A Brief History of Anarchist Fiction
People sometimes inquire what form of government is most suitable for an artist to live under. To this question there is only one answer. The form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all
-- Oscar Wilde
I used to see my interests in anarchism and fiction as wholly separate things, because I didn’t know there was any overlap. None of my activist friends were writing stories--at least that they told me about--and I hadn’t yet realized how rich the history of anarchist fiction is. But there are anarchists, philosophical and active alike, in mainstream fiction--it’s just that their politics are rarely shown to the world. There are writers among the activists, but their writing is rarely distributed. And there is a remarkable, broad history of multilingual anarchist culture from around the world, although most of it is hidden by obscurity or time.
Oct 30, 2013
The Anarchist Utopian Imagination
Second Reality: What the future could look like.
“There’s a kind of desire that, whenever it arises, is censored scientifically, morally, politically. The ruling reality tries to stamp it out. This desire is the dream of a second reality.”
-- P.M., bolo’bolo
In the introduction to his anarchist utopian book, bolo’bolo, author P.M. describes why we need visions of positive futures. Second realities, as he calls them, are necessary, else we find that “the only choice [is] that between the Machine’s own dream and the refusal of any activity.”
Sep 30, 2013
We Will Not Be Broken
Jerry Koch, Grand Jury Resister
We packed the courtroom to overflowing, some of our number forced to wait nervously in the hall outside. Jerry Koch, a New York City anarchist and legal activist, stood calmly and silently as his lawyer went through the motions of arguing against his incarceration and the judge yelled at her.
Nov 12, 2013
Portrait of a Snitch
Documentary examines the mind of FBI informant, Brandon Darby
a review of
Informant: A documentary directed and written by Jamie Meltzer. Information at informantdoc.com; also Netflix.
In Jamie Meltzer’s 2012 documentary, “Informant,” we’re taken into the home and mind of the FBI informant of the title, Brandon Darby, infamous within U.S. anarchist circles for responsibility for the arrests and conviction of activists during the 2008 Republican National Convention.
Jul 16, 2014
The Fall of Ekset City
Ekset City was on fire. Flares and napalm and hammers and bullets and the angry minds of angry men were tearing through three hundred years of architecture and three thousand years of culture. At the center of the city, a bonfire engulfed the seven pillars of Ekset. A frightful horde of humans paraded through, warming their hands on the pyre of victory and sacrificing every trace of goblin culture to the consuming flames. Black smoke rose up so thick and high it fought against the glory of the sun.
Mar 26, 2015
A Brief History of Anarchist Fiction
Excerpted and reprinted from Fifth Estate #385, Fall, 2011.
Without even knowing it, you’ve read anarchist fiction. There are literary greats like Leo Tolstoy (“The Anarchists are right in everything ... They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by revolution.” [“On Anarchy,” 1900]), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Henry Miller (”[An anarchist] is exactly what I am. Have been all my life.” [Conversations With Henry Miller, 1994]), Dambudzo Marechera (“If you are a writer for a specific nation or a specific race, then fuck you.”), Ba Jin, Carolyn Chute, J.M. Coetzee (“What is wrong with politics is power itself.” [Diary of a Bad Year, 2007]), Jorge Luis Borges, and William Blake, and other popular fiction authors like Alan Moore, Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, Robert Shea, Norman Spinrad, B. Traven, Kurt Vonnegut, Ethel Mannin, and Edward Abbey.
Sep 9, 2018