I forgot to say in my last letter that the New York IWW Arts Branch was organized by Mel Most, an old-time anarchist now sadly forgotten, Judith Malina and Hannon Reznikov, and Bob Fass. Mel suddenly died, and that took the wind out of our sails. A movie about Bob Fass was recently released (I missed it but heard it was good). Hannon died young… Judith is still going strong, heading for 90! Thanks for reprinting the article from The Storm, great individualist mag edited by Mark Sullivan, several issues co-edited by
Peter Lamborn Wilson
Good article on unions. I agree—and have been a member of several over the years, including a short-lived IWW Arts Branch in NYC, with members of the Living Theater and WBAI (Pacifica). It’s no accident that Stirner spoke of a union of self-owning ones as the only possible strong (or even militant) organizational form for individualist anarchists. Our Italian Leftwing Stirnerite guru “Brand” Arrigoni used to say the same, as did George Sorel (before he lurched to the Right). See also Bob Black’s excellent article on the IWW in the new magazine Modern Slavery. Unfortunately we now seem to be nearly as far removed from the possibility of a real radical labor union, as from Proudhon’s Mutualism or Landauer’s version of Kropotkin’s anarcho-federalism. As the whole Movement of the Social appears moribund, no other organizational form seems possible for us but the “gang”—or as I once tried to put it more elegantly—the Tong. But how to organize a “secret society” in an age without secrecy (a.k.a. privacy)? Anarchist anthropologists like David Graeber and James C Scott talk about reversion to “earlier” economic forms such as swidden gardening—or even “the Gift”—but I sense no willingness amongst modern anarchists to embrace the luddism which would be required to “leave Civilization behind” to any real extent. Individual revolt alone seems to remain possible—every moment lived outside the Technopathocracy is an act of propaganda by the deed.
Peter Lamborn Wilson