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Anarchist Communications: Ask an Anarchist! comes to Oklahoma

This Wednesday (March 13) at Memorial Student Union in Norman, Oklahoma, there’s going to be an Ask an Anarchist event hosted by the University of Oklahoma Students for a Stateless Society. Here’s the details, courtesy of Jason Lee Byas and Grayson English.

“Who will build the roads? Doesn’t anarchism just mean breaking stuff? Isn’t it hypocritical for you to be a club at a state university?”

Come visit us at Ask an Anarchist Day on March 13th (next Wednesday) and find out.

Free information about anarchy and anarchism, provided by the Students for a Stateless Society at the University of Oklahoma!

We will be providing free pamphlets about various anarchist ideas, and we’ll be discussing our reasons for being anarchists.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Memorial Student Union, near Crossroads

Hosted by the Students for a Stateless Society.

For more, see the Facebook event page. I’m happy to mention that the pamphlets will include several items from the ALL Distro.

Anarchist Communications: Five new booklets from Shawn Wilbur on Anarchisms and Anarcha-Feminist History

Here’s some news from Shawn Wilbur about a couple of exciting new print offerings — the new ANARCHISMS series, and new issues of La Frondeuse. Quoth Shawn:

I’m launching a new series of pamphlets collecting introductory summaries and personal statements attempting to define anarchism in the most basic terms. In the ANARCHISMS series, the texts will be collected with very little attention to tendency, beyond trying to mix things up in each issue, and without editorial comment. I am often asked for entry-level texts, and it’s difficult to find material which does not come with some critical apparatus already attached. There are plenty of occasions where context and various kinds of helps are indispensable, but there is also a time for letting individual statements speak for themselves. I’ve assembled three pamphlets in the series and will continue to collect material as long as I find useful texts.

I’ve also assembled two new issues of La Frondeuse, the black and red feminist history project. The fifth issue collects writings by Emma Goldman, primarily on women’s issues, including her critiques of suffrage. Issue six collects writings in a number of genres by Sophie Kropotkin, the very talented wife of Peter Kropotkin.

— Shawn Wilbur, Introducing !!!@@e2;20ac;2dc;ANARCHISMS' + new issues of !!!@@e2;20ac;2dc;La Frondeuse' (March 9, 2013)

Read through to get links to all five booklets.

Political Aesthetics available free online

Good news, everyone. From Crispin Sartwell’s blog comes the announcement that his study on Political Aesthetics is now available for free online:

cornell tells me we can’t expect a paperback of political aesthetics anytime soon, so i’m putting the pdf of the proofs up onlne. i really think this is my best book.

— Crispin Sartwell at cheese it, the cops! (25 February 2013)

PDF is available here through Google Docs, and I’ve mirrored a copy here. Contents and a bit of the thesis:

Crispin Sartwell, Political Aesthetics

  • Introduction: The Idea of Political Aesthetics
  • Ch. 1. Leni Riefenstahl Meets Charlie Chaplin: Aesthetics of the Third Reich
  • Ch. 2. Artphilosophical Themes
  • Ch. 3. Dead Kennedys and Black Flags: Artpolitics of Punk
  • Ch. 4. Prehistory of Political Aesthetics
  • Ch. 5. Red, Gold, Black, and Green: Black Nationalist Aesthetics
  • Ch. 6. Arthistorical Themes
  • Ch. 7. Political Power and Transcendental Geometry: Republican Classicism in Early America
  • Ch. 8. Conclusion: Political Styles and Aesthetic Ideologies
  • Appendix: Suggestions for Further Study

Introduction: The Idea of Political Aesthetics

There are, of course, many connections between art and politics. For example regimes of all sorts–democratic, monarchical, communist, and all the rest–use and repress the arts in various ways for propagandistic purposes, to control or deflect public opinion. And much of what we take as fine art has explicitly political themes; this is truer now than ever, or was truer twenty years ago than ever, as artists expressed feminist, antiracist, animal rights, or AIDS activist ideology in their work, for example. These are important areas for investigation. But what I am calling the program or inquiry of political aesthetics begins with a claim that I think is stronger and more interesting.

Not all art is political, but all politics is aesthetic; at their heart, political ideologies, systems, and constitutions are aesthetic systems, multimedia artistic environments. The political content of an ideology can be understood in large measure actually to be–to be identical with–its formal and stylistic aspects. It’s not that a political ideology or movement gets tricked out in a manipulative set of symbols or design tropes; it’s that an ideology is an aesthetic system, and that this is what moves or fails to move people, attracts their loyalty or repugnance, moves them to act or to apathy. But the political function of the arts–including various crafts and design practices–is not merely a matter of manipulation and affect: the aesthetic expression of a regime or of the resistance to a regime are central also to the cognitive content and concrete effects of political systems. . . .

— Crispin Sartwell (2010), Political Aesthetics

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