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[l] at 5/20/24 3:18pm
Author: Ilya KharkowTitle: The Advice Led to HellDate: May 16, 2024Source: https://actionweek.noblogs.org/post/2024/05/16/rady-vedou-do-pekla-ilya-kharkow/#more-1104 I wrote about how difficult it was to get from Kyiv to Lviv on the first day of a full-scale war in the novel THE MINING BOYS. But when I finally got there, it only got worse. The people who sheltered me sincerely did not understand why I did not want to defend the country with weapons in my hands. My hope to go to Europe seemed like a betrayal to them. At the same time, I had to hide from them not only my fear, but also my culture and my orientation. These same people advised me to voluntarily join the territorial defense. Their acquaintances, who also didn’t want to fight, deliberately signed up there so they wouldn’t be taken to war. They said that I would be given a weapon and sent to patrol the city. They said the war would last a couple of weeks. If you don’t want to kill anyone, they said, I need to join the territorial defense. I liked the idea of leaving more. In the novel, I skipped the moment of meeting my old friend who was interested in history. It was he who told me that the safest place in Ukraine at the beginning of the war was Uzhhorod. This city is located on the border with Hungary. NATO troops are stationed at the border.That’s why it’s safe there. His stories about the safe Uzhhorod sounded logical. Moreover, there were two border checkpoints nearby, through which I could try to leave the country. So, when I saw a half-empty bus to Uzhhorod, I hurried to take a seat in it. Back then, I didn’t know that my enemy wasn’t just missiles, but also Ukrainian military, police, and locals who were upset that I wanted to save my life rather than the country. They mocked my desire to preserve my life. They laugh at it even now. My unwillingness to fight angers them, and they aggressively try to steer me onto the ‘right’ path. In their opinion, in wartime, there’s only one ‘right’ path – with weapons in hands. It’s necessary to acknowledge that our situation is dire not only because there’s a war but also because today, we have to explain things like why killing is wrong. We can’t demand that another person sacrifice their life. We can’t condemn anyone for not overthrowing the regime. All of these things can only be demanded of oneself, not of others. I got on the bus, but soon Ukrainian soldiers stopped it. They pulled all the guys out onto the road. I refused to get off. They beat me. Uzhhorod wasn’t as safe as it seemed. It’s a big city, that’s why I stood out as a stranger there. The increased patrols may have protected women, the elderly, and kids, but they were dangerous for me. I had to return to Lviv, where for 2.5 months, I lived in the office. I slept under the table in the conference room with glass walls. Every day, I heard stories about how another Russian-speaking guy in Lviv was forcibly sent to war. But few believed it because the official media talked about endless lines of volunteers. And I hid from all this horror in the damned glass room. Soon, those same media outlets announced the news – territorial defenderswould be allowed to go to the war. Allowed. Allowed! But initially, I was suggested to sign up there with the opposite goal – to protect myself from the war, not to get permission to participate in it. Good advice can indeed be deadly. Advice given not out of malice but from a pure heart. Just moments ago, you wanted to escape the war to democratic Europe, and now you’re in military uniform. Soon, you find yourself having to kill the first person. Not out of malice, but in self-defense. Then they kill you. The war didn’t end in 2 weeks. You’re dead, but where are those who gave you advice?

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[l] at 5/19/24 6:48pm
Author: Anarchy In ActionTitle: Anarchy in the Haitian RevolutionSource: Retrieved on 19 May 2024 from anarchyinaction.org/index.php?title=Anarchy_in_the_Haitian_Revolution Following many years of hidden and small-scale resistance, African slaves in the French colony of Saint Domingue (or San Domingo) rose up in 1791 against their colonizers and slave masters. By 1804, they abolished slavery, expelled the French colonizers, and established the independent republic of Haiti. Haiti was the name given to the Caribbean island by the Tainos before colonizers arrived, slaughtered the entire indigenous population, and imported African slaves. While the 1776 and 1789 revolutions of the USA and France were grounded in exclusionary “citizens’ rights,” the Haitian Revolution stood out for a commitment to universal human rights. Thanks to the revolution, Haitians enjoyed freedom from enslavement for some forty-six years from 1802 to 1848. According to Nick Nesbitt, the Haitian Revolution was “the culmination of a radical strand of Enlightenment political philosophy that acted upon Spinoza’s revolutionary proposition: to avoid insofar as possible the alienation of constituent power to representative bodies and to ‘always preserve the natural right in its entirety.’”[1] As Russell Maroon Shoatz, a former Black Panther, summarizes, the Haitian Revolution saw two competing tendencies: a centralized “dragon” and a decentralized “hydra”: There, between 1791 and 1804, we witness one of the most titanic struggles ever engaged in between (enslaved) workers and their overlords. It is through an examination of the events surrounding that struggle that we can clearly measure the strengths and weaknesses of our dragon and hydra: centralized and decentralized forces of change.[2] Maroonage and Hidden Resistance In the years preceding the revolution, slaves resisted their conditions through subversive ritual, strikes, running away, and occasionally violent revolts. Gathered in private, slaves would practice “voodo” rituals aimed at controlling their masters’ souls. As many as two-thirds of the slaves had been born in Africa on the revolution’s eve, and thus the rituals borrowed elements from a variety of African traditions.[3] Slaves sang, “We swear to destroy the whites and all that they possess; let us die rather than fail to keep this vow.”[4] In public, they found ways to more subtly maintain a culture of opposition. When they heard the church’s funeral bells, Blacks sang along with their own lyrics, “One good white is dead. The bad ones are still here.”[5] The historian Laurent Dubois speculates that the hidden meaning may have been, “[T]he only good white was a dead one.”[6] Slaves commonly walked off the job and ran away, for short and long periods of time. In 1744, sixty-six slaves walked off the plantation in protest of a cruel overseer. The overseer retaliated by killing one of the strikers, a pregnant woman. The slaves then killed the overseer and were condemned to death, but the governor intervened to save them. According to Dubois, “Such strikes occurred with some regularity and often led to the negotiated return of the slaves.”[7] Probably as a result of such actions, slaves secured a number of rights, including the right to have their own garden plots and to spend most of the weekend tending to their plots and selling the products in town for personal profit.[8] At times, the runaways or “maroons” left permanently, and by 1751, there were about three thousand maroons.[9] Many lived under the leadership of the chief Mackandal. Occasionally invoking Allah and asserting an ability to turn into a fly, Mackandal organized a large army of maroons to try to poison the white masters’ water. He was betrayed, captured, and burned alive. Some followers believed he changed shape and escaped just before his execution in 1758.[10] 1791 revolt On 21 August 1791, slaves began a series of arsons and massacres around the region of Le Cap. On 22 August, a band inspired by two enslaved Vodum (Voodoo) practitioners—a man named Boukman and a woman who might have been named Cécile Fatiman—destroyed a number of plantations. The revolt “was led by scores of decentralized bands of African workers.”[11] C.L.R. James summarizes: Each slave-gang murdered its masters and burnt the plantation to the ground […] For nearly three weeks the people of Le Cap could barely distinguish day from night, while a rain of burning cane straw, driven before the wind like flakes of snow, flew over the city and the shipping in the harbour, threatening both with destruction.[12] Committing a small fraction of the violence afflicted on them by masters, some slaves reportedly “violated women” and one allegedly “carried a white child on a pike as standard.”[13] Given the legacy of brutal enslavement, however, the rebels were “surprisingly moderate” in James’s judgment, and they “spared many of the men, women, and children.”[14] Among the many decentralized groups were: maroon rebels such as Jean Francois and Bissou and Lamour Derance, enslaved rebels including Romaine the Prophetess and Hyacinthe, mulattos, and “a small segment of whites who were in league with the anti-slavery wing of the French Jacobins, and who loosely allied themselves with one rebel group or another.”[15] ...

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[l] at 5/17/24 4:43am
Author: John ZerzanTitle: He Means it — Do you?Date: 2002Source: Retrieved on May 2024 from archive.org Today opposition is anarchist or it is non-existent. This is the barest minimum coherence in the struggle against an engulfing totality. And while ten years ago the milieu generally called anti-authoritarian was largely syndicalist, those leftist residues are fading out altogether. Very few now find a vista of work and production at all liberatory. As the smell of this false and rotting order rises to the heavens, registering an unprecedented toll on all living beings, faith in the whole modern world evaporates. Industrialism and its ensemble looks like it has been a very bad idea, sort of a wrong turn begun still earlier. Civilization itself, with its logic of domestication and destruction, seems untenable. After all, is there anyone who is happy in this desolation? Lovely new indicators of how it is panning out include increasing self-mutilation among the young and murder of children by their own parents. Somehow a society that is steadily more impersonal, cynical, deskilled, boring, artificial, depressing, suicide-prompting, used up, drug-ridden, ugly, anxiety-causing and futureless brings a questioning as to why it has come to this/what’s it all about. Leftism with its superficial program is nearly extinct. Its adherents have folded their tents of manipulation and, in some cases, moved on to far more interesting adventures. Anarchism, if not yet anarchy, is the only scene going, even if the blackout on the subject is still in effect. As if to match the accelerating decomposition of society and displacement of life at large, determined resistance is also metamorphosing with some rapidity. The rout of the left, following the swiftly declining prestige of History, Progress, and techno-salvation, is only one development. The old militants, with their ethic of sacrifice and order, their commitment to economy and exchange, are already fixed on the museum shelves of partial revolt. Enter the Unabomber and a new line is being drawn. This time the bohemian schiz-fluxers, Green yuppies, hobbyist anarcho-journalists, condescending organizers of the poor, hip nihilo-aesthetes and all the other “anarchists” who thought their pretentious pastimes would go on unchallenged indefinitely—well, it’s time to pick which side you’re on. It may be that here also is a Rubicon from which there will be no turning back. Some, no doubt, would prefer to wait for a perfect victim. Many would like to unlearn what they know of the invasive and unchallenged violence generated everywhere by the prevailing order—in order to condemn the Unabomber’s counter-terror. But here is the person and the challenge before us. Anarchists! One more effort if you would be enemies of this long nightmare! 1997

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[l] at 5/16/24 2:09am
Author: Hugh Owen PentecostTitle: Thomas PaineDate: February 6, 1890Notes: Delivered on February 2, 1890 to the Unity Congregation at Newark, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Published in Twentieth Century February 6, 1890. Edited and annotated by Robert P. Helms.Source: Retrieved on 16th May 2024 from www.deadanarchists.org Thomas Paine is one of the most maligned and least understood of men. One of the noblest minded of men in most respects, he has been represented for nearly a century as a groveling nature and a monster of iniquity. Supremely generous in all his public career, he is said to have been mean and self-seeking. Having refused to profit by the copyright of his religious and political works, he is called parsimonious. A rarely equaled friend of mankind, he is scorned as the enemy of the race. Clean in his conversation, and unusually correct in his conduct, he is painted as the corrupter of youth and the poisoner of morals. Having served this country incalculably, everything has been done to conceal his great services and cheat him of the gratitude of posterity. Having worked for the purity of religion, he is traduced as a destroyer of every sacred truth and a spoiler of every hallowed sentiment. Nor is it sure that the whole truth about him will ever be generally known, because prejudice has so hardened into dislike that, unless his fame outlasts the Christian religion, the majority of the people will never even wish to do him justice. Those who desire to know the truth about him may easily discover it by the expenditure of a few cents for books, and the devotion of a few hours for their perusal; but the sadness of it is that there are so few who wish to know the truth about the man. Nothing is more easily ruined than a reputation, and once ruined nobody cares to do the victim of misrepresentation and slander the justice to undeceive himself concerning him. But so lasting is fame that it is among the possibilities that Thomas Paine will yet be known to the world for what he was: in all his public life a stainless man and disinterested servant of his fellows; a lover of liberty and an apostle of progress. Thomas Paine is best known to the world as the author of a book of which everybody heard but comparatively few have read. For nearly a hundred years The Age of Reason has been selling by the many thousand copies every year, but few Christians have read it. Preachers denounce it without having taken pains to inform themselves of its contents. It is common to speak of it as an Atheistic work, but it is really the product of a Deist. Thomas Paine was a firm believer in a being whom he called his “Creator God” and to whom he expected to answer for the deeds done in the body, in a future life. For this man, who is so constantly represented as being utterly without religion, had a stronger belief in God and immortality than many a preacher in some orthodox pulpits today. The Age of Reason is almost universally believed to be a book mainly directed against the Bible and the Christian religion, but it was written not for the purpose, primarily, of destroying Christianity, but to stem the tide of Atheism in France that swept over that country in the unhappy days of the Revolution. It does indeed combat the idea that the Bible is inspired and that the Bible god is the real God, but it was more of a defense of religion, in the broad sense of that word, than an attack on any particular kind of religion. Far more dangerous attacks against the inspiration of the Bible are issuing from Christian pans today than Thomas Paine ever made; more dangerous to the dogma because the assaults upon that dogma that come today from Germany, and are re-echoed in the Broad Church of England and Scotland and the Liberal Church of America, are more scholarly and painstaking than it was possible for Paine to make, because the science of historical criticism had not in his day been developed as it now is. The Age of Reason is a wonderful book, considering when it was written and that part of it was composed while the author was in prison and shut off from all access to books, not having even a Bible from which he might correctly quote. It is customary for ministers to tell their congregations that Paine’s arguments against our conventional religion are stale and outworn; that they have all been demolished. But this is not true. They stand unanswered as they have stood for nearly a hundred years. But the Dutch critics of today are stronger in their arguments because they have the learning of a century over Paine. In thus speaking of Paine’s religious views I wish to impress what I have already said. The Age of Reason is a conservative book today. A minister, the active pastor of a Presbyterian church in New Jersey, walked into my office not very long ago and told me that, of course, he did not believe in God. He is one of those peculiar Christians who believe in no kind of God. Not a personal God nor an impersonal God. Not a God without a body nor a God with a body. Not a God who can do anything nor a God who cannot do anything. They believe in God; not a God, but just God. There are any number of men in orthodox pulpits now who would agree with the minister I speak of – in private, you understand, not in public –but Thomas Paine would have looked upon these men as little better than atheists. And I doubt whether Paine would have cared to join a radical Unitarian church of today, because the Unitarians are too uncertain about God and the future life to have suited Paine. ...

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[l] at 5/16/24 2:07am
Author: Hugh Owen PentecostTitle: The Sins of GovernmentDate: March 13, 1890Notes: Delivered on March 9, 1890 to the Unity Congregation at Newark, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Published in Twentieth Century on March 13, 1890. Edited and annotated by Robert P. Helms.Source: Retrieved on 16th May 2024 from www.deadanarchists.org I am aware that in delivering a number of addresses with the object of persuading you that government by physical force is the real cause of poverty and the slowness of human development mentally and morally, I am opposing preconceived opinions, prejudices and superstitions even stronger than are aroused by open declarations of Atheism. Political superstition is more deeply rooted than religious superstition. Multitudes of persons have ceased to believe in Jehovah who are loyal to Queen Victoria, Emperor William or the person chosen by a few of our own people to decorate or disgrace the President’s or the Governor’s mansion. Almost everyone in this country understands clearly enough that the government personated by the Czar is guilty of many sins; they understand that Victoria is merely an expensive figurehead, and that it is wicked to tax poor people to support the Prince of Wales in luxury and splendor. But they do not see how the same principle applies when it is, as with us, a question of supporting executive officers, judicial functionaries, and military people, who are pushed forward by a few cunning politicians and elected by a very decided minority of the people. If among the sixty million people in the United States there are twelve million voters, six million and one can elect a President, who has been selected as one of two candidates by, perhaps, a hundred politicians; selected because with him the best bargain for a division of the tax money with them could be made. If there are a thousand inhabitants in any one election district, about one hundred and one of them could put a man in office. And such is the nature of the “science” of politics that it is only by the happiest chance that the best man for the place, or even a good man, is chosen, because anyone with a decent sense of self-respect could not submit to the moral sacrifices that are usually necessary in order to become a political candidate for office. I never talked with a political candidate in my life who did not tell me that he was ashamed of himself. What I have been describing is what is commonly called government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” But it is not even government of the minority by the majority. It is the government of all the women, all the men under twenty-one years of age, all the children, and a minority of the white voters, by a few politicians who manage to beg, buy, frighten, and steal votes to the number of a trifle over one tenth of the population in any given election district. It is government of nine tenths of the population by a little more than one tenth. It is the government of the people by the politicians for “boodle”[1] and offices. Our people see clearly enough that it is wrong for a monarch and his friends and the army to rule a people, but they think it is right for a few professional politicians, who are necessarily bad men, to use a trifle over six millions of men, many of whom are bummers of the worst type, and the military power, to enable them to govern nearly fifty-four millions of people. If that is not superstition, neither is it superstition to believe that it is right for God to damn non-elect infants, or that the Pope is the real vicar of such a man as Jesus of Nazareth. Most of our people believe that this kind of government is the best conceivable kind, and they would lay down their lives for the privilege of being governed in this way by Blaine and Brice and Quay and Wanamaker and Hill and Dudley,[2] and the bank monopolists, and the gin mill toughs who run the machinery of municipal politics. They admit that there are evils in the Government, but they insist that government by this or some other method, involving the use of physical force, is necessary as long as human nature is what it is. Now, what I want to show you in the course of these addresses is that all such government is not only unnecessary, but that it is an evil, and that it cannot be purified. It will not injure you to listen to what I have to say, and if it is illogical and untrue I hope you have brains enough to reject it. If, however, you cannot show wherein I am wrong , I hope you have honesty and moral courage enough to add your testimony and labors to that of others and mine in attempting to live down the Government. Many expedients are proposed by “reformers” as remedies for the acknowledged injustices of our social and industrial life, all of which leave government by physical force intact. I wish to show you that nothing will avail to liberate poor men and women from their present bondage as long as a military power exists by which they can be taxed and prevented from exercising what should be their rights. I wish to show you that every cause of poverty and degradation is directly authorized by Government, and that this is what the Government is for. And now for an example. Henry George says that the arrangement by which the present monopolistic value of land — rent — goes into the pockets of individuals is the cause of poverty. And the pockets of individuals is a cause of poverty. And I am quite convinced that what he refers to is a cause of poverty. We cannot be too thankful that Mr. George took up this idea and put it in a book that has been widely read as Progress and Poverty , and that the idea is being seized by the people. The monopoly of vacant land is one of the two great evils that horribly afflict the race. And I wish you to see that this gigantic monopoly was created and is maintained by the Government. The Government legalizes the infamous paper titles by which land is held out of use; the Government prevents, by force, the people from using vacant land wherever they find it. And by doing so the Government becomes the enemy of the landless. ...

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[l] at 5/16/24 2:05am
Author: Hugh Owen PentecostTitle: ​First Anniversary AddressDate: January 10, 1889Notes: Delivered on January 6, 1889 to the Unity Congregation at Newark, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Published in Twentieth Century on January 10, 1889.Source: Retrieved on 16th May 2024 from www.deadanarchists.org Unity Congregation has completed its first year of existence and, I hope, of usefulness. As we look back on that year I think we shall agree that it has been a year of peace and prosperity for which we should be profoundly grateful. Our career thus far has exceeded my most sanguine expectations. The congregation shave been large and enthusiastic, probably averaging during the year nearly two thousand persons in the three cities where our meetings have been held each Sunday.[1] They have come together with remarkable steadiness as to numbers and without resort to special advertising, house-to-house visitation or any other persuasive device. Every indication seems to confirm the belief that these congregations are composed of intelligent persons who assemble weekly for no other reason than to hear a discussion of important questions in which, as thinking and earnest persons, they are interested. And I do not scruple to say that this is particularly gratifying to me, not because I accept this as a testimony to my personal abilities as a thinker and speaker, but because it confirms the idea I had when these meetings were started –that many persons are hungering and thirsting for a gospel which is not ordinarily preached and which could not be preached from any pulpit or platform controlled by an organization committed to particular doctrines or bound by traditions. When I abandoned the pulpit of the Christian church a year ago, it was because I thought I had a message which some persons were willing to hear, but which I would not be permitted to deliver in either the orthodox or liberal church.[2] I believe this as firmly and in very much the same way, I fancy, as the grand old Hebrew prophets believed they were commissioned by Jehovah to speak to their fellow-men. It was not so much that I had some particular thing to say as that I saw how many persons there are struggling against intellectual and social and religious tyranny, and I want to say, “Come, brothers and sisters; let us have a meeting place where religious and social heretics may assemble in unity of spirit and recognize the sincerity of each other, even in our errors; recognize the mind-hunger, the heart-hunger, and the soul-hunger for truth that is in each of us. Let us come together with all our differences in such a spirit that our fellowship in human friendliness shall be more potent to bind than our intellectual differences are to separate.” This invitation has been very largely accepted, and I have every reason to believe that the atmosphere of this Congregation is congenial to many persons who do not agree with much that I say, because I think that every intelligent person who comes here understands that I do not pretend to infallibility in my opinions and that I freely concede that wherein we differ he or she may be right and I wrong. I think every intelligent person who comes here understands that the object of these meetings is not to secure unanimity of opinion but to cultivate the habit of thinking which so few persons have, even among those who read a great deal. It is true that some persons who began with us have fallen out by the way. This has generally resulted from the curious but common fact that many persons are intelligent and broad-minded upon all questions but one, or else are intelligent and broad-minded upon some one question and absurdly narrow upon all others. Such persons delighted when I said what coincided with their particular heresy, but when I propounded some doctrine that offended their especial or general orthodoxy, they stopped coming. They were pleased to listen to what they believe, but refused to listen to an opinion contrary to their own. For example: some used to enjoy my criticisms of the church, for they are ecclesiastical heretics, but when I questioned the supernatural character if the Bible and doubted the occurrence of miracles and declared my doubt in the deity or divinity of Jesus, they left. Some used to enjoy all my religious heresies, no matter to what extent I went, but when I attacked the doctrine of protection to American monopolists they left, and left as if dogs were after them. Some too, there were who approved of all my religious heresies but objected to my arraignment of the present system of land-holding and to my recognition of socialists and anarchists as economic thinkers, they left. And some spiritualists have gone because they are intellectual and religious “rounders” –they fall in with every new movement and son fall out because they get tired. Now, all these persons who have abandoned these meetings because they could not listen to opinions different from their own are what I once described as “finished people,” in certain areas at least. They do right in not coming. These meetings can do nothing for them. I do not wish to speak disrespectfully of them, as if a person should be criticized because he prefers to not come here. I refer to them as persons who made the mistake originally of supposing they would long enjoy these meetings, for most of you have discovered by this time, what I am gradually coming to believe myself, that I am a heretic on almost every subject, which makes this rather an uncomfortable place for anyone who is orthodox on any subject, unless he is sufficiently broad-minded to enjoy listening to opinions different from his own and accord me the same respect as I accord him. ...

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[l] at 5/16/24 2:02am
Author: Hugh Owen PentecostTitle: AnarchismDate: July 4, 1889Notes: Delivered on June 30, 1889 to the Unity Congregation at Newark, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Published in Twentieth Century on July 4, 1889. Edited and annotated by Robert P. Helms.Source: Retrieved on 16th May 2024 from www.deadanarchists.org Good people who hold opinions not commonly understood generally have a bad name. The world is ready to believe almost anything of a man except that he is a genuinely good man. If his life is stainless but unconventional, the world suspects some hidden shame or base motive. So far are most people from understanding or desiring what is true and right that the highest truth is often believed to be the lowest lie, and the purest right is looked upon as the blackest wrong. Thus Jesus, who was the incarnation of earnest goodness, was said by the Pharisees to be possessed of a devil. That was because their own souls were so false that their moral vision was distorted. They looked upon goodness and thought it was badness. Thus also the early Christians were accused of indulging in lecherous orgies, when in reality they were living lives of great purity. It was only that they held unpopular doctrines: doctrines which most people did not, perhaps could not, understand. Many people know their own selfishness, deceitfulness, and greediness and they cannot understand that there may be others who are unselfish, frank and generous. Now, all this applies to the people in our midst who are commonly called anarchists. They are looked upon as a bloodthirsty set of murderers who desire to destroy society in order to reap a little gain from pillage among the ruins. To call a man an anarchist to today is to heap as much disgrace upon him as it was to call a man a Christian in the first century or an abolitionist before the war. Few of us realize that Jesus was arrested, flung into jail and hanged with the odium of the community, attached to him just as it attached to the men who were recently hanged in Chicago. But such was the case. Art and religion have made the hanging of Jesus a very splendid affair. But in reality it was a much less important matter when it happened than the Chicago hanging. He was probably dragged into what we now call a police court, put through some sort of rough trial, and hanged as a common tramp whom society wished to get rid of, would now be hanged. There is a man going through the Southern states now, claiming to be Jesus Christ come to earth again. The negroes are following him to some extent. He dispatches of last week say that the police authorities are trying to arrest him. They have evidently offered him money in order to establish the charge of vagrancy against him, because the dispatches say he will not take money publicly. But they say he gets along somehow or other, and “it is feared” –that is the language of the dispatch –that he cannot be arrested as a vagrant. Now, here is a man doing just what Jesus Christ did. He is poor. He has gathered a few disciples. He is going from place to place preaching. He is not trying to make money. There is nothing against his character. He seems to be a good man. And the police, backed up, of course, by all the respectable people, are trying to find an excuse to arrest the man and throw him into prison. And they will find the excuse yet, no doubt, because society has no use for a poor man that he will not suppress nor sell for money. A millionaire may be an Infidel, a Socialist, an Anarchist, or a Free Lover and society only smiles and calls him an eccentric. Society rather likes him better for his oddities, but if a poor man thinks out of the orthodox groves and acts a little differently from other people, it will go hard on him, especially if he happens to be a very high-minded, pure and good man. What I started to say is that Jesus Christ was, in his day, in about the same relation to society that this poor man down south, who thinks he is imitating him, is in. He was in about the same relation to society that an Anarchist is now. That is to say, he thought about the same doctrines that the anarchists do, and was about as badly hated as the anarchists now are. An anarchist was drawn to serve on a jury the other day in Chicago, and when he was examined as to his fitness to serve, he said he did not believe in punishing people by law. He believed in preventing people from becoming criminals. The judge asked him if he would vote to sentence the prisoner if he were found to be guilty of violating the statute law. The anarchist said that he would not. “Officer, take this man to jail and let him stay there till morning,” said the judge. This is how the newspapers reported the occurrence, and it is about what would have happened if Jesus had been before that judge. Now, it is curious that the Christian world worships Jesus and persecutes the only people who believe in his teachings. And yet it isnt very curious either, because the Christian world does not pretend to believe in what Jesus taught. There is probably not one minister in this city who believes that the Golden Rule will work, or that it is wise to take careful, anxious thought for the morrow, or that the strongest force that can be used is to return good for evil, is to speak the truth and take the consequences, nor resisting when physical force is used. ...

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[l] at 5/16/24 2:00am
Author: Robert P. HelmsTitle: ​Hugh Owen Pentecost (1848–1907)Subtitle: A Biographical SketchSource: Retrieved on 16th May 2024 from www.deadanarchists.org Because he changed into so many different suits during his long career, historians have not focused on the dashing radical orator Hugh O. Pentecost. Born September 30, 1848 at New Harmony, Indiana, Pentecost was given his middle name for Robert Owen, whose followers had established the town as a Fourierist colony a generation earlier. His parents, Emma Flower and Hugh Lockett Pentecost, were of English descent, with many Protestant clergy in their family tree. Hugh moved at age two to Albion, Illinois, which was founded by his grandfather, Scarborough Pentecost, Jr. Hugh went as a boy to Kentucky during the Civil War, where he learned the printing craft and followed his elder brother George Frederick Pentecost (1842–1920), who was then a young Baptist chaplain with the Union Army. The two brothers remained in physical proximity for most of their lives, and always on friendly terms. George later became a nationally known preacher, just as famous as Hugh but speaking to conservative and patriotic audiences. They had three sisters: Cora (b. 1838), Emma (b. 1843), and Rosa (b. 1853). Rosa apparently died in childhood. Hugh attended the seminary at Madison – later Colgate – University for the 1870–71 term, and served as pastor from August 1871 at Rockville Centre, NY Baptist Church. There he married Laura Anderson, daughter of the wealthy Brooklyn confectioner Robert Anderson, who was active in the church. In 1873, he left the congregation after a dispute over his belief in Open (or Free) Communion, which is when communion is offered to anyone, rather than only to the committed members of a congregation. On December 7 of the same year, he inaugurated a non-sectarian church at Brooklyn, which soon took the name “Church of the People.” By this time Pentecost had earned the reputation of a “brilliant” and “energetic” evangelist, delivering sermons on current social questions. In May 1875 Hugh and Laura raised concerns about a certain member’s trustworthiness, and that led to their departure from the church. By late summer Hugh was pastor of the Free Communion Baptist Church at Westerly Rhode Island, where Laura died of rheumatic fever at age 24, leaving Hugh with their 3-year old daughter Christie. In 1878 Hugh became pastor of South Baptist Church at Hartford, CT, and there married Ida Gatling (daughter of the gun inventor) in 1880. Ida bore a daughter named Ida Marguerite in 1886. At this point the handsome young preacher was well-paid by the affluent society where he ministered, but his politics would not stand still. After preaching at Marcy Avenue (Brooklyn) 1881–83, Pentecost left the Baptists, becoming “Independent Congregational” in Manhattan until 1885, then to the Belleville Avenue Congregational Church of Newark, NJ. By 1887, he had begun speaking for Henry George’s Anti-Poverty Society alongside Father Edward McGlynn, who was excommunicated by the Vatican for espousing Single Tax land-reform theories. He wrote “The New York Letter” column for Herald of Gospel Liberty (Portsmouth NH), from November 1885 until August 1886. For a while, Pentecost was associated with the Knights of Labor, but he distanced himself from organized labor entirely by 1889. After an unsuccessful bid to become the mayor of Newark, Pentecost drew the wrath of the mainstream newspapers by strongly denouncing the November 11, 1887 execution of Chicago anarchists in the Haymarket Affair, from his pulpit on the Sunday after the hangings. His sermon on the “Four more men murdered” held that the dead anarchists were better than some of those who denounced them, and that their punishment would not arrest their movement. On December 11 Hugh resigned his pastorate, and on the 26th attempted to give a farewell sermon to his divided congregation. However, he was too distraught to speak and his brother George took the pulpit in his place. At that time, Hugh left Christianity entirely and began delivering sermon-like lectures to the “Unity Congregation” of his own creation, three times every Sunday in Brooklyn, in Manhattan, and in a skating rink adjacent to his former church in Newark. He did not stop citing biblical scripture when making his arguments. These lively discourses, which blasted organized religion and denounced landlordism, became the text for his new journal Twentieth Century , from March 1888. Pentecost remained loyal to Henry George’s single tax, but he also embraced anarchism for about two years. The journal became a success and was widely distributed; the sermons, with titles such as “The Sins of the Government,” “Anarchism,” “The Crime Of Owning Vacant Land,” “Murder by Law,” and “A Bad God and a False Heaven,” drew full houses each week, and were followed by musical recitals, often with vocals by Ida. These were the peak years of Pentecost’s career, when his talks were the regular subject of public debate. In 1889 the Philadelphia police shut down a meeting he was to address on the anniversary of the Haymarket executions, and in 1890 he was one of the scheduled speakers for the stridently anticlerical “Yom Kippur Ball” in Brooklyn, which was banned by order of the mayor. For several days afterward, the dailies carried long interviews in which Pentecost explained why people dissent from religious orthodoxy and blasted the mayor for suppressing free speech. While his views were not always purely anarchistic, he was widely regarded as the great “anarchist preacher” of the time. Also in 1889, Hugh wrote a long essay on “The Crime of Capital Punishment,” which was published in The Arena , an important journal published by his first cousin Benjamin Orange Flower. ​ Another sea-change began for Pentecost in 1891. First he took a secondary role in the fall season, giving the main addresses to other writers. By the end of the year, Hugh had retired from his podium and passed Twentieth Century to another editor in order to study law informally for all of the year 1892, returning to action as a defense attorney at the age of forty-five. He seems to have kept his eye on human rights in his choice of cases. By this time his famous father-in-law Richard Jordan Gatling had lost his fortune because of the invention of the Hotchkiss Machine Gun, and was also in failing health. Hugh was trying to find a new income for the family, which included his daughters, aged 7 and 19. ...

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[l] at 5/15/24 2:58pm
Author: Robert P. HelmsTitle: How to find Your Local Wobbly HistoryDate: 2000Notes: Published in Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #28, Spring 2000.Source: Retrieved on 15th May 2024 from www.katesharpleylibrary.net One can find the forgotten Wobbly names and faces, strike stories, union halls and martyrs’ graves in any city where the IWW earned its legendary reputation. It is easy to find thorough information on the luminaries, such as Tresca, Flynn and Giovanitti, but what about those local organizers who invited these major figures to town, and then kept working after they were gone, pouring the wine of rebellion into workers’ hearts? It may take some time, but in all probability you’ll find syndicalist monuments and hallowed ground that you walk past every day, but never knew existed. Start at the nearest college library, and gather a short stack of general works on the IWW or any of its famous travelling speakers. Look in the indexes for the name of your town, and start making a list of the local numbers, companies where the IWW was active, and especially the dates of strikes and public appearances by well-known Wobs. The most active years will usually be between 1911 and 1920. Be sure to include the date September 5, 1917, when IWW halls across the U.S. were raided by federal agents. Take the list to the nearest large public library, and go to the newspaper room. They’ll have all the local daily papers from those early years on microfilm. In most places, there were many more papers than there are now. Start rolling to the day after each of the events you’ve found, and read the mainstream news accounts. This is the point at which you’ll start saying “oh my goodness…” because there will be photographs, names, addresses and stories that you’ve never heard of, and some that no living person knows about. Take down the addresses of the union halls and get on your bike: is the building till standing? In Philadelphia, there are two. When I rang the doorbell at one of them, I was happy to learn that its present occupants had found some old union handbills in the building, and they had some framed and hanging on the wall. Take down the names of IWW activists and look them up in the city directory (ancestor of the phone book) for the same year: is the home still there now? Search every local historical facility for the names, as well as the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections. Here’s where you may locate the personal papers of your long-dead comrades, and still more names, addresses, and other connections. If you find the date of someone’s death you should look in the papers for an obituary, figure out where they were buried, and call up the cemetery. (Some libraries and historical societies maintain a file of local obituaries from the papers, organized by name, which can be a big help.) I got lucky and found the tombstone of the martyred Wobbly organizer Martin Petkus just a few miles from where I live. Martin was shot down by riot police during an IWW sugar refinery strike in 1917. There will be thousands of minute details that will lead you to other details, and the thread will never end. Once you start hitting pay-dirt and getting acquainted with the labor activists who walked the same streets as you do, but long, long ago, this may become your hobby or even your obsession, as is the case with me. Now that you’ve been warned, sharpen your pencil and get to work. You’ll benefit enormously from the help of librarians at every single step, so always be nice to them.

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[l] at 5/15/24 2:35pm
Author: Robert P. HelmsTitle: ​Doctors and Druggists Among the Early Philadelphia AnarchistsDate: September 2006Notes: An earlier, much shorter version of this article, “Anarchists in Medicine and Pharmacy: Philadelphia, 1889–1930,” appeared in Clamor Magazine #6 (Dec. 2000/Jan. 2001), and had previously been posted on both the Guinea Pig Zero and Dead Anarchists websites.Source: Retrieved on 15th May 2024 from www.deadanarchists.org In the City of Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a large group of professionals who practiced medicine or pharmacy as a livelihood, while committing great energies to the anarchist movement. Looking past the surface, we find a closely knit community of intellectuals who treated their comrades as patients, educated the public on health related matters, and who contributed substantially to the cause with money or the use of their facilities. A look through the anarchist literature of the period will reveal the names of a remarkable number of doctors, who pioneered many of the debates on social changes that are, by and large, taken for granted today. Among them, the best known is undoubtedly Ben Reitman. He is so noted because he catered to the mainstream Media image of an anarchist by hanging out in saloons and hobo jungles, once carrying on a comic chase scene with detectives through Philadelphia’s department stores, and generally keeping himself in the realm of romantic legend. While Reitman did his share of fighting for positive social change during his career, he was the very least distinguished of the anarchist physicians of his time. Certainly some of his leading contemporaries made this assessment. He was actually more a political performance artist than a doctor. Reitman’s relative prominence is largely due to his personal connection to the very famous Emma Goldman, but even more due to the fact that almost nothing has been written in English about the doctors whose work, both in anarchism and in medicine, simply eclipsed the career of the “hobo king.”[1] Such is not the case in Yiddish, but not so many people use that language these days, nor is it easy to locate the books by and about Jewish anarchist doctors. The major figures already known had careers in New York. They include Hillel Solotaroff, Jacob Abraham Maryson , Michael A. Cohn, and Abel Braslau, all of whom were active in the movement in addition to being respected, practicing physicians. While New York’s anarchist doctors and their contribution to the movement is known and thoroughly documented, their colleagues in Philadelphia have been almost completely forgotten.[2] A central event in the tale of these particular comrades was the shooting of Voltairine de Cleyre by an insane former language student of hers named Herman Helcher. Voltairine was already fairly well-known in the international movement for her many essays and poems that had been published in anarchist and other radical periodicals. Locally, she was one of the two best-known anarchist speakers, along with a self-educated English-born shoemaker named George Brown. She earned a very modest living by giving private lessons in English, French, and Piano. This poor but respected woman was wounded by three revolver shots on December 19, 1902 at the corner of 4th & Green Streets, as she waited for a trolley car. The early reports had it that Voltairine was doomed. She had been taken to Hahnemann Hospital, where the inside of the anarchist medical world begins to reveal itself. Daniel A. Modell was a 40-year old general practitioner and socialist, as well as de Cleyre’s “family doctor.” Modell lived in her neighborhood (which is where she was shot) and was yet another of her former students. His son David was an anarchist who translated Russian texts into English. Modell rode with her in a horse-drawn police wagon to the hospital, and his presence at the bedside is no surprise, but mentioned along with him was none other than Dr. William Williams Keen, who was at that time one of the leading surgeons in the world. Already revered for having removed a cancerous tumor from the jaw of President Grover Cleveland nine years earlier, Keen in 1902 was co-chair of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College. He had already served as the President of the American Medical Association, and he would later preside for ten years at the American Philosophical Society, then the most distinguished scientific think-tank in the country. He had been teaching surgery at Jefferson since 1889. Keen was consulted for a possible operation, but he had no affiliation at all with Hahnemann Hospital. He recommended moving the patient to his own offices, but this was never done. Her condition started to improve, and finally the bullets remained inside her for the rest of her life. Daniel Modell, unlike many doctors he knew, is hardly traceable on history’s radar except for the fact that he was de Cleyre’s doctor when she was attacked.[3] Dr. Keen happened to be a leading advocate of animal vivisection, and a vivisector (or “fogey”) himself. This placed him on the opposite side of an intense and ongoing debate from Voltairine and many anarchists of her day. As she recovered, Charles Leigh James, a pro-vivisection anarchist chided her for having been in the same room with a fogey. De Cleyre replied that she’d had no more choice in choosing her physicians than would a vivisected dog.[4] Aside from the problems of the bleeding lady anarchist, we need to ask ourselves just how the best medical talent on earth came to have anything to do with it. Voltairine was a poor person, who would do well to get help from even a mediocre physician at a time like that. Who had brought in the big gun, and how? The precise answer is out of our reach, but we can narrow it down to two of Keen’s former students, Leo Gartman and Bernhard Segal, who graduated at Jefferson in 1894 and 1893, respectively. Both were both quite active in the local anarchist movement at the time. Dr. Gartman may have still been on the house staff at Jefferson Hospital, where he practiced urology before going into private practice nearby at 525 Pine Street. ...

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[l] at 5/15/24 2:26pm
Author: Voltairine de CleyreTitle: On Domesticity, Jealousy, and AbortionSubtitle: A Private Letter to Samuel H. GordonDate: 1897Notes: Edited and introduced by Robert P. Helms.Source: Retrieved on 15th May 2024 from www.deadanarchists.org ​Introduction Voltairine de Cleyre, by far Philadelphia’s brightest anarchist light, was 30 years old when, during the late summer or fall of 1897, she wrote the following letter in London. The letter was never finished, nor was it signed, dated, or mailed. Yet the letter, clearly in her handwriting and style, came to rest in a large group of her letters in the papers of Joseph J. Cohen (1878–1953), de Cleyre’s longtime associate in anarchism, which are stored in the Bund Collection, YIVO Archives, in New York City. It is one of the most compelling and dramatic of all her known writings. Samuel H. Gordon (1871–1906) was a Russian Jew who had arrived in Philadelphia by 1890, and he immediately got involved in the labor movement, being arrested in August 1890 during the anarchist-managed cloakmakers’ strike. He found work as a cigar roller, and later attended the Medico-Chirurgical College, graduating as an MD in 1898. He joined the Ritter der Frayhayt (Knights of Liberty) group soon after his arrival in the US, and he followed the anarchist-communism of Johann Most. Between his arrival in the city and the turn of the century, he gave lectures on “Anarchy,” and on “Revolution: Its Necessity and its Justification,” the latter having been discretely co-written by de Cleyre. Around 1898 Gordon created a splinter group of Yiddish-speaking anarchists called New Generation, which soon disappeared. Gordon’s intimate relationship with de Cleyre began in 1893, after Voltairine had started giving him private English lessons. The affair was intense but often quite painful, lasting six years. They attempted suicide together once, by means of drinking poison. She paid his exam fees at medical school from her very meager earning as a teacher, only to see him lose interest in the anarchist movement after he set up a practice at 531 Pine Street and his finances improved. His cold refusal of material help for de Cleyre when she was shot and lay near death in late 1902 severed his ties to the anarchists, and he was remembered by Emma Goldman, decades later, as “that dog Gordon.” He relocated to Newark NJ in 1904 and died there in 1906 of acute gastritis, probably caused by arsenic-based treatments for syphilis, then a common and incurable disease that de Cleyre is believed to have suffered. His connection to de Cleyre is the principle reason why Gordon has ever been remembered after his death. He has been confused with a different Samuel Gordon, a physician in Philadelphia who graduated from a different medical school several years later. Voltairine set sail for England on June 13, 1897 and left England again in late October. During the trip she lectured in England and Scotland, where she met with scores of important anarchist intellectuals and activists, including Peter Kropotkin, Fernando Tarrida del Mármol (1862–1915), and Jean Grave (1854–1939). During her stay in Britain, de Cleyre evidently received a letter from Gordon that is now lost. In it, he tormented her with an accusation of infidelity. Before making her longer journey to Britain in late April, Voltairine traveled by train and boat from Philadelphia through New York, to Boston, and then back to Philadelphia. During that journey, the events related in the letter took place. She mentions the well-known anarchists Justus H. Schwab (1847–1900; saloon keeper at 50 First St., NYC), Harry M. Kelly (1871–1953; Boston), John Turner (7 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London), and a labor activist named John McLuckie, who had been the mayor of Homestead, Pennsylvania during that city’s famous 1892 steelworkers’ strike. McLuckie was in New York to see Emma Goldman about concerns he had regarding Alexander Berkman. Charles Falkenstein was the husband of Margaret Perle McLeod, de Cleyre’s friend, sometime house-mate, and fellow anarchist of Philadelphia. More mysterious is “Dr. Sittkamp,” whose name does not appear in the medical directories of the time, and who therefore either was not a licensed physician or performed abortions under a pseudonym, apparently in Philadelphia. The method used to induce miscarriage was the insertion in her womb of a corset stay (one of the ribs of the garment, being of various lengths). In 1897, corset stays were made from comb-like plates from a whale’s mouth, called “baleen” and used by the whale to filter plankton out of the water for food. The baleen were boiled to make them flexible, then cut into strips and slipped into the channels of the corset. She addresses Gordon with the terms “Pussy Mine,” “Pussy/Pussie,” and “Mitchka.” Affectionate terms like this appear all over Voltairine’s personal letters, both coming to her and used by her, for friends and lovers. She called James B. Elliott “Jimsky,” she called Mary Hansen “Old Girl,” and Dyer D. Lum called her “Ghost Eyes.” For emphasis in the original letter, Voltairine underscores some words or phrases once, others twice, and on one occasion three times. Part of this letter was quoted by Paul Avrich in his definitive 1978 biography An American Anarchist: The Life of Voltairine de Cleyre (p. 84), but he did not quote or refer to the part of the letter which describes her abortion. Apparently Avrich was the first, and I was the second and last researcher to read this letter, since no other writer has made reference to it anywhere, except to repeat Avrich’s quotation. We do not know whether Paul simply missed the slightly veiled language describing the abortion or consciously omitted to mention it, but either scenario is possible. He was directly in touch with de Cleyre’s granddaughter Renee de Cleyre Buckwalter (now deceased), who was sensitive about points of her family’s internal history. Paul, being a gentleman, may have intentionally spared her the grief of reading this letter in its entirety. I find the letter too moving, and too important, to withhold from the reading public, although I appreciate that Voltairine herself would not wish it to be disclosed. ...

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[l] at 5/15/24 1:41pm
Author: Geelong Anarchist-Communists, Tommy LawsonTitle: All Eyes on RafahDate: May 15th, 2024Notes: The following article is a transcript of a speech given by Geelong Anarchist Communists member Tommy Lawson at an Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) ‘Rally for Rafah’ held on Saturday 11th of May. Its content is supported unanimously by Geelong Anarchist Communists. We have decided to publish it today, on the 76th anniversary of the Nakba (‘catastrophe’) to declare that we stand with those resisting genocide and colonisation.Source: Retrieved on May 15th, 2024 from https://geelonganarchists.org/2024/05/15/all-eyes-on-rafah/. During al Nakba over 750,000 Palestinian people, from a total population of 1.9 million, were made refugees beyond the borders of their homeland. 530 villages and cities were raised and ethnically cleansed between 1947 and 1949, and roughly 15,000 Palestinians were murdered in more than 70 massacres and widespread indiscriminate killings. Today, the cycle repeats. More people have died at the hands of the IDF and the Israeli state in the last few months following October 7 than during the Nakba, and almost every safe dwelling and source of sustenance in Gaza has been either utterly destroyed or completely cut off from use. Just as we remember the Nakba today, so we will remember Gaza tomorrow. Comrades, I do not need to tell you that things are terrible, that times are dark and that monsters stalk the world. Over the past seven months we have seen horrors that will never be forgotten. Today, in Rafah, we are witness to the culmination of Israel’s imperialist, colonial war. If, like me, you are in your thirties or younger, never has war been so vividly portrayed nor marked upon our imagination. We are witness to real time live streaming of genocide. All the horrid specters of the past have come true. All the tragedies we were told would never be repeated. That humanity has learnt its lessons. Every school child learnt about genocide, of the holocaust. But what so many swore would never happen again, is indeed, happening again. There are images forever seared into our memories. Blindfolded men chained together in stadiums, doctors murdered with their hands tied behind their backs, mass graves, families crushed beneath the rubble and so, so many innocent children. When things are so dire, so desperate, it is easy to lose hope. Palestine stands alone on the world stage, while Israel receives the support of western governments. Palestine has been effectively abandoned by every state but Yemen. But, for all they have endured, the people of Palestine have not surrendered. The battle rages on. While we do not agree with the politics or strategies of all factions of the Palestinian resistance, the heroism of those who today struggle against colonization and occupation should be applauded. People who fight with homemade weapons against an internationally backed, technologically advanced military, who have given their lives defending refugee camps and hospitals against genocidal maniacs. This is not terrorism, this is bravery and valor and sacrifice of the highest order. If Palestine continues the fight, so must we. So what does it mean to fight in Australia today? It means recognising where our power lies. Not with the Labor Party or any politicians. There’s only one force powerful enough to make change – the working class. Australian workers were once far more engaged in their unions and practiced in solidarity and struggle. We fought apartheid in South Africa. We fought Dutch colonialism in Indonesia and Japanese imperialism in China. We can do it again. Today, by flexing our industrial muscle we can hurt Israel, the Zionists and their supporters.. Boycotts, pickets and strikes are all weapons that can help to cripple Israel and the IDF. Economic isolation will do a thousand times the damage of another UN resolution. The union movement is not as strong today as it was in the past, but reports from all across the country suggest organising around Palestine has been bringing people in! The fight against colonialism and the class struggle are part of the same struggle! Things have taken an impressive turn in the last fortnight. Starting in the USA, the very heart of the empire, students at Columbia University began occupying their campuses, stating their intention to stay put until the university cut all ties with Israel. Since Columbia began, occupations have spread all across the globe. They have fought police, Zionists and fascists. American students have risen in revolt in a way unseen for generations. People who were toddlers at the time we started reading books on imperialism are now fighting the system. They are, to use that radical 60s slogan, bringing the war home. Now there are at least 7 occupied universities in Australia, one of them being Deakin! Geelong campus may be untouched yet. But we know this cities ties with genocide. Deakin works with multiple companies that supply the IDF, the deputy prime minister, Corio MP and minister for war, Richard Marles is an avid Zionist supporter. Well, I don’t know about you, but I will not be complicit in the massacre of children. I am not okay with Geelong becoming a base for imperialist war manufacturing! You know, during the Spanish Revolution a journalist interviewed a mechanic named Buenaventura Durruti, who was also a fighter in the militias. Reflecting on the destruction of the civil war he said a most remarkable thing. I quote, ‘The bourgeoisie may blast and burn the earth before the leave the stage of history. But we are not afraid of ruins. We built this world and we can build it again. Better this time. We carry a new world in our hearts’. ...

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[l] at 5/14/24 6:19pm
Author: CrimethInc.Title: How To Justify Workplace TheftDate: 14th April 2020Source: Retrieved on 9th September 2020 from archive.org/details/workplacetheft-web Whether aware of it or not, your boss is stealing from you every paycheck. Employers profit off of the “excess” wealth that you, as an employee, produce. There are two ways to get paid in America: make money off the work you do, or make money off the work that other people do. Employees generate wealth, employers collect it. We live in a capitalist society. We all know that. Most people are okay with it, too. After all, the competition (state communism like the USSR) doesn’t have such a good reputation. But what exactly does capitalism mean? Our good friend the dictionary says capitalism is “an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.” This definition is a bit deceptive, but let’s run with it for now. The word I care about in that definition is “profit.” Profit is the extra money at the top after all your expenses are paid out. You buy ten apples from the farmer for ten cents each and sell them in town for twenty cents each, leaving you with an extra dollar. Hurrah! You make enough of those dollars, and you can pay your rent and afford to eat. Both things you might need. But you can only carry so many apples, and you can only sell them so fast. You could make more money if you hire other people to sell the apples for you. You pay them an hourly wage, or take a cut off of every apple they sell. Multiply this by enough people, and suddenly you’re quite wealthy. The people you hire only have enough to pay rent and eat, but you get to drive a hummer-limo and smoke cuban cigars or whatever. Why? Because you stole from your employees. You aren’t working harder than them—in fact, you’re probably working less—and derive your income from the excess wealth generated by their labor. And that is capitalism. When rich people steal from poor people through the legal process of wage labor. Capitalism is based on “capital.” Capital is wealth that can be used to generate more wealth. If capitalism was about getting rewarded for working, we’d be all about it. But it’s not. It’s about getting rewarded for other people working. It’s about letting money (and people) make your money for you. If you, as a wage laborer, didn’t create more wealth for your boss than your hourly wage, you wouldn’t have a job. What we’re calling workplace theft is actually a bit of a misnomer. Workplace theft is the norm: your bosses are stealing from you every day. They’re living off your sweat. When you take money out of the register and put it into your pocket, that’s not workplace theft. That’s workplace justice. “My Boss Isn’t Like That” This isn’t the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century, you could argue. Your boss might not be buying diamond-studded collars for his dog, might not be throwing $20,000 dinners for all her friends. It could be said that most employers aren’t in it for the top hats and monocles. They’re in it because they care about culture or books or food or whatever it is they promote through their store. Good for them. There’s no use arguing that store owners need to be thrown up against a wall and shot. That honor is reserved for the rich bastards who really do run world politics for their own ends regardless of the ecological or social atrocities they leave in their collective wake—the billionaires, the heads of major industries, the corrupt politicians. Hell, small business owners probably don’t even need to be seen as villains. They’re just petty thieves—and they might even be petty thieves who don’t know they’re stealing. If a business isn’t doing so well, it’s run by petty thieves who are failing. They would like to steal your money by paying you less than you earn them, but they can’t, not yet. I don’t know about you, but a burglar who can’t figure out how to open the window of my house still isn’t my friend. “I Don’t Have To Work Here” Sure, you don’t have to work any given job. But you’ve got to work somewhere. Bosses like to sleep at night, just like everyone else. Bosses like to think that people need jobs, that they provide jobs. “If you don’t like the pay, don’t work here.” It’s a shame that the modern labor movement is a shambles, that the most of the existing labor unions are hopelessly bureaucratic and lily-livered, because a hundred years ago they showed the world the falsity of that claim with remarkable articulateness. The short of it is: you gotta work or you don’t eat. There are ways around it that individuals will find, but by and large, you don’t have a choice. You need a job. If it’s not one crummy job, it’s another. And most anywhere you go, there will be bosses. There’s an entire class of professional thieves just waiting to siphon away the products of your labor, ready to buy your time (let’s be honest, your life) for as little as they can get away with. Defending Yourself From Workplace Theft If you’re ready to defend yourselves from these thieves, these bosses, then there are a few ways you can go about it. ...

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[l] at 5/14/24 5:59pm
Author: Anne ArchetTitle: Sirventès of the BeastDate: 2014/06/27Notes: Printed in Return Fire vol.6 chap.6 (spring 2024). PDFs of Return Fire and related publications can be read, downloaded and printed by visiting returnfire.noblogs.org or emailing returnfire@riseup.net I am no citizen I am no consumer I am no tax-payer I am no employee I am no convict I am no beneficiary I am no person of color I am no lesbian I am no mother I am no wife I am no erotic writer I am no poetess I am no anarchist I am no woman I am surely no Human That vile and ethereal being Which has never been spotted elsewhere But in universal declarations I don't want to stay seated and raise my hand I don't want to wait for the teacher to tell me to speak I don't want to wait for a break to take a piss I don't want to press 0 to speak to one of your representatives I don't want to open a box or tear away plastic wrapping to feed myself I don't want to drink from a bottle or tap I don't want to go to the second counter to collect my order I don't want to smile because the customer is always right I don't want to sign my performance review I don't want to sell my time my limbs my voice my orifices I don't want to lose five kilos and find love I don't want to prevent the signs of ageing I don't want to smell like spring I don't want to fill in the right form I don't want to use the reserved lane at 5pm I don't want to be the guardian of household and decency I don't want to be a factor of production I don't want to be an extension of a tool I don't want to be a target audience I don't want to act in my own interests as defined by the relevant authorities I don't want to wipe my arse with the three-layer version of boreal forest I don't want to produce and consume I don't want to be produced and consumed I don't want my survival to be a pretext for destroying everything around me I want to hold you in my arms I want to be able to love you without fear, without reserve, without pretentions I want to draw my nourishment directly from the earth I want my actions to be without bounds I want to live and laugh and cry and love I want to enjoy to the point of losing my mind to the point of losing track of myself I want to do it the way we've been able to do it for millions of years I want to do it with you I want you to be with me I want us to stop our race to devastation I love you I desire you I want your skin against mine We don't need all this shit This filth that we produce in tears That we consume without pleasure That we throw away with a guilty conscience We don't need this cardboard life Of these stuporous vigils Of these dreamless slumbers Of these indistinguishable days and nights Smothered in concrete, street lighting and plastic Muzzled by alcohol, stimulants, sedatives, antidepressants Distracted by screens, fashion, social networks, glamour Restrained by sexual roles, politeness and conformist originality Double-locked in this universal jail called Civilisation Beneath this thin armoured varnish lies a wild beast Despite thousands of years of domestication I remain a savage Full of passion and fury So are you And it's this beast that I love I'm flesh, bone and blood I am a body, an animal I am a wave of intense desire I am desire incarnate, uncontrollable, and thunderous I am your mad lover I am sphincters, fluids, tendons I am a goddess I am your partner in crime If you want to stop surviving If you want to live If you want to unite with me If you don't, I'll be, happily and without regrets, the enemy to be put down [ed. – Sirventès were a genre of Old Occitan lyric poetry (usually parodies, borrowing the melody, metrical structure and often even the rhymes of a well-known piece to address a controversial subject, often a current event.)]

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[l] at 5/14/24 5:53pm
Author: Anonymous, Return FireTitle: The ‘Green’ Farce Everywhere & Nowhere ElseSubtitle: towards destroying electric mobility & decarbonizing liesNotes: Printed in Return Fire vol.6 chap.6 (spring 2024). To read the articles referenced throughout this text in [square brackets], PDFs of Return Fire and related publications can be read, downloaded and printed by visiting returnfire.noblogs.org or emailing returnfire@riseup.net [ed. – Taken from the German-language website SwitchOff.noblogs.org, this translation continues our interventions in the new climate movements. There are two fronts on which we would like to extend the thrust of the author/s further, in terms of its response to the text reproduced above in this chapter of Return Fire, Targets That Do Not Exist Anywhere Else. Firstly, the proposal below (to focus anarchist attack and critique on the new “green” infrastructure and propaganda) corresponds not only to the proclivities of the author/s, as one worthy cause among many jostling for anarchists’ attention when fighting a domination which can never truly be compartmentalised. Rather, (social acceptance of) the industrial re-structuring underway under the guise of 'solving' ecological collapse forms a strategic choke-point in the pivot of capitalism's latest world-system – “a system that understands itself as global and that mediates political conflict and the flow of resources and information in accordance with a certain logic [ed. – see Return Fire vol.5 pg11],” following Peter Gelderloos' 'Geopolitics for 2024' – as different forms of power are suggested by various elites vying to become the next's architects and win global agreement. His 'Diagnostic of the Future' posited that the discourse around 'climate change' will (or has) become “a linchpin that conditions the governmental and economic crises and also suggests – or even requires – a synthesis in the responses” (namely a “bioeconomic expansion”; see that subsection of the essay), now that eco-catastrophe – especially in the middle latitudes home to several rising powers – is the backdrop: Currently, the only viable platform from which to launch a new project of interstate cooperation capable of deploying and managing the changes that a bioeconomic expansion of capitalism would require can be found in the response to climate change. Climate change provides a narrative of unified global interests. Any political power that acts in the name of addressing climate change can act in the name of all humanity: this offers the possibility to establish a hegemonic project, the same way that the narrative of democracy and human rights undergirded a hegemonic project after the horrors of World War II [ed. – see Return Fire vol.5 pg61]. Political structures for interstate coordination and global intervention would be justified as holistic measures necessary to save the entire biosphere, and they could also have a justifiably technocratic character, given that the media have successfully framed climate change as a scientific rather than economic or spiritual issue [ed. – see ‘The Principle of Reciprocity’]. [...] As long as climate change is treated as a purely scientific issue, any responses will have to be compatible with the preexisting social relations, funding sources, and regulatory mechanisms through which they are to be carried out. In other words, a technocratic approach to climate change would not threaten capitalism. Since the above was written in 2017, the self-described “climate movement” revived in the wake of Greta Thunberg’s youthful activism and Extinction Rebellion (see Rebellion Extinction) etc.: yet in a form as often as not clamouring for precisely this kind of technocratic approach, often divorced from previous radical ecological critique of the structures of this society at their base. They can even include some forms of the sabotage called for in the following article, such as the Tyre Extinguishers mentioned below, an open platform – having taken inspiration from Andreas Malm (see the supplement to Return Fire vol.6 chap.3; Green Desperation Fuels Red Fascism), among others – where participants deflate tyres of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) in their city, framing their actions directly as pressure to appeal to government policy; even though they do list electric SUVs as legitimate targets. Attacking the structures of industrial society, “green” or otherwise, is necessary, and so is making sure that in the process we don’t end up supporting – inadvertently or not – the very escape route conjoining austerity and a kind of techno-socialism (see ‘A New Relation with Social Conflicts’) that certain elites project for themselves at our expense. This would be both tragedy and farce; not least because the system very much needs an impetus from society at large to back a State-level shift, rather than relying on the market to deliver. Returning to Diagnostic of the Future: [C]apitalists themselves are incapable [of building] the kind of systemic change they need. […] The volatility of the market will never produce the resources necessary for a phase shift in energy technologies. Liberal capitalism would leave us festering – or rather, boiling – in a fossil fuel economy. A rapid shift to a climate change economy will not be possible without most major governments introducing huge policy shifts and legally mandating investment in alternative energies and environmental protection measures as a significant part of their total budgets, on par with health care or military spending. ...

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[l] at 5/14/24 5:21pm
Author: Cello Latini Pfeil, Bruno Latini PfeilTitle: An Anarchist Historical Analysis of Body Inscriptions in Modern Western SocietyDate: 02.22.2024Source: Original translation of “Uma análise histórica anarquista das inscrições corporais na sociedade ocidental moderna”, published in Revista História em Reflexão 18(35), 2024. Retrieved on 05/07/2024 from https://doi.org/10.30612/rehr.v18i35.16476 Abstract In this paper, we aim to analyze the processes of stigmatization and pathologization to which certain categories of body inscriptions have been subjected throughout the history of modern Western society. Body inscriptions are defined as any and all modifications made to the body's structure. While some inscriptions are exalted and praised, others are stigmatized and discriminated against. Our theoretical lens is based on anarchist theory, with the intention of reclaiming the self-determination and autonomy of individuals whose body inscriptions are marginalized, ranging from those considered to be self-mutilation to those that involve extreme body modifications. Our approach is to conduct a literature review. Once the theoretical review is complete, we conclude that the qualification of certain body inscriptions as acceptable and positive, to the detriment of the disqualification of others, which are seen as negative and bizarre, are not natural processes, but come from the dense structuring of religious, psychiatric and political discourses. The origins of the legitimization of certain inscriptions are the same as those of the delegitimization and consequent stigmatization, that is, the authority that comes from the State, the Church and the Hospital, as we have argued. Keywords: Anarchism. Body inscriptions. State. Self-determination. Selfmutilation. Introduction Body modifications have occurred in countless periods and territories; they are performed with a variety of tools and have a range of meanings related to the passage of time, spirituality, hierarchies and traditions, among other possible interpretations. Physical experiences that are self-inflicted and/or inflicted on others are part of the concept of being alive (Soares, 2015). We define “body inscriptions” as the gamut of body changes and transformations that are self-inflicted and/or inflicted on others, all the way from the surface of the skin to the interior of the body. From birth to death, what transforms us is inscribed on our bodies through time, territory, family, our individuality, our desires, sexualities and spiritualities. From birthmarks to spiritual rituals of collective flagellation; from accidental burns to therapeutic bloodletting treatments: we understand these and other acts of corporal transformation as body inscriptions to which, depending on their context, different meanings are attributed. Although we cannot restrict the significance of body inscriptions to a single concept, we do notice the universalization of their meanings, especially regarding the emergence of psychiatry. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, certain body inscriptions were classified by the emerging psychiatry as self-mutilation, alongside the development of asylums in Western Europe (Foucault, 1978). The social functions of certain body inscription procedures were reduced to the category of “mutilation”, i.e. pathology. By pathologizing certain bodies, asylums in Western Europe granted themselves the right to regulate the lives of certain groups, to the detriment of naturalizing others. One example is the normalization of cosmetic surgeries focused on beauty and anti-aging, in contrast to the marginalization of cosmetic surgeries that resemble an imaginary perceived as aberrant, monstrous or bizarre. Thus, three different types of body inscription can be identified: We have therefore identified three types of body inscription: those considered pathological self-mutilation, the socially accepted body modifications and the marginalized body modifications. The meanings attributed to each vary according to context, territory, culture and individuality. And so we ask ourselves: how do we distinguish the three types of body inscription? How do we delimit the frontier between what is naturalized and what is aberrant? To come by an answer, we focused on body inscriptions considered to be self-mutilation, which are the target of pathologization and institutionalization. In this study, we opted for an anarchist lens of analysis, as anarchism rejects all forms of institutionalization and authoritarianism, inherently opposing the pathological and controlling role of psychiatry in its modern diagnoses. As Kropotkin (2007, p. 35-36) defines it, anarchism is “[...] the struggle between two great principles that have always been in opposition in society: the principle of freedom and that of coercion”. There are those who defend the state, its institutions and its consequent coercion, and those who defend freedom, the abolition of the state and the liquidation of all forms of oppression - these would be the anarchists. Anarchist ideals accompany the search for emancipation in the midst of the suppression of collective and individual freedoms, whether political, social or of any kind. Presenting not as a brand new theory (Reclus, 2015), but as the conceptual systematization of something expressed throughout human history, anarchism is a method, a lens of analysis that divides political thinkers between those who believe in the state and those who understand the need for its abolition - “[...] it is the struggle against all official power that essentially distinguishes us” (Reclus, 2015, p. 18). ...

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[l] at 5/14/24 5:13pm
Author: Agnes HenryTitle: Anarchist Communism in its Relation to State SocialismDate: June 1896Notes: Original text split between two consecutive monthly publications, with a misprint in the latter citing the first entry as having been published in July rather than June; transcribed from Liberty: A Journal of Anarchist Communism (June 1896) and Liberty: A Journal of Anarchist Communism (July 1896) on the Internet Archive.Source: Liberty: A Journal of Anarchist Communism The question of how for Anarchist Communism agrees exactly with State Socialism, and the exact line that divides them, has long seemed to me one that it would be well to enter into. And just now, in view of the approaching International Congress, seems a time particularly appropriate for this consideration. For surely it would be well to have reflected before hand what common action is open to us, together with those bodies of Socialists with whom in some respects we differ. For if there be no such common ground what have we got to do with them? The mere fact that both State Socialist and Anarchist Communist movements are in the main working class movements, is surely not sufficient reason for us to attempt to unite with them. This question has already been dealt with in a German academical periodical, "Der Soziallstiche Akademiker," (Berlin) during some months of 1895, under the title of "Anarchy in Relation to Communism." Under Anarchy, the author "Catilina," treats separately of Individualistic and then of Communistic Anarchy. Communism is for him practically identical with Socialism, for, he maintains, Socialism once established would inevitably develope into Communism. Writing also from a German point of view, the Socialist party is equivalent to the Social Democratic party. According to the German writer, the common opinion that there is a fundamental or radical difference between Anarchism and Socialism (or Communism) is erroneous, and arises chiefly from the different method of reasoning adopted by each party, or in consequence of the difference in tactics employed. He examines carefully the position of the Individualist Anarchist, showing logically that economic necessity—the fact that the individual cannot by his own efforts satisfy his own needs—forces him, nolens volens, to associate and cooperate with his fellows. Under which circumstance he is obliged to restrain many of his individual inclinations, in consideration of others, up to the point necessary to obtain that higher freedom which depends upon the possibility of gratifying his permanent and the greater number of his constant needs. Consequently Individualist Anarchism leads inevitably in the end to Communism, or if it lose sight of its object—the greatest possible liberty to each and all, and follows a phantom, the impracticable "living out" of every desire, regardless of every thing, even freedom—its inevitable result will be a return to the individualistic capitalism of today. As to Communistic Anarchism, the argument is that it is identical with Communism, recognising the necessity of organising production. Buth that the organisation should be complete for the whole country, a certain amount of centralisation is necessary, therefore the only difference between this and Socialism lies in the dictum that Socialism grants "to each according to his work", while the Communist dictum is "to each according to his needs". This latter, however, can only be when an ample sufficiency to cover the possible needs of all is secured. With the improvement in production under Socialism this in the end would follow. This conclusion, that Communist Anarchism is identical with Communism, is, I should say, quite the opinion of the Communist Anarchists themselves. There remains, however, the fact, that two kinds of Communism are possible—an imposed Communism, in which every individual is compelled, not merely by economic necessity, but by physical force to submit to the instituted arrangements, whether he will or not. The other, that Communism which would arise from economic necessity and social human instinct alone, without any external physical force instituted to maintain it. The power of these—State Communism, like compulsory State Socialism, or State maintained capitalism—all alike being based on the principle that "might is right" would not be identical with Anarchist Communism. This maintains that right cannot be secured by force, and that where such force reigns social harmony is impossible. As to tactic, "Catilina" points out that Socialists (i.e., Social Democrats) alike avail themselves of propaganda by speech and press, to spread the conviction of the desirability and necessity for the abolition of the present social system, and hasten the establishment of the socialistic or communistic system. "Propaganda by deed" he does not dwell on, as he considers it "as good as abandoned, at least in Western Europe." The Socialists, however, make use also of parliamentary means, both as affording them greater publicity, as well as freedom of speech, while the Anarchists reject this method as giving greater power to the State. He evidently thinks that the improvement in the material status of the proletariat, to be gained by parliamentary means, would be very slight indeed hardly worth reckoning; and he admits that the political method of attempting to affect an economic change must always be a point of difference between the Anarchists and the Social Democrats. ...

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[l] at 5/14/24 5:04pm
Author: Sophie Scott-BrownTitle: Colin Ward and the Art of Everyday AnarchyDate: 2022Notes: Routledge Studies in Radical History and PoliticsSource: <doi.org/10.4324/9781003100409> Colin Ward and the Art of Everyday Anarchy is the first full account of Ward’s life and work. Drawing on unseen archival sources, as well as oral interviews, it excavates the worlds and words of his anarchist thought, illuminating his methods and charting the legacies of his enduring influence. Colin Ward (1924—2010) was the most prominent British writer on anarchism in the 20th century. As a radical journalist, later author, he applied his distinctive anarchist principles to all aspects of community life including the built environment, education, and public policy. His thought was subtle, universal in aspiration, international in implication, but, at the same time, deeply rooted in the local and the everyday. Underlying the breadth of his interests was one simple principle: freedom was always a social activity. This book will be of interest to students, scholars, and general readers with an interest in anarchism, social movements, and the history of radical ideas in contemporary Britain. Sophie Scott-Brown is a Lecturer in the Humanities at the University of East Anglia, UK. This book is for my parents, Lesley (teacher) and Steven (planner), and partner Matt (anarchist). With love. Acknowledgements I would like to express my warmest thanks to Harriet and Ben Ward for their kindness, help, and patience. I am extremely grateful to Harriet for permission to quote from Colin Ward’s writing and to use photographs from the family’s private collection. I would also like to acknowledge Eileen Adams, David Downes, David Goodway, Ken Worpole, George West, Dennis Hardy, David Crouch, Anthony Fyson, Jonathan Croall, and Richard Mabey for their generosity in sharing memories of Colin, and to Soledad Perez Martinez for discussing her research with me. I am grateful to the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), Freedom Press, and Lib.Com for making important archival materials free and accessible online. I am especially obliged to the TCPA and Resurgence for granting permission to quote from their publications. Thanks also to the staff at the International Institute of Social History for their efficient assistance. Special thanks to Emily English for her excellent research assistance skills and to Matt Higgins and Katherine Mager for their help in preparing the images. Thank you to David Goodway, whose idea this all was in the first place, and to John Roberts, Thomas Linehan, Craig Fowlie, Daniel Andrew, and Hannah Rich, the Routledge editorial team, for their enthusiastic support from the outset. Thanks also to Peter Wilkin, Stuart White, and Geoff Hinchliffe who read or commented on aspects of the project at different times. A special note of appreciation to Carole and Michael Harris for their (timely) help with London geography. Abbreviations Archival Collections CWP Colin Ward Papers, International Institute of Social History TGP Tony Gibson Papers, International Institute of Social History VRP Vernon Richards Papers, International Institute of Social History Institutions/Organisations/Associations FP/G Freedom Press/Group GAG Glasgow Anarchist Group LAG London Anarchist Group LSE London School of Economics PM Peace Movement TCPA Town and Country Planning Association C/USC Council (of)/Urban Studies Centres Magazines, Journals, Periodicals A Anarchy AJ Architect’s Journal BEE Bulletin of Environmental Education NS New Society NSS New Statesman and Society SW Spain and the World TPCJ Town and Country Planning Journal WC War Commentary Introduction For Colin Ward, anarchy was ordinary, everywhere, and always in action. It happened on city streets, allotments, and around kitchen tables, in village halls, town squares, and pub snugs. It went about its business quietly, beneath and beyond official notice. Anarchists were anyone. Sensible, modest, and resourceful people without a bomb between them. They built houses, grew food, and ran workshops. When a thing needed doing, they banded together but parted their ways when done. Beneath this calm, orderly facade lay startling claims. Schooling is organised mass ignorance. Centralised welfare is coercion by stealth. Ramshackle shanty towns contain more human dignity than the palatial creations of feted architects. For all that these ran counter to accepted ideas of social progress, in Ward’s hands they seemed intuitive, like remembering something already known and just briefly forgot. Any reader of sound judgement and good character was hard pushed to object. And yet this was anarchism, the ideology defined, surely, by disorder and destruction. What had this to do with ‘common sense’? This book explores Ward and his everyday anarchism. Focusing on his role as a propagandist, a communicator of anarchist ideas, it examines how he crafted a ‘vernacular’ anarchism and transformed the impossible dream into a daily routine. Talking Colin Ward Ward was born in 1924, in Wanstead, Greater London. An unwilling schoolboy at Ilford County High School (ICHS), he left formal education at 15, becoming first an assistant building surveyor, later an architect’s assistant for Sidney Caulfield, the last living member of the Arts and Crafts generation. Conscripted in 1942, he was posted to Scotland, where he encountered the Glaswegian anarchists, began contributing to War Commentary (WC), the newspaper of the Freedom Press (FP), and stood as a witness for the prosecution in the FP trial (April 1944). From there, his relationship with the FP group flourished, and on demobilisation, he became an FP editor and writer for Freedom (the title War Commentary was abandoned after 1945), most notably through his column ‘People and Ideas’, at the same time as pursuing a parallel career in architecture. ...

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[l] at 5/14/24 4:37pm
Author: Boy Igor & Phil MailerTitle: And Yet It Moves (Updated Edition)Subtitle: The Realization and Suppression of Science and TechnologyDate: 1985Notes: A situationist critique of science and technology published in New York in 1985. This version is a new edition that was published on the 'Endangered Phoenix' website and credited to Phil Meyler. The Endangered Phoenix website is dead now, and I can’t find the updated version on the website through the wayback machine, so there are some footnotes and chapter heading levels which are unclear to me. Plus, I think chapter 3 & 4 were merged in the updated edition, so chapter numbers went out of sync, but chapter 8 was still called chapter 8 which makes it seem like chapter 7 is missing on the libcom website. It is all very confusing, but I've changed the chapter title that said 'chapter 8' to 'chapter 7' for now.Source: <files.libcom.org/files/2022-10/AndYetItMoves.pdf> Preface c/o Endangered Phoenix This small booklet was written in the 1980s just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union and its Stalinist influence throughout Eastern Europe. It was written because at the time I felt that we were at the beginning of a Second Scientific Revolution and that science and technology was governing all of our culture and that the left, as it then existed, had hardly debated the issues around it. Much of what was written was prophetic, though much has been dated by events. However, the central thesis is still valid. It was pointed out that the emerging openness of the then developing computer communication and the availability of data pointed to a weakness in the Soviet and Chinese monopoly of information. In the interim there has been an explosion in technological consumerism, the internet has taken off in a way which would have been difficult to predict at that time, while the growth of Frankenstein food and the manipulation of genes and cloning have provoked intense argument amongst scientists and in the media. There has been a growing distrust of genetically modified foods and this has led to multifarious direct action. Introduction c/o Endangered Phoenix The original writing of the booklet was influenced heavily by the work of the Situationist International, (1957–72) whose work attempted to bring together various disparate critiques of modern life, from radical politics, through Art, Psychoanalysis and a critique of everyday life into a coherent analysis of the conditions of modern capitalism. It is still one of the most potent and damning critiques of capitalism around and if I still use these concepts it is because I believe that no modern critique of capitalism can succeed without taking it on board, by using and surpassing it, and not because of any sectarian loyalty to some cult of ideas. I am not a Situationist. Over the past few years, since Seattle, passing through the various riots of Washington, London, Milan, Melbourne Seoul, Prague or Nice, tens of thousands of a younger generation of anti-capitalist youth throughout the globe have denounced, criticised and attacked “capitalist globalisation”, “racism” , “genetically modified foods” as well as so-called “third-world sweat-shops” and probably, if all were known, much else besides. There is a new protest movement in the making, which has not had this much scope since the Margaret Thatcher’s defeat of the Miners’ Strikes in Britain in the 1980s. If, at times, the concepts used here (proletariat, class struggle) may seem outdated to some, I make no apology. If some people find an emphasis on abstract ideas, like history and theory, boring stuff maybe, it is only to help provide these movements of direct action with a theoretical base in which to proceed. They are still valid concepts even if they have been misused in the past. The defeats of former generations is the food for thought of the new generations; the ideal of Communism is not only Stalinism or what might exist in one country, election politics is a sham in a world of false choices and trust in the spectacular lyrics of a song-writer or trade-union or political-leader is merely the lie which digs our own graves. What is important here it is the new ideal of anti-capitalism, which starts from a collective spirit of what is wrong, which everywhere exists in spirit but is nowhere actual. Such poetry starts off in struggle and community, it is the collective poem and the collective struggle which takes its validity and creativity, not the individual careers of would-be-do gooders but out of the real needs of real people. The Death of Science Society today, at the beginning of this third millennium, is merely a collection of dead spectacles which while promising a better future, merely ends up promoting more misery in the world. Of all the current spectacles, whether Art, Culture, the Good or Happy Life, the Tiger Economy, it is the world of Science and its technological society which is the least criticised. In a society where power is everywhere diffused and sometimes condemned, the appeal to science becomes some final authority. All that power need do to prove this or that little sociological point correct is to say that it is “scientific.” From the justification of power as scientifically administered to the proof of the instability of that power, the last spectacular authority is always some appeal to science. Science is a spectacle as well as a methodology of the spectacle and increasingly one of its main methodologies. It is the alchemy of technocrats who see their flowcharts and algorithms as beckoning a superior organisation of knowledge and power. “Power is knowledge,”, the old adage goes, and scientific knowledge is the atomised theory which grants the power to modern technological capitalism. Science, from being the once revolutionary expression of the bourgeois class has become the spectacularised power which legalises, regularises and rationalises its pseudo-victories. ...

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[l] at 5/14/24 4:35pm
Author: AnarchyNouveauTitle: We Don’t Need a “Plethora of Tactics”, We Need a Climate StrategySubtitle: An anarchist-communist’s response to Freedom NewsDate: March 20, 2024Source: Retrieved on 5/10/2024 from https://freedomnews.org.uk/2024/03/23/we-dont-need-a-plethora-of-tactics-we-need-a-climate-strategy-an-anarchist-communists-response-to-freedom-news/ In Freedom Anarchist Journal’s Winter 2023-2024 issue, Matthew Azoulay submitted an article introducing readers to Murray Bookchin’s ideas of the communalist assembly[1] which disturbed and surprised me for how much it was outdated. The means it proposes to achieve an ecologically revolutionary ends are lacking, stagnant, and fall back on modes of thinking that seem directly inherited from the anti-globalization and Occupy era[2] which the anarchist movement cannot afford to normalise as we continue to enter an exponentially growing ecological collapse. While there are decent ideas to take from both Murray Bookchin and Peter Gelderloos as Matthew Azoulay has, they are both rather flawed in their own ways. There are a some well thought out points and ideas within the article, so my criticisms are entirely constructive and I aim to avoid sectarianism… But that this is what Freedom News is publishing in their own journal on climate struggle has me very concerned to say the least. The lack of revolutionary strategic thinking on ecological struggles will be humanity and the planet’s downfall if the revolutionary movement doesn’t get its act together soon. If a diversity of tactics was all it took to overcome the limits of social movements as Matthew Azoulay suggests in this article (and Peter Gelderloos in The Solutions are Already Here[3]), then comrades worldwide would not be facing defeat after defeat in what are ultimately defensive struggles for the ecology. These insurrectionary limits are visible internationally; from the massive years-long and ongoing fight to defend Weelaunee/Atlanta forest from destruction in the “Stop Cop City” movement, the French struggles in the ZAD’s and against the ecocidal Basin megaprojects, German struggles for forest defense and against ecocidal development such as the Tesla “gigafactory” and the mass movement against coal mining. In the global South, anti-extractivist movements have similarly hit wall after wall since the global descent into neoliberalism and fascism from the 70’s to today. Many valiant stands have been made against imperialist extraction projects, but the power of capital has more often than not prevailed against the power of the organised and rebellious masses, except where said rebellion has reached every layer of the popular masses and turned into an all-out insurrection. For example, the recent social explosion in Panama against a proposed mining project[4], the Zapatista movement’s struggle for autonomy across indigenous territories in so-called Mexico, or the 1991 struggle from revolutionaries in Bougainvillea against the Papua New Guinea government, the Rio Tinto mining corporation and the “Australian” navy[5]. On Bookchin and Communalism As much as he is a controversial figure in the anarchist movement, I agree with Matthew that there is a pressing need to take Murray Bookchin’s ideas on social ecology seriously. Bookchin was no saint; often coming across as a bitter old man embroiled in sectarianism with his contemporaries to the degree that he stopped identifying as an anarchist near the end of his life. The ideology he carved out for himself – Communalism[6] – has a lot of similarities to anarcho-syndicalism in that it over-emphasises a single form of mass organisation as the basis for a revolutionary strategy and erases the role of specific political organisations in the strategic struggle for social revolution. Unlike most anarcho-syndicalist organisations, Bookchin did have the good sense to remove the anarchist ideological branding from his proposal so the community assembly can be a functional popular organisation[7]. Bookchin’s preferred form of anarchist organisation was the affinity group, as Matthew noted in his article in Freedom. Bookchin came to this conclusion based on his assessment of the Spanish Civil War, taking influence from the CNT-FAI. I will definitely not be the first anarchist to say this, but despite having some great ideas, Bookchin was an idiot. The Friends of Durruti group[8] was right there as an example of a cohesive revolutionary organisation within the Spanish Civil War. It was formed in response to the weaknesses and failures of the FAI’s loosely organised “synthesist” federation of affinity groups who were operating within the CNT in addressing the challenges faced by the social revolution. The Friends of Durruti were what is known as a Specific Anarchist Organisation[9], a form of political organisation wherein anarchist militants (and affinity groups) coordinate socially inserting themselves into mass movements and organisations; examples include trade unions, communalist assemblies, struggles for social justice from the marginalised and oppressed, abolitionist movements, the anti-war movement and the environmentalist and anti-nuclear movements. The aim is to agitate within them from below and build their combative and working class character, organising for direct democracy and radical demands, and nurturing revolutionary horizons. An SAO can be formed with as little comrades as an affinity group, or can scale up into federations. The difference between the FAI’s loose affiliation of affinity groups within the trade unions and an SAO is a matter of having a shared theoretical line, tactical (and in the case of especifismo, strategic) unity, and a revolutionary program. Examples include the Federation of Anarchist-Communists in Bulgaria or the currently existing Uruguayan Anarchist Federation[10] which developed the “especifismo” tendency based on their critique of the marxist “foquismo” guerilla strategy[11], which is also the common strategy in insurrectionary anarchism. SAO’s can operate as above or underground organisations as the local situation and level of state repression determines. This strategy within the anarchist movement is broadly known as organisational dualism. While commonly associated with Anarkismo.net[12] affiliated organisations today, SAO’s have existed before and irrespective of Anarkismo and the organisations which are a part of it: Examples include the Friends of Durruti, the International Working People’s Association which influenced the Chicago May Day and 8 hour day struggles, Revolutionary Struggle in Greece which furthered the social war against the Greek state and EU, or Bakunin’s Alliance of Socialist Democracy[13]. ...

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[l] at 5/14/24 3:58pm
Author: Chen JiongmingTitle: A Proposal for the Unification of ChinaDate: 1927Source: Published in Chen Jiongming and the Federalist Movement by Leslie H. Dingyan Chen. The Political Capability of the Chinese People There are some who doubt that the Chinese people are capable of creating a truly democratic state. We emphatically disagree. The political environment in any country is created by its leaders. The perceptions and habits of the people can be changed to follow those of the leadership. Furthermore, Chinese society has been traditionally rich in self-governing organizations, which can be effectively used to reconstruct [China as] a democratic state. The Real Causes of the Turmoil over the Past Sixteen Years 1. The Problem of the Provisional Constitution [First,] no provision was made in the Provisional Constitution of 1912 to provide proper checks and balances against the assertions of legislature power and executive power. When the parliament went beyond its bounded [purpose] to make laws directed against the executive on a personal basis, the latter had no choice but to illegally dissolve it. [Second,] there was no clear definition of the authority and limitations of the cabinet. Disputes between the president and the cabinet resulted in many political crises. [Third,] the parliament was responsible for the drafting of the constitution, as well as for the election of the president, making its members potential prey to threats and bribery. [Finally,] no provision was made for provincial governments. There was no constitutional protection of the relationship between the central government and the provinces, or regarding the powers and limitations of the provinces. This resulted in the arbitrary assumption of powers by various provinces and the usurpation of civil administration by the military. Every political crisis we have witnessed in the past sixteen years (1911–1927) has invariably been caused by constitution-related disputes. 2. The Problem of the Parliament When the Republic was first established, the parliament was expected to deal with the several most pressing problems of the nation, namely, the drafting of the constitution, the budget system, and a system of local government, as well as the abolition of military governorships. Instead of dealing with these problems, the parliament engaged in endless disputes with the executive branch. 3. The Problem of the Presidency The president of the Republic is a public servant and should be elected by the people. However, the presidency is viewed by the old bureaucrats from the monarchical era as a position of power and prestige, to be gained by bribery or intrigue. Moreover, every president, whether “legal” or “illegal,” has derived his support primarily from the military. 4. The Problem of the Government Peking, the capital of the Republic, was also the old capital of the monarchy, where the lingering malaise of the decadent old bureaucracy has hardly been conducive to the conduct of good, clean modern government. 5. The Problem of the Military Generals, not soldiers, cause the trouble. It does not matter what they are called-dudu, dujun, military governor, or commander-in-chief-as long as they possess the actual military power. The big generals control several provinces; the small ones, one province. They are responsible neither to the president nor to the provincial governments. This situation breeds warlordism and is the greatest obstacle to be overcome on the road to national tranquility. 6. The Problem of Political Parties There have been no real political parties (zhengdang) but only party cliques (dangpai), except for the short period in 1912 when the Nationalist Party and the Progressive Party (Jinbudang) possessed some semblance of a modern political party. Since then these parties have split into cliques based on the self-interest of individual groups rather than on policy or political principles. The Northern militarists and politicians separate themselves into the Anhui, Zhili, and Fengtian cliques. The Southern party, being excluded from participation in government, has resorted to revolution and thus lost the character of a political party. Tools That Failed to Restore Order Since 1912, two tools have been used alternately, but to little effect, in restoring order to the nation. These tools are peace negotiation and military action. For example, both the 1919 peace conference in Shanghai and the 1925 rehabilitation conference in Peking dissolved almost as soon as they convened. In the case of military action, no matter what it is being called-national revolution or unification by force-the tactics used have been the same, namely, those of a conqueror. Why these tools have failed is not because of the tools themselves, but because those who used them are ignorant of the basic principle of democracy-that is, the power of the government must be distributed amongst the entire people. It is a grave mistake to concentrate all power in the military and “use the military to rule the country” (yi jun zhi guo), or to concentrate all power in a single political party and “use the party to rule the country” (yi dang zhi guo). ...

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