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Dear LazyWeb: local anarchist seeks suggestions for Anarchist Classics Series

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 15 years ago, in 2009, on the World Wide Web.

Dear LazyWeb,

A lot of my time in the past couple weeks ended up getting eaten by a scheduling issue over Las Vegas Anarchist Cafe which is now seems — insha’Allah — to be resolved. It means we’ll be moving from Wednesday nights to Thursday nights, but it also means that we have a definite reservation in, which is all nice and written down and has a contact number where they can reach me if they need to let us know about anything. And now that we have the scheduling issue apparently resolved, and a stable time more or less locked in, we are planning to expand out our Free Speech Soapbox Series (see GT 2009-01-27 and GT 2009-02-03 for previous mentions), and hopefully to make it a regular thing. One of the ideas that we’ve batted around for slow weeks is to do an Anarchist Classics Series — where the idea would be to read aloud, and then discuss, some classic Anarchist lectures (or, as the case may be, roughly lecture-length essays that are conducive to being read aloud). There are lots of them out there — public speaking, to both general audiences and to movement audiences, used to be a much bigger part of our movement than it is today, and one of my hopes is to do a little something towards reviving that tradition — and some of them are really good. Each reading would hopefully be done by someone who’s relatively familiar with the essay being read, and then followed with some Q&A and discussion.

Before the scheduling troubles cropped up, our plan was to kick off the series with Tucker’s classic, State Socialism and Anarchism: how far they agree, and wherein they differ. Presumably, once everything is firmly back on track, we’ll be able to cover it after all.

But, here’s my question for you, gentle reader: if you were scheduling an event in this series, which lecture or short essay would you recommend to Vegas Anarchist Cafe for a reading and discussion? Let us know what you think in the comments section. Which ones do you think are the most important or interesting to cover, and which are likely to stimulate the best discussions afterwards? (For reference, we have about an hour for the whole event — so the Anarchist Classic in question should be something that can be read aloud in about 30-45 minutes.)

8 replies to Dear LazyWeb: local anarchist seeks suggestions for Anarchist Classics Series Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Nick Manley

    I’d recommend De Cleyre’s feminist classic titled Sex Slavery.


  2. Darian W

    Though it does not clearly advocate for anarchism, Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience was a major influence in libertarianizing me. http://eserver.org/thoreau/civil1.html

  3. Aster

    Emma Goldman’s Marriage and Love has always been inspirational.


    Young people drawn to liberatory politics often do so in conjunction with a personal movement away from family tyranny, and a desire for a better pattern of life than the future their parents have set out for them. Anyone who has suffered under a conservative family can attest to the (unfortunate) continual relevance of Emma’s words. And if you are trying to encourage attendance, sexual issues very properly interest people.

  4. James, Tulsa ALL

    I think Gertrude B. Kelly’s State Aid to Science, Voltairine de Cleyre’s Anarchism and American Traditions or Benjamin R. Tucker’s “Who is the Somebody?” would be great read aloud.

  5. Rad Geek


    Thanks! These will be really useful. I think I am going to suggest scheduling de Cleyre’s “Anarchism and American Traditions” as the next reading, or possibly the next after Tucker’s “State Socialism and Anarchism,” and recommend pretty much all of these suggestions as candidates for events following those two.

  6. Nick Manley


    Wow, I didn’t realize that lost comment was posted three times. You can go ahead and delete it — no need for approval.

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