This review was published by the excellent Counterpunch

"Rhymsters and Revolutionaries:
Joe Hill and the IWW"
Peter Linebaugh

Reviewing Joe Hill: The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture

By Franklin Rosemont, (Charles H. Kerr: Chicago, 2003).

It's the right man by the right biographer at the right time.

Joe Hill's the man, the artist and song-writer of the Industrial Workers of the World. Franklin Rosemont's the biographer, the Chicago surrealist activist and publisher; the time is ours when warring monotheistic capitalism rains terror against a polyglot planetary proletariat privatized out of clean water, health care, and home. Joe Hill composed a song while awaiting execution under sentence of death by the authorities of the state of Utah. The song unifies the demands of the antiglobalization movement, not for "Communism," but a commons of actual equality and reparations of actual justice.

Workers of the world, awaken!
Rise in all your splendid might;
Take the wealth that you are making,
It belongs to you by right.
No one will for bread be crying,
We'll have freedom, love and health,
When the grand red flag is flying
In the Workers' Commonwealth.

Sergio Bologna* Reviews

Storming Heaven: Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism.

By Steve Wright (Pluto Press, London 2002)

Storming Heaven is the outcome of research carried out for a PhD thesis and as such is also the first attempt at a critical historical reconstruction of the thought and militant practice of Italian operaismo. The research follows criteria of critical analysis of sources and shows a necessary detachment from events as well as an ability to comprehend its object that derives from a strong feeling of personal involvement with the ideas and motives of revolutionary movements.

"Do We Know What We Want?"

Geert Lovink, Nettime

Review of George Monbiot, The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World

London: Flamingo, 2003 (published in the US by The New Press, early

No doubt the times they're a-changing when internal strategic debates of the
'anti globalisation movement' make it into mainstream publishing. According
to Amazon "Naomi Klein's No Logo told us what was wrong. George Monbiot's
The Age of Consent shows us how to put it right." Its publisher, Rupert
Murdoch's HarperCollins sells Monbiot's manifesto as "authoritative and
persuasive de facto figurehead for the contrarian movements in the UK."
Environmental activist Monbiot is columnist for the Guardian and author of a
bestseller about UK's privatisation disasters. Thanks to Rupert's
distribution network The Age of Consent made it into a newsagent at Sydney
airport where I purchased a copy.

TSOG: The Thing that Ate the Constitution

Book Review by Jaye Beldo

In Tsog: The Thing That Ate the Constitution, an array of dimensionally challenged simians eating away at what remains of our freedom are aptly exposed. Robert Anton Wilson takes on radically illogical feminists, Faith Based Organizations, The Piss Police, CSICOPS, Bushware 2.0 and other elements of the Tsarist Occupation Government at large using his scientifically grounded wit and cannabis inspired candor to do so. Yet, sad to say, there is evidence of the author's non-Aristotelian amnesia throughout much of this tome."

Full story:"

"Fear and Loathing in Globalization"

Fredric Jameson, New Left Review

Reviewing William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

Has the author of Neuromancer
really ‘changed his style’? Has he even ‘stopped’ writing Science Fiction, as some old-fashioned critics have put it, thinking thereby to pay him a compliment? Maybe, on the contrary, he is moving closer to the ‘cyberpunk’ with which he is often associated, but which seems more characteristically developed in the work of his sometime collaborator Bruce Sterling. In any case, the representational apparatus of Science Fiction, having gone through innumerable generations of technological development and well-nigh viral mutation since the onset of that movement, is sending back more reliable information about the contemporary world than an exhausted realism (or an exhausted modernism either).

jim writes:

"Notes on the Politics of Software Culture"

Andreas Broeckmann

[written for the Next5Minutes4 reader; first posted on Nettime]

Software has, over the last few years, increasingly come into view as
a cultural technique whose social and political impact ought to be
studied carefully. To the extent that social processes rely on
software for their execution -- from systems of e-government and
net-based education, online banking and shopping, to the organisation
of social groups and movements --, it is necessary to understand the
procedural specificities of the computer programmes employed, and the
cultural and political 'rules' coded into them. The 'killer apps' of
tomorrow may, as Howard Rheingold claims, not be 'hardware devices or
software programs but social practices'. Yet, these social practices
will increasingly be determined by software configurations of the
available infrastructure and the degrees and types of latitude that
they offer.

Anonymous Comrade submits:

On Saturday, August 30, the Canadian book Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril by Judith Merril and Emily Pohl-Weary scooped the only non-fiction category of the Hugo Awards at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

The award came as a complete surprise to co-author (and Merril's granddaughter) Pohl-Weary, who completed the book posthumously. "We re-write history when we tell the stories of women whose lives were important to us," said Pohl-Weary, when she accepted the award. "I encourage everyone to record the lives of women they admire."

"Where the Twain Should Have Met"

A Review of Edward Said's Orientalism,

Christopher Hitchens

The cosmopolitan Edward Said was ideally placed to explain East to West and West to East. What went wrong?

I first met Edward Said in the summer of 1976, in the capital city of Cyprus. We had come to Nicosia to take part in a conference on the rights of small nations. The obscene civil war in Lebanon was just beginning to consume the whole society and to destroy the cosmopolitanism of Beirut; it was still just possible in those days to imagine that a right "side" could be discerned through the smoke of confessional conflagration.

Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation was in its infancy (as was the messianic "settler" movement among Jews), and the occupation itself was less than a decade old.

Egypt was still the Egypt of Anwar Sadat — a man who had placed most of his credit on the wager of "Westernization," however commercially conceived, and who was only two years away from the Camp David accords. It was becoming dimly apprehended in the West that the old narrative of "Israel" versus "the Arabs" was much too crude. The image of a frugal kibbutz state surrounded by a heaving ocean of ravening mullahs and demagogues was slowly yielding to a story of two peoples contesting a right to the same twice-promised land.

"The Triumph of Exegesis over Praxis and History"

Marvin E. Gettleman

A Review of Gramsci and Education,

Carmel Borg, Joseph Buttigieg, and Peter Mayo, eds. Culture and Politics Series. Lanham and Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002. ii + 335 pp. Notes. $75.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-7425-0032-2; $34.95 (paper), ISBN 0-7425-0033-0.

Marvin E. Gettleman is Emeritus Professor of History, Brooklyn Polytechnic University.
This review was first published by H-Education (July, 2003)

The fifteen essays comprising this book have been written mainly by radical educational scholars from seven countries in Europe and the Americas. The book's editors (who also contribute essays) hail from Notre Dame University in the United States and the University of Malta. Their common aim is to explicate the educational views of the Italian Communist scholar-activist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) and to link his teachings to present-day political and pedagogical issues. Most of Gramsci's writings on education consist of fragments (Quaderni del carcere) written during his decade-long confinement in a fascist prison. There is inevitable overlap and duplication in many of the essays in Gramsci and Education.

Anonymous Kumquat submits:

"A Study in

Bob Black

Murray Bookchin’s Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism was an
apocalyptic, and apoplectic, polemic against post-leftist forms of
anarchism. So closely did it approach self-parody that it escaped
suspicion on that score only because of the certain fact that Bookchin has
no sense of humor. No such certainty attaches to "Nihilism U.S.A.
McAnarchy in the Playpen" by someone calling himself Timothy Balash.
A shapeless knockoff of SALA, NUSA will find few beginning-to-end readers
except those engaging in an egoscan – fandom jargon for skimming a zine
looking for your own name. No one has ever heard of Balash, which is
probably the pseudonym of someone whose real name, if known, would be a
source of discredit, like Bill Brown or Stewart Home. But if NUSA is a
debut effort, it is indeed a Titanic one: sunk on its maiden voyage.

The Politics of Language

Like George Orwell and Theodor Adorno, I believe there is a
relationship (but not, of course, a one-to-one relationship) between good
writing and true writing. For me to say so is, I admit, self-serving, but
what do you expect from a convicted Stirnerist? If there is any truth to
this proposition, then there is hardly any truth to NUSA. To read it is to
experience genuine suffering. Every known violation of the English
language is well represented, as well as abominations so singular as to
be, as H.P. Lovecraft might say, unnamable. There are nonexistent words:
"abolishment," "exploitive," "rompish,"
"busking," "meritous." Mixed metaphors are the norm.
In the very first sentence, anarchism, "a dizzying banquet,"
"has failed to make itself heard." By not burping? In this
rompish, busking, but not very meritous vision, one might be "crushed
between, on one side, a dress rehearsal" and – well, what
difference does it make what’s on the other side? Then there is the
"collage of mirrors" and the "cable-fed cloisters."

Necessary words are omitted – "comes [ ] a little surprise"
– the reader soon wishes for more of this particular mistake.
Disagreement of subject and verb is nearly normative. "Many a hippy .
. . missed most of their opportunities"; "Lest the reader . . .
suspect they are beginning to detect"; "Fetishization . . . are
as cliched and commonplace as" (whatever); and then there’s
"the runaway phenomena of the single (and usually impoverished
female) parent."

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