Marx vs. Bakunin, round one (February 2016)

My latest at Toward Freedom is a review of Robert Graham’s history of the First International, We Do Not Fear Anarchy, We Invoke It. I consider what that history tells us about anarchism, marxism, and the left more broadly.

For instance: “More than a century after the rift, this awkward origin story continues to reverberate, as increasing numbers of anarchists conceive of themselves as being “post-left.” There is a sense in which anarchism was always post-left — the result of a break with Marxism, the party form, and state socialism, at precisely the moment that those ideas achieved dominance within the radical movement. That made anarchism a kind of heretical cult, in the shadow of the established Marxist church. In another sense, however, anarchism represented a continuation of the left by other means, and a loyal (sometimes purist) adherence to the original, half-forgotten ideals of liberty, equality, and solidarity.”


Orwell & Poetry, Me & Police, ELF & FBI (December 2015)

Three items:

1- I have a review essay at Toward Freedom, looking at the new collection of George Orwell’s poetry and considering what his poetics reveal about his prose.

2- I was interviewed by WFHB in Bloomington, Indiana about community policing, militarization, and the criminalization of poverty. My bit is followed by an interview with the police chief.

3- Will Potter quoted me in a short, interesting article about FBI documents showing that their agents decided not to interview a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front because he had never answered their questions before and had publicized their investigations in the media. The lessons here are pretty clear: If you don’t want to talk to the FBI, you should start by not talking to the FBI. Do, however, talk to other people about what the FBI is doing.