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harbinger's books

Currently Reading (View all 16)

David Graeber: Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (2004, Prickly Paradigm Press, Distributed by University of Chicago Press) 5 stars

"Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology" is one of a series of pamphlets published by Prickly …

The only useful academic

5 stars

Humble, versatile, prescriptive; lays out just how, among other things, non-hierarchical approaches to society and decision making have been practiced by almost every culture and group of peoples, /except/ those inspired by ancient Greece. Deals, therefore, a fatal blow to authoritarian / majoritarian/ oligcarchic realisim (iron law of oligarhcy, etc.).

Nothing new, insightful, interesting, or actionable

2 stars

Yes, obviously ghettoized communities practice mutual aid. So what? If anything, this makes it even harder to do so outside of those communities because makes it sound like mutual aid is only possible within them.

Also, personally, my father came from one of these communities. Despite being the "right" race, he felt ostracized and left. Where does that leave me? Was he "wrong" for not fitting in there? Even if he was wrong, what does that mean I (or literally nearly anyone else not currently in one of these) should do now? Reformism? FOH

reviewed Anarchic Agreements by Alex Prichard

Alex Prichard, Thomas Swann, Ruth Kinna: Anarchic Agreements (2022, PM Press) 5 stars

A new world is possible and not just in our hearts. Anarchic Agreements is a …

Part of the Missing Manual of How to Human with other Humans while Doing Things

5 stars

It's unbelievable how important this material is — without it, it's almost impossible to escape hierarchy in nominally flat institutions, via the Tyranny of Structurelessness, the Iron Law of Institutions, and other phenomena acculturated by propaganda.

The only thing missing here, and to be fair, I'm sure this is a book topic on its own, is how to actually move an extant organization with perhaps the right idea to actually adopt these things in practice when, of course, is itself an org that one does not have hierarchical control over! Driving adoption, i.e.

It's also worth reading for their collation of anarchist sample constitutions alone — what a collection! IWW, Emma Goldman, Occupy, Öcalan/ Democratic Confederalism, Makhnovists, … 

Major learnings:

  1. Constitutions don't have to be an inherently conservative or regressive; it's just the way that we've been interacting with the specific statist constitutions that makes them so, meaningfully for us, …

started reading Root Shock by Mindy Thompson Fullilove

Reading for a book club. It's pretty underwhelming thus far due to everything it says about the value of mutual aid among folks in ghettoized/ segregated neighborhoods being supremely self-evident and unactionable, but I'll power through just in case they do eventually come around to any sort of insight or meaningful prescription.

adrienne maree brown: Emergent Strategy (2017) 1 star

In the tradition of Octavia Butler, radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help to shape the futures …

Review of 'Emergent strategy' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

Unprincipled, haphazard word salad. Her arguments would have been much, much stronger if she actually included much of the primary source from Octavia Butler that she reports considering having included.

To the extent that this is legible at all, it appears to be some random thoughts along her path from an authoritarian, self-centered “executive” director of a white male hierarchy to a slightly less authoritarian, somehow even more self-centered “executive” director of a more diverse hierarchy.

It’s often not legible, and essentially mystifies where it’s entirely unneeded to do so. It’s like a magician demonstrating bricklaying by waving a wand and then dropping a brick with a thud. Like ok, maybe let’s learn from bricklayers instead? She talks about fractals as a way to encourage non-hierarchical organizing, but why don’t we just look at the practical reality rather than some occult symbolism?

She also has quite a few quotes that …