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Volume 1 Number 3




Rudy Perkins__


Vincent Ferrini.


Chris Hables Gray _


Gustav LandauerfForSoc/a/ism) by Will Petry___


John Wieners


Marty Blatt

Fall 79

Why I Am An Anarchist

Welcome to the third issue of Black Rose. One ol the benelits of coordinating an issue is writing this introduction which can function as a personal/political statement. Our collective is not enthusiastic at the prospect of spending countless hours hammering out a collective statement for each issue Rather, we want to print each editor's thoughts on a rotating basis In this manner readers can get a■ sense ol the collective irom the diverse statements we produce. The collective discusses these introductions, but the final decision is left to the discretion of the individual editor.

In this introduction I want to explain briefly why I am an anarchist. I should begin by observing that there are many other traditions which have informed my thinking: socialist, situationist, Re/chian paciUst, and so on. However, partly out of a need for a convenient, shorthand expression and partly out of a conscious desire, I call myself an anarchist. This is a personal choice and I really have little desire to convince people to label themselves "anarchist." I must admit that I view much of what goes on today in social change movements as anarchistic. However, what is much more important to me than a person's label is his/her values and practice.

As our magazine proceeds, t hope that we will discuss the different types of anarchism and the historical tradition, especially ol American anarchism, which is not very well known. The categories of anarchist thought/practice include: syndicalist, communist, individualist, and Tol-stoyan or pacifist (my apologies to anyone who feels left out). I have been influenced by each one of these traditions. Lack of space will not permit a discussion ol the distinctions among them.

My commitment to anarchism is complex but can be traced to three significant areas of experience in my life: the anti-war movement political work critical of Israel; and my sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, but always exciting social life.

In the tall of 1968 I arrived at the campus of a small. New England college I was eager to become involved in the anti-war movement in order to agitate against the war and I spent a good portion of the next several years working with of hers doing all that we could: demonstrations, leal-lets, civil disobedience, speeches, slide shows, and so on. While active, I encountered Marxist-Lenist (M-L) parties and dogmatic individuals who filled me with wonder, rage, and often, disgust

A specific example will show how my feelings evolved. In the spring of 1972. campus activists at our college held a series of open meetings to plan a strike call in protest of the bombing of Hanoi and the mining of Haiphong harbor. There were several meetings over the course of a few days, with sometimes over 700 people in attendance, and all the local M-L folks participated. We hammered out. with a great deal of effort, a strike call that was acceptable to everyone, including the two local representatives of the Student Mobilization Committee (SMC), an anti-war outfit controlled by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

The two SMC'ers arrived early at the auditorium where the strike meeting would occur. They were clearly recognizable as they nearly always wore green army fatigues (just like Fidel) and one always smoked a Cuban cigar. They made some minor changes in the text we had agreed [o and had printed up thousands of their own strike calls signed by the local SMC chapter. The planning committee's text had been signed by the ad hoc committee One of the central reasons for forming the ad hoc group was to involve all elements of the campus anti-war forces in the planning. Thus, confusion and partisan politics could be avoided the night of the strike meeting. These SMC characters simply could not function without being sectarian. Control of events or the appearance of control or leadership was what they wanted I was enraged when I saw their leaflet although it didn't interfere with an eventual successful strike vote For all I know, The Militant (newspaper of the SWP) reported that our campus overwhelmingly adopted the local SMC proposal for a student strike.

My many dealings with M-L groups and individuals repeatedly exposed me to: hollow rhetoric; bombastic self-righteousness that proclaimed each vanguard party to be the last word in revolutionary purity; a commitment to authority — in public and private life; third world voyeurism — the Vietnamese or Chinese or Albanians or whoever can do no wrong; the ridiculous notion that there is a science of revolution and, related to this, faith in the inevitable triumph of socialism.

I had become convinced from my activities in the anti-war movement that a social revolution was needed. However, I could see plainly that Marxism-Leninism was not a help but an obstacle. Thus, I began to look at anarchist traditions and found that there was indeed a revolutionary heritage with which I could identify.

In the mid-1970's, I did a lot of political work on the subject of Israel and the Middle East. A good deal of my activity was criticism of the Zionist movement in the pre-1948 days and of Israeli policies since the founding of the state. The main target of my critique was the Zionist assumption that lews are entitled to a privileged position in Palestine/tretz Israel simply because they are lews. This principle has led to the downgrading of the status of non-lews, i.e., Palestinians, and to perpetual conflict between Israel and its neighbors

My feelings toward anarchism and its criticism of nation-states were reinforced by my reflections regarding the Middle East. Instead ol being carved up into small, warring states, the Middle East could thrive if organized along a regional, federated basis. This is especially true given scarce water supplies and the needs of several different peoples to have access to the sea Ifor water transportation). Of course, the Middle East situation is a result of powerful states' manipulations and intense nationalist feelings on the part of the local populations. In addition, local power in the region can never be fully realized until foreign domination, specifically US oil and military interests, are cast out

I came perilously close to making a profession out of Middle East studies, but the advice ol a local historian that an ulcer would soon ensue helped to steer me away. Events around the 1973 war greatly affected me and reinforced my anarchist tendencies.

The 1973 war drove me away from my remaining allies in this area Long before this war, I had already decided that the American lewish community, remarkably enlightened on such issues as Vietnam and civil rights, was hopelessly irrational when it came to the Middle East The reasons for this are complex but include: guilt from being alive after the Holocaust; intense paranoia of the non-Jewish world after World War II, which is quite understandable: treatment of Israel as a great insurance policy in the event the U.S. explodes in an orgy of anti-Semitism: and a tendency to treat Israel in the face ol criticism just as many Americans responded to anti-Vietnam war protest: my country right or wrong. I felt capable of working with only a handful ol American lews.

I felt similarly regarding most American leftists, especially those involved in M-L parties. The views of the American lelt tended to be simple-minded, dogmatic, and uncompromising. Israel was a racist, imperialist state and the Palestinians were a good, peasant people who had been wronged. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the representative of the people, was to be supported.

In the wake of the 1973 war, groups within the PLO that supposedly were leftist engaged in a series of brutal and totally unjustifiable assaults on Israeli civilian centers. These actions sickened me and. to add to my horror, many ol the local Arab and Palestinian activists I knew started sporting a button which read: "By Any Means Necessary." This brutal slogan finished off some friendships I had had, left me in even greater political isolation, and. soon after, I abandoned the Middle East as my primary area of political activism.

My anarchist feelings were strengthened by my reinforced conviction that militarism and intense nationalism are to be combatted whether they emanate from Israelis or Palestinians Of course, one must always keep in mind who has the greater resources of power in any conflict situation. In this particular case Israel overwhelmingly holds the balance of forces In my view, using military organization and war to further moral aims —dignity for the lews and restoration of Palestinian autonomy for the Arabs -only ends in immorality, corruption, ever-spiralling violence, and expanding systems of human domination. There is no doubt that the problem of competing nationalisms (in this case, Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian-Arab) is a serious one, not susceptible to easy solutions There is the more general, equally complex, problem of how national feelings should be given expression in ways that are not exclusivist and violent. It seems clear to me that nation-states (Israel is a military, chauvinist state par excellence and the PLO would love to have a state of its own) are not the proper format tor national expression and in fact only lead to conflict and brutalization of the population. Since anarchists have been the most consistent in their criticism ol the nation-state structure, my anarchist convictions were deepened

The third area I identified—the realm of social relations — is the most difficult to write about in any coherent fashion. However, my anarchism has been reinforced by my personal lite. Perhaps the best way to indicate what I mean is to describe what I used to believe and how my thinking has evolved Crowing up in New York, I used to think that everyone was happily heterosexual and coupled off. One of the most important quests in life was to find the right woman for myself and settle doNn. Coming to New England to go to college, I was in for a series of rude and pleasant a-wakenings as the feminist and gay movements influenced me greatly.

One of the most important concepts I've learned is that, for me, love must be free or else it is not love. Lovers must come to each other out of their own inner desires with no social compulsions acting as a club. This notion has led to more ot a sense of freedom and mutual dignity in my life but also to more personal insecurity.

I have no prescriptions for anyone's social life nor would I want to develop any Personal issues often have political content but the two are never identical. I think we should leave the simple equation of personal and political to authoritarians of the left and right How the personal and political interact needs to be worked out and lived by each person differently. I do think that Murray Bookchin's concept of a "new sensibility" is of great importance. It is not at all the case that only social institutions must be changed. Social change does not only consist of institutional change; the way that we relate to each other as people is of critical importance. We must transform ourselves as we work to transform society. This is the only way hierarchy and domination can be challenged effectively — by acting in groups against large-scale social forces while simultaneously in our personal lives challenging ourselves and our work companions/friends/lovers to move toward a "new sensibility."

My new sensibility—which has always been in the process of redefinition — involves more than the free love I discuss above. There are a host of things, only some of which can be mentioned now: I have relearned how to cry and not be afraid or feel like a sissy I have come to enjoy a hug and a soft touch alter feeling tor many years that this was what women asked for. What a man asked for was a good fuck, period I have come to feel that most of us have bi-sexual or androgynous souls . I no longer believe there is one "right" woman tor me. In the course of my life, I believe there are several women who might love me and whom I might love. I say this while being a believer in committed relationships, for myself and others that choose them. This may seem paradoxical, but I don't think so... I have come not to be afraid of people who are bi-sexual or homosexual. Everything I learned in high school and in the larger society taught me that these people were sick I have come to see how women are dominated by men, in both brutal and subtle ways.

If spontaneity, freedom, personal responsibility, and a loathing of domination are integral to anarchism, it would seem to me that these approaches to life are also central to developing a new sensibility. Thus, my social life has also led me to identify as an anarchist

I have tried to summarize how the Vietnam war, the Middle fast conflict, and my social life have helped shape and inform my anarchism. I hope this brief journey through my lite has been informative and enjoyable. I want to leave you and welcome you with an invitation from Custav Landauer's For Socialism (see book review in this issue)- "You people, one and all, who suffer under this outrage (society as it is): let not only my voice reach you and the tone of my words. Hear also my silence and atonal it y. my choking anxiety. And see my clenched fist, my twisted features and the pale decisiveness of all by bearing. Crasp, above all, the inadequacy of this description and my inexpressible incapacity, for I want people to hear me. stand by me. walk with me. people who. like me, can no longer bear it."

Who are the real libertarians?

Noah Webster wasn't much help He says that a libertarian believes in free will.

Rudy Perkins uses the word "libertarian" as shorthand for "libertarian socialist." Presumably this usage is only necessary to separate himself from the tradition of authoritarian socialism, a tradition which includes social democratic reformism as well as Marxism-Leninism As Ba-kunin declared, "socialism without liberty is tyranny."

Chris Gray investigates a very different concept of libertarianism. one which advocates free market economics and the curbing if not outright abolition of government. From their defense of free enterprise (i.e., capitalism), the Libertarian Party would probably conclude that "libertarian socialism" is a contradiction in terms. (An anarchist could argue, by the way, that "Libertarian Party" is a contradiction in terms).

Perhaps the only point of agreement among all these different libertarians is the observation that society as we know it, both in the "East" and "West," is not characterized by liberty, neither in its formal institutions nor in its everyday affairs.


Breaking With Libertarian Dogma: Lessons from the Anti-Nuclear Struggle

Rudy Perkins


1. Our participation in Clamshell has been stormy, to say the least. Early disputes with the liberal, socialist and new-age-anarchist leadership led to an angry departure and criticism of the Alliance. (See. e g. Frfth Estate. Aug. ■77.) With assurances {from a few anyway) that the Alliance had become more democratic. and that left-wing and direct-action ideas were no longer suppressed, we rejoined the Boston local at the end of 1977. A thorough critique of Clamshell's current practice is not possible here. Suffice it to say that we encountered many of the same problems as before. However, this time we were able to discover friendship and a working unity with most of the members in Boston.

For the past several years the affinity group I am part of has been participating in the movement against nuclear power. Specifically, we have been working with the Boston chapter of the Clamshell Alliance.' When we began our involvement we had many serious criticisms of mass movements, and. in fact, largely considered ourselves 'anti-mass'.2 Through our experience in the mass setting of the anti-nuclear movement several of us began to reconsider our attitude towards mass politics, as well as our unqualified support for a number of long-standing libertarian concepts.

We were forced to reevaluate these concepts because their application was leading to visible violation of more fundamental libertarian principles, particularly the principle of direct, participatory democracy.- those affected make the decision. In general the old concepts began to appear too one-sided: to simply oppose anti-mass to mass, consensus to majority rule, local control to global management, decentralism to centralism, tne small group to the large organization, was not enough. In fact, this easy antithesis was having disturbingly undemocratic consequences. These critical concepts are too important to discard, but too deficient to apply unilaterally To rediscover their vitality, we must abandon them as dogma, and retrieve them as part of a new synthesis.

Because these lessons were learned in the context of the fight against nuclear power, I will repeatedly refer to the "anti-nuclear movement" and not "libertarian ideology" as exemplary of the dogma which must be reexamined. However, the anti-nuclear movement currently contains the most active expressions of libertarian doctrine in the U.S. All the concepts disputed here are key ingredients of the libertarian ideology prevalent both inside and outside the Clamshell Alliance, and it is often due to the efforts of other 'libertarians' that these concepts appear so strongly, and in such pernicious forms, in the anti-nuclear movement.


Through our experiences in the anti-war movement, tenants' battles, union work, food coops and other mass struggles, each of the members of our affinity group had become disillusioned with mass politics and united fronts. We were sick of the power grabbers and manipulators, the perpetual rebirth of hierarchy. We were tired of having to endure the same mistakes, and the same arguments, over and over Tired of moving too slow because of other people's confusion or inexperience; tired of moving back towards capitalism and the state because of other people's liberalism or Leninism. We adopted an anti-mass position because we wanted to move forward alongside others with whom we already shared agreement, in a relationship of equal participation.

But anti-mass led to isolation. First, our theory was isolated from the real world and from adversaries. Unlike ideology or doctrine, theory is modified depending on results. To do this it needs concrete problems to tackle, and confrontation with contrary evidence and ideas. The mass setting of the anti-nuclear movement forced us to explain our ideas, and how they would actually work in real life. This helped us clarify our thinking, first to ourselves, then to others, and in terms that were more comprehensible and more concrete. This critique itself is a product of the mass movement dynamiting the doctrinaire and unworkable elements of our libertariansm, keeping the path clear for libertarian theory

2. Mass movements are characterized by the heterogeneity of politics of their participants. They are usually based on unity around one or a few demands, often of an oppositional nature (anti-war, anti-nuclear, etc.). As such their unity is basically determined by outside forces and circumstances, not by a collectively-held. positive vision of the future


n ap

proach to creating i lution based on the "primacy of the collective," small groups whose members have the "same politics and the same method of struggle." "The collective does not communi-catewith the mass. It makes contact with Other collectives. What if other collectives do not exist? Well, then it should talk to itself until they do Yes. By all means, the collective also communicates with other people, but it never views them as a mass—as a constituency or audience. The collective communicates with individuals in order to encourage self-organization." (Anti-mass) The coliec-

Second, we were isolated. We assumed that the soundness of our ideas would itself establish communication That was mistaken. We. not iust pur written ideas, had to communicate, and that required the establishment of trust and friendship, a willingness to listen, and a sincere participation in the day to day work of the organization

Of course it was important that we stated our ideas and continued to present a consistent point of view from the beginning The confirmation of our early critiques by later events won respect for our perspectives, even if not agreement.' But what makes historical change is not associations of ideas, but associations of people who share the same ideas Our ideas were having an impact on others, as their ideas were having an impact on us. but what was iust as important was the developing solidarity which could eventually put common ideas into practice.

Too often anti-mass or "pure" ultraleft thinking draws the lines of solidarity in terms of agreement in language. In the anti-nuclear movement we found self-described anarchists who often had a collaborations! approach towards the state, or who tolerated the existence of hierarchical power within the Alliance. We also worked alongside people who called themselves Leninists who at least had a combative spirit towards the authorities inside and outside the Alliance. These were the extremes. For the most part we have worked with people who had no precise political position, but with whom we shared a style and approach which opened channels of communication; through these channels ideas could be shared and agreement could be discovered in practice. Anti-mass theory left no meeting place in which to make this discovery.

This weakness of anti-mass thinking contributes to 'ts inability to expand. The wider communication of libertarians with others, on the other hand, lays the groundwork for an expanding radical community It has been effective for us to participate in a mass coalition while re-taming our own autonomous affinity group which could step outside of the coalition to address other questions, or disagree with the coalition's positions. Though individual affinity groups or political organizations may want to retain their own (more demanding) criteria for participation, the community (mass movement or coalition) as a whole would have flexible criteria for participation. This flexibility would make it easier for "new" people to explore, meet, and become involved, and for "old" people to exchange ideas and discover new affinities

wtth others not to set them to join a mass movement-, or even to loin the collective, but rather, to help them form their own collec-

For a full discussion of mass and ami-mass, see the pamphlet Anti-mass. methods of organization for collectives from Anti-mass. Box 313S2. San Francisco. CA 941

3 We had constantly claimed the organization was not democratic and was in fact dominated by several small power groups. We asserted that between this leadership's tendencies and the organization's own unofficial ideology, the Alliance supported direct action in words only, and had a strong orientation toward reconciliation with the state and the utilities. The June 24th deal vividly confirmed these

Each day the solution of our social problems becomes a more immense and urgent task It seems clear the solution will require: 1) large numbers of people in motion, 2) that these people are acting within the framework of shared libertarian communist consciousness. There is no guarantee that an expanding community based on ties formed in a mass context will blossom into such a revolutionary solution 4 However, anti-mass practice has only led to small isolated groups with little social impact. The point is to take the best anti-mass concepts—self-organization and initiative, clearly defining your own revolutionary desires, etc —into mass politics We can work as "anti-mass" groupings within mass settings.

Anti-mass thinking suffers from the kind of moralistic approach that weakens most varieties of pacifism This moralism deals with the problem by renunciation and abstention But the evils of the mass cannot be defeated merely by abstaining from the mass, just as violence cannot be done away with simply by personally refusing to be violent. The only way to solve social problems like mass psychology or violence is to confront and eliminate the social roots of those problems. To be effective, such confrontation often involves a high risk, the risk (hat we ourselves will become embroiled in mass hierarchies5, or in violence The fear of committing political sins has kept the practice of the ultra-left (and of pacifism for that matter) quite clean, but quite ineffective At a historical moment which has no patience, ineffectiveness may be the worst sin of all.


Consensus, as it is now understood, is the making of decisions by unanimous agreement. Votes are not taken, and anyone may veto a course of action on moral or other grounds This practice is dominant in the American anti-nuclear movement and in various new-age-anar chist trends, and is also widespread in various alternative economic ventures (coops, work collectives, etc.) around the country. It is the decision-making method we have always used ourselves, in the various small group projects we undertook Its appeal is that it appears to circumvent the formalism and oppressiveness of parliamentary procedure, and theoretically makes it impossible to overrule minority opinion

In a small group, particularly one in which a high level of trust and agreement exist, consensus is workable. In the mass setting, as Clamshell revealed, consensus is anti-democratic. Here consensus proves itself both formalistic and oppressive; when it is not disenfranchising the majority, it is silencing the minority

First it must be recognized that in a mass organization differences in political opinion often make compromise, and therefore unanimous agreement, impossible. In the many instances of such blocked agreement in Clamshell, one of two things occurred: 1) one side would eventually back down, or 2) the decision would not be made

In the first case, the side that backed down was usually the minority— incredible pressure to go along was levied against them. In such instances, a vote would have been a much less gruelling, and much more honest way to register and then bypass minority dissent. Occasionally the majority would withdraw, effectively subjecting the group to minority rule This "consensual" minority rule is less democratic and more oppressive than vote-taking majority rule In the second case, when a decision was "not made" through the official decisionmaking process, it was most often surreptitiously made by paid staff, coordinating committee or permanent task-committee members —minority rule by the back door.

Consensus gives the illusion of unity within a mass organization. In this way dissenting opinion, or even the existence of controversy over a given issue, was hidden from members of non-dissident Clamshell chapters. Consensus not only suggests that everyone does have the same viewpoint, but that everyone should have the same viewpoint. Consensus thereby pressures what should be a mass coalition towards existence as a party of a given ideology (in Clamshell's case, a particular brand of nonviolence ideology).

At this point we need to strengthen coalitions and partisan groupings However, to maintain political honesty we must be clear as to which mode a given organization represents. "Coalitions" that are really partisan political groups are nothing but front groups, involving all the manipulation front groups always involve. What is necessary now is the existence of genuinely open mass movements in which political groups exchange ideas and debate ideas. Most importantly, only a mass movement will engage enough people at this time to overcome the current social inertia.

Majority rule (in some form) is the most appropriate decision-making form for mass organizations. It admits differences, and makes them transparent so that ideas and political tendencies can be visibly tested, proven or disproven. Individuals can thereby judge ideas for themselves, and discover their own affinities for various strategies and people. The search for true unity can replace the false pretense of pre-fabricated unity

In the anti-nuclear movement, as in certain libertarian camps, an unfortunate fear of the confrontation of ideas has become entrenched. (It parallels a similar avoidance of confrontation and struggle against existing corporate/state power) Majority rule is disliked because amongst the two. three or many courses of action proposed, only one is chosen: the rest are "defeated". Consensus theoretically accomodates everyone's ideas. In practice this often led to:

• a watered down, least-common-denominator solution or

• the victoiy of one proposal through intimidation or acquiescence, or

• the creation of a vague proposal to placate everyone, while the plan of one side or another was actually implemented through committees or office staff.

In other words, within the anti-nuclear movement ideas are in competition and some do win, but under consensus the act of choosing between alternatives is usually disguised Because the process is often one of mystification and subterfuge, it takes the power of conscious decision away from the organization's membership.

In its reaction to competition and majoritarian tyranny, the libertarian ideology of "dissolve power",' "power to none" has resulted in power to the acquisitive, or else a general paralysis. It takes only a few mass meetings run under consensus to see this Since power is con-i-i; trol over the social and physical environment, the point is really not the abolition of power but the collectiviza-tion of power, that is, democracy that has the ability to act.

I® A further, and critical, problem with current "con-

.sensus" is that its process is so cumbersome, so subject life to logjams, that precise and timely instructions (an "im-B?;)' Perative mandate") are rarely given to coordinating delegates. As a result representatives are created, persons who make upper level decisions on their own initiative, because they are not directed and circumscribed by the decisions of the base.

The discussion of consensus vs. majority rule is important to the libertarian movement The time will come again when power is assumed by the councils, assemblies, and town meetings. This is our direct democracy, but what will be its actual mechanics? Premature use of consensus will only stifle this democracy, transferring rule back to the bureaucrats and closed board rooms. If consensus is ever to be used by masses of people, the preconditions of trust and conscious unity of purpose must be achieved first

Local Control

Local control was the holy-of-holies we found most difficult to question, particularly in the anti-nuclear movement. Yet. unmistakably, the doctrine of local control was used to put power in the hands of a few, when many people were involved.

Our affinity group began to have doubts about localism long before the )une 24th Seabrook demo, because we repeatedly saw a few Seabrook area residents use their "local" credentials, or even the threat of the silent "local opinion" to unduly influence decisions which would effect thousands of non-local people. After people in the Seacoast (New Hampshire) chapter of Clam and a few other area residents made a deal with the state for a legal rally lune 24th (1978) without consulting the Clamshell Membership, many more Clam members began to question an unqualified endorsement of local control. If a local community wants to build a nuclear plant, or allow a nuclear plant to be built, is their decision to be respected? If a local community's opposition to a plant will only take certain limited, state-sanctioned steps against nuclear construction, does all other opposition have to confine itself to such steps?

Obviously opposition movements are strongest when they are firmly based on a non-provincial and determined local opposition But the destructive impact of modern technology is no longer confined by town, state, or national borders. To allow the question of a nuclear plant to become the "private property" of local residents, when so many more people are affected, violates our more basic desire for participatory democracy.

Admittedly there is a problem here in two conflicting implications of "those affected make the decision": 1) those most affected have the most say; 2) the decision should be made by all those affected In our case, a solid shield of localisl ideology allowed Seacoast people to have not just the most say. but the only say. Worse, the relationship between the Seacoast and the rest of the Alliance was never clarified. The resulting ambiguity was quite convenient for those who wanted to maintain the illusion of equal decision-making power, while being able to periodically assert the right of final say when things were not going their way.'

A related problem with the doctrine of local control is the existence of provincialism and narrow sectional interests. Libertarianism was once known for its vigorous internationalism and global perspective Yet, a strict localism is just nationalism writ small All the destructive competition and inequalities generated by nationalism may be less devastating under autonomous localities. but they will not be eliminated

We need to combine that desire for a life lived on a human and comprehensible scale, which represents the core truth of localism, with a new internationalist consciousness.' This consciousness may eventually rest on a material base of life and production which Is mostly centered on a local basis, but in part globally coordinated.

But it is primarily communist consciousness itself which will dissolve the contradiction between local and global interests by harmonizing a plurality of local desires within certain universally recognized parameters. (Some might choose methane power, some might choose wind-power, but no one would choose nuclear power.)


Decentralsim closely parallels localism in its desire to keep things close at hand and small enough so that everyone can understand, participate in, and control, what is going on But in Clamshell's practice we saw decentralsim give people control over situations with such limited options, that it was defeating its purpose

The general democratic reaction to the problems of the top-heavy organizational structure, and the centralized mass demonstrations was one of: "Let the affinity groups do what they want, when they want " The first time approach was tried out after June 24th was in the series of "wave actions" against the Seabrook plant in fall '78 Day after day. or week after week, each locality was to send its little group to demonstrate or do civil disobedience at the plant' These wave actions were the outcome of the organization's unspoken awareness that it could not pull off a unified action at that time, combined with many Clams' longstanding fear of the power of thousands of people assembled in one place, at one time, with one purpose.*

It was clear the corporate/police apparatus was very capable of handling hundreds of these waves, provided they did not all come at once But they could only all come at once if a mutually agreed upon date and plan made their coordination possible. Through deeen-tralism each affinity group gained control over the details of its own arrest, but any chance of controlling the social/natural environment through a direct action occupation of the plant was completely lost

Our affinity group, at first excited by the potential leeway the "wave" format would give to Boston to organize a several thousand person occupation, soon drew back to its old and hard-learned lesson: In Clamshell, as elsewhere, anything can be turned into its opposite De-centralism. which we had believed to be empowering, was in the absence of radical intent (consciousness) only fragmentary and weakening.

6 It was not just size which constrained the wave'actions (since Boston considered having a large contingent). As the actions were being organized the lune 24th guidelines (no running, no breaking through pofice lines, no damage of the utility's property, no movement after dark, in any confrontation: sit down, and so on) were reimposed. guaranteeing ineffective-

9 Contrary to reports in Open Road, these actions were not initiated by "Clams foi Democracy," though a number of CFD and other radical people participated.

We had been suspicious of decentralism as an ism, a principle presumed liberatory in all situations without any need for constant critical review."' Now we moved our suspicions out into the open: "Decentralism or centralism?" was not the right question. The question once again boiled down to one of control, i.e . power. How could we assert control over the larger environment (i.e. Seabook) and maintain collective control over the tool for that assertion fi e. our organization)?

Put in these terms it was "no longer" necessary to back off from a large-scale occupation because it was "centralized". The question was: What structures and what type of thinking and feeling (consciousness) would maintain collective participation, comprehension and control of a large-scale occupation? Put another way. we needed to create a context in which thousands of people could coordinate their efforts, yet still retain the ability to take individual or group initiative. This could have been done at Seabrook June 24, if only in a mechanical way, by arranging common information sharing centers, publicity, and logistics, while allowing regional or political groupings to carry out the type of occupation action they felt would be most effective at different portions of the plant site.

The crisis provoked by the Harrisburg accident brings even more clearly into focus the crucial need to a-bandon an a priori decentralism. Nuclear power has always been more than a local issue, and this accident potentially brings a decision on all nuclear plants onto the national and global agenda. Yet already many anti-nuclear activists insist that we must concentrate on our own local plant, in our own little demonstrations. Anti-nuclear educational work needs to be decentralized and diffused throughout our local communities as never before But the time calls sharply for the anger and strength of those-who-are-already-convinced to be centralized on a few national targets in such a way as to maintain a national crisis over nuclear power. It will be a strong indictment of current "libertarian" practice if de-centralism and localism are allowed to dissipate the fury and solidarity which could, if allowed to coalesce, radically transform this moment

The Small Group

We encountered the anti-nuclear movement's use of the small group in two forms !he breaking up of large meetings into small groups for discussion and the alleged basing of activity on more-or-less permanent affinity groups Again a familiar story appeared: a practice said to empower the individual turned out to be very instrumental in maintaining the status quo. fragmenting collective energy, and leaving control in the hands of a few. We ourselves remain organized as an affinity group, and believe that a proliferation of strong affinity groups would help people reappropriate power. However the assumptions that the small group is always preferable to large groups, or that affinity groups are always the best formation for activity, need to be reconsidered

Many times in meetings a large group assembly would be broken into small groups, just at the point in the discussion when the flare of tempers indicated that the crux of a serious matter was about to surface. Since the consensus process could not resolve the extreme differences present in a mass organization, political conflict had to be hidden or dissipated. The small group was an ideal way to dissipate key political issues. The small discussion groups were always geared towards cooling out and venting feelings, and were never given clear decision-making power The time consumed in this powerless process, and in consensus wrangles, usually guaranteed no clear decision was made by the chapter in time to prevent the decision from devolving onto the coordinating committee, the paid staff, etc.

The small groups also helped preserve the status quo by isolating radical ideas. First, the number of people who would hear a given individual's ideas could be limited. Since the radicals were often in the minority, this worked to the liberals' favor Second, the significance and size of a radical minority could be downplayed: two dissidents in each of ten groups of ten had less impact than twenty dissidents in a meeting of a hundred.

The main virtues of small group discussion—emotional support, the chance for everyone to speak many times, the examination of ideas in a non-competitive environment—would have been very useful as an on-going organizational process. But the partisans of the small-group repeatedly used the process to disrupt the debate and decision which should have been the function of the general meetings. Such a small-group ideology is consciously anti-confrontational and anti-political, and hence, wittingly or not. protects the organization's dogma, and the hidden hierarchy which tends to develop in all mass groups.

The affinity group theoretically provides an ideal context for individual/collective initiative. Flexible and outspoken, it should keep power over the organization's actions in the hands of those who make up those actions Yet this requires enough cohesion and trust amongst the affinity group members that thev can intervene as a bloc in a situation that is going against their desires. This cohesion can only result from long-term political discussion and collective projects, and the deepening of friendship.

What the anti-nuclear movement has called "affinity groups" were groups of ten or twenty strangers thrown together for a fe-hour non-violence counseling session in preparation for some civil disobedience event. Such groups were essentially united by their acceptance of a discipline (code of behavior) imposed from above. The non-violence trainers had decided how the affinity groups were to respond to each contingency, the job of the members was to help each other cool out in crisis and act the way they were supposed to Initiative was en couraged to the extent it made the centrally predetermined plan execute smoothly, but not to the extent that the action became the living, collective creation of all the participants

Even the genuine on-going affinity groups (which have an active existence between the mass events) sometimes create barriers to discussion and collective power. For example: the Boston chapter used to meet as a whole in general meetings that often crackled and sparked from political contention. These meetings served as a gathering place, a reaffirmation of community amongst several hundred anti-nuclear activists. Ideas that might have been the private property of a few individuals or an affinity group were thrown out for everyone to consider.

In the absence of an expedient decision-making procedure, the meetings became endurance contests, repetitious and boring Rather than dealing with the presence of completely conflicting viewpoints (say by explicitly defining the Alliance as a pacifist organization rather than a mass coalition), and/or finding an effective means of settling conflicts, the chapter chose to avoid the real problems by doing away with the general meeting. In its place is a "coalition" of affinity groups loosely coordinated by a biweekly meeting of reps from the active affinity groups. Even fervent proponents of this decen-tralist scheme now admit it has somewhat reduced the sense of community and interaction between the affinity groups Lately, the meetings have drifted back toward being general assemblies. In essence the ability of a large number of people to feel as a whole, talk as a whole and act as a whole, was being limited by relying on affinity groups alone Consequently, the effective social power of the Boston chapter was being weakened.

Finally, an organization based on affinity groups alone is difficult for new people to enter. Existing affinity groups are understandably reluctant to take in people at random, and it is often difficult for new people to form their own groups The anti-nuclear movement's dual structure of affinity groups within open-membership organizations partially solves this problem

In general, it is probably best to consider the affinity group's relation to larger groupings as being somewhat similar to the individual's relation to the collective: neither can be held as a principle over the other

The desire for freedom and the collective power to determine the nature of our daily lives cannot be codified or held still The theory we evolve to help us realize our power must know how to distinguish the essentials, and how to deal with experience. The concepts we create as tools for achieving our freedom must be agile and alert. For. more than ever, we live in a hall of mirrors; fidelity to the certainties of the past is no longer any guarantee. Yet, forward is still forward, only now, we may f ind our own image stands in the way


This essay was written in the late winter/early spring of this year when the anti-nuclear movement was between one phase and the next. The spread of "grassroots" civil disobedience-oriented organizations initiated by Clamshell's example was more or less complete. Vet the massive upsurge of activity to follow Three Mile Island had not yet begun.

This period of relative calm was a good time to try to sum up the lessons of our involvement in the movement to that point The publication of this essay, now six months later, is somewhat out of phase with the main debates emerging in this new period of anti-nuclear activity. In a sense the preceding discussion is one which should already have taken place.

Due to the political orientation of its widening base of support, the fear of alienating that support, and the sudden interest of liberal politicians, the anti-nuc'ear movement's electoral and reformist tendencies have grown recently For many, however. Three Mile Island proved the absolute unreliability of governmental channels and showed that our strategy must be one of extralegal direct action. Direct action moves beyond the symbolic quality of Civil disobedience and raises new questions for the movement For libertarians within a large direct action movement the problems of democratically coordinating widespread efforts, coalition work and the extent and nature of compromise, "leadership" {having significant influence without blocking democratic participation), and strategy and tactics (e.g., level of mili-tance) will be some of the new challenges

The October 6th Seabrook occupation called by the Coalition for Direct Action at Seabrook is the first attempt by the American anti-nuclear movement to begin a non-symbolic nuclear site occupation aimed at directly preventing further construction. The possibility of "a living example of community democracy" (October 6th handbook) built outside of and against the wishes of the authorities is one that should excite everyone in the libertarian left The Seabrook occupation offers an excellent environment for libertarian communist concepts to be tested further and to grow.

Those interested in finding out more about this occupation should send for the October 6th handbook (Order from Boston Clamshell, 595 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 - $1.25 for single copies.)

Ars Poetics

Nothing's given only the jungle-as the self is

a head full of broken windows the body under quicksands & a free mind

thunder of Zeus as a song in the bones & no enlightening

the dust of gunpowder

on the cellar floors

a congress of mixed birds in the attic

on arched Learning Maxims of grinning deatb-grafitti hallelujahs

kicked out of homes or

the initiating trouble makers

one at a time only

& naked sight

a wedding in a casket the new born comes out of-

the joys of spending pure gold each moment is

Vincent Ferrini

laly 4th. 1979 FAIL 79

The Sound of My Laughfer

O Israel O Israel

for a piece of dust Thou hast forsaken me

O where are my passionate paracletes & prophets

Have you no place for the Gospel of exiled Thomas for Karl Marx & his Communist Manifesto for Freud & his Interpretation of Dreams for Einstein & his Theory of Relativity for Buber's I & Thou

These extenders of your nomad histories

O round out the New Testament with these curiosity probers pushing into your Unknowns & mine for our sake!

O Israel

have you measured me

O Israel

have you measured me by what Kosher Dictation

breeding Electives

Do you think the Jews have created me

in their Image behaving to half of my Nature merely

O Israel

you have become a nation amongst nations a white and blue clay

Do you infiltrate foreign voices hoping to bolster a dying faith

it is too late to triumph by propagation


Temples are of the Spirit only!

Where are your

devout penetraters if you do not build with the immaculate blocks of Love you waylway me desecrate

& sell me for disrupting Doctrines

Am I a clink

for batterings

Have you already forgotten special tribes attract a special treatment

The mighty Clairvoyant are

without weapons, without animosities, without lucre how many meanderings to my meta-positions!

Oh 6000 year ]ews

you are almost a mummerarium for bookworms & sterile scholars you have lost track of my Name as a regenerating evolution

O minglers & separators folly realists

foreswear the anxieties of your Hubris

or crack up with rhumatism

do not my hopping ecstatics have a lesson for you

Others have joined the dead sands

& far older than you

save face or creed & you lose it

O Israel

If the whole earth is not your home a crumb of it

is your understanding of the Lord & a lackey to Infidels

O Israel

the 2 Messiahs are before you

Is it because your Imagination is a servant of the letter You haggle at the Breakthru with your racket

commandments you lay troubled trips upon your ascendants you rob the Child of a chance to sage you or show a fresh method a babel of words

a clamor of yakking a hairshirt of rituals How many rivers from Abraham E = mc'

So you made the desert bloom with Eagle coffers Big deal

Have not the Chinese shown you why the Cosmos is female

that the Spirit has no gender that the Breath of the Lord is Death O Israel

Sex & Money & the State

are your charnel Houses and my solar winds cradle a supernatural Earth

Vincent Ferrini

Vincent Ferrini is a Gloucester, Mass. poet.

The New Libertarians

Chris Hables Gray

(It is only fair to tell the reader that I consider myself an anarchist and a feminist. This obviously affects my critique of Libertarianism. Since I share the Libertarian critique of The Slate in general, and the U.S. Imperial State in particular, I have neglected that issue in the present article.)

"Only we offer technology without technocracy, growth without pollution, liberty without chaos, law without tyranny, the defense of property rights in one's person and in one's material possessions "

Murray Rothbard in For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto

There are a growing number of people who share Mr Rothbard's sweeping conviction. One of them is lustin Raimondo, a 28 year old gay who is an organizer for the Students for a Libertarian Society (SLS). lustin does not fit your Libertarian stereotype Ten years ago Libertarians were all "white male heterosexual computer programmers" he says. "I was a freak for a while but I bided my time and it's paid off" he adds, referring to the strong stands SLS and the Libertarian Party (LP) have taken for gay rights and for an open border with Mexico.

Justin is part of the "New Libertarianism that emphasizes civil liberties and anti-state positions much more than it does its defense of "free market" capitalism. This new emphasis has led to an open split with traditional conservatives in the American right like William Buckley; his National Review recently ran a cover story attacking Libertarianism, called "Strange Alliance: Anarchists Backed bv Corporate Big Money, Infiltrate the Freedom Movement."

The new emphasis is also probably responsible for many new recruits: students against the draft, gays in San Francisco who support the Libertarians' drive to abolish the vice-squad. Chicanos in Southern California who agree with the fiery attacks on the Immigration and Naturalization Service that are printed in Libertarian Vanguard, the paper of the LP's Radical Caucus.

Yet, along with the strong denunciations of the draft, the INS. racism, homophobia, and U S Imperialism, one still finds the traditional libertarian faith in free enterprise and a religious reverence for private property To sort these various strands out and understand them will take an examination of Libertarian ideology itself, which comes in the second half of this article. First though, let us look at the Libertarian jugger-naught in detail, its groups, its publications and its money.

The Children of Liberty and Capital

The main Libertarian groups are the Libertarian Party (LP) which in 1976 was on the ballot in 36 states and garnered 174,000 votes; Young Libertarian Alliance which is the youth affiliate of the LP; and Students for a Libertarian Society (SLS) which is based in San Francisco and now has nearly 60 campus chapters and over 1.000 members.

These groups are serviced by a number of magazines and think-tanks, including Libertarian Review, the main theoretical journal. Inquiry with a circulation of 29.000 (an excellent magazine by the way. with many leftist contributes as well as Libertarians), the Cato Institute in Fan Francisco, and the Center for Libertarian Studies in New York.

The SLS has made the draft their major focus. They also organize a-round the rights of illegal aliens, opposition to nuclear power, and the elimination of vice-squads. There is a large overlap between the SLS and the LP's Radical Caucus, which claims to represent 10 per cent of the LP's California membership

The SLS paper Liberty often carries articles as vehemently revolutionary as Libertarian Vanguard. Recent Liberty articles have attacked nukes ("Energy Fascism: How Nuclear Power Serves State Power") and, of course, the draft ("Lies About Conscription. The arguments in favor of the draft are half militarist propaganda, half sanctimonius drivel, and all lies.")

The Libertarian Party itself is more staid and concentrates on running candidates for office on "bread and butter" issues, like cutting taxes and government spending They do take their civil libertarian stands as well Ed Clark. LP candidate for Covernor of California in the last election came out for legalizing marijuana, decriminalizing prostitu-lion and strongly against Prop. 6, the infamous Briggs initiative against gay school teachers. Ed Clark, currently 1980 IP presidential candidate, is a lawyer for ARCO who specializes in anti-anti-trust law None of the Libertarians interviewed saw any contradiction in Mr Clark's belief in liberty and his job keeping the oil companies strong

A central theme of all the Libertarian groups, and one of their main differences with the traditional conservatives, is a strong opposition to U S Imperialism. "Liberty or Empire?" asks Earl Ravenal in an anti-draft article in Liberty The LP is active in the Campaign to Stop Government Spying which includes many left and liberal groups. The Cato Institute has given money to both the Youth Project ($2,000 in '77-78). for The Citizens Committee for Constitutional Liberty, and $17,000 to the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) for "joint work on the Pentagon." IPS is a well-known leftish think tank that also publishes the social democratic paper In These Times

It is not surprising that the Libertarians can give money to worthy liberal causes, for they aren't poor The Cato Institute has a yearly budget of a million. SLS has a projected budget for next year of $200,000. Much of this money can be traced to one person. Charles Koch (pronounced "Coke") who has a net worth of between $500 and $700 million. His diversified engineering company, which also raises cattle and owns pipelines, has annual sales of $350 million. A large amount of the Cato money comes from Koch and he generously contributes to other Libertarian causes, especially SLS.

Cato's board includes Sam Husbands, a Vice-president of Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. and Dave Padden who has his own securities firm in Chicago. Obviously a number of "entrepreneurs" such as these men give generously. But except for Koch, I can't find evidence of any BIG money.

The multinationals obviously aren't interested in a doctrine that describes itself as "revolutionary" and calls for an end to the military-industrial complex. As Milton Mueller, the National Coordinator of SLS, ironically notes. "We don't find a lot of interest in free markets from capitalists."

A large percentage of the money for the LP and the SLS either comes from their grassroots or as grants for special projects. SLS is trying to raise money from liberals, such as Stewart Mott, for anti-draft work, and from "goldbugs and hard currency advocates" for a campaign in favor of the "free market" and the gold standard.

A close look at the various Libertarian institutions reveals a number of interesting interlocks Despite its claim to total independence, the Students for a Libertarian Society was the brainchild of Ed Crane III (President of Cato). Murray Rothbard (Board of Directors of Cato). and Bill Evers (Editor of Inquiry) Both Rothbard and Evers are on the Editorial Board of Libertarian Vanuuard which is edited by Justin Raimondo, the SLS organizer mentioned above All are active in the LP. on both the state and national levels

The immediate prospects for the Libertarians are good They have many productive financial and media contacts and the organizational skills to exploit them fully They also have a political ideology that many people find attractive Part of this attraction is explainable by the failure of so many of the other modern ideologies. As Bill Evers explains, "Conservatism is not very attractive it's anti-peace. New Deal liberalism is having hard times lately A lot of alternatives that have seemed plausible have been found wanting —fascism, state socialism which is not a big hit."

But there is more than the failure of the alternatives. There is the i-deal itself How does Libertarianism come down in favor of capitalism but against the capitalist state? How can it believe in both absolute individual freedom and the freedom to exploit both nature and people?

The Libertarian Credo

There are two central premises of Libertarianism In Murray Roth-bard's book The New Liberty it is explained quite directly:

The central core of the Libertarian creed is to establish the absolute right to private property of every man (sic): first, in his (sic) own body and second, in the previously unused natural resources which he (sic) first transforms by his (sic) labor.

Libertarians try to prove that property rights follow from the individual's right to control their own person. We shall look at those mental gymnastics in a moment But the first thing to note is that the "civil" libertarianism of Libertarianism comes from the principle of individual liberty The defense of capitalism, of inheritance, of the domination of na ture by "man" and the right to exploit the labor of another people, springs from the second principle—the absolute right to property.

At the core of Libertarian property rights is what can be called the "magical labor theory of appropriation " Libertarians believe that not only do you deserve the fruits of your direct labor in the everyday sense but that anything and everything "previously untouched" once affected by your labor, or affected by something once affected by your labor, becomes. in perpetuity, the property of you and your heirs.

Rothbard approvingly quotes lohn Locke when he claims:

Thus, the grass my horse has bit. the turfs my servant has cut. and the ore I have digged in my place, where I have a right to them in common with others, become my property without the assignation or consent of any body.

Exactly how the turfs ol' John Locke's servant digs become his is never explained, although one can imagine it's because the servant, like the horse, belongs to Mr. Locke. In a similar way. the value that workers bring to an enterprise belongs, not to the workers, but to the capitalists since he or she "owns" them and their work at the price of a wage.

Several simple ideas lie at the core of this pleasant hubris The first is that property rights are monolithic and perpetual. Rothbard sees them in absolutist terms —all or nothing. There is no division of property rights— only limits when your rights (like the right to burn down your forest) run into someone else's right (for their air to be smoke-free)

And who gets ownership; this indivisible bundle of rights? Well Rothbard argues coyly that either 1) "the creator" gets it. or 2) "another man or set of men appropriate it by force" ot 3) "every individual in the world has an equal quotal share." This leaves out a host of other possibilities: property rights held by smaller units than the whole world —villages. or cities, or worker collectives: certain property rights held by one group and others by a separate group; use as a part of ownership criteria; need as a part of ownership criteria.

Such complexity may be disconcerting but it is also more realistic A lack of natural realism is at the core of the Libertarian position toward property rights —the idea that everything in the natural world could, and should be, completely owned by people.

Jerry Mander, in his book Four Arguments lor the Elimination of Television, describes this attitude perfectly:

To the capitalist, profit-oriented mind, there is no outrage so great as the existence of some unmediated nook or cranny of creation which has not been converted into a new form that can then be sold for money This is because in the act of converting the natural into the artifical, something with no inherent economic value becomes "productive" in the capitalist sense.

Rothbard cites Woiowski and Levasseur, two 19th century laissez-faire French economists, who say pretty much the same thing, with a different perspective:

Nature has recognized her master, and man feels that he is at home in nature. Nature has been appropriated by him for his use; she has become his own; she is his property before him, there was scarcely anything but matter, since him, and by him, there is interchangeable wealth.

Now the wholesale degradation and dismemberment of the natural world into "interchangeable wealth" may have seemed fine and grand in the 19th centruy, but Rothbard and the Libertarians should know better by now. This old idea of "Man's" natural right to conquer and own nature can be found throughout history, from the Bible, through Karl Marx, all the way to Exxon. It is one of the major reasons that homo sapien/homo lupen (man the thinkerfrnan the wolf) has brought the whole planet to the edge of destruction If we don't cease to see nature as an object to exploit and realize it is an organic whole that we are a part of. we will soon go over that edge

Our Frenchmen in the above quote also reveal just how "masculine" a philosophy Libertarianism is There seems to be an almost complete lack of feminism in the whole movement. There is no critique of hierarchy, nor of linear dichotomous thinking For Libertarians the personal is not political, the economic is.

In the Cato office the women secretaries scurry about filling the needs of the overwhelmingly white male executives Small groups of these men raise money, arrange the events, write the papers, hire other men. all to build the Libertarian Movement. Social change is seen mechanistically, like in Marxism, step by step. Not as an organic interaction between personal realities and society as a whole.

Although Libertarians have vast differences with Marxists on philosophical issues, they share many tactical ideas. In an essay on the lessons of Leninism (which he mentions in for A New Liberty), Murray Rothbard applauds the Leninists' means of achieving their ends; he calls for a Libertarian cadre to spread the good word to the uninformed; and he asks Libertarians to go along with decisions made by officials of political organizations they belong to

This essay was quoted extensively in one of the recent National Review articles. Although Libertarians responded in several publications to most of the issues raised in the NR articles, they were silent on the issue of Leninist tactics When I asked Bill Evers for a copy of the essay, he said he'd lost it.

The Libertarians take "good" stands on some women's issues like the ERA. but they are oblivious to the insights of feminism. This is reflected especially in their process, no different then male dominated groups of the last 2,000 years. And it is tied to the economism and "man" over nature that is so much part of their philosophy.

Lacking a feminist/organic view of nature, it is not surprising to find that the Libertarian attitude toward society is reductionists They argue that there is no such thing as society, there is merely a collection of "interacting individuals".

The Libertarian Frank Chodorov says, "Society is a collective concept and nothing else . .When the individuals disappear so does the whole The whole has no separate existence " Of course one cannot have society without people That doesn't mean society is only atomistic individuals multiplied.

Society ("community" is a better word) is greater than that, just as a poem is more than a random collection of words The principle is well recognized in philosophy, biology, physics, and poetics

"Behind Every Great Fortune, Look For the Crime"

Economism looms large when we look at the nuts and bolts of running a Libertarian "society." While there are exceptions, such as the brilliant critic of psychiatry Dr. Thomas Szasz, most libertarians cannot deal with anything that can't be taken, packaged, litigated, or sold

Therefore Libertarians depend on economics for making all social decisions. The "free market" will answer all our questions Do we need colored toilet paper? Yes, if it can be sold for a profit Should we kill all the whales? Yes, if the owner feels that is the best way for him or her to benefit from them. And someone will own the whales in the Libertarian world.

But what makes this a rational process anyway? What evidence is there that the lust for profits is the best way to make a society's economic and ethical decisions? Libertarians argue that industrial capitalism is FALL79 35

proof that the individual quest for maximized profit is the sure road to greater social good. This is hardly a convincing case. In three hundred years of capitalist development great wealth has been produced, it is true But there has also been the destruction of thousands of other species and hundreds of human cultures It seems that a world that survived millions of years of people living in other social forms might not be able to survive even a few hundred years of capitalism

The "free market" is as irrational a mechanism of decision-making as was the divine right of kings One seeks to perpetuate feudal privilege, while the other, the economic and ecological exploitation that is capitalism.

Libertarians should confront the fact that it is profits and the "free market" that has led to the present government-business alliance. If there wasn't a state, capitalists would invent one. The best way to maximize profits is to regulate your market, eliminate or join with your competitors. repress similar or superior products and ignore externalities such as pollution or the occupational diseases of "your" workers. The "free" in "market" is free to get away with all these things at the expense of everyone else

Capitalism has a symbiotic relationship with the state, but even if it could exist independently it would be a system of oppression terry Mander also goes into this in his book on television and mass culture. Mander sees a grave problem in the new mass media technologies that can be traced to the inevitable, and imposed, inequality of capitalism Mander states-

Such distinguished corporate experts as Louis Kelso have been predicting our present malaise ...Kelso argues that as capitalist enterprise grows, the rich must get richer and the poor poorer because owners of business have more kinds of income. They have wage income, which is many times higher than that of the average wage earner, and they also have dividend income. . In periods of economic growth they enjoy targe profits that may be used for further capital investment, which will provide additional profits at a later time

In order to prevent the development of Libertarian Capitalism into either a State or an oligarchy of the wealthy. Libertarians claim that competition will keep business small and honest.

"What keeps A&P honest is the competition, actual and potential, of Safeway. Pioneer, and countless other grocery stores" says Rothbard Surely he doesn't really believe that A&P is honest?

But maybe he does Here's what he says about another industry:

in the nineteenth century, the railroads and their competition provided a remarkable energizing force for developing their respective areas Each railroad tried its best to induce immigration and economic development in its area in order to increase its profits, land values, and value of its capital: and each hastened to do so. lest people and markets leave their area and move to the ports, cities, and lands served by competition railroads

This is not an accurate description of the role of railroads in the 19th century. What about the land frauds? What about the deaths of thousands of Chinese and other workers? What of the shattered Indian cultures? In California. the Southern Pacific (SP) wielded incredible power for 30 years — their agents would demand to inspect their farmer-customer accounts and would then set freight rates at the maximum level that allowed that farmer to survive

This economic coercion, this economic dictatorship, isn't even coercion according to the Libertarian cosmology that says the only real coercion is physical violence (some add fraud as well) None mention concentrated economic power as a threat to liberty because it is within the natural framework of the market —the strong competitor shall get rich.

This seems a modern form of Social Darwinism, a concept invented by Spencer, "the great libertarian," according to Rothbard. The exploiter will survive; nature is to be owned, society doesn't exist, the market measures everything and everyone's worth It is no accident that intellectually it turns to conservatism and economically has led from inventor-capitalists and robber barons to corporate managers and government bureaucrats. T 11 .. T rl , J

Tell It To The Judge

But let's press on for a minute and ask, "What institution is going to mediate between everyone's property rights? What is going to mesh the free market with the real world' You won't believe it but the magic key

is . . the courts.

Not one state-sanctioned court, but a multitude of private courts with private police serving their clients for a fee And what keeps them honest? Competition And what if you hire one court and the child molester down the block hires another? Both courts hire a higher one to work things out Can this be practical?

How anyone can believe that courts can balance and adjudicate all the conflicting interests that will make up a Libertarian "society" is an a-mazing testimony to blind faith. The real world shows us that justice is not the product of the legal system; its product is social control

Even now the vast majority of violent crimes never lead to convictions, the simplest civil case can be stalled for years, and the highest bidder invariably buys the decisions they want: either directly or more subtly through high-priced talent, high-powered connections, or class privilege. Profit making courts would have to be at least as corrupt and oppressive; that's the product of courts.

Whither Liberty?

Why this renaissance of laissez-faire capitalism? It seems to me that Libertarianism allows for a recognition of just how serious our condition is —in the form of the critique of the State and the military-industrial complex—without having to come to grips with the deeper causes of the crisis.

Su Negrin, a feminist writer, describes these causes, or rather, the cause, as unfreedom






These are aspects of unfreedom starting with the most crude and ending with the most subtle. There are different kinds of unfreedom and there are different degrees of unfreedom. Unfreedom can involve vlo lent coercion or unseen self-restriction Unfreedom functions on an individual level as well as a social level. Unfreedom involves a subtle interrelated network of alt of the above.

I assume the validity of all manifestations of unfreedom because of my premise that freedom involves the maximum realization of one's distinct and ever-changing potential, and this goes for everybody.

The nation-state is only part of the network of unfreedom. But it is the only part the Libertarian ideology is explicitly against.

"New" Libertarianism is young still, many new ideas will be brought to it, especially by gays, women, and third world people Ideas about feminism, culture, process, and spirit. Views that have no place in Libertarianism as we see it today How they will change Libertarianism. if they do at all, is anyone's guess.

One thing is certain though, unless Libertarianism can come to grips with the fact that Capitalism is also a system of domination—even without a state, then it is doomed to be just another half-revolutionary system—like state socialism which has brought us the gulag and Chinese Coca-Cola.

This means going beyond rebellion against the role of dominated subject; of free individual oppressed by the state. Libertarians must reject the "right" to dominate as well. Negrin argues that

The root structure of domination, the thing that holds it all together, is our acceptance of being dominated and our willingness to dominate others.

It seems that every Libertarian sees him or herself as a swashbuckling entrepreneur inventing wonderful products and selling them to an admiring public for vast profits. Is this the natural human condition? It hasn't been my experience. Most people work, hour after hour, year after year, at deadening, killing, meaningless labor in order to buy food, shelter, and drugs. Libertarians choose not to be exploited but they don't understand that to really do that they must choose not to exploit as well In the Libertarian world of owners there will always be the owned It is time to go beyond all that. It is time to say I will be neither slave, nor master

Chris Gray is a member of Palo Alto. California Black Rose and active in the anti-nuclear movement.


I: For Socialism

Custav Landauer. Translated by I Parent. (Telos Press. 1978), 150 pp.. $3 00 paperback.

The history of Cerman socialism is usually depicted as the conflict be-€ tween the "orthodox" Marxists and the Revisionists in the Cerman Social Democratic Party (SPD), and finally the clash between the SPD and the :: Communist Party. However, there were other socialist currents in Cerman socialism. Custa-v Landauer : (1870-1919) was a socialist thinker

who was at odds with the thought and J practice of the above socialisms Landauer's path to anarchist socialism led through the SPD in the 1890s. He was expelled from the SPD in 1893 be-jy cause of his defense of the right of an-1;- archists to a place in the Socialist In-VJ ternational as socialists. Landauer's t experience with the SPD's socialsim .3:; led him to develop a critique of the emancipatory potential of such so-cialism and to develop an altrnative socialism, Landauer was a close ac-% quaintance of Martin Buber and

through Buber he influenced the then X developing kibbutz movement, Lan-dauer was murdered in May, 1919. by vjj' troops unleashed by the "revolution-ary" SPD government to put down the Bavarian Revolution. S We can thank Telos Press for the

# appearance of the first major work of

Custav Landauer in English. For Socialism is a translation of the second edition of Aufrul zum Sozialismus which was first published in 1911 There is a new introduction for this edition by Russell Berman and Tim Luke They have written a brief, yet adequate, survey of Landauer's career and thought for those unfamiliar with this interesting anarchist thinker. (See references at end of article). Unfortunately, there is no attempt to assess Landauer's work in light of such contemporary anarchist thinkers as the late Paul Goodman. Murray Book-chin, or Noam Chomsky. We are given an appraisal of Landauer as a precursor of themes later taken up by the Frankfurt School in the writings of such thinkers as Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno. This concern is only natural as Telos Press is an offshoot of the American-based Frankfurt School-oriented journal Telos. There are a few minor points that prove irksome in the text itself—the re-translation into English of the title of PeterKropotkin'sF/e/ds, Factories, and Workshops as The Field, The Factory, The Workshopi; the description of the ideas of Henry George in the "Name Index" as "the land in principle should belong to the state" (p. 150) which hardly does justice to the economic thought of George, and, in an American-produced book, one would hopetosee a fairer summary of his ideas; and the unfortunate translation of the title as For Socialism rather than

retaining Landauer's own explanatory titleCall To Socialism.

Landauer's work is basically a call as the title states—a Call to Socialism. He believed that a community of communities where all could be self-active and self-regulating creative beings was possible here and now The book is entitled a Call To Socialism rather than a Call To Anarchism as Landauer considered himself to be a socialist, more exactly an anarchist socialist and to him both of these terms were synonymous. In Landauer's eyes what was lacking for socialism was the calling, the belief, and the fortitude necessary to live as a free human in the here and now This bel ief in freedom and this strength not only to desire freedom but to struggle for it and live as a free being daily was what Landauer subsumed under the concept geist. The term geist, or spirit, as it is used in the text, can be seen as the human self-active and self-regulating creative essence, the mettle and feeling essentially needed for socialism if people are to be free and live freely, that is, if they are to be able to act and realize themselves as humans. (Spirit is the English equivalent for the German word geist. In English spirit has very ethereral connotations. Spirits are ghouls, ghosts, etc. Spirit as Landauer used it can best be approximated in such English uses as "team spirit" or "school spirit" where spirit means feeling for, belief in and action as a member of one's team or school). Accordingly, geist is central to Landauer's vision of anarchist socialism and is the central concept of his Aufruf zum So-zia/ismus.

Socialists have geist, the spirit to be free, and hence they have the calling to act and to live freely as socialists; and the psuedo-socialists are for Landauer those who lack such vitality to act and live freely. Though they label themselves socialists, they are false socialists The psuedo-socialists that Landauer faced in his own era in Germany were Marx and his followers and those who adhered to Edward Bernstein's revision of Marx's crisis theory of capitalist collapse. These groups of psuedo-socialists were found in the German Social Democratic Party. Landauer critiqued both orthodox Marxists and Revisionists of the SPD unmercifully in his Aufruf zumSozialismus. (The terms "orthodox Marxists" and "Revisionists" refer todifferent factions of the German Social Democratic party. Sometimes Landauer used the term Marxist to describe the Social Democratic Party itself. These people were the Marxists to Landauer). He saw both as tapeworms of socialism forthey drained away the spirit necessary for true socialism. They were bogus socialists to him as theylackedgeisf, the feeling of socialism and the fortitude to struggle for it as socialists, because they

saw the further developmentof capital ism. even if thev disagreed over the way of this development, as the growth of socialism itself.

Landauer noted in the Call to Socialism that the orthodox Marxists saw socialization arising from the ever greater concentration of capital, the centralization of the means of production into the hands of fewer and fewer people until a crisis of capital accumulation occurred, and, with the faltering of the capitalist class the proletariat would leaponto the stage of history. According to Marx, the proletariat is totally immiserated by the tendency of capital to rob the working class of more and more of what it creates until the brute interest of necessity drives the working class at the time of crisis to seize the means of production for the good of all. Marx's version of socialism is thus seen here as the takeover and eventual rationalization of capitalism by a totally debased humanity which has lost not only the means of survival but the right to live as humans for they have lost control over their own lives Landauer saw no new social relationships arising here and he saw only human enfeeblement as people were made ever more powerless and told to accept their debasement, their proletarization, as a sign of socialist development itself Landauer also discussed the crisis theory in Aufruf zum Sozialismus, and he considered this to

be hokum for there were ever more people in his own time who materially benefited from the domination of the capitalist system. The second group, the Revisionists, Landauer noted in his Aufrul 2um Sozialismus, did not subscribe to the crisis theory of ever greater proletarization and capitalist productive collapse but rather saw socialism as the continuation of capitalism, the result of the direct and peaceful evolution of capital ism, where modern efficiency meant capitalist concentration of enterprises and this passing of ownership into fewer and fewer hands was seen as socialization. To the Revisionists all that was needed for socialism was for a majority of voters to take part in the electoral process and vote socialism in. Socialism was seen as a legal, state takeover of the remaining large industrial combines combined with the newly created state ones with welfare state legislation such as minimum wage laws and social insurance guaranteeing the materia! well-being of all. Thus, both groupings saw socialism as "immanent" in capitalism. (p 68)

Therefore, socialism was seen by Marx and his followers as simply a rationalization of capitalism, or—as Murray Bookchin put it in a discussion on Marxism as a form of bourgeois ideology given at the Free Association in New York, April 14, 1978,—this form of socialism is merely capitalism with a "Consciousness of its own brutalization," and not a true break with capitalism. For Landauer the view that the beautiful free community of creators was a growth of capitalism was nonsense, an enfeebled caricature of what socialism is in actuality Socialism to him was neither the logical extension of capitalism nor was it the logic of capitalism rationalized Material development to Landauer was not necessarily socialist development or did it have any automatic results. Commenting on the logic of socialism as a flowering of capitalism he noted, "Capitalismwill not necessarily change into socialism. It need not perish." (p. 74).

Such "socialists" did not fight for socialism nor could they tell people that they could strive for freedom or actually be free and be socialist as they had no conception of freedom beyond material development. In this they were united with the bourgeoisie as they both believed that human emancipation was the product of material development and the way of human fulfillment This form of "socialism" was devoid of geist for it had no belief in socialism as a new way of life. In success, without the geist of socialism being held by all, it would usher in a more instrumental ly rationalized capitalism, a worse unfree-dom, as the kinks in the capitalist system would be ironed out leaving even less space for freedom in the clocklike world of the dictatorship of the

proletariat where all could be conscripted into industrial armies and all would be employees of the same company as was put forth in Lenin's Taylorized vision of "communism" in State and Revolution Consequently, Landauer saw that even in their belief in change these people had their eyes affixed on what was. and not on the socialism that could be and should be.

Socialism for Landauer was a "new beginning." (p. 136) In contrast with the view that saw human emancipation subsumed under the logic of the rationalization of capitalism as a product of material development, his notion of change was that of the logic of a break with the world of estrangement where social relations are based on dominance and submission, on a power and powerlessness that debases humans into mere instrumentalities to be used as objects. Landauer saw socialism as a growth of disalierv-ation in the here and now. Landauer's notion of change was a step by step creation of freedom. The creation and nurturing of little pockets of free life that were possible even in the un-free now was his way of change. One did not wait for the forces of history, the development of the mode of production, to permit us to be free One acted now as an anarchist socialist to create a world worthy of oneself as a human. As a socialist, one became a subject rather than an object of history. Landuaer realized that the


"bearers of history are persons." (p 62) If socialism did not come, it was our fault.

Accordingly, unlike the orthodox Marxists and Revisionists. Landauer perceived no great liberatory potential residing in the proletariat as they represented the total loss of subjectivity They were without geist, they were totally estranged from theircre-ative nature as they were not self-active and self-regulating beings, but rather they were objectified They were objects, controlled and dominated by extrinsic forces, regimented by others, rather than subjects who could act and realize themselves From such beings, devoid of geisi, he saw no possibility or reconstructive praxis. Landauer's vision is unlike the orthodox Marxists and Revisionists who saw something good coming from the inexorable march of both spiritual and physical alienation, the loss of control over one's own life (The orthodox Marxists glibly accepted both the loss of control over one's own life and the stuff of life and the Revisionists worried enough to fill the belly but accepted the "spiritual" im-miseration of life, the loss of the ability to act and realize oneself in the name of modernity, rational manufacture, the factory system, technical progress, bureaucratization, ad nauseam, as the price one paid to insure material well-being for all.) Landauer's vision of anarchism did not rest on estrangement Emancipation FAL179

for Landauer rested on the infusion of life with a subjective demand for freedom, a sensibility that requires freedom now as a matter of life itself. Degradation could not lead to emancipation. One becomes free by ceasing to be a proletarian, an object; emancipation starts in acting as human.

Drawing on Peter Kropotkin's ground-breaking argument put forth in Fields, Factories, and Workshops. Landauer also rejected the orthodox Marxists' and Revisionists' shared contention that technology, the mode of production needed for socialism, means centralization or the loss of the human scale in life, the lapse of human self-management. To Landauer this belief was simply steam, so much hot air. In Aufrui zum Sozial-ismus he declared that Marx's view of techniques was appropriate for the age of steam, but in Landauer's own time the development of electricity made decentralization a possibility since there was no technical necessity to centralize creative life around the driveshaft of a steam engine under the roof of one huge factory. Indeed, other technical possibilities and mixes were now definitely open to humans Landauer concluded that there were no technical reasons that could justify centralized social organization in his own era.

Landauer also put aside another aspect of this technical myopia that conveniently summed up whole epochs of human being as merely the clash between slave and master, serf and feudal lord, proletariat and bourgeois, as the mode of production was seen as engendering all human being as its product. He believed that socialism was possible if we strive for it "Socialism, you Marxists, is possible at all times and with any kind of technology. while at all times, even with splendidly developed machine technology, it is impossible for the wrong group " (p 74) Hence, the history of humans also contains a human history, that of guilds, village communities and free communes at their best These were as much the possible material realities of the level of material development of the Medieval epoch as discussed by Kropotkin in Mutual Aid as was that of feudal lord and serf For Landauer, life is not totally a product of the mode of production. As an anarchist, rather than stressing degradation as human history, he-like Kropotkin —stressed the history of human reconstruction, of mutual aid. of attempts to end and overcome the world of domination and hierarchy.

One can argue with Landauer over the possibility of a socialism based on generalized want surviving without the struggle for the things of life erupting to re-create a hierarchical society as some would want to escape the communion of shared misery. What Landauer was certain of was that material conditions do not guarantee a miserable life. History is not a closed book There have been societies wherein people were more free with less material development. Landauer realized that the human subject can make things better if she or he so believes in the beauty of socialism. As Landauer states, "Socialism is a striving with the help of an ideal to create a new reality " (p.29) To say that the collectives of Spain in 1936 were materially premature, and therefore impossible under the then present mode of production is to deny their possibility. (Consequently, it was justified by such "socialists" to destroy physically what could not possibly exist as it had to be counterrevolutionary for it was too good for present material development). As Murray Bookchin put it in his study on Spanish anarchism. "Spanish Anarchism revealed how far proletarian socialism could press toward an ideal of freedom on moral premises alone." (Murray Bookchin, The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years, 1868-1936, New York: Free Life Editions, 1977, p. 308).

H istory to Landauer then is not a product, an extrinsic result of laws of material development, an object created by the mode of production indifferently manufactured without regard to human acts, but rather it is the struggle for the human, the struggle forgeist Accordingly, Landauer could conclude that there was an alternative to the impossible present

that confronts life, if "enough people want it" (p. 74) Any further material development was not the absolute prerequisite or "practical premise" for a free life as Marx and Engels stated in The German Ideology Material well-being may underpin a free life, but it can not create it nor can it guarantee it.

Who can honestly deny today that material conditions are still not yet ripe (if not over ripe) to premit food, clothing, and shelter for all in advanced industrial societies? Yet, and it is our tragedy, there is still no socialism as Landauer describes it. and the world is definitely more materially developed now than when i; Landauer lived. Kropotkin could

write of the Conquest of Bread but we ;?r now live in an era of throw-away con--J tainers, built-in obsolescence, and in which crops are plowed under to make it worthwhile to grow food. Long before Landauer wrote. Marx and Engels could write in 1848 that communism was a specter haunting j". Europe. How long does one have to S? wait for the machinery of freedom, the means of life to develop to permit a free wsy of life to flower? Conse-S quently, Landauer realized that it was the subjective dimensions of freedom ||; that prove to be the impediment to

the development of socialism. Mater-3§|- ial development has already been "v achieved. If people did believe in a free society, there would be a free society. Technical development is not fAIL79

the problem, nor does techne humanize humans Instead, "technology . . in a cultured people, will have to be developed according to the psychology of free people who want to use it." (pp. 96-97)

Accordingly, for Landauer, reconstruction. the creation of socialism. the creative action of those who have received the call, the ge/st the willed fortitude and vision to create socialism, is the true hope of humanity Not only is belief necessary for freedom, the creation of a world suited to the individual as a creative productive being is also necessary. In the face of a world of powerlessness that gained substance from lives through dominance and submission, Landauer called out for a " Socialism that is a reversal of this. Socialism is a new beginning. Socialism is a return to nature. a re-endowment with spirit, a regaining of relationship." (p 136) Landauer concluded that socialism was to be nurtured in bands of friends, in the bund, these natural groups based on face to face affinity would league together to develop and learn the ways of socialism. "So let us unite to establish socialist households, socialist villages, socialist communities." (p. 138) Following in the German romantic volkish tradition as epitomized by Goethe, Landauer believed that trueemancipation could only be nurtured in contact with theearth. Socialism was to be nurtured in settlements in the countryside, fields with 47 good earth where conditions could let human nature grow These little pockets of the anarchist society, based on face to face sociation, human scaled technics, and in contact with the earth, would act as magnets of free life. Others would be attracted and follow through the strength of one's human example of free life.

Human emancipation was a human act for Landauer As Eric Muh-sam, a friend of Landauer's who was later brutally murdered by the Nazis, stated. Landauer was the theorist of the "permanent revolutionary "(E ric Muhsam. quoted in Ruth Link-Salinger (flyman). Custav Landauer. Philosopher of Utopia, (Indianapolis. Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company. 1977, p. 53) The personal act of bearing witness tor socialism was a political act The anarchist for Landauer was a different sort of person, one who lived not immersed in the grand promise of a distant anarchist future after the proverbial revolution made all things possible, but one who lived as if anarchist society already existed and one's life depended on its existence In one's own life one drew on the "intrinsic," a term used in the Call to Socialism to show that freedom is rooted within the individual and not on the extrinsic

Thus, for Landauer anarchists do not act like other people. They are beings who believe in freedom and live in freedom as best they can in an estranging world. And for Landauer, if a person acts as less than an anarchist in one's own personal life, if one speaks merely words from one's mouth about an anarchist future while one acts as less than an anarchist, if one uses others for convenience as objects while posing as an anarchist, if one lives as less than a creative being, if one waits for the "revolution" instead of struggling for his or her freedom now; if one lives apart from nature and is denatured-one is the counter-revolutionary Such a person proves to be the reactionary wearing liberatory labels. Such a one loses everything, for as we betray anarchism as the concrete stuff of one's life we betray ourselves and lose everything, "Everything begins with the individual, and everything depends on the individual." (p 136) This concern for the human subject as the moral base upon which a free life, a truly human life, is to be erected is the legacy which Landauer gave to anarchism

- Will Petry


The besr overall introduction in English to Custav Landauer's lite and thought is still Eugene Lunn's The Prophet of Community: The Romantic Socialism of Custav Landauerl'Ser-keley. California: University of California Press,

1973). Lunn's book contains a useful bibliography Also of interest for Landauer is Martin Ruber's "Landauer" in his Path* in Utopia (Boston: Beacon Press. 19561 pp. 46-57; Martin Buber. "Recollections of a Death." in Pointing the Way: Collected Essays (Mew York: Harper & Brothers, 19571 pp. 175-120; Paul Breines. "Jew as Revolutionary: The Case of Gustav Landauer.- Ico fiaeck Yearbook XII(19671 pp 75-84; C W {Colin Ware//. "Custav Landauer." Anarchy no. 54 (August 1965). pp. 244-251; and fack Frager. "A Look at Custav Landauer," Libertarian Analysis vol. 1. no. 4 (December 1971). pp. 43-45. Two works that are somewhat less than adequate in their treatment of Landauer are Charles B. Maurer's The Mystical Anarchism of Custav LandauerfDetro/t. Wayne Stare University Press. 1971) and Ruth Unk-Salinger (Hyman)'s Custav Landauer. Philosopher of Utopia (Indianapolis. Indiana: Hacketr Publishing Company. 1977):Link-Salinger's book contains a helpful bibliography. "Oeuvres Custav Landauer•/' by Arthur Hyman and this work also deals with Landauer's contact with the early kibbutz movement and Martin Buber. Paul Avrich's excellent review of both Lunn and Maurer can be found in The Nation no. 17(23 November 19741 pp. 533-536. This same review in an expanded form with interesting bibliographic information on Landauer appears in The Match! vol. 5, no. 2(December 1974). pp. 10-12.

The only other writings of Landauer's to appear in English translation are "The 12 Articles of the Socialist Bund," published in both Lunn and For Socialism, and his article "Social Democracy in Germany." first published in English by Freedom Press in 1896, and can be found republished in Libertarian Analysis vol. 1, no. 4 (December 1971). pp. 47-54.

Children of the Working Classes

to Somes

gaunt, ugly, deformed

broken from the womb, and horribly shriven

at the labor of their forefathers, if you check back

scout around grey before actual time

their sordid brains don't work right, pinched men emaciated, piling up railroad ties and highway ditches blanched women, swollen and crudely numb up before the dark of dawn scuttling by candlelight, one not to touch, that is, a signal panic thick peasants after the attitude at that time of the century, bleak and centrifugal they carry about them, tough disciplines of copper Indianheads there are worse, whom you may never see, non-crucial around the

spoke, these you do. seldom locked in Taunton State Hospital and other peon work farms drudge from morning until night, abandoned within destitute crevices

odd clothes, intent on performing some particular task long has been far removed there is no hope, they locked-in key's; housed of course and there fed, poorly

off sooted, plastic dishes, soiled grimy silver knives and forks.

stamped Department of Mental Health spoons but the unshrinkable duties of any society produces its ill-kempt, ignorant and sore idiosyncracies There has never been a man yet, whom no matter how wise can explain how a god. so beautiful he can create the graces of formal gardens, the exquisite twilight sunsets in splendor of elegant toolsmiths, still can yield the horror of dwarfs, who cannot stand up straight with crushed skulls, diseases on their legs and feet, unshaven faces and women, worn humped backs, deformed necks, hare lips, obese arms

distended rumps, there is not a flame shoots out could extinguish the torch of any liberty's state infection. 1907, my mother was born. I am witness to the exasperation of gallant human beings at god. priestly fathers and her Highness, Holy Mother the Church persons who felt they were never given a chance, had no luck and were flayed at suffering. They produced children with phobias, manias and depression. They cared little for their own metier, and kept watch

upon others, some chance to get ahead Yes life was hard'for them, much more hard than for any bloated millionaire, who still lives on their hard-earned monies. I feel I shall have to be punished for writing this, that the omniscient god is the rich one. cared little for looks, less for Art,

still kept weekly films close for the free dishes and scandal hot.

Some how though got cheated in health and upon hearth, I am one of them. I am witness not to Whitman's vision, but instead the poorhouses. the mad city asylums and relief worklines.

Yes. I am witness not to Cod's goodness, but his better or less scorn

Mayday 1972 John Wieners

lohn Wieners is a Boston poet FALL79

Last Writes

BLACK ROSE LECTURE SERIES FALL 1979 Sept. 26: Rudy Perkins —Direct Action Strategy lor the Anti-Nuclear Movement

Oct. 79: Elaine Leeder & Carol Chrlich—Theory and Practice oi Anarcha-Feminism

Nov. 2. Lestor Mazor—An Anarchist Vision of the future City Nov. 16. Robert Roth & Arnold Sachar—Skokie, Pronography, and Civil Liberties

Nov. 30: The Pacific St Film Collective—Anarchism & Film Dec 7 Vincent Ferrini- The Poem as a Way of Life

Mil". Roowv <=1-150 . FRiDAys 8 PM

• Have you read a new book lately and think it should be reviewed? Have you been kicking around an article in your head about your workplace, community group, or local organizing effort? Have you discovered the perfect theory for anarchist revolution? We invite our readers to submit articles and book reviews. All submissions are reviewed by our editorial collective.

• If you are not already a subscriber, please take out a subscription today. Regular subscriptions (S6), and especially sustaining subscriptions ($15 or more), ensure the vitality and long-term health of Black Rose Magazine. With a subscription, you get four issues and help us sustain a magazine committed to examining anarchist/libertarian ideas and practice.

• The Boston Public Library is sponsoring a two-day conference on "The Sacco-Vanzetti Case: Developments and Reconsiderations -1979" at the Library on Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27. The conference will mark the gift by Anteo and Arthur Felicani, sons of the late Aldino Felicani, of their father's highly important Sacco-Vanzetti collection. Aldino Felicani (1891-1967), Boston printer and devoted anarchist friend of Vanzetti, served as treasurer of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee from the inception of the committee Speakers will include Paul Avrich. David Wieck, Eric Foner, and Bob D'Attilio The lectures are free and open to the public. For further information on speakers and session times, call the Library's Programs Office (536-5400).

• Two editors of the Italian anarchist journal of Milan. Rivista "A", came through Boston this summer as did two members of the editorial collective of Free Socialist, Holland's oldest anarchist journal, which is now published in Utrecht During the course of a cordial evening they met with members of Black Rose, exchanging views and exploring the possibilities of cooperation.

Rivista "A", which is of course published in Italian, would appreciate help from BR readers in getting placed into appropriate libraries throughout North America Contact Editice "A", CP 3240. 20100-Milano. Italy, if you can help.

• The Essex Institute in Salem, Mass. is currently displaying an exhibition in American social history called "Life and Times in Shoe City: The Shoe Workers of Lynn." The exhibition, which will be open through January 27, 1980, focuses on the daily lives and social organizations of the men and women who worked in the shoe factories of Lynn. Mass., during the peak of production. 1870-1920, An important part of the exhibition consists of free program events, including theater, films, poetry readings, and folk music, to occur in Lynn and Salem For further information on the exhibition or the program events, call 744-3390

• Books new and noteworthy:

■•'Howard Ehrlich, Carol Ehrlich, David DeLeon. and Glenda Morris, Reinventing Anarchy: What Are Anarchists Thinking About These Days' 380 pp . paper back, $10.95, Routledge and Kegan Paul Despite the high price, which the editors contested and actually got the publisher to lower, this book is a wonderful collection of contemporary anarchist thought. The seven sections of the book are what is anarchism?; the state and social organization, criticism of the left; old and new; the liberation of self; anarcha-feminism; the liberation of labor; and reinventing anarchist tactics.

***Upton Sinclair. Boston: A Documentary Novel of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case. Introduction by Howard Zinn. 799 pp.. $15. Robert Bentley. The publisher is to be commended for rescuing this book from the oblivion most good books fall into: being out of print and impossible to find. Don't let the length intimidate you; the book reads very quickly and is the best single volume to read on the Sacco-Vanzetti case. You get an accurate rendition of the history and a vivid feeling for Boston in the 1920's —the Brahmins and the immigrant workers.

""Pan's Rayman and Severeyn Bruyn, eds.. Nonviolent Action and Social Change, $18.75 cloth, Irvington Publishers Includes essays on Gandhi's decentralist vision, nonviolent resistance to occupation: Norway and Czechoslovakia, nonviolence from a feminist perspective, and theater and nonviolent revolution



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