Rank #1: Cyborg Manifesto – AudioZine
“It means both building and destroying machines, identities, categories, relationships, space stories. Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.”
This prescient essay, while not written from a specifically anarchist perspective, remains unparalleled in its creative exploration of resistance predicated on a rejection of purity and “the natural.” Haraway’s cyborg transcends notions of intersectionality to trouble essentialism at its root. Her challenge to us–to imaginatively take up power in the course of its rejection–has been answered by many, but adequately refuted by none.
While we find this an intentionally anti-essentialist essay, and are aware of Haraway’s history of solidarity with trans women, we must note with regret her use of the term “Phallogocentrism.”
Dec 27 2015
Rank #2: Introduction to the Apocalypse – AudioZine
“The apocalypse is not happening in the future, it is happening now. It is not the result of our personal sins and it is not the “collective responsibility of humanity”. Climate change (or God, or whatever) will not bring about the apocalypse. The apocalypse began with the advent of our current form of life based on industrial production.”
“Climate change is just symptomatic of capitalism reaching the limits of its expansion in the world of natural resources that evolved before capitalism. It is then fitting that a totalising crisis like climate change accompanies a totalising system of production like capitalism. Carbon emissions are the by-product of capitalism just as defecation is the by-product of humans eating…”
There is a short film, “In the Middle of the Desert,” by Bulgarian anarchist filmmaker Hristina Vardeva, composed as a companion piece to “Introduction to the Apocalypse.”
Sep 14 2015
Rank #3: The Criminal Child – AudioZine
A new translation of a previously censored and unavailable text by Jean Genet. “The Criminal Child” is a critical engagement with the French youth prisons, a reflection on Genet’s formative years within them, a document of hostility towards society and its benevolent reformers, and (as argued by the anonymous afterword) an initiatory magical system. *Music by CocoRosie*
“‘The Criminal Child’ has, until now, never appeared in its entirety in the English language. Such a remarkable oversight—remarkable because it concerns a writer as significant as Jean Genet—would be reason enough for us to render a translation and bring it to print. But, in reading it, reasons far beyond the bibliophilic impulse reveal them- selves and insist on the urgency, timeliness and import of this text.
Though never read on air, Genet intended ‘L’enfant criminel’ as a radio address. Fernand Pouey, the director of dramatic and literary broadcasts for French radio, solicited Genet to speak on his radio program, “Carte blanche”, in 1948 as a bit of commentary on proposed reforms to France’s youth prisons. (Around the same time Pouey also commissioned Antonin Artaud to broadcast ‘Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu’—both pieces were censored by the powers that be.) A small edition of Genet’s text was published the next year and was then all but forgotten.”
“Just as I am guarded by a prison door, so my heart guards your memory.”
-from the afterword
Jun 29 2016
Rank #4: Some Notes on Insurrectionary Anarchism – AudioZine
“The state will not merely wither away, thus anarchists must attack, for waiting is defeat.”
This short zine provides a brief introduction to insurrectionary anarchism. In a clear and concise manner it articulates the basic concepts of insurrectionary anarchism including, the necessity of attack, self-activity, uncontrollability, permanent conflictuality, and informal organization. The text originally appeared in 2001 in the now defunct anarchist publication “Killing King Abacus.” Despite its age, it is one of the clearest pieces on insurrectionary anarchy and largely avoids the cumbersome rhetoric and writing style that characterized many of the later attempts at explaining insurrectionary anarchism.
Jul 09 2016
Rank #5: Another Word for White Ally is Coward – AudioZine
“The concept of the White Ally is bankrupt. One cannot be an ally to a category of people. To speak the words “I am a White Ally to people of color” is to commit an act of double speak, to internalize non-sense. There is no singular black voice that can be listened to, no authentic community leadership which to follow. There are only many different people with different ideas, life experiences and perspectives. To think otherwise, to think that all black people share a common opinion is extremely problematic, one might even say racist. One can be an ally to individuals though there are other words in the English language which describe this relationship with more grace: friend, lover, partner and sometimes cellmate or co-defendant.”
Music: Lil Boosie – Fuck the Police Ft. Webbie
Jul 18 2018
Rank #6: Armed Joy – AudioZine
Recorded by Birds Of Fire
Oct 18 2015
Rank #7: The Unquiet Dead Ch4 – AudioZine
The Unquiet Dead: Anarchism, Fascism, and Mythology. Chapter 4. The White Goddess: Essentialism and the Land – by anonymous – MP3 – Read – Print – Archive – Torrent – YouTube
Chapter four of this multipart series discusses appropriation and essentialism in white feminist spirituality and/or white environmentalist circles. The full text is available at unquietdead.tumblr.com; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future.
“I have felt troubled for some time over some white feminist practice and advocacy of essentialist ‘nature spiritualities.’ This tendency is certainly not limited to feminists, but I find it most upsetting as it is performed by them—the political deployment of a belief structure under the premise of sisterhood can be insidious. If we are against fascism, we must ask in what ways we are replicating its themes in our struggle for freedom, and how may we fight that tendency. I write not as part of a relentless drift towards inertia, the enforcement of identity politics that prevents movement; rather, I want to examine the real friction present between white feminists and those they are trying to save. Essentialism has poisoned our common well for too long.”
Musical interludes – Sleater-Kinney – Stay Where You Are
“When the Goddess becomes a white woman, is She any less terrifying than the Christian God—and if so, is that not a reaffirmation of essentialist misogyny? How can we approach issues of gender, race, spirituality and the “natural world” without reinforcing the oppressive constructs inherent in each? How can white people show real solidarity to those with marginalized histories, the kind of solidarity that changes our mutual present? How can people of color engaged in resistance to white supremacy and efforts towards self-actualization be recognized in ways that do not prop up racial difference or assimilationist enclosure?”
You can also listen to the Cyborg Manifesto, which is discussed in this text.
Apr 18 2018
Rank #8: Faggots & Their Friends – AudioZine
In a joyous and perverse intermingling of fable, myth, heterotopian vision, and pocket wisdom, The Faggots and Their Friends tell us stories of the 70s gay countercultures and offer us strategies and wisdom for our own time living between revolutions.
From the 2016 introduction:
“These pages sketch a different shape to time and offer instructions for living within it. This story, like our own, plays out in liminal time. Not the time of revolution, and not after-the-revolution, the story occurs between revolutions. Being between revolutions: being enmeshed in slow entropy, in abandoned spaces, in lives forged without recourse to ‘winning’ or ‘after’. The faggots feel this disintegration, and live best when empires are falling.”
First published in 1977 by Calamus Books, this Radical Faerie classic was reprinted last year.
“This is possibly the sweetest gay fantasy book written during the magical post-Stonewall, pre-AIDS epoch. It’s a series of poems/stories about fairy men living in a community, spending time together, wearing spangles, and mocking straight society. “ – a comment on Goodreads
Musical interludes: False Moon by Them Are Us Too
May 10 2017
Rank #9: Worker-Student Action Committees – AudioZine
On the occasion of May Day 2018 and the 50th anniversary of the worldwide social upheavals of 1968, including the iconic general strike in May-June in Paris, we are presenting this audio zine of Worker-Student Action Committees by Fredy Perlman (co-writing certain passages with Roger Gregoire), a contemporary first-hand account and analysis of some of the events by those who were budding, wide-eyed militants at the time.
Fredy Perlman is considered by many to be one of the greatest anarchist thinkers and writers of the 20th century, one whose contribution is inestimable and, decades after his passing, is still unfolding. His life and work are foundational influences on American insurrectionary anarchism and anarchist publishing generally. His body of work changes almost everyone it touches, and traces a remarkable arc from the cogent analysis of a young and quite anti-authoritarian Marxist (the present work, as well as an early essay called The Reproduction of Daily Life which may be considered an impeccable distillation and suitable substitute for reading whatever passages of Marx’s Capital remain relevant), through visionary, scathing, and magisterial critiques and meditations on the revolutionary Left that he saw ultimately holding back fundamental social change (in Anything Can Happen, Letters of Insurgents, and the satirical and brilliant Manual for Revolutionary Leaders), moving consistently and finally before his death in 1985 into the territory of an out-and-out contest with the twisted heart of industrial culture and Western civilization itself (Progress and Nuclear Power, the premier primitivist essay Against His-story!, Against Leviathan!, and the crown of his shorter writings – The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism).
The thread running through all of these works is the un-living monster that saps the living energy of potentially creative, social beings and diverts them into a machinery of profit and control. Long before Perlman went on to pen the anti-Hobbesian, mytho-poetic re-telling of the story of the Western world, he was in Paris with this up-close reportage of what is largely seen as the epochal paroxysm of revolt of the last half-century. In the Age of Trump, in a time of incredible precarity, exploitation, and brutality, and of renewed social ferment and glimmers of revolutionary ambition, many people have newly entered the fray of action and ideas, rummaging through the wreckage of the last century for a talisman, a movement, a leader, or a clue for undoing our nightmarish current straits. Laid bare here for a new generation of listeners, in a crystal clear tract from one of the brightest subversive minds of that century, is the colossal treachery of the communist parties and labor unions who became the new cops at the earliest opportunity, the ineptitude of pre-defined social roles (be it activist, militant, theorist, student, worker…), and the incredible recuperative power of Capital in the face of a challenge. The sense of a missed opportunity as experienced by a consummately humble and self-critical soul shines through here as it does in few other accounts. Of course, from our current vantage and in light of his later work, Perlman’s references to workers’ power and the taking over of the means of production are bound to strike us as naive and leave us cold. But even at this early juncture Perlman proffers a distinct critique of the hallucinatory workerism that quenched the flames of revolt, the radicalism nowhere near radical enough to carry the day, and the credulity and obedience that still have yet to be broken.
Perlman’s own path, shown here in its humble, early steps, has the unique quality of highlighting all the most vital questions and lessons for anarchists in the face of the horror show of the 20th century and its legacy, the pitfalls of its politics, its dead ends and its last remaining potentials. With this audio zine, it is our hope that you’ll move, as Fredy and so many others moved, directly into deeper explorations.
See you on May Day!
Music: Fais que ton rêve soit plus long que la nuit by – Vangelis Papathanassiou – Recorded in 1971 the entire theme of the record focuses on May 1968 in France and the student riots taking place there at the time. The album consists of a collage of music, field recordings, news snippets, protest songs and paroles.
Other Great resources on May 1968 include:
- Crimethinc on France ’68
- On The Poverty of Student Life
- Submedia’s Trouble #9 and #10 on Student Revolt
When the course [he was teaching] in Turin ended, Fredy took a train to Paris and found himself caught up in the tumultuous events of May 1968. His experiences during these intense, joyous weeks deeply affected his views and remained a constant reference point whenever he considered possibilities for social change… The massive street actions in which thousands confronted the forces of the status quo gave rise to hopes that the old world was about to be overturned… Many buildings were occupied, and the State’s authority was effectively excluded from these liberated areas. People organized committees to carry out necessary tasks. There was a feverish exchange of views, proposals for collective activity. Discussions went on around the clock—some in an amphitheater where there was a microphone, but mostly between individuals who were discovering the joys that the mass media had deprived them of. There was a widespread conviction that daily activity was about to be transformed and that everyone would participate in choosing and bringing about new social arrangements. Fredy took part in a loosely-organized group of intellectuals, students and young workers who held discussions at the Censier classroom complex and who also tried to communicate their aspirations to auto workers who lived and worked in the Paris suburbs… Many of the mass demonstrations in Paris ended with the construction of barricades and confrontations with the police. Tear gas was frequently used and demonstrators were chased and beaten by aggressive riot squad police… During these action-filled weeks, there was little time for reading, but Fredy learned about ideas and histories which influenced him in the decade which followed: the texts of the Situationist International, anarchism and the Spanish Revolution, the council communists. In July 1968, as law and order were being re-imposed on French society, Fredy returned to the United States… Militants from Europe also visited us in Kalamazoo. One of them, Roger Gregoire, stayed with us for several months, working with Fredy on an account and evaluation of experiences the two had shared in May and June 1968 while members of the Citroën Worker-Student Action Committee.
—Having Little, Being Much by Lorraine Perlman
Apr 26 2018
Rank #10: Life Without Law – AudioZine
“An anarchist is someone who rejects the domination of one person or class of people over another. Anarchism is a very broad umbrella term for a group of political philosophies that are based on the idea that we can live as anarchists. We anarchists want a world without nations, governments, capitalism, racism, sexism, homophobia… without any of the numerous, intersecting systems of domination the world bears the weight of today.”
Nov 21 2015
Rank #11: Society Against The State – AudioZine
19:19 – Society Against The State – by Pierre Clastres – MP3 – Text – Archive – Torrent – YouTube
Can there be a society that is not divided into oppressors and oppressed, or that refuses coercive state apparatuses? In this landmark text in anthropology and political science, Pierre Clastres offers examples of South American Indigenous groups that, though without hierarchical leadership, were both affluent and complex. In so doing, he refutes the usual negative definition of tribal society and poses its order as a radical critique of our own Western state of power.
This audio zine is the last chapter of a full length book by the same name. Some of the ideas and terminology in this excerpt are quite dated and show an arrogance typical of western anthropology. This text is one of the first to argue, against the progressivist world view, that people living in hunter gatherer societies actually choose their lives and are not “underdeveloped” as modern society would label them.
Pierre Clastres (1934-1977) was a French anthropologist and ethnologist who in the wake of the events of May ’68, helped overturn anthropological orthodoxy in the 1970s.
Aug 09 2016
Rank #12: Toward the Destruction of Schooling – AudioZine
This zine is a revolutionary critique of schooling and its role in maintaining relationships of coercion and domination in modern society.
“As students go hazily from class to class, box to box, schooling as a technique of social control perpetuates itself. And as leftists drone on about better education for the people, for the masses of people, they are unaware of what an important role they play in reproducing existent social and economic formations.”
Mar 14 2016
Rank #13: We Demand Nothing – AudioZine
Originally published in ‘Fire to the Prisons’ (Issue 7), Autumn 2009.
“The refusal to demand allows for the abstraction of capital to reveal itself, no longer covered up in the mysticism of word-games, i.e., we are fighting for right x because of need y based on condition z. That structure will never challenge the basis of the needs and conditions themselves. The undemanding struggle is not for anything, it is a position, a stance, a risk to become a subject of one’s own activity; until then, we are nothing but objects of capital, things moved around to work, vote, and reproduce. Capital is personified in our actions (work, consume, repeat), and the state is personified in our words (rights, justice, freedom). To refuse both personifications means to destroy the form of Man which capital and state need for their reality, that form is the proletariat and the citizen, the worker and the activist, the entrepreneur and the poet.”
Sep 02 2015
Rank #14: An Open Letter to Those Who Condemn Looting – AudioZine
This text was written in August of 2011 shortly after police shot and killed a black man named Mark Duggan in North London. In the days that followed tensions between police and disaffected youth exploded into wide spread rioting and looting, Many on the left condemned the rioters. The text that follows continues to be relevant because the police will continue to kill people of color , people will continue to respond and the left will continue to condemn them for it. We hope this audio production of this pamphlet will contribute to this tension until the police are no more.
“… buried beneath the attack on the ‘crass materialism’ of the looting is a nastier worm, that of distance and sheen, that supports critique and dissent precisely to the degree it remains irrelevant and immaterial, that it is to be seen and heard and not ever felt.”
Musical interludes – Burnin and Lootin by Bob Marley
“You say of these riots, and this looting, that they are opportunistic. That they are unreasonable and stupid. That ‘this isn’t a protest, this is a riot.’ That they are ‘not political.’ That “this is about individuals using the excuse of what happened the first two nights to make sure what happens the third night is worse.’ That this is ‘havoc.’ That this is ‘criminality pure and simple.’ That they do not ‘have the right” to do this. That ‘no benefit will come in the long term,’ from ‘looting a local shop,’ ‘setting a bus on fire,’ or ‘nicking a mobile phone.’ Above all, as you, Home Secretary put it, ‘There is no excuse for violence. There is no excuse for looting.’ And we agree.”
This text was originally published on Socialism and/or Barbarism in two parts (1 & 2) a third follow up, Coda to an open letter, was published later but not included in the zine nor our audio recording.
Mar 17 2018
Rank #15: The Unquiet Dead Chapter 1 – AudioZine
This is the second installment of a book-length piece, The Unquiet Dead. The full text is available at unquietdead.tumblr.com; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future.
“Finally, we must preserve our ability to remember and mourn our dead, and fight for a world in which both their choices and ours are real ones. Attacking these elements of human experience was an innovation of the fascists. “His death merely set a seal on the fact that he had never really existed… Totalitarian terror achieved its most terrible triumph when it succeeded… in making the decisions of conscience absolutely questionable and equivocal. When a man is faced with the alternative of betraying and thus murdering his friends or of sending his wife and children, for whom he is in every sense responsible, to their deaths; when even suicide would mean the immediate murder of his own family—how is he to decide? Who could solve the moral dilemma of the Greek mother who was allowed by the Nazis to choose which of her three children should be killed?” When our enemies give us such choices, our only possible response is communal defiance.”
“In Nazi Germany, questioning the validity of racism and antisemitism… was like questioning the existence of the world.” — Hannah Arendt
Musical Interlude The Valkyrie, III: “Magic Fire Music” – By Wagner
Oct 07 2017
Rank #16: At Daggers Drawn – AudioZine
Click here for a chapterized version
“We can choose not to live. That is the most beautiful reason for opening oneself up to life with joy. ‘There is always time to put an end to things; one might as well rebel and play’ — is how the materialism of joy talks.
We can choose not to act, and that is the most beautiful reason for acting. We bear within ourselves the potency of all the acts we are capable of, and no boss will ever be able to deprive us of the possibility of saying no. What we are and what we want begins with a no. From it is born the only reason for getting up in the morning. From it is born the only reason for going armed to the assault of an order that is suffocating us.
On the one hand there is the existent, with its habits and certainties. And of certainty, that social poison, one can die. On the other hand there is insurrection, the unknown bursting into the life of all. The possible beginning of an exaggerated practice of freedom.”
Sep 18 2015
Rank #17: Incognito – AudioZine
Click Here for a chapterized version
Ever wondered what it would be like to be underground? Here is a series of real-life tales of what it is like, how people made the decision, what is hardest about it, and, perhaps surprisingly, how it is awesome.
A lesser-known title from Elephant Editions.
“How much luck will you have in the race against time.
How many moves do you have left to play.
You ask yourself this and
the answer reveals that the various paths
are all but exhausted.
The next step,
and your road shows itself
with all the evidence and certainty
that allows you to go ahead.”
Oct 02 2015
Rank #18: Undoing Sex – AudioZine
*This zine contains discussion of sexual assault*
“Undoing Sex” is a critique of sex-positivity that both draws upon and completely transcends second-wave feminist critiques. The essay explores the metaphysical quandaries faced by the “not-man” in their engagement with and survival of sex. Centering sex negativity in a transgender, queer experience of how the image of sexual pleasure and health is produced, marketed, and consumed by people of all genders, the text brings Marx, Foucault, Afropessimism, and other currently useful theories to bear upon the sexual impasse many (all?) of us face. It offers no prescriptive conclusions, but rather to speaks an array of inadequate coping strategies. We recommend it for all those who choose to have sex, for all those who choose to not have sex, and for those who feel that “choice” is not an adequate word.
Musical interludes – La Roux – In For The Kill
We must avoid falling into this trap, and so must always keep in mind that the celibate body is no purer, no more feminist, no less exploited. Just as a refusal to eat meat makes no change to the material basis of industrial agriculture, our refusals to fuck, much as our desires to fuck in different ways, don’t crack the material base of patriarchy. They may engender a better quality of life or more agency for individuals or communities, but these liberal models of “resistance” offer nothing in the way of a total break. This is the impasse faced by radical feminism: gestures proliferate but they only ever point towards the abolition of gender, glancing so close but never reaching the moment of Truth.
Jul 24 2017
Rank #19: Invisible People – AudioZine
“The last light of the sun came down through the broken windows, all pretty and shit, catching on that big jagged shard of glass and then pouring out into the room over my bed. Over Marcellus. He snored in that way he always did, endearing and soft.
I hurried to dress in the last of the daylight, but once I was done, I lingered. I paced, I ran my fingers through my beard, I watched the twilit horizon and counted the silhouette bones of the buildings Portland calls its skyline.
Anything but go to work.”
Music – Art of Silence – by Uniq
Assessing the Future
The fifteen authors and nine artists in this volume bring us beautiful, speculative stories of disability and mental illness in the future. Teeming with space pirates, battle robots, interstellar travel and genetically engineered creatures, every story and image is a quality, crafted work of science fiction in its own right, as thrilling and fascinating as it is worthy and important. These are stories about people with disabilities in all of their complexity and diversity, that scream with passion and intensity. These are stories that refuse to go gently.
May 16 2018
Rank #20: Queer Fire – AudioZine
A collection of histories, speeches, and interviews with members of the George Jackson Brigade and Men Against Sexism. These stories give inspiration for the multiform queer struggle against prison, capitalism, and the state.
“The Brigade’s diversity extended beyond the political as well. The group consisted of black and white members; gay, straight, and bisexual members; college graduates and ex-cons. Where groups such as the Weather Underground were, by and large, coming from the upper-middle class, Brigade members’ experiences gave the group a more nuanced view of struggle. The struggle against prison was, from the beginning, central to the Brigade’s activities, influenced, in no small part, by the fact that members of the Brigade had been in and out of prison their entire lives.”
One of the GJB members whose writing is featured in this audiozine, Bo Brown, has some serious health problems with which she needs support. Please click here to help her out if you can.
“I stand before this mockery of justice court to be condemned as its enemy – and I am its enemy! I am a member of the George Jackson Brigade and I know the answer to Bertolt Brecht’s question: “Which is the biggest crime, to rob a bank or to found one?” It is to my sisters and brothers of the working class that I am accountable – NOT to this court that harasses and searches my peers before they can enter what is supposed to be their courtroom. NOT to this or any court whose hidden purpose is to punish the poor and non-white in the name of the U.S. government. A government which perpetuates the crimes of war and repression has NO right to prescribe punishment for those who resist the continuation of worldwide death and misery.”
- Nina Simone – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
- Barbara Dane – I Hate The Capitalist System
- Hawkwind – Urban Guerilla
- Joan Baez – George Jackson (Live)
- Sing Me Home: Songs Against Prison – I’ll Break Out Again Tonight
- Ani DiFranco – Every State Line
- Sing Me Home: Songs Against Prison – Send Me Back Home
- Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man
- Concrete Mama: Prison Profiles from Walla Walla – Ethan Hoffman, John McCoy
- Creating a Movement with Teeth: A Documentary History of the
- George Jackson Brigade – Danial Burton-Rose (editor)
- Earful of Queer interview with Ed Mead
- Ed Mead interview on the Prison Industrial System
- The Gentleman Bank Robber: The Life Story of Rita Bo Brown
- George Jackson Brigade Information Project
- Guerrilla USA: The George Jackson Brigade and the Anticapitalist Underground of the 1970s – Daniel Burton-Rose
- Metropolis: The George Jackson Brigade
- The New Abolitionists: (Neo)slave Narratives and Contemporary
- Prison Writings – Joy James (editor)
- That’s Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation –
QUEER ANTI-PRISON STRUGGLE
Sep 03 2017