Anarcho's blog

On being busy, Syndicalism, Proudhon on common ownership

“And so it is Christmas, and what have you done?” So sang John Lennon on what is probably my favourite Xmas song – Happy Christmas (War is Over) (although the Pretenders’ 2000 Miles is also a favourite, but then I like the Pretenders – they do my all-time favourite song, Brass in Pocket). So what has the last few months been like? On a word, busy. Being a union rep takes up a lot of time…

Black Flag no. 234 is now out

Well, last Saturday was the London Anarchist Bookfair. I spent most of it behind the Black Flag stall and I'm happy to say we sold out of the new issue (no. 234)! Rest assured, we still have copies and they will be appearing in good bookshops soon. An announcement will be made on the Black Flag blog shortly, I assume.

A Peter Kropotkin Anthology

Well, the sections that will make up An Anarchist FAQ have been proof-read and trimmed. I’ve written the introduction to volume 2 and now can have a rest AFAQ wise. It should be out early 2012. Work is busy (as is my work as a union rep) so I don’t think I’m going to be blogging or writing as much as I would like.

Second Letter to Socialist Standard on Proudhon

Well, the SPGB has printed to my letter about their terrible review of Property is Theft!. It was a terrible review not because they concluded that Marx was still right (and he was, on certain issues) but rather because the review was so inaccurate. Sadly, the reply to my letter is equally inaccurate. Apparently mere evidence is not enough for them!

Leninists are strange

Well, I’ve had debate with on “Marxism and Anarchism” with the AWL. This is an informal report on it. My great memory will be when a Liverpool AWL member proclaimed (and I’m quoting from memory here) that “if anarchists continue to talk like that after a revolution then you had better watch out”! Yes, really, a veiled threat of a visit from the Cheka under the wonderfully democratic workers’ state. Talk about making my point for me…

Letter to Socialist Standard on Proudhon

Well, I expected bad reviews from Marxists for Property is Theft! but I admit to being surprised by how poor the one from Socialist Standard (the Socialist Party of Great Britain’s paper). I mean, it is like the reviewer did not even bother reading it… I’ve sent a letter which I’ve added to the end of this blog. I expect I will be writing more like that one.

Debate "Marxism and Anarchism" London 09/07/2011

Well, life is busy just now and it is making it hard to find the time to write, never mind blog! I'm still working on trimming volume 2 of An Anarchist FAQ (I need to cut approximately 10% off it to make it the same size as volume 1). Volume 2 will be sections G, H, I and J. And talking of AFAQ, the last issue of Anarchist Studies had a good review of it.

Black Flag Review of “Mutual Aid: An Introduction and Evaluation”

“Iain McKay’s excellent, readable, and very thorough pamphlet helps put Kropotkin and Mutual Aid into proper context . . . grab yourself a copy of this extended introduction and evaluation.” (Paul Petard, Black Flag No. 233)

Mutual Aid: An Introduction and Evaluation

Iain McKay, AK Press, 2010, £3

A Marxist Against Proudhon... and Marx

Property is Theft! seems to have got its first review – James Tansey’s “Marx, Proudhon and political struggle”. Well, I say review. It is not really a review, rather it is an extended commentary on my discussion of Proudhon and Marx plus various arguments on why mutualism is capitalist. My book is, in short, utilised as a means of explain why Marx was right. Shame, then, that in so doing the author has to deny various explicit and awkward comments by Marx.

On the Picket Line

Well, I was on strike twice this week (over attempts to gut our pension scheme). Lots of leaflets and union membership forms were handed out. It did not seem that busy (good sign, but hard to tell as I normally don't hang around outside my work!). It did reinforce why management always seem to have enough money for contractors (they were more than happy to cross our picket line). One member of another union refused to cross, which was nice.


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