Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mutualist Library and Blazing Star Library

Kevin Carson has announced a new project, a digital Mutualist Library:

I envisioned it as a CD-Rom reference library of the major texts of individualist anarchism, its precursors (Paine, Godwin, Hodgskin, etc.), and fellow travellers (Henry George, the panarchists, etc.). I'd also like to include as much of the late stuff as possible by members of the Tucker circle, like Yarros and Swartz. And of course, out of sheer vanity, I'll throw in a pdf of Mutualist Political Economy.
A number of active mutualists have been discussing an intensification of our archiving activities, and there is the constant frustration of having so many of mutualism's key texts scarce and difficult to access. And we are making progress in getting texts online. But there's still a lot that either isn't available electronically or is tucked away in places we haven't found yet. Kevin's post is a call to everyone interested in mutualism:

A project like this will require a distributed scanning network to fill in some of those gaps. I don't have a scanner, myself, although I'll probably be in the market for one in the next few months. In the meantime, I'm more than willing to put in the sweat equity editing the raw files from anyone else's scanning efforts.
I'll keep working away at the works of William B. Greene, and I'm contemplating trying to coordinate an online archive of The Word, the individualist anarchist paper published by Ezra Heywood. I have actually started in on some of Stephen Pearl Andrews' universological writings as well, but need to tackle some formatting issues before that can all be presented effectively. (Andrews and Warren both experimented with odd page layouts.)

I also want to announce a new line of limited edition, hand-assembled hardcover collections of mutualist material. The Blazing Star Library will begin, early in 2006, with a brief (150 or so page) biography of William B. Greene, tentatively titled A Rather Thoroughgoing Heretic, and a collection of Greene's early writings and related texts which I will be using in the first Mutual School course, starting in January. I intend to reprint as much of Greene's work as possible, along with the banking writings of William Beck, Edward Kellogg, and Alfred Westrup. I am also working (slowly, but working nonetheless) on some translations of Pierre Leroux's writings, and will make those available in a set of éditions inexactes. If there are interested parties out there really fluent in French and interested in translating some of the as-yet-untranslated works by Proudhon and others, that would be grand. In the meantime, we'll make do as best we can.

It seems to me that interest in mutualism is on the rise, and that it wouldn't hurt that trend at all if we made 2006 a sort of banner year for mutualist archiving and translation.

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