Oscar Wilde and Anarchism (July 2020)

Last month, my book on Oscar Wilde and anarchism, Resist Everything Except Temptation: The Anarchist Philosophy of Oscar Wilde was published by AK Press.  The book examines Wilde’s political thought and the way it shaped his writing and his life, and it situates him in the tradition of left-wing anarchism, drawing from influences like Kropotkin and Proudhon, and influencing Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman in turn.

The unrivaled Alan Moore wrote the foreword.

You can read excerpts on the AK Press Blog and at LitHub.

I have also given a couple interviews, both of which managed to be genuine dialogues rather than rote question-and-answer rituals.

One, for the ANews Podcast, begins with a conversation about near-anarchists whom anarchists claim, or who had a sizeable influence on anarchism.

The second, for Interchange, covers both Wilde and Orwell, and focuses quite a bit on the problem of moral saints — that is, with the paradox articulated by the philosopher Susan Wolf that it is possible to be too moral.  The moral saints issue has haunted me since college, and I wrote about the question in relation to Wilde and Orwell in my book Between the Bullet and the Lie: Essay on Orwell.  In my opinion, this is one of the best interviews that I have done.

Interviews: Counterinsurgency and Mutual Aid (July 2020)

It’s Going Down interviewed me about the present unrest, the coming repression, and how both relate to counterinsurgency.  It sums up a lot of what I’ve said in my recent writing, but in a convenient hour-long format that you can listen to while doing the dishes.

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Solidarity, meanwhile, has run an edited transcript of my interview with Bill Resnick about mutual aid, historically and at present, in theory and in practice.

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me, me, media (July 2020)

Our Enemies in Blue has been getting a bit of media attention the last few weeks, during which time the title has stopped sounding like a provocation and started sounding like elementary common sense.

I’ve been quoted in the Washington Post and Teen Vogue, as well as in Showing Up for Racial Justice’s “Call to White People.”  I didn’t realize that appearing in Teen Vogue was a goal of mine until it happened, but now I am inordinately proud of the fact.

Our Enemies in Blue has also appeared on a number of reading lists, including the Oregonian‘s “35 Books about Race, Recommended by Black Portland Writers,” New York Magazine‘s “The Best Histories of U.S. Policing, According to Experts,” and in the UK, the Turnaround blog’s “Black Lives Matter Reading List.” And it featured in Glitter‘s list of free audiobooks about “racism, sexism, and more.”

It is nice to be noticed.

Practical Advice for the Unruly (June 2020)

Aric McBay has written a massive two-volume handbook for radical political action, titled Full-Spectrum Resistance.  It offers a theory of social change and practical advice on strategy, organizing, communication, and the like, all illustrated with historical case studies.

I wrote a review for Roar, highlighting the the many virtues and (fewer) shortcomings of the book, along with some ideas of how organizations might use it.

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