Sunday, April 11, 2010

Will Anarchy Reign at Anarchist Book Fair?

  New York City Anarchist Book Fair, 2009.

The 4th annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair, a one-day exposition of books, zines, pamphlets, art, film/video, and other cultural and very political productions of the anarchist scene worldwide, will take place on April 17, 2010, at Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan, New York City, a center of anarchist life, culture, struggle, and ideas for 150 years,

In addition, there will be two days of panels, presentations, workshops, and skillshares on April 17 and 18 to provide further opportunities to learn more and share your own experience and creativity.

The goal of the book fair is to enable people to connect with one another as well as to provide broader access to the rich and varied field of anarchist ideas and practices. The Fair’s website asserts that “now is the perfect time to be exploring those ideas and practices and bringing them into play in our communities and the world…Come meet local anarchists and others from all over the globe looking to connect with other anarchists. Whether you are an old anarchist with deep ties and knowledge or anarcho-curious and looking to find out more about anarchy, the book fair is for you..

“...The Book Fair has a policy against racist, sexist, queer-phobic, and other disrespectful behavior that works against collective liberation for all communities… Please note that no pets are allowed inside Judson with the exception of assistance animals.”

The first exponent of anarchist philosophy, Max Stirner (pseud. of Johann Schmidt, 1806-1856), would have none of that. His The Ego and Its Own (Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum, 1844, with sham date, 1845), the seminal anarchist text, asserts an individual's utter and complete freedom from any sort of authority whatsoever. For true anarchists, the above authoritarian fiats should, in principle, be completely ignored.

Disruption of activity contrary to modern anarchist principles is encouraged: On Sunday, April 18th at 8am, an Anarchists’ ”Action to disrupt the Dow Live Earth Run for Water in Prospect Park, Brooklyn” will take place. True anarchists are encouraged to disrupt the Action to disrupt the Dow Live Earth Run for Water.

Further, following Stirner to the letter, ideologies of any sort are to be shunned; they constrain and imprison the mind. Thus Anarchism as modern ideology is contrary to anarchy as classic philosophy, and anarchist philosophy is antithetical to any sort of collectivist activity; the individual can never be subject to a group. "Collective liberation." I have no idea what that means but collectivism is the polar opposite of anarchism. Only individuals can be liberated because only individuals can be free.

And didn't Emma Goldman put the kibosh on collectivism after her sojourn in the new Soviet Union disillusioned her of such romantic bosh? As it turned out, collectivism required dictatorship to be realized.

"There is only one single reality and that is the independent individual who is aware of this fact and who has made it his principle of thought and action. In this way the individual becomes a 'unique' or 'single one' (Einziger) for whom his own egoism is all determinant and who looks down on all concepts of religion, moral, political, cultural or any other kind of duty as a sort of belief in ghosts. The single individual sets his own tasks and thereby becomes his own master. He is no longer the property of some strange 'higher' entity but belongs to himself." (Austro-Marxist Max Adler).

Modern Anarchists are giving anarchism a bad name.

Be that as it may, food will be available ("free and $" - go figure), plus childcare (free - you get what you pay for). Judson Memorial Church is a wheelchair accessible, smoke-free environment but smoke ‘em if you got ‘em: Anarchists do not have the right to tell you what to do or not do but you have the right to tell them to take a hike.

I have no idea whether first edition, first printing copies of The Anarchist Cookbook (1971) will be offered at the Fair.

Copies of the first edition, first printing in dust jacket are extremely difficult to find. First edition, second printing copies in DJ are now being offered for $300 - $675. In 1986, I sold a copy for $75 and thought I was a bandit. Those unaware of this classic should know that has absolutely nothing to do with the way I prepare recipes for comestibles - chaotically - and everything to do with preparing combustibles.

As for first edition copies of Stirner's  Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum, capitalists take notice: copies are being offered for upwards of $3000.


STIRNER, Max. Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum. Leipzig: Verlag von Otto Wiegand, 1845 [1844].
POWELL, William. The Anarchist Cookbook. New York: Lyle Stuart, 1971.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to BOOKTRYST by Email