Book Club

This board needs to read more, and something besides a low traffic sticky is needed. To this end I think we need to revive the Zig Forums reading group, this time without titofag being the only guy who read anything. We can start off with some basic texts of anarchism and marxism, then move on to more specfic stuff.

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in hindsight, What is Property was not the best of books to pick as the second one, considering its long, arduous and not very relevant to us due to its liberal-idealist perspective. interesting in its own way, though.
if that one person who wanted my notes is still around, I'm sorry to tell that it's going to take a long long while for me to finish, prob early next year at the earliest sorry
maybe some entry-level book on anarchism would be a good place to start this time.

How about Bakunin?

I nominate The Ego and It's Own, since we have so many people misusing the term "spook."

Didn't even notice it was a get.
Yeah, recommending that was a mistake on my part as Proudhon isn't relevant to current anarchists, who significantly broke with Proudhon by the time Bakunin was the face of anarchism.

While Bakunin is under read to an unfortunate extent, not enough of his short work has been translated to english and the more relevant things are pretty long. Malatesta has some good and short stuff and is also under read, so initially I'd gravitate towards his work.

This and Stirner's critics should be read by anyone before they say spook.

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How about some Kropotkin? I’ve read the Conquest of Bread but wouldn’t mind doing it again. I haven’t read anything else by him

ignore shitposting flag

Anti-civilization reading list (in order):
❥ Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord,
❥ Future Primitive by John Zerzan,
❥ Elements of Refusal by John Zerzan,
❥ Running on Emptiness by John Zerzan,
❥ Against His-Story, Against Leviathan! by Fredy Perlman,
❥ Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau,
❥ other works by John Zerzan (especially the ones on postmodernism and symbolic culture),
❥ to laugh at, Ted Kaczynski's works (preferably Technological Slavery).

How is that anti-civ?
I've been meaning to read Against His-story… for a long time now, if you are doing that I'll join.

I read 4 chapters and that's it… it's a tad bit too long (and I have little time), though it's actually very very interesting and beautifully written. Fredy Perlman sure knows how to write.
As to Society of the Spectacle, it's a critique of mediation, which I treat as an introduction to the rather extremist and experimental branches of civilization critique (critique of language, art, etc.)


I just finished Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism. It's about 70 pages and it takes less than two hours to read. I liked it and I think there is a lot to discuss from it. Especially cause it touches on some issues that are discussed here, like mental illness, postmodernism, liberalism, etc.

Checked. Also here's Bookchin on the study group:

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I remember this, isn't this just rereading basic literature?

Agreed, except let's not waste time on anarchist or other utopian texts and just stick to the scientifically relevant stuff. I'd propose some pamphlets by Marx/Engels ("Value Price and Profit", "Critique of the Gotha Programme", "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific", "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State", …) as well as Lenin's main texts. Perhaps some more challenging stuff like Gramsci and Althusser would be interesting.

i second a revival of the reading group.

that was me. don't worry about finished notes, sometimes unfinished notes are interesting too. its not a big deal either way since i currently dont have plans to read proudhon.

I second this. Something short would be a good text to begin with.

This seems really interesting actually, it coud definitely provoke some relevant discussions. Thirded

Reading is hard though :(

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Oi, you got a license for that TV mate?

OP here, I figure for the starting list we need introductory and core texts for anarchism while for marxism I'm going by the logic of "read Marx (and Engles) not Marxists" and relatively short for the initial offerings. To that end I've got
Value Price and Profit + Wage Labor and Capital + Critique of the Gotha Program (short pamplets/speeches but important for understanding Marx)
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific
What is Anarchism?
At the Cafe
God and the State
Feel free to add more suggestions. I did not include Capital because it is long, but it should be read sometime in the future.

He's alright, but Mutual Aid or The State is probably a better read than Conquest if Bread, if only because the bread book has been memed about to the point that it is the first choice people would go to. Something to keep in mind with Kropotkin that a substantial amount of his work is concerned about how a revolutionary society would manage itself in his immediate time, as he seemingly believed the revolution was right around the corner. This isn't bad in itself, but some of what he says isn't necessarily applicable to our present circumstances. Also wikipedia has a link to a list of his pamphlets across various libraries that make decent short reads, that's something most anons could do on their own with maybe 10 minutes each.

It's been a while since I've read it and Zero books are often of dubious quality, but fuck it why not.

It is, but it's a lot like working out in that after you incorporate it into a routine it gets much easier. If you're having issues just start with 30 minutes a day, don't worry about understanding everything like a theory wizard at first just make sure you read.

Just because it is called a book club, you don't have to limit yourselves to actual books. Bakunin has lots of fragments translated that are well worth a read but are not found in any books. For example, the following is a nice read that is worth discussing:

I would be up to reading anything though, as long as there's someone to discuss it with.

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Reading books is the substitutes for theory.
Reading books is the opposite of theory.

You should read this tiny book, whoever you are. Or find the pdf if it suits you best.

An account from a Holocaust survivor and psychologist. On suffering and self-determination

"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl

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What about having two things at once - one book and one pamphlet? That way there's different reading levels. We'd cycle through pamphlets faster but since that stuff is for newfags people would move on to the bigger texts.

Spitballing here: what if we make a list of pamphlets and put those on rotation, say 1 per week? While those are rotating we can also have the current book going through, say, 1 chapter per week. Then when that book is done or near done we can do a poll to see what book to do next. If people want to change what pamphlets to have in rotation we can vote whether to add or remove individual ones.

The examples in the pic are jokes.

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No thanks. Suggestion discarded.

What? Why?
What would you recommend to start with? I liked what I read from Guérin's No Gods No Masters.

What does everyone think of this Cockshott book?

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There's a substantial amount of Bakunin's work that isn't translated or hasn't survived the decades. In addition there's not many secondary sources that are good.
There was no anarchist equivalent of the USSR's institutes that vigorously translated every bit of Marx they could they find, so to get it translated and published would either require profit motive or someone capable of translation having a passion. The former doesn't exist because the translation costs and anarchists pirate everything anyways, while the latter requires the qualities of skill, interest, endurance, and free time that is very rare to find.

I agree, I just said book club because it sounds nicer than reading group.

Alright I'd like to start by Sunday. We'll be doing the works listed here initially starting with some short Marx to get us freshed up on capitalism. So start reading Value Price and Profit + Wage Labor and Capital + Critique of the Gotha Program by Sunday and we'll discuss it over the next week.

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Here are copies for the lazy. These are good to read now and then because they contain useful arguments to hit liberals with. I'm still waiting for someone to own Jordan Peterson by quoting Critique of the Gotha Programme making the same basic arguments about "equality of outcome" that he does, thinking he's owning Marx.

We should read Bordiga.

uh why don't we like, let the group decide what it wants to read rather than following a list you pulled out of your butt?

Kermit the Fraud is never going to get in such a debate.

I didn't see any poll or other voting mechanism and wanted to get started on some basic/fundamental reading.

Is vinterflamma the hottest girl on left twitter? Who are the others?

It's always these same three texts by Marx, it's so fucking boring.

Solicitations are open my nigga, suggest what you want to read.

Here's a that you can add custom options to. Let's pick the top, I dunno, dozen? If someone wants to change/remove/swap/add they can post about it. I added a handful of shit already.

Ted Kaczynski > John Zerzan. Prove me wrong (Protip: You can't)

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What does Zig Forums think of Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How? Also checked.

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Well it's short. IMO if we have a "basic" or "entry level" list the texts should be under 100 pages. Maybe even combine shorter ones into a single session like with the three basic Marx books.

I added Mark Fisher - Capitalist Realism to the poll. I suggested it here
. It's a contemporary work that talks about some of the issues that pertain to us ans what we discuss on Zig Forums. People can read Marx in their free time. What's the point of 'discussing' Marx when most of the things we'll talk about can be looked up in a Marx companion book or has been talked about on /marx/.

I love Mutual Aid and the rest of Kropotkin but I think we should stop discussing 120+ year old works. Read them, by all means, but if we're gonna have a book club we should discuss contemporary leftist works.

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Looks like each user only gets 1 addition and I wasted mine on the Unabomber. If people want to add some but can't we can always make a new poll though.

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Many anons haven't read them while /marx/ is slow and is predominantly ML/Dengist.
I think we should do both, given that how those century old works are the basis on which our movement is built on an understanding of such, even if only to analyze what doesn't work or apply to us, is vital to understanding our current predicament.

Well, it's a book club, not a study group.

Let me expand on this. I think the point of a book club shouldn't be to read the works directly to 'learn', but to read stuff that uses those concepts to talk about other things so as to make the reader then go look into those concepts further, or read about those concepts directly.

To me, that is the difference between a book club and a study group.


Current submissions by votes

I don't think there's much difference between a book club and study group user, but if you want to read something besides the same Marx texts please reccomend some stuff and we'll go for it. If I'm being honest I mostly included those because I don't think many anons have read/understood them and because if more than half the recommendations were by anarchists/libcoms certain people would throw a fit.

I did. I'm the one suggesting Capitalist Realism.

The top 4 (all with 4 votes)

I'd be fine if OP picked any of the above.

I think we should leave it up to a vote, I want this to be a group by the readers and for the readers. Having thought about what said, I think we should go for God and the State or Capitalist Realism for the first entry. In addition I think we need to make a new Zig Forums core reading list so any newcomers to the board/socialism can have a decent entry into classic works concerning the common ideologies of the socialist movement.

I changed my vote to the Gotha Program to break the tie. When do we end the poll?

For a regular poll for the next text, probably end it whenever we're supposed to have read the previous one by. If we're supposed to read a book by Sunday then that's when the poll closes. For this one I don't know how many votes we're gonna get. Critique of the Gotha Programme is short anyway and it's not like the first one has to be perfect. More important to get going. We can always change the process later.

I agree. Like I suggested here I think we should have a couple lists for different reading levels. Some good standard short works to get people started, some longer core works, and then some lesser known stuff to expand our theory. The shorter stuff is also good for us to start with to get people in and to figure out the process.

For one thing, Kaczynski fiddles with sources in that essay and is explicitly anti-tech so he’ll go long cheating ways to “prove” his point.
For another, Kaczynski doesn’t exactly prove technology is bad, he just wraps it around in weird nonexistent shit like the power process or whatever.

Zerzan, on the other hand provides great critique of civilization and many other things using coherent, well-sourced arguments. Kaczynski’s critique of anarcho-primitivism resorts to:


Found these lists. Can we build a reading list from these?

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What makes you think the power process is nonexistent?

I'm gonna call the poll tomorrow around 5 PM central burger time.

Yeah, but I think a lot needs to be cut out and reorganized.

Oh no doubt it needs reorganization. I just thought it might help with our lack of suggestions.

I've started God and the State, will probably be finished by then (taking a lot of notes). I'm actively looking for things we can use for discussion and suggest everyone else do the same too. E.g. how has modern secularism changed the relationship between God and State - how do Bakunin's ideas apply today?

There is no empirical evidence of its existance, aka Ted is making up shit in his schizo mind.
You don't need to make up shit to explain that work is alienating. You just plain don't.

They don't. There is no religion any more. The real religion is Capitalism, belief in the free market and the infallibility/naturalness/self-evidence/justice of the principle of exchange. Belief that Capitalism is the final stage of evolution of Human society, that is the real religion. That is what people need to be disarmed of, no one believes in God anymore, not really.

You should visit flyover country USA
My grandma and aunt unironically believe CBD oil is satanic and that Jesus sends them messages through Fox Nation

I agree, so apply his criticism of religion, of the vague Absolute to the belief in markets. If you had read the book you'd understand that he wasn't only talking about God as specifically envisioned by the Church and in fact he predicted that if He went away something else would replace him.

Maybe you should actually read it.

I'm not opposed to the idea.

Just to the action?

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Alright, so the poll should be closed.

Top result with 6 votes in God and the State by Bakunin.

Start posting suggestions for the next poll so we can start the next poll. Here's a sizeable list as a starting point. Once we have a big enough number of suggestions I'll make a poll.

How should we time this?
- vote for text
- read for a week, discuss
- new vote

To avoid cluttering up this thread with specific discussions, I made a thread for the first book here:

We can do this with each book or text, and I will archive them at the end.

I think we should have a week for every hundred pages or so of a text, we discuss on Sundays. For new texts we should have a poll the week before the reading period, and have it be a list of what anons reccomend in the thread along with open submissions.

Thanks user.

I'd say once we have a list to vote on, we end one poll and start the next at the same time, start discussing one text and start reading the next at the same time. All one day like Sunday. That way we do a regular smooth transition. We can start reading as soon as the poll closes.

Good idea. We should keep it to one thread for longer books unless we get to the post/bump limit.

Since I figure everyone will be done with God and the State by Sunday, we should start getting a poll together to vote on the next text and call it on 12/21/2018. I think the runner up, Capitalist Realism, should be included and any suggestions anons have would be welcome.

I recommend Kropotkin's "The State: Its Historic Role". It's about 55 pages.

OK I'll here's a list and other anons can suggest additions/removals

Sounds good to me.

Bumperino to remind everyone the poll opens on Monday and to vote. If you've finished God and the State make sure to discuss it in the thread for it here

I'll make the poll same as before and put a link in both threads.

Oh shit. I have the Freedom Books edition from the 60s. When I get back home from Christmas holidays I will scan it and upload it. If the anarchist library has a 37pg/incomplete version that means the new newest edition isn't online. But it will be!

Poll for next book

Anyone managed to get ahold of Michael Hudson's new book yet? I'm really excited to read this one.

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people sure like to vote for some old-ass texts man i tell u wut

New stuff is just starting to get written again. There was a great big dead zone of leftist theory during the Cold War. On the red side of things, there was Mao's little red book and the occasional revolutionary's memoir, and on the CIA-funded side there were the students of the Frankfurters and post-marxist intellectual wankers. Neither the Soviets nor the Americans were particularly interested in having any more class-based analysis of society.

I would really like to find a copy of Michael Harrington's Socialism: Past and Future online. I've been reading the first chapter and it's really good. He apparently was dying when he wrote it and wanted to stay alive just long enough to finish.

The polls let you add options if you have some newer texts. Last I checked Capitalist Realism was near the top.

One more day to vote, Capitalist Realism is in the lead so we may get to read the only book muke ever finished.


.when does poll end?

Today around 5pm Pacific burger time

Whelp it's official, we're reading Capitalist Realism. So get ready to enjoy the best known work of the vampire castle and suicide man as well as the only thing that transformed no book muke into one book muke. I don't have a pdf on me, so if any anons have it that would be preferable to giving a hack like Doug Lain money.

Got it. Vampire Castle as a bonus too. IMO we should try to include a PDF of the text in the OP of the discussion thread.

Reply to this post with suggestions for more so we can start the next poll soon and vote while we read.

That was done in the last thread and is good for a standard procedure. No reason not to.
I think Baboons - To The Zoo should always be included as a joke option. Other than that though I'm not sure, so far we've done a classic anarchist text and a pop-socialist one, from there I think reading up on Platformist Anarchism or Council Communism would fit the general ideology of the board but there's a lot of interesting shit out there from obscure theory to training manuals that would greatly benefit the users of this board. For my contribution put down Lenin as Philosopher, an interesting text from the less memed about leftcom that takes aim at some sacred cows.

Well the poll should always allow people to add options, but this is fine too. Kaczynski is also a good in joke.
OK. It's a short list for now. Hopefully we'll actually need to expand it from reading.

We could have multiple lists. One for essentials, one for obscure theory, one for training manuals, etc.

Ovid's Metamorphoses

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No thanks, even the smug doesn't save the post.

It's a shit book though

Capitalist Realism thread here:

Then don't read it. No one is going to force you to read anything, this is a book club for autistic communists not a cult.

What about autistic anarchists?


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Anarchists are largely communists from the platformists to the insurrectionists, the ones who aren't are some snowflake like anprims or crypto-liberals. The latter group around here is maybe one anprim and the socdem who refuses to remove the ancom flag, the communist anarchist describes the majority of anarchists who have posted here and on Zig Forums before it went to shit. I'm an anarchist communist myself and I don't think we shouldn't let certain autists lay sole claim to communism, especially considering we've been talking about it for as long as they have and many of them seem willing to abandon communism for edgy social democracy.

I'm an anarcho-communist myself. I certainly do not feel included when somebody speaks about communists and nobody really thinks of us when they do. This whole play on words, that we are somehow included in the term "communists" even though nobody actually thinks of us when it is evoked, just a trick by Marxists to monopolize the struggle for themselves. Even today, if you ask people who are the anti-capitalists, they won't say us, they will say communists. People don't know that we exist and conveniently forgetting about us while preaching about left unity is the Marxist way to make sure that it remains so.

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I'm a little confused as to why you believe ancom and Marxism are incompatible. Do you think all Marxists are ML or MLM or something?
There are DemSoc Marxists, ffs

Because they are incompatible? Marxists want a state, yes, even "DemSoc" Marxists. If you want to abolish it, you are an anarchist, yes, even if you base your theory in great part on Marx's contributions, like, for example, Bakunin did. I am not against working with Marxists, but I do not want them to appropriate anti-capitalism as something exclusive to them either, because as an anarchist I obviously do not believe them to be actually capable of abolishing capitalism. That's why I think it is important to call them out on excluding us with their stupid wordplays that keeps them relevant in the imagination of people despite them being utterly irrelevant outside of online message boards for a while now.

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