Conspiracy, Complicity, and the Left
Back in October 2002, driving from the hills to the anti-war rally in the city, we had plenty of time to talk. Conversation immediately turned to a possible conspiracy behind the plane crash the previous day. Did Bush’s people assassinate liberal senator Paul Wellstone just days before his possible re-election?
Jan 5, 2017
“Not only religious zealots but economists, social theorists, technologists, nuclear critics, population experts, ecologists and political ideologues agree that an unprecedented shift in man’s world—whether catastrophic or beatific—is inevitable within the next half-century.”
—Richard Heinberg, Memories and Visions of Paradise
Jul 16, 2016
Leftism, nihilism, and the anarchy I seek
A review essay of some current propaganda
Read and considered, perused and recommended, liked and disliked, discussed and commented on in the following section:
Green Anarchy (current issue available from FE books for $4 or free with any book order, while supplies last) Issues #16 and 17, Spring and Summer 2004 PO Box 11331, Eugene, OR 97440 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jun 13, 2016
The communalism of desire
Notes on the gift economy
The fear of communism comes with the notion that the State will take away our things, force us to share with unworthy neighbors, and leave us without self-determination. That contributes to why we need to replace communism with communalism.
To avoid old-school communism and the welfare office, the working-class and middle-class servants of post-industrial capitalism willingly suffer all sorts of indignities, while tolerating, for the global underclass, an unprecedented neo-slavery of staggering horror. A unipolar, neoliberal, global capitalism has emerged, and we face the accelerating influence of a global junta motivated by purely mercantile interests. The crushing one-world economic system has resuscitated the need for a revolutionary alternative; to counter the new boss, radicals might create a sustainable, communal opposition. To reclaim the communal alternative, we must un-hinge communism from its authoritarian baggage and purge forever the tendency to form vanguardist bureaucracies when voluntary, horizontal associations are all that we need. Abolishing wage work and private property, socializing all necessities such as food, land, and water: these demands continue the classic precepts of anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian communism. But today, we can extend these classic notions and envision an even more radical gift economy as the only alternative to capitalism.
Nov 11, 2015
Life in the Kali Yuga: Civilization as Tsunami
A natural disaster is not a moral event, but how we respond to a disaster inevitably is. If the tsunami demonstrates that the earth is not on anyone’s “side,” then it behooves us even more to be on the side of the earth.
The awesome magnitude and incomprehensible physical destruction and human suffering caused by the tsunami that ravaged and rattled the earth in December render any statement about it, any explanation, painfully inadequate. Towns were demolished, villages and whole stands of trees smashed to splinters, trains swept off their tracks and bent and twisted like toys. People were swept back into the sea, crushed under rubble, pulled from each other and drowned in the flood waters, left mangled and askew in trees and power lines by the terrible waves.
Mar 9, 2014
Wobbly Without Work?
Reflections on the IWW anniversary
If there’s any idea promoted by the Wobblies that needs revision, it’s their concept of “One Big Union.” Even if one big union were doable, it may not be desirable. If I had to bet on it, I’d predict it will be One Big Corporation that will demonstrate to us the dystopian nature of “uniting” seven billion people. (Look for a global company like WorldMart in the future.) While the international capitalist system should stimulate global solidarity among non-elites, our struggles and solutions are necessarily local, regional, and decentralized.
Jun 6, 2015
After the Deluge, Processed World
a review of
After the Deluge: A Novel of Post-Economic San Francisco by Chris Carlsson. Full Enjoyment Books, 2004, $14 from the Barn or available for free download at fullenjoymentbooks.com
Processed World, 2005 edition, $7 from the Barn, or processedworld.com
Even alienated office nerds and overachieving, working class intellectuals need an anti-authoritarian forum. That’s how I remember Processed World (PW) from my immersion in the anarchist zine scene of the 1980s. Unmistakably Bay Area in its bad attitude and aesthetic orientation, it was as much a staple of the Reagan-era underground and its left coast, printed propaganda as Homocore and Maximum Rock n Roll.
Jun 8, 2015
Love, Liberation & the Internal Revolution
“In any form of duality, the one we have judged as inferior is the one that rules us.”
Of all the intoxicating notions of insurrection, “without borders” is one of the most enduring. The toppling of walls, the deletion of divisions, the repudiation of alienation and separation remains an ever-elusive vision and immediate attraction.
May 7, 2015
Folk is Punk
a review of
Starlight on the Rails: Songbook, U. Utah Phillips, 4 CDs, AK Press, 2005, $39
Memory Against Forgetting, Casey Neill, CD, AK Press, 2005, $15. Available from http://akpress.org
Anarchist ideals have been expressed in a myriad of musical genres from rock to funk to jazz to world to trance. But the forms thoroughly connected to agit-prop are the most exemplary to me as they are extreme: folk, rap, and punk. This is not to say there’s never any revolutionary aspect to a saxophone riff or violin solo--or even an intoxicating sample tweaked to perfection on a laptop.
May 10, 2015
Lower East Side Librarian Winter Solstice Shout Out
a review of
Lower East Side Librarian Winter Solstice Shout Out. Contact Jenna Free at leslzine--at--gmail--dot--com for barter to library workers; $3 to everyone else.
With the new age personal ‘zine found on blogs and in online journals, the photocopied pamphlet as personal soapbox has become a novel antiquity. But in all its cut-and-paste glory, Jenna Free’s annual Shout Out is the best of what this genre can and should be.
May 12, 2015
Wilson’s Green Alchemy & Magick Poetry
a review of
Gothick Institutions by Peter Lamborn Wilson. Xexoxial Editions. Dreamtime Village, 2005. 76 pages, $10. http://www.xexoxial.org. Available from the Barn.
A new Peter Wilson book is already a cause for celebration, but this lush collaboration exceeds even my already high expectations. Made beautiful by the production team of Miekal And Zon Wakest team at Dreamtime Village, our wise and playful rebel wields his waking fantasy to distill wild speculation in a dense and delirious brew of brave meditation.
May 12, 2015
‘Nothing Can Prepare You for New Orleans’
Nothing can prepare you for New Orleans. All the dramatic rhetoric, righteous anger, extravagant allegory, profligate tears, and urgent broadcasts of need have not been wasted.
If some well-intentioned money has been squandered in a vortex of government and charity bureaucracy, all the love, prayer, intention, direct action, and indignation could not be better spent than on saving this amazing spiritual and cultural homeland.
Apr 24, 2015
Octavia Estelle Butler
(June 22, 1947 — February 24, 2006)
When I learned of Octavia Butler’s death in late February 2006, I fought the feelings of loss. A longtime fan and student of her science fiction and fantasy, I never stopped sensing synchronicity and strangeness when I found that other radicals were reading her work. On the occasion of her passing, London’s Independent described her as “the central figure in the relatively close-knit community of black writers of the fantastic in America.”
Mar 21, 2015
A Revolution without Enemies
Allen Ginsberg & the Poetics of Psychedelic Anarchism
An experimental rant titled “Radical Poetry, Heretical Religion, and the Psychedelic Revolution” provided the germ and genesis for this rambling, review-essay.
I delivered that sermon in my over-the-top Reverend Bonobo mode for a gathering in western North Carolina called “Croatan.” Held in late April 2006, the event featured lectures by the likes of scientist and scholar of mind-altering substances Dennis McKenna (brother of the late Terence McKenna), late nights of electronic dance music, and thunderous spring rains that sprayed us all with epic torrents.
Mar 31, 2015
a review of
Endgame, Volume I: The Problem of Civilization, Volume 2: Resistance by Derrick Jensen. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006
“Do not listen to me.”
--Derrick Jensen, Endgame
Derek Jensen, author of A Language Older Than Words and The Culture of Make Believe, has become a best-selling author and a popular lecturer at conferences and campuses. If mainstream environmentalists would reform industrial civilization through sustainable practices, Derrick Jensen wants to destroy it by any means necessary. No pacifist with illusions about transforming civilization into a wild, primal culture through love and nonviolence, he fantasizes about blowing up dams. He’s sticking it to the man to save the salmon. Jensen wants a wild world, and he demands doing “whatever it takes to get there.”
Mar 4, 2015
Anarchy in Murfreesboro
Emma Goldman & Zines Come to Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee is hardly known worldwide as a hotbed of radical activism, underground publishing, or anarchist feminism.
Other than a small but surprisingly relevant independent music scene and a handful of college professors and students at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), the overwhelming political mood of the place gravitates to the far right.
Feb 23, 2015
We catch ourselves reading the Book of Revelation because we cannot face the failure of the revolution. We consult the Mayan calendar and post-modern prophecies about the year 2012 because we can no longer realize mutual aid as an interpersonal policy that suffuses all of daily life.
The prevailing critique of all forms of “collapsism”--the notion that the end is both inevitable and imminent coupled with the subsequent idea that all radical acts for present transformation are thus futile--correctly chides its proponents. The latter half of the formulation finds collapsist rhetoric contributing to the contagion of apathy; this apathy then acts as a mental pesticide, drowning and choking the roots of resistance deep inside the collective consciousness of our culture. But if we are so brash as to suggest we break apart the collapsist formula, decoupling our acceptance of the inevitable from our subsequent sense of defeat, then all things are possible. It really is a go-for-broke moment, then, when we realize that tomorrow is in fact today. But why don’t our actions reflect this?
Dec 5, 2014
“We need a spiritual revolution”
A conversation with Daniel Pinchbeck
This conversation between writers Anu Bonobo & Daniel Pinchbeck--author of 2012: The Return of Quetzacoatl (2006) and Breaking Open the Head (2002) (and co-founder of RealitySandwich.com)--transpired over email in February 2007. Pinchbeck’s latest book 2012 is just out in paperback: a critical assessment of Pinchbeck’s work by Cookie Orlando follows this interview.
Dec 5, 2014
CrimethInc’s Overflowing Cup of Anarchist Elixir
reviewed in this article:
Expect Resistance: a field manual, CrimethInc., $8, CrimethInc.com
Rolling Thunder: an anarchist journal of dangerous living; P.O. Box 494, Chapel Hill NC 27514; rollingthunder — at — CrimethInc — dot — com
Why is the CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective (CWC ) the crew that the workerists love to hate? The rigidly anti-lifestyle critique leveled at-these so-called “arrogant middle-class kids” has become so commonplace that it’s as much a caricature of itself as it is an unsophisticated slag at these prolific publishers of beautifully-crafted anarchist propaganda.
Aug 20, 2014
Remembering Hanon Reznikov (1950–2008)
The Living Theatre loses a mainstay
Because art breathes on in the legacy left with the living, death cannot defeat an artist. In this eternity of the permanent present, poems and plays and songs resist the tyranny of death. While this recognition hardly dulls the sting of mortality in the hearts of the bereaved when we lose a loved one, its message rings clearly today as we celebrate the life of the late Hanon Reznikov.
Aug 20, 2014
The Living Theatre’s Erotic Revolution of Poetry, Pleasure, Play
“I’m an advocate of free love. What else can I say? I think people should do what they like, enjoy what they enjoy, and we should enjoy their enjoying what they enjoy.”
(interviewed by Jim Feast and Steve Dalachinsky)
“The work of liberation from sexual repression must be a parallel of all revolutionary work and must take place during all revolutionary stages. But there comes a point at which no further progress can be made without abolishing standards that cripple the natural man sexually, and this point comes precisely when we confront the fundamental problem of violence.
Jun 25, 2014