Apr 14 2015

2014 LBC Review

Our year 2014 in review

This is the second time we have experimented with doing an end of year summary of what we have accomplished this year.


Little Black Cart is a public conspiracy. If we succeed everything we experience in daily life will be transformed: work, play, ownership, and all of the old hierarchies and relationships. We publish missives in the form of anarchist books, newspapers, and journals that celebrate and strategize the Beautiful Idea with all its complications and heartaches. We welcome new wrinkles on old ideas and hearing word of new experiments related to the general project of unleashing anarchy upon the world.

One of the places where we develop our thinking in this regard is in our annual (this is our second) review of the past years publishing endeveors. Here is the introduction to the 2014 LBC Review.

You can get a copy at Little Black Cart


2015 is the second time we have experimented with summarizing our accomplishments for the year. This is our alternative to marketing since the old system (press releases and codependent book sellers and distributors), isn’t how LBC sells books. Instead we communicate directly with our audiences. We go to you (largely by way of local bookfairs) and in general stay accessible and communicative about these things we love… the ideas that we share by way of books, papers, zines, and even the Internet.

There is a line from the SI Anthology (which was the book that turned me to SI-inflected anarchism) that I’ll share here—

Nor have I tried to explain supposed difficulties in the SI’s language. After the usual diet of ideological pabulum it may be a momentary shock to be forced to think; but those who are really confronting their lives and therefore this society will soon understand how to use these texts. Those who aren’t, won’t, regardless of explanations. Situationist language is difficult only to the extent that our situation is. “The path to simplicity is the most complex of all.

…Which is a circuitous way of saying something quite simple. LBC is about the anarchism we are living today, now, in 2015, and most definitely not the anarchism of the 1936 CNT, the Black Army of 1918, or even of the liberal (in the good sense of the word) idealism of Paul Goodman, Murray Bookchin, or the Yippies! We both care enough about history to make these referential points and disdain the grip it has on the imagination of some of our friends.

Today’s anarchism is about aspiration, anger, futility, and new perspectives on old problems. Yes, we of course aspire to a world that we imagine could be, a vision that includes doing away with the old anti’s (the State, Capitalist exchange relationships, and other icky stuff), but also would mean a dynamism that is beyond localism or globalization, a heart beyond cloying pleas for the mis-remembered past or relying on the goodwill of man, a soul beyond anything religion could organize, and a mind bright enough to understand the absurdity of all this, and clear enough to laugh about it.

As part of that, we are angry, at a world that constrains us (and calls it safety and freedom), at racism (which destroys our—possibility for—friendships and a capacity to be together), at systems of social organization that limit, bind, and frame the ways we love, live, and think, and at the people who enforce those systems. Our anger and the scale of what we are up against makes our clearest goals impossible. This can feel crippling, and many of our friends resist this impossibility by declaring that the breaking of windows is Struggle, but in fact the impossibility is a kind of freedom. Nineteenth century dreams of revolution are a trap. Without them we can do our work on a stage that fits us. Lovers of freedom, of anarchy, are not suited for a global stage. We are not Bono, the World Cup, or attacks by drone against strangers on the other side of the world. To be simple about it, we are the opposite of those horrorshows. We know that the only freedom we can ever have is not an abstraction but what we can seize, with our hands. It is the little moments. It is in the stories we tell with our mouths, read with our eyes, and listen to with our ears. Real freedom is the size of human beings.

Today’s anarchism revisits old arguments about agency, strategy, history (and who gets to tell it), and priorities, as anarchists and as agitators against the existing order. These fights are confusing nowadays because of the changing way that communication occurs vis a vis the Internet. Conversations happen much faster, and with much more attitude, than ever imagined in a time when radical debate felt formal and respectful. They are also less important, ignored by a huge portion of the concerned audience, and more pointed than a trend of “common sense” strategic operation among many anarchists (who confuse their grassroots organizing work with the imperative work of anarchists as a whole). These contradictory currents exist at the same time; there is both a sophisticated and self-critical reappraisal of anarchist canon at the same time that activists have rebranded traditional social justice work as anarchistic. Our central project is negotiating with this contradiction while also complicating it: with esoteric strains of thought that refract upon thorniness with a lighter hue. This is (obviously) complicated but a tension that comes to mind is how fiercely and quickly anarchist projects get isolated into their perceived position (as if most of us, or the work we do, suffers from such stasis: we are, usually, more interesting than our positions). 2014 has been dominated by the question of how to negotiate this well, and we have had mixed results. On the one hand we have a mix of what I like to call “strugglismo” titles, some of the modern anarchist canon, alongside some unorthodox titles. On the other hand it is hard to see the impact that this intellectually vigorous mixture—this curry, if you will—has had on our milieu. Instead the feedback we tend to get is that if a specific reader reads a title of ours that they don’t agree with, then we have betrayed them politically.. We’ve had several people leave the project because their interest wasn’t in the curry but only in the cardamom, cumin, or garlic. Similarly there is a great deal of self-described anarchist space that has a taste only for hamburgers and fries, with no interest in 21st century anarchist curry at all! Over this entire mix of conversations, and largely unacknowledged, is the fact that for many, books are no longer the way to have conversations or engage with ideas. Recognizing this either means more and different format for content producers (ie videos; high end, highly designed web content, an emphasis on shorter, more attenuated printed material, etc.) or a constrained production model. We have chosen the second option here (but we leave room to change our minds at a later time…).

The Point of Imprints

LBC publishes under different imprints to support and help create a vibrant anarchist space by increasing the spaces between the stated anarchist positions. To put this another way, we have a jaundiced eye that we do not trust to make the best case for the inspiration of the Beautiful Idea. We are not the best advocates for it, as we are suspicious of advocates ourselves. Instead we hope that between different perspectives—for example between Ardent, the IEF, and Cruel Hospice—lies a more interesting, unlabeled, perspective than what any single imprint can provide on its own.

Our imprints are also about collaboration. Traditional anarchist publishing groups have to consense on every word, idea, and provocation that they publish. They also gravitate, mostly for reasons of capitalist or partisan logic, towards centralized editorial control. (After all, they are the best advocates of their message.) Our idea is a little different. Rather than burden all of our content with our process, we want to find provocateurs who are interestingly disagreeable. As a result, each imprint has a different editorial burden.

Finally, publishing under these different names and working with all of these different editors has improved our anarchist capacity to learn, change, and understand other people. Our jaundice (which is not hard to read as intolerance or judgment), has mellowed. Realizing the passion projects of other people is almost as fun as working on our own!

Purchase the 2014 LBC Review from Little Black Cart

Nov 8 2014

Huye Hombre Huye

Huye, Hombre, Huye (Run, Man, Run) is the autobiography of Xosé Tarrío González. His story travels from the boarding school to the reformatory and then to prison. Due to additional punishments, Xosé was never released from prison, and instead spent the rest of his life fighting desperately to escape by any means necessary. This is the first-hand account of one man’s refusal to accept the legitimacy of the privileged’s judgement of the less privileged, a story of collective struggle against an inhumane system, and of the limitless depths that those in power will sink to when challenged. It is the powerful story of an unbreakable spirit.

(This) is the life of a man who survives in subhuman conditions not far from us and who, in these circumstances, has been able to compose an honest and stark testimony about the reality of imprisonment today… I do not foresee a more human horizon, or a more respectful criminal or prison policy, simply because prison is the ultimate container for a quite specific political-economic project. In the context of a State that is abandoning many of its former tasks, of the privatization of important public services, the precarization of the labor market, and economic globalization, etc., I don’t think that there are many spaces left where we could discuss overcoming or even restricting the use of incarceration. This does not mean paralysis or doing nothing, but the other way around: from the highest skepticism a “culture of resistance” can begin, one that keeps critical thinking alive.

-From the Prologue by Iñaki Rivera Beiras

Authored by Xosé Tarrío González.

Imprint: LBC Books

Check it out at Little Black Cart


Nov 8 2014

Dictionary of Unhappiness

For an audience that loves art and is familiar with the Situationist International, Cruel Hospice (an imprint of LBC Books) is 80+ pages of stunning pop visuals colliding with harsh political definitions. Included are definitions of air, authentic, and anarchist (to name but a few).

Faith: The unshakable belief that God encourages commerce

Criminal: Believes she is alone in her despair and therefore sees only an individual solution to a universal problem – how to live without working.

This is the second book from the Cruel Hospice imprint. The first was a post-situationist set of essays against work and the logic of the management of humans vis a via work. Demotivational Training does this in the ironic tone of exactly such human resources manuals.

Isaac Cronin is one of the founders of the Situationist movement in the United States in the late 60s. As co-creator of the Council for the Eruption of the Marvelous, and a long time provoceteur, he is the author, editor, and translator of eight books of social criticism and hundreds of pamphlets, texts, posters and subversions on dozens of topics ranging from nihilism to the Weather Underground to psycho-geography. His feature length video documentary, Call it Sleep, has been shown at museums and theaters around the world.

Tyler Spangler is a digital collagist with a broad-ranging style and eclectic influences ranging from Godard to Man Ray to trandtional Pop Art. His images have appeared in dozens of magazines around the world, and have been exhibited in galleries in London, Rome, and Los Angeles. Tyler is a graphic designer for skate and surfboards, textiles, film and music collateral.

Authored by Isaac Cronin, Tyler Spangler.

Imprint: Cruel Hospice

Check it out at Little Black Cart


Nov 8 2014

Black Bloc Papers

The Black Bloc Papers is a set of documents preserved from the anti-globalization movement from 1999 2001. It serves as a punctuated beginning by way of calls to action, manifestos, and action reports of a new era of anarchist organizing and activity. Rather than organizing to last or to win the black bloc enters from stage left as a disruption; to global capital, to protest politics as usual, as ephemeral and ubiquitous.

Suddenly anarchy and the black bloc were front page news in the US and soon would become synonymous with each other. I, like others around the world, watched it on the nascent Indymedia, and was inspired. The raw emotion and energy was a rude awakening for Power and a clarion for the disaffected amongst us. We were breaking free of the confines of polite protest, and were never going to go back.

-scott crow From the Forward

The Black Bloc Papers is intended for those who would like to understand the vigorous protest politics of anarchism, the tactic of the black bloc as practiced over a decade ago, and as a historical signpost reminding us of how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go.

LBC Books is publishing this title in the spirit of anarchist attempts at publishing this document over the past decade. We have used the work of Breaking Glass Press, the Alternative Media Project (Infoshop.org), and the Green Mountain Anarchist Collective in this publication.

Edited by David Van Deusen & Xavier Massot.

Imprint: LBC Books

Check it out at Little Black Cart


Nov 8 2014

I Saw Fire

In a period of global unrest that topples governments and calls into question the capitalist system, no one has been more demonized by both the State and the official Left than the anarchists and their use of the ‘black bloc.’ Yet, from the streets of Egypt to the plazas of Brazil, the tactic is growing in popularity. From behind the balaclava, Doug Gilbert discusses riots and revolt from the teargas filled streets of Oakland, California during the Occupy movement to Phoenix, Arizona facing down Neo-Nazi skinheads. Discussing violence, social change, and organization at length, Gilbert examines why many young people are turning away from the organizations which have historically sold-out the working class—and starting a riot of their own.

Authored by Doug Gilbert.

Imprint: Institute for Experimental Freedom (IEF)

Check it out at Little Black Cart


Jul 1 2014

Demotivational Training

Today the managers want nothing less than to make every employee a situationist, enjoining them to be spontaneous, creative, autonomous, freewheeling, unattached, and greeting the precariousness of their lives with open arms. Trying to outdo this would be absurd. On the other hand, limiting the critique to the domain of the negative, without prescribing a specific goal, is to show great optimism stemming from the hypotheses (obviously unproven) that most people have within them all the energy necessary for their autonomy without there being the need to add any.

Authored by Guillaume Paoli.

Imprint: Cruel Hospice

Check it out at Little Black Cart

Jun 29 2014

The Cultural Logic of Insurrection

Tiqqun and The Invisible Committee, while clearly informed by academic discourses (such as traditional metaphysics, theories of sovereignty, the study of biopolitics and disciplinary practices, etc), are staunchly defiant of the academy’s monopoly over political thought. They are at once an appropriation, recontextualization, and a liberation of certain theoretical concepts from the tautological trap of academia and their subsequent projection into the world. In this way, Tiqqun and The Invisible Committee represent a critical synthesis of theoretical spaces as disparate and diverse as anarchist thought, Italian autonomist-Marxism from the 1970s, French ultragauche communism, the squatter’s movement in Europe in the 1980s, and the Situationist International. These essays are a dialogue with Tiqqun’s logic and their successes (and failures) as a project.

Authored by Alden Wood who is also the author of Crimethought.

Imprint: Repartee

Check it out at Little Black Cart


Jan 6 2014

The BASTARD Chronicles

Every year for the past 13 years we have held a conference as part of the events around the SF Anarchist Bookfair in March. Some of the best conversations and theoretical work in the North American anarchist space has been shared in these rooms. That content has not escaped (to a large degree) the conference environment. Now it will. Starting with the 2014 BASTARD conference we will publish some version of the content that is delivered at the event itself. It will include a reportback of the days events and some sense of the ideas, arguments, and energy that has made the Berkeley Anarchist Students of Theory And Research & Development conference the anarchist theory hit of the past two decades.


Issue One: Social War

Given the conflicting, at times mutually exclusive, ideas about what social war is, this conference allowed people to explore those contradictions and alliances.

These readings are mostly writings from the presenters, from Jason McQuinn to Tom Nomad, William Gillis to Aragorn! The significant exception is the piece on the presentation with CrimethInc and Institute for Experimental Freedom, for which there is a conversation based on the presentation.

DOWNLOAD the 2014 issue of The BASTARD Chronicles: Social War
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Purchase The BASTARD Chronicles: Social War at Little Black Cart

Jan 6 2014

Dangerous Constellations

Dangerous Constellations is a vaguely anarchist literary journal to contemplate the unknown and made-up potential of life. There are many spaces to critique pop culture, rewrite the ways we are oppressed, explore relationships, recruit or prosthelytize, to relive experiences of revolts and revisit highlights of revolutionary history. There are many publications for the celebration of victories and lifestyles and choices, and many for the critique of those things. But this is not one of those. Rather, it is a space to share and distribute the visualizations of these things through short stories and poetry. From your dystopic nightmares, to fantasies of hopping trains, to heartbreaks, to all the poems you wrote that the New Yorker sent back to you. Within DC’s pages will be fictitious and fantastical tales of disillusionment, complicated relationships, adventures, epic poems, scars and unreal joys. Some say “Lenin and Marx have never fucked the ways we have”. DC envisions that perhaps they did and we want to hear the story. It’s not real life and anything could happen. Half of what anarchists write is really fiction, anyway.

Submission and domination will be the parameters by which we outline the bodily constellation of the first journal. Anarchists, radicals, queers and all those on the edge of politics are keenly aware of how these concepts play out in our lives, battles and love affairs. All those interested, anti-authoritarian (but pro-author) are encouraged to submit their stories exploring submission and domination of all genres from dramedy to scifi, erotica to classic fiction, poetry to prose. Deadline March 3rd.

email: constellations@lbcbooks.com
blog: constellations.anarchyplanet.org


Jan 5 2014


From the Institute For The Study of Insurgent Warfare

Since the beginning of the end of Occupy anarchists in the United States have again found themselves in an all too familiar position: an impasse.  Around the world, class conflicts and zones of insurgent activity are increasing in frequency and number.  In the United States, however, the crackdown on Occupy seems to have reinforced the conclusion that resistance and direct action are hopeless pursuits. For those of us who won’t -or can’t- quit, the most consistent response to this impasse has focused on a common question: What is to be done?  
This question, in many ways, facilitates responses that perpetuate the impasse. Asking “what is to be done” cripples our ability to attack the state and defend ourselves, first by conceptualizing conflict and removing it from actual material dynamics, then by effacing the particularities of time and terrain. In this question we come to focus on fighting and resistance as generalized phenomena spread across terrain in consistent and constant ways. Then we produce singular, neat, and clean responses, like slogans and programmes, and avoid, whenever possible, the actual dynamics of conflict. But conflict, like insurgency, occurs. It occurs in some time, in some space and as a density of dynamics that cannot be franchised, chanted, or endorsed. 
To escape this impasse means going back to a fundamental question of what it means to engage in the insurgent. We can call ourselves fighters, but we cannot understand how to fight until we begin to develop a discourse of what we are fighting, and where, in a material sense. Until we can begin to grasp this question, or build a narrative around this question, we will continue to shift between utopian narratives and glittering generalities of conceptual resistance.
Insurgency is a thing that occurs, it resists conceptualization, refuses valuation and, as such, conceptual questions of meta-politics are irrelevant. Insurgencies, a journal edited by The Institute For The Study of Insurgent Warfare, will return to questions of the immediacy and materiality of conflict and insurrection. This project, along with its associated blog (isiw.noblogs.org), will focus on questions of immediacy -outside of political codification- on the level of tactics and material dynamics. Insurgencies will aim to develop an analysis of the dynamics of actual material conflicts on the ground and the terrains in which they occur, from the submerged conflicts that occur within everyday life (theft, worker insubordination, illegalism, etc) to the celebrated moments when the logistics of policing are ruptured and possibilities abound.

Contact us at iwiw@lbcbooks.com
Web http://isiw.noblogs.org