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US, WSA* “ideas & action” – Examining a Ghost: A Young Anarchist Reflects on Bookchin By Cam Mancini

Posted in English with tags , on 21/08/2011 by Karakök



I have recently been reading Murray Bookchin. AK Press put out a wonderful collection, titled Post-Scarcity Anarchism, of ten of his works, including essays and discussion pieces on them, and a collection of letters and observations. Bookchin is a touchy topic with some, because as most are aware, he moved away from anarchism later in his life, supporting what he called “communalism.” None-the-less, all of these texts are from no later than 1970, when he was in his prime as an anarchist and, I contend, a leading theorist of the time. In the first three essays of the collection (“Post-Scarcity Anarchism”, “Ecology and Revolutionary Thought”, and “Towards a Liberatory Technology”), he would define the revolutionary need for an ecological perspective, and not without controversy. —- One must not take Bookchin out of his historical context, and to do so makes his works an enigma. Most of these essays were penned between 1965 and 1968.

This must be kept in mind when reading his works, which make references to “free love,” the hippies, and the lifestylism of the time. He has many praises for these things, which many dismiss now, but in the sweeping social changes of the 1960s they could be seen as positive occurrences. Following the repressive social relations of the 1950s, it truly must have felt like a breath of fresh air to those who lived through these times – an explosion of sexual freedom, feminist and queer theory, and the civil rights movement. All these things, from experiments in communal living, consensus decision making, rioting and mass insurrection, contain lessons that we continue to pull from today. Bookchin took them in a critical light, used the parts he respected and applied them to his ecological-anarchist perspective in a pragmatic way.

Bookchin’s position on ecology was ahead of its time. He believes that much of the failure of earlier socialist movements was precisely because of their lack of this perspective. The earlier Marxists and anarchists believe in a society that was based solely around industry, glorifying work and toil, but he tempers this critique by attributeing this attitude to the lack of development of productive forces at the time. This deterministic attitude would have us believe that it was not possible for there to be a human community during the industrial revolution, because goods were not in abundance (or, unable to be in abundance). He does not speak to whether he believes it was possible to achieve a communist society before hand, but he does praise the feudal era for its intimate attachment to the land. Despite this, Bookchin’s central point is correct: communism requires new forms, new relationships with both land and industry. Compared to many Marxists and anarcho-syndicalists, who see workers’ self-management as the end in itself, Bookchin sees this as the beginning of a new human community. In this we can see the beginnings of a critique of self-management as a total end and Bookchin begs the question: what exactly will we self-manage? A society solely based on the self-management of exploitation appears only liberatory on the surface, but because it is still a society of labour and toil (but “self-managed,” naturally), it does not abolish the alienation that these forms create. In addition, it does not break down the division between humanity, nature, and work.

The essay “Towards a Liberatory Technology” describes the changes in technology that were occurring throughout the 1960s. Namely he speaks to automation and computers. An unfortunately large portion of the essay is devoted to technical information on technology, which I have no interest in and has little contemporary use. While, as stated before, Bookchin unleashe a criticism of Marxism and anarchism focusing on and glorifying toil, this essay tends to be the weakest of his three in the collection on ecology. I believe this is because, as having seen the deployment and use of the liberatory technology he describes, I can certainly say his predictions were wrong. Rather unfortunately, we are able to see first hand that technology has been recuperated as another source to enhance the process of capitalist accumulation, which is reminiscent of Marx’s warning in capital of the immiseration of the proletariat. Furthermore, this assertion that technology is in itself liberatory and necessary for a post-scarcity society are shaky. A major gripe of mine with his work is that he provides no evidence that it is not possible to have a post-scarcity society, or even communism, without automation or computers. Perhaps at the time it would not have been possible for him to predict the waste these technologies would create and the alienated forms of communication they would create, but regardless these things have become reality for modern capitalist society.

What he saw as liberatory, or having the potential for being so, has, in reality, been turned against the proletarians. Recuperation is a concept put forward by the Situationists, who Bookchin did keep up with (since he references Guy Debord at least once), and is a concept that states the existing order will take radical ideas and turn them against the pro-revolutionaries. Recuperation is what has been done to these technologies. They could be used to reduce toil, but certainly not in the market economy. Perhaps Bookchin did not mean it was, but he does not make this point clear, and uses the idea of liberatory technology to support his bizarre economic determinism, almost as a justification for the continued existence of capitalism.

I do not bring these issues up, though, to shoot down everything in Bookchin’s entire theory. In his ideas on freedom, I find his analysis correct and moving. He puts forward the belief that the ability to abolish scarcity is now a precondition to freedom… that while humans are incapable of getting all they need, and the required sacrifice through labour, they cannot truly be free. In this, we can find echoes of the communist call for the abolition of value. In addition to this, his visioni for an ecological anarchist society was, I believe, ahead of its time and has an important place in the way which “red anarchists” and communists consider the natural world and its place in a communist society, without delving deeply into the wasteland of primitivist thought. A term brought up often in his writing throughout these essays is the need for a “well-rounded man” [sic] – which seems to reconcile the apparent contradictions of a deep relationship with nature, and the need for automation and technological advance. It does this by suggesting that ones livelihood cannot be restricted to one avenue (ie, just agriculture or just industry). This is, of course, tied into the idea of the abolition wasteful work that is created by a national division of labour. In refreshingly novel terms, Bookchin has put forward some of the classic ideas of true communism – that of transforming our relationships with work, land, production, and play and not merely substituting one form of management for another.
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* Anarchosyndicalist federation
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Reklamlar

US, The Self Described Anarchist Collective – Fuck Seattle Fight NOW

Posted in Avrupa haberler, English with tags , on 19/12/2009 by Karakök

Fuck Seattle Fight NOW – Ten years after Seattle many in in radical movements are looking
to that day as an example of how we should organize, and this approach has led us down a
route of tactical repetition. In the days since Pittsburgh it has become clear to many of
us that not only have we begun to see another way of fighting, we have begun to construct
a whole other way of approaching action, an appraoch based in fluidity, affinity, and the
ability to shift with circumstances. Gone are the days of the large scale mass protest
with tactics planned down to the last detail, plans that can never adapt to any change in
circumstance. Seattle was 10 years ago and even though it is an action that inspired many
of us to get involved the conditions have changed.

From the expansion of the police state to the construction of our spaces around the
concept of “security” the state has become that much more pervasive. In the midst of this
we have begun to find new ways of organizing, fighting, and moving that are more adapted
to this shifting terrain. The static tactics of the past no longer are effective against
an ever shifting state apparatus which has spent the last 10 years figuring out how to
defeat these tactics. It is time to stop looking into the past and start seeing ourselves
as the harbingers of the future.

SDAC Shuts Down Nazi Conference – Tell All Your Friends

Yo, so it’s happening: American Renaissance is trying to have their racist, white
supremacist conference right here in our own backyard (VA, what up), February 19 – 21– but
not without hitches. The Self Described Anarchist Collective, concurrently though not
coordinated with the R.E.A.L. organization, launched an oral sneak attack on the
mothafuckas, calling the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott to demand they un-host the
racists. Proving that there’s power in the phone lines, the hotel reversed their decision
on hosting them and gave them the boot! Power to the People. Next stop: the next skeezy
hotel that tries to host these bastards. Try it if you dare.

-SDAC

Ainfos

US, Phoenix: Inglourious Basterds Bloc against the nazi NSM, Nov 7

Posted in Haberler with tags , , on 26/10/2009 by Karakök

antinaziflier

US, The first meeting to start organizing the 2010 NYC Anarchist Book Fair will be Tuesday

Posted in Avrupa haberler, Direnis, Duyurular, English with tags , on 01/10/2009 by Karakök

The first meeting to start organizing the 2010 NYC Anarchist Book Fair will be Tuesday, October 6, 7pm at ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St on the Lower East Side. All are welcome! If you can’t make this meeting, contact info [at] anarchistbookfair [dot] net so that we can keep you posted about future meetings and working group contacts.

artebookfair2-med

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to all who attended the 3rd Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair!

New York City, a center of anarchist life, culture, struggle, and ideas for 150 years, has hosted three NYC Anarchist Book Fairs so far, with the next one coming up in April 2010. If you would like to be involved in the organizing collective, please email info [at] anarchistbookfair [dot] net.

The goal of the book fair is to enable people to connect with one another as well as to provide broader access to the rich and varied field of anarchist ideas and practices. We’re living in interesting times; as they say, crisis equals both risk and opportunity. Now is the perfect time to be exploring those ideas and practices and bringing them into play in our communities and the world.

Whether you are an old anarchist with deep ties and knowledge or anarcho-curious and looking to find out more about anarchy, the NYC Anarchist Book Fair is for you. It’s a place where the ideas, activism, ethics, creativity and history of the contemporary anarchist movement come together in an exciting weekend of community and collaboration.

The Book Fair has adopted a policy of zero-tolerance for racist, sexist, queer-phobic, and other disrespectful behavior that works against an environment of tolerance and inclusiveness for a truly diverse range of communities.

To contact the NYC Anarchist Book Fair Organizing Collective to make a donation or get more information, email us at

info [at] anarchistbookfair [dot] net.

 

 

US, Anarchist journal, Nor’easter Issue 6 Out Now!

Posted in Avrupa haberler, English, Haberler with tags , , on 14/09/2009 by Karakök

Revolutionary summer salutations from the Nor’easter Collective! —- It’s been a crazy
summer, but Issue 6 of the Nor’easter is out now and ready to storm the Northeast and
beyond! Our previous issue received a great response and saw increased distribution
throughout the northeast, and as far as Seattle, Los Angeles and Austin. We would like to
thank everyone who ordered copies of Issue 5, and would like to encourage groups,
bookstores, individuals, etc. to order copies for outreach, education and plugging in! As
always, copies are available by mail in bundles of 50 for $15 to cover printing and
shipping costs. —- In Issue 6, you’ll find updates from Pittsburgh organizing and
strategizing against the G-20, a report from the solidarity caravan to Cuba, a speech by
Ramona Africa, group reports, events and more!

Last but definitely not least, we want to hear from you! If you’ve got a pitch for a
story; if your group is working hard on a campaign; or if you want to introduce your local
efforts to the region and beyond, send us an email about submissions for Issue 7, due out
in December (deadlines will be in mid-November). After all, what are we without
contributions from local groups and projects? You make the news, we just print it!

-Nor’easter Collective

US, NYC, Meeting and Info Event of the Pittsburgh G20 Resistance

Posted in Avrupa haberler, English, Haberler with tags , , on 27/08/2009 by Karakök

The Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project will be visiting NYC this weekend. Come hear about what’s been happening in Pittsburgh and how New Yorkers are mobilizing to participate in the protests. On Saturday, August 29th from 3pm til 6pm, folks will be meeting at 84 Havemeyer Street (near Metropolitan Ave), the Change You Want To See Gallery in Williamsburg to talk about ways New Yorkers can plug into the rapidly growing resistance to the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA. —- We will be visited that day by the good folks from the Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project, who will better inform us of the goals and strategies of those currently working in Pittsburgh. —- After this information session and Q&A, we will be talking more about specific ways that folks here in New York can get involved. So if you have ideas, resources, skills or talents to share, please drop us a line at nycresistg20@gmail.com, or call 646.894.3037. We can only do this with everyone’s help!

We’re especially in need of folks who are willing to help take on the following:

– Transportation

– Fundraising

– Skillshare/Workshop Organizing

– Local Outreach

See you all there!
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Copied from infoshop.org
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* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiative

82-year-old Skeletons in a 19-year-old’s Closet By Dave

Posted in Avrupa haberler, Direnis, Duyurular, English with tags , on 11/08/2009 by Karakök

Eighty-two years ago, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts executed two Italian immigrants. The arrest, trial and conviction of the co-defendants were permeated with bias against immigrants, against Italians, against workers, and against radicals. The judge sentenced them both to death for a payroll robbery and murder that few actually believe they committed.

Does this story sound familiar? Could it be something the Globe ran a few weeks ago? Such was the trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian Anarchists executed for the murder of a paymaster and guard in South Braintree, MA.

It was called the most important trial of the 20th century, the greatest miscarriage of justice in American history, the case that will not die, and the themes of the trial still resonate today. Every aspect of the judicial process, from the arrest to the execution, was driven by prejudice, and the bureaucrats responsible for the condemnation of Sacco and Vanzetti were ruthless. Judge Webster Thayer was a staunchly conservative `hanging judge’ whose rulings came down like an iron fist. After denying five motions for a new trial in 1924, Thayer was heard to remark to a colleague, “Did you see what I did with those anarchistic bastards the other day? I guess that will hold them for a while!” Thayer sentenced the men to death based on fabricated evidence, the coercion of witnesses, and the dismissal of working class Italian witnesses, all of which were antics orchestrated by the other man culpable for the deaths of Sacco and Vanzetti.

The District Attorney of Norfolk and Plymouth Counties was Frederick Katzmann, who stirred up biases and hatred against immigrant radicals and called upon the jurors’ patriotism, calling for them to stand together against the threat that radicals and immigrants posed to the American way of life. Frederick Katzmann was an ill-hearted villain in the trial. Frederick Katzmann was also my Great-Great-Grandfather. As an Anarchist with Italian heritage, I was taught from a young age that my ancestor Fredrick Katzmann did the right thing in the trial.

My family, and my mother especially, kept our lineage secret for a long time, fearing repression, which, perhaps, was not unjustified at first; Thayer’s house was bombed in 1932 and Katzmann’s home was guarded by a police detail until 1933. But in 2009, from whom does she fear repression? Perhaps from the stereotypical Italian Mafia that one watches in the movies? Perhaps from the very same Anarchists whose ranks I have joined? I personally have no idea. But the family lies and fear stop here. I do not respect or admire Frederick Katzmann, but instead I seek to continue the legacy of struggle left by Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.

The oppressive systems from the 1920s have changed all too little. The state is still free to kill whomever it sees fit, whether utilizing its judicial system or not. Though today’s immigrants tend to come from other parts of the world, they are still discriminated against, subject to raids, rounded up and deported en masse. Unnervingly, today’s immigrants, coming largely from Latin America and the Caribbean, are persecuted by Irish cops, Italian judges and
descendants of other oppressed European immigrants, elevated to these positions of authority now that the definition of whiteness has expanded to include them.

Justice for the working poor remains elusive while the state has extravagant means of repressing radicals who challenge the root causes of tyranny and threaten the status quo. As long as folks like my Great-Great-Grandfather stay in control of the system, we don’t have a chance. Worldwide, though, resistance is burning as bright as the heart of every person who stands against oppression. Now is the time to overcome our past to build a better future.
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* A General Anarchist Union in the Boston Area

A Infos

http://boston.indymedia.org/usermedia/application/1/206465_Baam16_Complete.pdf
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