John Clark
The Tao of Anarchy How Modern Anarchism Echoes Ancient Wisdom

This essay originally appeared in John Clark’s now out-of-print The Anarchist Moment: Reflections on Culture, Nature and Power (Black Rose Books, Montreal, 1984) as “Master Lao and the Anarchist Prince.” John is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Environmental Studies at Loyola University, New Orleans. He edits the Freeport Watch Bulletin, covering the activities of the evil Freeport-McMoRan mining corporation from POB 79, Loyola Univ., New Orleans LA 70118.

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John Clark
Letter from New Orleans Reclusian Reflections on an Unnatural Disaster

The following letter was sent to an International Conference on Elisee Reclus, the 19th century anarchist geographer and political theorist. The conference, which was held in Milan on October 12–13, was one of several planned for 2005 to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Reclus’ birth and the 100th anniversary of his death. I was invited to do a presentation but couldn’t leave New Orleans to attend. Fortunately, our electricity, which had been out for almost six weeks, resumed shortly before the conference, and I was able to write the letter hastily and find a place to email it. It arrived in Milan the day before the conference and was read during the proceedings, and it will be translated and published in the Italian anarchist magazine Libertaria.

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John Clark
Remembering Helen Hill A New Orleans community comes together after the murder of a friend and activist

On February 24, I joined a large crowd to march in a jazz funeral celebrating the life of our friend, the filmmaker and community activist, Helen Hill. Helen was murdered at her home on January 4 by an intruder whose motives remain a mystery.

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Hundreds of people gathered in the Mid-City neighborhood at the home that she once shared with her husband, Paul Gailiunas, a doctor, musician, and fellow community activist, and their small child, Francis Pop.

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John Clark
Introduction to “A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place To Be”

Ursula Le Guin’s works typically recount the story of a voyage. Whether or not this voyage traverses vast distances of space, it is always an epic journey of the spirit. It is a kind of vision quest in which we who allow ourselves to be taken along confront the strange, the alien, the other, only to return with a deeper understanding of ourselves. We gain a better sense of who we are, but as is perhaps more crucial, we gain insight into where we are. In the end, the voyage is a journey home.

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John Clark
Occupy New Orleans Fights Off the authoritarian Left to defend Horizontalism

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Anarchists lead the way in a May Day march. Authoritarian leftists tried to intervene in Occupy New Orleans but were rebuffed. --photo: N. Krebill

It was encouraging to see large numbers of anarchists and anti-authoritarians at a late March Occupy New Orleans General Assembly (OccupyNOLA). As one of the participants mentioned, Occupy is in many ways the most significant grassroots uprising since the Vietnam Era.

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John Clark
The Society of the Spectacle Reconsidered Good Marx or Bad Marx?

a review of

The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord

Newly translated & annotated by Ken Knabb,

Bureau of Public Secrets, 2014, 150 pages. $15. bopsecrets.org

For those interested in Situationist ideas, this is an auspicious time to reconsider Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle, originally published in 1967. Ken Knabb’s recently revised translation is a valuable resource for the study of Debord and the Situationists.

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John Clark
Happy Birthday, Utopia! (You Deserve a Present)

This year marks five-hundred years since the appearance of English social philosopher, author, statesman, and Renaissance humanist Thomas More’s famous Utopia. We might also consider that it is just over five-hundred years since the definitive anti-utopia, Machiavelli’s The Prince was published.

We might say that the entire modern age has been a struggle between utopia and anti-utopia. Even more, it is a struggle between utopia and the dystopia that is at the heart of the dominant utopia.

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John Clark
Sam Dolgoff A Life at the center of American anarchism for seventy years

a review of

Left of the Left: My Memories of Sam Dolgoff by Anatole Dolgoff; Introduction by Andrew Cornell. AK Press, 2016, 391 pp., $22.

Anatole Dolgoff is a great story-teller. He does the kind of writing that is rare on the left. It never seems to occur to most political writers that entertaining people is not a bad thing. It occurs all the time to Anatole.

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John Clark
The Geography of Possibility Simon Springer on the Spaces of Liberation

a review of

The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Toward Spatial Emancipation by Simon Springer. University of Minnesota Press, 2016

Anyone who wants evidence that anarchist geography is alive and well today need only read this book. The author, Simon Springer, is one of the most active anarchist intellectuals today. In 2016, he authored two books and edited five, mostly on anarchist themes, and he has written numerous articles, some technical, but many deeply immersed in contemporary struggles.

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John Clark
Anything Can Happen—Or Not May 1968 & the Question of Possibility

“Sous les paves, la plage!” [Under the paving stones, the beach!]

—Revolutionary slogan; Paris 1968

1968 was an “Anything Can Happen” kind of year.

It was the year of the Prague Spring, the Tet Offensive, President LBJ’s abdication, massive student protests, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the police riots at the Chicago Democratic Convention. The most historically momentous occurrence of that year was the May June uprising and general strike by students and workers in France.

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John Clark
The Revolution Will be Powered by Shakti Energy Lessons from Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya Biodiversity Farm

I traveled to Dharamsala, India in 2005 to set up a one-month summer study program, in collaboration with the Louisiana Himalaya Association, and have taken groups of students there periodically since then. During last summer’s trip, we visited renowned ecofeminist theorist and activist Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya Biodiversity Farm. We toured the fields and the seed bank, heard lectures by staff members specializing in various areas of agroecology, and were extremely fortunate that Shiva herself could speak to our small group about Navdanya and the ecofeminist politics of Earth Democracy.

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