Shop on Amazon and help fund libcom.org!

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Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Apr 10 2006 15:50
Shop on Amazon and help fund libcom.org!

Hey all,

Just to let you know, if you are buying anything off Amazon.co.uk, libcom.org can earn a percentage of your purchases - at no extra cost to you.

They recently joined the Amazon associates programme, where libcom will earn a percentage of money people spend after following links from the site.

So if you do any online shopping on Amazon, please please visit it via one of libcom.org's links to them. We currently have links in the library here: http://www.libcom.org/library

Or you can just use this link here

:> Amazon.co.uk

Going through this link will mean we get some of the cash.

This should only take you a second, will cost you nothing, and will mean that you'll be diverting funds from the corporate megamachine to anarchists and libertarian communists. Mwah-hah-haaah. With their funds libcom plan to expand their bandwidth and improve hosting, launch a number of other online projects and work on making more hard-to-find and foreign language materials available, as well as possible move into publishing and getting things translated.

Please feel free to tell other people about this, obviously it'd be great for as many people as possible to do this.

Happy shopping!

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 11 2006 01:22
John. wrote:
With their funds libcom plan to expand their bandwidth and improve hosting, launch a number of other online projects and work on making more hard-to-find and foreign language materials available, as well as possible move into publishing and getting things translated.

Yeah right, it's going on ketamine. grin

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Ramona
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Apr 11 2006 22:11

This had turned into a thread about knitting, and now it's all gone... gone... cry

jef costello's picture
jef costello
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Apr 11 2006 22:17

I can't think how many fantastic posts have been lost.

Can we restore them from history files?

Jacques Roux's picture
Jacques Roux
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Apr 11 2006 22:26

if you can find them yeah smile

jef costello's picture
jef costello
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Apr 11 2006 22:31

Even I have to pretend to have better stuff to do rkn wink

I don't think I'd be able to do it for a while, which it a shame because I probably have the most complete set of it.

I'll have a look for this one for Zobag, she's the poster most likely to make me a jumper.

edit: I had a go, didn't have any luck, not sure I was doing it right tbh. looks like I'll have to do Zobag another favour if I want that jumper.

Jacques Roux's picture
Jacques Roux
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Apr 11 2006 23:57

In a nutshell - why are we helping out amazon instead of radical bookshops, we would love to do radical bookshops (and may be doing one atm) but they need to come to us otherwise we cant do it. We are using amazon for ease of use, cos its no hassal for us.

Someone posted about knitting being radical, john said it wasnt, z posted some stuff about how she likes knitting but doesnt think its radical.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 12 2006 01:35

Do you mean radical in a Generation X kinda way or radical in a OMGZ PERMACULTURE!!! kinda way??

WillsWilde
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Apr 12 2006 01:53

It wasnt my intention to classify knitting or any 'crafts' as inherently radical, just that it is a form of D.I.Y. that precludes many levels of alienation in the commodity cycle, etc.

It seems a tangent but it's related to the Amazon thing, we were talking about small biz vs. the corporates...with me it is a matter of creating for oneself or atleast spending money at more community-driven local shops, that's a natural. Not a primitivist, at all, there's too much misanthropy and nihilist horseshit there...my interpretation of the Luddite Strain is, non-opposition to the technology in and of itself, just the machinery as property/mode of exploitation.

It's not necessary, practical, or desirable for us to devolve to solely pre-industrail crafts and distribution...it's not necessary, either, to rely entirely on machine-driven mass production in order to reach a leisure society. But the division of labor has a downside, that is, monotonous anchorage to discreet and alienated tasks. Worker's Control can solve those problems, tho, and can also clear up or at least slow down processes of environmental degradation that we've encountered since the advent of the Dark Satanic Mills.

red n black star neutral

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jef costello
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Apr 12 2006 02:35

I was about to fully agree with Wills, a poster I have grown to respect, until I noticed that he had once again misspelled "labour".

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Jim Clarke
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Apr 12 2006 02:39
Jef Costello wrote:
I was about to fully agree with Wills, a poster I have grown to respect, until I noticed that he had once again misspelled "labour".

grin

WillsWilde
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Apr 12 2006 02:45

Actually I often use British spellings but have left that out here cause I don't want to come off pretentious/anglophile. They look better, fuller.

Thanks Jeff although it's a rather dubious placement of respect, heh, heh.

8)

Deezer
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Apr 12 2006 07:50
rkn wrote:
In a nutshell - why are we helping out amazon instead of radical bookshops, we would love to do radical bookshops (and may be doing one atm) but they need to come to us otherwise we cant do it. We are using amazon for ease of use, cos its no hassal for us.

Someone posted about knitting being radical, john said it wasnt, z posted some stuff about how she likes knitting but doesnt think its radical.

Yeah, whats the percentage off referals to Amazon?

We're working on a website for Just Books right now (hopefully to launch for May Day) and I'm sure we'd be willing to do the same sorta thing through libcom. Course I, being a bit of a technophobe, wouldn't know how to set anything like that up.

On knitting I've just read a piece on women and the informal economy/labour market that was about how we need to redefine simplistic definitions of formal and informal labour and use value and exchange value. Knitting and dressmaking were given as examples of gendered womens work in a housing estate in Belfast that was important to many women and their families and the broader community in terms of 'self-provisioning', income generation, providing childrens clothing and household furnishings while also providing a social role that strengthened the community. Still not sure that that makes it wadical though.

circle A red n black star

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Apr 12 2006 09:24
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
rkn wrote:
In a nutshell - why are we helping out amazon instead of radical bookshops, we would love to do radical bookshops (and may be doing one atm) but they need to come to us otherwise we cant do it. We are using amazon for ease of use, cos its no hassal for us.

Yeah, whats the percentage off referals to Amazon?

About 5%

And re: amazon and small book-sellers, you can buy a helluva lot of stuff off amazon. The biggest thing anyone bought through our site's been a fancy iPod, which we did quite nicely from 8)

[edit for more bling smilie Mr. T ]

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Apr 12 2006 09:42

Well, as I did a big post that was slagging off the bloodsuckers at Amazon, the paranoid side of my persona now believes that these corporate leeches have personally taken the trouble to fuck up Libcom in order to remove my original post. My more rational side however, would only like to believe this but really can't be arsed getting all delusional.

Anyway, my point was, that twenty years ago there were over 300 independent, radical, alternative and left-wing bookshops in Great Britain. Today there are only about four or five struggling alternative bookshops.

The huge success of Amazon and the growth of Waterstones on the high street has had a direct impact on the small independent shops. The fact that anarchists, communists, people on 'the left', etc, prefer to spend their money at giant firms like Amazon, Waterstones or Borders means that in 10 years time, there may well be not one radical bookshop left in Britain.

When Collets closed in London the ACF (and probably Class War and DAM) lost a massive high street outlet for their publications. We used to regularly get rid of hundreds of magazines and pamphlets through just that one shop. The demise of the other 290 or so radical bookshops across the country has also without doubt had a negative impact on the distribution of anarchist publications. There's now a Waterstones where Collets used to be. Surprise, surprise, they don't stock anarchist papers, magazines and pamphlets.

Littlethorn bookshop in Leicester stocked every anarchist and leftist publication, was a mine of interesting stuff and the occasional 'lost anarchist classic'. It closed several years ago because local people on 'the left' were shopping at Amazon rather than Littlethorn, so consequently, Littlethorn couldn't generate enough income to even pay the minimum wage of the guy who ran it, let alone pay the bills.

I work part time at Frontline Books, which now occupies the space that Littlethorn had. It operates as a 'community bookshop' and stocks a very good range of anarchist and alternative publications but has also had to diversify into more general and mainstream stuff in order to make its bread and butter. Well, you can't rely on the left or anarchists not to shop at Amazon these days, so somebody has to pay the wages.

But the loss of nearly 300 radical bookshops is not something to be sniffed at. They were not only bookshops but important radical spaces, hang outs, meeting places and general alternative social areas, often on the high streets of many towns. As someone who has lived in a fair few towns in this country, they were often a first port of call when you moved somewhere new, places where you found out what was happening locally, made new contacts, friends, etc. The pincer attack from Amazon and Waterstones, their frequent use of heavy 'loss leaders' in order to wipe out the independents has been hugely successful. The lesson is, buy books from Amazon and we are cutting our own throats.

I said in my lost post that I'm not a boycottist. If Libcom can get some money out of the unscrupulous corporate fuckpigs, then fine. But I suggested that Libcom try and establish a similar scheme with the online shops of the remaining radical bookshops too. Someone (Catch?) said Libcom was looking into something like this already, so good.

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Steven.
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Apr 12 2006 10:02
Serge Forward wrote:
There's now a Waterstones where Collets used to be. Surprise, surprise, they don't stock anarchist papers, magazines and pamphlets.

One or two of them take Freedom...

And Waterstones might not stock many, but Amazon do.

Quote:
I said in my lost post that I'm not a boycottist. If Libcom can get some money out of the unscrupulous corporate fuckpigs, then fine. But I suggested that Libcom try and establish a similar scheme with the online shops of the remaining radical bookshops too. Someone (Catch?) said Libcom was looking into something like this already, so good.

Yeah fair enough, and the main potential for money is from stuff like electronic equipment.

No independent bookshops run a similar scheme to the amazon programme so until they do a similar thing won't be possible, although we are working on one collaborative project with an anarchist publisher...

Mike Harman
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Apr 12 2006 10:19

Serge, thanks for reposting most of the rant.

As John said, we're working on something with a publisher, but that's new for us both technologically and practically, hopefully it'll work.

I think you're conflating Amazon and Waterstones a little bit. All small bookshops have taken a massive hit due to a mixture of on-line sales and corporate/big box retailers. The difference is Amazon acts as an online distributor for a lot of small book shops - especially used ones, and in terms of publishers just about anyone can get their book listed on there. They take a cut obviously, but they're not actually restricting access to books - you can get Solidarity's Ida Mett on Kronstadt pamphlet on there for a start

Waterstones however is aggressively taking over other shops at the moment (although Ottakars isn't exactly radical), and can afford to saturate areas in a similar way to Starbucks because of the HMV/EMI tie-in, and they don't have anything like as much range.

Foyles is independent, but they recently got rid of their anarchism/globalisation section (well, half a shelf of bollocks, but nothing at all now) and have cut back on their Marxism section as well.

The answer of course is to use our links to get really expensive electronics or DVDs from Amazon if you're going to already, then buy books elsewhere wink

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Apr 12 2006 10:45
Catch wrote:
The answer of course is to use our links to get really expensive electronics or DVDs from Amazon if you're going to already, then buy books elsewhere ;)

Can't argue with that.

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Steven.
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Apr 12 2006 10:47

Oh and anyone who wants to sign up for one of those DVD-posting services on amazon please go through the link on http://libcom.org/library cos every time we get a tenner!

Mike Harman
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Apr 12 2006 10:52

Or just use this link to amazon which works as well.

rebel_lion
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Apr 12 2006 11:53

doh, i forgot about this when i ordered 4 CDs from Amazon Marketplace yesterday... roll eyes

I don't usually buy books or CDs from Amazon itself (unless they happen to have some really ridiculously cheap offer like 3 CDs for £10, which is usually stuff on very corporate major labels anyway), but i do both buy and sell on Amazon Marketplace fairly often... there's a *vague* sense of anti-corporatism/"ethical consumerism" in this (i'm not a "boycottist", nor do i believe for a second in the idea of "ethical consumption", but it does make sense to me to buy something from the least "corporate" source possible, if there's a choice available), but mostly it's just cos Marketplace sellers usually have the same stuff significantly cheaper (and i've got an aesthetic/extremely vaguely environmentalist preference for buying anything second hand over new)...

so it would be good to confirm if this link thing gives libcom money for Amazon Marketplace third-party transactions as well...

(i also agree with everything Serge Forward said... but how about say AK Press? They have an online shop dpn't they?)

petey
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Apr 12 2006 15:05

AK press' website: http://www.akpress.org/

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Apr 12 2006 15:06
Quote:
so it would be good to confirm if this link thing gives libcom money for Amazon Marketplace third-party transactions as well...

I think it does yeah

Quote:
(i also agree with everything Serge Forward said... but how about say AK Press? They have an online shop dpn't they?)

Yeah but they don't have the technology. UK site is www.akuk.com

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Apr 12 2006 15:06

akuk.com the american one is much better tho!

Anyone know the ak people? they seem to exist in a vacuum to me...

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Steven.
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Apr 12 2006 15:07
rkn wrote:
akuk.com the american one is much better tho!

Anyone know the ak people? they seem to exist in a vacuum to me...

They're related to solfed and black flag

WillsWilde
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Apr 12 2006 19:17
Quote:
Anyone know the ak people

I only know several AK people in the Bay. They are intensely hardworking, it's a very exhausting business, I see it as a very functional and essential sort of collective cottage industry bookeneded by capital (outside publishers on one end, the literary agents, etc., and UPS for distribution). Only Union printers tho. And no FedEx cos' they bust unions.Volunteered for them briefly till I had to work more.

The long and not so long term goal as I see it is not to ignore the relative merits of certain compromises, in this case, expedience, I'm sure doing all the networking for a small-bookstore solidarity thing would put unrealsitc pressure on a libcom staff who are obviously busting ass to maintain an invaluable resource.

But what 'democratic' labor can do is compete with capital... there are federations of collectives and coops, the one in the bay is NOBAWC, a strong social-anarchist strain there, (Bookstore, IWW, Rainbow grocery, InkWorks, etc.,) but an exceedingly baroque elections process/formal structure.

If networks of coops, collectives etc., support each other with bartering, mutually advertise, host events, explain their stance, provide a rationale for buying locally from ethical businesses, develop boycotts, etc., then it is possible to (long-term) build a bullwark against capital. To provide more choices for producing and consuming in a radical-egalatarian milieu.

I'm sure all of this shit is already happening in the U.K., I must sound stupid, heh.

neutral red n black star

Deezer
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Apr 12 2006 19:22

Yeah I know the AK people in Edinburgh, they don't live in a vacuum. They are very sound, dedicated and overworked people, I like them.

circle A red n black star

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Steven.
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Apr 12 2006 19:26
WillsWilde wrote:
I'm sure all of this shit is already happening in the U.K., I must sound stupid, heh.

Don't worry you don't - and it's not

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Apr 12 2006 19:26

I wasnt having a go... i said they exist in a vacuum for me - and who am i?! wink

I much respect them. They do stock some odd stuff tho, but luckily no hakim bey!

WillsWilde
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Apr 12 2006 19:31

AK rocks. Constructive critique- little to no foriegn language, local or current-events material. If I had a house, I'd be cranking out pamphlets, whole series, every week. But they're not a press, they do format and distribution.

Still I wouldn't know half the shit I do if it wasn't for them and online texts.

petey
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Apr 12 2006 20:50
WillsWilde wrote:
If networks of coops, collectives etc., support each other with bartering, mutually advertise, host events, explain their stance, provide a rationale for buying locally from ethical businesses, develop boycotts, etc., then it is possible to (long-term) build a bullwark against capital. To provide more choices for producing and consuming in a radical-egalatarian milieu.

spot-on. action, not reaction. what i like.

i think the wobs are too negative on this:http://www.iww.org/en/join/collectives.shtml. they see reformism where there is actually long-term reorganization.