jim writes:

"On Robin Kelley's Freedom Dreams"

Franklin Rosemont

"The dream too, must have its Bastille Day!" -- Nicolas Calas
Robin D. G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination.

Boston: Beacon Press: 2002. 248 pages. Cloth, $24.00

Few writers have done more to stimulate new ways of looking at surrealism than Robin D. G. Kelley, and the reason is simple: He himself has dared, again and again, to look at surrealism in new ways. His important and exhilarating new book, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, fully confirms his central role in the current resurgence of the surrealist movement throughout the world.

dr.woooo writes:

Empire For the Multitude?

The day that I finished Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri was also the day that I read Rob los Ricos' review, "Empire for Beginners" (Anarchy #53). Ricos' overall criticism of globalization is very relevant, but he does not see that he and the authors of Empire are often in agreement. He recounts the history contained in the book without working with the concepts, which are a very important part. Ricos claims to point out the precepts of Hardt and Negri: progressivism, Marxism, Euro-centrism, and an "enthusiasm for the arrival of this horribly dehumanizing Empire under which we live." However, none of these precepts are Hardt or Negri's.

Chuck Morse writes "

Review of Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11th Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten our Civil Liberties by Nancy Chang, The Terrorism Trap: September 11th and Beyond by Michael Parenti, and Terrorism and War by Howard Zinn. From the current issue of The New Formulation: An Anti-Authoritarian
Review of Books (February 2003, Vol. 2, No. 2). See


Paul Glavin

The State in Hyper-Drive: the Post-September 11th U.S.

Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11th Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten our Civil Liberties

By Nancy Chang

New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002

The Terrorism Trap: September 11th and Beyond

By Michael Parenti

San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2002

Terrorism and War

By Howard Zinn (edited by Anthony Arnove)

New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002


hydrarchist writes

Since early 2001 theoretical debate has been dominated by Hardt and Negri's work "Empire". For many in the anglophone world this has been a first engagement with 'autonomist marxism', which nonetheless remains enigmatic when it comes to practice, represented in the imagination only by the White Overalls (now recycled as the Disobedients).

Some of the gaps in this picture are now remedied by the appearance online of the full text of George Katsiaficas's The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life. Originally published in 1997, and poorly known until after the Seattle demonstrations of 1999, the book provides a panoramic, although impressionistic, survey of European extraparliamentary politics since the 1970s. Italy's long '68, culminating in Autonomia and the movement of 1977, recieves a chapter to itself, although this influence of the theoretical practical innnovations of the Italian movement are never woven into the fabric of the book (1).

jim writes "Orwell's Victory by Christopher Hitchens (Penguin, £9.99)
Orwell in Spain edited by Peter Davison (Penguin, £9.99)

In recent years, British writer George Orwell has
joined his friends, the Italian novelist Ignazio Silone,
and American journalist Burnett Bolloten as a
politically dodgy commentator. Bolloten, who wrote
a history of the Spanish civil war critical of the
Stalinists, was supposed to have had CIA
connections, while Silone was damned because he
wrote for the journal Encounter at a time when it
was receiving secret CIA sponsorship. All three have
also been seen as friends of the libertarian left.
Christopher Hitchens, not to be confused with his
right-wing brother Peter, argues in Orwell's Victory
that the controversial list of minor 1940s celebrities
with communist sympathies which Orwell gave Celia
Kirwan, a former girlfriend and an officer of the
(MI5-sponsored) Information Research Department,
in no way "denied his credit for keeping [the]
libertarian and honest tradition alive".
Hitchens supports this by drawing attention to
Orwell's work with the Freedom Defence Committee
and his opposition to attempts to purge political
extremists from the Civil Service. The Freedom
Defence Committee was founded in 1945 to deal
with infringements of civil liberties. Orwell was its
Vice Chairman. In March 1948 Orwell wrote a letter
to George Woodcock, editor of literary journal Now
and secretary of the committee, in which he asked,
"is the Freedom Defence Committee taking up any
position about this ban on communists and fascists?"
Naturally he reserved the right to attack
crypto-Bolsheviks and fellow travellers too. He'd
suffered in Spain at the hands of the Stalinists and
ended up on the run from their secret police,
sleeping on building sites in Barcelona. But he was
fair in so far as he gave people like Konni Zilliacus, a
Bolshevik-inclined Labour MP, the credit they
deserved, arguing that Zilliacus was "sincere if not

hydrarchist writes: The following review was published as a web exclusive from Mute Magazine, an excellent London-based mag covering 'Culture and Politics After the Net.'Recently they shifted from a bimonthly to a biannual production schedule and thus will be making more use of their website. Check them out. Simon Ford is author of "Realization and Suppression of the Situationist International An Annotated Bibliography, 1972-1990," (AK Press, 1994),

Three Recent Books on The Situationist International

by Simon Ford

More than any other post-war avant-garde organisation the Situationist International (SI) has been, until very recently, very poorly served by a mythologizing and historically lazy discourse of hagiography and wilful misunderstanding. There are signs, however, that SI studies are changing and with these changes some interesting dilemmas are emerging, illustrated by the contrasting tones of three recent books on the SI: The Tribe by Jean-Michel Mension, The Consul by Ralph Rumney and Guy Debord and the Situationist International edited by Tom McDonough.

Maurice Nadeau Reviews Surrealist Subversions

Maurice Nadeau, now 90, is one of France’s most esteemed literary critics, noted especially for his pioneering 1945 Histoire du surrealisme (warning: R. Shattuck’s English translation is severely bowdlerized), and his important autobiography. For many years Nadeau has edited La Quinzaine litteraire, a biweekly roughly comparable to the New York Review of Books but much more radical. Although the paper almost never notices books in languages other than French, the issue of 16-31 December (No. 844) devotes a third of a page to Nadeau’s review of the new Autonomedia book Surrealist Subversions. Here is the substance of that review:

Tactical Reality Dictionary:

Cultural Intelligence and Social Control

Konrad Becker, edition selene, Vienna, 2002

(distributed by Autonomedia)

Reviewed by McKenzie Wark

Konrad Becker -- a contributor to nettime since
its earliest incarnations, offers this remarkable
little lexicon as a field manual for constructing
'tactical' realities. These just might be the worm
holes through which to wriggle out of the
consensual hallucination of global corporate
media domination, in this era when the front line
has mutated "from cold war to code war." (11)

Netocracy: The New Power Elite and Life After Capitalism

By Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist

Reuters, London, 2002

Reviewed by McKenzie Wark

I wouldn't usually give a second look to yet
another book plopping off the business press
about the 'new economy' -- but this one is a bit
different. I don't know if it is because the authors
are Swedish, or have a strange taste for Deleuzian
philosophy, but this book stands out in dissenting
from the usually hyper-liberal rhetoric of liberation
through technology mixed with markets. While it
has some of the rhetorical excesses of the business
book genre -- 'trends and counter-trends' -- it has
a synthetic power not usually found among the
suit and Powerpoint crowd.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

The Molecular Invasion

By Critical Art Ensemble

Autonomedia, New York, 2002

Reviewed by McKenzie Wark

Percy Schmeiser is a Canadian canola (or rapeseed)
farmer who was sued by Monsanto, the St. Louis
based agribusiness giant, for infringing on its
patents. Monsanto owns a kind of canola seed that
is resistant to its own famous brand of herbicide,
Round Up. Many farmers use Round Up, including
Schmeiser. Usually, you have to spray it on your
fields before planting, as it kills everything. But
with Monsanto's patented seeds, you can spray it
on the crops without killing them.

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