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.
Well, it is that time of the year again – the London Anarchist bookfair is just a month or so away! I am going through the proof-edited version of my Kropotkin Anthology Direct Struggle Against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology (AK Press America have it on their webpage, with cover). The aim is for publication in the spring of 2014 and that is still on course, glad to say. I’m excited about it – it should be the definitive anthology of Kropotkin and show him for what has was, a practical revolutionary and class warrior, rather than the “gentle prince of co-operation” nonsense. Whether I succeed will depend on the reader!
Back from holiday and back into work – both work-work and union-work. Not much fun, time consuming and energy draining – but needed. Currently fighting an brazen attempt by management to make a few people redundant on particularly spurious grounds but luckily we have less hoops to jump through in terms of strike action this time. Things like this just drive home how inefficient and wasteful hierarchical workplaces (wage-labour!) are.
In part 1 of this series, I discussed how Blackledge’s claims on how Marx embraced new forms of democracy ignored the awkward fact that anarchists had done so years before Marx did in 1871. In part 2, I discussed the ambiguities of democracy and the relation of anarchism and Marxism to it.
It is with a sad heart that I do this blog - Iain Banks, the Scottish writer, has died at a far too early age. Reading the interview published in last Saturday's Guardian, it is obvious that one of the good guys has shuffled off this moral coil. In terms of his writings, I've only read his Science Fiction works and I would recommend them to all anarchist SF fans - particularly the Culture series.
First off, I should mention my A Brief History of Anarchism article I posted to celebrate May Day. This was a write-up of a talk I gave at Housemans bookshop to mark the publication of volume 2 of An Anarchist FAQ. It was a well attended event and the speech seemed to have went down well. They may have me back for something to do with Proudhon.
Before continuing my critique of “Freedom and Democracy: Marxism, Anarchism and the Problem of Human Nature” by SWPer Paul Blackledge, I should note I’ve posted a (longish) review of a reprinted biography of Lucy Parsons. This book is a terrible due to it being completely unreliable on anarchism. On issues I know a bit about (like anarchism!), I can state that it is not only wrong but also misleading so I would take anything it claims with a large pinch of salt.
First off, my latest book Direct Struggle Against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology has been sent to the publishers for proof-editing. AK Press are seeking to get it out for spring of 2014. The contents are as before and the introduction has been finished after being circulated to Lucien van der Walt, David Berry and Brian Morris (all of whose books I heartily recommend). Details will be published here once I know more.
First off, happy New Year and all the best 2013! Second, update on the Kropotkin anthology. The work is progressing well – the Kropotkin texts, glossary, bibliography and biographical sketch have been sent to AK Press. Just the introduction to do and the title of this blog is inspired by the work I’m doing on the introduction to the book. Simply put, my research has reminded me of why Kropotkin was so highly respected during his lifetime. On issue after issue, he has been proven completely correct.
Well, the anarchist bookfair has come and gone. I had a good time, did not spend too much on books and saw a few people I’ve not seen for a while. But since then, the usual grind of work-work and union-work has taken its toil, although I’ve managed to write up my two talks – one on anarchism and syndicalism, the other on anarchist economics.