Anarchist press in Australia?

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Rats's picture
Rats
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Apr 27 2009 12:37
Asher wrote:
Mechanarchy was secretly building robots for the revolution

Genious, pure genious!

andrew-s
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Apr 27 2009 21:39

Hi Lumpen & Asher,

I am the publisher of The Anarchist Savants Monthly, and no it isn't connected to Mechanarchy in Sydney.

Feel free to publish my name and contact details, unlike most trendy inner city scene anarchists, I don't hide behind anonymity. We are working hard on 'building' anarchist and communalist awareness in our small regional community in Central Victoria, a community which is primarily mainstream.

Lumpen, given that you couldn't find the article ('what is anarchy') on the same page that you were reading, and given your wild assumptions about the publication and its authors, I'll make my own wild assumptions as to the level of your intelligence.

My assumptions could easily be supported by your apparent inability to understand satire.

If you wanted to know more about ASM, its authors, its intent or anything else, why didn't you have the guts to send an e-mail to us instead of cowardly attacking us from behind your anonymity in some remote forum.

We encourage and welcome debate and discussion, but some in this thread seem to be more interested in 'whinging' than they are about doing anything constructive.

If you want to do something constructive, visit the 'sharing reality' page at mechanarchy, contact us and set up a date and time to come up and visit us, stay, and find out face to face exactly what it is we do.

You never know, you might just discover that we are human beings just like yourself.

Cheers

Andrew

Spassmaschine
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Apr 28 2009 06:38

Calm down, no one's attacking you, Lumpen merely pointed out that you exist, a fact which no one else seems to have been aware of.

Given that no one seems to know much about your group or publication, perhaps this might be an opportunity for you to fill us in?

Quote:
We encourage and welcome debate and discussion, but some in this thread seem to be more interested in 'whinging' than they are about doing anything constructive.

Who here has been 'whinging'? Surely this whole thread has been about discussion. I certainly have found it useful in clarifying my own thoughts on various things.

Quote:
Feel free to publish my name and contact details, unlike most trendy inner city scene anarchists, I don't hide behind anonymity. We are working hard on 'building' anarchist and communalist awareness in our small regional community in Central Victoria, a community which is primarily mainstream.

I would be wary of accusing everyone who doesn't use their real name on the internet of doing it because they are 'cowardly', 'gutless' or scenesters. People have many reasons not to bandy their personal details about unnecessarily. It's probably also helpful to avoid making personal attacks on people if you are actually interested in being taken seriously. Also, in the interests of you being taken seriously, could you clarify what you mean by 'mainstream'?

andrew-s
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Apr 28 2009 07:39

Hmmm, seems to me Captain Soap that you're the one getting in a lather!

"Calm down, no one's attacking you, Lumpen merely pointed out that you exist, a fact which no one else seems to have been aware of"

Indeed? Perhaps a testimony to your communication skills and depth of connections in the wider anarchist world given that ASM has been published for over 2 years and is available in many anarchist bookshops across Australia and in the UK / USA. Just where have you guys been, hiding in some inner city scene?

"Given that no one seems to know much about your group or publication, perhaps this might be an opportunity for you to fill us in?"

You, like lumpen, have the web site address in the thread, spend some time reading the site comprehensively first and unlike Lumpen, when you have, then perhaps you'll be able to proffer some constructive thoughts, or better still perhaps, ask a few more questions?

"Who here has been 'whinging'? Surely this whole thread has been about discussion. I certainly have found it useful in clarifying my own thoughts on various things."

The phrase "It's a load of incoherent shite" comes to mind. Just don't know why!

"I would be wary of accusing everyone who doesn't use their real name on the internet of doing it because they are 'cowardly', 'gutless' or scenesters. People have many reasons not to bandy their personal details about unnecessarily"

Hmmm, like perhaps the fact that they are afraid of losing their day to day 'security'. If they were faced with that prospect, they wouldn't, like Lumpen, be so full of their own bravado.

"It's probably also helpful to avoid making personal attacks on people if you are actually interested in being taken seriously".

Hmmm, damn it, there's that pesky phrase "It's a load of incoherent shite" yet again.

Cheers

Andrew

Spassmaschine
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Apr 28 2009 12:48

wow you sure showed me!!1

andrew-s
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Apr 28 2009 20:29

Thanks Captain Soap, and now I have some great material for the next edition!

princess mob
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Apr 29 2009 06:35
andrew-s wrote:
"Calm down, no one's attacking you, Lumpen merely pointed out that you exist, a fact which no one else seems to have been aware of"

Indeed? Perhaps a testimony to your communication skills and depth of connections in the wider anarchist world given that ASM has been published for over 2 years and is available in many anarchist bookshops across Australia and in the UK / USA. Just where have you guys been, hiding in some inner city scene?

Ah, the wonders of communicating on the internet!

As an editor of a different anarchist publication, if someone says they haven't heard of Mutiny, I tend to assume that that's due to our own imperfect distribution rather than their own communication skills.

While I've never been to the UK or USA (so ASM's availability there doesn't help me much), I've never seen ASM in Jura or Black Rose. (Though I see you have an ad for Jura. By the way, if you want to be stocked in Black Rose, send some to PO Box 691, Newtown, NSW, 2042).

Also, all the anarchist bookshops I know of in Australia *are* in the inner-city. I don't quite call that "hiding" - I know Jura & Black Rose both try hard to be outward looking - but it does present limits when they're a major source of distribution for anarchist publications. Maybe a conversation about other ways of distributing anarchist publications would be a more interesting direction for this thread? (i.e. tell us where you think we should send Mutiny please thanks)

andrew-s
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Apr 29 2009 21:34

Hi Princess Mob,

"that that's due to our own imperfect distribution rather than their own communication skills".

I agree but it's not always the case. I have 25 years experience in Marketing in the Pharmaceutical Industry (yes I know, hardly a recommendation of credibility), but I do know a thing or two about distribution and communication. Jura has received ASM ever since it started being published, initially in hard copy and currently via e-mail PDF. I have also had a discussion via e-mail with them about ASM's potential to be sold so that they could raise money from it. If Jura receive it but don't put it on their shelves, there is not much I can do about that. In the next edition of ASM, I will be addressing some of the points I made in this thread, about communication in the Anarchist world and I'll also expand on issues relating to distribution of Anarchist material / information.

ASM is also listed here:

http://anarchy.org.au/?page_id=4

When @ndy started this thread he didn't list ASM as a regular anarchist publication. We announced it on the Anarchist Bulletin board here (second post, 816 views):

http://bull.anarchy.org.au/search.php?search_author=andy

BTW, in post 4 on the above page (2,484 views), there is an article of mine that I wrote in 2005 in response to the MACG's article "Anarchism Scene or Movement". It addresses some of the issues I saw with the Anarchist Movement way back then.

It's also sent to Loophole, MACG, MAC / Barricade / ASF, Anarchist Black Cross, Anarchist Age Weekly Review (regularly listed in its publication), Rebel Worker, LASNET, 3CR, AK Press, http://www.jamesherod.info/ , Hobnail, Kate Sharpley Library (UK & USA), ZNet and Breakdown Press. We also sent a copy or two to Beating Hearts.

There may be some we have missed, and I apologize to anybody we have. But I know that many we send out simply get returned either snail mail or e-mail, because the addresses no longer exist.

Thank you for the offer to stock it in Black Rose, I'll make sure you get put on the mailing list. Is there any reason why Jura hasn't told the people at Black Rose that it receives ASM? Do the two organizations regularly meet to discuss new publications they have heard about?

"Also, all the anarchist bookshops I know of in Australia *are* in the inner-city. I don't quite call that "hiding" - I know Jura & Black Rose both try hard to be outward looking -"

I didn't suggest they were 'hiding' either. I stated that some on this thread were. I agree that both Jura and Black Rose ARE outward looking.

"Maybe a conversation about other ways of distributing anarchist publications would be a more interesting direction for this thread?"

Couldn't agree more. So Those people on this thread who that think it is more useful to promote ill informed or shallow critiques on the various publications (note I am not talking here about good reviews or critiques) could take note that if they wish to assist the Anarchist cause, they could do so by promoting the publications far and wide instead, or by getting involved in distribution or learning how to distribute them more effectively.

Cheers

Andy

princess mob
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Apr 29 2009 23:46
andrew-s wrote:
Thank you for the offer to stock it in Black Rose, I'll make sure you get put on the mailing list. Is there any reason why Jura hasn't told the people at Black Rose that it receives ASM? Do the two organizations regularly meet to discuss new publications they have heard about?

I don't make decisions about what gets stocked in Black Rose - the collective, that I'm not a part of, does that - I was just suggesting that you send them some for consideration.

Communication between the bookshops is friendly but imperfect.

Beating Hearts no longer exists, as far as I know.

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LeftResistance
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Apr 30 2009 07:34

What happened to "Unless You're Free" ?

princess mob
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Apr 30 2009 08:00
LeftResistance wrote:
What happened to "Unless You're Free" ?

It was never intended as a regular publication. There've been 2 issues (one on the war, one on climate change), there'll be another one if/when people think it's worthwhile & have the energy.

On the free paper front, I've also seen two issues of Wai quarterly. It's out of Melbourne, I think, with a pretty strong focus on Aboriginal rights & enviro issues.

andrew-s
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Apr 30 2009 08:01

Hi Left Resistance,

Are you asking about Mario Savio's speech or Jura's Anarchist Paper on Climate Change? Or perhaps something else?

Cheers

Andy

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood"

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LeftResistance
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Apr 30 2009 08:10

Ah right, i've only seen it around vaguely and it looked well set-out. Thought it must have been a deceased publication...

princess mob
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Apr 30 2009 08:11
andrew-s wrote:
Are you asking about Mario Savio's speech or Jura's Anarchist Paper on Climate Change? Or perhaps something else?

A free newspaper, I assume. The first one was in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, & was produced in collaboration by Mutiny (Sydney) & Anarchist Direct Action (Melbourne). The second was about climate change & the environment, again a Sydney/Melbourne collaboration but a bit more ad-hoc. Jura had nothing to do with it, but you can download the 2nd one from their website here.

andrew-s
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Apr 30 2009 08:34

Thanks Princess Mob for clarifying that, for anyone new to the Anarchist scene, sticking their 'toe in the water' by visiting this forum, assumptions made and communicated 'within the clique' could certainly prove exclusionary!

Jura did indeed have something to do with it, as I am already aware, they have a copy of it on their site.

Asking questions, as I did, helps enormously to point those who are visiting, perhaps in the right direction.

Cheers

Andy

andrew-s
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Apr 30 2009 10:09

Hmmm, deathly silence!

After all the assumptions have been tabled, it really does come down to whether the Anarchists on this forum and many others, are primarily concerned with convincing the inner sanctum of the anarchist clique as to the brilliance of their own intellectual prowess, or whether they are altruistically concerned about how they could get the wider world to understand the critical importance of what is simply a more beautiful way of life.

Just what will they choose?

Cheers

Andy

princess mob
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Apr 30 2009 10:52

uh, silence of 2 hours while I *left the house*. wow. you've sure got a point there.

You seem really determined to be cranky, Andrew.

For a start, I don't think it was 'exclusionary' or cliquish for someone (new to the forum, by the way) to ask a question in a discussion about anarchist publications about a fairly well-distributed anarchist newspaper (we printed at least 5000 of each issue). A paper that you have clearly heard of and have access to, even if you clearly haven't read it, or else you'd know that Jura didn't have anything to do with its production.

Especially given how cranky you got when people hadn't heard of your publication & asked questions about it.

There'll be more silence now, because I'm not interested in convincing you of anything. Also I'm going to go watch tv.

andrew-s
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Apr 30 2009 11:07

Princess Mob wrote:

"Also I'm going to go watch tv"

Hmmm, what can I say, that says it all!

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May 2 2009 17:25

Princess Mob:
Are there any unless you're free 1st issue's still?? I ran out a long time ago, and we're organising here, so it'd be cool to have a batch smile

Also, do you know if i got sent the april mutiny? 'cause i'm real confused as to whether i lost it in my room, or if i haven't been sent it, or if it got sent and just didn't get to me.

xx

Andrew-s:
Relax, drink some tea or something.
I was just having a look at the ASM for February, it's fairly word-heavy so i'll give it a read later, but what i read of it looked good. Are there many other people involved in producing the paper?

andrew-s
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May 3 2009 09:23

Gab's

What is it precisely that you would like me to relax about?

There are another 7 issues of ASM on the Mechanarchy site, I'll look forward to discussing both the content and other aspects of the publication with you when you've read them.

Therein will lie the answer to your final question.

Cheers

Andrew

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May 3 2009 11:42

jeremy:

I think RAWA's analysis has added relevance, and hence gains added importance, because it is -- or at least appears to be -- produced by, and reliant upon the daily experiences of, Afghanis. So too the fact that, while RAWA may stand for decency -- although I don't believe this is the best term to apply to the association to describe its politics -- they oppose, moreover, both theocracy and the US-sponsored regime.

I'm not sure what the point of your second comment is. I see no contradiction between, on the one hand, acknowledging that life for the great majority of Afghanis is a struggle for survival in extremely bad conditions, and on the other hand, maintaining that in order to understand contemporary Afghanistan some knowledge of its history is indispensable (and larger in scope than is implied in Joe's conclusions about the importance of 'security'.)

Anyway.

Re: Anarchist Savants Monthly: Autonomy Through Knowledge and Creativity, my apologies to andrew-s for not including it in the above. (As an aside, if anyone would like to add/subtract/clarify any of the material included in the Directory andrew-s links to, please feel free.) andrew-s has also just recently left the AABB, so the links he provides above are not working. The correct links are:

http://bull.anarchy.org.au/viewtopic.php?t=393 (Announcement of publication)
http://bull.anarchy.org.au/viewtopic.php?t=53 (Anarchism: Scene or Movement?)

Re: Beating Hearts:

Quote:
28th November, 2008

Beating Hearts is back.
We've moved operations south of the border....
take note of the new mailing address.

Beating Hearts Press
Unit 59/187 Thomas St,
Haymarket,
NSW 2000

We're currently going through extensive stocktaking, so please email us

beatingheartspress[at]hotmail[dot]com

to ensure the item you are after is available.

http://www.beatingheartspress.com/

princess mob
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May 4 2009 00:08

Gabs - The zine should've been sent off by last week at the latest. If you haven't got it soon or it's lost, email us at the graffiti account & I'll send down another. Or you can print a master from the website, if you have access to a printer.
I'll have a look for some UYF, there should be a few. Is it just #1 you want, or do you want #2 as well?

Beating Hearts has moved to Sydney? Interesting. Thanks for the info @ndy, I hadn't heard anything.

Andrew-s: When you're interacting with these "mainstream" people you're "building anarchist awareness with," do you tell them that remarking that they watch tv would remove any value from what they're saying? For the sake of the reputation of anarchists generally, I really hope not.

andrew-s
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May 4 2009 09:22

There is something Princess Mob doesn't know
that she is supposed to know.

She doesn't know 'what' it is she doesn't know,
and yet is supposed to know,
and she feels she'll look stupid
if she seems both not to know it
and not know 'what' it is she doesn't know.

Therefore she pretends that she knows it.

This is nerve-racking
since she doesn't know what it is she must pretend to know.

Therefore she pretends to know everything.

Spassmaschine
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May 4 2009 09:39

i love you andrew-s, you are the bestest poster ever.

princess mob
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May 4 2009 09:53

it's like poetry!

andrew-s
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May 4 2009 10:15

Ah shucks guys, you're too kind!

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Rats
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May 5 2009 08:19

Just issue #1 of UYF, i think we might have a stash of #2 at someones house.
If mutiny doesn't arrive in the next few days i'll download a master copy.

xo

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May 28 2009 16:34

Woah, didn't realise I caused a minor shitstorm. First, the practical:
Gabs – I'm pretty sure there's a stack of UYAF #1 and #2 left in Melbourne. PM me if you want more copies.

Okay, now the critiques of Andrew-S. Long response. Sorry everyone. The tl;dr version is - ASM sucks.

Andrew-S:

Quote:
…spend some time reading the site comprehensively first and unlike Lumpen [etc, etc]

In my defense, the website has changed since I last accessed it. It has become slightly more navigable. I did check with someone else before I posted that the 'What is Anarchy' section was, in fact, inaccessible. Your focus on this is aside from the salient point -- I was trying to determine if the publication was, in fact, anarchist or not.

Being incapable of understanding and consciously disliking are not the same thing. Calling the Feb '09 edition "strange" was a charitable way of saying it reads like a bad injoke. You may notch this up to me being unhip to the magical poetry being pushed out from the bush, but you're bound to receive criticism when you put something in the public domain and not just because we're too stupid to understand its true meaning.

You are free to disregard this if you think the forum invalidates anything I write. The forum --online, not ASM, anonymous-- where I express my opinions doesn't have any significant bearing on why I think ASM (or the issue I read when I made the post) represents an inpenetrable distraction and not a publication of significance.

Of course, my assessment is dependent on my priorities as an anarchist. It's sufficient to say I think privileging idiosyncratic expression in a publication presenting itself as a journal of anarchist ideas is self-indulgent and any relationship to revolutionary struggle is tangental. I think the task of anarchist publications is to explain anarchist ideas directly and openly and to push for anti-authoritarian organising in order to extend, enhance and surpass these ideas. Good examples of this kind of publication are/were the Class War tabloid, Now or Never! and Black Flag.

I still find the Mechanarchy project interesting, even if it does reek of opt-out hippyness. If you ask me, and you did, articles that move away from the blithely editorial to the instructive could be worth reading. By all means, theorise away, but from the perspective of this reader, it would be much more interesting if it were grounded in your day-to-day activity.

It seems the intended audience for the newsletter are those willing to sit through pages of unfunny 'satire' (i.e. obvious attempt to deflect any real criticism that might find its way into your coterie) and cranky lifestylism silently. The persecution complex detailed in the latest issue is about inflating the importance of the publication (and possibly the authors) to a small social network, not combating the existence those theoretically opposed to an unknown commune.

All this discussion serves to place the publication in some kind of contemporary anarchist context, right? So, to get back on topic:
Is the Anarchist Savants Monthly an anarchist publication? Yes, in the broadest sense.
A good one? No, not in my opinion. Read it if you don't want to take my word for it.
What is its relationship to the extant anarchist movement in Australia? Obscure even by anarchist standards, with good reason. Not particularly relevant. Incoherent shite.

Can't wait to see the next issue, in any case.

andrew-s
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Jun 8 2009 09:13

Hmmm, yawn. Do we really have to endure yet again the trite nature of that phrase "the revolutionary struggle" regurgitated this time by Lumpen? Oh yes, let's all sit around and drink vodka, wear fuzzy hats, pantaloons, knee high boots and call each other comrade. Let's all maintain our "purist" approaches so we can feel safe in our little collectives, that is, until we grow out of our naive youthful rebelliousness and finally realize that we have to exist in the real World. Can't wait to find out where "Lumpen" will be and what he will be doing in 10 years time. It's a sure bet it'll have nothing to do with Anarchy or the Proletariat.

Is it any wonder the anarchist "movement" is considered a joke in Australia, ignored by most and "allowed" to exist (so that it can be used as Government propaganda) until its members finally grow up or get a position in some pseudo-socialist University where they can wax lyrical about nothing and get paid for it.

Either way, they never truly discover how to reach out to the wider World about their Anarchist beliefs. Is it mere co-incidence that there are very few middle-aged or older Anarchists in Australia, especially of the "non-institutionalized" kind?

Is the Editor of ASM the only one?

And yet this "old bastard" has such a progressive approach.

But progressive simply won't do for us purists, how dare ASM challenge this sanctimonious forum with its "Post Left Anarchist" publication, tut, tut, tut.

This will never do!

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Jun 11 2009 10:19

Why privilege print publications over online publications? I reckon online blogs and sites should be included.

Back to andrew-s:

Quote:
…let's all sit around and drink vodka, wear fuzzy hats, pantaloons, knee high boots and call each other comrade.
…Can't wait to find out where "Lumpen" will be and what he will be doing in 10 years time.

That sounds like a pretty good scenario to me. In ten years time I'm hoping to have graduated to thigh-high boots and happy pants with a solid gold mortar board.

Maybe instead of hijacking the thread you can contribute to it. No-one gives a fuck about your wild guesses about my age, education, length of participation or how great your lifestyle is. Here's a tip: no-one would have known about ASM unless I mentioned it. I mentioned it because we are attempting to compile a list of anarchist publications. Congratulations! This shitty, shitty newletter made the prestigious list. Time to move on. If you think anything I or anyone else raised is important enough to keep on about it, feel free to PM me, them or to start a new thread.