Anarchy newbie, recommended reads? (1 Viewer)

Matt Derrick

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Thanks to everyone for so many great suggestions; because of all the good info/links here I'm going to feature this thread so others can find it.
 
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eli

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I didn't read the whole string, so this may have been posted already, but 'Resonance' is a podcast/anarchist audio distro. A bunch of anarchist books, zines etc read by comrades. Good for listening to whilst on the go or something. They've got a killer selection. Also The Dispossesed by the late great Ursula LeGuin. It's scifi but has a lot of thought provoking content.
 
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Check out www.libcom.org It has everything you will ever need. The crimthinc stuff is more romantic, and I'll admit it was my intro to Anarchism,(and i still have sympathy for it) but try to take the time to read some stuff on libcom.

(not sure why my link is not working?) just google libcom or type in in manually.
 
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ZombieJack

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This is a relatively old thread but in case this comes up in someone's search or some shit, I would personally recommend starting with crimethinc's ex-worker podcast, which will give a good overview of various subsets of anarchist thought and theory, as well as touching on current events with an anarchist perspective.

For reading some legit theory, I personally have a soft spot for Emma Goldman. Her writing is from the late 1800's into the turn of the century so some of her info is dated but she's an easy enough read and it's scary to see how much of her writing is still relevant. Of course there's also daddy Kropotkin, he's almost required reading in many circles. If nothing else, check out the bread book.

I'm also personally partial to insurrectionist anarchism, particularly Armed Joy by Alfredo Bonanno. I find there's something encouraging about Armed Joy that I don't always get from most anarchist works, especially from the post-left.

I've personally been trying to get into Max Stirner's works but IDK I find An Ego and it's Own to be pretty hard to get through.

Lately I've been reading Caliban and the Witch, which tells of the transition from feudalism to modern capitalism with a focus on how this affected women and their roles in greater society.

I've attached a bunch of PDFs if any of y'all wanna check them out.
 

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Des

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Ok I’ll be the hipster dork who recommends the coming insurrection (I have only read parts of its sequels, “to our friends” and “now”). Punchy, a quick read, contemporary, a good blend of theory made intelligible with ideas for concrete projects and commentary on current world conditions/trends. I think a lot of people who scoffed at TCI would be pretty shocked at how much it accurately diagnosed and predicted since coming out in 2006 or so- a lot of radicals even laughed then at the idea we were on the verge of global chaos, but, here we are...”desert” is an interesting read (from completely different authors) on anarchism in the age of climate collapse.
I second “against leviathan”, it’s a very provocative rereading of the trajectory of western civilization. (Avoid Derrick Jensen at all costs though!!)

There are tons of manifestos and theoretical texts there about how things ought to be, histories of failed movements in the past ... I tend to be more interested in attempts to toss preconceptions and wrestle with the present and its potentials.

I came into this thread to say all of this. backing all these recs hard (Backing "fuck Jensen" even harder)
 
D

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This is a relatively old thread but in case this comes up in someone's search or some shit, I would personally recommend starting with crimethinc's ex-worker podcast, which will give a good overview of various subsets of anarchist thought and theory, as well as touching on current events with an anarchist perspective.

For reading some legit theory, I personally have a soft spot for Emma Goldman. Her writing is from the late 1800's into the turn of the century so some of her info is dated but she's an easy enough read and it's scary to see how much of her writing is still relevant. Of course there's also daddy Kropotkin, he's almost required reading in many circles. If nothing else, check out the bread book.

I'm also personally partial to insurrectionist anarchism, particularly Armed Joy by Alfredo Bonanno. I find there's something encouraging about Armed Joy that I don't always get from most anarchist works, especially from the post-left.

I've personally been trying to get into Max Stirner's works but IDK I find An Ego and it's Own to be pretty hard to get through.

Lately I've been reading Caliban and the Witch, which tells of the transition from feudalism to modern capitalism with a focus on how this affected women and their roles in greater society.

I've attached a bunch of PDFs if any of y'all wanna check them out.

caliban and the witch is rad. considers how the dispossession of women of earth-based medicinal traditions in europe was key to the suppression of peasant resistance and the launching of capitalism-colonialism as well as patriarchy as we know it today. for green/eco/anarchafeminist type stuff i also can't recommend susan griffin's "woman and nature" highly enough although i don't think it's strictly speaking anarchist it expresses a very radical and poetic resistance to patriarchy and civilization as we know it.
 
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·Anarchism and other essays ·Emma Goldman

Actually I think most of emma's work is excellent for introduction. Actually, I started with researching anarchism historically, then began seeking out the individual authors in historical order.

Anarchism is complex! And has many, many, variations, so it also might help to research each faction of anarcho-politics individually once you have understood the common base which these factions share.

·Social anarchism
·Collectivist anarchism (revolutionary socialism)
·Anarcho-communism
·Anarcho-syndicalism
·Individualist anarchism
·Insurrectionary anarchism
·Anarcho-primitivism (Green anarchism )
·Anarcha-feminism
·Anarcho-pacifism
·Synthesis anarchism
·Anarcho-capitalism
...The list goes on, and on and on... you can spend months just researching each individual school of anarchism. Though I feel going out and meeting these anarchist and speaking with them one on one is the best way to gain an understanding of modern anarchism.

I am a green-anarchist, though my views have their own unique aspects in relation to other predominant green-anarchist views. I am also heavily influenced by terence mckenna, the psychedelic movement, and the "diggers" (the original diggers as well as the modern diggers.)

Below are some Wikipedia excerpts explaining who the diggers were, I would usually personally explain this all, but I am feeling slightly on the lazy side today:
·The Diggers were a group of Protestant radicals in England, sometimes seen as forerunners of modern anarchism,[1] and also associated with agrarian socialism[2][3] and Georgism. Gerrard Winstanley's followers were known as True Levellers in 1649 and later became known as Diggers, because of their attempts to farm on common land.
Their original name came from their belief in economic equality based upon a specific passage in the Book of Acts.[4][5] The Diggers tried (by "leveling" land) to reform the existing social order with an agrarian lifestyle based on their ideas for the creation of small egalitarian rural communities. They were one of a number of nonconformist dissenting groups that emerged around this time.

SAN FRANCISCO DIGGERS
·During the middle and late 1960s, the San Francisco Diggers (who took their name from the original English Diggers) opened stores which simply gave away their stock; provided free food, medical care, transport and temporary housing; they also organised free music concerts and works of political art. Some of their happenings included the Death of Money Parade, Intersection Game, Invisible Circus, and Death of Hippie/Birth of Free.
The Diggers were a radical community-action group of community activists and Improv actors operating from 1966 to 1968, based in the Haight-Ashburyneighbourhood of San Francisco. Their politics were such that they have sometimes been categorised as "left-wing". More precisely, they were "community anarchists" who blended a desire for freedom with a consciousness of the community in which they lived. They were closely associated with and shared a number of members with a guerrilla theatregroup named the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Like the original English Diggers, they envisioned a society free from private property, and all forms of buying and selling. Actor Peter Coyote was a founding member of the Diggers.

The American Diggers were echoed in the 1960s in the UK (see Alternative Society and Sid Rawle). Since the revival of anarchism in the British anti-roads movement, the Diggers have been celebrated as precursors of land squatting and communalism. April 1, 1999, on the 350th anniversary of Gerrard Winstanley and the Diggers' occupation of the English Civil War on the same hill, The Land Is Ours organised a rally, then occupied land at St. George's Hillnear Weybridge, Surrey. In 2011, an annual festival began in Wigan to celebrate the Diggers. In 2012, the second annual festival proved a great success and the sixth took place in 2016.[14] In Wellingborough, a festival has also been held annually since 2011.[citation needed]Bolton Diggers were established in 2013 and have promoted "the commons" as a foil to privatisation. They have established community food gardens, cooperatives and the Common Wealth café, a pay-as-you-feel café using surplus food from supermarkets.

If I had to define my views on anarchism I would say I am a "psychedelic-eco-anarchist" with strong feminist and non-violent influences, however, it's actually more complex than that, and ultimately would be difficult to define in a brief manner, so I guess I can settle for "psychedelic-eco-anarchist"

Terence Mckenna is my favorite writer. Terence was an anarchist, though he was always fairly subtle in this matter, and unless you knew his philosophy it might be difficult to ascertain.

·The archaic revival - terence mckenna is my favorite mckenna publication and all in all the philosophy expressed is inherently anarcho-psychedelia though be it on a subtle fashion.

Riane Eisler and terence give as great lecture on dominator culture and men and women / partnership society, feminism, etc... in the link below:


·"The Chalice and the Blade" by Riane Eisler is another great publication, though it deals with feminism, dominator culture, and the juxtaposition of male dominated society versus partnership society more than anarchism directly.

I have taken influence from many schools of thought pertaining to anarchism and feel they all have something useful to contribute.

·Uncivilized: The Best of Green Anarchy· Is another great book...
 
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The Bloomsbury guide to Anarchism is a wonderful map. Steal it.
 

lochnessless

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Ooh oh, my favorite subject. I'm not really sure "dry" anarchist literature exists, but that may be due to my proclivities, there is a unique "evocative" quality that imo is special unto the "classical anarchist canon."

The Anarchist Library - https://theanarchistlibrary.org/

What is Anarchist Communism by Alexander Berkman. It's the best starting point imo. Also check out his prison memoir.

Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin

Not strictly anarchist, but Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell captures the spirit of living anarchism beautifully.

Toward the Creative Nothing by Renzo Novatore. He's a strict nihilist and anti-leftist, but strands of individualist anarchism evolved concurrently and within the same historical discourse as anarchist communism. The two schools of thought influence and inspire the other, this point is illustrated by the current manifestation of anarchism called 'post-left anarchy'. Max Stirner is also a very important philosopher in anarchism.

Against His-Story, Against Leviathan by Fredy Perlman. This is considered the starting point for the anti-civilization and primitivist critique. It's a very eye opening and perspective challenging presentation of the history of humanity.

Anarchism today is pretty much a constant argument and banter between the leftists, individualists, and greens. Do note that although the discourse can get heated, and it sometimes appears that these different tendencies hate each other, it's all par for the course. Left, individualist, and green thought are the driving forces of anarchism and they intermingle and form a synthesis.

For the more spiritually inclined I'd throw in Walden, the works of Emile Armand, and Tolstoy's Christian anarchism.

The Spanish Revolution, Spanish anarchism

It's really a huge field with it's own history, historical figures, and struggles. There is a wide scope of different tendencies within each subschool as well. In the case of anarchist communism you have the strict pro-organizational platformists and pro-labour syndicalists vs. anti-organizational insurrectionaries who are more individualist orientated. They aren't opposed to each other they just place emphasis on different things.

Final edit: If you have any questions I'll happily give my view. I've been studying this shit for years and honesty feel like an "ethnic anarchist" lol. It was actually a random piece on CBC radio about the Spanish Revolution that brought my attention to anarchism.
"The Old Ways" Gary Snyder
 

TurboArmatron

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These are two really good books on anti fascism. The first covers the US movement from the 2000s on with some history of time prior to 2000. Really focus' on the modern movement though. The second obviously from the title goes way back. They are both .mobi so any kindle, kindle app or many of the ebook readers available in the play store can open theses. I recommend Pocket Book if you are avoiding Amazon products.

Here is American Antifa by Vysotsky stanaslv its actually the writers dissertation so it's very academic. If that's not your thing then I recommend mark bray's Anti Fascist Handbook, I don't have a ebook hanby but can get it and post later

Also Militant Anti Fascism: 100 Years Of Resistance by M. Tests
If links are no good DM me and I'll post new ones
 

TurboArmatron

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These are two really good books on anti fascism. The first covers the US movement from the 2000s on with some history of time prior to 2000. Really focus' on the modern movement though. The second obviously from the title goes way back. They are both .mobi so any kindle, kindle app or many of the ebook readers available in the play store can open theses. I recommend Pocket Book if you are avoiding Amazon products.

Here is American Antifa by Vysotsky stanaslv its actually the writers dissertation so it's very academic. If that's not your thing then I recommend mark bray's Anti Fascist Handbook, I don't have a ebook hanby but can get it and post later

Also Militant Anti Fascism: 100 Years Of Resistance by M. Tests
If links are no good DM me and I'll post new ones
Both these writers have said they don't give a shit if people share these
 

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