Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Notice and an Invitation

I'm finishing up my layman's introduction to Proudhon's theory of the state, for a book to be published in German, and it has been very interesting, demanding work. It has reconfirmed for me the fascinating depths of Proudhon's work, and the extent to which I've still really only begun to sound the most profound of them. It's a pleasant sort of hard work, but I admit I won't be sorry when I can put this part of it away. I suspect I will feel much the same about rest of the work for the Two-Gun Mutualism: Rearmed book. It will be a certain kind of pleasure to account for my thought in the still-conventional scholarly form (a bit of irony not lost on this unemployed bookseller) but it should be clear that what I've drawn up is the plan not just for the theoretical edifice I intend to build, but also for the fire-escape by which I fully intend to escape it when it's built. While I hope I'll be able to find a publisher for the work, and perhaps stir things up a bit on the infoshop/bookfair circuit, it's hard to ignore the fact that, so far, you all have refused pretty resolutely to be stirred, even when the work has taken me some provocative places. 

The work has, of course, been the occasion for a profound transformation of my personal understanding of a range of topics, but that's not really a reason to continue my role as reluctant anarchist sect-builder—particularly as what I've learned in becoming a "two-gun mutualism" has only deepened my distrust of the politics of political identity which seems to drive the feuds between sects (including the sects who think we should all just be one sect.)

So my expectation is that a year or so from now—however soon I can wrap up TGM: Rearmed—I'll be essentially wrapping up this blog as well, and probably transforming mutualism.info into something a little bit more organized and FAQ-like. I've had another project gradually developing for quite awhile now, dealing with revolutionary mythologies, political violence, ethics outside the context of presumed prohibition and permissibility, and the question of whether anarchism presents some new "Good News" or is purely concerned with destroying and burying the old world of authority. The first phases of that will probably begin to appear fairly soon, under the title "Dancing with Saint Ravachol," starting with a serious examination of this question:
If Ravachol could appear as anarchism's "violent Christ," then which of our sins did he die for, and what new dispensation did his execution mark?
After all, Proudhon was far from the only figure who could pose provocative questions about anarchism's key concerns, and arguably the literature surrounding "Saint Ravachol" is a fine site to begin to dig into them again in a more overtly revolutionary context. 

Part of what all of this means is that I will be in the midst of a transition, and at some point not too far down the line I will no doubt still be a "two-gun mutualist," but the focus of my research, writing and my passion in general will probably be elsewhere, in this continuation of the work to which I've committed much of the last 5+ years. So sooner, rather than later, is probably the time to come out and play, if you want to engage with the details of "the gift economy of property" and "anarchism of approximations" before they're just details relating to "my old project."

No comments: