Here are three readings by Enrico Malatesta
Here are some questions that relate to Malatesta
- Other than jargon what is actually different about the problems faced and considered by anarchists of his generation?
- What mistakes do we share with our forebearers that seems more obvious in reading their material than our own?
- What can we learn about how we think about race from what anarchists in the 19th century thought?
the continuing appeal of nationalism
If that’s too long for slackers then I’d say to read pages 5-28, and 45-58 (in the physical book) at the least, or in the online version the first seven sections (separated by ***), and from the sentence “After the war, many reasonable people would speak of the aims of the Axis as irrational and of Hitler as a lunatic” through the end of the text. Though the entire essay is recommended and a quick read! So much fascinating history, so many implications and so easy to digest!!
1) How would you summarize the defining aspects and/or functions of nationalism according to Perlman’s analysis?
2)Fredy asserts that racism is an instrument implemented to consolidate and utilize repressive forms of power against the threat of The Other, by reducing people to racial identities. He carefully separates race from lived experience, cultural and religious identity, kinship, and community. Is there a core element to the concept of race which exists outside of the context of racism? That is to say, is race racist? Does race even exist?
3) In our current epoch of post-modernism, where people who comprise most popular liberation movements have already been born into a society lacking any real connection to their ancestral/cultural histories, what else do they have to lose or what are other detriments to organizing on lines of racial or national identity (black liberation, post-occupy decolonize movement, etc.)?
4) Fredy leaves us with a horrifying conclusion–that nationalism is the most practical option for the oppressed, posing the question “What concentration camp manager, national executioner or torturer is not a descendent of oppressed people?” Is it possible to organize a liberatory movement that actually destroys power rather than inverting it? Why or why not, or what would that look like?
my favorite chick! i was assigned to choose 2, but 3 is better. 🙂
just off the top of my head – the first article is a fantastic example of a kind of argument that people rarely choose – in which the argument takes as its subject the strongest example of problematic behavior (in this case, a happy loving marriage is what voltairine takes on, when we all know there is a preponderance of Other examples). oh, that’s not a question: um, how do we do our arguments a disservice by picking easy(er) targets? what are arguments we have (with ourselves and others) where we could choose stronger targets?
the second article raises (among other things) the question of emotion among anarchists, and what role that has. this is something that the reading group might be more comfortable with talking about (especially if the feeling is anger), but that isn’t commonly accepted behavior. why do we think emotion continues to be so challenging?
the second article points out how the u.s. already has tendencies that support anarchist thought (i think voltairine does a better job than crimethinc, but i don’t recall her being much more critical of it than CI is). debate!
while many of us have a tendency towards philosophy, this week we are going back to basics (well, a type of basics, anyway) and reading berkman’s ABC of anarchism.
to understand best how we got here, it is helpful to remember/learn the steps in the genealogy.
what do we still agree with? what do we emphatically disagree with (and why)? what has been borne out, what has not, and what remains to be seen?
in memory of audrey — this was the text that decided her that she was an anarchist.