Anarcho's blog

Talk: What it means to be libertarian (London, 28-Oct-2017)

Yes, it is that time of the year again – the London Anarchist Bookfair. This year’s Bookfair will be on Saturday 28th October from 10am to 7pm at Park View School, West Green Road, London, N15 3QR. As usual, I have a talk entitled – after some humming-and-hawing about doing a Poverty of Philosophy related one (too niche) – as follows:

Kropotkin: Antimilitarism and Revolution (1905)

As I may have mentioned before, I am a firm believer in the need to understand and study history – particularly of anarchism and anarchists. I do not think we can know where we are – or how to progress – without have a grasp of how we got to where we are now. If we do not know our own history, we are at the mercy of those who do – or, more likely, those who claim they do.

Kropotkin: The Russo-Japanese War (1904)

I have been somewhat quieter than normal for the last two months. Suffice to say, been a bit busy. First, I finished my introduction to Kropotkin’s Modern Science and Anarchy and sent it to AK Press. I also completed my chapter (“The State and Revolution: Theory and Practice”) of forthcoming AK Press Russian Revolution book.

Libertarian, Proudhon and “Modern Science and Anarchy” Update

First, an update on the progress of Kropotkin’s Modern Science and Anarchy. The good news is that I have now completely revised all the translations – new and old. It has been sent to AK Press now – so Kropotkin’s final book (ignoring the posthumous and unfinished Ethics) will finally appear complete in English translation. Just 104 years after it appeared in French. Still, it is just 25 years since his first book – Words of a Rebel – appeared complete in English translation!

Kropotkin: Will the Revolution be Collectivist?

And a happy new year for everyone. Better late than never. While 2016 personally was great, globally it was a bit of a bummer. Not least Carrie Fisher at the year’s end. George Michael's was sad: never was a big Wham! fan (or, indeed, any sort of fan as a lot of the early stuff was terrible) but musically some of his songs were good and he had an excellent voice (the only person I could see replacing Freddie in front of Queen - as shown by "Somebody to Love"). However, post his "little incident" (and "Outside" is a great disco song), I became more of a fan -- not least for his concerts for NHS staff, general acts of kindness and his anti-war comments (never expected to utter the words "if only the Prime Minister had listened to the lead-singer of Wham! things would be a lot better"). Which shows you why liberty and equality is so important - people should not be forced to hide who they are. So Xmas could have been better...

“Modern Science and Anarchy” update, on “union bosses” and more

Well, not blogged for a while. Sorry, but as John Lennon said, “life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”. So a few words on “union bosses”, progress on Modern Science and Anarchy and a summary of the meetings from October – before the all-important wishing everyone a happy winter solstice and a better 2017!

Two talks in October (Glasgow and London)

Again, things have not went as intended. Kropotkin's Modern Science and Anarchy involves a lot more work than I expected. Simply put, the 1912 British edition is quite different to (Section I of) the 1913 French version. The latter was revised (along with the other sections) so there is quite a few additions. However, sometimes there are sentances in the British edition which do not exist in the French. Also, sometimes the words used by the translator are, well, interesting and sometimes the language is dated. So I am revising the whole essay "Modern Science and Anarchy" and the final book version will be significantly different from the 1912 version -- not least, because of the inclusion of material in the French edition not in it. Whether this was a abridgement or the French edition an expansion, I am not sure -- maybe both.

An Anarchist FAQ after 20 years

It is now 20 years since An Anarchist FAQ (AFAQ) was officially launched and six years since the core of it was completed (version 14.0). Its has been published by AK Press as well as translated into numerous languages. It has been quoted and referenced by other works. So it has been a success – although when it was started I had no idea what it would end up like.

Kropotkin (and Malatesta and Lenin) on war

Well, the UK has – narrowly – voted to leave the EU. It was, in many ways, two-fingers to a system (neo-liberalism) which has failed so many across the UK – yet this failure was home-grown, in Thatcherism rather than the EU. Even areas which received large investment from the EU (such as parts of Wales and Cornwall) voted to leave – if the Westminster elite actually cared about these areas then the EU would not have needed to invest money there. So we can fully expect – once the Tory leadership campaign and its populist rhetoric has ended – that the money that will not be given to the EU will be spent by the Tories to cut taxes for the top 5%...

To Leave or not to leave? That is not the question

Well, I’ve posted a review of Social Democracy & Anarchism in the International Workers’ Association 1864-1877 by René Berthier. It is, in general, a very good book -- I only disagree with his position that revolutionary anarchism (communist-anarchism) marked a break with Bakunin’s ideas.

  


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