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.
This will of necessity be a short posting. Life, as always these days, seems far too busy! Email and article/review writing has suffered, so apologies if you are expecting a reply or wondering why I’ve not posted any pieces here for a while. Just now I’m working on my Kropotkin anthology and two talks for this year’s London Anarchist Bookfair on October 27th at Queen Mary, University of London (Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS).
Well, another month passes and I’ve not done as much as I would have liked. To be honest, I don’t seem to have enough time (or energy!) to do everything I want (or used to!). Even in terms of the Kropotkin anthology, I’ve not really got going on the introduction yet (although the bibliography is finished barring some new information coming my way). Still, I have some good news and some bad news.
I've been working on the new Kropotkin Anthology, concentrating on listing the various works by Kropotkin. This is the first draft of my activities. As will become clear, there is a significant amount of articles which have never been translated or have not been republished from Freedom.
A few months ago, I announced that I was starting to work on an anthology of Kropotkin’s works for AK Press (A Peter Kropotkin Anthology). This is an update – and as well as an update, I’m including a rare letter from Kropotkin to the British syndicalist paper The Voice of Labour as a taster.
When I was producing my recent lengthy response to yet more AWL nonsense about anarchism, it got me thinking about precisely the difference between communism and syndicalism within anarchism. This lead me think about the importance of narrative, of how we explain ideas and movements.