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Re: [smygo] Ego-Porn, or the Recent Work of Bob Black

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  • jrdavis
    Bob s habit of calling the cops (Jim Hogshire) or outing activities at their private employment sites (like he did to the Process World folks in the 80 s) to
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 4, 2007
      Bob's habit of calling the cops (Jim Hogshire) or outing activities at their private employment sites (like he did to the Process World folks in the 80's) to get even with his enemies makes him more dangerous than just his writings.

      David Graeber <david.graeber@...> wrote:
      (someone asked me to forward this to the list)


      EGO-PORN – OR THE WORK OF BOB BLACK

      by Wanda Tinasky



      Once, in the ‘80s, Bob Black wrote an essay called “The Abolition of
      Work.” It was very good. Not, perhaps, a spectacularly original
      contribution to anarchist theory; it was more a concise, funny, and
      extremely well-argued distillation of ideas widely bouncing around in
      anarchist circles at the time. It remains one of the better anarchist
      propaganda pieces, in my opinion, especially useful to show to
      students or others about to face the prospect of paid employment.

      Writing that piece was, as far as I am aware, the only positive thing
      Bob Black has ever done for anyone.

      I mean, sure, I know: even if you just look at it statistically, the
      chance that writing that essay is really the only good thing Bob
      Black has ever done for anyone else has got to be pretty low. It’s
      hard to imagine Bob Black has never, at least, held a door open for a
      stranger, took care of someone’s cat, or given a friend a ride in his
      car. I only really know his anarchist practice. As an anarchist,
      though, Black confines his activity to writing, and since “the
      Abolition of Work”, his writing has hammered away relentlessly on one
      theme and one theme only: why everybody else sucks. Also everything
      else: Black has also inveighed against feminism, technology, the
      Left, direct democracy, any other sort of democracy, anarchism,
      punks, vegetarians, and pretty much anything else… He has been able
      to come up with something nasty and usually personally insulting to
      say about almost every other anarchist writer that has come to his
      attention.

      Is this, one might ask, because he is so passionately attached to his
      own vision of liberation that he must defend it against all comers?
      No. Not really. It’s not clear Black actually has a vision, other
      than a broad feeling of approval for Kalahari Bushmen (who he is able
      to like, I suspect, largely because he’s never met or talked to one,
      since anyone he actually knows he appears to find insufferable). In
      fact, he’s so passionate about using any shit available to throw that
      he makes no pretense of consistency. For instance: in his recent
      attack on every book ever published by AK Press, Black had the
      incredible chutzpah to condemn AK for celebrating Black Panthers
      partly on the ground that the Panthers were “sexist”—this coming from
      a man who once summed up his attitude towards women’s issues by the
      bon mot, “if sisterhood is powerful, shouldn't feminists douche more
      often?” He’ll use anyone’s cause to mock and pummel anyone else’s,
      because that’s really the only point.

      Why do editors continue to publish this sort of thing? If someone
      just took a piece of paper and wrote “I hate you I hate you I hate
      you” over and over, would anyone publish that? Why exactly is this
      different? Admittedly, there was a time his attacks were clever and
      often funny, but in recent years, he’s lost even that. By now his
      prose is often completely incomprehensible. Consider the following
      sentence about myself in the AK piece:

      "And there is an anthology of “academic scholars and engaged
      individuals” (yawn) co-edited by fired professor Wanda Tinasky, an
      example of a familiar figure on the AK scene: a social democrat who
      calls violently suppressed the Party."

      Huh? I don’t have a clue what that even could mean. Even the quote is
      wrong: it has come to the point where successfully copying five words
      from a catalogue is beyond Black’s mental capabilities. The rest of
      the sentence seems to consist of two chunks of flotsam from different
      word files accidentally fused together, like a statue with a leg
      where the nose should be. (And no one noticed this?)

      When Black does succeed in producing a coherent sentence, it
      invariably serves no purpose other than to hurt someone. The attack-
      dog style he employs was first developed, of course, by Stalinist or
      Trotskyite polemicists, but as we all know Marxist sectarians write
      the way they do because they have somehow managed to convince
      themselves that if they win enough arguments, it will eventually help
      spark the Revolution. There’s no evidence Bob Black believes anything
      of the sort. He’s not trying to build or further anything and there’s
      no reason to believe he thinks that even if he did win all the
      arguments, this would further world revolution or industrial
      collapse. He is a sectarian without a cause, a Sparticist without a
      Party. If nothing else, he must at least be aware that if 98% of
      anarchist writers, publishers, and organizers really were the liars,
      frauds, scheming authoritarians, morons and police agents he claims
      them to be, then the same would have to be true of anarchist readers,
      so what would be the point in trying to convince them of anything?

      What is the point? Why do anarchist magazines print this sort of
      thing? It’s a particularly pressing question because a large
      proportion of what you read in anarchist magazines has come to adopt
      this same, odd, vitriolic style. One might call it the "crabby
      individualist" genre. Its proponents will usually begin by arguing
      that true anarchism means absolute personal liberty and the pursuit
      of pleasure and fulfillment, unconstrained by any sense of
      responsibility to anyone or anything else—which is fair enough,
      perhaps, Individualism is one longstanding strain of anarchism—but
      then for some reason, when it comes time to put that absolute
      personal liberty into practice, the only thing they can think of to
      do with it is to sit in front of a computer writing sectarian attacks
      on other anarchists. This is the best they could come up with? This
      is fun? Shouldn’t they be off having perverse group sex on public
      property, or cranking up loud funk music at 4AM, or fishing with
      dynamite or something? Stalinists after all acted like they did
      because they thought they had to; these guys do it because
      apparently, that’s what they really like to do.

      But of course there’s the real secret. On some level, nastiness is
      fun. This is why Bob Black can get published, and why so many
      anarchists not only read, but enjoy his work. Just like we find it
      hard not to identify with schoolyard bullies, we find it hard not to
      find a secret thrill in watching someone totally demolish a weak
      opponent—which, on paper, is easy to do, since on paper you can make
      your opponent pretty much as weak as you want to. Of course as
      anarchists, we would never admit we identify with bullies. But we
      also are heirs to an atrocious Leftist tradition of sectarian
      argument, at this point so internalized that whenever we see certain
      classic polemical moves and phrases, we automatically assume we are
      dealing with an (at least somewhat) legitimate form of politics. What
      Black, and others like him, have really done is detached this
      tradition from any moorings in revolutionary vision or organization
      whatsoever and turned it into a form of entertainment in itself.
      Obviously he can’t admit it. If you came clean about this sort of
      thing, it would never work. So Black must make constant invocations
      of old-fashioned, Stalinist-style ideological purity (“If anarchists
      are capable of authoritarian attitudes and ideological incoherence, I
      should no more hail one as a comrade, sight unseen, than I would a
      state trooper or used-car dealer”) and statements insisting that
      really, there actually are one or two anarchist authors or publishers—
      yes, even aside from himself—who have some redeeming qualities. But
      all that is really just an alibi. The real point is just being able
      to tell everyone else that they’re a piece of shit.

      Recently there’s been a debate in anarchist circles about “riot porn”—
      is it okay to get off on videos of flaming barricades or battles with
      cops; is it really political or just cheap macho entertainment?
      Myself, I don’t find such pleasures especially problematic. Far more
      dangerous, I think, is what I’d call “ego porn”. Ego porn is work
      that is written for no purpose other than the joy of feeling
      superior, of making a show of crushing and demolishing a (usually
      imaginary) opponent for the sheer fun of it. It’s fun because it
      allows those who read it to vicariously experience the same thing,
      while telling themselves that by doing so, they are engaging in
      political debate. (In fact, that makes it even better, since that way
      they get to feel self-righteous too.) This is the only reason why
      anyone still reads Bob Black—because almost everything he’s written
      since “The Abolition of Work” is pure ego-porn.

      Perhaps it’s not surprising our current movement has generated this
      sort of thing. The beautiful thing about contemporary anarchism is
      the emphasis on listening, compromise and mutual understanding. All
      those feminists Black reviles have, in the end, made a profound
      impact on decision-making process, and ultimately, on our political
      culture as a whole. The problem with mutual understanding though is
      it takes an enormous amount of emotional energy. Being nice all the
      time does eventually become exhausting. Especially when one is
      struggling with the suspicion that so many of one’s comrades may well
      be idiots or assholes. It’s hard not to at least occasionally wish
      you couldn’t just totally give it to one of them. Hence the
      popularity of ego-porn.

      Maybe if you look at it that way, it’s really not so terrible. We all
      need the occasional catharsis. It’s probably better than watching
      professional wrestling—at least you’re not encouraging steroid use.
      The danger comes when we fool ourselves into thinking this has
      anything to do with politics.



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    • Dan Clore
      ... [etc.] Well, I m afraid that I ve found a lot more of value in Bob Black s work than this individual. But she does make a good point about his constant
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 4, 2007
        David Graeber wrote:

        > (someone asked me to forward this to the list)
        >
        > EGO-PORN – OR THE WORK OF BOB BLACK
        > by Wanda Tinasky

        [etc.]

        Well, I'm afraid that I've found a lot more of value in Bob Black's work
        than this individual. But she does make a good point about his constant
        personal attacks on practically anyone and everyone, that serve little
        purpose other than to cause bad feelings. The review of the AK Press
        catalog might mark the point where Bob has really jumped the shark.

        Still, consider something like the following. If only Bob Black could
        stick to work like this:

        Anarchy 101
        by Bob Black

        What is "anarchism"? What is "anarchy"? Who are "anarchists"?

        Anarchism is an idea about the best way to live. Anarchy is
        a way of living.

        Anarchism is the idea that government (the state) is
        unnecessary and harmful. Anarchy is society without
        government. Anarchists are people who believe in anarchism
        and desire to live in anarchy as all our ancestors once did.
        People who believe in government (such as liberals,
        conservatives, socialists and fascists) are known as "statists."

        It might sound like anarchism is purely negative -- that
        it's just against something. Actually, anarchists have many
        positive ideas about life in a stateless society. But,
        unlike Marxists, liberals and conservatives, they don't
        offer a blueprint.

        Aren't anarchists bomb-throwers?

        No -- at least not compared to, say the United States
        Government, which drops more bombs every day on Iraq than
        anarchists have thrown in the almost 150 years they have
        been a political movement. Why do we never hear of
        "bomb-throwing Presidents"? Does it matter if bombs are
        delivered horizontally by anarchists rather than vertically
        by the U.S. Government?

        Anarchists have been active for many years and in many
        countries, under autocratic as well as democratic
        governments. Sometimes, especially under conditions of
        severe repression, some anarchists have thrown bombs. But
        that has been the exception. The "bomb-throwing anarchist"
        stereotype was concocted by politicians and journalists in
        the late 19th century, and they still won't let go of it,
        but even back then it was a gross exaggeration.

        Has there ever been an anarchist society that worked?

        Yes, many thousands of them. For their first million years
        or more, all humans lived as hunter-gatherers in small bands
        of equals, without hierarchy or authority. These are our
        ancestors. Anarchist societies must have been successful,
        otherwise none of us would be here. The state is only a few
        thousand years old, and it has taken that long for it to
        subdue the last anarchist societies, such as the San
        (Bushmen), the Pygmies and the Australian aborigines.

        But we can't go back to that way of life.

        Nearly all anarchists would agree. But it's still an
        eye-opener, even for anarchists, to study these societies,
        and perhaps to pick up some ideas on how a completely
        voluntary, highly individualistic, yet cooperative society
        might work. To take just one example, anarchist foragers and
        tribesmen often have highly effective methods of conflict
        resolution including mediation and nonbinding arbitration.
        Their methods work better than our legal system because
        family, friends and neighbors of the disputants encourage
        disputants to agree, helped by sympathetic and trustworthy
        go-betweens, to find some reasonable resolution of the
        problem. In the 1970s and 1980s, academic supposed experts
        tried to transplant some of these methods into the American
        legal system. Naturally the transplants withered and died,
        because they only live in a free society.

        Anarchists are naïve: they think human nature is essentially
        good.

        Not so. It's true that anarchists reject ideas of innate
        depravity or Original Sin. Those are religious ideas which
        most people no longer believe in. But anarchists don't
        usually believe that human nature is essentially good
        either. They take people as they are. Human beings aren't
        "essentially" anything. We who live under capitalism and its
        ally, the state, are just people who have never had a chance
        to be everything we can be.

        Although anarchists often make moral appeals to the best in
        people, just as often they appeal to enlightened
        self-interest. Anarchism is not a doctrine of
        self-sacrifice, although anarchists have fought and died for
        what they believe in. Anarchists believe that the
        carrying-out of their basic idea would mean a better life
        for almost everyone.

        How can you trust people not to victimize each other without
        the state to control crime?

        If you can't trust ordinary people not to victimize each
        other, how can you trust the state not to victimize us all?
        Are the people who get into power so unselfish, so
        dedicated, so superior to the ones they rule? The more you
        distrust your fellows, the more reason there is for you to
        become an anarchist. Under anarchy, power is reduced and
        spread around. Everybody has some, but nobody has very much.
        Under the state, power is concentrated, and most people have
        none, really. Which kind of power would you like to go up
        against?

        But -- let's get real -- what would happen if there were no
        police?

        As anarchist Allen Thornton observes, "Police aren't in the
        protection business; they're in the revenge business."
        Forget about Batman driving around interrupting crimes in
        progress. Police patrol does not prevent crime or catch
        criminals. When police patrol was discontinued secretly and
        selectively in Kansas City neighborhoods, the crime rate
        stayed the same. Other research likewise finds that
        detective work, crime labs, etc. have no effect on the crime
        rate. But when neighbors get together to watch over each
        other and warn off would-be criminals, criminals try another
        neighborhood which is protected only by the police. The
        criminals know that they are in little danger there.

        But the modern state is deeply involved in the regulation of
        everyday life. Almost every activity has some sort of state
        connection.

        That's true -- but when you think about it, everyday life is
        almost entirely anarchist. Rarely does one encounter a
        policeman, unless he is writing you a traffic ticket for
        speeding. Voluntary arrangements and understandings prevail
        almost everywhere. As anarchist Rudolph Rocker wrote: "The
        fact is that even under the worst despotism most of man's
        personal relations with his fellows are arranged by free
        agreement and solidaric cooperation, without which social
        life would not be possible at all."

        Family life, buying and selling, friendship, worship, sex,
        and leisure are anarchist. Even in the workplace, which many
        anarchists consider to be as coercive as the state, workers
        notoriously cooperate, independent of the boss, both to
        minimize work and to get it done. Some people say anarchy
        doesn't work. But it's almost the only thing that does! The
        state rests, uneasily, on a foundation of anarchy, and so
        does the economy.

        Culture?

        Anarchism has always attracted generous and creative spirits
        who have enriched our culture. Anarchist poets include Percy
        Bysshe Shelley, William Blake, Arthur Rimbaud, and Lawrence
        Ferlinghetti. American anarchist essayists include Henry
        David Thoreau and, in the 20th century, the Catholic
        anarchist Dorothy Day, Paul Goodman, and Alex Comfort
        (author of The Joy of Sex). Anarchist scholars include the
        linguist Noam Chomsky, the historian Howard Zinn, and the
        anthropologists A.R. Radcliffe-Brown and Pierre Clastres.
        Anarchist literary figures are way too numerous to list but
        include Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, and Mary Shelley (author
        of Frankenstein). Anarchist painters include Gustav Courbet,
        Georges Seurat, Camille Pissarro, and Jackson Pollock. Other
        creative anarchists include such musicians as John Cage,
        John Lennon, the band CRASS, etc.

        Supposing you're right, that anarchy is a better way to live
        than what we have now, how can we possibly overthrow the
        state if it's as powerful and oppressive as you say it is?

        Anarchists have always thought about this question. They
        have no single, simple answer. In Spain, where there were
        one million anarchists in 1936 when the military attempted a
        coup, they fought the Fascists at the front at the same time
        that they supported workers in taking over the factories,
        and the peasants in forming collectives on the land.
        Anarchists did the same thing in the Ukraine in 1918-1920,
        where they had to fight both the Czarists and the
        Communists. But that's not how we will bring down the system
        in the world of the 21st century.

        Consider the revolutions that overthrew Communism in Eastern
        Europe. There was some violence and death involved, more in
        some countries than in others. But what brought down the
        politicians, bureaucrats and generals -- the same enemy we
        face -- was most of the population just refusing to work or
        do anything else to keep a rotten system going. What were
        the commissars in Moscow or Warsaw to do, drop nuclear
        weapons on themselves? Exterminate the workers that they
        were living off?

        Most anarchists have long believed that what they call a
        general strike could play a large part in crumbling the
        state. That is, a collective refusal to work.

        If you're against all government, you must be against democracy.

        If democracy means that people control their own lives, then
        all anarchists would be, as American anarchist Benjamin
        Tucker called them, "unterrified Jeffersonian democrats" --
        they would be the only true democrats. But that's not what
        democracy really is. In real life, a part of the people (in
        America, almost always a minority of the people) elect a
        handful of politicians who control our lives by passing laws
        and using unelected bureaucrats and police to enforce them
        whether the majority want it or not.

        As the French philosopher Rousseau (not an anarchist) once
        wrote, in a democracy, people are only free at the moment
        they vote, the rest of the time they are government slaves.
        The politicians in office and the bureaucrats are usually
        under the powerful influence of big business and often other
        special interest groups. Everyone knows this. But some
        people keep silent because they are getting benefits from
        the powerholders. Many others keep silent because they know
        that protesting does no good and they might be called
        "extremists" or even "anarchists" (!) if they tell it like
        it is. Some democracy!

        Well, if you don't elect officials to make the decisions,
        who does make them? You can't tell me that everybody can do
        as he personally pleases without regard for others.

        Anarchists have many ideas about how decisions would be made
        in a truly voluntary and cooperative society. Most
        anarchists believe that such a society must be based on
        local communities small enough for people to know each
        other, or people at least would share ties of family,
        friendship, opinions or interests with almost everybody
        else. And because this is a local community, people also
        share common knowledge of their community and its
        environment. They know that they will have to live with the
        consequences of their decisions. Unlike politicians or
        bureaucrats, who decide for other people.

        Anarchists believe that decisions should always be made at
        the smallest possible level. Every decision which
        individuals can make for themselves, without interfering
        with anybody else's decisions for themselves, they should
        make for themselves. Every decision made in small groups
        (such as the family, religious congregations, co-workers,
        etc.) is again theirs to make as far as it doesn't interfere
        with others. Decisions with significant wider impact, if
        anyone is concerned about them, would go to an occasional
        face-to-face community assembly.

        The community assembly, however, is not a legislature. No
        one is elected. Anyone may attend. People speak for
        themselves. But as they speak about specific issues, they
        are very aware that for them, winning is not, as it was for
        football coach Vince Lombardi, "the only thing." They want
        everyone to win. They value fellowship with their neighbors.
        They try, first, to reduce misunderstanding and clarify the
        issue. Often that's enough to produce agreement. If that's
        not enough, they work for a compromise. Very often they
        accomplish it. If not, the assembly may put off the issue,
        if it's something that doesn't require an immediate
        decision, so the entire community can reflect on and discuss
        the matter prior to another meeting. If that fails, the
        community will explore whether there's a way the majority
        and minority can temporarily separate, each carrying out its
        preference.

        If people still have irreconcilable differences about the
        issue, the minority has two choices. It can go along with
        the majority this time, because community harmony is more
        important than the issue. Maybe the majority can conciliate
        the minority with a decision about something else. If all
        else fails, and if the issue is so important to the
        minority, it may separate to form a separate community, just
        as various American states (Connecticut, Rhode Island,
        Vermont, Kentucky, Maine, Utah, West Virginia, etc.) have
        done. If their secession isn't an argument against statism,
        then it isn't an argument against anarchy. That's not a
        failure for anarchy, because the new community will recreate
        anarchy. Anarchy isn't a perfect system -- it's just better
        than all the others.

        We can't satisfy all our needs or wants at the local level.

        Maybe not all of them, but there's evidence from archaeology
        of long-distance trade, over hundreds or even thousands of
        miles, in anarchist, prehistoric Europe. Anarchist primitive
        societies visited by anthropologists in the 20th century,
        such as the San (Bushmen) hunter-gatherers and the tribal
        Trobriand Islanders, conducted such trade between individual
        "trade-partners." Practical anarchy has never depended on
        total local self-sufficiency. But many modern anarchists
        have urged that communities, and regions, should be as
        self-sufficient as possible, so as not to depend on distant,
        impersonal outsiders for necessities. Even with modern
        technology, which was often designed specifically to enlarge
        commercial markets by breaking down self-sufficiency, much
        more local self-sufficiency is possible than governments and
        corporations want us to know.

        One definition of "anarchy" is chaos. Isn't that what
        anarchy would be -- chaos?

        Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first person to call himself an
        anarchist, wrote that "liberty is the mother, not the
        daughter of order." Anarchist order is superior to
        state-enforced order because it is not a system of coercive
        laws, it is simply how communities of people who know each
        other decide how to live together. Anarchist order is based
        on common consent and common sense.

        When was the philosophy of anarchism formulated?

        Some anarchists think that anarchist ideas were expressed by
        Diogenes the Cynic in ancient Greece, by Lao Tse in ancient
        China, and by certain medieval mystics and also during the
        17th century English Civil War. But modern anarchism began
        with William Godwin's Political Justice published in England
        in 1793. It was revived in France by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
        in the 1840s (What Is Property?). He inspired an anarchist
        movement among French workers. Max Stirner in The Ego and
        His Own (1844) defined the enlightened egoism which is a
        basic anarchist value. An American, Josiah Warren,
        independently arrived at similar ideas at the same time and
        influenced the large-scale movement at the time to found
        utopian communities. Anarchist ideas were developed further
        by the great Russian revolutionary Michael Bakunin and by
        the respected Russian scholar Peter Kropotkin. Anarchists
        hope that their ideas continue to develop in a changing world.

        This revolutionary stuff sounds a lot like Communism, which
        nobody wants.

        Anarchists and Marxists have been enemies since the 1860s.
        Although they have sometimes cooperated against common
        enemies like the Czarists during the Russian Revolution and
        the Spanish Fascists during the Spanish Civil War, the
        Communists have always betrayed the anarchists. From Karl
        Marx to Joseph Stalin, Marxists have denounced anarchism.

        Some anarchists, followers of Kropotkin, call themselves
        "communists" -- not Communists. But they contrast their free
        communism, arising from below -- the voluntary pooling of
        land, facilities and labor in local communities where people
        know each other -- to a Communism imposed by force by the
        state, nationalizing land and productive facilities, denying
        all local autonomy, and reducing workers to state employees.
        How could the two systems be more different?

        Anarchists welcomed and in fact participated in the fall of
        European Communism. Some foreign anarchists had been
        assisting Eastern Bloc dissidents -- as the U.S. Government
        had not -- for many years. Anarchists are now active in all
        the former Communist countries.

        The Communist collapse certainly did discredit much of the
        American left, but not the anarchists, many of whom do not
        consider themselves leftists anyway. Anarchists were around
        before Marxism and we are still around after it.

        Don't anarchists advocate violence?

        Anarchists aren't nearly as violent as Democrats,
        Republicans, liberals and conservatives. Those people only
        seem to be nonviolent because they use the state to do their
        dirty work -- to be violent for them. But violence is
        violence. Wearing a uniform or waving a flag does not change
        that. The state is violent by definition. Without violence
        against our anarchist ancestors -- hunter-gatherers and
        farmers -- there would be no states today. Some anarchists
        advocate violence -- but all states engage in violence every
        day.

        Some anarchists, in the tradition of Tolstoy, are pacifist
        and nonviolent on principle. A relatively small number of
        anarchists believe in going on the offensive against the
        state. Most anarchists believe in self-defense and would
        accept some level of violence in a revolutionary situation.
        The issue is not really violence vs. nonviolence. The issue
        is direct action. Anarchists believe that people -- all
        people -- should take their fate into their own hands,
        individually or collectively, whether doing that is legal or
        illegal and whether it has to involve violence or it can be
        accomplished nonviolently.

        What exactly is the social structure of an anarchist society?

        Most anarchists are not "exactly" sure. The world will be a
        very different place after government has been abolished.

        Anarchists don't usually offer blueprints, but they propose
        some guiding principles. They say that mutual aid --
        cooperation rather than competition -- is the soundest basis
        for social life. They are individualists in the sense that
        they think society exists for the benefit of the individual,
        not the other way around. They favor decentralization,
        meaning that the foundations of society should be local,
        face-to-face communities. These communities then federate --
        in relations of mutual aid -- but only to coordinate
        activities which can't be carried on by local communities.
        Anarchist decentralization turns the existing hierarchy
        upside down. Right now, the higher the level of government,
        the more power it has. Under anarchy, higher levels of
        association aren't governments at all. They have no coercive
        power, and the higher you go, the less responsibility is
        delegated to them from below. Still, anarchists are aware of
        the risk that these federations might become bureaucratic
        and statist. We are utopians but we are also realists. We
        will have to monitor those federations closely. As Thomas
        Jefferson put it, "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

        Any last words?

        Winston Churchill, a deceased alcoholic English politician
        and war criminal, once wrote that "democracy is the worst
        system of government, except for all the others." Anarchy is
        the worst system of society -- except for all the others. So
        far, all civilizations (state societies) have collapsed and
        have been succeeded by anarchist societies. State societies
        are inherently unstable. Sooner or later, ours will also
        collapse. It's not too soon to start thinking about what to
        put in its place. Anarchists have been thinking about that
        for over 200 years. We have a head start. We invite you to
        explore our ideas -- and to join us in trying to make the
        world a better place.

        --
        Dan Clore

        My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
        http://amazon.com/o/ASIN/1587154838/ref=nosim/thedanclorenecro
        Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
        http://www.geocities.com/clorebeast/
        News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

        Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
        immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
        -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"
      • ck@nefac.net
        ... FYI, Wanda Tinasky is a pseudonym, somewhat notorious in literary circles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanda_Tinasky ck
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 4, 2007
          >> EGO-PORN – OR THE WORK OF BOB BLACK
          >> by Wanda Tinasky


          FYI, "Wanda Tinasky" is a pseudonym, somewhat notorious in literary circles:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanda_Tinasky

          ck
        • David Graeber
          Yes, the actual author was Luther Blissett David ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 4, 2007
            Yes, the actual author was Luther Blissett
            David

            On Sep 4, 2007, at 11:48 AM, ck@... wrote:

            > >> EGO-PORN � OR THE WORK OF BOB BLACK
            > >> by Wanda Tinasky
            >
            > FYI, "Wanda Tinasky" is a pseudonym, somewhat notorious in literary
            > circles:
            >
            > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanda_Tinasky
            >
            > ck
            >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Charles Munson
            From what I ve skimmed so far of Black s recent review of AK Press, I have to say that what Wanda says about that piece is pretty on target. Based on my
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 4, 2007
              From what I've skimmed so far of Black's recent "review" of AK Press, I have to say that what Wanda says about that piece is pretty on target. Based on my skimming of that piece, it reads like Bob is recycling old material. He is using AK Press to attack people he was attacking back in the 1980s. Nobody cares about that shit anymore. That phase of the movement is almost 20 years stale. Black is not the only person guilty of beating the dead horses of the 1980s anarchist movement. Chaz Bufe comes to mind as another American anarchist stuck in the past.

              That being said, I still think that Black is a brilliant writer and an important contributor to the current anarchist movement. What people don't want to understand is that Black is a provocative writer. There is nothing wrong with this, since anarchists have a long history of pursuing provocative and disruptive politics. Black is a damn good critic; he's not the type of thinker who is going to write upbeat stuff like Ashanti Alston or Cindy Milstein. His role is to make us squirm and to challenge us to question our own assumptions, which we should be doing anyway given that we are, after all, *anti-authoritarians*.

              Black's writing has pissed me off over the years and I often find myself disagreeing with him. But anarchism would quickly become stale if we didn't have anarchists like Black around to prod us with sticks.

              Chuck Munson


              ---------------------------------
              Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Ean Frick
              I agree, except I think that his criticism of AK Press was fairly accurate. I was thinking the same thing concerning all the liberal trendy identity politics
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 4, 2007
                I agree, except I think that his criticism of AK Press was fairly accurate. I was thinking the
                same thing concerning all the liberal trendy identity politics crapola. And what he says
                about Ward Churhill is great. Someone needs to do the same with Noel Ignatiev.

                As for Black being too negative, I think every milieu needs its critics. Better they come
                from inside than out. Plus there is a tendency among folks whose ideas are in the
                minority to overlook a whole host of shit that needs to be called out because they want to
                maintain some sort of false unity.


                --- In smygo@yahoogroups.com, Charles Munson <charlestmunson@...> wrote:
                >
                > From what I've skimmed so far of Black's recent "review" of AK Press, I have to say that
                what Wanda says about that piece is pretty on target. Based on my skimming of that piece,
                it reads like Bob is recycling old material. He is using AK Press to attack people he was
                attacking back in the 1980s. Nobody cares about that shit anymore. That phase of the
                movement is almost 20 years stale. Black is not the only person guilty of beating the dead
                horses of the 1980s anarchist movement. Chaz Bufe comes to mind as another American
                anarchist stuck in the past.
                >
                > That being said, I still think that Black is a brilliant writer and an important contributor
                to the current anarchist movement. What people don't want to understand is that Black is a
                provocative writer. There is nothing wrong with this, since anarchists have a long history
                of pursuing provocative and disruptive politics. Black is a damn good critic; he's not the
                type of thinker who is going to write upbeat stuff like Ashanti Alston or Cindy Milstein. His
                role is to make us squirm and to challenge us to question our own assumptions, which we
                should be doing anyway given that we are, after all, *anti-authoritarians*.
                >
                > Black's writing has pissed me off over the years and I often find myself disagreeing with
                him. But anarchism would quickly become stale if we didn't have anarchists like Black
                around to prod us with sticks.
                >
                > Chuck Munson
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • David Graeber
                Well, speaking just for myself this time: I know most of the AK people, largely because they re publishing a bunch of my books. So I m biased. Still: Many of
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 5, 2007
                  Well, speaking just for myself this time:

                  I know most of the AK people, largely because they're publishing
                  a bunch of my books. So I'm biased. Still:

                  Many of the statements he makes about AK Press (ie, the money from
                  home claims) are plain false. AK itself apparently has a policy of never
                  responding even to slanderous statements by other anarchists (in
                  fact, they distribute Bob Black's book, even though all he ever does is
                  attack them.) Sure, they publish a lot of crap. Lots of stuff that isn't
                  remotely anarchist. Last I checked they never claimed to be a
                  press that only publishes anarchist material, like some Trotskyite
                  sect that only publishes material approved by the Central Committee or
                  something. They do it largely because they want to appeal to a
                  broader audience
                  to get them ultimately to drop that sort of "liberal trendy identity
                  crapola" and get
                  interested in anarchism instead. They're about dissemination. They're
                  pretty good at it. AK has brought thousands of new people into
                  anarchism.

                  That's really what it's all about: is anarchism going to be a cool club
                  for some self-selected elite of maybe a few hundred hipsters who live
                  up to Bob Black's (or whatever other self-appointed arbiter's) exacting
                  criteria of ideological purity, or is it going to be a revolutionary
                  force
                  that will eventually do away with the state and capitalism? If the
                  latter,
                  we'll have to disseminate our ideas, and other people will take them up
                  in forms we don't even like all that much�especially at first. But do we
                  want to win or do we want to lose? While Bob Black claims to hate "the
                  Left", it seems to me he's inherited its very worst aspects:
                  basically, the
                  will to be a bunch of back-biting, puritanical (in the ideological
                  sense)
                  losers who don't actually want to put themselves in a position to change
                  the world because it would compromise their ability to say how much
                  better they than the other sect down the road. At this point in
                  history it's become
                  clear we can be sectarian _or_ revolutionary but not both. Black
                  seems to
                  have decided it's more important to be sectarian but I kind of
                  assumed most
                  people on this list don't share that. Maybe they do. In which case
                  I'll leave.

                  By "sectarian" I also mean people who endless attack others for
                  their "ideological incoherence" - as Black once put it - but never
                  therefore
                  think they should themselves enact the principles they claim to
                  endorse. Which leads to....

                  I know I shouldn't even go into the narc thing. But it just astounds
                  me. What
                  the fuck is someone who works as a contract lawyer, who has never
                  contributed to any collective anarchist project in any way, who has
                  called
                  the cops on other anarchists on more than one occasion and tried
                  apparently
                  to burn down rivals' homes while they were in them, going around
                  preaching to
                  anybody else about anarchist principles and why the hell is anyone
                  listening to him? It's just embarrassing. If the Pope decided to
                  accuse us
                  of hierarchical behavior, would we take him seriously? If Fox News
                  accused
                  us of biased reporting, would we feel that it's important to take their
                  perspective into account? So when Bob Black, who writes letters to the
                  police fingering his enemies, accuses Ward Churchill of being a
                  police agent,
                  why don't we react the same way? It's especially weird for me, who's
                  had endless shit thrown at me just because I took a job for some years
                  teaching at Yale - largely by people like Bob Black - when he himself
                  actually does violate the most fundamental anarchist principles and
                  people like Mr. Frick don't even seem to care.
                  David


                  On Sep 4, 2007, at 8:11 PM, Ean Frick wrote:

                  > I agree, except I think that his criticism of AK Press was fairly
                  > accurate. I was thinking the
                  > same thing concerning all the liberal trendy identity politics
                  > crapola. And what he says
                  > about Ward Churhill is great. Someone needs to do the same with
                  > Noel Ignatiev.
                  >
                  > As for Black being too negative, I think every milieu needs its
                  > critics. Better they come
                  > from inside than out. Plus there is a tendency among folks whose
                  > ideas are in the
                  > minority to overlook a whole host of shit that needs to be called
                  > out because they want to
                  > maintain some sort of false unity.
                  >
                  > --- In smygo@yahoogroups.com, Charles Munson <charlestmunson@...>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > From what I've skimmed so far of Black's recent "review" of AK
                  > Press, I have to say that
                  > what Wanda says about that piece is pretty on target. Based on my
                  > skimming of that piece,
                  > it reads like Bob is recycling old material. He is using AK Press
                  > to attack people he was
                  > attacking back in the 1980s. Nobody cares about that shit anymore.
                  > That phase of the
                  > movement is almost 20 years stale. Black is not the only person
                  > guilty of beating the dead
                  > horses of the 1980s anarchist movement. Chaz Bufe comes to mind as
                  > another American
                  > anarchist stuck in the past.
                  > >
                  > > That being said, I still think that Black is a brilliant writer
                  > and an important contributor
                  > to the current anarchist movement. What people don't want to
                  > understand is that Black is a
                  > provocative writer. There is nothing wrong with this, since
                  > anarchists have a long history
                  > of pursuing provocative and disruptive politics. Black is a damn
                  > good critic; he's not the
                  > type of thinker who is going to write upbeat stuff like Ashanti
                  > Alston or Cindy Milstein. His
                  > role is to make us squirm and to challenge us to question our own
                  > assumptions, which we
                  > should be doing anyway given that we are, after all, *anti-
                  > authoritarians*.
                  > >
                  > > Black's writing has pissed me off over the years and I often find
                  > myself disagreeing with
                  > him. But anarchism would quickly become stale if we didn't have
                  > anarchists like Black
                  > around to prod us with sticks.
                  > >
                  > > Chuck Munson
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ---------------------------------
                  > > Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Charles Munson
                  I mostly agree with your comments, David, but I would advise people to be skeptical about stories you hear about Bob Black or any other anarchist s personal
                  Message 8 of 15 , Sep 5, 2007
                    I mostly agree with your comments, David, but I would advise people to be skeptical about stories you hear about Bob Black or any other anarchist's personal lives. Like you, I've been smeared publicly by numerous people who aren't mature enough to understand that you don't make shit up about people because you disagree with them about some subject. It's really discouraging to be attacked with falsehoods, even when they are concocted by obviously crazy people.

                    I think that some of the people who spend so much time bashing Black ought to spend more time looking in the mirror to find an example of shitty anarchist behavior. I'm thinking here about people who refuse to sell Black's books and others who engage in shitty sectarianism and then act all righteous when it comes to Black.

                    I've read most of what Black has written about Ward Churchill. Over the years I've come to greatly respect Churchill as a person, activist and writer. Black has lots of catching up to do if anybody is going to take his criticisms of Churchill seriously.

                    While I have some criticisms of AK Press, I am a great admirer and supporter of their project. If the rest of the anarchist movement followed AK's example, we'd really be kicking the Man in the shins. I agree, David, that AK is doing the right thing by distributing all kinds of non-anarchist materials. I would be doing the same thing if I were running AK, in fact, if we get Breaking Glass Press off the ground we'll hopefully be publishing non-anarchists in addition to anarchists.

                    One thing critics of AK just don't understand is that by selling and distributing all of that non-anarchist material, AK raises the money to publish more *anarchist* titles. Those fancy new anarchist books require substantial finances to publish, Black's fantasies about Ramsey's mother notwithstanding.

                    As an anarchist, I don't like anarchist bookstores and publishers that just sell anarchist books. How boring! I want access to a range of writing, information and opinions. I just read Mike Davis' new book "Buda's Wagon," which has some material about anarchists, but is more a history of car bombing as a political tactic. I would hope that an anarchist bookstore would carry this book.

                    I help run an anarchist bookstore called the Crossroads Infoshop and Radical Bookstore here in Kansas City. We carry a wide range of books, including lots of stuff that isn't anarchist. My philosophy is to let the reader decide what is best for their needs and interests.

                    Chuck Munson

                    David Graeber <david.graeber@...> wrote: Well, speaking just for myself this time:

                    I know most of the AK people, largely because they're publishing
                    a bunch of my books. So I'm biased. Still:

                    Many of the statements he makes about AK Press (ie, the money from
                    home claims) are plain false. AK itself apparently has a policy of never
                    responding even to slanderous statements by other anarchists (in
                    fact, they distribute Bob Black's book, even though all he ever does is
                    attack them.) Sure, they publish a lot of crap. Lots of stuff that isn't
                    remotely anarchist. Last I checked they never claimed to be a
                    press that only publishes anarchist material, like some Trotskyite
                    sect that only publishes material approved by the Central Committee or
                    something. They do it largely because they want to appeal to a
                    broader audience
                    to get them ultimately to drop that sort of "liberal trendy identity
                    crapola" and get
                    interested in anarchism instead. They're about dissemination. They're
                    pretty good at it. AK has brought thousands of new people into
                    anarchism.

                    That's really what it's all about: is anarchism going to be a cool club
                    for some self-selected elite of maybe a few hundred hipsters who live
                    up to Bob Black's (or whatever other self-appointed arbiter's) exacting
                    criteria of ideological purity, or is it going to be a revolutionary
                    force
                    that will eventually do away with the state and capitalism? If the
                    latter,
                    we'll have to disseminate our ideas, and other people will take them up
                    in forms we don't even like all that much—especially at first. But do we
                    want to win or do we want to lose? While Bob Black claims to hate "the
                    Left", it seems to me he's inherited its very worst aspects:
                    basically, the
                    will to be a bunch of back-biting, puritanical (in the ideological
                    sense)
                    losers who don't actually want to put themselves in a position to change
                    the world because it would compromise their ability to say how much
                    better they than the other sect down the road. At this point in
                    history it's become
                    clear we can be sectarian _or_ revolutionary but not both. Black
                    seems to
                    have decided it's more important to be sectarian but I kind of
                    assumed most
                    people on this list don't share that. Maybe they do. In which case
                    I'll leave.

                    By "sectarian" I also mean people who endless attack others for
                    their "ideological incoherence" - as Black once put it - but never
                    therefore
                    think they should themselves enact the principles they claim to
                    endorse. Which leads to....

                    I know I shouldn't even go into the narc thing. But it just astounds
                    me. What
                    the fuck is someone who works as a contract lawyer, who has never
                    contributed to any collective anarchist project in any way, who has
                    called
                    the cops on other anarchists on more than one occasion and tried
                    apparently
                    to burn down rivals' homes while they were in them, going around
                    preaching to
                    anybody else about anarchist principles and why the hell is anyone
                    listening to him? It's just embarrassing. If the Pope decided to
                    accuse us
                    of hierarchical behavior, would we take him seriously? If Fox News
                    accused
                    us of biased reporting, would we feel that it's important to take their
                    perspective into account? So when Bob Black, who writes letters to the
                    police fingering his enemies, accuses Ward Churchill of being a
                    police agent,
                    why don't we react the same way? It's especially weird for me, who's
                    had endless shit thrown at me just because I took a job for some years
                    teaching at Yale - largely by people like Bob Black - when he himself
                    actually does violate the most fundamental anarchist principles and
                    people like Mr. Frick don't even seem to care.
                    David



                    ---------------------------------
                    Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Andy
                    Not wanting to stir this up too much, but the issue that started this was that a post-left anarchist contributor to AK Press edited a volume on Magon, and has
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 5, 2007
                      Not wanting to stir this up too much, but the issue that started this was that a post-left anarchist contributor to AK Press edited a volume on Magon, and has alleged that, after being promised a free hand, the material in his introduction was gratuitously censored (and rendered meaningless) by an AK editor. Said author then published the full version of the intro in Anarchy journal. I would imagine that anarchists would have a problem with any publisher which systematically censored the views of an author because of their particular type of anarchist politics, especially after promising not to - if it was a mainstream publisher, quite probably we'd have a mass boycott underway by now, or protest plans for their AGM - so I don't see that AK get off the hook of a quite serious accusation because they publish interesting books and/or Bob Black hatchets them a lot. It would certainly worry me a lot if I was an author considering publishing with them.

                      "Like you, I've been smeared publicly by numerous people who aren't mature enough to understand that you don't make shit up about people because you disagree with them about some subject"

                      Yes, and Bob Black has been hit by his own fair share (at least) of this kind of smearing

                      On which note:
                      (the following is parody BTW...)

                      Murray Bookchin:
                      Envies Bob Black because Bob Black gets more sex/drugs than him
                      Head flaps up and down like Terrance and Phillip
                      Actually has a book attached to his chin

                      Karl Marx:
                      Lived off Engels' dirty money
                      Constantly got drunk and smashed stuff up
                      Secretly wrote the Plan for Global Takeover before passing it on to Stalin

                      Kropotkin:
                      Had an affair with the tsar
                      Was secretly a follower of Malthus and Dawkins
                      Thought that buying from Co-op stores made you an anarchist

                      Hakim Bey:
                      Rapes three-month-old babies for fun
                      Thinks that people should go to parties dressed as pirates instead of overthrowing stuff
                      Is secretly working for the Taleban

                      Proudhon:
                      Vicious misogynist who personally raped and murdered dozens of women
                      Ayn Rand was his secret love-child
                      Wears a beret and a string of onions around his neck

                      Noam Chomsky:
                      Regularly attends neo-Nazi events which promote Holocaust denial
                      Inbetween writing critiques of US foreign policy, actually secretly works for the CIA
                      Is currently having a steamy sexual relationship with Hugo Chavez

                      Ward Churchill:
                      Failed the Racial Purity Test to become a Native American
                      Constantly attacks the state, therefore must be an agent provocateur
                      Has the same name as a racist former British prime minister

                      Makhno:
                      Personally enjoyed torturing captured Bolshevik prisoners
                      Modelled his version of anarchism on the Bolshevik and/or Nazi Party
                      Was a transvestite who wore platform shoes

                      Bakunin:
                      Believes in the complete extermination of Jews, Germans, and Marxists
                      Actually fellated the tsar of Russia
                      Had drunken brawls with Karl Marx during their nights out

                      Bob Black:
                      Is constantly snitching everyone he doesn't like the looks of
                      Is a lawyer, hence has a pointy nose and Masonic handshake
                      Can't possibly really be called "Bob Black"

                      John Zerzan:
                      Claims to hate technology when he's personally the CEO of Microsoft
                      Is personally responsible for the absence of a mass syndicalist trade-union in America
                      Believes in building green death camps to reduce population size

                      Max Stirner:
                      Deliberately uses made-up words to confuse everyone
                      Was too poor to really be an egoist
                      Probably had sex with horses

                      Dan Clore:
                      **************************************
                      ***************************************
                      **************************************
                      [censored - ed]

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • stevphen shukaitis
                      Uhm... what was the thing about the censoring of the intro to the Magon book? I m guessing you mean that Chaz was upset with whatever happened, cause I ve
                      Message 10 of 15 , Sep 5, 2007
                        Uhm... what was the thing about the censoring of the intro to the
                        Magon book? I'm guessing you mean that Chaz was upset with whatever
                        happened, cause I've talked with Mitch Verter about the book (he was
                        also an editor of the collection) and he never mentioned anything
                        about this before. Working with folks editorial there on the book
                        David and I did I found them to be very reasonable, quite skilled,
                        and working far more hours than their measly salary reasonably covers
                        (i.e. probably ends up at getting paid less than minimum wage). So
                        while I can appreciate that it would be kinda screwed up if AK did
                        indeed censor the intro to the book, that seems quite different from
                        my experience of working with them.

                        Another thing that bothered me about Bob's review of their catalog is
                        he made it seem like AK was totally unaware that their might be some
                        tensions and contradictions in running an anarchist business. They're
                        not - and quite willing to talk about such and are constantly
                        rethinking this. The catalog in question has a longish intro essay
                        which talks specifically about these kinds of tensions, which like
                        everything else that didn't fit into his caricacture of them, Bob
                        simply chose to ignore...

                        cheers
                        stevphen


                        On Sep 5, 2007, at 3:20 PM, Andy wrote:

                        > Not wanting to stir this up too much, but the issue that started
                        > this was that a post-left anarchist contributor to AK Press edited
                        > a volume on Magon, and has alleged that, after being promised a
                        > free hand, the material in his introduction was gratuitously
                        > censored (and rendered meaningless) by an AK editor. Said author
                        > then published the full version of the intro in Anarchy journal. I
                        > would imagine that anarchists would have a problem with any
                        > publisher which systematically censored the views of an author
                        > because of their particular type of anarchist politics, especially
                        > after promising not to - if it was a mainstream publisher, quite
                        > probably we'd have a mass boycott underway by now, or protest plans
                        > for their AGM - so I don't see that AK get off the hook of a quite
                        > serious accusation because they publish interesting books and/or
                        > Bob Black hatchets them a lot. It would certainly worry me a lot if
                        > I was an author considering publishing with them.
                        >
                        > "Like you, I've been smeared publicly by numerous people who aren't
                        > mature enough to understand that you don't make shit up about
                        > people because you disagree with them about some subject"
                        >
                        > Yes, and Bob Black has been hit by his own fair share (at least) of
                        > this kind of smearing
                        >
                        > On which note:
                        > (the following is parody BTW...)
                        >
                        > Murray Bookchin:
                        > Envies Bob Black because Bob Black gets more sex/drugs than him
                        > Head flaps up and down like Terrance and Phillip
                        > Actually has a book attached to his chin
                        >
                        > Karl Marx:
                        > Lived off Engels' dirty money
                        > Constantly got drunk and smashed stuff up
                        > Secretly wrote the Plan for Global Takeover before passing it on to
                        > Stalin
                        >
                        > Kropotkin:
                        > Had an affair with the tsar
                        > Was secretly a follower of Malthus and Dawkins
                        > Thought that buying from Co-op stores made you an anarchist
                        >
                        > Hakim Bey:
                        > Rapes three-month-old babies for fun
                        > Thinks that people should go to parties dressed as pirates instead
                        > of overthrowing stuff
                        > Is secretly working for the Taleban
                        >
                        > Proudhon:
                        > Vicious misogynist who personally raped and murdered dozens of women
                        > Ayn Rand was his secret love-child
                        > Wears a beret and a string of onions around his neck
                        >
                        > Noam Chomsky:
                        > Regularly attends neo-Nazi events which promote Holocaust denial
                        > Inbetween writing critiques of US foreign policy, actually secretly
                        > works for the CIA
                        > Is currently having a steamy sexual relationship with Hugo Chavez
                        >
                        > Ward Churchill:
                        > Failed the Racial Purity Test to become a Native American
                        > Constantly attacks the state, therefore must be an agent provocateur
                        > Has the same name as a racist former British prime minister
                        >
                        > Makhno:
                        > Personally enjoyed torturing captured Bolshevik prisoners
                        > Modelled his version of anarchism on the Bolshevik and/or Nazi Party
                        > Was a transvestite who wore platform shoes
                        >
                        > Bakunin:
                        > Believes in the complete extermination of Jews, Germans, and Marxists
                        > Actually fellated the tsar of Russia
                        > Had drunken brawls with Karl Marx during their nights out
                        >
                        > Bob Black:
                        > Is constantly snitching everyone he doesn't like the looks of
                        > Is a lawyer, hence has a pointy nose and Masonic handshake
                        > Can't possibly really be called "Bob Black"
                        >
                        > John Zerzan:
                        > Claims to hate technology when he's personally the CEO of Microsoft
                        > Is personally responsible for the absence of a mass syndicalist
                        > trade-union in America
                        > Believes in building green death camps to reduce population size
                        >
                        > Max Stirner:
                        > Deliberately uses made-up words to confuse everyone
                        > Was too poor to really be an egoist
                        > Probably had sex with horses
                        >
                        > Dan Clore:
                        > **************************************
                        > ***************************************
                        > **************************************
                        > [censored - ed]
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        Stevphen Shukaitis
                        http://stevphen.mahost.org
                        http://www.constituentimagination.net
                        http://www.autonomedia.org
                        http://info.interactivist.net

                        AIM: foucaultisdead




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Dan Clore
                        ... I entirely agree about skepticism regarding accusations against anarchists in general and Bob Black in particular. It is very disturbing to see someone
                        Message 11 of 15 , Sep 5, 2007
                          Charles Munson wrote:

                          > I mostly agree with your comments, David, but I would advise people
                          > to be skeptical about stories you hear about Bob Black or any other
                          > anarchist's personal lives. Like you, I've been smeared publicly by
                          > numerous people who aren't mature enough to understand that you don't
                          > make shit up about people because you disagree with them about some
                          > subject. It's really discouraging to be attacked with falsehoods,
                          > even when they are concocted by obviously crazy people.

                          I entirely agree about skepticism regarding accusations against
                          anarchists in general and Bob Black in particular. It is very disturbing
                          to see someone like David Graeber repeating claims like the unsupported
                          (and probably libelous) accusation that Black tried to burn down
                          someone's home while they were inside.

                          And as to the fact that Black has occasionally narked on others, one
                          should note that in every case he has maintained a policy of not
                          initiating use of the state -- everyone that he has reported to the
                          police has gone to the police first. It is very telling that his critics
                          always omit this fact.

                          In the case of Jim Hogshire, one should recall the full story before
                          judging Black. Black, who lives in New York, was invited to stay with
                          Hogshire in Seattle. Hogshire then attempted to start an argument with
                          Black (Hogshire apparently wanted to convert Black to Islam), and when
                          Black refused to argue, threw him out at gunpoint, leaving Black with
                          nowhere to stay so that he ended up sleeping on a park bench. Hogshire
                          also has stated that he called the police after throwing Black out of
                          his apartment. Black did not call the police in retaliation until much
                          later, after Hogshire posted on the Internet about the incident, daring
                          Black to go to the police and press charges. (I was actually the one who
                          brought this to Black's attention. It's been years since I had any
                          contact with him, but I'll note that in contrast to the idea that he
                          always gets into conflicts with people he comes into contact with, I
                          never had any problem with him, even when I had offered to do things
                          like post stuff on the Internet for him and then decided not to he had
                          no problem with that and in fact told me it was fine.)

                          Other cases always have a background to them like the Hogshire brouhaha.
                          In the case of _Processed World_ they not only called the cops on him
                          but did things like gang up and attack him on the street, pounding his
                          head into the sidewalk.

                          And, incidentally, I have to take issue with the idea that going to the
                          police necessarily violates anarchist principles. In the absence of
                          anarchist institutions to remedy situations where other initiate force
                          against us, there is little choice but to either use the state in
                          self-defence or do without. If someone has the phone number of the
                          Durruti column, sure, I'll go to them instead, but I can't see any good
                          reason to let yourself be a doormat for any creep who decides to fuck
                          you over.

                          --
                          Dan Clore

                          My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
                          http://amazon.com/o/ASIN/1587154838/ref=nosim/thedanclorenecro
                          Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
                          http://www.geocities.com/clorebeast/
                          News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

                          Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
                          immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
                          -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"
                        • jrdavis
                          http://www.seesharppress.com/black.html ... I entirely agree about skepticism regarding accusations against anarchists in general and Bob Black in particular.
                          Message 12 of 15 , Sep 5, 2007
                            http://www.seesharppress.com/black.html

                            Dan Clore <clore@...> wrote: Charles Munson wrote:

                            > I mostly agree with your comments, David, but I would advise people
                            > to be skeptical about stories you hear about Bob Black or any other
                            > anarchist's personal lives. Like you, I've been smeared publicly by
                            > numerous people who aren't mature enough to understand that you don't
                            > make shit up about people because you disagree with them about some
                            > subject. It's really discouraging to be attacked with falsehoods,
                            > even when they are concocted by obviously crazy people.

                            I entirely agree about skepticism regarding accusations against
                            anarchists in general and Bob Black in particular. It is very disturbing
                            to see someone like David Graeber repeating claims like the unsupported
                            (and probably libelous) accusation that Black tried to burn down
                            someone's home while they were inside.

                            And as to the fact that Black has occasionally narked on others, one
                            should note that in every case he has maintained a policy of not
                            initiating use of the state -- everyone that he has reported to the
                            police has gone to the police first. It is very telling that his critics
                            always omit this fact.

                            In the case of Jim Hogshire, one should recall the full story before
                            judging Black. Black, who lives in New York, was invited to stay with
                            Hogshire in Seattle. Hogshire then attempted to start an argument with
                            Black (Hogshire apparently wanted to convert Black to Islam), and when
                            Black refused to argue, threw him out at gunpoint, leaving Black with
                            nowhere to stay so that he ended up sleeping on a park bench. Hogshire
                            also has stated that he called the police after throwing Black out of
                            his apartment. Black did not call the police in retaliation until much
                            later, after Hogshire posted on the Internet about the incident, daring
                            Black to go to the police and press charges. (I was actually the one who
                            brought this to Black's attention. It's been years since I had any
                            contact with him, but I'll note that in contrast to the idea that he
                            always gets into conflicts with people he comes into contact with, I
                            never had any problem with him, even when I had offered to do things
                            like post stuff on the Internet for him and then decided not to he had
                            no problem with that and in fact told me it was fine.)

                            Other cases always have a background to them like the Hogshire brouhaha.
                            In the case of _Processed World_ they not only called the cops on him
                            but did things like gang up and attack him on the street, pounding his
                            head into the sidewalk.

                            And, incidentally, I have to take issue with the idea that going to the
                            police necessarily violates anarchist principles. In the absence of
                            anarchist institutions to remedy situations where other initiate force
                            against us, there is little choice but to either use the state in
                            self-defence or do without. If someone has the phone number of the
                            Durruti column, sure, I'll go to them instead, but I can't see any good
                            reason to let yourself be a doormat for any creep who decides to fuck
                            you over.

                            --
                            Dan Clore

                            My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
                            http://amazon.com/o/ASIN/1587154838/ref=nosim/thedanclorenecro
                            Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
                            http://www.geocities.com/clorebeast/
                            News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

                            Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
                            immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
                            -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"






                            Jim Davis
                            Ozark Bioregion, USA

                            New Edition of my book on the Ismaili Muslim faith:
                            http://www.lulu.com/content/955673
                            Visit:
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/worldincommon/


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Andy
                            Mitch Verter accused AK of imposing Chaz Bufe as co-editor, and Chaz of editing his introduction - by this time solo-authored - without permission (and
                            Message 13 of 15 , Sep 5, 2007
                              Mitch Verter accused AK of imposing Chaz Bufe as co-editor, and Chaz of editing his introduction - by this time solo-authored - without permission (and contrary to prior agreement) and failing to show him, or allow him to reject or challenge, the modifications. Mitch definitely seems to hold AK responsible for this.
                              http://hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=92143&bheaders=1
                              I'm pretty sure this is the reason for the subsequent polemics against AK. The unedited version of the introduction was published in the previous issue of Anarchy mag.

                              I really don't have the personal experience to comment on whether this is typical of AK or not, or to what degree AK were responsible, but I don't see why Mitch would lie about this, and we haven't heard the "other side" yet. I think it's a pretty serious accusation.

                              bw
                              Andy


                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: stevphen shukaitis
                              To: smygo@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:35 AM
                              Subject: Re: [smygo] Re: Ego-Porn, or the Recent Work of Bob Black


                              Uhm... what was the thing about the censoring of the intro to the
                              Magon book? I'm guessing you mean that Chaz was upset with whatever
                              happened, cause I've talked with Mitch Verter about the book (he was
                              also an editor of the collection) and he never mentioned anything
                              about this before. Working with folks editorial there on the book
                              David and I did I found them to be very reasonable, quite skilled,
                              and working far more hours than their measly salary reasonably covers
                              (i.e. probably ends up at getting paid less than minimum wage). So
                              while I can appreciate that it would be kinda screwed up if AK did
                              indeed censor the intro to the book, that seems quite different from
                              my experience of working with them.

                              Another thing that bothered me about Bob's review of their catalog is
                              he made it seem like AK was totally unaware that their might be some
                              tensions and contradictions in running an anarchist business. They're
                              not - and quite willing to talk about such and are constantly
                              rethinking this. The catalog in question has a longish intro essay
                              which talks specifically about these kinds of tensions, which like
                              everything else that didn't fit into his caricacture of them, Bob
                              simply chose to ignore...

                              cheers
                              stevphen


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