Author: Cyber Dandy

Everything Is Just Dandy!

Gizmodo Movie Night: Hack City, Bitch

Ky Stewart
This week’s Gizmodo Movie Night is dedicated to movies and shows about hacks and data breaches, because we can’t get enough of them, apparently. 

The post Gizmodo Movie Night: Hack City, Bitch appeared first on Gizmodo Australia.

  Related StoriesBlack Friday and Cyber Monday 2022 Are Coming, Here’s What You Need to KnowToday’s Best Australian Tech Deals – EnclosureHere Are the Cheapest Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro Plans in Australia 

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​​ Bibliophilia & Anarchism in Star Trek: Picard By María Angeles Castro & Javier Sethness Castro

The Institute for Anarchist Studies
Following up on our previous analysis of the political and philosophical affinities between Mikhail Bakunin and Richard Wagner, in which we discussed social ideologies such as feminism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and anarchist revolutionism in the epic opera The Ring (1874), we turn now to an examination … Read more

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Alexander Berkman – The Blast Vol. I, No. 3

The Anarchist Library
Author: Alexander Berkman
Title: The Blast Vol. I, No. 3
Subtitle: San Francisco, Saturday, January 29, 1916
Date: January 29, 1916
Notes: Alexander Berkman, Editor and Publisher; E. B. Morton, Associate Editor; M. E. Fitzgerald, Manager
Source: Retrieved on September 22, 2022 from

Resistance to Oppression
Labor, organized as well as unorganized, owes a debt to those within its ranks who have had the daring to resist the master class in defense of the working class.

It is tragic to see labor leaders and their editors repudiating the McNamaras, Ford and Suhr, Quinlan, Schmidt or Joe Hill on the plea that Organized Labor cannot “afford to encourage violence.”

It is this cringing slave philosophy, this repudiation of the fighting spirit of Labor, which has given the employing class almost unlimited opportunity for violence by proxy; that is, through hired gunmen, police, the courts and similar agencies.

Ford and Suhr gave life and impetus to the California Commission on Housing and immigration, and the Federal Commission on Industrial Relations was virtually created as a result of the McNamaras’ war.

The report of the latter Commission contains a radical analysis of industrial conditions, the import of which Labor has not as yet fully digested.

From Chapter VIII we quote as follows:

“The general effect of the decisions of American courts, however, has been to restrict the activities of labor organizations and deprive them of their most effective weapons, namely, the boycott and the power of picketing, while on the other hand the weapons of employers, namely, the power of arbitrary discharge, of blacklisting, and of bringing in strikebreakers, have been maintained and legislative attempts to restrict the employers’ powers have generally been declared unconstitutional by the courts. Furthermore, an additional weapon has been placed in the hands of the employers by many courts in the form of sweeping injunctions, which render punishable acts which would otherwise be legal, and also result in effect in depriving the workers of the right to jury trial.”

After expressing grave doubts as to the efficacy of the Clayton Act, the report declares all efforts to restrict the rights and powers of the employers to correspond in substance with those allowed trade unions, have failed absolutely—not only on account of the intervention of the courts, but on account of the ineffectiveness of legislation against blacklisting and arbitrary discharge.

As Labor admittedly has all the worst of the law, and no possible redress through it, why in the name of common sense should Labor be law-abiding? On the subject of violence we quote from the Industrial Relations Commission report: “Violence is seldom, if ever, spontaneous, but arises from a conviction that fundamental rights are denied and that peaceful methods of adjustment cannot be used. * * * The arbitrary suppression of violence by force produces only resentment which will rekindle into greater violence when opportunity offers. Violence can be prevented only by removing the cause of violence; industrial peace can rest only upon industrial justice. * * * Throughout history where a people or a group have been arbitrarily denied rights which they conceived to be theirs, reaction has been inevitable.”

“Violence is a natural form of protest against injustice.”

“No strike can be won if the employer can operate his plant without difficulty.”

“When governmental institutions are thus corrupted and used as instruments of oppression, men can only resist with such power as they have, not alone for the protection of themselves and their families but for the preservation of the fundamental rights of themselves and their fellow citizens.”

The peaceable and orderly progress of civilization is a social myth. It was invented thousands of years ago by masters who had found that fooling the slaves involved less personal risk and strenuous effort than the application of the lash.

As faithfulness to the master class and conspicuous ability to subdue rebellious sentiment was the only condition upon which a slave overseer might be released from his own bondage in ancient times, so it is now.

The climbers within the ranks of Labor, provided the masters think them safe, sane and conservative, emancipate themselves from toil and generally graduate into political jobs. To them Labor is not Vision—it is a living.

Can You Prove It?
We radicals are constantly being accused of making assertions without proof. For instance, if you should declare, with Dr. Chapman, that “Government is an organized system of exploitation within a given territory,” you would instantly be challenged to prove your statement. “For this government is conceived in liberty,” the infatuated patriot will say. Yet, in spite of that, you can prove your definition true even for this country. Or, rather, a university professor has already done it for you. Merely say: “Allow me to suggest, my friend, that you read a book by the eminent Prof. Charles A. Beard, of Columbia University, called ‘An Economic Interpretation of the United States Constitution.’ You will then be convinced that the ‘fathers of the Constitution’ established it mainly so that they themselves and others of similar interests could speculate in government securities, could collect high rates of interest from hard-working farmers, could gain fortunes by buying up Western lands which the work of other men would make valuable, and could exploit men and women in manufactures and commerce.”

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This Is America #175: How the Mission District Pushed Back on Police and Non-Profit Attempts at Social Cleansing

It’s Going Down
Welcome, to This Is America, October 6th, 2022. On this episode, first we speak with a resident of the Mission District neighborhood in San Francisco, California, about a recent campaign to remove poor and working-class people from a popular plaza and how the neighborhood pushed back. We then speak to Nathan Jun, an anarchist and… Read Full Article

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Alterity and Otherness in Phenomenology – meaning and definition

Phenomenology and Existentialism
The concepts of otherness and alterity were developed by the phenomenological philosopher Emmanuel Levinas.
In phenomenology, alterity and otherness serve to describe the characteristic of being other or different, especially when referring to another conscious subject.

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American Federalism Isn’t a Boon for Democracy — It’s a Disease

Colin Gordon
Between 2017 and 2020, the Mississippi Department of Human Services squandered nearly a quarter of its federal block grant under the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program on kickbacks, phantom services, and vanity projects for retired football players. In the summer of 2021, twenty-six states — all Republican-led — cut short their participation in […]

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The New Yorker, “The Anarchist Who Authored the Mexican Revolution”

By Geraldo Cadava, October 5, 2022 In 1901, Ricardo Flores Magón, a journalist and political dissident in his late twenties, stood on the stage…

The post The New Yorker, “The Anarchist Who Authored the Mexican Revolution” appeared first on Agency.

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The Guide to Peer-to-Peer, Encryption, and Tor: New Communication Infrastructure for Anarchists

Anonymous Contributor
An exhaustive anarchist overview and guide to various apps and tech that utilize peer-to-peer and encryption. Download and Print PDF Version For Reading Online For Printing Secure encryption chat apps are essential infrastructure for anarchists, so they should be closely scrutinized. Signal is the dominant secure encryption tool used by anarchists today. Conspiracy theories notwithstanding,… Read Full Article

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The Surveillance State and Muslim America / Fatema Ahmad

This Is Hell!
We speak with Fatema Ahmad, co-author, along with Azadeh Shahshahani, of a new article at The Progressive, “The Surveillance State Can’t Solve White Supremacy: After the January 6 attack, federal surveillance programs expanded to counter white supremacist violence have made Black and brown communities their main target.” Fatema is executive director of the Muslim Justice League.

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Episode 442: Understanding the History of Socialism

Diet Soap – a podcast
Douglas Lain
Mike Taber has edited and prepared a number of books related to the history of revolutionary and working-class movements—from collections of documents of the Communist International under Lenin to works by James P. Cannon, Leon Trotsky, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Maurice Bishop, and Nelson Mandela. His book Under the Socialist Banner is a collection of the resolutions of the Second International from 1889 to 1912. 

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Anarchism in the Face of Fascism and the Electoral Debate
From Black Rose Anarchist Federation

By Rafael V. Da Silva, Kauan Willian and Victor Khaled

Translated by S Nicholas Nappalos

This article was originally published by Jacobin Brasil.

With neither Bolsonaro (Liberal Party) nor Lula (Workers’ Party) able to secure an outright majority during the October 2nd presidential election in Brazil, both advance to a run off election set to take place on October 30th. There is a great deal of anxiety and tension surrounding the electoral process in the country, which has seen extreme political polarization not dissimilar to what is taking place in the United States.

This article was written as a response to a prior piece also published in Jacobin Brasil titled “Anarchists in defense of the vote for Lula.” The previous article defended the tactical use of the vote to defeat Bolsonaro as a tool in the antifascist struggle, which is the principal theme the authors take up here.

The authors of this article are associated with the Institute for Anarchist Theory and History, a project supported by Black Rose / Rosa Negra.

Anarchists understand that the radical transformation of society, in an emancipatory and self-managed form, will only be possible with a growth of the social power of the oppressed classes in an internationalist project. Fascism must be crushed, but the ballot box is not capable of doing so. We will continue the fight against fascism, without sectarianism, along side those who vote and those who do not.

We are all obligated to live, more or less, in contradiction with our ideas; but we are socialists and anarchists precisely in the sense that we suffer with this contradiction and seek, so far as it’s possible, to shrink it. The day we adapt to this environment, of course, we would no longer have the desire to transform it, and we would become simply bourgeois; penniless bourgeois, perhaps, but no less bourgeois in deeds and intentions.

– Errico Malatesta

In my weekly speech in the Civil Construction Union, I will explain the anarchist concept of law, as a bourgeois creation and as a revolutionary creation. There are, in effect, two kinds of laws: those representing the pressure of the possessors on the non-possessors, and those representing the conquests of the non-possessors against their masters. These are laws imposed by revolutions, for example: the Magna Carta, the Declaration of the Rights of Men, the Law of 13th of May, etc. […] But to get such laws, it was never necessary to have representatives in parliaments. Imposition takes place on the street, in factories, mines, work centers and barracks.

– José Oiticica

This article is a response to the text “Anarchists in defense of the vote for Lula”, published in Jacobin Brasil on September 6, 2022. Anarchism has never been a dogma, but there is a deliberate confusion in thinking that, due to its anti-authoritarian stance, there are “as many anarchisms as anarchists”, and that anything defended by a self-styled anarchist has validity as part of “anarchism”. But this is not correct. Despite its diversity, when we look globally at the history of anarchism in its 150 years of struggle, we can extract a set of principles and elements that constituted it historically. To defend these principles and criticize reformist deviations – since anarchism has always had a revolutionary perspective – is not dogmatic or authoritarian. We cannot let others try to impose strategic perspectives on anarchism that are foreign to our ideology.

Let’s start by talking about the Brazilian case of the experience of anarchism in the face of Varguism[1] and trade union corporatism. In 1930, in the midst of the political transformations that were taking place in Brazil with the rise of Getúlio Vargas to power, many unionists, socialists and anarchists – who had fought intensely the coronelista[2] policy known as the “coffee with milk Republic”[3] – came to welcome the new government. This is because, among other things, Varguism represented a fight against that prior political and economic phase, in addition to promoting some workers’ rights, which came from, at that point, the struggle of many militants.

When a brutal repression against the most radical elements of the left was installed, together with the rise of union corporatism in an open confrontation with revolutionary trade unionism, most of these militants figured out that their old positions were wrong. However, during those years, even before this repression, other anarchist militants inserted[4] in their economic and political bodies had already denounced the illusions of Varguism. In this case, the São Paulo Workers Federation (FOSP) and the Rio Grande do Sul Workers Federation (FORGS), as well as the the newspapers The Plebe, The Syndicalist and The Lantern, were building a strategy to fortify the bases for the imminent attack.

In 1934, these same militants sought to reorganize the Brazilian Workers’ Confederation (COB),[5] aiming to form “a single whole of the working class, for the common struggle against the common enemy that is the dominant and tyrannical capitalism”, respecting the “organization by local federations, these joined together in state federations and all these unified in the federations of industrial unions”. The call for common action was intended to reinforce the collective power of the class, since “associated, workers acquire the strength necessary for their interests”. This grassroots articulation could make “Brazil’s working class [have] a strong body of defense and struggle capable of placing the organization of our class at the height of the needs of the campaign in favor of our emancipation”.

In the same period, anarchists made alliances with socialists of different shades, against the presence of fascism and the Varguista authoritarianism of the time. In dialogue with the National Liberation Alliance (ANL),[6] they warned that “while the allianceists are in the opposition, in the fight against fascism, latifundistas[7] and governmental tyranny […], not deifying people, but fighting for ideas, discussing and fighting around principles, anarchists and allianceists would find themselves side by side”.

This context, as well as in others where anarchists were together with the working class debating the course of their own liberation, shows that far from being “dogmatic” or “religious,” anarchists were able to adjust their theories and thoughts to the present reality. Without failing to make associations and alliances with other forces, they presented criticisms, proposals and, above all, practices and experiences that provided a framework of tools of struggle for the oppressed. This allowed, at the same time, not to be swallowed up and diluted by other ideologies, since they were not simply “in tow” with the decisions of their adversaries or political opponents. Discussions followed just as much by its bases (syndicalism) as by its political and ideological family. Those who hadn’t done the same exercise suffered political dilution, even moving to other ideological ranks (cases of anarchists who turned into varguistas or corporatist syndicalists were not uncommon) or faced repression without means of defense.

The Pillars of Capitalist Domination
We should understand society and the statist-capitalist system of domination from a wider view. Anarchism and its theoretical currents across history sought to understand that social reality is divided in three spheres: economic, political/juridical/military, and cultural/ideological. The social reality is fruit of a totality formed by these spheres and their interdependent relations. The statist-capitalist system of domination maintains itself through the domination of these three spheres, elections being part of that system. It would be an illusion to think that social transformation, or the “choice of the most favorable scenario”, occurs in the ritual of the electoral process, every 2 years.

We do not choose the judges, we don’t have control over the repressive apparatus, we don’t control the economic system, nor do we have a presence in the innumerable state institutions that are not open to a vote. Furthermore, a country on the periphery of the capitalist system like Brazil is hostage to the action of imperialism and its political and economic tools. Agreements and alliances – including those of progressive candidates – also considerably reduce the margin for navigating within this system. The electoral system is open to a certain extent, but the popular “choice” is always restricted and guarded.

According to the Uruguayan Anarchist Federation (FAU):

“Within what was produced by socialist thought, corroborated in large part by social experiences, are theories about the mechanisms of reproduction of the current system. Basic mechanisms that, even in highly differentiated social contexts, operate in a similar way. As a basic set of related, articulated “pieces” that make some things possible and prevent others. Allowing, for example, wealth and poverty to grow; that the different fundamental powers always be in the hands of a privileged minority; that the media conform to ‘ideals,’ ‘values’ and ‘cultural’ standards, reaffirming the current system. So, talking about elections is alluding to a ‘piece’ of a power structure that is much broader”.

The History of Anarchism Against Reformism
Anarchism is a revolutionary, socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-statist and anti-authoritarian political ideology. Arising from the critique of different forms of domination, anarchists understand that the radical transformation of society, in an emancipatory and self-managed way, will only be possible with the growth of the social power of the oppressed classes in an internationalist project. This transformation will definitely not take place through the use of the apparatuses of the dominant classes.

The emergence of anarchism in the second half of the 19th century is a historical creation that has as a background not only the union struggle of the 1850s-60s, but also the growing disillusionment of a sector of the working class with the parliamentary disputes and with the republican revolutions, in which many of those who later became anarchists participated. Anarchism matured as a socialism without illusions about the state or its mechanisms of domination – parliament, elections, etc. Therefore, it makes no sense for anarchists to use these mechanisms or reinforce them as a political solution without calling into question their own principles and their critique of the capitalist system. To use a metaphor, wanting to occupy the state to change the system of domination is the equivalent of wanting to become a boss to change capitalism.

Anarchism was constituted as an ideology within the International Workers Association, from the 1860s onwards, developing its political physiognomy strictly linked to the strategy of revolutionary syndicalism; a strategy of struggle that was anti-parliamentary and in favor of a project of social transformation led by the union of workers in their class organs. Anarchism is born and develops, therefore, rejecting parliamentary action. This is as much an integral part of its political practice, not an element open to discussion, as it is an unavoidable historical fact.

Since the internal clashes in the International Workers Association (IWA), one (amongst others) element separates anarchists and Marxists: the use of parliamentary elections as part of the strategy for the emancipation of the working class. Marx and Engels, who represented a sector of the labor movement at the time, had a certain optimism about the use of the electoral tool, while Bakunin and his group, the Alliance, who represented another sector of the labor movement at the time, did not.

Our project, socialist and libertarian, intends to replace the current system of domination with a political system of self-government: self-management. To this aim, throughout history anarchist militants analyzed reality and, based on this analysis, developed strategies of struggle (different for each internal current of anarchism) to make popular movements move towards this proposal. Far from being a stagnant idea in the air, on four occasions anarchism proved to be a powerful material tool for the social transformation of reality: in the Mexican Revolution (1911), in the Ukrainian Revolution (1921), in the Manchurian Revolution (1929) and in the best known, the Spanish Revolution (1936). In all four of these revolutions (and even in others in which anarchist influence was marginal), the electoral process was peripheral to the triggering of revolutionary processes. The core has always been the accumulation, construction and strengthening of mass popular movements, which had as its objective a revolutionary and anti-capitalist rupture.

Some would say: “but we’re not talking about revolution, we’re talking about guaranteeing minimum reforms and blocking counter-reforms”. Well ok. Whenever the revolutionary perspective disappears from the horizons of social fighters, pragmatism takes the place of utopia. Conference agreements replace grassroots decisions and anti-capitalism is replaced by the reformist policy of “less bad”. But even in this aspect of reformism, the vote seems secondary to us. We will quote here just two episodes so as not to abuse the patience of our readers.

The first one concerns the victory of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, in 1951. When trying to carry out an agrarian reform in the country, a measure that is not even properly anti-capitalist, Arbenz was overthrown by a coup d’état organized by the USA. In fact, a young medical student who lived in Guatemala at that time began to develop his thesis of revolutionary rupture based on the disillusionment with the electoral strategy: Ernesto Rafael Guevara.

The other, which took place in Chile in 1970, was the election of Salvador Allende, perhaps the most significant historical example of the use of electoral strategy to promote reforms and stop the reactionary advance, resulting in yet another coup that overthrew the government.

Reformism, therefore, does not solve the political, economic and social problem.

On the other hand, we have diverse examples that through the strategy of revolutionary syndicalism (of anarchist origin) and combative struggle in different countries where revolutionary processes were not conceived: various labor rights were conquered, forcing the State to adhere to the demands sought through direct action and self-organization of the working class, won with the organization of strikes and other revolutionary tactics and demands.

The Real Polemics
The significant internal controversies (that is, recurrent in history and which divided anarchism) never took place between voting and not voting, but on the following themes: organization, the role of short-term struggles, and the use of violence.

With organization, anarchism has historically been divided between organizationalists and anti-organizationalists, the former being in favor of anarchist action in mass bodies: unions, popular movements, etc. Within the organizationalist camp some anarchists defend, in addition to in mass bodies, the foundation of specific anarchist organizations. Anti-organizationalists, on the other hand, are against formal organizations at the ideological (anarchist) and social (popular movements) level, despite the fact that many of them maintained relationships with various unions throughout history. It should be noted that anti-organizationists were always in the minority.

We speak here as anarchists of the organizationalist camp, as we are in favor of the accumulation of social power in mass bodies as the main lever of the revolutionary transformation of reality. This does not end with the short electoral calendar. Therefore, we are and will be, without sectarianism, alongside other comrades who – regardless of their political position in front of the polls – build these popular movements on a daily basis, beyond the elections. This will be the greatest contribution to the defeat of Bolsonarism: a strong unity of popular struggle for rights and against reactionary sectors.

On the role of short-term struggles, anarchism was divided between possibilists and impossibilists. The former maintain that anarchist society will not emerge overnight and, therefore, short-term struggles (for better wages, housing, work, land and various other demands that meet the needs of the oppressed classes) play an important role in the construction of a perspective of revolutionary transformation of society, especially when won by direct action (of masses) and social struggle. This idea became known in anarchist circles as “revolutionary gymnastics”. On the other hand, the impossibilists, on the other hand, believe that small reforms divert the working class from the revolutionary path, helping the capitalist system to adjust by not jeopardizing its foundations.

We stand on the side of the possibilists, understanding that the struggle for better living conditions is fundamental in the revolutionary journey and that there are only reforms and significant advances in social rights when we fight for them.

Finally, on the use of violence, the division among anarchists was not between a pacifist sector and another favorable to the use of revolutionary violence. This is because pacifists were completely negligible in the history of anarchism, although they were generally overvalued by a literature that does not look at anarchism in a global manner. On this topic, the division is made specifically between those who understand that revolutionary violence must be operated and function in agreement with previously established popular movements (the so-called mass strategy), and the insurrectionist strategy, which claims that violence can function as a a trigger, a form of propaganda that could stimulate the rebellion of the oppressed classes.

On this matter, we are on the side of the mass strategy and we believe that any process of rupture, or even a serious confrontation with fascism, is impossible without debating this issue. The ossified republicanism of our institutional left has simply blocked discussion on this issue and this, after all, is yet another symptom of the degeneration brought about by the electoral focus. In times when fascists arm themselves and threaten public figures on the left, our self-defense should already be actively debated.

We raise this historical and global panorama of anarchism, in its 150 years, to affirm that the controversy about anarchists voting or not in bourgeois elections is completely artificial and has no echo in the history of anarchism. If it is true that in Spain the National Confederation of Labor (CNT) released its militancy to vote on at least two occasions (which is different from having carried out an electoral campaign), at the time the organization had around 2 million members, more than 20 years of uninterrupted struggle, a program of transition to a socialist and self-managed economy, and its main intention was to free its political prisoners. The CNT and the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) had to organize the fight against fascism at all levels, the opposite of what we see in Brazilian social democracy today.

Other (much more important) controversies were recurrent and consumed more energy from anarchist militancy than the issue of voting. The field of anarchism that we adhere to, in short, has the strategy of transforming reality: the accumulation of social power in popular movements, with struggles for reforms serving as “revolutionary gymnastics” and the development of advanced forms of struggle, placing the theme of revolutionary violence under discussion, having as a horizon the construction of a revolutionary rupture. Any debate of confronting fascism should also go through this strategy, not the individual decision between voting or not.

The slow incorporation of the working class as “citizens” in the arena of the incipient European bourgeois democracy of the 19th century was not seen by the libertarian sector of socialism as a victory, but as a way of stifling the radical struggles that took over Europe. In this sense, anarchism proved to be correct, as the universalization of suffrage domesticated the revolutionary sectors and produced a strong consensus that every two years profound changes could be carried out, when in reality the social structures of exploitation and domination remain intact.

To strengthen our argument, we will cite two structural elements that shape the Brazilian reality. The first is structural racism, the fruit of the genocide created by Portuguese colonialism in our territory and the slave trade. The second is the high land concentration in our country. In which government in Brazilian history (even those of the center-left) were there important structural changes to promote the end of latifundios and the genocide of the black population and the poor? We cite these two aspects of reality because we consider them to be central to all revolutionaries, central aspects that fed proto-fascist and fascist elements. How will this election combat them?

Understanding Fascism to Crush It
There are different interpretations of the characterization of Bolsonarism. There are those who consider it a far-right movement, but not a fascist one. Others characterize it as proto-fascist, and there is still another sector that sees Bolsonarism as a neo-fascist movement. Regardless of the characterization, it is correct to say that Bolsonarism is an extreme right-wing, misogynist, patriarchal, militarist, racist and reactionary movement, supported mainly by the latifundista ruling classes, by part of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie.

Bolsonarism also took root in sectors of the working class and spread through gun clubs, neo-Pentecostal churches, low and high officers of the security and armed forces (paramilitary or military), conservative entities and reactionary media. Bolsonarism’s arc of alliances includes neo-Pentecostal leaders, servile sections of the high command of military, agrobusiness that supports the politics of environmental crime, the proto-fascist business community and all those who support an institutional coup from this diffuse tropical trumpism.

The lesson of Bolsonarism and its challenge to society in all spheres (cultural/ideological, political-military and economic) attests that fascism only advanced because fascists decided to contest society, with the electoral occupation of the State (the political body of the ruling class) as a consequence of this. The genesis of German and Italian fascism demonstrate the same. Their electoral power came from conservative and reactionary political work within the masses which transformed the movement into a regime.

Fascism also arises in historical contexts where there is erosion and crisis of progressive governments. Examples of this were the rise of National Socialism after the crisis of the Weimar Republic and Bolsonarism, conceived after thirteen years of PT[8] governments. The popular demonstrations of 2013 (wrongly characterized as part of a hybrid war)[9] put into relief the social demands unmet by PT governments (issues around public transport, health, education, among others) and put the PT management model in crisis. This model, it should be said, ruled with the support not only of progressive movements, but also of sectors of neo-Pentecostalism, bankers, the national bourgeoisie and latifundiarios linked to agrobusiness.

Arising from the inability to deepen the reforms demanded by the bourgeoisie, it was decided to abandon the PT model of class conciliation and support governments opposed to reforms (such as the Temer[10] and Bolsonaro governments), which put the oppressed classes in a defensive situation from 2013 onwards.

A Mass Line Strategy
As anarchists, our strategy involves strengthening base organizations and linking popular struggle in all spheres of society with the aim of encouraging the oppressed classes to leave their current defensive condition, advancing in their struggles, even if at first on a small scale, so that we do not direct a new round of class conciliation and a wave of the moderate-right, seeking to strengthen our positions in the class struggle.

For this, it is not enough to hold your nose and ally with the liberal-right. These alliances already show the limits that will be tolerated by the next government. Anti-fascism and the advancement of our rights can only be operated from the action of mass movements that confront the main bases of fascists (rural and urban), and should not remain trapped in a countercultural or niche stronghold. To be effective, the political action of anarchist militancy must arise from social fronts of struggle, organizing from the bottom up, engaging in distributive conflict and not reinforcing the apparent legality of republican institutions with the electoral ritual.

It is necessary to take root, create and strengthen popular movements and unions that increasingly should have a revolutionary perspective as their horizon. We are certainly not alone in this endeavor, and of course we know that it is in the medium and long term. The old grassroots work is the sea where anarchist militancy must be. This daily work is not limited to an election Sunday. The necessary front of the oppressed classes is urgent to win the streets and advance in the struggle for rights. We understand that this is how fascism will be defeated.

We also understand, however, that, at the same time, we need to have a serious debate on the social-democratic and PT hegemony within the unions and organized popular movements. It is this hegemony that paralyzes any more combative action and reduces the political horizon to the minimum possible.

The trap is set: if we do not have the accumulation of social strength on the present horizon, the prospects of “easy” and immediate solutions grow, which, in the end, empty the revolutionary perspective. This is where a dangerous pragmatism enters for those who claim to be revolutionaries: “if we can’t do anything now, let us surrender to electoral reformism and give up contesting society”.

It was this same reformist perspective, hegemonic on the left since the 1980s, that acted strongly to demobilize, bureaucratize and tame the mass movements. An example of this was the extremely low capacity for mobilization in response to the 2016 juridical-parliamentary coup and to Bolsonarism from 2018 onwards, the result of the abandonment of prioritizing grassroots work and collective construction alongside the working class. With little capacity for mobilization, sections of the left began to defend the legalism of bourgeois institutions, almost as a consolation prize, up to the point that conservative institutions such as Rede Globo[11] and the Supreme Court began to be seen as “tactical allies”.

In the meantime, Bolsonarism went on the offensive, spreading throughout the entire Brazilian social fabric and questioning the system from the perspective of a “revolt from within”, while the hegemonic left limited itself to defending the institutions and legality of bourgeois democracy, putting all their chips down in the electoral contest.

What yields a basis for a long-term strategy is to broaden the accumulation of social power in the short term, in what is called general strategy in the strict sense, or in a limited timeframe. None of this involves adherence, critical or otherwise, to electoral campaigns. But it must be the heart of the anti-fascist struggle. In this anti-fascist struggle it is necessary to debate concepts as well as fighting to take the streets from the extreme right. Even more important, however, is to be present in the most exploited and oppressed social layers, not allowing the working class and sectors of the Brazilian people to be at the mercy of grifter pastors, paramilitary forces formed by police militias, and other degenerations of bourgeois society. This is what we should be talking about, not an individual and depoliticized adherence to the vote.

The day after the elections will not disorganize the reactionary political forces present in the country. They can only be dealt with correctly if we do not dilute our program into alliances with the liberal right and the center right – with Alckmin[12] and company. Our perspective needs to aim toward a program of struggle in popular movements and unions, putting the most important issues for the Brazilian working class on the agenda.

If we want to build a broad socialist and revolutionary perspective, this necessarily involves abandoning reformist and electoral illusions. Every time the left joined parliamentary reformism, it degenerated into innocuous politics, making professional parliamentarians and politicians more powerful than the collective bases of popular organizations and movements.

It makes no sense to pressure or harass anarchists to vote. Our debate should go deeper and analyze the implications of this intricate system of domination. For this, it is important that we anarchists maintain our internal coherence, so that we do not raffle off our project. In fact, if anarchism today had a relevant force to the point of decisively influencing this election, the dominant classes would be less concerned with our “possibility” of voting, and more concerned with the real threat to this system of domination.

We anarchists will continue to vote: within popular movements (making decisions), in union assemblies, community/student associations and our anarchist political organizations to build another power: popular power. We will continue aligned in the fight against fascism, without sectarianism, with militants who have different perspectives from ours and who decided to vote in this election. As long as they are with us at the bases and building that horizon, we will be allies.

About the Authors
RAFAEL V. DA SILVA is a doctor in History (UFRRJ), elementary school teacher, union activist and researcher at the Institute of Anarchist Theory and History (ITHA).

KAUAN WILLIAN is a doctor in Social History (USP), elementary school teacher, trade union activist and researcher at the Institute of Anarchist Theory and History (ITHA).

VICTOR KHALED is a master in Geography (UFSC), a technician in geographic information and statistics at the IBGE, a union activist and a researcher at the Institute of Anarchist Theory and History (ITHA).

About the Translator
S. NICHOLAS NAPPALOS is the author of the book Emergence and Anarchism, as well as numerous other original works and translations.

[1] [translator] Varguism is the ideology of followers of Brazilian president and dictator Getúlio Vargas who had a critical role in the development of the modern Brazilian state and whose ideology of fascistic populism combined elements of the right and left. The Vargas dictatorship led to historic repression against anarchists and some sections of the left.

[2] [translator] This refers to a system where “colonels”, non-military figures generally rural land barons, reigned in corrupt fiefdom’s unifying local capitalist and political power in their domains through a web of patronage and domination. It is associated with extreme corruption, violence, and abuse of power and persists to this day literally in some parts of Brasil and in a mutated form in other areas of society.

[3] [translator] The coffee with milk Republic refers to the power sharing agreement in the old Republic prior to the rise of Vargas between the states of São Paulo (dominated by coffee plantation capital) and Minas Gerais (dominated by dairy) with alternating presidencies between representatives of each state and a reliance on regional colonels to maintain their power.

[4] Insertion is a political term meaning roughly being present, organizing, and agitating within social movements, rather than the sense of merely placed within.

[5] The Brazilian revolutionary syndicalist union largely built and dominated by anarchist militants.

[6] An anti-fascist and anti-imperialist organization largely built and dominated by the Communist Party in response to the rise of fascism within Brazil during the early years of Vargas.

[7] Colonial feudal landlords who dominate rural areas.

[8] Partido dos Trabalhadores, the Workers Party. Born near the end of the dictatorship through an alliance of various left groupings centered around union struggles which became the ruling center-left political force 2003-2016.

[9] A common narrative from sections of the Brazilian left was that the 2013 popular uprising around transit costs, and living conditions broadly, was part of a covert war by imperialist powers (the US mainly) to dislodge the left from power.

[10] Temer, a center right politician, became unelected president when Dilma Rouseff (PT) was impeached (which many on the left argue was a constitutional coup) and initiated austerity measures.

[11] A virtual media monopoly traditionally tied to the dictatorship and the right, however like Trump with other organs of the established media, came to be attacked by Bolsonaristas for any semblance of criticism or questioning.

[12] Geraldo Alckmin is Lula’s present Vice Presidential candidate in the 2022 election. Previously he was a frequent opponent of the left, being known for having attacked the workers movement, landless workers movement, and conditions of the working class in São Paulo. Lula’s decision to make an alliance with Alckmin stirred discomfort in the left, but little resistance during the election cycle.

Tags: Black Rose Anarchist FederationbrasilJacobin

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

The Anarchist Who Authored the Mexican Revolution
From The New Yorker By Geraldo Cadava, October 5, 2022

A new history of the rebels led by Ricardo Flores Magón emphasizes the role of the United States in the effort to take them down.

n 1901, Ricardo Flores Magón, a journalist and political dissident in his late twenties, stood on the stage at Teatro de la Paz, in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and denounced President Porfirio Díaz. “The Díaz administration is a den of thieves!” he shouted—not once, not twice, but three times. The crowd of anti-Díaz liberals sat in disbelief. They may have agreed with the sentiment: Díaz had stolen from too many Mexicans their land, rights, and wages. But they hadn’t heard it expressed so brazenly. At first, they hissed. Eventually, they stomped their feet and clapped loudly. The man who had convened the gathering, Camilo Arriaga, an admirer of European critics of capitalism and state power such as Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin, asked himself, “Where is this man taking us?”

At the time of the gathering in San Luis Potosí, Mexico was a tinderbox. Díaz had held power for two decades with support from armed henchmen called rurales, spies listening for whispers of dissent, and powerful business and political interests in Mexico and the United States. Díaz had modernized and brought stability to a young nation that, prior to him, had more than thirty leaders in its first fifty years, but, because of his ruthless tactics, his opponents had worked to dethrone him from the early years of his Presidency.

Flores Magón’s family was not among them at first. His father had fought for Díaz, but by 1901, after Díaz had persuaded the Mexican Congress to alter the constitution to allow his continuous rule, Flores Magón and his brothers had become dissidents. Ricardo Flores Magón’s radicalism helped spark the Mexican Revolution. Liberal and radical intellectuals were some of his closest associates, and poor workers were his followers—the magonistas. He communicated with them through a newspaper that he founded in 1900, called Regeneración. At first, the newspaper stood against the corruption of those who propped up the Díaz regime, including police, lawyers, and judges, but by the end of the year, as Díaz was about to be sworn in for his fifth consecutive term, it took direct aim at Díaz himself. Dissidents across Mexico took notice, and Regeneración circulated widely, earning Flores Magón the invitation to speak in San Luis Potosí. Díaz was taking notice, too.

After Flores Magón’s thunderous speech, he returned to Mexico City. Díaz’s crackdown against him was swift. Díaz had Flores Magón locked up in the dark, sewage-filled basement of Mexico City’s Belem Prison. Police raided Regeneración’s office and shut down its printing press. After Flores Magón’s release, he concluded that he couldn’t wage his campaign against Díaz from the nation’s capital, so he fled north to Laredo, Texas.

When Flores Magón was forced into exile in the United States and Canada, Regeneración was published and distributed from cities across North America. At the height of its influence, in 1905, the newspaper had nearly twenty thousand subscribers. Readers included fellow-revolutionaries Francisco Madero and Emiliano Zapata, who made a Regeneración motto—“Tierra y Libertad,” or “Land and Liberty”—his own.

Working in the United States, the magonistas became an even greater threat to Díaz. They formally established the Partido Liberal Mexicano (P.L.M.) in 1905, as the political arm of their movement. In 1906, they started building an army that, two years later, was launching military raids in northern Mexico.

The borderlands weren’t far enough to evade Díaz. The tentacles of his regime reached Mexico’s northern frontier, deep into the United States, and even into Canada. With the coöperation of U.S. agents, Mexican officials pursued Flores Magón in San Antonio, St. Louis, Montreal, and Los Angeles, where police caught up with him on August 23, 1907.

Flores Magón spent the final fifteen years of his life in and out of prison in the United States, convicted of crimes from espionage to violating U.S. neutrality, for his efforts to spark a revolution against Díaz from U.S. soil. During this period, he revealed his anarchist politics, which led many allies to abandon him. He died at Fort Leavenworth in 1922, twelve years after the start of the revolution he helped to ignite. From Leavenworth, Flores Magón wrote that a pen had been “the only weapon I have ever wielded”—“the weapon that accompanied me through the infernos of a thirty years’ struggle for what is beautiful.” He was losing his eyesight quickly, and when that happened, he lamented, his pen would be “as useless as a broken sword.”

Kelly Lytle Hernández, a historian at U.C.L.A., tells the story of Ricardo Flores Magón and his followers in her new book, “Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands” (W. W. Norton & Company). “Bad Mexicans” is what Díaz called his opponents. But instead of bandits, swindlers, rabble-rousers, and mortal enemies, as Díaz characterized them, Lytle Hernández’s “bad” Mexicans were, and are, the dispossessed, exploited, marginalized, working-class poor, who, when working together in common cause, can topple dictators. The magonista leaders shaping the collective’s political platform were socialists and anarchists who didn’t always see eye to eye. The rank and file, as Lytle Hernández describes them, were “poor men and women, mostly miners, farmworkers, and cotton pickers, many of them displaced from Mexico when President Díaz gave their land to foreign investors.” They wanted to take back their land and get rid of Díaz “por todos medios”—by any means necessary. They helped spark a revolution.

The coming of the Mexican Revolution is hardly a new subject for historians. For decades, they have debated what ignited the decade-long conflict, from 1910 to 1920, and what interests propelled it. Were its main protagonists middle- and upper-class reformers, outlaws in the north, rural peasants in the south, or urban workers? Were they fighting only for Díaz’s removal from office and the restoration of democratic elections, or were they interested in a more fundamental transformation? These factions tussled for power and sometimes assassinated one another as they vied to shape and reshape post-Díaz Mexico.

Lytle Hernández’s contribution is her focus on the radical magonistas and the U.S. government’s collaboration with Díaz to combat them. Historians and politicians have long recognized them as “precursors” of the Revolution. Political radicals on both sides of the Atlantic have expressed admiration for the magonistas for a century. The magonistas have received some attention, but less than figures such as Francisco (Pancho) Villa, a leader of the División del Norte, of Chihuahua, Mexico. Photographers, filmmakers, and journalists followed his exploits. He was a revolutionary made for Hollywood. So was Emiliano Zapata, the agrarian leader from Morelos, Mexico, who inspired Elia Kazan’s 1952 film, “Viva Zapata!,” starring Marlon Brando as a rather unconvincing Zapata.

There is no Hollywood movie about the magonistas, although reading “Bad Mexicans” is like watching one. It moves from scene to scene as characters make bold proclamations, write letters in code, escape the grasp of government agents, become romantically involved, slander one another, get arrested and imprisoned, and live and die by the sword—and gun, and pen. The scene of Flores Magón’s August, 1907, arrest is particularly dramatic. Two private detectives had been tracking Flores Magón for months. By the time they caught up with him, they had enlisted the help of the Los Angeles Police Department. Two Mexican American L.A.P.D. detectives, Tomás Rico and J. F. Talamantes, busted into the home where he was staying, and an hour-long brawl ensued. They broke dishes and chairs inside, then spilled out into the yard, where Flores Magón fell to the ground, bloody and unconscious. Rico and Talamantes tied Flores Magón down with ropes. Once he was revived, Flores Magón kicked and screamed—like a “clawing cat,” the Los Angeles Times reported—the whole way to jail. The Los Angeles businessman Edward Doheny, the owner of a Mexican company that produced a majority of Mexico’s oil, celebrated by hosting a lavish party.

Rico and Talamantes had arrested Flores Magón with neither a warrant nor formal charges, making it seem for a brief period that he would be released. But the Mexican and U.S. governments had been devising a plan that proved successful: Flores Magón would be charged with violating the U.S. Neutrality Act, for attempting to incite a revolution in Mexico, a friendly nation, from within the United States.

Lytle Hernández pieces together the magonista story from their writings in Regeneración, newspaper clippings, books and stories about them, and thousands of letters intercepted by Mexican and U.S. agents, which they shared with one another and with their bosses in Mexico City and Washington, D.C., respectively. These letters are curated for researchers in archives managed by the Mexican and U.S. governments, such as the Secretary of Foreign Relations and the Porfirio Díaz archives in Mexico City, and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland, where they have inspired a handful of recent books, including Gabriela González’s “Redeeming La Raza,” Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández’s “Archiving Mexican Masculinities in Diaspora,” and Sonia Hernández’s “For a Just and Better World.” It is ironic that a full accounting of the history of the magonistas is only possible thanks to the preservation of archives by governments that anarchists hoped to banish from existence.

When Díaz rose to power, one of his supporters argued that Mexicans were less concerned with rights and more concerned with bread. He said, “We have already enacted innumerable rights, which produce only distress and malaise in society. Now let us try a little tyranny, but honorable tyranny, and see what results it brings.”

Díaz’s approach achieved results: there were no more coups or foreign invasions, the health of Mexicans improved, literacy rates increased, and Mexico was electrified. His regime’s motto was “Order and Progress.” But the cost of order and progress was the violent suppression of dissent. Díaz imprisoned or executed those who challenged him publicly, eroded the democratic principles of the 1857 constitution, rigged elections, and imposed his will on the Mexican Congress, which he called his “herd of tame horses.”

Díaz literally sold Mexico to foreign interests. Millions of acres were sold to U.S. agriculture, railroad, and mining companies. Ninety-eight per cent of Mexico’s rural and Indigenous population was left landless, whereas U.S. businessmen and the élite Mexicans who collaborated with them grew rich. The Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Doheny families in the United States, and the Terrazas and Madero families in Mexico, among many others, reaped the profits of Díaz’s rule. As a result, titans such as Andrew Carnegie claimed that Díaz was “one of the greatest rulers in the world, perhaps the greatest of all, taking into consideration the transformation he has made in Mexico.”

Flores Magón’s politics in the early years of his career were shaped by a focus on overthrowing Díaz himself. He criticized the regime for catering to foreign and domestic capitalists instead of workers, its anti-democratic tendencies, and its theft of lands held by rural and Indigenous people. According to Lytle Hernández, the magonistas argued that a blow to Díaz would be a blow to U.S. investors, because, without Díaz, they “would no longer be able to make and multiply their fortunes in Mexico.” And a blow to capitalists would be a boon for the U.S. labor movement, because employers would have fewer resources with which to suppress their employees. The P.L.M.’s 1906 platform proposed a ban on Chinese immigration, but Lytle Hernández claims that Flores Magón probably opposed it. For him, it was capitalism that fomented “racial hatred.”

Flores Magón was in some respects a feminist, denouncing marriage as an institution that “placed the wife under the custody of the husband.” He also argued that women should take up arms. Yet he and other magonistas criticized same-sex relationships and didn’t always challenge traditional gender roles. “Your duty is to help man,” an article in Regeneración, published on September 24, 1910, said, right before the outbreak of the Revolution. Still, women played important roles in the movement. One magonista in Texas was a poet named Sara Estela Ramírez. After reading Regeneración for the first time, she started a club for local supporters of the movement, as well as her own feminist newspaper. Women also smuggled letters to magonista leaders in jail, and when the men were imprisoned they held the movement together.

Flores Magón’s life partner, María Brousse, whom he had met shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, managed all of the magonista correspondence sent to and from Los Angeles. She sheltered magonistas when they passed through town. Flores Magón said, of her, “She is prepared for any excursion no matter how dangerous. She does not inquire if she will be in danger of death. She simply gives herself to the cause. Such self-abnegation is not to be found among our brothers.”

Magonistas evaded the reach of the Mexican government by seeking refuge in California, Arizona, and Texas. They planned raids that were carried out in northern Mexico. Some of their most loyal followers were Mexican immigrants who lived in the borderlands and experienced the violence of “Juan Crow”—the Jim Crow era’s analogue for Mexicans and Mexican Americans, during which they were kept out of certain schools and restaurants, and became victims, as an article in Regeneración put it, of the “racist mob or the abusive police that, inebriated with the savage spirit of Lynch, has bloodied its hands, taking the lives of the innocent and defenseless.”

Publicly, the Díaz regime tried to reassure Mexicans and U.S. investors that the magonistas were only a minor bother. Privately, Díaz understood the threat they posed and tried to crush them. He sent his most loyal officers after the magonistas, to plot kidnappings, intercept mail, and beg U.S. officials to take their challenge seriously. He argued repeatedly that instability and regime change wouldn’t be good for U.S. investments. Investors and politicians stood by Díaz until his final months in office.

Lytle Hernández adds magonistas to the list of threats that led to the establishment of the Bureau of Investigation—the precursor to the F.B.I.—in 1908. Among the most oft-cited are European anarchists, the Mob, sex traffickers, and land fraud, but Lytle Hernández shows how the U.S. government built a modern surveillance state in response to the magonistas as well. One of the first assignments of the Bureau of Investigation was to follow magonistas from hideout to hideout. The magonistas also forced conversations between U.S. and Mexican officials about extradition, laws governing the opening of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service, and whether the magonistas violated U.S. neutrality laws. The establishment of the F.B.I. in response to the magonistas depicts how the U.S. government has approached the borderlands as an entry point for dangerous individuals and ideas for more than a century.

Throughout the life of the magonista movement, its socialist and anarchist members debated whether they would challenge Díaz electorally through the P.L.M. It seemed like a possibility in the early years of the movement, when the socialists persuaded Flores Magón to suppress his anarchism in official pronouncements. But, as the Revolution broke out, the socialists in the magonista movement either abandoned Flores Magón or were rejected by him. The remaining members of La Junta were committed anarchists.

By the time the Revolution began, in November, 1910, anti-Díaz forces had rallied around Madero, who charted a more moderate course, calling for Díaz’s removal but not for the destruction of the Mexican state. Government officials in Mexico and the United States recognized that the tide had turned against Díaz. His stalwart supporters in the U.S. declined to come to his aid. Díaz proposed to serve out his term but swore he would not run for reëlection. Díaz’s opponents, whose ranks grew every day, insisted that he step down immediately.

After nearly thirty years, Díaz finally vacated the Presidency on May 9, 1911. He boarded a ship headed for France, never to return. A few months after Díaz left, Madero became the President of Mexico. Following the Revolution’s course from the sidelines, Flores Magón still tried to shape its animating ideas.

In September, 1911, Flores Magón and his remaining allies published a new magonista manifesto. In it, he openly identified as an anarchist for the first time. He was dismayed that Mexicans were rallying behind moderates such as Madero. Every leader promised “political liberty,” they wrote, but only his movement would help marginalized Mexicans “take the lands, the machinery, the means of transport, and the houses immediately, without waiting for anyone to give you all this, without waiting for some law to decree these things, because the laws are not made by the poor, but rather by the frock-coated bosses who guard well against making laws to the disadvantage of their own caste.”

In practical terms, Flores Magón’s vision rested on the abolition of private property, which would necessarily mean “the annihilation of all political, economic, social, religious, and moral institutions that comprise the ambient within which free initiative and the free association of human beings are smothered.” Without private property, they continued, “there would be no reason for government, which is necessary solely for the purpose of keeping the disinherited within bounds in their quarrels or in their rebellions against those who hold social wealth; neither would there be reason for the church, whose only object is to strangle the innate human rebellion against oppression and exploitation through the preaching of patience, resignation and humility, and through quieting the call of the most powerful and fertile of instincts through immoral, cruel, and unhealthy penances.”

By the time he articulated his radical vision, few were listening. Subscriptions to Regeneración were declining. The number of core leaders had dwindled to just a handful of devotees. The starkness of Flores Magón’s position alienated even Mother Jones, who concluded that the remaining magonistas were “one and all a combination of unreasonable fanatics, with no logic in their arguments.” But Flores Magón was also criticized for not being committed enough. One of the most militant magonistas, Práxedis Guerrero, asked, “¿Hombres?” (“Are you men?”), when Flores Magón and a handful of others decided to remain in Los Angeles to write for Regeneración instead of joining him in battle.

Yet in the minds of Flores Magón’s followers, even those who would eventually abandon his cause, his ideas had helped to inspire a revolution. When Flores Magón died, in 1922, Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama, a former magonista who had become a Mexican congressman, called him the Revolution’s “intellectual author.”

Like Flores Magón, Lytle Hernández’s pen is her sword; her writing is a monument to the belief that language can change the world. As much as any historian, she has shone a light on the injustices of systemic racism, the cruelty of immigrant policing, and “white settler supremacy,” as she describes it, which has led to the mass incarceration of Black and brown people for a very long time. She keeps lit the torch of radical activism, especially for liberals and progressives in search of historical inspiration for their ongoing struggles against racially motivated police brutality and an exploitative capitalist system that empowers bosses instead of workers.

Her first book, “Migra!,” published in 2010, is a history of the U.S. Border Patrol that lays bare the racist discrimination experienced by Mexican immigrants, and the Mexican government’s complicity in it. Her second book, “City of Inmates,” is a sweeping history of “human caging” in Los Angeles. Its final pages, “The Rebel Archive,” are written not by Lytle Hernández but, rather, by the activists and organizers she is in dialogue with. She gives them the final words, which establishes a conversation between the history she has written and the present moment.

For Lytle Hernández, the magonistas offer two main lessons for today. The first is that Mexicans and Mexican Americans like them—and Latinos in general—should be recognized as “major players in U.S. history,” instead of getting “shunted to the sidelines.” This much is inarguable, but feels bland considering that the people she wrote about were revolutionaries intent on eliminating state institutions. The second lesson packs more of a punch: the ordinary people who were magonistas—migrants, exiles, farmworkers, sharecroppers, miners, intellectuals—comprised an “extraordinary political force.” But here their legacy is less clear.

As Lytle Hernández sees it, the magonistas were in many ways successful. A relatively small band of intellectuals and ordinary Mexicans helped topple powerful politicians, business interests, and well-armed forces in Mexico and the United States. Many of their ideas were incorporated into the Mexican constitution of 1917, which appropriated and redistributed land, and stripped the Catholic Church of authority. She concludes, “In the process of confronting the Díaz regime in Mexico, they rattled the workshop of U.S. empire, challenged the global color line, threatened to unravel the industrialization of the American West, and fueled the rise of policing in the United States. . . . Some of the most powerful people on earth tried to suppress them and their story, but Ricardo Flores Magón and the magonistas altered the course of history, defining the world in which we live by defying the world in which they lived.”

But in other respects the magonistas also clearly lost, and their story offers more complicated lessons. The movement’s leaders grew estranged from one another, their final military maneuvers ended in defeat, Díaz repressed their raids mightily, and their increasingly radical calls for anarchism alienated even some of the most committed magonistas, not to mention the followers of those who seized power during the Mexican Revolution. Moreover, even though Mexico hasn’t since had a single dictator like Porfirio Díaz, it was ruled by a single party—now called the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (P.R.I.)—for seventy years. The P.R.I. maintained its power through political repression, state monopolies on major industries, and electoral tampering.

Indeed, over the past century, Mexico has hardly become the kind of nation that Flores Magón wished to bring into existence, which is to say that it is a nation, with a government. Instead of latter-day magonistas, drug cartels and the military, suspected of being involved in the killing of forty-three students who had participated in left-wing protests, threaten political stability. Mexico also remains a nation of yawning inequalities. The top ten per cent of Mexican earners make fifty-seven per cent of all income. As for the United States, it is unclear whether this nation—where the top ten per cent of earners make forty-five and a half per cent of the total income—is more like Mexico in the early eighteen-seventies or Mexico in the early nineteen-hundreds. We may well be a nation prepared to accept authoritarian rule, instead of a nation willing to fight for a multiracial democracy that makes real stated principles like liberty and equality for all.

Given these difficult realities, to simply uplift the magonistas doesn’t do justice to the gravity of their moment, or ours. When we consider how the magonistas might shape our present and future activism, should we be inspired by their unbending principles; their socialism or anarchism; their belief that ideas can change the world; their civic protests or calls for armed revolution? Maybe the answer is all of the above, although it is unclear which will be most likely to rattle power today, when the tools of state repression feel as powerful as ever. Some of Flores Magón’s beliefs are in line with progressivism today, but his most radical conclusions probably wouldn’t find much more of a following now than they did a hundred years ago. Reading Lytle Hernández’s admiring words about the magonistas, many Americans might ask a question similar to the one Camilo Arriaga posed in 1901, after Flores Magón’s speech in San Luis Potosí: Where will this take us? ♦

Tags: MexicoRicardo Flores MagonMSM

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

Tomorrow, Students Across the Country Will Strike for Abortion

Peter Lucas
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Rachael Kuintzle emailed her fellow graduate student workers at the California Institute of Technology to say that she would not be attending work the following day but would instead participate in a nearby protest. The email subject was titled “Strike.” To Kuintzle’s surprise, more than fifty of […]

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

For Socialist Psychologist Alfred Adler, Collective Feeling Was the Cure

Chandler Dandridge
It’s a sunny spring day in 1909 at the Stadtpark in Vienna. Leon Trotsky, fresh off another jailbreak, kicks a soccer ball toward his kids and waves back at his wife, who’s sprawled beneath a maple tree on a picnic blanket with another couple. Trotsky waltzes over and chats with his friend, one of the […]

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

Women’s Choice in Service Act would allow women to opt in to the military draft, rather than either…

GovTrack Insider – Medium
Since 1980, all American men have been required to register with the Selective Service System for a potential military draft.
Women’s Choice in Service Act would allow women to opt in to the military draft, rather than either requiring them or forbidding them entirely

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

The Kurdish Struggle Is at the Heart of the Protests in Iran

Djene Rhys Bajalan
On September 13, a twenty-two-year-old visitor to Tehran named Jîna (Mahsa) Amini found herself in trouble with Iran’s “morality police.” Her supposed crime was inappropriate dress, for which she was detained. Such encounters are not uncommon in Iran, ruled by a reactionary government that hijacked the 1979 mass uprising against the county’s US-backed monarch, Mohammad […]

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

Beware the Skinwalkers, Werewolf Witches of the American Southwest

Atlas Obscura: Articles
J.W. Ocker
These canine-humanoid shapeshifters travel between worlds using magical doors.
Cryptids of all kinds have long moved in the shadows across what’s now the United States, their legends preserved in Native American traditions that stretch from the Southwest to the Great Lakes and beyond. Acclaimed writer J.W. Ocker introduces us to some of these ancient terrors. Excerpted with permission from The United States of Cryptids: A Tour of American Myths and Monsters, by J. W. Ocker. Published by Quirk Books. All rights reserved.

“That’s a door between worlds. My people believe we entered our current world through something like this. It’s also how the skinwalkers get around. Those are our boogeymen,” the guide explained to me. His name was Ryan. He was a young, laid-back Navajo man earning cash as a tour guide while studying music theory at college. He was leading a group of us through Upper Antelope Canyon in Arizona. The size of my tip at the end of the tour was completely in proportion to the beauty of those four sentences.

Skinwalkers are humans that change into animals, often wolves. Because of that, they’ve been lumped into the werewolf category of horror stories and the dogman/wolfman category of cryptids by settlers. Whether a creature is identified as a skinwalker versus a dogman or wolfman often depends on the state where they’re seen—skinwalkers are known throughout the Southwest—and the size of the local Navajo population. However, skinwalkers aren’t tragic characters turned lupine against their will, as in horror stories, nor are they some species of evolutionarily-confusing creature, as in cryptid legends. Skinwalkers want to be monsters.

In Navajo stories, skinwalkers are evil beings. Witches. Human sorcerers of dark magic who attain their status by committing specific atrocities such as murdering a family member. Their defining characteristic is that they can shapeshift into other creatures, such as foxes and coyotes. But mostly they turn into wolves. And unlike other humanoid canines, they can travel via magical doors between worlds, one of which is in Upper Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Canyon is a 660-foot-long slot canyon, a thin passageway created by flowing water on Navajo land in Arizona. It can only be accessed when led by a Navajo guide. The entrance to the upper canyon is in an outcropping of sandstone about 120 feet high with an ominous vertical opening slitting its face. Inside that opening, a winding passage varies in width from several yards to a couple chest-widths wide. The floor is covered with a thin layer of fine sand. Above, the sliver of light that is the top of the crevice is often blocked by twists in the rock wall.

It was beautiful. Enough light filtered in to set a comfortable, ethereal mood, and the walls were gorgeous, almost glowing pink and orange and shaped like frozen waves, as if someone had sculpted the soft sandstone with a cake icing tool. In reality, it was water that had done all the sculpting. Even though the place was bone dry on our visit, it is extremely prone to flash floods. The idea was terrifying even without the werewolf witches: being trapped in that claustrophobic space, underwater, knocked against all the beautiful whorls and outcrops of rock. And that wasn’t just paranoia—people have drowned in Antelope Canyon. In 1997, eleven succumbed to a flash flood there. In 2010, during another flash flood, a group was able to get to safety, but was stranded until the waters abated.

The skinwalker door that Ryan had drawn my attention to was a flat section of rock, about six feet tall, inset into the wall and rounded at the top. It’s nothing I would have noticed on my own, but once pointed out, it did seem like all it needed was a knob. Modern stories of skinwalker encounters don’t involve portals, and, of course, Ryan might have just been having a bit of fun with a wide-eyed tourist, as many Navajo find the subject to be taboo and don’t like to discuss skinwalkers, especially with outsiders.

In 1987, skinwalkers burst into the wider public consciousness when they were used as a defense in a murder trial in Flagstaff, Arizona. The body of a 40-year-old Navajo woman named Sarah Saganitso was found behind the hospital where she worked. A former English professor at Northern Arizona University named George Abney was accused, arrested, and taken to trial. The defense argued that a skinwalker had killed Saganitso, based on the fact that she was Navajo and found with a broken stick across her throat and a clump of graveyard grass near her truck. The defense claimed the two objects were evidence of a skinwalker ritual. Abney was at first found guilty, but then acquitted a year later.

Skinwalkers have continued to capture people’s imaginations ever since. In 2021, a clip was released on TikTok that purported to show a strange, skeletal creature jumping from a grassy patch of wilderness. It gathered six million views and tons of comments hypothesizing that the creature was a skinwalker. In fact, clips with the hashtag #skinwalker have a total of more than a billion views on that social media platform. It’s mostly thanks to one Navajo creator named John Soto, who raised the profile of the creature when, in fall 2020, he posted a series of videos of himself looking for skinwalkers on his Arizona property that went viral and garnered millions of views.

It’s an ancient evil, a horror story, a cryptid, a meme. The skinwalker is a surprisingly versatile monster. And if you want to up your chances of finding one, I can take you to its front door.

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Cracktoberfest Part Three: The Iran-Contra Affair

Behind the Bastards
In part three of Cracktoberfest, Prop leads the discussion with Robert about the the Iran Side of the Iran–Contra affair and how that somehow landed Jean from Wisconsin in the jungles of Nicaragua.
See for privacy information.

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267 – Library Socialism Q&A: Heirlooms and Motivation

Srsly Wrong (Srsly Wrong)
The Wrong Boys respond to questions from the audience about Library Socialism. Covering topics ranging from holidays, motivation, democratic production, degrowth, disability justice, heirlooms and personal items, this ep is jam packed…

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Abolish the Family / Sophie Lewis

This Is Hell!
Sophie Lewis returns to This Is Hell on Tuesday, October 4th to speak with host Chuck Mertz about her new book, Abolish the Family, out on Verso, October 2022. Sophie Lewis is the author of Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family (Verso, 2019), hailed by Donna Haraway as “the seriously radical cry for full gestational justice that I long for.” Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation (Verso, 2022) is her second book. As a member of the faculty of Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Sophie teaches courses on feminist, trans and queer politics and philosophy, including family abolitionism, Shulamith Firestone, and Kathi Weeks. With the Out of the Woods writing collective, Lewis contributed to the collection Hope Against Hope: Writings on Ecological Crisis (Common Notions, 2020). With Blind Field Journal, she has helped foster communities of Marxist-feminist cultural criticism. Previously, Dr. Lewis studied English Literature (BA) and Nature, Society and Environmental Policy (MSc) at Oxford University; Politics (MA) at the New School for Social Research; and Geography (PhD) at Manchester University. Her doctoral dissertation, “Cyborg Labor: Exploring Surrogacy as Gestational Work,” sought to reframe the political economy of contract pregnancy for the purposes of an antiwork polymaternalist utopianism. Sophie’s essays and commentaries appear in venues such as n+1, Boston Review, The Nation, The Baffler, Mal, e-flux, the New York Times and London Review of Books; her papers appear in, e.g., Signs, Paragraph, and Feminist Theory. A Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Research on Feminist, Queer and Transgender Studies, Sophie is nevertheless a freelance writer dependent on public speaking and Patreon ( Her lectures are archived at

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Aufstand! For Anarchy
From Via Act for Freedom Now!

So what should tempt us to think that the Internet in particular would be a place where today’s revolutionary awakenings would take place? And certainly we are not so short-sighted as to seriously consider this to be the case. Nevertheless, we observe with a certain uneasiness that both the real and the virtual spaces of exchange among anarchists of the German-speaking contexts are fading away. Even though individual projects still receive some attention and almost every tendency of informally organized anarchism has created its own web presence – even though there are still one or two printed and regularly published newspaper projects and dozens and dozens of brochures, books, flyers, newspapers, posters and stickers which are connected to the anarchist idea and wander from hand to hand among companions – we ask ourselves, to what extent these succeed in carrying the anarchist debate into the public more than sporadically, in the (desperate) attempt to inflame at least a few hearts with the spark of the anarchist idea.

Repeatedly in the past it has been proven that if there is no better alternative, platforms like de.indymedia also have to be used for anarchist exchange. The problem is that anarchist contributions are often deleted there or – perhaps even worse – stand beside deeply authoritarian submissions that absolutely contradict the anarchist idea. No wonder: de.indymedia has always been a platform of the left and will consequently remain so. The fact that more and more decentralized (radical left) alternatives to de.indymedia are currently developing is, in our view, just as incapable of remedying the problem as other strangely conceptualized attempts to create synthesist platforms or even websites of unified organizations selling themselves as contributions to an anarchist debate.

So we want to try with this website, beyond any attempt to pursue synthesist thoughts, to open an informal forum of anarchist discussion, which includes the numerous existing web presences of anarchist projects as well as texts that have not been published on other websites before. It is part of an attempt to engage differing positions in a mutually beneficial debate, not to indifferently juxtapose the contradictory, and we are not afraid to end this attempt should it ever become that.

We choose the form of a web presence reluctantly, in the absence of a realistic perspective to launch a similar project in print or in the form of real encounters, at least in a way that would be accessible from the outside. However, we support all such projects and will likewise discontinue ours at any time should a more appetizing alternative appear on the horizon.

In this sense: Feel free to participate as you see fit and let’s raise the German-speaking anarchist debate to a new level.

Tags: websiteGermany

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Interview with anarcho-syndicalists in Eastern Ukraine
From Freedom News UK

Full original title: “Leftists” outside Ukraine are used to listening only to people from Moscow: Interview with anarcho-syndicalists in Eastern Ukraine

Yavor Tarinski from the Greek libertarian journal Aftoleksi interviews two anarchists from eastern Ukraine. They themselves were politically active for decades in eastern Ukraine until before the 2014 invasion – where the possibility of any unmediated political action collapsed. They are both what many people tend to simplistically call “Russian-speaking” citizens of Ukraine. This interview was prompted by the referendums conducted by the occupying Russian forces in that region, as well as the resurfacing of fake news about their anarchist organization RKAS, in which they themselves participated and were founding members. We continue to give voice to those directly involved in this barbaric war of physical violence and vilification. A voice that states and organized political interests are attempting to silence.

Yavor Tarinski (Y.T.): Hello, and thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us in the middle of a war zone. Let’s start by getting to know you a little bit better. What part of Ukraine do you live in?

Anatoliy Dubovik (A.D.): My name is Anatoly Dubovik. I am 50 years old, an anarchist since 1989. I was born in Kazan (Russia) and have been living for over 30 years in Ukraine, in the city of Dnipro (formerly Dnepropetrovsk, formerly Ekaterinoslav). This is the eastern part of Ukraine.

Sergiy Shevchenko (S.Sh.): My name is Sergei Shevchenko. I am 48 years old, an anarchist since 1988. I was born and lived for most of my life in Donetsk, the centre of Donbas. In 2014, I was forced to leave for Kyiv after a Russian-inspired separatist uprising began in my city. I have been at the front since the end of February 2022.

Y.T.: You are both well-known members of the historical anarcho-syndicalist group RKAS. Can you tell us a little more about it and its activities before the war?

A.D. and S.Sh.: First of all, we must clarify that RKAS was not just a group but an organization. When the anarchist movement began to revive in the USSR in the late 1980s, it was plagued by irresponsibility, lack of strategy, and not taking its aims seriously – many were simply “playing with anarchism”. The revival of the anarchist movement began in Donetsk when representatives of several small groups and individual activists who had not lost faith in their ideals came together to form their own organization. Thus, as an alternative to the hitherto chaotic movement, in 1994, RKAS, the Revolutionary Confederation of Anarchist-Syndicalists, named after Nestor Makhno, was created. It was an organization – precisely an anarchist organization – that introduced clearer working principles: planning, systematization, internal discipline, division of responsibilities among its members and so on.
All this yielded good results, though not immediately. A few years after its foundation, RKAS was already an organization active in various regions of Ukraine and was quite successful. We were involved in the labour movement, the student movement, we had a significant influence on the independent trade union movement, especially among the Donbas miners, where RKAS representatives participated in local and regional strike committees. We participated in a pan-Ukrainian movement to protect workers’ rights and oppose the deterioration of labour legislation.

RKAS at 2011 May Day in Donetsk

We proceeded with various editorial initiatives. The first was the newspaper Anarchy [1993-2013], which was published almost all the years of RKAS’s existence. We also published the Anarcho-Syndicalist Newsletter & Analytical Bulletin, and various publications for specific social groups – the workers’ newspaper Voice of Labour, the student newspaper Unity, the youth magazine Revolutionary Ukraine and others. We also distributed propaganda and theoretical pamphlets by various authors, from the classics of Bakunin and Malatesta to works by contemporary writers.

Over time RKAS evolved into something like a small International – we had chapters in other countries, mainly in Georgia and Israel. They didn’t last long, but they existed. And just before the war started [2014], we were working to create an anarcho-syndicalist trade union in Ukraine, the General Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalist Labour. This could not be completed because of the Russian invasion of Crimea and Donbas.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="50773" data-permalink="…" data-orig-file="…" data-orig-size="528,960" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="rkas-1" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="…" data-large-file="…" loading="lazy" src="…" alt="" class="wp-image-50773" width="528" height="960" srcset="… 528w,…“Anarchy” – the official newspaper of RKAS
Y.T.: Can you describe what was the reaction of RKAS after the beginning of the conflicts in eastern Ukraine in 2014?

A.D. and S.Sh.: The “conflict”, i.e. the armed invasion, started in southern Ukraine when the Russian army occupied Crimea in February 2014. The Russian-inspired separatist uprising in the east started later, in about a month.

It was clear to us from the beginning that Russia could not do any good in Ukraine. By 2014, a reactionary authoritarian regime had already been established in Russia that denied all individual and social rights and brutally persecuted and destroyed all independent activity. Of course, we still have many questions about the Ukrainian state and the ruling class in Ukraine. But at least the anarchist movement, the socialist movement in Ukraine was able to operate relatively freely for some years. It suffices to say that throughout the existence of the independent Ukrainian state, there has not been a single political anarchist prisoner here. At the same time, many dozens of our comrades in Russia ended up in Russian prisons – guilty solely for their anarchist convictions. So, we were well aware of what Putin did for libertarian ideas.

The RKAS reaction was therefore irreversible: it was necessary to resist the Russian attack by all means.

But here a problem immediately arose. The point is that RKAS was founded and has existed for 20 years as an organization for the propaganda of anarchist ideas and as an organization supporting anarcho-syndicalist actions. In other words, as an organization adapted to legal and semi-legal forms of peacetime engagement. The war changed everything, including the immediate tasks facing anarchist movement activists in the here and now. The old organization, the old forms of activity proved to be simply insufficient or impossible under the new conditions. New forms and principles of work were needed, oriented mainly towards underground resistance against the occupiers. This included armed resistance.

Therefore, in April 2014, there was an extensive discussion among RKAS members about the new process and strategy of resistance, with the results leading to the dissolution of the organization. After that, a new phase in the history of the anarchist movement in Ukraine began.

Y.T.: Are you aware that false information was being circulated outside Ukraine that RKAS was somehow connected to the creation of the so-called “people’s republics” in Donbas?

A.D. and S.Sh.: Yes, we found out in September 2022, because of a post on Greek social media. This publication contains nothing but miserable fabrications and the utmost stupid lies. For example, it was accompanied by a picture of a demonstration of people with black and red flags, with the caption: “Members of RKAS at the anti-Maidan demonstration in Donetsk in 2014”! In fact, this photo was taken by us at the May 1, 2012 demonstration, and the banner we held at that demonstration, which was depicted in the photo, clearly read: “The new labour reform is legalized slavery”. In other words, there was nothing for or against Maidan – after all, this rally took place a few years before Maidan, in the midst of our struggle against the government’s attempt to change labour laws. The author of the false caption under this photo has deceived his readers, and foolishly so: anyone who knows even a little Russian or Ukrainian and can understand the caption on the banner will immediately see that the demonstration had nothing to do with the events of 2014.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="50776" data-permalink="…" data-orig-file="…" data-orig-size="640,480" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="KRAS-2" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="…" data-large-file="…" loading="lazy" width="640" height="480" src="…" alt="" class="wp-image-50776" srcset="… 640w,…RKAS at May Day rally in Donetsk in 2012. The banner reads, “The new labour reform is legalized slavery”
Another example of a clear lie: The authors of the fiction about the (fake) connection of RKAS with pro-Russian separatists refer to Mikhail Krylov, “an old-time veteran of the class war of the Donetsk miners”, who “called us to armed rebellion against the Kyiv regime” and participated in the formation of the “Miners’ Department” of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Whether or not Krylov called someone to something or not, whether or not he formed something or not, is now irrelevant. Mikhail Krylov was indeed involved in the independent workers’ movement in Donbas during the Soviet era and had connections with RKAS in the second half of the 1990s, when we worked closely with the Donbas Regional Stachy Committee, in the leadership of which Krylov participated. But the important thing is that 26 years ago he ended any kind of cooperation with the anarcho-syndicalists. He had long ago become a typical boring labour leader who had sold out to his former opponents. After 1998 he “entered politics”, joining various bourgeois parties and running for elected office on their behalf. And now he serves the Russian occupiers.

Naturally, when we saw this article, we were furious. We immediately contacted comrades in Greece, explained the true state of affairs and the fake publication was removed from another website that reproduced it in the meantime… But there is no guarantee that the same lies will not continue to appear again on other websites or in the print media.

In general, we have been surprised for years that many people in Europe and America prefer to get information about the anarchist or socialist movement in Ukraine not from Ukrainian anarchists or socialists, but from anyone outside Ukraine. Why they do this is a great mystery.

By the way, we should add that the lie about the cooperation of our people from RKAS with the FSB (i.e. Russian secret services) and about the participation of RKAS in the pro-Russian movement in Donbas is supported and spread by the Ukrainian far-right! Thus, those who repeat these fabrications are on the same side with the Nazis. Well, maybe they like it…

In fact, neither before Maidan, nor in general in all the years that RKAS members have been involved in the anarchist movement, we have never supported either pro-Russian separatism in Ukraine or Russian imperialist tendencies. As early as the late 1980s, most Ukrainian anarchists, including future RKAS members, were actively involved in the struggle for Ukrainian independence. Later, as RKAS we stood firmly against the war in Chechnya and supported an independent Ichkeria. Not only that: some of our publications were printed in Ukrainian, our “Radio RKAS Liberter” also broadcasted in Ukrainian and one of our publications, as already mentioned, was called Revolutionary Ukraine. So, long before 2014 the RKAS position was quite clear: in in favour of a free, independent, working people’s Ukraine. This is the tradition of RKAS, the tradition of the Ukrainian anarchist movement in general. Therefore, any fantasies about a “pro-Russian RKAS” are completely silly and unacceptable.

Y.T.: What have the RKAS people been doing since the invasion started?

A.D. and S.Sh.: Those of us who have continued our social work as anarchists have done and are doing all kinds of things. Most of us understood that sooner or later Russia was going to start a massive invasion, which actually started on February 24, 2022. As much as we could, we prepared for all the different forms of resistance: we trained volunteers in unofficial military organizations, from which territorial defense units later emerged. And some others were directly involved in the resistance: in 2014-2015, former RKAS members created illegal combat groups that conducted guerrilla warfare in Donbas. In the Free Territory of Ukraine, groups of former RKAS members also worked in various social projects, mainly helping refugee children from Donbas and Crimea. Of course, we also continued our cultural and educational activities and spread anarchist ideas. So, we did not disappear into thin air, we continued our activities, and our life as anarchists. Just no longer in the form of our former organization RKAS.

Some of us are now on the home front, helping to defend the people. Some are on the front with arms in hand as members of the army or Territorial Defense Units.

They have even managed to organize anarchist committees of soldiers in the units where they serve. These committees defend the rights of soldiers, organize voluntary assistance and carry out anarchist training and ideological activities in their units. All this will be explained in more detail after the victory.

Y.T.: What was the situation in the so-called “people’s republics” “DPR” and “LPR” and other occupied territories: were anarchists and leftists forced to leave? Was there compulsory recruitment of civilians into the pro-Russian army?

S.Sh.: I was forced to leave my hometown, Donetsk. A total of 1.5 million people has left Donbas for Ukraine since 2014. While the population of Donbas was 6 million.

A.D. and S.Sh.: It’s not even that the majority of anarchists and socialists have left occupied Donbas (we don’t know what you mean by “leftists”: the word encompasses people with very different views, from anarchists to Stalinists, who have nothing in common…) But the main point is that in the territories occupied by Russia there is only one possibility: to be absolutely loyal to power. The alternative is arrest, after which there is no more information about people.

As for the recruitment of civilians from occupied Donbas into the army, there was no official forced conscription before 2022. But there was something else: After the establishment of the secessionist regimes, the massive closure of enterprises began and their equipment was exported to Russia. Every year it became more and more difficult to find work in any given profession. The only place where an adult, physically fit man could really earn money was in the army. And a lot of people joined the military service. This continued until February 2022, when the “DPR” and “LPR” announced a general conscription. Then, forced conscription took its most incredible forms: people were rounded up on the streets, on public transport and at universities and driven to the conscription points. A few days later, these men were at the front. Most of them had never held a gun before. They died and continue to die in huge numbers. In reality, the Russian conscription in Donbas was a genocide of the local population. Now, in the very near future, the same fate threatens the population of the Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions, which have also begun to be forcibly recruited into the Russian army.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="50777" data-permalink="…" data-orig-file="…" data-orig-size="1536,1024" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="rkas-zaporozhie-2010-1536&#215;1024-1" data-image-description="" data-image-caption="" data-medium-file="…" data-large-file="…" loading="lazy" width="640" height="427" src="…" alt="" class="wp-image-50777" srcset="… 1024w,… 300w,… 768w,… 1536w,…RKAS in Zaporizhia in 2010

Y.T.: What is the general social situation since 2014 in the regions of eastern Ukraine occupied by Russian-backed separatists?

A.D. and S.Sh.: Putin’s Russia has essentially turned into a fascist state in which the entire population is deprived of all rights. In the regions of Ukraine that have come under the control of Putin’s army and pro-Russian separatists, the situation is even worse than in Russia itself. For example, at the end of 2014, there were attempts to organize strikes in the mines that were still operating at the time, in defense of purely economic interests of the workers. These attempts were suppressed by purely gangster methods, which we could only read about in 19th century history books: the initiators and active participants of the strikes were taken out of town, where they were beaten and threatened with death. No gatherings, marches, meetings and other public actions by independent social organizations, including trade unions, are possible: the pro-Russian authorities have maintained martial law with all the relevant bans since 2014. In fact, independent social organizations themselves have long since ceased to exist in the “people’s republics” – as has already been said, the only acceptable form of life there is associated with full and unconditional support for the occupation regime.

Like any fascist regime, the Russian authorities and their puppet governments in Donbas consider it their duty to interfere in people’s personal lives. First of all, people who do not share the so-called ‘traditional’ values, that is, the most conservative views of the ultra-conservative section of the Russian Orthodox Church. The ‘wrong’ sexual orientation or the ‘wrong’ religion is reason enough for a person to be persecuted, harassed, fired from his job, arrested. Of course, there are no LGBTI organizations in the “People’s Republic” of Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR) – it is simply impossible to exist.
At the same time, most Protestant, Greek, and Catholic religious organizations that existed before 2014 have been dissolved. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, whose activities are also banned in Russia, are particularly harshly persecuted.

The main thing you should know about the DPR and LPR regime is that their goal is to destroy ANY dissent and suppress ANY disobedience. This is what puts them on par with the worst examples of regimes from the past. Like Nazi Germany or Stalin’s USSR. This is the thing that leaves us no choice but to fight against these regimes.

Y.T.: It is, however, striking the ease with which pro-Russian separatists took over towns in Donbas in the first days of the 2014 conflict. It does not appear that there was much resistance from the Ukrainian authorities. On the contrary, it is as if a regime change organized ‘from above’ had taken place.

A.D. and S.Sh.: Yes, there was no resistance from the local authorities to the secessionist uprisings in the cities of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. At best, the authorities disappeared, and removed themselves from the events. At worst, they led the uprising! This applies to the political administration, the entire leadership of the police, the SSU secret services, the prosecutor’s office and so on.
Nevertheless, there was resistance, but it was simply coming from ordinary people with no particular authority. In March and April 2014, pro-Ukrainian rallies were held in Donetsk and other cities, where many people gathered. These rallies were attacked by separatists. The first victims of the war in Donbas were those same people who were beaten with batons or kidnapped by pro-Russian soldiers, taken outside the city and executed there. All this is considered to be quite well known.

Y.T.: You will be aware, however, that outside Ukraine, some alternative disinformation channels claim that the “real” leftists in Ukraine support the separatists and the occupier (and as we mentioned earlier, even your group has been slandered with similar fake news)? And in general, are they trying to portray the conflict as one between the Ukrainian “4th Reich” and the pro-Russian progressive front?

A.D. and S.Sh.: Of course, we know this. And we hope that your readers will have already seen how “progressive” the actions of the pro-Russian authorities are.

But in fact, almost all Ukrainian anarchists are now resisting Putin and the Russian invasion in some way. And we know many Ukrainian anti-authoritarian Marxists who are in the same position, for example, the Social Movement group, the independent trade union Defending Labour, the editorial board of the socialist magazine Commons and other initiatives. These and other groups are little known outside Ukraine, but this is simply because “leftists” outside Ukraine (again: we don’t know who they are) are used to listening only to people from Moscow. In our view, this means that for many who live outside the former Soviet Union, the Soviet empire is still alive today. At least in their minds, in their fantasies…
It is as strange as hearing news about events and processes in Mexico or Argentina from people in Madrid, news about India and Canada from people in London!

As for the Stalinists… They can say whatever they like, they can wear the reddest flags in the world, but in reality, they are a reactionary force subservient to Russian nationalism and Russian imperialism. Western “leftists” look at the names of the parties in our countries here and think something like: “Oh, these must be great people!” For example, in our country there was the famous “Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine”. With this very resounding name, this party organized joint events with one of the main ideologists of modern Russian nationalism and outright fascism Alexander Dugin, used racist and homophobic images and vocabulary in its propaganda. You can consider them “leftists”, but in this case neither Marx, nor Lenin, nor Trotsky could be “leftists” in any sense.

Y.T.: Indeed, the Russian invasion of Ukraine revealed some deep-rooted problems in libertarian and leftist movements around the world. While these movements have traditionally been ostensibly against authoritarianism, it turns out that there is a not-so-small percentage of people, even among those who consider themselves anarchists and libertarians, who are expressing, at least indirectly, their support for Putin’s invasion, because for them the geopolitical goal of Russia gaining ground against NATO is worth even many civilian lives lost in the war or in the creation of a new mafia regime in the occupied territories. What, in your view, is the future of the world’s anarchist movements in light of the split between what we might call “narrowly geopoliticals” and social anarchists?

A.D. and S.Sh.: We are convinced that too many socialists and even libertarians around the world are stuck in the concepts and realities of the last century, not noticing that the world has changed a lot. And this is a huge problem that has just now become apparent with the start of a new series of aggressive actions by Russia.

We recall that Ukraine was not the first victim of modern Russian imperialism. There were Russian invasions of Georgia and Moldova in the 1990s. There was a colonial war in the Caucasus that continued until the 2000s. Russian tanks re-entered Georgia in 2008. Russia has been intervening in Syria since the early 2010s. Russian troops were used to suppress the uprising in Kazakhstan in January 2022. The war in Ukraine is simply a new scale of violence by Moscow, which has not happened in Europe for a long time, but not something fundamentally new to Moscow’s policy of murder, destruction and occupation.

The ‘leftists’ who support Russia today see it as something like the USSR of the second half of the 20th century. Without noticing that even the talk of ‘socialism’, ‘social justice’ and ‘nation state’ used then has long since collapsed, and people in Russia are deprived of most rights and live in appalling social, economic and everyday conditions. People in Russia live in a police state and are persecuted for their nationality (like the Crimean Tatars)1, for their religious beliefs (such as belonging to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons or the non-orthodox sects of Islam), not to mention persecution for their oppositional beliefs. Just two examples: Moscow mathematician and anarchist Azat Miftahov was accused of breaking a window in the offices of the ruling United Russia party. He was tried for this heinous crime and in 2021 he was sentenced to six years in prison. Anarchists Dmitry Chibukovsky and Anastasia Safonova from the city of Chelyabinsk in the Urals posted a banner on a fence that read “The FSB [Federal Security Service, Russian secret services] is the main terrorist”. They were sentenced to 2.5 and 2 years in prison for this act. This was only on 10th September 2022.

The left sees Putin’s Russia as an alternative to NATO, as a rival to NATO. In a sense, they are right: Russia is indeed opposed to NATO. But they do not see, and do not want to see, that the Russian alternative means only a desire to pursue its own, independent but equally (if not worse) imperialist policy.

Russia’s geopolitical goal is not at all to stop Western imperialism, but to make Russia an empire again, more powerful, aggressive and inhuman than the conventional “West”. The Russian state, having suppressed freedom and independence at home, cannot bring any freedom and independence to other countries.

The pro-Russian “Left” does not see this. To use the analogy of George Orwell’s novel 1984, such “leftists” side with the Big Brother of Eurasia against the Big Brother of Oceania.

Such “leftists” are idiots.

As for the future. We are not particularly interested in the future and prospects of the “Left” and the state socialist movements around the world. We are anarchists and we think first and foremost about the anarchist movement. Our slogan remains the same as it has always been: The emancipation of the workers is a matter for the workers themselves! And the split between social anarchists and those you called “narrow geopoliticals” hasn’t even happened yet, unfortunately. We have not yet all realized that this split will be necessary and inevitable…

Y.T.: We would like to know your opinion on the referendums on the annexation of the currently occupied territories of Donbas to the Russian Federation. To what extent can these be considered the will of a people, given the existence of the occupying army and brutal repression? We have seen that such referendums have been held since 2014 with transparent ballots and other problematic points in Crimea, so can we assume that this is an important part of Russian strategy?

A.D. and S.Sh.: These days, as we are giving interviews, the Internet is full of videos from the occupied territories showing how “referendums” are conducted. Anyone can see that there are no polling stations or ballot boxes, transparent or not. In the videos we can see that groups of people, 4-5 people, among whom there are always two people in military uniforms with weapons, go around the apartments of the citizens and ask them to sign the ‘ballot papers’. This is not a referendum. This is a total test of the population’s loyalty to the occupiers, which is literally taking place under the point of automatic rifles.

There is another important point. A referendum is a legal concept. Today’s ‘referendum’ has been called by state authorities. This means that today’s “referendum” must be conducted in accordance with the state law. But with which law exactly does a “referendum” in the occupied territories comply? Russian law says absolutely nothing about referendums, no referendum has ever been held in Russia since 1991. Ukrainian law, on the other hand, stipulates that a referendum can only be held on the entire territory of the country, not in individual regions. In other words, even from a formal point of view, this is a meaningless action that can have no legal consequence.

We are sure that any ordinary person can understand for themself what to believe about this “referendum”.

Y.T.: What does the future hold for Ukraine after the end of the war? We hear that the EU is pushing the Ukrainian government to pass new anti-union legislation and that the huge national debt has not been cancelled or reduced.

A.D. and S.Sh.: After Ukraine’s victory in the war, a new struggle awaits us, for the social and economic interests of the Ukrainian people. Yes, already now the government is passing new anti-union and, more broadly, anti-labour laws. But we hope that after the victory, we will have good prospects for the development and activation of the social and anarchist movement, and this is why:

First, the people of Ukraine have already defeated the aggressor in a sense, at least won the first stage of the war. This happened in late February and March 2022, when the resistance on the front thwarted the original blitzkrieg plan, the plan for a quick takeover of Ukraine. The people saw their own strength, their own ability to resist an external enemy. They are unlikely to silently tolerate a future attack by an internal enemy.

Secondly, you see, anarchism has nothing to do with the fact that a punk with a pin in his ear painted “the letter A in a circle” on the wall. It’s not even about a respectable scientist with glasses giving another lecture on the thoughts and ideas of Proudhon or Bakunin. Anarchism is about the ability of people to solve their own problems without the involvement of the state and other hierarchical structures. Solving problems based on self-organization and the broad interaction of local initiatives. It does not matter what they call themselves. What matters is the substance, not the name. At the moment, there is a huge number of such non-state self-organized initiatives in Ukraine. They deal with a variety of issues, from helping refugees and guarding small communities to supplying the military with everything they need. In this sense, Ukraine today follows anarchist practices more than many other societies in the world.

By the way, isn’t this a good image for dispelling a bit of the myth of the “Nazi regime” in Ukraine?

Y.T.: What, in your opinion, is the scale of the current counter-attack and can it be considered a turning point in the war? And what are the prospects for the nationalist regimes of Putin and Lukashenko?

A.D. and S.Sh.: The scale is visible to everyone: in three weeks, the Ukrainian army has driven the Russian troops out of the entire Kharkiv region and is gradually moving the fighting to the Luhansk region. Incidentally, the Russians have been trying to invade the region for five months. Now the pace of the offensive has slowed down considerably, which is quite normal: it has always been like this in all wars. Whether this offensive will be a turning point will be written by the historians of the future…
The fascist nationalist regimes of Putin and Lukashenko will inevitably collapse. When and how it will happen – we will all see it with our own eyes.

Y.T.: It has been said that the invasion could end with some kind of negotiations, with the Ukrainian state giving up certain territories to maintain its independent sovereignty over all other Ukrainian regions.

A.D. and S.Sh.: All wars have ended with peace, but not all wars have ended with negotiations. For example, negotiations were not necessary to end the war against Nazi Germany: the Nazis were destroyed and Hitler committed suicide in his bunker. The same fate may await Putin. Especially since he has already prepared a bunker for himself long ago.

The compromise you are talking about (ceding part of the territory in order to maintain the sovereignty of the rest of Ukraine) is impossible. It’s not even that surrendering a few million Ukrainians to Putin’s fascist regime would be treason. You see, today’s Russia has long shown its inability to capitulate, to peacefully coexist with the neighbouring countries it has chosen as its victims. This was evident in the two colonial wars in the Caucasus. In the 1990s, the Chechen people inflicted a serious defeat on the Russian army and the Russian government agreed to peace. The following years were spent preparing for a new invasion of unruly Chechnya, and when a new, even more powerful force was assembled, the Russian army started all over again.

Ukrainian society remembers these events and knows that the only guarantee for peace will be the complete defeat of the Russian army, the destruction of the Putin regime and very serious changes in the Russian state and Russian society. It is probably too early to discuss the specific forms of these changes, but we can no longer live without them.

Y.T.: Thank you very much for your time! Take care and keep fighting for a freer Ukraine, beyond capitalism and statism!

A.D. and S.Sh.: Thank you! Long live a free and independent Ukraine!


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Since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in 2014, there is one notable minority that has suffered a lot, yet few talk about it – the Muslim Tatars of Crimea. From the beginning of the Russian occupation of Crimea, Russian forces began a major crackdown on Muslim Tatars by shutting down their TV channel, banning their organisations and even beating to death Tatar protesters who reacted to the invasion, believing that their rights would be affected if Ukrainian Crimea was annexed by the Russian Putin regime. As a result, thousands of Tatars were forced to leave their homes and flee. Their community abstained from the referendum on the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, which was rigged under the point of a gun and with transparent ballots. But this is not the first time Muslim Tatars have suffered from Russian authoritarianism. In 1944, during the Soviet period, over 180,000 Crimean Tatars were forced to board cattle trains and exiled to Uzbekistan on the orders of Joseph Stalin. At the time, Soviet state propaganda justified this racist policy by accusing all Tatars of being Nazi collaborators, despite the fact that many Tatars had served in the Red Army before that. Let us not forget, moreover, that Soviet propaganda had on many occasions justified the mass imprisonment/expulsion of various minorities and political opponents (anarchists, etc.) on the ever-popular charge that they were “ideological allies of fascism”. Of course, this racist policy against Muslim Tatars was not an invention of the Soviet regime. In the Russian Empire, the Tsar had already in the 18th century initiated a policy of “Slavization” of Crimea, starting the first persecutions against Tatars. The USSR, as a good successor to the empire, simply continued the Tsar’s work. Putin continues to do the same today in support of his imperial ambitions. Further info here.
Tags: syndicalismanarcho-syndicalismukraineinterviewFreedom News UK

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Every Country in the World Ranked by Yearly Electricity Production

Best Infographics
It is no secret that America and China produce and consume a ton of electricity every year. Have you ever wondered which other countries make the most electricity each year? This infographic from SolarPower.Guide takes a look:

The post Every Country in the World Ranked by Yearly Electricity Production appeared first on Best Infographics.

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When Texas Cowboys Fought Private Property

David Griscom
When barbed wire arrived in the late 1800s, it fundamentally changed the Texas landscape. The famous rancher Charles Goodnight once recounted a run-in with the Pueblo chief Standing Deer, who, returning to Taos, New Mexico, from a trading trip with the Kiowa, became lost and ended up on Goodnight’s land. When Goodnight asked Standing Deer […]

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Iran’s Supreme Leader blames protests on Israel and US

The Forward
(JTA) — In finally addressing the protests against the repression of women that have for two weeks roiled his country, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed Israel and the United States for the unrest. “I openly state that the recent riots and unrest in Iran were schemes designed by the U.S.; the usurping, fake…

The post Iran’s Supreme Leader blames protests on Israel and US appeared first on The Forward.

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Phoenix Anarchist Federation – Platform of the Phoenix Anarchist Federation

The Anarchist Library
Author: Phoenix Anarchist Federation
Title: Platform of the Phoenix Anarchist Federation
Subtitle: Anarchy in the Valley of the Sun

We are anarchists in so-called Phoenix, Arizona. We live upon stolen Pee Posh and O’odham land, and this is the lens through which our anarchism comes to life. Our objectives are inextricably linked to Indigenous and anti-colonial struggles.

Our Points of Unity
Anarchism –
Anarchy, the negation of hierarchy, is the method of those who wish to build a liberatory world based on equality and autonomy. Part of our mission to build this world is the formation of a lasting organization to promote anarchism and autonomous institutions in our communities. This organization must empower anarchists to act collectively while also ensuring freedom of initiative within our organization and community. As anarchists, we do not seek to impose a program on others; doing so would make us no better than the authoritarians we oppose. We seek instead to create a framework for a society in which multiple worlds can coexist. The anarchist movement’s developmental core is theoretical unity, tactical unity, collective responsibility, and federalism.

Theoretical unity arises from our desire to collaborate with those who pursue compatible methods in both organization and action, rather than being divided over the most basic ideas.

Tactical unity means striving for united activities rather than fragmenting into contradictory actions and goals.

Collective responsibility necessitates that each member is accountable for the activities of the organization, and the organization is responsible for the actions of each member acting on its behalf.

Federalism ensures that we function within a decentralized and horizontally structured system that stifles the formation of internal hierarchy.

Intersectionality and Power –
Power and its abuse take many forms in our lives and must be fought at every turn. White supremacy, colonialism, cisheteronormativity, patriarchy, institutionalized religion, and capitalism all shape our lives, weaving an intersecting web that keeps us entangled in the structures that are destroying the earth and killing untold millions. We cannot break free by cutting one strand. All must be attacked and severed for any of us to be free. We seek nothing less than the destitution of power and the abolition of all hierarchical institutions and social relationships.

Capitalism and the State –
The goal of our program is the total destruction of capitalism and the state. As long as either remains, it is impossible to disentangle our lives from the web of intersecting oppressions that surrounds us. Capitalism in the United States is built on a system of racialized slavery and exploited labor that is maintained to this day, through the prison-industrial complex. At the core, it holds a privileged property-owning class over the rest of society, who are forced to either sell their lives and bodies or be ground between its gears. Those who are perceived as less "productive" face a society fundamentally uninterested in accounting for their needs or remaining accessible, and they are often made dependent on structures that bureaucratize and measure their existence, to avoid even providing the necessities of survival. In the grasp of capital, our lives are made precarious and alienated. Even the most ascendant of the working class are only one disaster from economic ruin, and the communities and social support that once offered a safety net have been dissolved over centuries of capitalist dominion, leaving us with no protection from the crises so common under capitalism.

The state is the guard dog of capital. Even the actions of the state to regulate the worst excesses of capitalism serve to protect it from itself, to redirect energy away from a departure from capitalism entirely and towards a lifeless reformism, whose victories can be just as easily dismantled once they are no longer necessary to assuage the anger of the exploited. No matter who claims the mantle of the state, it remains an engine of subjugation and class stratification, seeking nothing more than to maintain its hegemony, and any project to wield the state against capitalism will inevitably recreate the society we wish to escape. To bring about a free and equitable world, both capitalism and the state must be abolished in kind.

Revolution –
Protests, the establishment of institutions committed to reducing the burdens of the exploited, the formation of unions to create worker power, and other peaceful tactics are essential to improving conditions and building the foundations of a free world. However, such tactics will never be fully sufficient to overthrow the current system of domination. In particular, while protests to the seats of power call attention to the ways in which we are oppressed, these tactics are merely a plea to those in power, rather than a true expression of our will. The state, capitalism, and white supremacy will constantly endeavor to suffocate and destroy any attempt by the oppressed to construct a better world. As a result, the exploited must not only build the new world but also defend it, carving out zones of autonomy where the new society can resist and push back against the old, initiating a struggle to abolish the state, expropriate the means of life, and build a society free of exploitation and domination, one where all beings receive the full dignities of existence, regardless of their perceived ability to produce value.

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Nerd Teacher – There’s A Problem with Anarchist Media

The Anarchist Library
Author: Nerd Teacher
Title: There’s A Problem with Anarchist Media
Date: 12 August 2022
Source: Retrieved on 3rd October 2022 from

Much in the way that I’m immensely disappointed in the media made “by teachers, for teachers,” I am finding that I am equally disenchanted with ‘anarchist’ media. This really shouldn’t be the case, but it is.

In a lot of ways, they share a lot in common. They shut out voices to focus on a few key people even if they don’t share common values, they ask individuals with little knowledge to cover topics they’re unfamiliar with, they’re incredibly insular and require an immense following to even be considered for projects, and they commodify pain.

However, the “by teachers, for teachers” media model at least doesn’t generally pretend that it’s doing something else. They make their goals of “reforming schools” known and tend to act similarly to traditional media by occasionally paying lip service to more humane options and co-opting radical movements. They know they’re selling something, and they know they’re doing it largely for profit or to maintain their positions within the system.

This makes perfect sense when you look into their funders and find the ‘charitable’ organisations of Bezos and Gates supporting them, even for the so-called nonprofits. And though the end result is them muddying the waters and obscuring the pain that our school systems cause in order to further their existence, it’s at least clear what their purpose is.

Meanwhile, many anarchist media organisations seem to have forgotten what their purpose was beyond producing goods and services for people to consume and buy.

Perhaps it starts with the fact that these anarchist media organisations are often established as formal businesses and nonprofits (even if they call themselves worker-run collectives). Infuriating though it might be, they have to be established in some way because they’re aware that they have to exist within a capitalist system. If they sell things and generate any kind of revenue, they’re required to submit taxes so that they can continue to provide their products for our “intellectual self-defense,” a term that feels a bit holier-than-thou for what buying a book or listening to a podcast is.

And honestly, I’m not here to say that all of the work they publish and share is meaningless because it isn’t. I have found numerous texts that have shifted my own ideas or helped me build upon or articulate others, and I’ve listened to people who have improved my understanding of different topics or sent me down rabbit holes I never expected to follow.

But it is telling that, though they claim to hold anti-capitalist values, they persist in using capitalist strategies and fail to recognise how that impacts them, the way they organise, and their customers. And that third category is customers because it’s not really comradeship to sell stuff. It can be seen in the ways they talk about their work and what they do, and it can be understood in the gaps they create because they’re too focused on competing in a capitalist system against traditional media (whether they recognise it or not).

It’s a bit perplexing that we’ve bought into this model so thoroughly, they’ve actively chosen to use these strategies. They recognise that traditional media is their competition, but they’re choosing to compete with them using their tools.

Should we be there? Yes. Should it be our primary focus? I really don’t think so.

So far, this has been somewhat vague, so let’s get into specific choices about strategies that feel counterproductive to an anarchist media and the development of anarchist communities.

For people who claim they want to “kill their idols,” there is an absurd amount of name recognition needed to even participate in some of these spaces. When new books are announced, it’s difficult to find authors that you’ve never heard from because the same few people keep popping up. Books about labour have the same few people, books about anarchist education are almost always around the same project because they’re written by the one expert anyone recognises, and books about anti-fascism are always from the perspectives of the same few supposed researchers (many of whom have grifted their way to popularity and run defense for “leftist” abusers).

The same voices, the same ideas, the same topics are constantly dredged up in apparently ‘new’ ways with very little space given to anyone else.

How many books do we need about Francisco Ferrer y Guardia? How many other anarchist pedagogical projects are there that we’re ignoring in favour of always talking about the Modern School, if we even deem talking about pedagogy important at all (and we rarely do)? Why do we need yet another collection of essays from the same few classical anarchists, like Emma Goldman or Pyotr Kropotkin, as if no one else existed with them or even exists now?

I can’t explain how tired I am of seeing the same few things all the time. How is this helping us learn and grow? How does this build anything other than a personal library or an ego?

And how many times can the same author repackage the same topics and essays for our consumption? Rarely do I see new authors being promoted or given even a glimmer of a platform, but I will see the same few people being touted around as the most knowledgeable about a topic or the best at editing anthologies. It’s a jarring development of a hierarchy that is intentionally overlooked because the people involved are supposedly anarchists, but it’s more than a little obvious that there are far too many people focusing on building up their friends and people they know to everyone else’s silence and detriment. They almost never step outside of their comfort zones, and they rarely go out of their way to engage people doing things differently to them.

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Black and White Workers and Communists Built a “Civil Rights Unionism” Under Jim Crow

Nelson Lichtenstein
It has been twenty years since Robert Korstad published his landmark history of tobacco worker unionism in the 1940s Piedmont South. But the book has never been more timely. Rereading his Civil Rights Unionism during the summer of 2022 proved a revelatory experience. It is not just that Korstad’s history of African-American efforts to build […]

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Monsters Are Everywhere in the Bible—And Some Are Even Human

Atlas Obscura: Articles
Madadh Richey
Scholars are learning what bestial and depraved characters can reveal about ancient authors and cultural attitudes.
This story was originally published on The Conversation and appears here under a Creative Commons license.

What is a “monster”? For most Americans, this word sparks images of haunted houses and horror movies: scary creations, neither human nor animal, and usually evil. But it can be helpful to think about “monsters” beyond these knee-jerk images. Ever since the 1990s, humanities scholars have been paying close attention to “monstrous” bodies in literature: characters whose appearance challenges common ideas about what’s normal.

Biblical scholars like me have followed in their footsteps. The Bible is full of monsters, even if they’re not Frankenstein or Bigfoot, and these characters can teach important lessons about ancient authors, texts and cultures. Monsterlike characters—even human ones—can convey ideas about what’s considered normal and good or “deviant,” disturbing, and evil.

Sometimes, monsters’ bodies are depicted in ways that reflect racist or sexist stereotypes about “us” versus “them.” Literary theorist Jack Halberstam, for example, has written about how Dracula and other vampires reveal antisemitic symbolism—even on Count Chocula cereal boxes. Such images often draw on antisemitic tropes that have been around for centuries, portraying Jewish people as shadowy, bloodsucking parasites.

Biblical monsters are no less revealing. In the Book of Judges, for example, the judge Ehud confronts the grotesque Moabite king Eglon, who is fatally fat and dies in an explosion of his own feces when a sword gets stuck in his stomach–though most modern translations render this a bit more chastely: “[Eglon’s] fat closed over [Ehud’s] blade, and the hilt went in after the blade—for he did not pull the dagger out of his belly—and the filth came out.”

In describing Eglon, the text also teaches Israelites how to think about their Moabite neighbors across the Jordan River. Like their emblematic king, Moabites are portrayed as excessive and disgusting—but ridiculous enough that Israelite heroes can defeat them with a few tricks.

Figures like Eglon and the famous Philistine giant Goliath, who battles the future King David, offer opportunities for biblical authors to subtly instruct readers about other groups of people that the authors consider threatening or inferior. But the Bible sometimes draws a relatable human character and then inserts twists, playing with the audience’s expectations.

In my own recent work, I have suggested that this is exactly what’s going on with the Book of Job. In this mostly poetic book of the Bible, “The Satan” claims that Job acts righteously only because he is prosperous and healthy. God grants permission for the fiend to test Job by causing his children to be killed, his livestock to be stolen and his body to break out in painful boils.

Job is then approached by three friends, who insist that he must have done something to prompt this apparent punishment. He spends the rest of the book debating with them about the cause of his torment.

The book is full of monsters and already a familiar topic in monster studies. In chapters 40-41, God boasts about two superanimals that he has created, called Leviathan and Behemoth. A mysterious, possibly maritime monster called Rahab appears twice. Both Job and his friends refer to vague nighttime visions that terrify them.

And of course there’s another “monster,” too: Job’s test is instigated by “the Satan.” Later in history, this figure became the archfiend of Jewish and Christian theology. In the Book of Job, though, he’s simply portrayed as a crooked minion, a shifty member of God’s heavenly court.

But I’d argue there’s another “monster” hiding in plain sight: the man at the center of it all. As biblical scholars like Rebecca Raphael and Katherine Southwood have pointed out, Job’s body is central to the book’s plot.

Job stoically tolerates Satan’s attacks on his livestock and even his children. It is only after the second attack, which produces “a severe inflammation on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head,” that he lets out a deluge of complaints.

Job’s body is so transformed that he, too, can be seen as a “monster.”

To illustrate his suffering, Job repeatedly describes his bodily decay with macabre, gruesome images: “My skin, blackened, is peeling off me. My bones are charred by the heat.” And, “My flesh is covered with maggots and clods of earth; My skin is broken and festering.” Job’s body is so transformed that he, too, can be seen as a “monster.” But while Job might think that the deity prefers ideal human bodies, this is not necessarily the case.

In the book’s telling, God sustains unique, extraordinary monsters who would seem, at first glance, to be evil or repellent—but actually serve as prime examples of creation’s wonder and diversity. And it is Satan, not God, who decides to test Job by afflicting him physically.

Some books in the Bible indeed view monsters as simplistic, inherently evil “others.” The prophet Daniel, for example, has visions of four hybrid beasts, including a winged lion and a multiheaded leopard. These were meant to symbolize threatening ancient empires that the chapter’s author despised.

The Book of Job does something radical by pushing against this limited view. Its inclusive viewpoint portrays the “monstrous” human as a sympathetic character who has his place in a diverse, chaotic world—challenging readers’ preconceptions today, just as it might have thousands of years ago.

Madadh Richey is an assistant professor of Hebrew Bible at Brandeis University.

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Barry Hines’s The Gamekeeper Is a Novel About How Capitalism Steals Nature From Us

Conrad Landin
The mass trespass movement, which reached its peak ninety years ago at Kinder Scout in Derbyshire, remains one of the starkest examples of hand-to-hand class conflict in British history. But the landowners who resisted the working-class ramblers accessing their land, of course, stayed away from the violence — instead outsourcing it to their gamekeepers. In […]

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ANews Podcast 282 – 9.30.22
From ANews Podcast

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Subscribe: Spotify | RSS

Welcome to this week’s podcast. This podcast is on anarchist activity, ideas, and comments from the previous week on

What’s New

Written by chisel, read by chisel and grumples 

A reading from theanarchistlibrary

Anarchy in Critical Dystopias: An Anatomy of Rebellion by Taylor Andrew Loy (excerpt)

Read & sound edited by Max Res

A discussion prompted by
2 CrimethInc. articles, a “System Fail” video, a forum post

with Max Res & octox

sound editing by octox

Music & Samples: 

Hudson Mohawke – Cbat

Snail’s House x potsu – summer is over

IC3PEAK – Марш (Marching)

oOoOO & Islamiq Grrrls – The Stranger

Tags: podcastanews podcast

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P.-J. Proudhon, Economy (Ms. 2863) — selected translations

Shawn P. Wilbur
It is this lack of definitions that establishes, as we will see, that Economy has been unable thus far to posit axioms, to demonstrate a method, to indicate its limits, and make known its object, that is to say to respond to that question, without which it cannot rank among the sciences: What is your name? Who are you? […]

The post P.-J. Proudhon, Economy (Ms. 2863) — selected translations appeared first on The Libertarian Labyrinth.

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Are Prisons Computers? with Ian Alan Paul

Acid Horizon Patrons
The Acid Horizon crew are joined by artist and theorist Ian Alan Paul to discuss his essay “Are Prisons Computers?” in which he argues for a cybernetic and digital understanding of prisons and policing. Part of this digital framework also calls for a re-evaluation of the distinction between discipline and control in Deleuze and Foucault at the same time as it calls for a return to the work of the Prison Information Group, taking prisoner revolts as models for new insurrectionary techniques and new weapons for destituent escape.

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Duane Rousselle – Post-Anarchism and Psychoanalysis

The Anarchist Library
Author: Duane Rousselle
Title: Post-Anarchism and Psychoanalysis
Subtitle: Three Lectures
Date: 2022
Notes: The following text consists of a transcription of a series of free seminars conducted by Duane Rousselle in the early part of 2022.

The Revolutionary Impulse of Melancholia
I’d like to begin with a statement that I made a few months ago while nearing the end of a seminar for some students in Russia. You know, when I speak, I frequently surprise myself. This happens because I permit myself every opportunity to ramble. Maybe that’s not exactly what you might call ‘teaching,’ but it certainly has its pedagogical effects. When I speak as a teacher it is as if I am involved in a psychoanalytic session. I am surprised–as typically happens in an analysis–by my own speech. This was an important aspect of undergoing psychoanalysis for Freud. He named it the ‘parapraxis.’ And in his work on dreams he also discussed the ‘latent’ content, discoverable through interpretation of the ‘manifest content.’ Lacan even made a distinction like that in his earlier teaching between ‘empty’ and ‘full’ speech. The latter invokes a meaning that is susceptible to psychoanalytic interpretation. In any case, what I said to those Russian students was surprising but it didn’t imply that there was some deeper meaning to be interpreted inside of it.

I remain committed to the statement that surprised me. What I said was that there are no genuine revolutionaries without melancholia. I’m sure that this statement will irritate some clinicians. For many of them, melancholia is a very serious condition that involves, among other things, suicidal ideation. I respect that it is important to have what is called a ‘differential clinic.’ So I’m not intended to challenge this position by playing loose with the definition. In any case, I don’t want to repeat all of the heavy lifting that brought me to make that claim. But what is melancholia? Put simply, it exists, not, as one might expect, when one discovers that the world has collapsed, but rather when one realizes that one never existed in the world from the very beginning. In such circumstances, in some sense, there is nothing but ‘world.’ It is a world of profound subjective destitution, to put it mildly. The melancholic cannot seem to conquer a place for itself in the world. (I am here repurposing Lacan’s statement on psychosis.)

I would even claim that the melancholic experience is one of only ‘revolution.’ Lacan once reminded his students that the word ‘revolution’ means ‘to return to the same.’ Hence, in the 1970s, he said: “this term ‘revolution’ in the use made of it in the mechanics of heavenly bodies, means a return to the state.” He added: “the master’s discourse accomplishes its own revolution in the sense of doing a complete circle.” How should we read this? I take it to imply that there was something ‘real’ at stake in his conception of revolution. I am surprised, therefore, to discover that Lacan was actually quite interested in revolutions. The concept of the ‘real’ was for him pivotal. And perhaps you already know that he once gave a definition of the ‘real’ as that which ‘always returns to its place.’ His example was precisely the movement of heavenly bodies. It would therefore seem as though the concept of the ‘real’ and that of ‘revolution’ are in some ways homologous. There is a ‘real’ at stake in melancholia that is revolutionary and that forces us to reflect also upon the concepts of repetition, circularity, and even fixation. The melancholic is therefore the one for whom there is most certainly a revolution, but without there being any place for herself in the world.

This is what differentiates the melancholic from the hysteric. The latter, in the first instance, confronts a world. The hysterical subject situates her revolutionary aspirations in some relation to the world. It doesn’t imply that it works out well for her. But she demands something from the world. She demands that there be a transgression of the laws which sustain it. She is not necessarily the instrument of the world, as in perversion, but she does aim to expose the world’s inadequacies and to force it to take stock. Yet, for all of that, to put it simply, she remains subjected to that world. For example, the hysteric will come inside of the walls of your world for no other reason than to demand that you go outside of the world. In fact, this is what one revolutionary student did during one of Lacan’s seminars. The student interrupted Lacan in order to demand that he stop teaching, that he stop speaking. The demand was for him to go outside of speech. I’ll quote the incident:

Student: If we are to overthrow the University, it will be from the outside, with others who are on the outside.

Intervention: So why are you inside?

Student: I am inside, comrade, because if I want people to leave, I have to come inside to tell them.

Lacan: Ah! You see… Everything is there, my friend. In order to get them to go out, you come in.

It is a rather interesting dialogue. Perhaps the hysteric goes inside so that she can preach the gospel of going outside. Yet, this is not true of the melancholic. The melancholic experiences revolution without a place for herself in the world and without aspirations. The concept of revolution is therefore a real pivot between hysteria and melancholia. This is what will eventually lead us toward some real surprises. For example, Lacan once said to the revolutionary students: “as revolutionaries, what you aspire to is a master.” After all the years since I first read this statement, it continues to lead me to be surprised. In fact, I was surprised yet again, just last night, when one of you provided me with another reading of the statement. Hugh know who you are! In any case, it is likely that the statement also surprised Lacan since he didn’t plan on saying what he said. The point is that hysteria is precisely that: a big surprise! But, for whom is it a surprise? On the one hand, it is a surprise for those who attempt to relate to the hysteric. I wouldn’t recommend that. On the other hand, it is a surprise, precisely, for the hysteric herself.

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Fredy Perlman – The Strait

The Anarchist Library
Author: Fredy Perlman
Title: The Strait
Subtitle: Book of Obenabi. His Songs
Date: 1988
Notes: Black and Red, Detroit.
Source: Scanned and OCR’d from the original book by a librarian

A Note to the Reader:
An early death kept Fredy Perlman from finishing the two-volume account of Robert Dupre’s forebears who lived on the Strait and in the surrounding woodlands. In both volumes, "Book of Obenabi. His Songs” and "Book of Robert Dupre. His Tales,” narrators recount familiar historic events as individuals indigenous to the region might have experienced them.

Fredy intended to present The Strait as texts written down by Obenabi’s nephew, Robert Dupre, in the 1850s. In 1851 Obenabi presumably told (or sang) his narrative to Dupre in Detroit’s prison hospital, uncle and nephew having been jailed as conspirators who opposed construction of a railroad across Michigan.

In addition to Obenabi’s songs, Robert Dupre was to be credited with preserving the tales of his aunt Wabnokwe. This history purports to be based on journals Obenabi’s sister kept throughout her life, and it constitutes Book II of The Strait. As a French-speaking resident of Detroit, Dupre wrote both narratives in French.

Fredy planned to present himself as the translator of Dupre’s manuscripts. His ostensible link to the text was through Ted Nasibu, a twentieth-century "rememberer” who was a fellow-printer at the Detroit Printing Co-op on Michigan Avenue. Both Ted and his friend Tissie appear in an earlier Black & Red publication, Letters of Insurgents. Through Tissie, Ted became acquainted with Robert Avis, Tissie’s cousin and Dupre’s great-grandson.

The Prologue situates Avis in a hospital bed in 1984. The surroundings combined with his anguish transport him to his great-grandfather’s side as the latter listens to his uncle Obenabi in 1851. At the beginning of Chapter 1, Obenabi, who also carries the name Jacob Burr-net, is recounting the experiences of his thirty-second year, events which occurred in 1826.

This volume of The Strait was essentially complete at the time of Fredy’s death in 1985 but a few minor changes were appropriate. In Chapter 9, I used Fredy’s outline to write some missing paragraphs. A few inconsistancies remain, but I hope they are minor.

With some misgivings, I have added the chronological dates on the right-hand pages. Although each page of Fredy’s manuscript mentions the year in which the events occurred, I doubt that he planned to include them when publishing the book. I feel they aid the reader in situating the story so have retained them.

Fredy did intend to append a glossary, but the rudimentary one provided here is mine, not his.

John Ricklefs designed the cover.

The photos are by Frank Jackson.

Lorraine Perlman March 1988

Early morning’s undone dream pulls me back to its activity, makes waking seem death, gives reality a fearful aura.

"It’s time for your surgery, Mr. Avis,” says Madge May the nurse. I’m here as object for treatment, there’s nothing to fear, nothing supernatural; diagnosis and remedy are determined by procedures accessible to all, and what is each of us but a product at a different stage of processing, transformed by labor into a more finished if not more perfect product ?

Orderlies Gabe Godfroy and Bill Wells prepare the bed on wheels, as Tom Williams the intern notes schedules and circumstances on his pad, while elsewhere the various specialists- bookkeepers, administrators, technicians, surgeons, nurses-are activated by the commander-in-chief, Dr. Cass, like an army, like meshing gears of clockwork, with an efficiency in stark contrast to my malfunctioning, inefficient bodily organs, defying death and disease with Organization and Confidence. Ifs impressive what they can do nowadays.

All I ever feared was failure to sell myself on the labor market, and this fear was dispelled by qualifications acquired in school, experience in teamwork gained in military service, and finally the benefits, good money and insurance earned in industry. My self-assurance grew with my confidence in the solidity of my environment, in its unbounded power to capture unprocessed raw matter (whether rock or tree or bodily organ, or a shy street kid like me, Robert Avis), define it with a fixed concept that holds under all conditions, reduce its inessential qualities to mathematical entities in order at last to transform it by technological processes into a product freed of its primal imperfections and shaped for insertion into the process that produced it.

Alongside my self-assurance grew a secret pride, not of a mere impressed spectator, but of an active participant who had mastered a machine anyone with drive can learn to handle, the pride of a product and agent ofthe machine determining destiny.

Procedural indications following the diagnosis of my abdominal discomfort strengthened my unshaken confidence in the organization that encompasses occupational hazards as part ofthe original intention, removes a diseased colon as easily as birdsnests and trees from the path of a highway, banishes death to the company of dragons in the museum of curios. Someone with drive doesn’t succumb to nature’s caprices.

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Islam and Anarchism with Mohamed Abdou
From The Final Straw Radio

Download This Episode

This week, Scott spoke with Mohamed Abdou, a North African-Egyptian Muslim anarchist activist-scholar who is currently a Visiting Scholar at Cornell University and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University of Cairo. Mohamed is the author of the recent book, Islam and Anarchism: Relationships and Resonances published by Pluto Press in 2022.

For nearly 2 hours, Scott and Mohamed speak about Mohamed’s experience of the Tahrir Square uprising of 2011 and the western media coverage of it, current unrest in Iran, Orientalism, decolonial education, Islam, Settler Colonialism, anarchism and a lot more.

You can follow Mohamed on Twitter at @minuetInGMinor or on facebook at @MohammadAbdou2020

Stay tuned next week for a chat with the organizers of the 2022 Atlanta Radical Bookfair and another surprise topic. For patreon supporters, pretty soon we should be sharing early releases of conversations with Robert Graham about his 2015 book “We Don’t Fear Anarchy, We Invoke It” and with Matthew Lyons on far right christian movements and other chats. More on how to support us at

And now a few brief announcements

Asheville Survival Program Benefit
For listeners in the Asheville area, you’re invited to an outdoor Movie Night benefit for Asheville Survival Program halloweeny season double feature on Saturday October 8th at 6pm at the Static Age River Spot. There’ll be food, music and merch. To find out more sbout the venue, you can contact Asheville Survival via their email or social media, found at

Atlanta Radical Bookfair
If you’re in the southeast of Turtle Island, consider visiting so-called Atlanta on Saturday, October 15th where from noon to 6pm you’ll find the Atlanta Radical Bookfair at The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History in Georgia. There’ll be speakers and many tables, including us!

Hurricane Ian Relief
If you want to offer support to folks in Florida around Hurricane Ian, one place to start could be with Central Florida Mutual Aid. They have tons of ways to plug in remotely or on the ground for what is likely to be a long and arduous cleanup and repair effort. You can learn more about them at

Also, Firestorm books is collecting donations of emergency goods at their storefront in Asheville.

Prisons in the Wake of Ian
We’ve regrettably missed the opportunity to promote the phone zap campaigns to raise awareness of prisoners in the path of Hurricane Ian before the storm hit, but suggest that folk check out FightToxicPrisons.Wordpress.Com to learn more about efforts to press public officials to heed the calls to protect prisoners during storms like this rather than follow the path of inertia and cheapness that leads to unnecessary deaths of folks behind bars.

There is currently a prison strike within the Alabama Department of Corrections known by the hashtag #ShutDown ADOC2022. Campaigners have organized a call-in campaign to demand an end to retaliation against Kinetic Justice (s/n Robert Earl Council) who has been assaulted by guards on September 29th and placed in solitary confinement as well as retaliation of any prisoners participating, Kinetic’s release from solitary and the meeting of prisoners demands. Supporters are asking folks to call Warden William Streeter at (256) 233-4600 or Commissioner John Hamm at (334) 353-3883. You can find a recent interview with Kinetic at Unicorn Riot, as well as more on the prison strike at UnicornRiot.Ninja

. … . ..

Featured Tracks:

Blues for Tahrir by Todd Marcus Blues Orchestra from Blues for Tahrir
Kill Your Masters by The Muslims from Fuck These Fuckin’ Fascists

Tags: Islamreligionpodcastthe final straw radioacademic

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There’s A Problem with Anarchist Media
From Nerd Teacher

Much in the way that I’m immensely disappointed in the media made “by teachers, for teachers,” I am finding that I am equally disenchanted with ‘anarchist’ media. This really shouldn’t be the case, but it is.

In a lot of ways, they share a lot in common. They shut out voices to focus on a few key people even if they don’t share common values, they ask individuals with little knowledge to cover topics they’re unfamiliar with, they’re incredibly insular and require an immense following to even be considered for projects, and they commodify pain.

However, the “by teachers, for teachers” media model at least doesn’t generally pretend that it’s doing something else. They make their goals of “reforming schools” known and tend to act similarly to traditional media by occasionally paying lip service to more humane options and co-opting radical movements. They know they’re selling something, and they know they’re doing it largely for profit or to maintain their positions within the system.

This makes perfect sense when you look into their funders and find the ‘charitable’ organisations of Bezos and Gates supporting them, even for the so-called nonprofits. And though the end result is them muddying the waters and obscuring the pain that our school systems cause in order to further their existence, it’s at least clear what their purpose is.

Meanwhile, many anarchist media organisations seem to have forgotten what their purpose was beyond producing goods and services for people to consume and buy.

Perhaps it starts with the fact that these anarchist media organisations are often established as formal businesses and nonprofits (even if they call themselves worker-run collectives). Infuriating though it might be, they have to be established in some way because they’re aware that they have to exist within a capitalist system. If they sell things and generate any kind of revenue, they’re required to submit taxes so that they can continue to provide their products for our “intellectual self-defense,” a term that feels a bit holier-than-thou for what buying a book or listening to a podcast is.

And honestly, I’m not here to say that all of the work they publish and share is meaningless because it isn’t. I have found numerous texts that have shifted my own ideas or helped me build upon or articulate others, and I’ve listened to people who have improved my understanding of different topics or sent me down rabbit holes I never expected to follow.

But it is telling that, though they claim to hold anti-capitalist values, they persist in using capitalist strategies and fail to recognise how that impacts them, the way they organise, and their customers. And that third category is customers because it’s not really comradeship to sell stuff.  It can be seen in the ways they talk about their work and what they do, and it can be understood in the gaps they create because they’re too focused on competing in a capitalist system against traditional media (whether they recognise it or not).

It’s a bit perplexing that we’ve bought into this model so thoroughly, they’ve actively chosen to use these strategies. They recognise that traditional media is their competition, but they’re choosing to compete with them using their tools.

Should we be there? Yes. Should it be our primary focus? I really don’t think so.

So far, this has been somewhat vague, so let’s get into specific choices about strategies that feel counterproductive to an anarchist media and the development of anarchist communities.

For people who claim they want to “kill their idols,” there is an absurd amount of name recognition needed to even participate in some of these spaces. When new books are announced, it’s difficult to find authors that you’ve never heard from because the same few people keep popping up. Books about labour have the same few people, books about anarchist education are almost always around the same project because they’re written by the one expert anyone recognises, and books about anti-fascism are always from the perspectives of the same few supposed researchers (many of whom have grifted their way to popularity and run defense for “leftist” abusers).

The same voices, the same ideas, the same topics are constantly dredged up in apparently ‘new’ ways with very little space given to anyone else.

How many books do we need about Francisco Ferrer y Guardia? How many other anarchist pedagogical projects are there that we’re ignoring in favour of always talking about the Modern School, if we even deem talking about pedagogy important at all (and we rarely do)? Why do we need yet another collection of essays from the same few classical anarchists, like Emma Goldman or Pyotr Kropotkin, as if no one else existed with them or even exists now?

I can’t explain how tired I am of seeing the same few things all the time. How is this helping us learn and grow? How does this build anything other than a personal library or an ego?

And how many times can the same author repackage the same topics and essays for our consumption? Rarely do I see new authors being promoted or given even a glimmer of a platform, but I will see the same few people being touted around as the most knowledgeable about a topic or the best at editing anthologies. It’s a jarring development of a hierarchy that is intentionally overlooked because the people involved are supposedly anarchists, but it’s more than a little obvious that there are far too many people focusing on building up their friends and people they know to everyone else’s silence and detriment. They almost never step outside of their comfort zones, and they rarely go out of their way to engage people doing things differently to them.

And this isn’t uncommon: Rarely do I see anarchist media organisations going out of their way to meet new people, to find people in the areas they want to know more about. Instead, they put all of their energies on building connections to rising stars, to people with established platforms because those people will bring their audiences with them.

Much like their competitors, they’re using the same strategies that shut people out as they promote their own supposed growth.

But why bother doing any of that hard work to build a community when your publishing house can, instead of working on a range of books and pamphlets about lesser known union struggles or pedagogical projects, support one of the most exploitative traditional publishers that they pretend they’re competing against? Why create your own media from people who are genuinely trying to share information when you can just purchase and sell books from the people you claim to be competing against in this “intellectual war?”

Instead, we just get the same old things from people who claim to have politics that more align with ours. More of the same, and more of the hegemonic structures.

These publishing houses, though this can extend to other media organisations along with the academic groups, get to “keep going” and “continue surviving” while selling people books that are almost entirely devoid of praxis and experience simply because the person who wrote them is an “ally” of movements they claim to support. Much of this is supported by them sending their “community” (in reality, their customer base) notifications about sales during major tragedies and strike actions.

Did you know that there are strikes across multiple Starbucks? Well, if you want to learn more, buy this book!

And I wish I were kidding, but every single time some horrible event happens, like abortion rights being rolled back by the Supreme Court in the United States or a Black person being murdered by police, there is always some kind of sale ad in my email that talks about it and tells me what books to buy so that I can “learn more” about why I should support abolition.

It’s grotesque.

This absurd commodification of organising or awful events is something that, when mainstream media outlets do it, we critique. Rightfully so, too! But the sheer number of times that I’ve watched sales start on the backs of union organising or the countless deaths of migrants at highly politicised borders astounds me, and it often continues with little pushback. Instead, I often see people whose books are on sale try to promote more people buying them.

And none of this considers how this consumer-focused structure of selling stuff, be it merchandise or ideas, really impacts the physical world we live in. How many objects do I need sold to me that tell me about climate change? Why don’t these emails ever tell me, or anyone at all, how we can support actions in different places and what groups, particularly small-scale organisations, are doing?

I don’t feel informed by someone selling me something, and I certainly don’t feel connected.

We are supposed to be anarchists, not salesmen or capitalists. And yet, here we are, being sold books that will help inform our politics while the organisations (structured as companies and NGOs, usually residing in the United States or the United Kingdom) are doing very little to show that they share the values we claim to share.

This really is a particular issue with anarchist media in the Anglosphere, for it ignores everyone outside of it almost entirely. And though I am originally from the United States, I see the absolute lack of care these ‘anarchist’ media organisations have for areas outside of their boundaries. I see them asking people who are unfamiliar with politics or regions to write or speak about what should be done in far-flung places  that they’ve barely even thought of, as if the only answers can come from people within my country of origin.

I see them putting a great deal of focus on people in Western Europe to discuss places they rarely engage with, as if places within Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, or South America are anomalies that can never be explained or understood by anyone else except people who have always discriminated against the people living there.

Calls for internationalism are almost entirely superficial, for those in many of the anarchist media organisations want very little to do with people from somewhere else and do very little to even offer a glimmer of solidarity to help projects get off the ground or continue. They leave many of us at the grassroots level, watching us all burn out as they put forward their next few rising stars. 

Of course, they’ll never admit to having ‘rising stars’, but they do. 

You can see it every single time the same handful of people are trotted out to talk about union campaigns, as if they did anything beyond observing them. You see it every time they put a focus on certain antifascist researchers, people who’ve often built a career on talking about what fascism looks like and ironically collaborating with the police, while they continue ignoring the people fighting antifascism on the frontlines. Ironically, some of them are people who will discuss the kinds of responsibility that people with large platforms have, only to completely dogpile teenagers.

They talk as if their experiences are the only ones, often extrapolating what happened to them to everyone else. These people fail to recognise how different their experiences are to everyone anywhere else, and that is to their own detriment and our own. Yet, they are held up as experts for us to trust.

When they do support some degree of internationalism, it is to support names that have already been made, people who already have established platforms. I wonder if they realise how difficult it is for people who experience life in places that are so commonly left out to even be heard, since it’s more common for their voices to be drowned out. I wonder if they recognise that, for a lot of us, they are one of the few sources of information we have access to because our own have all shuttered.

And that information is mostly in English.

I have little issue with any of those people in particular who ‘make it’ and can talk about their experiences as widely as possible, as many of them do beautiful work and offer insights that are otherwise ignored. But it is beyond frustrating that organisations proclaiming to be anarchist require some degree of name recognition in order for them to acknowledge someone, meaning that many people are going to be left out.

These are supposed to be systems that we fight against, and yet the organisations purporting to support us perpetuate them instead.

Along with their production and sales strategies, I can’t help feeling disappointed when I see anarchist publishing houses supporting the traditional models of publishing instead of actually doing the work to break them down. If that is your stated goal, if that is a belief you claim to hold, then why aren’t you doing it? If you think there’s a problem with the Big 5 Publishers, such as their attacks on projects like the Internet Archive or the constant development of imprints so that they can continue to profit off of right-wing filth while catering to everyone else, why do you support them and why do you encourage your customers to do the same through you?

The strategies and the politics don’t match up.

One claim that I’ve seen is that it’s in self-defense of our collective knowledge. What’s published is decided collectively and democratically among the workers within the organisation, just as the decisions about what to sell in their stores are. But wait, it’s important to know that it supports the author to sell those books, too! So that way those authors can keep going on with their very important work, sustained by the very people who water every radical idea down just enough to make it palatable for their own sales or use their authors to do so.

They’re sustained by the very people who would prefer to see any form of revolution crushed beneath their boots before it ever got off the ground.

What difference is it if I buy a poorly written labour anthology of “untold stories,” all of which were told before because they all come with a whole host of citations, from my local chain book store or an anarchist publishing house when it’s still profiting Simon & Schuster (which is still trying to merge with Penguin Random House to create an even smaller oligopoly of publishers)?

Why would an anarchist publishing house even want to support them rather than build a space for ourselves? It’s beyond me.

At some point, though, those reasons all sound like excuses. It’s the same vibe as someone mumbling “no ethical consumption under capitalism” and continuing to make intentionally harmful decisions despite all the knowledge they have about how not to.

Something has to give.

But this continues into other spaces where, rather than rely on donations (something difficult to come by because of how limited our collective resources are), they incorporate the strategies around including sponsorships and advertisements or grant funding.

Look, I get it. We have to exist somehow in this capitalist hellscape and make sure others can, too. If we want to develop spaces where people can create and share and build, we often find that we have to use those tools in order to get what we need. There’s an element of coercion here, and it’s important that we don’t forget that.

It’s during those times that a lot of radical media, and this does include anarchist media, engage in subvertising. They make funny jokes when doing outright ad-reads or prior to ad breaks, even though they fully acknowledge that people are likely to engage with the products being sold because of who is selling it and where this advertisement is located. It feels as if there is an element of disdain for the company whose product or service they’re advertising, but that ultimately feels shallow. 

It functions in that unclear middle ground: To what extent is this a joke? If they genuinely want to develop an anti-capitalist space or promote anti-capitalist values, how is that being done when advertisements are often front and center in their work? Are they subvertising at all or are they using the aesthetics of subvertising to maintain their own space?

Clearly,  it’s still functioning in building some degree of sales for the companies, otherwise they’d request that their advertisement be pulled from that show or just stop having those people do ad-reads. Not only does it clearly function the way it’s intended to, but it still serves a purpose in normalising whatever they’re selling and the idea that advertisements are necessary. It creates a range of conflicting interests within people.

But we all need to eat, right? We need to make money somehow, right? So who cares where we get our money…


There has to be a point where you stop laughing about the advertisements that a company you choose to work with puts on your shit and the mixed messages you’re sending because of the jokes you make about it. Subvertising can only go so far. 

There has to be a point where you recognise that you’re tacitly supporting companies and organisations that act directly in contradiction with your stated values, even when they claim to stand with you. Perhaps one of the best examples here are all the people who take sponsorships from a “carbon offsetting” subscription model called Wren, taking advantage of their audience’s desire to do better for the environment and failing to engage with the psychology of how their program makes people feel like they’re doing something when they actually aren’t.

This is a common problem with “carbon off-setting.” It’s gimmicky manipulation, not a functional solution, and it’s one that rakes in enough money on the backs of people hoping to do something good.

The critical engagement with the companies that these advertisements come from isn’t happening, and it feels like one more example of people shrugging their shoulders and muttering the sacred mantra all over again: “No ethical consumption under capitalism.”

But if the money you receive comes from organisations that promote and host media influencing parasocial relationships with CEOs while taking money from State institutions to advertise their police force, I really have to wonder what the ethics here even are. Even if many listeners don’t agree with those, it starts building a way for it to creep into our thoughts and support the ideas that we haven’t fully engaged with. It’s one more way to support someone in the development of their conflicting views that we should both abolish the police but work from within the institution.

What about some of these individuals who are also hawking their books on Amazon? While they may not have the ability to control that it’s sold there, why do they choose to advertise its availability there instead of finding places more aligned with their own views? And that’s especially in a time where we all know what Amazon is doing: how they treat their workers individually, how they put immense efforts into busting up unions and organising efforts, and how they collectively penalise whole staff at warehouses (especially those trying to unionise) by letting them fall into disrepair and outright closing them.

And it’s not just people advertising their own work on Amazon, we can say the same thing of the sponsorships that people choose to work with, like BetterHelp or Hello Fresh. These things have actively hurt people, even if they seem “nice.” 

BetterHelp definitely wants you to believe that it’s really helpful for mental health, that it’s great because they provide people access to therapists whenever they need since they’re an online platform. But have you stopped to consider anything about their business model and how that harms and undermines our understanding of mental health treatment? How it exploits everyone in the process? How they manipulate users? How they mistreat their own therapists?

And Hello Fresh? What rubbish. They want you to believe that they’re a healthy food alternative for busy people! That you can reduce your food waste by purchasing their products (while somehow neglecting increases in both transportation and packaging). But if you look into them, they have horrendous conditions for their workers in packing facilities and have worked pretty hard to secure a no-vote for a union through intimidation.

If you’re choosing to have them as sponsors or know that the company you choose to work with gives them ad space on your work, what does that say about your views?

This is something that all anarchist organisations, particularly those that choose to formalise themselves under their local laws, need to consider. 

This is something even David Graeber highlighted when discussing the time someone donated a car to the New York Direct Action Network, which he described in “Dead Zones of the Imagination”:

“The DAN car caused a minor, but ongoing, crisis. We soon discovered that legally, it is impossible for a decentralized network to own a car. Cars can be owned by individuals, or they can be owned by corporations (which are fictive individuals), or by governments. But they cannot be owned by networks. Unless we were willing to incorporate ourselves as a nonprofit corporation (which would have required a complete reorganization and an abandonment of most of our egalitarian principles), the only expedient was to find a volunteer willing to claim to be the legal owner.”

He continues by stating that the car caused more problems than it solved. It became a headache for the group, one that was brought on by the systems of bureaucracy that influence our everyday lives. These same systems continue to shape the media organisations in anarchist spaces, and I don’t think it’s necessarily for the better.

It’s bad enough that we have multiple organisations that have to deal with legal channels, whether they want to or not. Sometimes it’s necessary. It’s bad enough that there are people who have to play by the State’s rules if they want even a modicum of safety in their everyday lives.

It’s beyond absurd that we keep losing spaces, we keep losing ground, and the organisations that claim to support us rarely put forth any work to help them continue or get off the ground. It’s like they’re not even trying to fight but are just waiting until the next book fair or the next conference. Hell, even when they can’t help, they rarely talk about any of the issues affecting even the most globally recognised communities, like Rog in Ljubljana or Exarcheia in Athens. Rarely do we get perspectives of the people living in these places until something bad is already happening, if we get that at all.

If that’s internationalism, why are they bothering?

And while our media is but one small part of this, we need to think: How do these spaces and the way they operate, the way they’re structured, the choices they make “to survive” help us get to the futures we want to see? How does this impact the ways in which we think about other spaces we develop for us?

How do we build what we really need?

Tags: mediaanarchist mediadistroismAK Presscrimethinc.

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Marx and Engels and Russia’s Peasant Communes

Ian Angus

This article will be released in full online October 3, 2022.
In the past and in his own time, Marx has been portrayed as endorsing the enclosure of the commons as a necessary historical stage on the path to socialism. However, a more accurate account, one that is critical of the enclosure movement, can be found in his response to the destruction of commons-based peasant communities in Russia—while it was actually happening. | more…

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Murals of Eyes in Silwan Remind Jerusalem of Palestinian Struggle

Unicorn Riot
Silwan, Occupied East Jerusalem, Palestine – Large murals of eyes, faces and flowers have been painted on the walls of dilapidated hillside homes and easily visible to Jewish settlements with intent to draw attention to the displacement of Palestinians.

Painted in the occupied East Jerusalem…

The post Murals of Eyes in Silwan Remind Jerusalem of Palestinian Struggle appeared first on UNICORN RIOT.

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How Amazon, Google, and Facebook Helped Fund the Campaign to Overturn Roe

The Intercept
Sam Biddle
The Independent Women’s Forum isn’t explicitly an anti-abortion group, but it worked to create the conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court.

The post How Amazon, Google, and Facebook Helped Fund the Campaign to Overturn Roe appeared first on The Intercept.

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Biden administration wants ‘thorough’ inquiry into death of 7-year-old Palestinian boy

The Forward
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Biden administration’s State Department demanded a “thorough and immediate” investigation into the death of a 7-year-old after Israeli soldiers visited his West Bank home. “The U.S. is heartbroken to learn of the death of an innocent Palestinian child,” State Department spokesman Vedandt Patel said. “We support a thorough and immediate investigation…

The post Biden administration wants ‘thorough’ inquiry into death of 7-year-old Palestinian boy appeared first on The Forward.

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Left-Wing Journalist Katie Halper Has Been Fired for Calling Israel an Apartheid State

Branko Marcetic
For all the strides the Palestinian cause has made in terms of American sympathies, criticism of the Israeli government and its treatment of the Palestinians is still the major taboo in US political discourse. Just look at what happened to Katie Halper this week. The Intercept reported today that Halper, a popular left-wing podcaster and […]

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What Does the Ending of ‘American Psycho’ Mean?

Phenomenology and Existentialism
Alyssa Miller

This is one videotape we don’t want to return.

American Psycho’s ending leaves a lot to the viewer’s imagination. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is a New York City yuppie that moonlights as a serial killer, but did he actually kill people? How much of the movie takes place in his unhinged mind?

Based on Bret Easton Ellis’s novel of the same name, American Psycho’s director Mary Harron says this cult classic is not easy to decipher on the first watch and has a complicated legacy. Upon its release, it was derided by many critics as being misogynistic, while other critics went in the opposite direction and claimed that the movie was sexist towards men.

Similar to the novel, the ending is infamously ambiguous, leaving us to wonder what actually happened throughout the movie. The ending of the film has been a source of debate amongst fans for a long time, but it’s an argument that we are ready to settle.

So, what happened in American Psycho? Let’s get into it.

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The Early IWW’s Unionism Was So Effective That Capitalists Decided It Had to Be Smashed

Ahmed White
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and its radical unionism was exploding in power and members. Yet less than ten years later, the IWW was all but smashed after a brutal campaign of repression and vigilantism. How did such a vibrant force of working-class power end up all but destroyed in the course of […]

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The symphony of fire: 10 days of open mobilization in Russia

During the first few days of mass summoning, the number of such cases became comparable to what happened during the entire previous 7 months of the full-scale invasion! The 13th and 14th parts of our regular anti-militarist sabotage review at the end of the 10th mobilization day are in one issue.

Please support our online newsletter for continuous work on this international rubric or the campaign to restore local community of shelled Kharkiv neighbourhoods through joining this fundraising. A couple of cups of coffee in your country even before the war could be equivalent in price to the daily wage of a worker in Ukraine. Many thanks everyone in advance!


Submitted by Thunderbird on September 30, 2022

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With the announcement by Vladolff Putler on September 21 of the mobilization for the war in Ukraine – hidden mobilization had been going on for many months – the already slightly forgotten wave of incendiary attacks on enlistment centres (military commissariats) throughout the RF resumed again. We will not pretend to be military experts, wondering how the influx of hundreds of thousands of the least trained, equipped and disciplined soldiers can change the situation on the front. Let’s only note that the Kremlin’s appeal to the most dangerous scenario for itself after the mid-September stampede of Russian troops from the occupied third of the Kharkov region can have a very simple motivation: if earlier only extrajudicial pressure was applied to those who refused to participate in hostilities, now it is punishable by 10 years in prison – as well as desertion, failure to appear for military service on conscription or voluntary surrender. The number of such cases lately is eloquently evidenced by this this movie, appeared in September from our region: a whole bunch of reports on dismissal was found in abandoned Russian positions.

So, on the evening of September 21, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into an office of the military enlistment center on the Leninsky and Kanavinsky districts in Nizhny Novgorod. The fire had engulfed part of the room before it was extinguished. The attacker fled.

More successfully that night, was set fire to the enlistment office of the Lomonosovsky district in the Leningrad region (photo below). The Molotov cocktail flew into the room right next to the sign of the facility. The building quickly caught fire. The fire engulfed the entire building before firefighters arrived. Many personal files of conscripts reportedly burned down.

On September 26, it became known that a 20-year-old student Victor Melnikov was detained in St. Petersburg in this case. During a search of his house, chemical reagents, negatives of photographs from the scene of the incident, as well as religious and nationalist literature were confiscated from him. A case was opened under the article on the deliberate destruction or damage of another’s property (Art. 167 of the Criminal Code). The press also states that the building with the sign "military commissariat" was actually empty, and this institution was located in a neighboring house. Nevertheless, the object is on the balance sheet of the Ministry of Defense, it claims that the fire caused damage in the amount of at least 250,000 rubles. Victor is arrested until at least November 23. He has already pleaded guilty.

On the night of September 22, in the town of Gai of the Orenburg region, unknown ones then set fire to the enlistment office right on the central Lenin Street (photo below). The cocktail brought a saving fire to one of the rooms, but alas, the building did not burn down. But the partisans are free!

Also at dawn on September 22, someone threw a bottle of inflammable mixture through the window of the enlistment center in the village of Kyra of the Zabaikalsky Krai. According to one source, there was no fire, even firefighters were not called: the liquid from the cocktail only poured some papers. According to the second source, the thrown bottle did not even damage the window pane or cause any damage to the object.

On the same night, the entrance to the city administration of Tolyatti of the Samara region was torched with a Molotov cocktail (photo below). The arsonist fled again. Earlier on the same building, a banner "We don’t leave ours behind" was thrown with red paint.

On the night of September 23, the military commissariat of the Industrial district in Khabarovsk was attacked. The Molotov cocktail successfully smashed a window and started a fire (photo below). The fire spread to two offices, and even what – the head of the mobilization department and the room for storing documents! It was extinguished, but part of the stored inside managed to catch fire, though the papers are reportedly in order.

Around midnight on September 23, the watchman of the military commissariat in the town of Svobodny – the Amur region – called the police. He said that an unknown person threw a Molotov cocktail at their building. The bottle fell to the asphalt and caught fire. The facade was slightly damaged.

Early on the morning of September 23, the building of the Kamyshin town hall in the Volgograd region was set on fire with two Molotov cocktails (photo below). A fire started, which did not cause much damage and was soon extinguished by the securities. Firefighters were not involved.

Also on the night of September 23, the house of culture caught fire in the village of Tselinny, the Altai Republic, which also houses the administration of the village council. It was later discovered that the windows in the building were broken. The fire started in the post office, and then spread through the ceiling to the premises of the village administration. The office of the Russian Post burned out completely, only the ceiling itself was damaged in the mayor’s office. No harm done. The preliminary reason is arson.

On the same night, unknown people attempted to set fire to the Kirovsky Districtal Committee of the so-called CPRF in Volgograd (these Stalinist obscurantists called for mobilization even before it was officially announced). Presumably with the help of dry alcohol. At the entrance to the premises, was also wrote "No war!" See photo below.

In the Krasnoyarsky Krai on the night of September 24, the military commissariat of Kansk was on fire (photo below). An unknown person threw a Molotov cocktail into the window of the first floor, and after this fled the scene. There is a version that it was an elderly man. After 20 minutes, the fire was extinguished. No documents were damaged, but some of the furniture in the office burned down. Kansk is widely known for the case of teenage anarchists, and one of them, 17-year-old Nikita Uvarov, is serving a term in the local prison. Regardless of the attacker’s motives, it was a worthy response!

On the same night of September 24, unknown persons set fire to tires near the entrance to the local branch of the ruling party United Russia in Salavat, the Republic of Bashkortostan. As a result of the fire, the front door and part of the corridor burned out (photo below). And the building was pretty smoked.

Along with this, on September 24 it became known that 40-year-old unemployed Igor Serbinov (photo below) tried to set fire to the porch of the military commissariat in the town of Arseniev, Primorsky Krai, with kerosene. Something went wrong and the fire did not happen. Serbinov was detained. He explained his act by his anti-war position. He had reportedly been already convicted of fraud, and the issue of initiating another criminal case is being resolved – for hooliganism.

According to information from the same day, in Balakhna of the Nizhny Novgorod region, an unknown one threw a Molotov cocktail at the town hall. There was no fire. The failed arsonist is being sought by the cops.

At 1 a.m. on September 25, the emergency servicemen of the Gatchina district in the Leningrad region received a signal about a fire alarm in the building of the Syaskelevsky settlement administration. The office of social protection was on fire. The source of the fire was a pair of bottles with a combustible mixture, which were thrown through the window. According to preliminary data, the Molotov cocktail was thrown into the building by a man in a light beige jacket with a stripe on the back. The area of ​​the fire was 50 square meters. A criminal case has been initiated under the article "Intentional destruction of property by arson."

At 4 a.m. on September 25, partisans threw Molotov cocktails at the enlistment office of Ruzayevka in the Republic of Mordovia. The fire managed to flare up in one of the offices until it was extinguished.

The same night, an unidentified person threw a bottle of gasoline into the military enlistment office of Tarusa in the Kaluga region. The wooden window frame caught fire. Also on the night of September 25, a man threw an incendiary mixture into the building of the Chernyakhovsk military commissariat in the Kaliningrad region. The wall of a two-story old building caught fire, the fire area was 1.5 square meters. The guards put out the fire themselves. The local press claims that the detainee is registered in a psycho-neurological dispensary. According to authorities, he is now "already confessing."

On the same night in Kirovsk, the Leningrad region, firefighters discovered an unusual device (photo below), which was allegedly used to attempt to burn down the enlistment center: a fuel canister was attached to the window of the first floor of the building and a tube was brought inside. The regional emergency service said that the fire area was 3 square meters.

On September 26, at about 3 a.m., an unknown person approached the village administration building of Beloomut near Moscow, set fire to an incendiary mixture in a can and threw it out the window of the second floor. After that, he disappeared. However, this attack did not cause a serious fire. The arsonist only damaged the double-glazed window and the window sill in the building, at the same time showing up in front of the cameras (photo below). Now the police are trying to find him.

The same night, an arson of the enlistment center took place in Uryupinsk of the Volgograd region. At about 4 o’clock in the morning, the guy drove a car to the entrance to the institution and set it on fire. Coming out of it, he began to throw Molotov cocktails at the building. 100 square meters of the premises managed to burn out, you can watch the video. But what was happening was noticed by a nearby patrol, so they managed to localize the fire. The detained attacker turned out to be 35-year-old nationalist Mikhail Filatov. He stated that had committed this act to protest the mobilization.

On the evening of September 26, in Priozesk of the Leningrad region, a 42-year-old man threw two Molotov cocktails at the editorial office of the Red Star ("Krasnaya Zvezda") newspaper. The man, by the way, turned out to be a "specialist in baiting insects." But he confused the press organ of the Russian Armed Forces with the districtal newspaper and went to work tipsy. In his confession he said that his heart ached for the country. The video is here, albeit in very poor quality.

In Vladivostok, two nights in a row they attacked the neighboring buildings of the military commissariat with fire. The first attack took place on the night of September 27, when someone approached the window of the military pensioners office on Cheremukhovaya Street and started a fire inside. After that, the person fled, and the fire was extinguished by the arrived securities. The second arson happened on September 28 at one o’clock. An unknown person smashed a double-glazed window of the neighboring building of the enlistment center on the same Cheremukhovaya street with a hammer and threw a plastic bottle with a combustible mixture there. A window sill and a plastic window frame caught fire in the room, however, like last time, the fire was extinguished on their own.

It is not yet clear if the arson was carried out by the same person. The cops are looking for the perpetrator and have already opened a criminal case on intentional damage to property. We will only add that during the summer, unidentified persons already set fire to the enlistment office and the police station in the same city. Good luck to these persistent revolutionaries!

At about 3 am on September 29, an unknown one broke a window in the administration building of Zimovniki in the Rostov region with a brick, threw a Molotov cocktail inside and set it on fire. The fire was stopped only after the complete burnout of the office in an hour. Photo below.

Also on the morning of September 29 in Novosibirsk there was an attempt to set fire to the enlistment office of the Kirovsky and Leninsky districts. Molotov cocktails were thrown through two windows, causing a 0.5 square meter fire on the outside of the building. According to the military commissar, the fire was quickly extinguished, the property and premises of the institution were not damaged. The suspect was detained.


At about 2 a.m. on September 17 in Köktöbel – a coastal resort village in the occupied Crimea – was torched the car of the Kremlin TV channel’s general director Dmitry Kiselyov. Land Rover Freelander, a golf cart and a nearby plane tree were damaged by the fire. Kiselyov’s villa is also located here. Now the police are busy searching for the visitor: eyewitnesses said that the mysterious night guest was wearing a medical mask, glasses, a hood and shoe covers.

On the night of September 15, in the Moscow region, a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of a two-story building in the workers’ settlement of Shakhovskaya. As a result, the window burned, the flame rose to the second floor, but the fire was extinguished. Until 2006, the building housed an enlistment office and a military registration desk. The first facility moved to a different address, but the registration desk remained, here on the first floor there were documents. However, from the words of authorities, the papers were not affected. Nobody has been detained.

By day of September 5, 36-year-old Chechen migrant Bilal S. came to the checkpoint in the Prospekt Vernadskogo district of Moscow. A man recently lived in a hostel said that he was holding dynamite and wanted to blow up the cops because he was tired of living. In his hands, Bilal held an object really looked like dynamite. The duty officer pressed the panic button, the visitor was detained. The imitator of the “explosive device”, consisted of wires and several dynamite tubes, was seized from the man. A criminal case was opened on knowingly false reporting of terrorism (Part 2 of Art. 207 of the Criminal Code). Bilal had already been convicted before, the article is not reported.

On September 4, a Molotov cocktail arrived at the entrance of the military commissariat in Zelenodolsk, the Republic of Tatarstan. 59-year-old suspect Andrei Bogdanov was detained the day after the act, he was took into custody for two months. Earlier, a man was also fined under an article about discrediting the Russian army because of a picket with a poster "Our Fatherland is in danger."

On the night of September 3, cops were attacked in Izhevsk, the Republic of Udmurtia. At about 2 am local time, 25-year-old Rustam Mammadov went to the police station, took out Molotov cocktails from his backpack and threw four of them into the building. A fire started, which was soon extinguished. When the patrol officers tried to detain the guy, he took out a knife and began to stab them. The cops opened fire to kill, the attacker was wounded, detained and taken to the hospital. Policemen were injured and hospitalized too. At the same time, 4 more prepared Molotov cocktails were found in Rustam’s backpack. His motives are unknown.

On August 30, teenagers were detained in Oryol on suspicion of setting fire to the buildings of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Schoolchildren allegedly doused the wooden window frame of the police shooting gallery on Privokzalnaya Street with fuel and set it on fire. The fire was put out in 20 minutes. The hooligans did not stop there and tried to burn the cop station on Kurskaya Street. The fire on the adjacent asphalt territory was extinguished in two minutes. The suspects are three ninth graders, a seventh grader and a fifth grader. The young people said that there was no malicious intent in their actions – they just set fire to gasoline for fun.

There are suspects in the arson of the enlistment office in Omsk. In the investigators opinion, the building on Pushkin Street was set on fire by two citizens of Kazakhstan: Ansagan Moldakhmetov and Seil Dias Muratuly. Back in early May, they found a new acquaintance in Telegram and he offered to burn this facility for 800,000 rubles. On May 12, Moldakhmetov and Seil arrived in Omsk by car. They bought five bottles, machine oil, gasoline, duct tape and made five Molotov cocktails out of it all. The next day, at night, Moldakhmetov and Seil approached the military commissariat and threw all the cocktails inside. Convinced that the building was on fire, the arsonists fled. The fire was quickly extinguished and the building survived.

Moldakhmetov was detained on August 24. Initially, a criminal case was opened against him under the article on the deliberate destruction of property, but then the charge was changed. Now he is accused of a terrorist act, committed in a group of people by prior conspiracy. The man faces 12 to 20 years in prison. His accomplice is still at large. Of course, paid attack is the official version – we all understand how Russian cops get the necessary evidence…

It’s time to turn from the object of history into the subject. Start to decide your own destiny, no longer trusting it to presidents, leaders and kings. After all, when, if not now? The risks of speaking out and resisting have equaled the risks of simply following the shepherd.

In addition, you are welcome to read this material on how do Ukrainian conscripts flee the country despite the closure of borders and how do they explain their motives.

Also we remind you about our summer thing about the increasing difficulty of avoiding mobilization into the Ukrainian army due to the tightening of control with an increase in the number of such cases.

No war but the social war!
Russia-Ukraine war

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What we get wrong about being in love

Phenomenology and Existentialism
Sean Illing
A new book by the philosopher Carrie Jenkins, called Sad Love: Romance and the Search for Meaning, wants to scrap these simplistic stories and replace them with something richer and more complicated.
I say that if we are sad when we’re in love, it’s seen as a failure because love’s supposed to be about being happy ever after.

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A Scientist Just Mathematically Proved That Alien Life In the Universe Is Likely to Exist

Becky Ferreira
“My opinion is that what many scientists believe about life and intelligent life in the universe is almost political or psychological,” says mathematics professor Daniel Whitmire.

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Iran: Leaked documents reveal top-level orders to armed forces to ‘mercilessly confront’ protesters

Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Iran’s highest military body instructed the commanders of armed forces in all provinces to “severely confront” protesters who took to the streets following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s morality police, Amnesty International said today after obtaining leaked official documents which revealed the authorities’ plan to systematically crush the […]

The post Iran: Leaked documents reveal top-level orders to armed forces to ‘mercilessly confront’ protesters appeared first on Amnesty International.

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#330 | Ecological Revolution From Below

The Power Of Land-Based Resistance w/ Peter Gelderloos

Anarchist writer and activist Peter Gelderloos returns to the podcast to discuss ecological revolution from below, beautifully documented in his book The Solutions are Already Here: Strategies for Ecological Revolution from Below, published this year by Pluto Press.

Nothing short of revolution is required to address the global ecological crisis. The technocratic solutions presented to us by various capitalist nation-states are less than sufficient in mitigating the most dire consequences of biospheric collapse and runaway climate change. In fact, more than just merely insufficient, these top-down so-called “solutions” reimpose the dominant socioeconomic and political order producing the crisis to begin with. As Gelderloos describes and points to The Solutions are Already Here, numerous land-based movements around the world are rising to the occasion — actively protecting territories from extractive capitalist enterprises, reclaiming what has been taken and exploited for industry, and building resilient autonomous communities and networks, many of which that span the artificially imposed rural-urban divide. To really grasp the scale and scope of this ecological revolution from below, Gelderloos lets representatives of these movements speak for themselves, weaving them into a tapestry that enlivens a radical imagination of what a post-capitalist world may hold. 

Peter Gelderloos is a writer and movement participant. He is the author of How Nonviolence Protects the State, Anarchy Works and Worshiping Power: An Anarchist View of Early State Formation. He has contributed chapters to anthologies Keywords for Radicals and Riots and Militant Occupations.

Episode Notes: 
Purchase a copy of The Solutions are Already Here from Bookshop.

Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterGelderloos

Music credit: ”Journey To Ascend" by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

Last Born In The Wilderness · #330 | Ecological Revolution From Below: The Power Of Land-Based Resistance w/ Peter Gelderloos
Tags: Peter Gelderloosinterviewaudiopodcastsolutionsrevolution

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Episode 441: Everything, Everywhere, is Coming Up Zizek

Diet Soap – a podcast
Douglas Lain
This video compares the Hegel of Zizek to the Hegel of Adorno, by considering Adorno’s theory of nonidentity to Zizek’s theory of the gap or parallax. And in an effort to make these abstractions from critical theory concrete and fun, in order to make these theories simple enough for idiots like myself to understand, I turn to the absurdist science fiction film “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” to provide some illustrations.

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Employers’ Productivity Standards Are Not Real Science. Here’s How to Push Back

Michael Childers
This article, the first in a series on how to deal with workplace monitoring technology, focuses on grievances. Future articles will discuss organizing and preparing to bargain over these issues.

Whether you’re working in a warehouse or piano factory, processing insurance claims, or taking care of patients, the use of worker productivity monitoring continues to expand.

Workplaces where jobs are monitored and measured—and workers required to meet certain performance metrics—pose a particular set of challenges for stewards.

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H.R. 7589: REMOVE Copays Act

Major Legislative Activity – Tracked Events from
Passed House (Senate next): Last Action: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
Explanation: This bill passed in the House on September 28, 2022 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

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Meaning of Onto-Theology Explained

Phenomenology and Existentialism
For Kant onto-theology is supposed to be a form of transcendental theology that does not understand God as part of human experiences, but rather relates to him through transcendental concepts and thinking.
While for Kant this term designates a speculative deduction of God based on his conception, Martin Heidegger saw onto-theology as the internal law of being and the origin of metaphysics.

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Frank H. Brooks – Ideology, Strategy, and Organization: Dyer Lum and the American Anarchist Movement

The Anarchist Library
Author: Frank H. Brooks
Title: Ideology, Strategy, and Organization: Dyer Lum and the American Anarchist Movement
Date: Winter 1993
Notes: This article originally appeared in Labor History, Volume 34, Number 1, Winter 1993, pp. 57-83.

Source: Retrieved on September 29, 2022 from

The mid-1880s, like the mid-1870s, were a time of considerable turmoil for American workers. Unemployment and wage cuts were widespread and workers responded with strikes, boycotts, union organizing, local labor tickets, and a bewildering variety of reform schemes and ideologies. Perhaps the central event of the 1880s was the Haymarket incident. The bomb and subsequent trial had a broad historical impact, sparking a red scare, blunting the eight-hour movement, establishing the stereotype of anarchists as wild-eyed, foreign bombthrowers, and intensifying calls for immigration restriction.

Haymarket, of course, had a profound impact on the American anarchist movement. The trial and executions deprived the movement of several capable leaders, drove away rank and file sympathizers, and changed sporadic public curiosity into widespread animosity. Yet Haymarket’s effects should not be overstated or simplified. Although American anarchism was a growing movement in the early 1880s, it already suffered from ideological, strategic, and ethnic divisions. Such divisions were hardly unique to anarchism, however. Most movements, particularly those that grew dramatically during periods of unrest, faced similar problems. Indeed, many also faced some form of repression and its long-term impact: exacerbating their internal divisions. Post-Haymarket repression solidified anarchism’s divisions, establishing two opposing camps: the "Boston anarchists," predominantly native-born, evolutionary and individualist, and the "Chicago anarchists," predominantly immigrant, revolutionary and collectivist. Yet both before and after Haymarket, several radicals sought to unite the movement around a common strategy and ideology.

The most interesting and well-qualified person to attempt such unification of anarchists was Dyer D. Lum. He could bridge ethnic differences, for despite being native-born, he had substantial contacts with immigrant radicals. He was also inclined to link anarchism firmly to the labor movement, in which he had been active for many years. Lum was widely known in radical and labor circles, as some of his obituaries attest: "well-known to the working men throughout the country as a thinker and writer on the labor question . . . a journalist of no mean ability . . . one of America’s leading and most aggressive anarchists . . . the brightest scholar, the profoundest thinker of the American Revolutionary movement."[1] Historians of American anarchism have also recognized Lum as an important and interesting figure in the 1880s and 1890s. For the most part, however, Lum has been considered as a comrade of other more famous anarchists such as Albert Parsons, Voltairine de Cleyre, or Benjamin Tucker, or as one individual in a general survey of American anarchists.[2]

More generally, historians of American anarchism have usually focused on one camp or the other, thus exaggerating their differences. Labor and leftist historians have naturally focused on the collectivist anarchists, as have those interested in immigrant cultures and social history. Bruce Nelson’s detailed study of the Chicago movement "beyond the martyrs" addresses such concerns admirably but, not surprisingly, downplays the significance of the scattered, primarily native, and multi-class individualist camp. Neither have the two major accounts of the Haymarket events paid much attention to the individualists, in part because they focus on just a few years in the development of American anarchism. On the other hand, accounts of the individualist camp often come from intellectual or economic historians and have stressed the Americanism, reformism, and radicalized liberal tendencies of anarchism. While historians of collectivist anarchism emphasize the irrelevance and anachronism of the individualists, historians of individualist anarchism, focus on the violence and alienness of the collectivists.[3]

Focusing on Dyer Lum and his attempt to bridge the differences can bring to light connections and similarities between the camps that have been obscured by previous one-sided analyses. A suggestive example of this is Lum’s attitude toward unions. Whereas individualists such as Tucker were usually unenthusiastic about unions, and collectivists’ preferences ran the gamut from no unions to craft unionism, industrial unionism, or protosyndicalism, Lum developed a "mutualist" theory of unions that led him first to activity within the Knights of Labor and then to promotion of antipolitical strategies in the American Federation of Labor. Actually, Lum was one of several anarchist labor activists that helped to shape the AFL’s shift toward "voluntarism," an unlikely trajectory. Ironically, then, the narrowness of studies focusing on one or the other of anarchism’s camps can be transcended by studying an individual radical like Dyer Lum. As a radical in several movements, in several towns and cities, and over a period of 25 years, Lum can act as a lens, magnifying the impact of factors usually associated exclusively with one camp or the other, factors such as ethnicity, religion, liberal ideology, and republicanism.

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This Right-Wing Faction Is Waging Civil War Inside the Libertarian Party

Kelly Weill
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyAs a third-party candidate, Joe Evans’ U.S. congressional chances were always slim. Cheerfully identifying as “bordering on anarchist,” Evans was a frequent Libertarian candidate for a reliably Republican seat in Idaho. Undeterred, Evans ran three campaigns before suddenly withdrawing his candidacy this summer.
It wasn’t Republicans who finally frustrated his efforts, he says—it was his own Libertarian party.
Across the country, aspiring Libertarian activists and entire state-level Libertarian parties are voluntarily quitting. On the same day in August, New Mexico’s Libertarian Party filed to disaffiliate from the national Libertarian Party (LP), and the Libertarian Party of Virginia filed to dissolve. Fed-up Libertarians have formed splinter groups in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. And in Evans’ state of Idaho, a contentious set of legal battles have drawn an iron curtain through the local Libertarian party, leaving Evans and other longtime associates on the outs.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Episode 440: Emotional Fads vs. Freedom (ft. Ashley Frawley)

Diet Soap – a podcast
Douglas Lain
 Ashley Frawley is hard at work revising her upcoming book "Significant Emotions: Rhetoric and Social Problems in a Vulnerable Age," and therefore this week, rather than interview an author from Sublation Magazine, Doug and Ashley will discuss the death of the subject, mindfulness, and emotions. 

Significant Emotions by Ashley Frawley 

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Further Reflections on Anarchist Tendencies and Mutualist History

Shawn P. Wilbur
This is a collection of another Twitter thread, in the course of which I’ve been sharing some reminiscences on how "neo-proudhonian" mutualism emerged and how those who have adopted the label or encounter it in anarchist circles might understand the particular gambits involved in its construction. These things necessarily get away from us, once loosed upon the world—and that’s fine, perhaps simply as it should be—but I suspect they may serve others better if they retain some of the character of their origins.   […]

The post Further Reflections on Anarchist Tendencies and Mutualist History appeared first on The Libertarian Labyrinth.

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Phenomenology between Husserl and Heidegger – summary

Phenomenology and Existentialism
Heidegger rejected Husserl’s phenomenological reduction to a transcendental ego that confronted the world merely perceptively.
The shift from Husserl’s phenomenology to Heidegger’s can be pin-pointed to the idea the existence itself cannot be described by the phenomenological reduction and epoché .

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Issue #55 September 2022

Epoché Magazine
To the question “What is the point of philosophy today?” there is often a quick retort: that no other extant disciplines of knowledge can answer the question of how to, and what it means to, live well. In these opening moments of the 21st century, “the good” is the jewel philosophy tightly guards. And, if

The post Issue #55 September 2022 appeared first on Epoché Magazine.

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Different Types Of Garlic: All You Need To Know About Garlic

Daily Infographic
Lyle Opolentisima
Garlic is a member of the allium family, which includes onions, shallots, chives and leeks. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Garlic can help reduce cholesterol levels and has shown some promise in preventing cancer. The ancient Egyptians believed that garlic was a gift from the gods and used it to treat […]

The post Different Types Of Garlic: All You Need To Know About Garlic first appeared on Daily Infographic.

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Midnight Notes Collective – ‘Exterminism’ or Class Struggle (1984)

Midnight Notes Collective essay written for Radical Science Journal #14.


Peter Linebaugh

Submitted by NYAOAM on September 28, 2022

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Midnight Notes Collective essay written for Radical Science Journal #14.

Midnight Notes Article.pdf
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Midnight Notes Collective
autonomist Marxism

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How Landlords Ruined Everything

Tom Nicholas (uploads) on YouTube
Tom Nicholas

Support Shelter’s vital work protecting renters from bad landlords by sponsoring me to run the London Marathon at A video about the housing crisis and how landlords ruined everything. *Chapters* 00:00 1. The Room 05:26 A. A Guided Tour 07:05 2. Landlord Tetris 10:41 B. The Empty Building 12:47 3. Boiling Point 15:50 C. So, I’m Running the London Marathon 16:59 4. Shelter 19:33 D. 1,000 Miles Support the channel on Patreon at If you’ve enjoyed this video and would like to see more including my What The Theory? series in which I provide some snappy introductions to key theories in the humanities as well as video essays and more then do consider subscribing. Thanks for watching! Twitter: Instagram: Patreon: Website: Select footage courtesy of Getty #HousingCrisis #Landlords #RentFrom: Tom Nicholas

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The Rumors Are False — Neoliberalism Is Alive and Well

Mack Penner
Recent discussions about the supposed death of neoliberalism present a mirror image of past discussions about neoliberalism’s birth. For quite some time, scholars, intellectuals, and popularizers of many sorts were inclined to present neoliberalism as a mainly Anglo-American phenomenon that got its start in the late 1970s. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan have had the […]

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Interview with Greek Anarchist Rouvikonas collective on the students protests
Via Enough14

In Greece, university students protested after the government passed a bill allowing police to enter campuses under the pretext of intervening in crime.

Originally published by Nûçe Ciwan.

GREECE – The University Institutions Protection Teams (OPPI) have been deployed in the four major universities in Athens and Thessaloniki on a pilot basis. This is part of the government’s plan to supposedly protect campuses from anarchism and vandalism. In order to resist students’ protest against the OPPI – who have been termed ‘University police’ – riot police have also been deployed on certain campuses. Progressives in Greece have already criticized the deployment of the University police as a right-wing ploy to subjugate free speech, dissent and radical student politics on campuses. Earlier in 2019, the ND government revoked the prohibition on police from entering university spaces.

Greece has a history of radical students’ movements and campus uprisings, the Athens Polytechnic Uprising of November 1973 being the most famous example. The deployment of the University police and increased surveillance of academic spaces has been widely perceived as an attempt to thwart radical mobilizations on campuses against the anti-people policies of the government.

In a statement issued on September 6, the MAS called on the University police to leave the campuses. It said that at a time when thousands of students do not know if they will be able to continue their education and despite the lack of dormitories, soaring rents and poor university funding, the government has allocated 50 million euros for the university police and for cameras and turnstiles inside campuses.

We talked to a member of the Anarchist Rouvikonas Collective about the current situation:

Tags: rouvikonasuniversitystudentsprotestsGreece

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Iran’s Feminist Revolution—Women, Life, Liberty
From EmRaWi

Is it a feminist revolution

Is it a feminist revolution because they’re burning their hijab

Is it a feminist revolution because it was started and is led by women

Is it a feminist revolution if men are taking part

Is it a feminist revolution if nothing changes

What does hair have to do with the revolution

Glory and power to the women in Iran.

If we’re lucky, women are semi-colons in the stories written by men and other egomaniacs and “revolutionaries” who think we don’t know that they don’t know what they’re doing; who think we don’t know that they just want some more of that power that the State monopolizes and not liberation for us all.

Glory and power to the women in Iran who have seized the narrative and become object and subject. Women are too often the afterthought of a revolution, rarely its reason for being.

Listen to their chants: Jin Jiyan Azadi/Women Life Liberty!

Glory and power to the women in Iran for serving us this challenge: If women (and men) in one of the most perfect police states are this unscared, then what are you doing to fight your oppressors?

The thing about revolutions is that you can never unsee them. You can never see people who are no longer scared rise up.

Their courage will set your very guts on fire. And put you on notice that you are next, whether you are an oppressor with a small o or a big-O Oppressor.

Glory and power to the women in Iran who have seized the narrative and become object and subject.

In too many revolutions women have died, been beaten, shot at, and sexually assaulted, fighting alongside men to rid their countries of that uppercase Patriarch yet so many lowercase patriarchs still oppress us.

We are no longer scared.

Glory and power to the women in Iran who burn their hijabs and in so doing set our imaginations on fire. The Arab uprisings were sparked by a man — Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor–who set himself on fire and in so doing sparked revolutions and uprisings in the region that have stumbled and remain incomplete. And here now are Iranian women reigniting our revolutionary hearts with the feminism those Arab uprisings lacked.

Iran is not an Arab country but here come the women there to take up the baton, not by self-immolation but by setting alight a tool of their Patriarchy; a tool many other women in the countries around Iran recognize all too well.

When I heard that Mahsa Zhina Amini, a Kurdish woman in Iran, died after being in the custody of the “morality police” who had taken her in because she was not wearing a “proper hijab” I immediately thought of other female lives sacrificed on the altar of a piece of cloth.

I thought of the 15 girls who died in a school fire in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 2002, after “morality police” in that country barred them from fleeing the burning building — and kept firefighters from rescuing them — because the girls were not wearing headscarves and cloaks required in public. And then, nothing happened. No one was put on trial. Parents were silenced. The only concession to the horror was that girls’ education was quietly taken away by then-Crown Prince Abdullah from the Salafi zealots, who have nonetheless managed to retain their vise-grip on the kingdom’s education system.

It is no surprise that the Iranian regime accuses the Saudi regime of orchestrating the revolution that has erupted in fury at Mahsa Zhina Amini’s death. Two theocracies so alike in their hatred for women and whose zealotry has for years wrecked lives in the region.

And that is why revolutions for and by women will liberate us all. Feminism liberates everyone. When women are free everyone is free.

The thing about revolutions is that you can never unsee them. You can never see people who are no longer scared rise up. Their courage will set your very guts on fire.

What does hair have to do with the revolution?

There is a scene in Abbas Kiarostami’s film Ten when a woman sitting in a car in Tehran traffic gingerly removes her hijab to reveal a shaved head. When I first saw that scene of the film, in New York City in 2003, I started to cry. It had been 11 years since I stopped wearing hijab and it would be another 17 years until I shaved off my own hair.

I rewatched the film soon after I shaved off my hair and that scene still seized me.

What does the revolution have to do with hair?

During the Irish Revolution, both sides would forcibly shave or cut off women’s hair as punishment as well as a way to control women’s bodies.

What does hair have to do with the revolution?

The Iranian Revolution was co-opted by the clerics who then claimed as an achievement the mass covering of an entire nation’s women’s hair. Who owns my hair, let alone my body, when a revolution in which women fought alongside men soon after declaring victory, enforced hijab? When you shave the hair under that enforced hijab, are you then the revolution of one, defying, disobeying, and disrupting? When you rip off that compulsory hijab in public and shave off your hair in public, are you finally completing the revolution that the theocrats and the misogynists stole from you?

You fucking bet you are.

You signal FUCK YOU, I OWN MY BODY in a way that both Patriarchy and patriarchy understand; oppressor and Oppressor comprehend.

We are more than what’s on our heads and what’s in between our legs.

During the Egyptian revolution, the chants were Bread Liberty Social Justice. The chants we hear in Iran’s revolutions today remind us that none of those are possible without feminism: Women Life Liberty.

Point to your “morality police” and what they have made compulsory and burn it to the ground.

A feminist revolution targets patriarchy in the State, Street, and the Home because it recognizes that there is no liberation without sexual liberation, without gender liberation, without queer liberation. It states as a revolutionary statement: I own my body, not the State, not the Street, not the Home. I do.

A feminist revolution dares to imagine liberation from the militarism of the State and from its echo in the conservatism of the Street and the Home. A feminist revolution recognizes that the hardest revolution of all is the one at the Home, because all dictators go home.

And a feminist revolution disobeys all those who insist “People are not ready,” because as revolutionaries we must recognize that if our communities are ready for us, we are too late.

Are you ready? If women (and men) in one of the most perfect police states are this unscared, what are you doing?

Theocracy must be fought by a feminist revolution otherwise it’s just another flavour of patriarchy

The thing about revolutions is that you can never unsee them. You can never unsee people who are no longer scared rise up. And their courage will set your very guts on fire.

As you see it, as you watch the glory and power of the feminist revolution in Iran right now, ask yourself (I’m looking at you people in the U.S. cheering on the feminist revolution against theocrats over there) what the fuck you are doing to fight theocrats and fascists over here, and make sure it’s more than hashtags and just voting.

Burn. Shit. Down.

Where is your feminist revolution against your theocrats?

Point to your “morality police” and what they have made compulsory and burn it to the ground.

Tags: feminismrevolutionIran

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Lead by Example Act, Republican stunt bill, would require EPA and Department of Energy set their…

GovTrack Insider – Medium
Lead by Example Act, Republican stunt bill, would require EPA and Department of Energy set their office temperatures to 78 degrees
The Lead by Example Act would mandate that both the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and Department of Energy set their headquarters’ temperatures to at least 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Part One: Oskar Dirlwanger: The Worst Nazi

Behind the Bastards
Robert is joined by Matt Lieb to discuss Oskar Dirlwanger. 

(2 Part Series) 


See for privacy information.

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Hundreds Take Part in Running Down the Walls Events, Raising Thousands for Political Prisoners

Anarchist Black Cross Federation
Report from the Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABC-F) about Running Down the Walls events across the so-called US and Canada. In early September, various Anarchist Black Cross chapters held the annual Running Down the Walls 5K events. Since 1999, prisoners and supporters throughout North America have participated in Running Down the Walls (RDTW) often running… Read Full Article

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Proud Boys Try to Start Violent Confrontation at Children’s Event at Public Library, Fail

It’s Going Down
Anonymous Contributor
Report from Twin Cities Workers Defense Alliance about a successful mobilization against the Proud Boys, who attempted to disrupt a pro-LGBTQ youth event. cw: virulent transphobia, transphobic rhetoric, queerphobia photo: Ursula MPLS The Arlington Hills Public Library in St. Paul, Minnesota (so-called) held a Drag Queen Story Hour, where families with children from the neighborhood… Read Full Article

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Exarcheia turned into a battleground…
From Enough14

Full original title: Exarcheia turned into a battleground following the State’s decision to destroy its historic square [Athens]

Video from the protest and the riot that followed on Saturday 24 September 2022 in Exarcheia, (Athens, Greece) against the State’s decision to destroy the historic Exarcheia Square under the excuse of constructing a metro station on top of it. This was the 3d big protest against the metso on Exarcheia Square since August 2022. In the first one approximately 1.000 people took part, in the 2nd more than 2.000 and in this 3d one approximately 4.500 protesters. Following this big protest in the streets of Exarcheia in downtown Athens, riots broke out.

Originally published by Perseus999.

How it started (through the words of the Open Assembly No Metro Station on Exarchia Square):

“It was a hot, mid-summer night in central Athens. The city was silent and residents on holidays. Shops were closed. It was at that time, on 9 August 2022 at 4:30am, that the Greek State launched an unprecedented attack on one of Athens’ iconic spaces, Exarchia square. Hundreds of police flooded the streets around the square to impose the construction of an unpopular metro station and repress the citizens’ reactions against it. They have been there ever since; so have the people of Exarchia.

On the day of the operation, more than a thousand people took to the otherwise empty, summer Athenian streets to march in protest and solidarity with Exarchia. Hundreds have joined the open assemblies. Local businesses have submitted a restraining order against the (public) construction company. Dozens meet every day at 6 a.m. opposite to heavily armed police forces. Intellectuals, academics and artists have argued en masse against the project and the government’s authoritarian practices.

Exarchia square is a breathing space for residents, children, workers, visitors – a small square breaking the concrete monotony of central Athens. It is the home of fighting youth, radical ideas, students, artists and intellectuals. It is hard to find any newcomer, excluded or marginalised, any Athenian youth that has not socialised, flirted, chatted over a casual beer or coffee with peers, any visitor that has not attended cultural activities or taken refuge from the hot Athenian sun under the shadows of the square’s trees.

Exarchia square is an international symbol of resistance and political ferment. It is characterised by class solidarity, self-organisation, antiracism, coexistence and respect for different people, driven by the dream of a world of equality and justice. Over time, it has been a reference point for LGBTQI+ struggles and a safe space for all oppressed, persecuted or marginalised identities.

ALL THIS IS CURRENTLY ON THE LINE due to the obsession of a government to proceed with a project rejected by the people and to use our square, the square of all people, as a trophy and a milestone in its exclusivist agenda.

The design of the proposed metro station will destroy one of the few public spaces in the centre of Athens and the only square in the neighbourhood. In the midst of a climate crisis, 70 mature trees that are currently in the square will be sacrificed to create escalators and concrete ventilation boxes, turning our breathing space into an urban desert. Dust, noise and heavy traffic will further aggravate the daily life of our densely populated neighbourhood. It will precipitate the ongoing, uncontrolled increase of property values thus driving current renters and small businesses out and changing the character of the neighbourhood.

The construction of the metro station on Exarchia square is the jewel in the crown of violent gentrification and touristification of Athens city centre, which also includes:

1. Imposed “development” of the city centre and its transformation into a Tourist Hub, forcibly displacing present citizens.

2. Changing buildings that are part of the social fabric into museums

3. “Sterilisation” of public universities and institutions, strangling freedom of thought and activism

4. Demolition of public spaces and destruction of green areas

5. Increase of rents

6. Offering the nearby Strefi Hill to private interests

7. Conversion of the residential character of neighbourhoods into commercial zones.

Our petition aims to stop the construction of a metro station on Exarchia square on the grounds that it:

a. neglects the needs of our community;

b. undermines the quality of life offered to us and our children;

c. uses tax payers money to forward and ideological agenda and increase profits for private corporations;

d. normalises police brutality and repression.

Sign our petition at

– Help us stop their plans and resist the government’s authoritarianism and repression.

– Let’s demonstrate our numbers and the power of the many! – Hold out a hand of solidarity to a neighbourhood that has always been at the forefront of the struggle for life and dignity”.

Tags: exarcheiarepressionprotestsriots

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System Fail 15: The New Normal

SubMedia returns with w new episode of System Fail, which looks at global news from an anarchist perspective. As economic crises, climate catastrophe and war crimes become increasingly normalized, a creeping nihilism is starting to take hold. In Lebanon people have had enough of rampant corruption, inflation and limits on bank withdrawals. Without any other… Read Full Article

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IGD Turns 7: Support Grassroots Autonomous Media and Help Us Reach Our Summer Fundraising Goal!

It’s Going Down
This summer, It’s Going Down turned 7 years old. A lot has changed since 2015 when this project began, and after four years of seemingly non-stop activity under Trump, things are once again heating up on the streets. We’re proud of the work that we’ve put in over the past 7 years and are excited… Read Full Article

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Seattle Solidarity Network Wins Back nearly $900 in Stolen Wages

It’s Going Down
Seattle Solidarity Network
Seattle Solidarity Network reports on a successful campaign to win back stolen wages. When one  worker came to SeaSol, he had done nearly $900 in labor for his boss. When payday came, his boss gave him a check for a mere $448, a little more than half the owed wages. From speaking to some of… Read Full Article

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How Magic: The Gathering Crafts Its Zaniest Sets

io9 | Gizmodo
James Whitbrook
Image: Wizards of the CoastMagic: The Gathering is arguably weirder than it ever has been, whether it’s in its epic tales of spell-slinging Planeswakers in its primary card sets or its crossovers with everything from Street Fighter and Fortnite to Warhammer 40K and Lord of the Rings. But the series is often at its weirdest not when playing with someone else’s universe, but taking Magic as is and having fun with it.

This is never more clear than in what is known among players and Wizards of the Coast as the “Un-sets.” First starting with Unglued in 1998, there have been five of these casual sets across the card game’s history, cards that take a break from both the competitive and narrative seriousness of Magic and amp up the goofiness, mechanically and in flavor, to game-breaking levels of fun. Now the latest, Unfinity, is about to release, giving players a mystical carnival-themed round of cards to play with that are packed with fun art, goofy flavor text, and some extremely silly rules.
io9 has got your first look at five of the new cards in Unfinity, and their alternative art, but to learn more about the history of designing “Un-sets” and what to expect in the new release, we chatted with Magic: The Gathering head designer Mark Rosewater and Wizards of the Coast senior copywriter Ari Zirulnik over email. Check out our interviews with both below, and then click through to see the new cards, and some of their variant art!
Mark Rosewater, Magic: The Gathering Head DesignerJames Whitbrook, io9: Tell me a little bit about how the core idea behind Unfinity first came about.
Mark Rosewater: When making an Un-set, I like to take some technique we use on normal sets and apply it to Un-sets. The idea behind Unfinity was let’s make a top-down set, that is a set where we make the mechanics match the flavor of some big idea. Innistrad was gothic horror, Throne of Eldraine was fairy tales. Theros was Greek mythology. What was a fun top-down idea that we might not do in a normal set? I went to my art director, Dawn Murin, and asked her to think of ideas. When we got back together, she said she wanted to do retro science fiction. I wanted to do a circus/carnival/amusement park. We looked at each other and said, “Let’s do both.”
io9: The theme this time around gives the set a carnival flair. How did you approach bringing some of that flavor to Unfinity mechanically? 
Rosewater: We started by making a list of every element of a circus, carnival, and/or amusement park we could. The two main mechanics of the set are attractions and stickers. Attractions ended up being all the things you can do at the space carnival, and the stickers ended up being all the stuff you could get while you’re there. We then made a lot of individual cards that represented all the aspect from who would work or visit there to objects you would see to things that would happen.
io9: What were the game ideas you were most excited to explore in the set? 
Rosewater: Minigames are when you stop the main game to play a very short, usually less than a minute, game that will then impact the larger game. The theme of games at a carnival played really well with this idea.
io9: Were there any mechanical ideas you had for the set that didn’t make it in, or were too far even for the Un-set’s noted bending of Magic’s design?
Rosewater: There’s always ideas left on the table, but I was really happy how much of the list we made when we started about things we wanted to be in the set ended up in the set. I did get a bunch of ideas though for future areas of design space to explore in other Un-sets.
io9: What do you think it is about these non-legal sets that have seen Magic players embrace them? 
Rosewater: Un-sets are all about embracing the fun, casual side of the game. Yes, it’s great that you can compete in serious tournament competition, but it’s also great you can hang around with your friends and laugh and create game moments that will be stories for the rest of your life.
io9: Where do you see Magic’s un-sets going from here? Do you already have ideas for what you’d want to do next? 

Rosewater: I already have the idea for the next Un-set figured out. Un-sets are just a way for us to explore the future of Magic, and the game is so robust, there’s lots of places to look to find the next cool thing.
Ari Zirulnik, Wizards of the Coast Senior CopywriterJames Whitbrook, io9: Tell me a bit about the process of writing copy at Wizards. How does your team handle the arrival of new sets like this?
Zirulnik: The typical creative text process starts after art and rules text are finished. We round up a team of talented contract writers and aim to tackle about 30-40 cards a week. Each writer submits multiple names and flavor text options for each card, and the best of the best make it to print.
io9: Do you approach a set like Unfinity differently as you would story on regular Magic sets?
Ari Zirulnik: Unfinity kept the same structure as a typical set, but we had some fun with the process. The first big difference was, uh, me. I’m not typically a creative text lead. While I do write the creative text for Secret Lair, Unfinity was my first time leading a team of writers. And what a team! I asked my boss if I could hire some “names” and I got permission to bring in some very funny folks from all corners of the internet.
The first writer on my list was pretty personal—the extremely funny/good at karate Seanbaby. His articles in EGM were highly formative to my own awful sense of humor, so working with him was kind of a dream come true. We poured some more comedy gas on this hilarious fire by hiring three heavy-hitters from Loading Ready Run: Kathleen De Vere, Cameron Lauder, and Graham Stark. This triumvirate of tee-hees were responsible for some of the most memorable lines in the set. We rounded out the team with Austin Bridges, one of our funniest go-to creative text writers (since hired full-time), Mark Rosewater (the man who puts the “un” in “pun”), and myself. I’d be remiss to leave out the World’s Tallest Editor, Matt Tabak, who was instrumental in searing all of the comedy fat into the delicious steak that is Unfinity. Metaphor!
The rest was mostly business as usual. There was a lot of collaborative back-and-forth between all these hilarious hires, and I could not be happier with how the set turned out.
io9: What’s the biggest challenges in crafting story and copy for an Un-set?
Zirulnik: As I previously mentioned, creative text starts after art and rules text are done. Sometimes this makes coming up with the right joke super hard—it’s sort of like trying super-duper hard to win 250 New Yorker caption contests. On the other hand, our writing team was so unfairly hilarious that picking a winner was sometimes very difficult. The duality of Un-set, ya know?
io9: Magic has always had a wry sense of humor, but the Un-sets are opportunities for it to get really zany. What’s it like stretching the comedy Magic can play with in your work on Unfinity?
Zirulnik: It was really important to me to include a wide variety of humor in Unfinity, especially the kinds of jokes you just can’t do on a normal Magic card. The flavor text on the card “Hat Trick,” for example, is a type of internet anti-humor that we could never do in a typical set. Being able to iterate a bunch of jokes across the different attraction printings was a real treat. I’d also say the ppc (puns per card) is higher than average.
io9: Worldbuilding and story has become steadily more important to Magic in recent years. Are there any lessons you take from writing for a set like Unfinity that you think apply to where Magic’s story progression is going in its regular set releases?
Zirulnik: Not really, unfortunately. Unfinity has a world but it doesn’t really have a story. I can say I’ve been personally inspired to take more risks on Secret Lair flavor text (see: Vengevine). I’d certainly run the next Un-set to learn some more lessons, though!
Magic: The Gathering – Unfinity releases October 7.
Image: Wizards of the CoastAstroquariam ArtImage: Wizards of the CoastHardy of Myra’s MarvelsImage: Wizards of the CoastHardy of Myra’s Marvels ArtImage: Wizards of the CoastHardy of Myra’s Marvels Booster Fun VariantImage: Wizards of the CoastIt Came From Planet GlurgImage: Wizards of the CoastIt Came From Planet Glurg ArtImage: Wizards of the CoastIt Came From Planet Glurg Booster Fun VariantImage: Wizards of the CoastStorybook RideImage: Wizards of the CoastStorybook Ride ArtImage: Wizards of the CoastVedalken Squirrel WhackerImage: Wizards of the CoastVedalken Squirrel Whacker ArtImage: Wizards of the Coast Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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No Fencing at the United States Supreme Court Act would ban permanent fencing there, as existed for…

GovTrack Insider – Medium
No Fencing at the United States Supreme Court Act would ban permanent fencing there, as existed for 3+ months this summer
Two days later, on May 5, law enforcement erected an eight-foot-tall “non-scalable” fence to protect the Supreme Court building against protesters .

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Hasbro’s Selfie Series Action Figures Will Be Available In the U.S. Starting Friday

io9 | Gizmodo
Andrew Liszewski
Image: HasbroBack in July, Hasbro revealed that it had partnered with the 3D-printing company, Formlabs, to allow San Diego Comic-Con attendees to create a custom action figure with their own likeness. Availability was very limited, but today Hasbro has finally revealed when anyone can order their own Selfie Series figure, and a price tag that’s unfortunately a bit higher now.
Starting this Friday, September 30, collectors who’ve always wanted to immortalize themselves as a six-inch action figure can download the Hasbro mobile app (on either Android or iOS) and use it to order a custom Selfie Series figure. But as you can probably imagine, placing an order is not quite as easy as buying a new release figure with a few clicks on the Hasbro Pulse website, given the customization involved with these.
Ordering is being limited to the Hasbro mobile app for the simple reason that anyone wanting a Selfie Series figure needs to submit headshot photos, and all modern smartphones include front-facing cameras with enough resolution to easily capture the images needed to generate a 3D model. The ordering process requires at least five headshots to be submitted, including a required front view, plus several angled shots from the left and right, with even lighting, nothing obstructing the face, and using the same facial expression in every photo.
Image: HasbroThe ordering process then requires customers to make several different decisions including selecting a hair style that best matches their own from one of 50 different options, their hair color, their facial hair style from one of 14 different options, and then what action figure they want to become. The choices include Stormtrooper, X-Wing pilot, Leia, Mandalorian, Black Panther, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Red Power Ranger, Pink Power Ranger, Snake Eyes, Scarlett, and a male or female Ghostbuster.
Image: HasbroIn July, Hasbro specified a $60 price tag for the Selfie Series figures, but today the company announced that they’ll be slightly more expensive at $80 each, but will still include packaging tailored to the figure type selected. What hasn’t changed is how long it takes for the submitted photos to be turned into a 3D model and then 3D-printed. Delivery times start at 45 days from the time of ordering, but that can change over time as demand increases, up to 60 days.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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Leaking Passwords through the Spellchecker

Schneier on Security
Bruce Schneier
Sometimes browser spellcheckers leak passwords:

When using major web browsers like Chrome and Edge, your form data is transmitted to Google and Microsoft, respectively, should enhanced spellcheck features be enabled.

Depending on the website you visit, the form data may itself include PII­—including but not limited to Social Security Numbers (SSNs)/Social Insurance Numbers (SINs), name, address, email, date of birth (DOB), contact information, bank and payment information, and so on.

The solution is to only use the spellchecker options that keep the data on your computer—and don’t send it into the cloud…

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Pakistan floods: anarchist global relief effort of the WSF-IWA

The Workers Solidarity Federation, Pakistan section of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers’ Association (IWA), are currently engaged in relief efforts to communities affected by the extraordinary floods caused by climate change.

Submitted by Craftwork on September 25, 2022

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Throughout 2022, Pakistan experienced an unusually intense heat-wave, with temperatures exceeding 50 degree celsius by May. With over 7,000 glaciers, Pakistan’s glacier count is only outnumbered by the polar regions1
, and the high temperatures, that affected much of South Asia, caused glacial melt, which in turn triggered the failure of ice dams and outburst floods. Water from these outburst flood travelled along tributaries and flowed into the main rivers, including the Indus River, Pakistan’s largest, causing their banks to break. The end result are the flash floods in Pakistan, exacerbated by the record monsoon rains that began in June. The events in Pakistan can be added to the list of spectacular instances of capitalism-induced climate breakdown.

The floods in Pakistan have so far affected two-thirds of Pakistan’s districts, destroyed two million acres of farmland, caused over 1500 deaths, and led to the displacement of 33 million people,2
with Unicef suggesting 16 million children affected so far. 3
All reasonable estimates indicate that millions in Pakistan now face the prospect of malnutrition and infections, particularly those caused by water-borne diseases.

In response to this, on 23rd August, members of the Workers Solidarity Federation, founded in May 2020 as the Pakistan section of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers’ Association (IWA) established an emergency fund for disaster relief and began distributing food in flood-affected areas.4
In the course of the floods, some of their members involved in distributing aid in Balochistan became homeless5
, despite this they continued to distribute over 200 meals to families in the region.6
Since then, their relief efforts, supported by anarchists from around the world, have provided direct disaster relief to thousands of people affected by the ongoing floods in Balochistan and Sindh, in an extraordinary tale of mutual aid and transnational solidarity. On 4th September, WSF established a Flood Relief camp in Karachi.7
, distributing goods and cash to those in need.8
On 10th September, in Balochistan, WSF provided tents to people displaced by the floods. On 13th September, WSF members distributed food to people in the Dadu district of Sindh, travelling by boat across the flooded area9
, providing food supplies to 105 families10
. On 18th September, in Balochistan, WSF distributed food rations tents, mosquito nets, and infant care to the effected people in coming days.11
. On 25th September, WSF installed water tanks to provide clean water and distributed food.12
As at the time of writing, their relief efforts continue.

In the wake of any major disaster, where state and capital are absent, and a community is left to fend for itself, people self-organise on the basis of a need to survive. The self-organisation of disaster communities, to an extent, embodies anarchist principles of decentralised organisation, socialisation of resources, mutual aid, and co-operation. These principles come to the fore amidst disasters because they are taken as the most expedient option for maximising people’s chances of survival, but they are also measures that contradict the logic of capital and the state, which sooner or later will reclaim the lost territory, unless it is prevented from doing so by a large, armed, anarchist body.

The activities of the WSF-IWA are some of the most significant and heroic examples of anarchist praxis to date, and are particularly extraordinary considering that the WSF is only two years’ old.

To support the relief effort of the WSF, donate here:


International Workers’ Association (IWA)

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Deleuze: The Grandeur of Marx with Nick Thoburn

Acid Horizon Patrons
Was Gilles Deleuze a Marxist? Before his death in 1995, Deleuze had intended to write a book entitled The Grandeur of Marx, a work which would have consummated the role of Marx as long time mediator within Deleuze’s political writings. In the discussion, we unpack political concepts within Deleuze’s corpus, such as "minor politics", "a people to come", and "a new earth" and explore their resonances with Marx’s work. Moreover, we follow Thoburn in advancing the perhaps controversial idea that Deleuze proffered a new form of communism.


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Happy Hour at Hippel’s (Adam’s blog):

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We Can Reimagine Our Systems of Ownership and Control

Adrienne Buller
Throughout the pandemic and the period of economic pain it brought, the news cycle has been gripped by a series of mounting disasters. Global vaccine apartheid, the result of the Global North’s refusal to allow nonproprietary sharing of vaccine technology, meant that, by late 2021, 80 percent of adults in the EU were fully vaccinated, […]

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Raoul Vaneigem: The government of fear

Julius Gavroche
With gratitude to the collective for sharing their translation of a recent text by Raoul Vaneigem, we gladly share it turn. “Only Fear Governs Us: From the Programmed Degradation of the Living to its Spontaneous Rebirth” Raoul Vaneigem[1] 1. … Continue reading →

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Husserl’s Logical Investigations – Summary

Phenomenology and Existentialism
One of the methods Husserl offers is the eidetic variation, which consists of comparing several intentional objects to highlight a common essence and to study it as a mere possibility.
Phenomenology appears in Logical Investigations as a science of essences that must proceed according to a strict scientific method.

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The Think Tanks Advising Congress on Military Spending Take Money From the Arms Industry

Stephen Semler
The Senate might vote on the fiscal year 2023 military budget this month. Or it might not; nobody’s sure. What’s for certain is that the bill the Senate considers will have at least as much as $850 billion for the Pentagon. In other words, we’re staring down a $72-billion year-to-year increase in military spending with this legislation: the FY 2022 version of […]

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Fascist-Sympathizing Newspaper Barons Were the Blueprint for Today’s Right-Wing Media

Kathryn Olmsted
In the 1930s, the owners of the most widely read newspapers in the United States and Britain married far-right, xenophobic politics with sensationalism. These press lords, as historian Kathryn Olmsted puts it in The Newspaper Axis: Six Press Barons Who Enabled Hitler, “trafficked in populist slogans but lived like kings.” Some identified with fascism, while […]

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6 Simple Steps On How To Make Sea Water Drinkable Using Plastic Bottle

Daily Infographic
Lyle Opolentisima
Many people around the world have limited access to clean drinking water. This can be attributed to several factors including poor infrastructure and lack of safe drinking water sources. In such conditions, it’s important to find ways of making sea water drinkable. However, it should be noted that this method only works for small quantities […]

The post 6 Simple Steps On How To Make Sea Water Drinkable Using Plastic Bottle first appeared on Daily Infographic.

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Iranian Anarchists on Protests in Response to Police Murder of Mahsa Amini
From Black Rose Anarchist Federation by Black Rose / Rosa Negra – International Relations Committee

On September 13th, 2022, 22 year old Mahsa Amini was arrested by an Iranian Guidance Patrol (also known as ‘morality police’). Mahsa was arrested in Tehran for not abiding by laws relating to dress. Three days later, on September 16th, police informed Mahsa’s family that she had “experienced heart failure” and had fallen into a coma for two days before passing away.

Eyewitness accounts, including that of her own brother, make clear that she was brutally beaten during her arrest. Leaked medical scans indicate that she had experienced a brain hemorrhage and stroke—trauma induced injuries which ultimately led to her death.

In the days since these details were revealed publicly, mass demonstrations have broken out across Iran decrying Mahsa’s murder at the hands of the police.

To better understand this rapidly changing situation, we conducted a very brief interview with the Federation of Anarchism Era, an organization with sections in Iran and Afghanistan.

This interview was conducted between the dates of 9/20/22 and 9/23/22.

Black Rose / Rosa Negra (BRRN): First, please give a brief description of the Anarchist Federation of Era.

Federation of Anarchism Era (FAE): The Federation of Anarchism Era is a local anarchist federation active in so-called Iran, Afghanistan, and beyond.

Our federation is based on the Synthesis Anarchism, accepting all anarchist tendencies except nationalist, religious, capitalist, and pacifist tendencies. Our many years of organizing experience within extremely oppressive environments like Iran have led us to develop and utilize insurrectionist organizational tactics and philosophy. 

We are an atheist organization, viewing religion as a hierarchical structure that is more ancient and enduring than almost all other authoritarian systems and much too similar to capitalism and other authoritarian social structures enslaving humanity today. Class warfare, from our perspective, includes warring against the clergy class who rob us of our freedom and self-autonomy by defining the sacred & taboo and enforcing them by coercion and violence.

BRRN: Who was Mahsa Amini? When, why, and how was she killed?

FAE: Mahsa Amini, know by her family as Zhina, was an ordinary 22-year-old Kurdish girl from the city of Saghez (Saqez) in Kurdistan.

She traveled with her family to Tehran to visit families. On September 13th, while with her brother, Kiaresh Amini, the morality police or the so-called “Guidance Patrol” arrested Mahsa for “improper hijab.” Her brother tried to resist the arrest, but the police used tear gas and beat Kiaresh as well.

Many other arrested women witnessed what happened in the police van. Along the way to the police station, there was an argument between detainee women and police officers. Mahsa Amini was one of the girls protesting their arrest. She was saying she was not from Tehran and should be let go.

The police used physical violence to shut all the detainee women up. Mahsa was beaten as well. The eyewitnesses said the police officers hit Mahsa’s head hard to the side of the police van.

She was still conscious when she arrived at Moral Security Agency, but the other detained women noticed that she looked unwell. The police were completely indifferent and accused her of acting. The women kept protesting to help Mahsa get the medical attention she needed. The protests were met with violence from the police. Mahsa Amini was beaten severely by police again and lost consciousness then.

Police then took notice and attempted to revive her by pumping her chest and raising and massaging her legs. After those attempts failed, the police attacked other women to confiscate all cellphones and cameras that may have recorded the incident.

After much delay and finding the lost keys to the ambulance, Mahsa was taken to Kasra Hospital.

The clinic which admitted Mahsa Amini claimed in an Instagram post that Mahsa was brain dead when she was admitted. That Instagram post was later deleted. 

On September 14th, a Twitter account with a friend working in Kasra Hospital told the story that the police threatened the doctors, nurses, and staff not to take any pictures or video evidence and to lie to Mahsa’s parents about the cause of the death. The hospital, being intimidated, complied with the police. They lied to the parents that she was in an “accident” and kept her on life-support for two days. Mahsa was declared dead on September 16th. Her cause of death from the medical scans, leaked by hacktivists, shows bone fractures, hemorrhage, and brain edema.

Demonstrators in Istanbul, Turkey hold up an image of Mahsa Amini.

BRRN: Did Mahsa’s identity as a Kurd play a role in her arrest and death?

FAE: Undoubtedly, being a Kurd in Tehran played a role in Mahsa’s eventual death. But, this is a reality all women in Iran experience. We don’t need to look far to find video footage of the morality police beating and forcing women into police vans, throwing women out on the street from a moving car, and being harassed by Hijabi women for their “improper hijab.” Those videos show just a tiny fraction of the hell women experience in Iran.

Mahsa being with her brother on the day of her arrest was not random happenstance. In Iran’s patriarchal society, women should bring a male relative, whether a father, husband, brother, or cousin, along with on their business to ward off the morality police and discourage any surly individuals in public. Young couples can’t be seen too close to each other in public or risk being beaten and arrested by the morality police. Relatives needed to have documents as proof of their claims to the police. Arresting women for lipsticks and nail polish was a reality many of us millennials in Iran remember vividly.

The threat of acid attacks for “bad hijab” is another nightmare women endure in Iran.

Patriarchy and religious autocracy affect all women.

BRRN: How did the Iranian people learn of Mahsa’s death? What was the initial popular response?

FAE: As we elaborated earlier, there were too many eyewitnesses. No amount of threats could have stopped the story of Mahsa’s death from leaking.

It is worth mentioning the doctor attending Mahsa and the photojournalist documenting Mahsa’s condition and her family in distress, were both arrested, and their current status is unknown.

The initial response was outrage. People were already sharing Mahsa’s story from September 14th. The outrage was not yet strong enough for protests and revolts. People still thought Mahsa was in a coma, and there was hope for her recovery. Then, She was declared dead on September 16th.

First, there were small protests at Kasra Hospital, which were scattered by the police. The sparks of the current uprising were lit in Saghez, Mahsa’s hometown.

A police motorcycle is burned at a demonstration in Tehran.

BRRN: What is the scale of the current demonstrations? In what areas of the country have the demonstrations been concentrated?

The situation is very dynamic and changing exceptionally rapidly. At the time of writing this, the flames of the uprising have set 29 out of 31 provinces of Iran on fire. One of the characteristics of this uprising is that it spread to major cities across Iran, such as Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan, Ahvaz, Rasht, and others fast.

Qom and Mashhad, the ideological strongholds of the regime, have joined the uprising. Kish island, the capitalist and commerce center of the regime, has also revolted. This is the most diverse uprising we have witnessed in the last few years.

On September 23rd, the syndicalists are planning a general strike in favor of the protests.

The regime has an armed demonstration planned on the same day. A lot is happening.

BRRN: How has the Iranian state responded to these demonstrations?

The regime’s initial response was less brutal than we experienced before. One reason is that they got caught off-guard. They didn’t expect this strong response. The more important reason is that Ibrahim Raisi is at the UN. The lack of senior authority figures, publicized story of Mahsa and protests, and the pressure on the government being watched by the international community have stopped the massacre for now.

Don’t get us wrong. Police killed and injured many people from day one of the protests. Some among them were 10 years old children and 15 years old teenagers. But, we experienced November 2019 when the regime massacred many thousands of people in 3 days. 

In all the previous uprisings, the police were not directly the target of the ire of people. Not this time. They are the baddie this time, and people are out for their blood. This wears them down physically and mentally, which we take as good news.

Right now, Saghez and Sanandaj are experiencing ruthless suppression. The regime has brought tanks and heavy military vehicles to suppress the uprising there. There are many reports of live ammunition being shot at protestors.

The protests are still going. The police cars are being flipped. The police stations were scaled and burned down. We just need to arm ourselves by looting their armory. Then, we enter another phase of revolt altogether.

A barricade constructed at a demonstration in Tehran on 9/21/22.

BRRN: Is it accurate to call these demonstrations feminist in character?

FAE: Yes, Absolutely. Like all other uprisings, there were developments and movements beneath the surface.

It can be said that the recent crackdown on the Hijab and increased brutality of the morality police started in response to Iranian women’s spontaneous, autonomous, and feminist self-organization. Earlier this year, women in Iran began to black-list and boycott people and businesses, such as cafes, that strictly enforce the Hijab. The movement was decentralized and leaderless, aimed at creating safe spaces for women and members of the LGBTQ community.

That brutal oppression culminated at this moment where women are at the forefront everywhere, burning their scarves and beating down cops without Hijab. The main slogan of the uprising is also “Woman, Life, Freedom,” a slogan from Rojava, a society whose ambitions are based on anarchist, feminist, and secular ideology.

BRRN: What political elements (organizations, parties, groups) are present in the demonstrations, if any?

FAE: Many organizations, parties, and groups attempt to appropriate or influence the protests for their benefit at every uprising.

The majority of them ran into an unscalable problem during this uprising.

First, The monarchists. Reza Pahlavi, the deadbeat son of so very dead previous Shah of Iran, an individual being propped up by stolen money and media networks outside Iran, called for a national day of mourning amidst public outrage and initial protests instead of using his resources to assist the revolt. People finally saw him for the charlatan that he is. “Death to oppressors, whether Shah or Leader,” was heard all across Iran.

Then, MEK or Mujahedin Kalq. MEK has an ideological problem with this uprising. They are a cult whose women members are forced to wear red scarves. Their origin story is from combining Marxist and Islamic ideologies, hijacked by Marxist-Leninists before 1979, to the cult in service of capitalist and imperialist states today. Yet, the women in Iran are burning their headscarves and Quran. They have no say in this political climate.

Then, there are communist parties who despise Rojava and always speak ill of it. Their debunked and rusty class analysis doesn’t help them win hearts here.

With all their talks and propaganda of being proponents of secularism and feminism, they didn’t even have one slogan geared toward women’s liberation. And their ideology prevented them from chanting “Women, Life, Freedom.” They had nothing to say, so they shut up. Thanks to that, their presence is much weaker in the protests today.

The Anarchist movement is growing in Iran. This uprising, being leaderless, feminist, anti-authoritarianism, and chanting Rojava slogans, led to anarchists, affiliated and unaffiliated with the federation, having a strong presence in this uprising. Unfortunately, many have been arrested and injured as well.

We are working to realize the anticapitalist potential of this movement. Because the Islamic Republic is a death cult and religion, patriarchy, racism, and capitalism are its ideological pillars. For us to live, we need to be free; and that can’t be done without women’s liberation at the forefront.

University student demonstrators in Tehran on 9/19/22

BRRN: In solidarity. Thank you for your time.

FAE: Solidarity.

Be sure to follow Federation of Anarchism Era on twitter or telegram. If you enjoyed this article, we recommend Generations of Struggle: Interview with an Iranian Anarchist and The State of Cuba: Cuban Anarchist Reflections One Year After July 11th.

Tags: interviewIranBlack Rose Anarchist Federation

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Noam Chomsky on David Graeber’s Pirate Enlightenment
From ArtReview by Noam Chomsky and Nika Dubrovsky

Nika Dubrovsky speaks to Noam Chomsky about pirate societies, ‘bewildered herds’ and the fragility of the present in the context of the late anthropologist David Graeber’s final book

As questions of decolonisation rub up against the legacy of Enlightenment thinking in the West, anthropologist David Graeber argues in his posthumous book Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia (to be published early next year) that Enlightenment ideas themselves are not intrinsically European and were indeed shaped by non-European sources. The work focuses on the proto-democratic ways of pirate societies and particularly the Zana-Malata, an ethnic group formed of descendants of pirates who settled on Madagascar at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and whom Graeber encountered while conducting ethnographic research at the beginning of his academic career. 

Graeber, author of Bullshit Jobs: A Theory (2018), Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011) and The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (written with the archaeologist David Wengrow), died in 2020, but in a wide-ranging conversation for ArtReview, his widow, the artist and author Nika Dubrovsky, speaks with Noam Chomsky, an admirer of the anthropologist’s work, about Graeber’s last project, neoliberalism and democracy, Western empiricism and imperialism, free speech, Roe v. Wade in the US, the war in Ukraine and how Germany’s Documenta art exhibition has barely coped with inviting non-Western artists to direct it for the first time.

One of the left’s foremost thinkers, Chomsky has written major works that include Syntactic Structures (1957), Manufacturing Consent (1988) and, most recently, The Precipice: Neoliberalism, the Pandemic and Urgent Need for Radical Change (2021, with C. J. Polychroniou).

David Graeber. Courtesy Goldsmiths, London

Nika Dubrovsky Thank you very much for the interview. It’s a great honour. We wanted to discuss David’s last posthumous book, Pirate Enlightenment, which will be published in January 2023 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. In this book, as in his other writings, David talked about the importance of dialogue. He describes how entire cultural traditions emerge from the creation of new stories and how these traditions are then remade and edited.

Noam Chomsky That was very interesting. Both in his essay ‘There Never Was a West’, but also in the book about the extensive contributions of Native American thinkers [The Dawn of Everything, 2021, with David Wengrow], Chinese thinkers and others who, as they point out, as David points out, were recognised as contributors at the time, but then wiped from the tradition. It was regarded as just a literary technique or something. But I think he makes it very clear that it was a substantive contribution.

The discussion in ‘There Never Was a West’, about the nature of influence, was quite enlightening. The different ways in which influence takes place, in which it’s interpreted, and – as the tradition is constructed later – is filtered out, as he points out, on the basis of arguments that, if they were applied generally, would wipe out almost everything, including the tradition itself.

One of the most interesting parts of The Dawn of Everything, I thought, were the sections on the interactions with the Native American philosopher and thinker, and his contributions to how Enlightenment thought was developed by leading figures.

ND Just before Thomas Hobbes wrote Leviathan, he had seen a play by Charles Johnson, The Successful Pyrate, performed on an English stage. David suggested that this experience with Madagascar pirates may have influenced Hobbes’s political thinking. The very idea that people could negotiate with each other; that power could be organised not only top-down but also horizontally, as it was in many pirate communities, and in some indigenous cultures, came as a surprise to Europeans. David often said that his task was to decolonise the Enlightenment; to change our ideas of what kind of society we would like to live in. If we rethink our ideas about the Enlightenment, about where it came from, how do you think this will change the public imagination?

NC I think we must pursue more carefully these insights into how that tradition, as he points out, becomes the reconstruction of the past by elite thinkers who reshape it into a particular form. But when you go back to the original interactions, as David did and as they do in The Dawn of Everything, you see that what was filtered to become the accepted tradition is a sharp reconstruction of what actually happened – eliminating many interactions and many kinds of drawing on different voices, different experiences into something that was then reshaped by elite opinions.

Particularly striking, I think, was his discussion, in ‘There Never Was a West’, of periods when state authority was inoperative for one reason or another, either not paying attention or weakened. It’s at that time that interactions at the ground level developed the basic meaningful contributions to whatever functions later as democracy.

That’s where they arose, that’s how they can develop. But not the top-down conceptions that are reconstructed as our traditional heritage. It has lots of implications for direct action in the present. I think his emphasis is on things like the Zapatistas in the past, on relatives, work on pirates and so on. Pirate democracy in Madagascar and others is quite striking in that respect.

A Betsimisarakian henhouse and rice barn, 1911, Fenerive, Madagascar, photo: Walter Kaudern. Public domain. A subset of the Betsimisaraka, termed the zana-malata, were the focus of David Graeber’s dissertation research, from which Pirate Enlightenment is derived

ND In the Malagasy society that David lived in for several years and knew very well, dialogue is used as a political tool to shape public space. In your book Manufacturing Consent [1988, with Edward S. Herman], you describe how public space and the public imagination in Western countries is controlled from the top down by powerful ideological institutions.

NC Ed Herman, who passed away recently, was the prime author of that. He was a specialist in finance and taught at the Wharton School. He was interested in the institutional structure of the media and how basic institutional factors lead to the shaping of the information system that’s created. We slightly differed on that, I should say. My own feeling is that while all of that is important, I don’t think it’s very different from the general intellectual culture. My own work has mostly been, actually, on elite intellectual culture, which doesn’t have those same institutional pressures, but nevertheless leads to a version of reality that’s not very different from what comes out of the media system.

The phrase ‘manufacturing consent’, of course, is not ours. That comes from [American political commentator] Walter Lippmann. Also Edward Bernays, the main founder of the public relations industry. The two of them were members of Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information, the first major state propaganda agency, the so-called Creel Committee, which was designed to try to turn a pacifist population into raving anti-German fanatics as the Wilson administration moved into the war.

Both Lippmann and Bernays were very impressed by the success in creating a fabricated version of atrocities and so on, which in fact did change opinion dramatically. Lippmann called this technique ‘manufacturing consent’, which he called a new art in the practice of democracy. He thought that’s exactly the way things should work.

As David points out in his text, elite opinion has always been radically antidemocratic all the way through. Democracy is just regarded as ‘mob rule’, as Lippmann put it; the responsible men have to protect themselves from the roar and trampling of the bewildered herd. Lippmann, incidentally, was the leading liberal public intellectual in the twentieth century, a Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy liberal. But he was reflecting the general liberal conception of how the public has to be put in its place as spectators, while the serious guys – us – do the work of running society in the public interest.

This is almost universal. It’s not just in the media. People like Reinhold Niebuhr [an American theologian] and Harold Lasswell, one of the pioneers of modern political science. Bernays went on to be one of the founders of the public relations industry, which devotes hundreds of billions of dollars a year to these efforts to control opinion and attitudes. But it’s all based on the same conception that the public is a bewildered herd, stupid and too ignorant for their own good.

You have to control them in one way or another, not permit democratic tendencies. Perhaps you know the major scholarly work, the gold standard for scholarship on the Constitutional Convention, called The Framers’ Coup [2016, by Michael Klarman], the coup by the framers against democracy. They feared democracy, and they devised all kinds of techniques to prevent it effectively. If you look back at the Constitutional Convention, the only participant who objected to this was Benjamin Franklin. He went along, but he didn’t like it.

Yes, it is correct that this shows up in the media, but it seems to me to show up in the media not only because of the institutional structures that Herman’s work mostly outlined but also because of deeper currents in cultural history. It’s the same thing in the English Revolution in the seventeenth century when you didn’t have these structures, ‘The Men of the Best Quality’, as they called themselves, must subdue the rebel multitude.

When you read the history of the English Revolution, it looks as if it was a conflict between king and parliament, but that overlooks the public who were producing very extensive pamphlet literature and people travelling around giving talks and so on. They didn’t want to be ruled by a king or parliament. The way they put it was, “We want to be governed by people who know the people’s sores, people like us, not by knights and gentlemen who do just want to oppress us”. That’s the English Revolution, the major current that was of course suppressed mostly by violence.

The same thing shows up in the American Revolution a century later. David points out it’s a deep part of the Enlightenment. One of the striking points that he makes in the essay is that these concepts of human rights, Enlightenment, justice and so on, appeared in what’s called the West only at the time when they came into confrontation with other societies and cultures. In the whole long period before that, nobody ever bothered with such things. That can’t just be an accident. And I think we see it right through history, in a way, back to Aristotle’s Politics.

Betsimisaraka women in Madagascar, c. 1900. Public domain. A subset of the Betsimisaraka, termed the zana-malata, were the focus of David Graeber’s dissertation research, from which Pirate Enlightenment is derived

ND I found it very interesting how David links gender politics and the social status of women. Western societies in general are patriarchal, but the communities in Madagascar described by David in his book are not, so it is odd that it is us who are considered to be democratic.

NC Actually, that has very interesting, very current implications. The Roe v. Wade case, if you read [Supreme Court Justice Samuel] Alito’s actual opinion, his decision, is quite interesting. What he says is that there’s nothing in history and tradition that supports the idea that women have rights, which is quite true. If you look back at the constitution, the framers – for them women weren’t even persons. They were property. That’s Blackstone [Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765–69, by William Blackstone], English common law. Women are property owned by the father and handed over to the husband.

One of the arguments against allowing women to vote in the constitutional debates was it’s unfair to unmarried men because a married man would have two votes: himself and his property. This runs right through American history. It isn’t until 1975 that the Supreme Court officially determined that women are people, peers, who can serve on federal juries.

So Alito’s opinion is quite right. In all of American history and tradition, there’s nothing to suggest that women have rights. Therefore, Roe is breaking from the tradition by saying, ‘Yes, women should have rights’. It’s not exactly the message he wanted to convey, but it’s the essence in which his opinion is historically accurate.

It’s basically since the 1960s that there has been real pressure for not only women’s rights, but even freedom of speech. You look back at history, there’s no history of protection of freedom of speech. You begin to get the elements of it in the twentieth century, mostly in dissents. But it was not until the 60s that there was strong public popular pressure, sufficient for the Supreme Court to take a fairly strong position.

Actually, in the current regression, major figures in the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, are saying they want to rethink those decisions that establish freedom of speech, like Times v. Sullivan. We may go back to the tradition, just as we’re doing with the revision of Roe. These are very tenuous achievements. We have to struggle for them every minute.

ND The Paris salons, where many of these Enlightenment ideas were formed, mostly in endless conversations, were run largely by women. David’s Pirate Enlightenment talks a lot about war. He describes how the opposing sides put coloured signs on their foreheads, blue and yellow, to be able to distinguish one another in battle. War is also a dialogue, but a masculine one, where the instruments of communication are reduced exclusively to violence. For the characters in David’s book, however, the war ends in Assemblies, which restore complex human conversations. If we think about our current situation, what is most striking is the insistence on the abandonment of all dialogue and any exchange of opinions.

NC Yeah. That’s again a very timely issue. As you know, the NATO Summit [in Madrid at the end of June] received lots of attention, very positive attention. One crucial element of it, which hasn’t received much discussion, bears exactly on what you’re talking about. If you look at the NATO strategic statement, I think it’s Article 41, the basic thrust is we cannot have discussions and negotiations about Ukraine. It must be settled by violence. Those aren’t the words that are used, but that’s the meaning of the words.

What they say is that the question of admission of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Ukraine into NATO is not up for discussion. No third party can have any voice in it. We will decide as we wish. That’s a way of saying, ‘There cannot be any negotiations’. It’s been understood for 30 years, long before Putin, that no Russian leader will ever accept having Georgia and Ukraine in a hostile military alliance. That would be lunacy from Russia’s strategic point of view.

Just look at a topographic map or the history of Operation Barbarossa [Nazi Germany’s 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union] and you can see why. That’s been understood by high US diplomats and directors of the CIA. All of them have warned against this. But NATO, meaning the US, just decided that doesn’t matter. We’re going to continue to insist that everything be settled by violence, not by negotiations. No dialogue. It’s probably the most important part of the NATO Summit, and it’s consistent with what US policy has been. No discussion, just force.

David Graeber hosts a debate at the London School of Economics during the campus-wide programme Resist: Festival of Ideas and Actions, 2016. Photo: Peter Marshall / Alamy Live News

ND You are a prominent scholar who has worked in Western academia for many years. I know nothing about academia except that David thought it was conservative and almost reactionary, and wrote extensively about it. Perhaps the very idea that it is possible to substitute dialogue with others for direct violence while preserving democracy and freedom within our own space is shaped and supported by the Western academic community.

NC My academic life has been for 70 years at the elite institutions: Cambridge, Mass; Harvard, MIT, others like them, Oxford and so on. All the same. Ideas of this kind can scarcely penetrate. They are immune to consideration of the fact that the system that they were embedded in is based on violence and suppression. The theories that are developed, like international relations theory, completely miss much of this.

The security of the population is almost never a consideration in formation of government policy. Security of elite interest, yes. Not security of the population. In fact, this shows up very dramatically if you look at contemporary documents. Take the NATO Summit again. The phrase ‘rules-based international order’ occurs repeatedly, over and over again. We have to preserve ‘the rules-based international order’. The phrase ‘UN-based international order’ never appears, not once. There is a UN-based international order, like the UN charter, but the US doesn’t accept it. It bars all the activities that the US carries out.

The big struggle with China, ideologically, is that China is insisting on the UN-based international order. The United States wants a rules-based order. The hidden assumption is the US makes the rules. We want an international order, which is basically the mafia. The godfather makes the rules, and everybody else obeys or else. That’s the rules-based international order. And you can demonstrate that that’s the way it works, but you can’t penetrate elite discussion with this. I can talk about my own experience, but it’s just anybody in the same system can talk about it.

My apartment in Cambridge was a couple of blocks away from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. I wasn’t allowed to cross the threshold unless they couldn’t prevent it. Like, if I was invited by an international organisation or the foreign press or a student group, then they had to allow it. But otherwise it was considered contaminating the premises by even talking about these topics.

ND Sometimes it feels like we’re seriously close to the end of the world. David, however, was an eternal optimist. No matter what was going on, he would say, “Okay, let’s look on the bright side. What can we do? How can we find a way out of it?”

He tried very seriously to help [former UK Labour leader Jeremy] Corbyn, but when Corbyn got crushed, David almost fell into a depression for a while. Very soon, however, he focused on the Brain Trust Project, a group of academic and nonacademic activists and artists trying to create an independent thinktank to address climate change. Yet our current situation, the disasters we are facing on such a scale, it is difficult to keep being optimistic.

NC Whatever our personal sentiments are about the likelihood of disaster, we have to maintain the ‘optimism of the will’. There are opportunities, whatever they are, and we have to devote ourselves to them. Take Corbyn. Very significant. I mean, if Corbyn had become prime minister, as it seemed in 2017 that he might very well do, it could be a very different England. Instead of being just a vassal of the United States, which it is, it could have been an independent element in world affairs.

He could have joined with Europe to lead an independent Europe, which could have made accommodations with Russia prior to the invasion, when it was a possibility. Instead of just falling into the lap of the United States and becoming a total dependency, which is what happened.

The British establishment knew what it was doing. The establishment all the way over to The Guardian, the so-called left. It’s very dangerous to allow a person to gain power who’s trying to create a popular-based political party that will reflect the interests of its constituents instead of concentrated private power. He was succeeding in that, and that’s much too dangerous to allow.

So the whole establishment, from what’s called the left over to the right, just launched an incredible campaign to discredit him, very successfully. Totally fraudulent grounds, but a very interesting illustration of the manufacture of consent, which is much broader than just the institutional structures involved.

It’s based on a real understanding that popular power is just too dangerous to permit. It will threaten elite dominance in all domains and could lead to not only an independent popular-based democracy in England but even to independent moves in world affairs, which would undermine the mafialike structure. Quite a lot is at stake in keeping somebody like Corbyn out.

Courtesy Allen Lane

ND David vividly describes how the democratic structures of pirate communities were influenced by Madagascar’s traditions. The pirates chose a captain who had full authority over the crew during combat, but not in everyday life.

Many of these pirate traditions are strikingly similar to anarchist practices and are truly democratic, allowing each member of the community to shape the social environment around them, unlike our current ‘democracy’, which is built on institutions that prevent people from access to decisions about how they might live.

NC As he stressed greatly, you don’t have democracy if representation is of the kind that liberal theorists call for. So take the main liberal theorists of democracy, people like Walter Lippmann, for example, or Harold Lasswell, or others. In this picture, the public has a role. Their role is to show up periodically and cast their weight in favour of one or another member of the elite class that represents power, and then go home and let them run the world but don’t do anything more.

That’s what’s called democracy. And as David stressed, that has no resemblance to democracy. Democracy means direct participation in decision-making at every level. You can delegate responsibility to someone temporarily to carry out or play some administrative or another role.

For example, in the Native American tribes that he discussed, where you pick a war leader for a particular conflict and then listen to him during the conflict, then he goes back and joins everyone else. That’s like the pirates, in fact, electing a captain because they need somebody to make decisions and then take them back. But it’s the public itself that always has the power and can, if it wants, take over decision-making.

If you don’t have a structure like that, it’s not democracy. And of course, such structures can be developed. Let’s go back to Corbyn. If he had succeeded in creating the kind of Labour Party he was working for, it would have been a constituent-based party with local groups putting their input into direct decision-making and so on. It’s not what the parliamentary Labour Party wants. They want to make the decisions and everybody else should shut up and listen. That’s [Tony] Blair’s party, [Keir] Starmer’s party. The weight of the establishment was so strongly behind them that the effort to create a popular party was just crushed.

Interestingly, the campaign was successful among the constituency. I’ve talked to Labour activists who were knocking on doors. They said it really sold. People just didn’t want to hear about Corbyn, they didn’t want to hear about a four-day week or any of the economic proposals. Just save us from this person who’s trying to destroy Britain. It worked very effectively.

Welfare State rally in London, 2010. Photo: Theodore Liasi / Alamy Stock Photo

ND I want to share good news from the artworld, which is also a very powerful institution, very much like an academy, very much built on exclusion and big money, seriously connected to financial capital, taxes and, ultimately, the state. One of the largest art exhibitions in the world, Germany’s Documenta, has been curated by a collective from Indonesia, who are exhibiting almost no artwork or famous artists, in the traditional sense of the word. They invited different collectives, mostly from the Global South.

This is an amazing exhibition, in the sense that it shows not the artistic achievements of some individuals, but the useful, caring and beautiful human practices of different communities.

But then again, as with Jeremy Corbyn, they are now under tremendous attack, perhaps on the verge of being destroyed. The only hope is that, just as with Corbyn, the current exhibition in Documenta can show us a glimpse of another world, as if it were an escape route that could one day save us.

NC That’s very interesting. I remember about 20 years ago – unfortunately, I forgot the name – there was an art connoisseur, Canadian, I think, who curated exhibitions of rugs. He pointed out that for thousands of years there was a form of women’s art in the Middle East, creating these marvellous rugs with wonderful designs and structures and so on. But no one ever regarded it as art, because it was women’s work. But the materials were quite fantastic. He ran into plenty of resistance. Who cares about rugs? But if you look at Oriental rugs, they’re quite amazing. By now, this artform is disappearing because it’s being replaced by commercialised duplicates. But for literally thousands of years, it was a major collective creative artform. Individuals would create their own art. They would work with each other. Because, of course, it’s collective, you can’t make a rug yourself. They made some remarkable contributions to women’s work.

ND The artworld first and foremost stands for the separation of production and consumption so it is difficult for it to relate to collective works. Therefore, a significant artist, in the Western sense, is always a loner who is distinct from the rest of us. But the industrial workers, who collectively produce things we use every day, remain anonymous. The same separation results in all of us staying as spectators and consumers, and without engaging in collaborative creativity. Documenta 15 had changed this narrative. It brought to Germany artists from Bangladesh, Latin America, African countries, and their real stories of fighting for freedom, caring for children, cooking food and so on. They showed us Westerners that most people in the world are, in a sense, better off than we are, despite their lack of the art institutions, if only because a core value of their art is care.

NC I saw something a little bit like that at the World Social Forum back 20 years ago. The first meeting of the World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. One of the collaborators was Via Campesina, the world’s major international peasant organisation. It facilitated areas where mostly women set up tables and shared their cultures – different societies, different languages, different ways of cooking, different kinds of seeds, and a lot of complex lore and understanding.

In fact, for the most part agriculture was a scientific activity in the hands of women. A woman would hand the knowledge down to her daughter, which seed you plant on which side of the hill because it gets the sun in the afternoon and all that kind of stuff. In fact, when scientific agriculture came in, it lowered yields because all of this knowledge was lost. But in these meetings of Via Campesina, it was all being brought back with individual understanding, complicated culinary arts, building things and exchanging ideas. It was quite amazing to watch. It’s disappearing, of course. The World Social Forum doesn’t have it anymore.

ND In Pirate Enlightenment, David describes a Marxist attitude to Madagascar’s history, where the main driving force is the struggle of the elites among themselves for the expansion of power.

David notes that it is a little strange to assume that any society is built according to this principle. But today’s Russia follows this logic: actively participating in the struggle between rival elites.

In the 1960s, the USSR pursued a different goal, supporting anticolonial movements worldwide with finance and arms.

NC Remember that Russia itself is an imperial system. You go back to the Duchy of Muscovy, which expanded over much of the world: all imperial conquests. There’s an interesting book, if you haven’t seen it yet, Crusade and Jihad [2018], by William Polk, a great historian who died recently, which is about the thousand-year war of the north, including Russia, against the mostly Muslim south. That’s why the regions that Putin is visiting right now [in July] are Muslim. They were all conquered within the expanding Russian empire. What we talk about as Russia, it’s like the United States. We think of the United States as a sovereign country, but only after it exterminated the inhabitants. Russia didn’t exterminate them, but it incorporated them.

It’s an imperial system, to begin with. And it’s mostly a war against the Global South, which happens to be mostly Muslim. As Polk discusses, it’s a major theme of the history of the past thousand years. Every form of resistance has been tried, and they all failed and end up being jihadis. That’s part of the sweep of world history. What’s bothering the West now is that it’s encroaching into Western territory. That you’re not allowed to do. You can kill anyone you want somewhere else, just the way we do. It’s very interesting to watch the reaction of the Global South to this conflict.

You read Western journals. They can’t understand why the countries of the Global South aren’t joining in with us. But these countries are laughing. What they say is, “Yes, of course it’s aggression, but what are you guys talking about? This is what you do to us all the time. We’re not going to join your crusade.”

ND A friend of mine who lives in the Middle East said: “With horror everyone watches white people kill white people. We’ve been living like this for a long time.”

NC David’s insights into all of this are very illuminating, and it undercuts a lot of conventional thinking. Also just pointing out the many options that there are for developing more enlightened, more free societies, not just the ones encoded in our artificial traditions, which exclude lots of what happened and reshape the rest into fitting into convenient frames for existing power systems. I think that’s a tremendous contribution.

Pirate Enlightenment, or the Real Libertalia, by David Graeber, will be published in January 2023

Tags: Noam ChomskyDavid Graeberpiratesreview

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Everything Is Just Dandy!

Nick Heath. The Idea : Anarchist Communism, Past, Present and Future.

News about an important book on anarchist communism.

Submitted by Battlescarred on September 23, 2022

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Published by Just Books in Belfast, Nick Heath’s new book is a timely addition to the literature on Anarchist Communism.

Anarchist communism often hides in the shadows in the general works on anarchism available, only clearly emerging when the ideas of Kropotkin, Reclus and Malatesta are discussed. All too often, apart from the worthless speculations on various philosophers outside of the historic anarchist movement, anarchist communism is rejected as a poor relation to the mass movements launched by anarchosyndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism. Others state that the accommodation of anarchist communism to syndicalism, made it a simple variant of anarcho-syndicalism, that it failed to discover the causes of the counter-revolution initiated by the Bolsheviks, and that it died as a credible current with the aftermaths of the Mexican and Russian Revolutions and that it was absorbed or replaced by anarchosyndicalism. This book will seek to counter these assertions. Anarchist communism, as opposed to anarchist collectivism, is the only anarchist current that specifically argues for the end of the market economy and of exchange value. It has survived down to the present day and features as an important current in Russia, France, Latin America, Ukraine, China and Japan amongst other countries. This book seeks to rehabilitate the current of anarchist-communism and make it better known and understood; and to renovate and modernise it. It offers a prehistory of the idea, its origins in the First International and extensive chapters on the history of anarchist communism in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. As such it will be the first comprehensive work on anarchist communism, one where it is not sidelined or where it ends up as a footnote. As Brian Morris has correctly asserted, anarchist communism has been the main current within the body of anarchism and this book aims to stress that and to bring it out of the shadows.

Available from JUst Books, AK Press, PM Press and from the Anarchist Communist Group website

anarchist communism


11 hours 36 min ago

So great to hear! Congrats on finally releasing it. I can’t remember how many years you must have been working on this, when did you start again?

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Judge Reinstates Civil War-Era Ban on Virtually All Abortions in Arizona

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