A short update. Suffice to say, I’m been very busy of late. I decided to get back to revising An Anarchist FAQ, namely its appendices – starting with the critique of David McNally’s terrible “Socialism from Below” pamphlet. It has taken more time than I had anticipated – mostly due to how bad it is.
This article is an attempt to investigate certain problems of the left via the lens of micropolitics and macropolitics, terms first introduced by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (henceforth D&G). Faced with the challenging nature of texts from post-structuralist thinkers like D&G or Foucault, many people make the assumption that they are really motivated by an elitist desire to confuse, intimidate and befuddle the masses and divert theory into useless abstractions, far removed from the concerns of ordinary people for social transformation and liberation from oppression and exploitation. However a careful reading of D&G’s Micropolitics and Segmentarity chapter in “A Thousand Plateaus” (ATP) reveals they have two main objects in their theorising there - to make sense of the experience of fascism in the 1930s and 1940s and the (then) more recent uprisings of Paris May ‘68. We will try to extend that to looking at more recent problems, passing via the Poll Tax riots of 1990 to looking at today’s current controversies around intersectionality
IMAGE: By Azirlazarus (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
In what appears to be an attempt to deflect attention from a string of paedophile priest scandals the Catholic Church in Poland has launched an attack on what it is calling gender theory. It's reactionary theological musings are tricky to unpick but in essence the church seems to be trying to use the fact that people's gender identities can be other than what they were assigned or simply fluid and that in any case do not define who they are in a 'blue for boys, pink for girls' fashion, to create a populist panic in defence of 'traditional' male privilege.
This is an old forum post from October 2012. I sought it out recently as I needed the Cliff reference for something I am currently working on in relation to asymmetry as a basic anarchist strategic principle, alongside prefiguration. I repost it here for my own records and future reference convenience.
[in answer to the question: "What's the absolute minimum someone has to believe in order to be an anarchist]
Happy new year! Hope everyone has a good 2014. First post of the year, namely a review of Alex Prichard’s Justice, Order and Anarchy: The International Political Theory of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (Routledge, 2013). As yous will see, I think it is rather good. Hopefully this will see the start of a general better understanding of Proudhon’s ideas in the English speaking world – at the very least, within anarchist circles.
The nostalgic left is a bit of shorthand I’ve started using for those on the left who have reacted to the disintegration of the old left by wishing for idealised simpler times. And perhaps more strangely blaming the collapse on what they see as threatening new developments, like intersectionality. They hold such newfangled nonsense responsible for the current failure of the left to get an echo from the general population.
Well, been busy and so have not blogged for a while. Did find time to do a long-ish review article on Victor Serge (suffice to say, I do think he is over-rated). The Black Flag meeting at the bookfair went well and it looks like Black Flag is going to keep doing – at least that is what the well attended meeting concluded. I will be getting the new collective going in the new year.
I am part of this 'Landscapes of Crisis' photography exhibition and discussion in Dublin this coming Thursday with three other activist photographers. As regular readers will know I started to take photography a bit more seriously a couply of years ago, mostly because of my involvement in pro-choice activism and in particular as it says in the notes below coming our of my experience of the pro-Choice meeting in Maynooth when other speakers were quite excited by the fact I'd a handful of photos from the time of the student struggles and the X-Case. It was the anti-choice Youth Defencd march of the summer of 2011 that then pushed me into getting a 'real camera' rather than a good point & click and once i had an SLR (Canon 60D) I discovered a growing interest in photography as a thing in itself.
Austerity Kills - the clear message sent out by the 'Spectacle of Defiance & Hope' display in front of last Saturday's Dublin Council of Trade Unions march against another austerity budget. The march itself was poorly attended, under 1000 people, and there was some really silly 'get our flags/ banners upfront' stuff going on from a few group both during the march and the speeches at the end.
The start of September saw a walking tour organised by the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project to mark the anniverseries of the 1913 Lockout and the collapses of two tenement houses on 2nd September 1913 which resulted in the death of seven people. The tour started at the statue of Jim Larkin on O'Connel st and proceeded via 6 stops to the site of the collapse where relatives of those killed laid wreaths. There was then the launch of a commermorative pamphlet and a social in the Cobblestone Pub.
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