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...
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!
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.
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.
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%...
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.
Apologies for the long delay in blogging – much has changed in my live (all for the better I must add!) and had to concentrate on that. So new job, new location, new life. The net effect on this is no commuting (so probably less time to read) and a concentration on my day job – but also a break from being a union rep (back to being an active member for a while).
This blog is kind of a repeat. What seems like ages ago, I posted Engels on The Housing Question and Proudhon which had an appendix on my planned reply to Marx’s The Philosophy of Philosophy. Imagine my surprise when – this weekend – I was looking for a quote from Proudhon’s The Philosophy of Progress and had a look at it again and discovered that the post was truncated – including the appendix on “The Housing Question.” Opps.
First off, happy New Year! I hope 2016 will be a good one – so far, it looks like it will be for me. Big changes are coming and that will probably mean, for a while, fewer articles and blogs. But, then, I’ve not been that prolific recently. I have, however, found the time to get a rare Kropotkin translation revised and which is presented below in full for the first time.
First off, I have posted my “A Few Thoughts on Anarchism” which has appeared in (I think) edited form in the new issue of Black Flag. It marks the 175th anniversary of Proudhon’s What is Property? and, as regular reader know, I do like marking anniversaries of the movement. It places anarchism in its intellectual and social context and disputes the notion that anarchism can be best considered as a fusion (or confusion) of liberalism and socialism. It is not.