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One of the most annoying and oft repeated clichés of leftist political rhetoric concerns the unquestioned imperative for nonspecific, generic “organization.” Whatever else might define the left, it has always and consistently called for the creation and development of formal organizations that are supposed to represent and lead the masses or the working class (or these days often the appropriate identity-group or “minority”). Of course, when leftists leave the realm of rhetoric and enter the realm of practice, it becomes quite evident why the details of organization are usually left unspecified. It’s easy to say that unorganized or disorganized people probably won’t have much success pursuing large... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Preface Leaving the twentieth century, leftism of every stripe is in disarray and defeat — anarcho-leftism included. And Murray Bookchin’s Social Ecology is certainly no exception to this trend. Bookchin, one of the best known of contemporary North American anarchists, has spent much of his life staking out his own personal eco-anarchist ideological territory under the banners of Social Ecology and Libertarian Municipalism. He is the author of a steady stream of books from the sixties to the present, including his classic collection of essays titled Post-Scarcity Anarchism published in 1971, his excellent volume on the history of the Spanish anarchist movement written in the seventies, and his failed attempt in the eighties ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“The World has languished long enough under the tyranny of thought, under the terrorism of ideas; she is waking from the heavy dream....” — Max Stirner, “The Philosophical Reactionaries” (1847) Max Stirner’s 1844 masterwork, Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum[1] (The Unique[2] and Its Property), is one of the most subversive, radical and, therefore, extreme texts in all of history. It can also be described as one of the most misread, misinterpreted and misunderstood books in the history of modern Western thought.[3] This should not be unexpected. Subversive, radical and extreme texts will always obtain hostile receptions from those targeted by their critiques, whether the critiques are accurate and justi... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Critical Self-Theory & the non-ideological critique of ideology “Free — from what? Oh! what is there that cannot be shaken off? The yoke of serfdom, of sovereignty, of aristocracy and princes, the dominion of the desires and passions; yes, even the dominion of one’s own will, of self-will, for the completest self-denial is nothing but freedom — freedom, namely, from self-determination, from one’s own self. And the craving for freedom as for something absolute, worthy of every praise, deprived us of ownness: it created self-denial. However, the freer I become, the more compulsion piles up before my eyes; and the more impotent I feel myself. The unfree son of the wilderness does not yet feel anything ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
mo·ral·i·ty N. (pl. -ies) principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. (The New Oxford American Dictionary) mor·al·ism N. the practice of moralizing, esp. showing a tendency to make judgments about others’ morality (The New Oxford American Dictionary) Introduction Most anarchists — just like most other people on the planet — remain relatively naive concerning the many problems with theories and practices of compulsory morality and moralism. Positive, uncritical references to various forms of compulsory morality are nearly ubiquitous in both historical and contemporary anarchist writings, despite the occasional influence of Max ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
A Dialogue on Primitivism: Lawrence Jarach interviews John Zerzan There are many prejudiced caricatures and objections concerning primitivism; for example that its proponents want to go “back to the Stone Age,” or that any move away from industrial capitalism would result in an immediate mass die-off of thousands — if not millions — of humans. These dismissals showcase a lack of seriousness on the part of anti-primitivists, and their refusal to engage in any kind of substantial dialogue around the issues of the origins of capitalism and the various mechanisms of social control and domination. While understandable coming from non-anarchists (who are engaged in promoting one or another form of domination and exploit... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Facing the Enemy: A History of Anarchist Organization from Proudhon to May 1968 by Alexandre Skirda, translated by Paul Sharkey (AK Press, POB 40682, San Francisco, CA 94140–0682, USA; AK Press, POB 12766, Edinburgh, EH8 9YE, Scotland; & Kate Sharpley Library, BM Hurricane, London, WC1 3XX, England; 2002) 292 pp., $17.95 paper. Any history of anarchist currents and movements must also be a history of their organization. Radical ideas and practices are nothing if not aspects of a social engagement whose own content and structure both anticipate the new society that is desired. In fact, the theory and critique of organization has consistently been one of the most central and contested concerns of anarchists since Stirner, Proud... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
When I was asked to contribute an updated essay on the post-left anarchist critique to the Institute for Anarchist Studiesmonthly web column, “Theory & Politics,” I gladly accepted, even though the time I have available for writing is short these days. I accepted because I was surprised, but pleased, to learn that the heretofore rather ideologically narrow Institute for Anarchist Studies seemed to be opening itself up a bit more to the broader anarchist milieu by making such an invitation. I accepted because I have always been genuinely interested in communicating with a diverse audience, and welcomed the opportunity to present a quick critique of left-anarchism through the web publication of an organization which often seem... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Over the course of the past ten years or so the anarchist milieu has been rife with attack and counter-attack, both defamation of character and of sexual prowess. Not that this is anything new. Since well before Bakunin lambasted Marx for being an authoritarian Prussian, there has been a high level of infighting, back-biting and mud-slinging among radicals of all types. This isn’t necessarily unhealthy, since sometimes nothing clears the air like a good split (to borrow a famous dictum of Bordiga’s). What is surprising, however, is where some of this sound and fury is originating. One expects abuse from powerless, frustrated activists and armchair theorists who have nothing better to do. What is surprising to us right now is tha... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
By now a whole generation of radicals, philosophers and casual readers has received at least part (and too often all) of its introduction to the startling vision of Max Stirner’s Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum through John Clark’s blindered eyes. Why is this? Clark’s slim book, Max Stirner’s Egoism[1], seems to have remained continuously in print since its publication by Freedom Press in 1976. It’s also written in a straightforward and fairly simple style, with at least a superficial tone of scholarly neutrality. As such, unlike most of the rest of the extensive secondary literature on Stirner, it has been both more easily available and significantly more accessible, especially to Stirner’s primary Englis... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Part 1: Alternative books and zines in Seattle The Left Bank Collective Interview by Jason McQuinn Alternative Press Review, Spring/Summer 1994 In late January several Left Bank Collective members took time out to talk for this APR interview. The Left Bank collective--originally organized to run the Left Bank Books store located at the Pike Place Market next to the downtown Seattle waterfront--celebrated its 20th anniversary in August, 1993. The collective's work is now spread out between the original downtown bookstore (selling new and used books), AKA Books (selling a wide selection of used books in the university district), Left Bank Distribution ("the largest provider of anarchist and independent radical books in North America"), ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The first Decade of Anarchy magazine. The rebirth of North American anarchism Throughout the 1950s and early ‘60s most of the historical anarchist movements around the world looked like just that, historical movements — withering and dying out where they hadn’t already done so. In fact, one former-anarchist writer, George Woodcock, announced in his well-known 1962 anthology, Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements, that anarchism as a social-political movement had had its day. By chance I happened across one of the more lively remaining embers of the North American anarchist milieu in the late 1960s as a crippled teen attending a Midwestern high school in a thoroughly white, working-class suburb of St. ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Max Stirner (pseudonym for an early European Anarchist and Johann Caspar Schmidt) is best known as a central figure in the dissolution of the post-Hegelian philosophical milieu during the years leading up to the Prussian Revolution (and wider revolutionary events) of 1848. Born in 1806, he went to universities in an education system dominated by Hegelianism, studying philosophy, philology and religion — at times in lectures from Hegel himself. After achieving only limited success in his university exams, Stirner taught at a girls’ gymnasium[1] in Berlin by day while frequenting coffee houses and wine bars during his off hours. He began associating with die Freien,[2] often at Hippel’s wine bar on Friedrichstrasse, where he... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In March of 1999, I received an open letter from zine publisher Ron Leighton regarding the common question of whether propagating views which question technology through technological means — radio, television, the Internet — involved some type of contradiction. I liked the way he phrased the question, and I especially liked the idea of an open letter to get a variety of views on the topic. * * * Open Letter — Ron Leighton A number of anti-tech writers have expressed the idea, variously stated, that supporting or using government in any way towards anarchist/anti-authoritarian ends is contradictory and invariably indicative of authoritarian/non-anarchist impulses and attitudes, despite any insistent claims to t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Prologue to Post-Left Anarchy It is now nearly a decade and a half since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is seven years since Bob Black first sent me the manuscript for his book, Anarchy after Leftism, published in 1997. It’s over four years since I asked Anarchy magazine Contributing Editors to participate in a discussion of “post-left anarchy” which ultimately appeared in the Fall/Winter 1999–2000 issue of the magazine (#48). And it’s also one year since I first wrote and published “Post-Left Anarchy: Rejecting the Reification of Revolt,” which appeared in the Fall/Winter 2002–2003 issue (#54) of Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed. Aside from creating a hot new topic for debate in anarch... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Raoul Vaneigem's Treatise on Etiquette for the Younger Generations [1] has, despite its epochal importance, often been overshadowed by Guy Debord's equally significant Society of the Spectacle. And Vaneigem himself, along with his wider insurrectionary and social-revolutionary contributions, has too often also been overshadowed by Debord's very successfully self-promoted mystique. As a result Vaneigem's contributions have been rather consistently under-appreciated when not at times intentionally minimized or even ignored. However, there are good reasons to take Vaneigem and his Treatise more seriously. The Situationist myth A half-century ago in 1967 two related books appeared, authored by then-obscure members of the Situationist Intern... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman (Workers’ Solidarity Movement, POB 1528, Dublin 8, Ireland, 1989; Also available from the web site: flag.blackened.net) 5 pp., no price listed, pamphlet. Not too surprisingly, whenever organizationalist, leftist anarchist tendencies cast about for justification for their amalgamations of anarchist theory with leftist politics, they invariably seem to latch on to Jo Freeman’s now quite dated essay titled The Tyranny of Structurelessness. In fact, the recently spreading infatuation with the Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists by Peter Arshinov, Nestor Makhno et al among some less self-critical and more leftist anarchists has led to quite a proliferation of anarchist... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Science is Capital Revolution can no longer be taken to mean just the destruction of all that is old and conservative, because capital has accomplished this itself. Rather it will appear as a return to something (a revolution in the mathematical sense of the term), a return to community though not in any form that has existed previously. Revolution will make itself felt in the destruction of all that is most “modern” and “progressive” because science is capital. — Jacques Camatte [1] Science is a system of knowledge acquisition that is based on empiricism, experimentation, atomization, rationalizing causality, and methodological naturalism and that is aimed at finding the truth. Theories — pre... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
What should anarchists be doing? Those who want to spend time and energy advancing anarchic knowledge, values and goals might first do well to question just about everything they take for granted about anarchy & anarchism past and present. Many, if not most, of the easy answers to questions about what is to be done have proven to be less than effective or even counterproductive. Now, with the ongoing collapse of the international left, and with it the disintegration of anarcho-leftism as well, it is long past time to reexamine the practical and conceptual roots of anarchist resistance and reconstruction. The abolition of illusions can free the way for creative activity. However, this type of questioning requires the conscious cultivati... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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