Radical media, politics and culture.


Anonymous Comrade writes (from Daybreak #3):

Carlos Cortez, ed., Viva Posada! A Salute to the Great Printmaker of the Mexican Revolution. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company, 2002.

Before I ever heard of the EZLN’s rebellion in Chiapas, I knew about the revolutionary power projected by the image of Emiliano Zapata thanks to the propaganda poster art of José Guadalupe Posada.

A few months ago I posted an article about "Surrealism, Freud and
Trotsky" (Surrealism, Freud and
) that
relied heavily on Franklin Rosemont's collection of Andre Breton's
writings titled "What is Surrealism." This Pathfinder book belongs on the shelf of anybody who is interested
in the intersection between revolutionary politics and avant-garde art
and literature.

Now thanks to Autonomedia Press we have a
volume that belongs on the same shelf. I refer to Surrealist
Subversions: Rants, Writings and Images by the Surrealist Movement in
the United States.
Edited and introduced by Ron Sakolsky, this volume
contains articles that originally appeared in the journal of Rosemont's
Chicago Surrealist Group titled "Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion," and
kindred publications.

hydrarchist writes:

Time to Revolt — Reflections on Empire

John Holloway

What is it about Empire that annoys me?

It is not the basic thesis. The idea that capitalism is a decentred and
deterritorialising system of rule, that the old understanding of the world
in terms of imperialism is not valid — this argument is unobjectionable. But
then it was always a mistake to see capital as being attached in some way to
a particular country. Capital is an inherently a-territorial relation of
domination. The Leninist notion of imperialism was misconceived from the
beginning. What is objectionable in Hardt and Negri's argument that
imperialism has been replaced by empire is the assumption that the concept
of imperialism used to be valid — but then this reflects the ambiguous
relation to Lenin that has always been present in Negri's writings and
indeed in much autonomist writing, beginning with Tronti's brilliant "Lenin
in England": the argument that things have changed since Lenin's time, now
we must rethink strategy, do what Lenin did in England.

"A Re[inter]view with Wu Ming"


1954, a decade of Post-War. The Korean conflict has just shaken the world, the French are withdrawing from Indochina, McCarthy's witches hunt is almost over, the KGB is founded in Moscow. New lifestyles and desires for freedom are wriggling under the Cold War blanket.

This is the essence of 54, the novel authored by the Bologna-based Wu Ming collective ("No name") which was recently published in Italy (Einaudi, Turin, 666 pages, 15 euros). 54 is about the dialectical relationship between those two empires (which were going to become one, as Negri & Hardt would put it) and a manifold mankind that dreams of moving beyond the modern age and Fordist discipline on the workplace.

Geert Lovink, Dark Fiber: Tracking Critical Internet Culture

Reviewed by McKenzie Wark

The book is becoming a residual art-form. Like carving in stone, it is a
way of presenting information for ritual occasions that might more easily
be conveyed in other ways. In his new book Dark Fiber, Geert Lovink is
well aware of the anachronistic quality of a book about net culture.
"Scholars are stuck between print and online forms of knowledge
hierarchies", he writes.

The Nazi Connection

Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism 

by Stefan Kühl, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002

Reviewed by Nigel Hunt,

Human Nature Review  2002 Volume 2: 382-383 ( 17 September )

nigel hunt

This book is concerned with exploring the relationship between the eugenics movement in pre-war USA and the German National Socialist policies and experiments between 1933-1945. It has been widely known that the USA, particularly some states, had racist policies in place long before the Nazis came to power in Germany. The Nazi policy of mass sterilisation of mentally handicapped people followed very similar policies that were applied across the USA from the early years of the Twentieth Century. Bodies such as the International Eugenics Movement had a great influence in the USA and also on the policies of the Nazis that eventually led to the extermination programme carried out in Germany.


Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books, Sept. 19, 2002

The 'Criterion': Cultural Politics and Periodical Networks in Interwar Britain
by Jason Harding | Oxford, 250 pp, £35.00

The Criterion, T.S. Eliot's periodical, ran from shortly after the First World War to the very eve of World War Two. Or, if one prefers, from one of Eliot's major bouts of depression to another. The two time-schemes are, in fact, related. In 1921, the business negotiations to finance the proposed journal had to be suspended when Eliot suffered a nervous breakdown; it was during his convalescence from this illness that he wrote The Waste Land. Though the breakdown had much to do with marital misery, it also reflects something of the postwar cultural crisis of which The Waste Land is itself symptomatic. It was as though the old 19th-century doctrines -- Romantic humanism, liberal individualism, dreams of social progress -- had all failed to survive the Somme; and Eliot, like his European Modernist colleagues, was dismayed by this spiritual devastation. Among other things, it raised the question of how they themselves were to write, bereft of a nurturing inheritance.


The Criterion pulled in writers such as Woolf, Lawrence, Yeats, Aldous Huxley, E.M. Forster and Wyndham Lewis, but also gave Proust, Valéry, Cocteau and other European writers their first airing in English. Conservative reaction, like socialist internationalism, was distinctly un-English in its lack of provincialism. If the journal espoused an unpleasant brand of right-wing Christianity, it was at least an intellectually taxing discourse centred on Dante, Aquinas and Parisian neo-Thomism, rather than the parochial pseudo-religiosity of a Philip Larkin. In the epoch of High Modernism, it was for the most part the radical Right, rather than the liberal or social democratic centre ground, that opened up cosmopolitan perspectives in a stiflingly claustrophobic England, as exiles and émigrés such as Conrad, Wilde, James, Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, Lawrence, Eliot and Pound shuttled between cultures and languages in order to reap those symbolic resources for their art that England alone could not furnish.

Not all of these authors were right-wing; but the predominance of that outlook among them is nonetheless striking. In an epoch of cultural crisis, it was the displaced and deracinated who could respond to their historical moment in answerably ambitious terms; and it was these, therefore, who in raising the most searching questions about modern civilisation, were able to produce the finest literary art. But nobody is more in love with autocracy than the anxious and insecure. The fact that so many of these writers responded to the historical crisis with apocalyptic pleas for absolute authority and the violent exclusion of subversive elements is the price we have to pay for such art, if we should choose to do so.

full: eagleton

Seumas Milne on Martin Amis in today's Guardian:

The Battle for History:

The now routine equation of Stalin and Hitler both distorts the past and
limits the future

Seumas Milne, Thursday September 12, 2002

It would be easy to dismiss the controversy over the latest Martin Amis
offering as little more than a salon tiff among self-referential literati.
His book, Koba the Dread, follows a well-trodden political path. An
excoriation of Lenin, Stalin and communism in general (interlaced with
long-simmering spats with his once communist father Kingsley and radical
friend Christopher Hitchens), it is intended to be a savage indictment of
the left for its supposed inability to acknowledge the crimes committed in
its name. Strong on phrasemaking, the book is painfully short on sources or
social and historical context. The temptation might be to see it as simply a
sign that the one-time enfant terrible of the London literary scene was
reliving his father's descent into middle-aged blimpishness.
That would be a mistake. Amis's book is in reality only the latest
contribution to the rewriting of history that began in the dying days of the
Soviet Union and has intensified since its collapse.



Sasha Ethiopia writes: "
Direct Action: Memoirs of an Urban Guerilla, Ann Hansen (AK Press/BTL, 2001)

Mike Palecek writes:

Recently 37 people were sentenced to federal prison for protesting at the School of the Americas, Ft. Benning, Georgia. These people dared to point out our own "American Terrorists."

In November thousands more will travel to Georgia for the annual protest, at which more will illegally enter the base to put their bodies in the way of America. Actor Martin Sheen has been a regular at these annual demonstrations.

Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest, has served years in prison for these protests that he founded years ago.

Bourgeois is featured in a new book just released by Algora Publishing of New York City, "Prophets Without Honor".


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