What's New with LBC - Spring of 2017
These are exciting times in the anarchist space. There have been a number of great events on the west coast over the past few months (including the Nah Fair in LA, the OCAB, and we even remember our own EBAB event in December). The change in administration has been productive in the anarchist space with many new media and activist projects announced. Some of our local friends have even started a weekly news podcast on the anarchist space that you can find at the Anews podcast.
LBC is continuing on with our new, lighter schedule. This year will include about half as many titles as last year, a new issue of Black Seed this summer, and some upcoming surprises. You can learn more about us in our own self-critical review of the past few years, out this quarter. Feel free to download the LBC Review for your amusement and edification.
An Inquiry into the Causes and Nature of the Misery of People - by Jean-Pierre Voyer
For years I have been looking for something that discusses a substantial critique of Marx and his "little perpetual motion machine" of value theory and monopoly on discussions around the economy. I have lost many friends to this sticky wicket and wanted something to drain the pitch.
Little did I know that just such a title was written in the 1970s and that there was a movement against the economy (or economic thinking) even then. This is that title I was looking for, and (if I were to hope) this is the first in a series of attacks against the Marxist ideological program.
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Misery of People takes on, among other classic economists, Adam Smith, whose masterpiece is alluded to in Voyer's title. For the first time, and in a systematic fashion, Voyer shows: 1) that the economy doesn't exist except as a false idea and practice on the part of our enemies; 2) that in our world communication, the most human of human acts, is what commodities do, not what people do, and 3) that there is no such thing as exchange value vs. use value, that there is only value, which is the language of abstraction that commodities speak to each other without the slaves who transport these commodities participating in the discussion.
For more information - An Inquiry into the Causes and Nature of the Misery of People - By Jean-Pierre Voyer
The Wandering of Humanity - by Jacques Camatte
If the seventies were good for anything it was the general shared attitude of doing the work to move beyond the revolutionary movements that predated the sixties. Instead of Western Marxism we had the Years of Lead, the rise of Autonomous politics, and the birth of a green anarchistic position that learned from the Situationists.
This essay, born of that time, was originally published by Black and Red press. As the most recent issue of Fifth Estate informs us this title (like a few others we haven't gotten around to yet) are "out of print, [but] their relevance hasn't lessened with the passing years. It is hoped there is interest in republishing them."
We have heard this call. Our respect for the work of Lorraine (and Fredy) Perlman's work knows no bounds. Their work is similar enough to our work that we haven't found the difference yet (and we've been looking). This text, much like the Manual for Revolutionary Leaders will stay in print as long as we are able.
The horrorshow that Camatte describes in this essay is what we experience in daily life under the regime of capitalism and the last gasps of the nation-state. We suffer not under the boot of authority but under the boring, boring, boring of the beautiful people and their problems and under the observation of participation.
The non-living becomes autonomous—and triumphs. Death in life: Hegel had intuited it, Nietzsche described it, Rainer Maria Rilke sang about it, Freud almost institutionalized it (the death instinct), Dada exhibited it as buffoon art, and the “fascists" exalted it: “Long live death." The U.S. feminist movement has individualized it: The male likes death—it excites him sexually and, already dead inside, he wants to die. The autonomy of form affects all aspects of life dominated by capital. Knowledge is valid only if it is formalized, if it is emptied of content. Absolute knowledge is tautology realized; it is dead form deployed over all knowledge. Science is its systematization; epistemology is its redundancy.
For more information - The Wandering of Humanity - By Jacques Camatte
The 2017 LBC Review
We have a few journal projects that we produce, some of them directly. Last year we skipped the production of this review that goes over some of our thinking behind the titles we publish. So this year we wanted to cover the 24 months we missed. The result is over 200 pages of writing about our titles, and excerpts from the past twenty odd books, seven journals, and associated papers and ephemera we have published.
The crazy thing about publishing is that along with producing written material we also get to be at the center of untold numbers of dramas, usually other people's, but also about our own infamy and abomination, irrelevance and detachment, decrepitude and unhipness. This is part of the project of producing unpopular anarchist material at a time when anarchists are on the cusp of broader, real world, relevance. Even as a flood of new documentaries and media projects highlight what is easy to digest about anarchists we will continue our engagement with the ideas and problems that are central to our interest in the continuing Beautiful Idea.
As publishers, LBC was born in the same maelstrom as Occupy; our first book in 2012 was Occupy Everything and concerned that incoherent moment. As the editor, what I left out of that book was an analysis of what was ahead, especially for anarchists. Since 2012 anarchist political practice has lacked creativity. It could be said that anarchism has always been a cyclical political phenomenon, but there are, arguably, dedicated anarchist partisans who are doing the work of making the frequency shorter and the amplitude higher. This has been the functional goal of LBC, which has had marginal success. We have impacted certain conversations, not exactly as intended, nor as the situation needed, but--to our capacity--we have tried in our way to be free (nod to Cohen).
During the next five years we will be producing fewer new titles. This will give us the time to find and polish titles that are more focused on the conversations we find most timely and important. Another piece of the work that we will now have time to emphasize is finding audiences for some of the material that we have already published. since a number of our titles deserve more attention than they've received so far. We will now have time to fill in some of the spaces between the incendiary markers we've produced. Some things have changed over the past five years. Publishing books is one long-term way to be part of those changes. What are other ways? We hope to now have the time to take our experience and critique and engage in the way that social relationships (for example) have changed.
Recent LBC Titles & Distro items
- Anarchist Speculations - The writings of John Moore
- Atassa: Readings in eco-extremism
- Anarchy & Nietzsche
- Elpis Journal - A Journal of Pessimistic writing
- Feral Consciousness
- Killing King Abacus collection
- Reprints from the UK Do or Die - Cracks in a Grey Sky
- 100 years of anarchist attacks - Smert Za Smert
- A collection of essays seeking the abolition of work - Abolish Work - Edited by Nick Ford
- Ardent Press Coloring Book
- To the Customers - The first severe critique of the Appelistas
- Blessed is the Flame - A great introduction to nihilism set in the context of concentration camp resistance
- Is Space the Place? Yes/No - A book that asks and answers the question of man & space travel
New LBC t-shirt
After several years we have finally got ourselves a silkscreen setup. Here are some shirts.
Become an Intern
We have a living space (and good company) to offer someone who wants to intern with us and work on exciting anarchist projects for three months starting in late 2017. Contact us at our primary email for more information and logistics.
Want to help?
Are you in the Bay Area and would you like to help make LBC projects happen? Drop us a line.
Are you a writer?
Send manuscript proposals to us at info@lbc
Politics is the enemy of anarchy, and it knows it.
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