best team-spirit & all that!
Where we feel most alive is on the edge of anarchism, the edge of society, in the margins, lonely but true.
I'm not in any position (... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) This year, Canada is celebrating its 150th year of colonial existence, and Montreal its 375th. Throughout the next year, we’re going to be celebrating the histories of resistance to the colonial project of Canada, by continuing to bring them into our struggles in the present. This is a call for anarchists across the territory of so-called Canada, and everyone fighting against colonial society, to combine our diverse capacities to fight this ongoing nightmare in all the ways that we can.
The project of Canada has been one of ongoing genocide against indigenous people through various forms, from the intentional spreading of small pox to the conditions that create staggering numbers of missing and murdered indigenous women and men. Cana... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
Throughout the year 1992, the various states which have profited from the colonization of the Americas will be conducting lavish celebrations of the “Discovery of the Americas”. Spain has spent billion of dollars for celebrations in conjunction with Expo ‘92 in Seville. In Columbus, Ohio, a $100 million quincentennial celebration plans on entertaining several million tourists. CELAM, the association of South America’s Catholic bishops, has organized a gathering to celebrate the “fifth centenary of the evangelization of the Americas” to be presided over by the Pope. As well, there is a wide selection of museum exhibits, films, TV shows, books and many other products and activities focusing ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchism was been a widespread political belief worldwide since the industrial revolution in Europe.
In East Asia we had histories of anarchist uprisings and anarchist movements that radically developed the political conciousness of the common people in Japan, China and Korea.
The Shanghai Commune was organized by Chinese anarchists before Mao Tse Tung came into power, while the Korean Anarchists formed a cooperative commune in some parts of the Manchurian area as their answer against the Japanese occupation. Japanese anarchists are one among the collaborator of this succesful cooperative of workers and peasants in Korea. they organized it while they fled from the Japanese Authorities who commanded to arrest and kill all anarchists in to... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) No sooner had the echo of the explosion in Arkhangelsk died down, when a friendly chorus came from all angles, in which the voices of Stalinists, socialists, part of anarchists and simply leftists intertwined.
Everybody rushed to blame Michail as they fear that they will be repressed because of him. Also they try to make themselves look white and fluffy, declaring that:
“individual terrorist acts have nothing similar with the ideology of anarchism...”
“The tactics of the communists at the present stage remains the same: the study of Marxism-Leninism, comprehensive class agitation and propaganda, association with like-minded people, the struggle against opportunism and revisionism. There is no other way, only the org... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On the 2nd of April, prisoners destroyed the new isolation unit in the prison of Brugge (Belgium). This new isolation unit was opened almost ten months ago and apparently didn’t reach it’s objective to break the spirit of rebellion among certain prisoners. The riot and destructions obliged the prison directories to close the new unit down.
Nothing is over, everything continues.
The prison is nothing more than a reflection of the society in which we live. A society that resembles a great prison in which the majority of the population are locked up because of the necessity to find money, because of the lack of perspective in life, because of roles of submission and servitude that are being imposed by the ruling values. Just ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) By now the facts are well known. On November 8 2008 a few metal hooks put in the right place uprooted the electric cables of the railway in four different spots, making a mess by blocking 160 high-speed trains. On November 11 police raids carried out in different towns along with a strong media coverage, led to the arrest of ten people who were allegedly responsible for the sabotage. After 96 hours’ questioning, nine of them were charged with ‘criminal association with aims of terrorism’ and five of them were put in jail (three on the basis of ‘having contributed to causing damage’). On December 2 2008, two people were still held in prison, one of them considered the ‘leader’ of the alleged ‘a... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) There has been an uproar, stemming from the logical and important critique of activism, that fears the reemergence of a civil disobedience ethic. On the other side of action, theoretically, sits ITS. The Individualists Tending Towards the Wild (ITS) are individuals who have sent bombs to numerous universities, professors, researchers, as well as journalists and non-profits in the name of wild human nature. ITS has its cut throat communiqués stylized to provoke anger and wrought with strands of logic pulled harshly and quickly together, making arguments that seem pointless to engage with. In its communiqués ITS, though contradictory at times, aims to be another theoretical bullet (as opposed to the actual bombs) against the pla... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A great many philosophers have dedicated considerable amounts of their waking moments wrestling with the problem of nihilism; or more specifically, the problem of overcoming nihilism. Nevertheless, nihilism itself remains a mystery — least of all its consequences for mankind. To be sure, an adequate definition of nihilism is wanting. In the most general sense, nihilism refers to the absence of any objective, universal or intrinsic value. From this, it necessarily follows that our metaphysical beliefs, our moral/ethical values, and even our own existence, are completely and utterly lacking any inherent meaning.
As a direct consequence of nihilism, man is forced to see reality for what it is: a random, irrational, and chaotic existence... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) An attack on the FSB building in Arkhangelsk inevitably caused a storm of discussions in the left and anarchist segment, and even in the latter, the range of opinions changes from complete approval to little restrained skepticism. How to evaluate the act of Mikhail?
First, about choosing a goal. There should be no doubt at all — the comrade chose the best of what was available to him. It may be asked what the Arkhangelsk FSB officers were guilty of, who, it seems, are not involved in the torture of the “Network” case, and in this case, is the attack on them a manifestation of the principle of collective responsibility?
Yes, it is, but the principle of collective responsibility here is the inevitable answer to the princip... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) (Neo)Liberal Arts & Broken Hearts
the empire strikes back...
It was only a matter of time; protest at the contemporary University, and pretty soon the entire state apparatus comes crashing down upon you. At first, it seems absurd — the federal government of the most powerful nation in the world, and the worlds’ largest police force, against a bunch of students. Yet after some thought, this attack begins to make sense. In totalitarianism, there is complete, unmediated control by the totality, by the state and commodity forms. In our society, this complete control still exists, only it is channeled through a complex system of institutions, mediated and obscured by what we might call an interface. In our society, we might c... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Contrary to what is often believed, affinity between comrades does not depend on sympathy or sentiment. To have affinity means to have knowledge of the other, to know how they think on social issues, and how they think they can intervene in the social clash. This deepening of knowledge between comrades is an aspect that is often neglected, impeding effective action.
One of the most difficult problems anarchists have had to face throughout their history is what form of organization to adopt in the struggle.
At the two ends of the spectrum we find on the one hand the individualists who refuse any kind of stable relationship; on the other those who support a permanent organization which acts on a program established at the moment of its ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Several years ago, I worked as an after school program teacher. In the 3-4 hours I spent with kids before their parents arrived, instead of playing outside or relaxing after a long day at school, I helped administer tests, monitored performance, oversaw homework, and handed out worksheets. The school I worked at didn’t have much money; neither did the kids or the people who worked there, and due to low test scores we were threatened with being taken over by the state. Administrators wanted to get these scores up and looked to the after school program to raise performance. The kids of course, had other ideas.
The kids wanted to do anything but be in another 3-4 hours of school. Once, we did an activity where they made posters about ho... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) It is now several months after the conclusion of the Gulf War. The US has staged its victory parade and fallout from the war continues to be felt, not the least by the Iraqi people, the Kurdish and the Palestinians.
Southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq), the Persian Gulf and other areas in the region now contain American troops, ships and aircraft, with a permanent military presence now being put in place. How did this come about, what was the background to the war, and why a war in the Middle East?
Prior to the beginning of the war, Luis Bilbao wrote in the Buenos Aires daily Nuevo Sur,
“In the show of force in the desert, one can now precisely measure abstract concepts that only months ago were nearly out of reach: a breakup of the ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchism in the UK is a joke. Once symbolizing hard-fought struggles for freedom, the word has been stripped bare to make way for narrow-minded, separatist and hateful identity politics by middle class activists keen to protect their own privileges. We write this leaflet to reclaim anarchism from these identity politicians.
We write as self-identified anarchists who see our roots in the political struggles of the past. We are anti-fascists, anti-racists, feminists. We want to see an end to all oppressions and we take an active part in those fights. Our starting point though is not the dense language of lefty liberal academics, but anarchism and its principles: freedom, cooperation, mutual aid, solidarity and equality for all regardless. H... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In the past and present, Asian movements have acted under the ideologies of communism and capitalism. Both have been hailed as means to national liberation: our concern here is that this is neither true liberation nor that nationalism can be terms liberation. The Asian Revolutionary Movement sees that both communism and capitalism are twin faces for civilization. Our concern is that a revolutionary movement that does not attack civilization itself is doomed to fall back into the imperialist trap.
Asia has been split by civilization since it arose nearly 10,000 years ago. Asian civilization has generally been a more gradual pace of development and ‘progress’ whereas western nations have gone ahead full speed as soon as their tec... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Commandos for Christ!
The New Tribes Mission are a right-wing Christian missionary organization, who have spread themselves all over the world. From their modest, though violent, beginnings they have never looked back. NTM’s purpose is to make contact with every ‘uncontacted’ tribe on earth and plant churches in the areas where these tribes live. They use coercion and force, having no regard for the peoples’ cultures and lives they are imposing upon.
They have links with the CIA and various multinationals, helping to maintain their power and growth to some of the most secluded places on earth. They have met with resistance from the tribal people whose wild existence they are on a latter day crusade to eradicate, ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
From one side, our lives are threatened by a new virus; from the other side, our freedom is menaced by nationalists and authoritarians intent on using this opportunity to set new precedents for state intervention and control. If we accept this dichotomy—between life and freedom—we will continue paying the price long after this particular pandemic has passed. In fact, each is bound up in the other, dependent upon the other. In the following report, our comrades in Italy describe the conditions prevailing there, the causes of the escalating crisis, and the ways that the Italian government has taken advantage of the situation to consolidate power in ways that will only exacerbate future crises.
At this point, the s... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Neal: My name’s Neal. I’ve been involved in anarchist stuff for a long while. I was involved in Earth First!, especially around mountaintop removal and the struggle around that for a couple of years when I was living in a different town. And since then, moving here I got involved in different projects and followed the currents that seemed to make sense to engage in at the time. Really I started out with a couple of nights before the rendezvous, having the desire to reflect on why I was going. So I was actually trying to suss out personally why I was there and try and think, well, what has happened in the last seven or eight years since being involved in Earth First! stuff that has pulled me away? Because it seems like that&rsquo... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) From anarchists in Philippines involved in resistance:
Autonomous resistance against eco-destruction and social turmoil carried out by capital needs to develop unbounded and analyzed upon creating a revolutionary plight in reclaiming direct control towards freedom — liberatory space and unconstrained desire and capacity beyond the bondages of imagination to put into action — without compromise. The struggle against domination, the enemy — state, capital and religion acquiring and exploiting the earth landscape as extractable resources manifests the ever-growing contagious outbreak of various oppositional elements and social conventions concealed within the legal framework and morality of lobbying, servitude and pacifi... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Against the Quarantine of Passions, the Social Epidemic
In these days a new nightmare is spreading: the contagion from the so-called Coronavirus. Ten villages in the Lodi area, considered as the outbreak of the infection, and one village in the Veneto region, where the first death from the virus occurred, have been placed under quarantine. This means no possibility for people to move around and leave their homes. Throughout Lombardy, power forces people to limit their social mobility. From the closure of the meeting places to the curfew, the step is short. Prisoners of themselves and something imperceptible to the human eye, the pastoral government has even ordered through a flash decree to close the streets and reinforced the garrison o... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The pacifist abhors war and blesses the state. In times of peace, he has been taught — and he has believed — that society is a vast system of communication where all controls itself by means of dialogue, in a nonviolent manner. It follows from this that only one who, living on the periphery of these communicating vessels, mocks the hopeless cornerstone of vain democratic chattering with blows is candidate to suffer brute force.
Though he implicitly recognizes in this way that this society is not only dialogue but also violence, the pacifist citizen is not excessively worried by this: the violence is destined for others, for the new savages who have not yet acquired a proper communicative humanity and who deduce from this that s... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The aim of the Catholic Worker movement is to live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ. Our sources are the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as handed down in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, with our inspiration coming from the lives of the saints, “men and women outstanding in holiness, living witnesses to Your unchanging love.” (Eucharistic Prayer)
This aim requires us to begin living in a different way. We recall the words of our founders, Dorothy Day who said, “God meant things to be much easier than we have made them,” and Peter Maurin who wanted to build a society “where it is easier for people to be good.”
* * *
When we examine our society, which is generally ca... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) After several recent disappointing and hurtful experiences—and to be clear, a lifetime of related minor and major run-ins with friends, comrades, and activists—my need is unrelenting for us to rethink how we engage with the question of otherness and our organizing. How do we integrate a genuine approach to oppression and anti-oppression? This writing takes apart the concept of “ally” in political work with a focus on race, though clearly there are parallels across other experiences of identity.
Charity Is to Solidarity What Ally Is to Affinity
Thanks to experience working with indigenous and other international solidarity movements, anarchists and antiauthoritarians draw a clear line between charity and solidarit... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) As I sit at this corporate-owned cafe, there are three cell phone conversations going on at once — the buzz of stressful leisure is in the air; life is so complex these days but at the same time its just too easy. Convenience is killing adventure even for those who can’t afford it; convenience invades the environments that it touches and infects them with sterility. The panhandler in front of the shopping mall gains nothing from the appliances and fashions sold within yet she has to suffer just the same from the stifling, lifeless environment created by convenience that is for others.
How did the challenge which is such a fundamental part of living life get erased to such an extent in the most affluent pockets of the globe? The... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Fuck ‘Alternative’ Technology! Fuck the ‘Alternative’ Green Ghetto!
Standing up on this hill, as the sun filters through the trees you occasionally catch the reflection of solar panels on the roofs of the houses beyond the wind farm. The gentle swishing of turbine blades is inaudible here, but the hum of a tractor is just perceptible as it sows next year’s bio fuel crop in the fields below...
Though the reality of alternative technology providing a “green” and sustainable life for us all in the 21st century may seem a long way off, may seem an almost impossible task of enormous proportions, it is becoming more widely accepted as a necessary step in the progress of our industrial society. It is, ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) All over the world most women have no rights whatsoever to decide upon important matters which concern their lives. Women suffer from oppressions of two kinds: 1) the general social oppression of the people, and 2) secondly sexism — oppression and discrimination because of their sex.
There are five main forms of oppression:
Ideological oppression, brainwash by certain cultural traditions, religion, advertising and propaganda. Manipulation with concepts and play upon women’s feelings and susceptibilities. Widespread patriarchal and authoritarian attitudes and capitalistic mentality in all areas.
State oppression, hierarchical forms of organization with command lines downward from the top in most interpersonal relations... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) “What do we mean by respect for humanity? We mean the recognition of human right and human dignity in every man, of whatever race [or] color”
— Michael Bakunin, 1867
Anarchist are Free Socialists so we believe that social equality and opportunity for all people should replace property, wealth and privilege as the key value of society. We also believe that so long as governments exist, they are a means to create and preserve inequality. Anarchists believe that social equality cannot be achieved without Free Association, Mutual Aid and Voluntary Cooperation. Anarchists hold that until all are free then no one is free. We believe that it is human nature to be aware of the suffering of others and that our own freedom is ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)