The Berkeley Anarchist Study Group persists, but we no longer use this website for updates. If you’ve found us here, we’re glad, but head over to http://bastard.noblogs.org for current readings and updates. We’re still convening each and every Tuesday evening from 7:30-9:30 at The Long Haul (3124 Shattuck in Berkeley). Any questions? Send em to birdsoffire [at] riseup [dot] net.
I am unequivocally the worst when it comes to posting readings before the weekend. However, it shouldn’t matter as much this week as tuesday we’ll talk about Emil Cioran’s morose misanthropy as displayed in his book Anathemas and Admirations
It’s an aphoristic work, so instead of all reading the same chunk, let’s each dive into the text randomly and read as much as we’re able and interested in, so that we might share different parts with each other on tuesday.
For the next month or so, we’re not going to be meeting at the Long Haul bc of the pandemic. Instead, we’ll be meeting irl at a few different locations—not all of which we’re interested in posting publicly. If you’re thinking about attending the study group for the first time, or a returning participant that’s not a part of our fb chat group, email email@example.com and I’ll let you know where we end up deciding to meet each week. For anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable gathering irl at the moment, we’ll be using the app Jitsi to allow you to take part remotely. The room name is
Tomorrow’s reading is a short one: John Gray’s recent piece “Why this crisis is a turning point in history” (LINK UPDATED!) join him in indulging in a little historical prognostication.
Next week, we’re going to take a look at anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and his use of Amerindian perspectivism to move outside the relativist, realist ontology that pervades anthropology. Sounds FUN doesn’t it??
Our reading is “The Relative Native”, the first essay in the volume below of the same name, but I’ve also attached a pdf of what seems to be VdC’s most well-known text, Cannibal Metaphysics, for those who are interested.
UPDATE: Link for The Relative Native has been fixed. Sorry about that!
Next week’s reading is a short one, apropos the late post, and comes from Peter Harrison, aka one half of the duo Monsieur Dupont, authors of Nihilist Communism, where he writes under the name Le Garçon Dupont. He also published The Freedom of Things: An Ethnology of Control.
Next week we’ll finish up Jason’s essay on critical self-theory (found here). Officially we will discuss from the section “Ideological critiques of ideology: Recuperation through critical ideologies” until the end of the piece, including the final section titled “A brief history of theory”. Unofficially however, we’ll consider the essay in its entirety, since some folks couldn’t make it tonight and the website was down for some of the last day or so. As always, just read what you’re able and we’ll see where the conversation wanders!
Two other items: first, since the website was down and we’ve been unsure about the future of our current hosting setup of late, I made a backup page to be used in the event the current site goes down again; found at http://bastard.blackblogs.org. Nothing is on there yet since for the moment the regular site looks to be back up, but if it ever goes down and you’re looking for the reading, check the surrogate page.
Lastly, this coming Sunday (3/8) is the first meeting of Ken Knabb’s new group discussing Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil. We’ll be meeting at the University Press bookstore, 2430 Bancroft in Berkeley, from 4:30-7:00pm. The group is open to anyone and you need not know French to take part. Here are some links to the complete text, both in English, and the original French. It’s free to attend but Ken mentions that donations to benefit UPB, who are providing space and refreshments to us gratis, would be greatly appreciated. If you’ve never met Ken, I still encourage you to come out for this series of discussions, as several of us from the study group will be in attendance, and bc Baudelaire is most fucking excellent.
Until next time, creative nothings!
Next week Jason McQuinn will be stopping by to discuss his essay “Critical Self-Theory” with us. We’re going to read the full version that appeared in Modern Slavery, but since it’s a bit long for one week—esp given the late post—let’s just read to the top of pg. 24 (stopping at “Ideological critiques of ideology: Recuperation through critical ideologies”). That’s around twenty pages for this week; we’ll decide whether to read the rest on Tuesday.
Thanks to everyone who came out tonight to remember Aragorn, it was beautiful.
Next week we’ll discuss a new translation a being called Sewer Owl did for the next issue of AJODA, which I’ve been wanting to ask someone to translate for quite a while. It‘s an essay on Stirner by Spanish individualist anarchist Miguel Giménez Igualada. From what I can tell, this essay has become fairly well-known amongst hispanophone individualists (it was written in 1968) but far as I can tell, this is the first time it’s been translated into English. Read it here.
Our planned reading for next week has been postponed due to the tragic passing of our friend and accomplice, Aragorn. On Tuesday we will gather to share memories of our time with him and read some of his writings. If you have a favorite piece of A’s or a bit of writing that you feel captures his indomitable spirit, please bring it to share. Otherwise, here’s a favorite from Black Seed a few years back — “Nihilist Animism”. Walk expropriating and igniting into the unknown, friend — as ever.