Audible Anarchism
Desert by Anonymous, Chapter 2: It’s Later Than We Thought

Desert by Anonymous, Chapter 2: It’s Later Than We Thought

October 12, 2019

Full text here: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/anonymous-desert

 

Author’s Note
I have written Desert as a nature loving anarchist primarily addressing others with similar feelings. As a result I have not always explained ideas to which I hold when they are, to some extent, givens within many anarchist and radical environmental circles. Hopefully I have written in an accessible enough manner, so even if you don’t come from this background you will still find Desert readable. While the best introductions to ecology and anarchy are moments spent within undomesticated ecosystems and anarchist communities, some may also find the following books helpful — I did.

Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism (London: HarperCollins, 2008).

Fredy Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan (Detroit: Black & Red, 1983).

Christopher Manes, Green Rage: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1990).

Clive Ponting, A Green History of the World (London: Penguin Books, 1991).

Forward!
Something haunts many activists, anarchists, environmentalists, many of my friends. It haunted me. Much of our subcultures tell us it’s not there, that we can’t see it, hear it. Our best wishes for the world tell us not to see it. But for many, despite their best efforts — carrying on with the normal activism, the movement building, living both according to and as an expression of their ethics — despite all this, the spectre gains form. The faint image grows more solid, more unavoidable, until the ghost is staring one in the face. And like many monsters of past tales, when its gaze is met — people freeze. Become unable to move. Give up hope; become disillusioned and inactive. This malaise, freezing, not only slows ‘activist workload’, but I have seen it affect every facet of many of my friends’ lives.

The spectre that many try not to see is a simple realisation — the world will not be ‘saved’. Global anarchist revolution is not going to happen. Global climate change is now unstoppable. We are not going to see the worldwide end to civilisation/capitalism/patriarchy/authority. It’s not going to happen any time soon. It’s unlikely to happen ever. The world will not be ‘saved’. Not by activists, not by mass movements, not by charities and not by an insurgent global proletariat. The world will not be ‘saved’. This realisation hurts people. They don’t want it to be true! But it probably is.

These realisations, this abandonment of illusions should not become disabling. Yet if one believes that it’s all or nothing, then there is a problem. Many friends have ‘dropped out’ of the ‘movement’ whilst others have remained in old patterns but with a sadness and cynicism which signals a feeling of futility. Some hover around scenes critiquing all, but living and fighting little.

“It’s not the despair — I can handle the despair. It’s the hope I can’t handle.” [1]

The hope of a Big Happy Ending, hurts people; sets the stage for the pain felt when they become disillusioned. Because, truly, who amongst us now really believes? How many have been burnt up by the effort needed to reconcile a fundamentally religious faith in the positive transformation of the world with the reality of life all around us? Yet to be disillusioned — with global revolution/with our capacity to stop climate change — should not alter our anarchist nature, or the love of nature we feel as anarchists. There are many possibilities for liberty and wildness still.

What are some of these possibilities and how can we live them? What could it mean to be an anarchist, an environmentalist, when global revolution and world-wide social/eco sustainability are not the aim? What objectives, what plans, what lives, what adventures are there when the illusions are set aside and we walk into the world not disabled by disillusionment but unburdened by it?

Desert by Anonymous, Authors Note and Chapter 1: No (Global) Future

Desert by Anonymous, Authors Note and Chapter 1: No (Global) Future

October 6, 2019

Full text here:https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/anonymous-desert

 

Author’s Note
I have written Desert as a nature loving anarchist primarily addressing others with similar feelings. As a result I have not always explained ideas to which I hold when they are, to some extent, givens within many anarchist and radical environmental circles. Hopefully I have written in an accessible enough manner, so even if you don’t come from this background you will still find Desert readable. While the best introductions to ecology and anarchy are moments spent within undomesticated ecosystems and anarchist communities, some may also find the following books helpful — I did.

Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism (London: HarperCollins, 2008).

Fredy Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan (Detroit: Black & Red, 1983).

Christopher Manes, Green Rage: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1990).

Clive Ponting, A Green History of the World (London: Penguin Books, 1991).

Forward!
Something haunts many activists, anarchists, environmentalists, many of my friends. It haunted me. Much of our subcultures tell us it’s not there, that we can’t see it, hear it. Our best wishes for the world tell us not to see it. But for many, despite their best efforts — carrying on with the normal activism, the movement building, living both according to and as an expression of their ethics — despite all this, the spectre gains form. The faint image grows more solid, more unavoidable, until the ghost is staring one in the face. And like many monsters of past tales, when its gaze is met — people freeze. Become unable to move. Give up hope; become disillusioned and inactive. This malaise, freezing, not only slows ‘activist workload’, but I have seen it affect every facet of many of my friends’ lives.

The spectre that many try not to see is a simple realisation — the world will not be ‘saved’. Global anarchist revolution is not going to happen. Global climate change is now unstoppable. We are not going to see the worldwide end to civilisation/capitalism/patriarchy/authority. It’s not going to happen any time soon. It’s unlikely to happen ever. The world will not be ‘saved’. Not by activists, not by mass movements, not by charities and not by an insurgent global proletariat. The world will not be ‘saved’. This realisation hurts people. They don’t want it to be true! But it probably is.

These realisations, this abandonment of illusions should not become disabling. Yet if one believes that it’s all or nothing, then there is a problem. Many friends have ‘dropped out’ of the ‘movement’ whilst others have remained in old patterns but with a sadness and cynicism which signals a feeling of futility. Some hover around scenes critiquing all, but living and fighting little.

“It’s not the despair — I can handle the despair. It’s the hope I can’t handle.” [1]

The hope of a Big Happy Ending, hurts people; sets the stage for the pain felt when they become disillusioned. Because, truly, who amongst us now really believes? How many have been burnt up by the effort needed to reconcile a fundamentally religious faith in the positive transformation of the world with the reality of life all around us? Yet to be disillusioned — with global revolution/with our capacity to stop climate change — should not alter our anarchist nature, or the love of nature we feel as anarchists. There are many possibilities for liberty and wildness still.

What are some of these possibilities and how can we live them? What could it mean to be an anarchist, an environmentalist, when global revolution and world-wide social/eco sustainability are not the aim? What objectives, what plans, what lives, what adventures are there when the illusions are set aside and we walk into the world not disabled by disillusionment but unburdened by it?

Socialism Reaffirmed by Maurice Brinton

Socialism Reaffirmed by Maurice Brinton

September 28, 2019

Full text here: https://libcom.org/library/socialism-reaffirmed-maurice-brinton

Some basic principles put together by Maurice Brinton in 1960 aimed at being ones around which revolutionary socialists - as distinct from bureaucratic state socialists - could regroup.

Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek, Epilogue

Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek, Epilogue

September 21, 2019

Recorded by librivox.org

Helena Glory, as the daughter of a major industrial power's president, is a woman on a mission. She faces the island factory of Rossum's Universal Robots, the world's leading company in robotic engineering. She is convinced that these new creations called robots they make are deserving of rights like humans do. Everyone else is convinced robots are nothing more than tools for human use. Is it so, or is a robot rebellion becoming a more likely prospect as the robots start to seem more intelligent than first thought?
First performed in English in 1922, R.U.R. is most notable for being the play that introduced the word "robot" into the English language and one of the popular early examples of the science fiction genre onstage. (Mary Kay)

Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek, act 3

Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek, act 3

September 14, 2019

Recorded by Librivox.org

Helena Glory, as the daughter of a major industrial power's president, is a woman on a mission. She faces the island factory of Rossum's Universal Robots, the world's leading company in robotic engineering. She is convinced that these new creations called robots they make are deserving of rights like humans do. Everyone else is convinced robots are nothing more than tools for human use. Is it so, or is a robot rebellion becoming a more likely prospect as the robots start to seem more intelligent than first thought?
First performed in English in 1922, R.U.R. is most notable for being the play that introduced the word "robot" into the English language and one of the popular early examples of the science fiction genre onstage. (Mary Kay)

Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek, act 2

Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek, act 2

September 7, 2019

Helena Glory, as the daughter of a major industrial power's president, is a woman on a mission. She faces the island factory of Rossum's Universal Robots, the world's leading company in robotic engineering. She is convinced that these new creations called robots they make are deserving of rights like humans do. Everyone else is convinced robots are nothing more than tools for human use. Is it so, or is a robot rebellion becoming a more likely prospect as the robots start to seem more intelligent than first thought?
First performed in English in 1922, R.U.R. is most notable for being the play that introduced the word "robot" into the English language and one of the popular early examples of the science fiction genre onstage. (Mary Kay)

Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek, preface & act 1

Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek, preface & act 1

August 31, 2019

Recorded by Librivox

Helena Glory, as the daughter of a major industrial power's president, is a woman on a mission. She faces the island factory of Rossum's Universal Robots, the world's leading company in robotic engineering. She is convinced that these new creations called robots they make are deserving of rights like humans do. Everyone else is convinced robots are nothing more than tools for human use. Is it so, or is a robot rebellion becoming a more likely prospect as the robots start to seem more intelligent than first thought?
First performed in English in 1922, R.U.R. is most notable for being the play that introduced the word "robot" into the English language and one of the popular early examples of the science fiction genre onstage. (Mary Kay)

Revolutionary Unity by Nestor Makhno

Revolutionary Unity by Nestor Makhno

August 24, 2019

Read the full essays here:

http://nestormakhno.info/english/revdisc.htm

http://nestormakhno.info/english/struggle.htm

http://nestormakhno.info/english/newplatform/introduction.htm

 

Nestor Makhno (1888-1934) was a Ukrainian revolutionary anarchist, military leader, and writer. He led the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine during the Russian Revolution, which helped defeat the tsarist forces and establish the Ukrainian Free Territory (1917-1921). Because the anarchist project in Ukraine threatened the Bolsheviks' monopoly on power following the Russian Revolution, Lenin and Trotsky instructed the Red Army to destroy the Free Territory and murder or imprison anarchists. Makhno went into exile, eventually settling in Paris, France. He joined the Group of Russian Anarchists Abroad and published writings about anarchism and the Russian Revolution.

These three essays are glimpses of Makhno's theories on revolutionary praxis. Along with other members of the Group of Russian Anarchists Abroad, he developed platformism, the anarchist philosophy that says that revolutionaries should adopt unified ideologies, strategies, and tactics to ensure the success of anarchist revolutions. Makhno believed that the splintered anarchist movement ensured that anarchism of any stripe would never succeed. Instead, he proposed the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists to address the lack of unity between individual anarchists, national anarchist movements, and the international struggle against the state and capitalism. The platform suggests that anarchists must try to agree upon a united set of goals and principles to destroy the state, tactics to achieve those goals, and strategies to organize society after the state is abolished.

Advice to Comrades by Elisee Reclus

Advice to Comrades by Elisee Reclus

August 17, 2019

Full text here:https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/elisee-reclus-advice-to-my-anarchist-comrades

“In a word, commercial competition, under the paternal aegis of the law, allows the great majority of merchants-— and this fact is attested to in countless medical inquests-— adulterate provisions and drink, sell pernicious substances as wholesome food, and kill by slow poisoning… Let people say what they will, slavery, which abolitionists strove so gallantly to extirpate in America, prevails in another form in every civilized country; for entire populations, placed between the alternatives of death by starvation and toils which they detest, are constrained to choose the latter. And if we would deal frankly with the barbarous society to which we belong, we must acknowledge that murder, albeit disguised under a thousand insidious and scientific forms, still, as in the times of primitive savagery, terminates the majority of lives.”
― Élisée Reclus

Army of Altruists by David Graeber

Army of Altruists by David Graeber

August 10, 2019

Full text https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/david-graeber-army-of-altruists

David Graeber (1961- ) is an anarchist, anthropologist, and activist who currently holds a professorship in anthropology at the London School of Economics. Graeber has written extensively on theories of value, social theory, direct action, and ethnographic theory. He participated in the Occupy movement and is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.

In this essay, Graeber links the psychological impulses of bullying--both of bullies and of passive observers of bullying--to structures of power inherent within hierarchical authority. He contends that from a young age, we are socialized to side with bullies and against victims, and we are socialized to see victims as either deserving their punishment or of having the same moral worth as the bullies themselves.