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Notes from underground: Dostoyevsky’s #anarchism

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in a letter speaking of his The Brothers Karamazov, declares that his principal aim in writing the novel, a civic duty no less, is the defeat of “anarchism”.

How can we then suggest to speak of Dostoyevsky’s anarchism?  And yet we dare to do so, navigating our way through the extremes of the underground and the modern social conformity of the many, of the nihilists and decadent aristocrats, of the social reformers and a Church oblivious to the kingdom of heaven.  Our journey’s end is to be found in the many voices of Dostoyevsky’s world, in a polyphony that cannot be silenced without impoverishing that world.  Among these many voices, we find the braying of mules, the tortured crying of children, the virtue of women and friends, the dissonance of idiots and the enthusiasm of those who have experienced, however fleetingly, the immensity and self-sufficient beauty and goodness of life.  What binds all of these disparate voices together, and only this power or force can do so, is love.  And it is Dostoyevsky’s boundless love of life that we will risk to call his anarchism.

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Gaston Leval: The Achievements of the Spanish Revolution

This year’s anniversary of the Spanish Revolution and civil war sees the republication by PM Press of Gaston Leval’s eyewitness account, Collectives in the Spanish Revolutionwith a new introduction by Pedro García-Guirao and a preface by Stuart Christie. I included excerpts from Leval’s book in the chapter on the Spanish Revolution in Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian IdeasHere I reproduce some of Leval’s reflections on the achievements of the Spanish Revolution, taken from the concluding chapter of his book.

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#Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (5)

The fifth chapter of Tomás Ibáñez’s Anarchism is movement brings the principal argument of the essay to a close.  Ibáñez is here concerned to demonstrate the bases upon which the contemporary anarchist resurgence and renewal occurred, bases that also set out the paths for its future development.

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#Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (4)

The fourth chapter of Tomás Ibáñez’s essay, Anarchism is movement directly engages the debate over the significance of “postanarchism”.  Neither tempted by a blind adherence to this current of thought, nor categorically dismissive, Ibáñez attempts to navigate between these extremes, always attentive to the complex relations between theory and practice that have always animated anarchism.

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Rahima Abdullah’s “Olive branch” – Young writer publishes book shedding light on the suffering of Afrin civilians under the Turkish invasion

Ever since the start of the Turkish invasion on the 20th of January, which ended with the capture of Afrin city on the 18th March and left hundreds of children, women and men dead, around 150 000 civilians fled the enclave, while, according to the reports provided by the UN, around 143 000 inhabitants still remain in the area.

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#Rotterdam: Squatting the Grey City

Squatting the Grey City is a book about the squatters movement in Rotterdam in the Netherlands from the 1970s to the present day.

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#Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (3)

Engaging directly with the contemporary resurgence and renewal of anarchism, Tomás Ibáñez, in the third chapter of Anarchism is movement, endeavours in part to conceptualise what he calls the “constitutively changeable” nature of the movement. 

Binding together thought and action, anarchism develops within mutually sustaining relations between practice guided by and creative of ideas, and ideas generative of and resulting from practice.  And to the extent that anarchism in turn develops within a historical context, this same relationship between thought and action is paralleled at the broader level of the movement’s relationship with any particular historical moment: anarchism is made possible (as thought and practice) by the context from which it emerges, while that context is changed by anarchism. 

In other words, the anarchist movement’s capacity to surge up anew depends on its renewal and its renewal depends on its capacity to produce the conditions of its resurgence.  And it is in this immanent to and fro between idea and practice, and between both and historical setting, that rebellious subjectivities are forged.  Should these ties be severed, then anarchism and anarchists will only be found in libraries and museums.

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Wolfi Landstreicher & others: This is what democracy looks like

Max Sartin, Wolfi Landstreicher, Dominique Misein, Adonide: This is what democracy looks like.

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Horizontalism by Mark Bray

We (Black Rose Anarchist Federation) are excited to present “Horizontalism” by Mark Bray which appears as a chapter in the recently published Anarchism: A Conceptual Approach, published by Routledge and edited by Benjamin Franks, Nathan Jun, and Leonard Williams. Bray is the author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook and Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street and a member of Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation. Given the length of the article we are also introducing a beautifully designed PDF reader format of the article which you can download by clicking on the reader image below.

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Some Lessons from Revolutionary History

Review of Loren Goldner, Revolution, Defeat, and Theoretical Underdevelopment: Russia, Turkey, Spain, Bolivia (2017). A review of a book by a libertarian Marxist sympathetic to anarchism who analyses four revolutions in the 20th century and discusses their lessons.

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