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

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


Jan 5 2014


A Journal of Incivility

Issue 1: Political Cruelty

Few emotions burn like cruelty. Those motivated by cruelty are neither fair nor impartial. Their actions speak with an intensity that does not desire permission, let alone seek it. While social anarchism sings lullabies of altruism, there are those who play with the hot flames of cruelty. We are drawn to the strength of Franz Fanon’s wretched of the earth, who find their voice only through the force of their actions, the sting of women of color’s feminist rage, which establishes its own economy of violence for those who do not have others committing violence on their behalf, the spirit of Italy’s lapsed movement of autonomy, which fueled radicals who carved out spaces of freedom by going on the attack (“Il Diritto all’Odio” – The Right to Hatred), the assaults of Antonin Artaud’s dizzying “Theatre of Cruelty,” which defames the false virtues of audience through closeness with the underlying physicality of thought, and the necessity of Gilles Deleuze’s ontological cruelty, which returns difference through the pain of change that breaks through the backdrop of indifference.

Call for Submissions

We are looking for submissions that defend cruelty. In addition to scholarly essays, we are looking for any original work suited to the printed page: directions to dérivés or other lived projects, maps, printed code, how-to instructions, photo-essays, détournements, experimental writing, directions to word-games, illustrations, or mixed-media art. To remain consistent with the journal’s point of view, we seek material whose tone is abrasive, mood is cataclysmic, style should is gritty, and voice is impersonal.

Submissions will be selected by an editorial collective. Completed contributors should expect to receive critical feedback in the first stage of review requesting revisions to improve their submission and make it consistent with the other contributions selected for inclusion. While we are not soliciting proposals, we are happy to comment on possible submissions before official review.
We will begin reviewing submissions on February 28th, 2014. Send your submissions to hostis@lbcbooks.com as MS Word, rtf, pdf, jpg, or png files. Include a title, author name, content, and any formatting requests. Expect to complete requested revisions during March-April.


Jan 5 2014


A Journal of Anti-Language

Aside from their strategic deployment as a means to evade the authorities, anti-languages – slang, argot, cant, code, cipher, signal – serve to fortify bonds between members of the “discourse community” (crew) who operate them. Like all forms of linguistic concealment, their “meaning” is dependent upon direct, face-to-face encounters, relies heavily on shared experience, and requires mutual respect and approval. As Alice Becker-Ho writes, because “[t]he outlaw, the revolutionary, the cabbalist or member of a secret society, indeed heretics of all kinds are of a highly associative if not sociable disposition, [their language] calls for reciprocity – the only possible and therefore the only real equality – whose highest form is still represented by love”.

We’re bored with plain speech and mass communication. We want language to become intimate and dangerous. We want theory to become more lyrical, and poetry to become more austere. We don’t want nuanced theories of value or another “turn” to this or that. We want writing that strengthens relationships between individuals who have found each other. No need to write in order to have ideas confirmed: that is the task of journalism and academia. No need to address enemies: that is the task of representatives. No need to be “understood”: anti-languages are always “exclusive,” by virtue of their need to speak without being captured.

For the first issue, the journal will concern itself with the inside: prisons, camps, psychiatric assessment units, detention centres. If you are, or have been, incarcerated in one of these places, or by some other ISA – family, work, school, relationships, identity, “the prison house of language,” whatever – we want to hear from you. We’ll also publish reviews of works dealing with such subjects.
June 1st 2014 is the due date.

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


Jan 4 2014

LBC Review

In this, our inaugural issue, we present an editorial exploration into the themes and contexts of some of our 2013 publications. What is “we”? Funny that you would ask; the answer is more complex than it seems at first glance. We are the constellation of projects under the umbrella of Little Black Cart, which incubates, creates, produces, and distributes speculative, critical, and engaged anarchist thinking and ideas. We use different names to reflect the different editorial orientations and biases of our work. LBC Books is the name of our parent imprint but we have published books, just this year, under Ardent Press, Repartee, Pistols Drawn, Green Anarchy, IEF (the Institute for Experimental Freedom), and CAL Press.
As a publisher in this family of ideas we measure our own success partly by our own continued interest in our broad project, and on whether these ideas merit discussion and further research. This is a modest goal, perhaps, making it achievable in a way that material success is not. It’s can be enough to see ourselves and our friends as tinkerers in a workshop, perfecting an apparatus that awaits the right power source to set it in motion. We find it matters much less what things are named, what color the paint is, or how fast things move, than conversations about what could be in a thousand different permutations, in the experiential world rather than the theoretical one.
In the past two years, we have published twenty-four new titles and helped produce another dozen or so projects (including a North American production of the bulk of Elephant Editions titles, titles from Pallaksch Press, bound pamphlets like Copout and Desert, The Anvil Review, and more). If the goal was to produce engaged, interesting, anarchist material than it’s conservative to say that we have succeeded. If our goal was to shape the minds of a new generation of antiauthoritarians then our project hasn’t succeeded. This is the work we have ahead of us.
A goal for this Review is to make content available for free that would otherwise be inaccessible (aka cost-greater-than-zero) package. We will summarize the thinking behind each of our primary publications this year and share our broad thoughts about why other items distributed by Little Black Cart deserve reprint and specific acknowledgment.

email: editorial@lbcbooks.com
URL: https://lbcbooks.com


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Dec 6 2013

Attentat – A Journal of Collision

This is a journal intended to explore the collision between anarchist and nihilist ideas. The position itself is more about collision than about words. For too long we have suffered the limitations of words and identities that collapse into insignificance without gaining the corresponding heft of a weapon. This seemed to be a hallmark of big ideas in the 19th and 20th century. But we recognize now that the words aren’t important in the same way anymore.

Attentat explores a history and set of ideas intended to collide with what exists and explode!

Table of Contents

  • Editorial
  • Art of Nothing
  • The Black Banner (Черное Знамия)
  • A Critique of Critique
  • A Howl Against Marx
  • Professional Anarchy and Theoretical Disarmament: On Insurrectionalism
  • Insurrectionary Anarchism as Activism
  • History as Decomposition
  • Attentat: Nihilism as Strategy II

imprint: Pistols Drawn

Buy: Attentat at Little Black Cart


Jan 8 2012

Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies

LBC Books announces the publication of a new issue of Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies(ADCS) entitled “Art & Anarchy” and edited by Allan Antliff (2011.2). This issue brings anarchist scholarship into a relationship with works of art that encompass music, virtual architecture and urban design, film, poetics, prose, dance/performance, the visual arts (including sculpture, painting, photography, installation, graphics), the economics of art production, and aesthetics.


Buy: ADCS at Little Black Cart