Radical media, politics and culture.

"An Anarchist Terroir"

Rebecca Dewitt, New Formulation (February, 2003)


Food Nations: Selling Taste in Consumer Societies

Edited by Warren Belasco and Philip Scranton

New York: Routledge, 2002

Slow Food: Collected Thoughts on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures of Food

Edited by Carlo Petrini with Ben Watson and Slow Food Editore

Chelsea Green, 2001

Anarchism and contemporary academic theory ignore each other. On opposite ends of the theoretical spectrum, one tends toward universal ideas and the other towards isolated phenomena. Introducing academic theoretical advances to anarchism is both an affront and a necessity. Anarchism, let me introduce you to Food Studies. Go on, try it, you might like it! Kropotkin’s response to Malthusian sentiments in Mutual Aid, Food Not Bombs as anarchism in action, and mobilizations against biotechnology and other profiteering methods of production are the primary ways in which anarchism utilizes food. While anarchists debate the nature of nature, serve vegan food to the homeless, and protest Monsanto’s(1) conquest of the so-called Third World, is it worth expanding anarchism’s utilitarian use of food? Why this even matters is discernable in the new trend known as Food Studies. Two recent books, Food Nations: Selling Taste in Consumer Societies and Slow Food: Collected Thoughts on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures of Food attest to the new political nature of food and expand upon an international dialogue.

These days it is no longer enough to hand out free food, declare oneself a vegetarian, or shop at your local coop to make a statement about food. The emerging academic field of Food Studies invokes eco-gastronomic movements, analyzes rifts between “foodies” and “fatties,”(2) and elevates slow food over fast food to look at the means of production, transportation, cultural identity, nation building or dismantling, class warfare, and imperialism. To simply demand control over the means of production and access to food, central to anarchist thought, appears to be the equivalent of theoretical vulgarity. If anarchism wishes to take advantage of the increasingly rich fields of Food Studies, it will need to avoid such simplistic reductions while also retaining strong anarchist convictions.

sasha writes

Post-Anarchism or Simply Post-Revolution?

  from Anarchy Magazine
by sasha k

Saul Newman, “From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power” (Lexington Books, 2001, $70.00).

In “From Bakunin to Lacan,” Saul Newman claims to want to reinvent anarchism (130); in fact, he claims not only to reinvent anarchism but to surpass it in creating postanarchism. He does so, because he alleges that anarchism has a hidden authoritarianism at its foundation, the authoritarianism of an essentialized human nature. However, this is not a nuanced study of anarchist theory (either of the anarchism of Kropotkin and Bakunin, of other older anarchists, or of contemporary anarchism). Newman’s postanarchism is built upon an untenable and reductionist critique of anarchism.

"Fighting Words: Sartre and Camus"

"Scott McLemee, Bookforum


Sartre and Camus: A Historic Confrontation, Edited and translated by David A. Spritzen and Adrian Van Den Hoven. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books. 299 pages. $45.

Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel That Ended It, by Ronald Aronson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 302 pages. $33.

Sartre on Violence: Curiously Ambivalent, by Ronald E. Santoni. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. 179 pages. $35.

Sartre: The Philosopher of the Twentieth Century by Bernhard-Henri Lévy, translated by Andrew Brown. Cambridge: Polity Press. 536 pages. $30.

In May 1952, after a prolonged spell of what can only be called thoughtful procrastination, Jean-Paul Sartre's journal Les Temps modernes published a review of Albert Camus's L'Homme révolté, known in English as The Rebel. The book had appeared the year before, to much acclaim; it was hailed as a masterpiece of the age. Nobody around TM wanted to touch it. In a series of interviews with Simone de Beauvoir that appeared following his death, Sartre recalled that the feeling about the book within the editorial board was one of loathing — but that, as editor, he wanted to find "someone who would be willing to review it . . . without being too harsh." The topic would come up every couple of weeks, but no volunteer stepped forward.

"Yoni Speak"

Sauma Roy, OutLookIndia

A play on women's sexuality. Is it about empowerment or another socialite

"Obviously Madras has no vaginas. If Madras has no vaginas it must be full
of assholes." — Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, director-actress, on "The Vagina Monologues" being
banned in Chennai.

Each side seems to be going for the shock and awe approach, in this latest
battleground in the battle of the sexes.

"Power, Subjectivity, Resistance:

Three Works on Postmodern Anarchism"

Michael Glavin, New Formulation


Postmodern Anarchism

By Lewis Call, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2002

The Political Philosophy of
Poststructuralist Anarchism

By Todd May, University Park: Pennsylvania
State University Press, 1994

From Bakunin to Lacan:
Anti-Authoritarianism and the
Dislocation of Power

By Saul Newman, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2001

"If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to
worry about," my formerly liberal father turned Fox
News devotee said as if he were uttering a simple,
elegant truth. "But Dad, my brother just bought me
Postmodern Anarchism on the Internet, you don't think
that will show up as a blip in some government
database?" With that my father looked down at his
filet mignon and asked my younger sister to pass the

Zizek Watch

Scott McLemee, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2, 2004

The world's leading cultural theorist has held exactly the same academic title for a quarter of a century. Slavoj Zizek is a "researcher" at the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, in Slovenia. He attributes his great intellectual vitality to the fact that he has no reason to work very hard. "I'm on a permanent sabbatical," he tells Zizek Watch. "I have a pure research job, where I do nothing."

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Rickie Lee Jones Gets Political"

Dan Grunebaum, Japan Today

There's a point not too far into American singer Rickie Lee
Jones's new album — in the first verse of the first song in
fact — that makes one do a double take. Could this be the
insouciant piano girl that brought us 1979's gently mocking,
"Chuck E's in Love?"

The song, "Ugly Man," doesn't pull any punches. As soon as
Jones lilts into her first verse, we get a strong hint as to
who the target is: "He's an ugly man/he always was an ugly
man/he grew up to be like his father/an ugly man." And just
in case we had our doubts, she soon puts them to rest,
delivering in deadpan style the lyric, "Revolution/now it's
finally going to come/everywhere that you're not

hydrarchist writes:

"From the Barcelona Review on the great spanish noir writer, recently deceased."

Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

The Man and His Work: A Retrospective

Jill Adams

Reviewing: An Olympic Death and The Buenos Aires Quintet

When Manuel Vázquez Montalbán died suddenly last October, the city of
Barcelona went into serious mourning. Hours and hours of television were devoted to his
memory. Many of Spain’s most important literary figures, politicians and journalists
spoke movingly of the man and his work. Montalbán was a highly respected social critic
and political commentator, giving articulate and intelligent voice to the left. He wrote a
weekly column for El Pais and his byline was sought after by the major newspapers
in Europe; his frequent speaking engagements drew large audiences. He was equally well
known for his poetry, plays, essays and articles on food and culture, humorist pieces, and
numerous novels and short stories.

"Call's Postmodern Anarchism"

Edward J. Martin

Reviewing Lewis Call, Postmodern Anarchism

Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 159 pp., $60.00, ISBN 0-7391-0522-1, Publication Date: February 2003

Postmodern Anarchism, by Lewis Call, draws on the
works of several theorists in an attempt to connect
anarchism with postmodernism. Call uses anarchism to
critique liberal notions of language, consciousness,
and rationality, which are inherent in economic and
political power within the capitalist state
organization. Call uses postmodern methods rooted in
anarchist tradition to deconstruct hegemonies of all
sorts, predominantly Marxist and capitalist in nature.
Yet his sharpest attack is leveled against bourgeois
liberalism manifested in "late capitalism," or as
Veblen describes it, "conspicuous consumption."

"Postface to the Complete Text of the Journal Futur Antérieur (1989-98)

Toni Negri

[On 4 November 2003 the following text was published in Italian and French
on the Multitudes website, as a preface to the e-published archive of the
journal Futur Antérieur. The original text of this article can be found at
Multitudes. Translated by Ed Emery.]

What was Futur Antérieur? A major undertaking, ten years of hard work every
week in order to produce four issues per year, along with occasional
supplements. An expansive undertaking. An expansivity that was not only
quantitative but also qualitative. A good journal is like an octopus,
continually reaching out and pulling in the theoretical and historical
happenings in the environment in which it lives. This journal had a soul -- a
passionate soul which tried to absorb everything in the world around it
which offered theoretical interest, a political choice, an ethical
dimension, or simply a joy of life. The soul of a journal is its radical
determination to give meaning to everything it touches, to build it into a
theoretical tendency, to embrace it within a mechanism of practical
activity. Futur Antérieur definitely had a soul. Or rather, many souls.