Mar 292011

A Critique of State Socialism (Michael Bakunin and Richard Warren)

NOW AVAILABLE!  A limited edition (100 copies) of A Critique of State Socialism by Michael Bakunin (with illustrations and commentary by the extraordinarily talented artist Richard Warren). Long out of print, this new edition clearly shows how Bakunin’s classic critique of state socialism — that all statist approaches to social change are doomed to authoritarian results — composed a century and a half ago, was borne out by the events of the 20th century. Just as Bakunin’s concerns about power-hungry socialists and communists proved prescient, this comic retains its value today, when new politicians and parties are attempting to co-opt popular movements. (ISBN 978-1-873976-45-6, £12.00 inc p+p. Available from both ChristieBooks and Central Books)

The Mark of Cain (2001 — Alix Lambert) see FILMS

 Documentaries, Films, Justice, Prisons, Russia, Society  Comments Off on The Mark of Cain (2001 — Alix Lambert) see FILMS
Mar 282011

The Mark of Cain (Russian – English subtitles), a feature-length documentary by Alix Lambert, is an exploration of life in The Zone, a term for the Stalinist Gulag, the Russian prison system, and chronicles the vanishing practice and language of Russian Criminal Tattoos. Filmed in some of Russia’s most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the documentary traces the animus of the flowers of this carnal art by way of the brutality of its origins – the penitentiary and the criminal environment. Through interviews with inmates, family members and prison officials, Lambert paints a grim picture. Life in any prison is tough, but the conditions recorded by Lambert are barely credible with cells  so overcrowded that inmates must agree on who will stand and who will sleep. Lambert does a great job of imparting to us the importance of The Thieves Tradition of the caste system, without which arbitrary clashes would surely take a toll. From the Downcasts to the Godfather-esque Thieves-in-the-Law, inmate skins boast markings that measure a man’s provenance – a second passport stamped with crimes committed and sentences served. The quality of the artwork is surprising, considering that the tattooing must be completed covertly with nothing more than a customized electric razor.The ageing generation of inmates offers observations that are cross-cultural. They frown upon the newer generation of inmates buying, rather than earning, the ink intended draw the required respect.The Mark of Cain stamps an honour and order to an otherwise caged chaos.

See also FILMS:  TATTOO (1976 — John Samson)

Sex in Chains — Geschlecht in Fesseln – Die Sexualnot der Gefangenen (1928 – Wilhelm Dieterle) see FILMS

 Drama, Germany, Prisons, Sexuality, Society  Comments Off on Sex in Chains — Geschlecht in Fesseln – Die Sexualnot der Gefangenen (1928 – Wilhelm Dieterle) see FILMS
Mar 282011

Sex in Chains — Geschlecht in Fesseln (Silent w/English intertitles): ‘A young man is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to a term in prison. There he forms a close relationship with his cellmate and upon his release his wife is concerned as to how prison has changed the man she married. Brimming with visual invention and breathless erotic angst, Sex in Chains uniquely combines gorgeous cinematic craftsmanship with bold subject matter. Made at the peak of the German silent era, Sex in Chains defines the Weimar era artistic freedom that would shortly fall prey to the Nazis. An astonishing mixture of love story, socially conscious exposé and lurid melodrama, Sex in Chains assuredly balances tender romance with candid erotica and uninhibited imagination with crisp realism.’ See FILMS

Dario Fo — Morte accidentale di un anarchico — Accidental Death of An Anarchist (2003) – see FILMS

 Anarchism in Italy, Events, Italy, repression, Strategy of Tension, Theatre  Comments Off on Dario Fo — Morte accidentale di un anarchico — Accidental Death of An Anarchist (2003) – see FILMS
Mar 252011

Pinelli — Flavio Costantini

Morte accidentale di un anarchico (English trans.) è una delle commedie più note di Dario Fo, vincitore del Premio Nobel per la letteratura nel 1997, rappresentata per la prima volta il 5 dicembre 1970 a Varese da Fo e il suo gruppo teatrale “La Comune”.

La commedia è dedicata alla “morte accidentale”, come ironicamente ricorda il titolo stesso, dell’anarchico Giuseppe Pinelli, avvenuta al commissariato di Polizia di Milano in circostanze inizialmente non chiare, poi archiviate dai un’indagine della magistratura come un caso di malore attivo, il 15 dicembre 1969, cadendo dalla finestra del quarto piano durante il suo interrogatorio. A seguito della violenta campagna politica che ne seguì fu ucciso il commissario di polizia Luigi Calabresi.

See FILMS: Il filo della memoria ; Storia Stragi di Stato — Tre ipotesi sulla morte di Pinelli ; L’Orchestre Noir — The Strategy of Tension ; Italian Fascism ; Gladio 1 ; Gladio 2 ; Gladio 3 ; NATO’s Secret Armies ; Piazza Fontana 2 anni dopo ; Prendiamoci la vita 1 ; Prendiamoci la vita 2 (1968-1978) ; Nella perduta citta di Sarzana ; Gli anarchici nella Resistenza; D’Amore’ e D’ Anarchia ; Rome, Open City ; Ostia ; Il Conformista ; 7 Beauties ; Antonio Ruju ; Rumore di fondo-Storie di semplici resistenti ; Controstoria Rossa Partigiani ; Sera tutti sovversivi – a Franco Serantini; Franco Leggio: An anarchist of Ragusa ; Libera, my love – Libera, amore mio ; Men of Marble –  Carrara ; Salvatore Giuliano ; The Leopard – 1 ; The Mystery of Oberwald

TEXTS: Stefano delle Chiaie: Portrait of a Black Terrorist ; Pinelli and the Piazza Fontanta — Italy’s Cold War ;

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Historic Memory? — Plus ça change …

 Neo-Fascism, Politics, Spain  Comments Off on Historic Memory? — Plus ça change …
Mar 232011

Is this the young Felipe González Márquez (born 5 March 1942), General Secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and the longest-serving Prime Minister of Spain, who served four successive mandates from 1982 to 1996? The above photograph originally appeared in the book ‘FALANGE‘ (Esfera de los Libros), but has been withdrawn from the second edition. Strange, eh?

Mar 152011

Hispanist historian Professor Paul Preston talks about his forthcoming, long-awaited new book (September 2011): The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination during the Civil War and After (El holocausto español. Odio y exterminio en la Guerra Civil y después), a definitive account of the murders and massacres of civilians that took place during and after the Spanish Civil War, which remains a sensitive and controversial topic three-quarters of a century after the start of the war.

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Mar 152011

The Chicago Conspiracy (see FILMS) is a documentary three years in the making by Subversive Action Films. The project was filmed in Chile, and the story extends into the Mapuche indigenous lands of Wallmapu. The concept for the film was born with the death of a former military dictator. We celebrated in the streets of Santiago with thousands of people after hearing the news: General Augusto Pinochet was dead. His regime murdered thousands and tortured tens of thousands after the military coup on September 11, 1973. We celebrated both his death and the implication that the political and economic system which put him in power might itself be mortal. We began this documentary with the death of a dictator, but we continue with the legacy of a dictatorship.

The Chicago Conspiracy takes its name from the approximately 25 Chilean economists who attended the University of Chicago and other prestigious universities beginning in the 1960s to study under the neoliberal economists Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger. After embracing Friedman’s neoliberal ideas, these economists returned to assist Pinochet’s military regime in imposing free market policies. They privatised nearly every aspect of society, and Chile soon became a classic example of free market capitalism under the barrel of a gun.

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Mar 142011

Este panfleto audiovisual (SEE FILMS — ¿Por que Anarquistas?) realizado por el Grupo Anarquistas Rosario en el año 2010 ofrece un breve pero efectivo acercamiento a los fundamentos centrales sobre los que se han formado las críticas y las propuestas del movimiento anarquista. Remarcar una visión del mundo opuesta a la de la burguesía dominante implica poner en cuestión los pilares que la sostienen: el capitalismo, los gobiernos y la religión, haciendo hincapié en la necesidad de comprender su interrelación como partes indivisibles dentro de una totalidad. Hoy como ayer es imprescindible la existencia de herramientas como esta producción que reafirma la incansable denuncia sobre la farsa de que un buen capitalismo es posible, la farsa detrás de las diferencias ideológicas de los distintos gobiernos y sectores políticos, detrás de la salvación religiosa, de los medios de comunicación… es por lo tanto que este video al repasar las posiciones críticas básicas sostenidas por los y las anarquistas, demuestra la vigencia que éstas tienen en la actualidad y que continuarán conservando en tanto este orden de cosas no se revierta de una vez y para siempre. PDF (en español)

Contacto:  Email:

On Modern Servitude – (2009 by Jean-François Brient et Victor León Fuentes) see FILMS

 Anarchist ideas, Lecture, Polemic  Comments Off on On Modern Servitude – (2009 by Jean-François Brient et Victor León Fuentes) see FILMS
Mar 122011

‘The declared aim of the film On Modern Servitude is to reveal man’s condition as a modern slave within the context of the totalitarian mercantile system, and to illustrate the forms of mystification masking his servile condition. Its purpose is to attack, head on, the dominant world organisation and to offer an accurate critique of the society we must combat. This film is, above all, a militant tool whose purpose is to inspire the greatest number of people to question themselves and to spread this criticism to where it has had no access …’

Jean-François Brient et Victor León Fuentes

See also (FILMS): Five Steps To Tyranny (2001 – Elizabeth McIntyre and Sheena McDonald); Judgement at Nuremberg ; On Modern Servitude

TEXTS (PDF) The Politics of Obedience – the Politics of Voluntary Servitude by Étienne de la Boétie ; God and the State by Mikhael Bakunin

Mar 112011

The incomparable Sam Dolgoff: housepainter, anarchist/wobblie, public speaker and author; perhaps the last in the long line of self-educated workers. Writer of such works as the  THE ANARCHIST COLLECTIVES, Dolgoff was also a real story teller and jokester. A close friend of Italian anarchist, Carlo Tresca, Dolgoff is a critically important link to the immigrant anarchist movement. Died in 1990. This short interview segment is from 16mm negative, probably shot around 1978/1979 for Pacific Street Film‘s FREE VOICE OF LABOR (Freie Arbeiter Stimme) The lecture was at the old Libertarian Book Club; a “clubhouse,” so to speak for any number of Jewish, Italian and Spanish anarchists. Great place! How this 16mm negative wound up on two 3/4″ tapes is a mystery. Note, Steve Fischler doing sound. See FILMS

Anarchist Film Archives Project