Next week we’ll kick off October by beginning what will hopefully end up being a complete reading over the coming months of a true classic: Raoul Vaneigem’s The Revolution of Everyday Life. One of the high water marks of Situationism, a profound influence on “second-wave”/type 3 anarchisms, and an under-acknowledged example of egoist thought, this is a reading I’m very stoked to discuss with all of you. Each and every page of this text gives us ample material to unpack, so for this first reading let’s go from the introduction through the first section of “The Impossibility of Participation: Humiliation” — in other words, stopping at the section titled “Isolation”. Looking forward to hearing everybody’s thoughts on this seminal howl of revolt and refusal!
The Berkeley Anarchist Study Group (aka BASTARD: Berkeley Anarchist Students [of] Attack, Revolt, & Destruction) is one of the longest running (if not the longest running) anarchist reading groups in North America. We meet every Tuesday night from 7:30-9:30pm PST (note the new time!) at The Long Haul (3124 Shattuck Ave in Berkeley).
New participants are always encouraged to stop by regardless of your familiarity with anarchist ideas or practices. We warmly welcome newcomers and encourage them to make the group their own in the same manner we all do. To this effect, we endeavor to cultivate a convivial and gregarious atmosphere where everyone can contribute in whatever ways and to whatever degree they each desire. We do not, however, incorporate fixed practices aimed at creating an artificial “safe space” or prioritize the voices of certain participants as a way of ostensibly bringing about contrived parity amongst ourselves. We have no membership, no responsibilities, and no codes of behavior. In lieu of spurious standards for relating to each other, we look to every participant to find a balance between making their voice heard and hearing those of the rest of the group, between disagreeing passionately with each other and accepting our divergences without necessarily needing to resolve them. In summary, we eschew inflexible precepts for interaction and instead embrace spontaneous and honest dialogue, while leaving it up to each individual to make their voice heard and utilize the group as they see fit.
The study group organizes an annual gathering called the BASTARD Conference. This DIY event consists of informal, autodidactic presentations on anarchy and anarchists, presented by participants in the study group along with friends, guests, and accomplices from around the world.
In addition, this group has acted as a launching point for many texts, projects, and actions in its three decades of existence. Many attendees have been and continue to be integrally involved in projects which have left enduring impacts on international anarchist milieus over the years.
We pick readings for the coming week at the end of each session, after which they will be posted here. If you have a text you’d like to suggest, come pitch it to the group, but please be ready to kick off the following week’s conversation by introducing & sharing your reasons for choosing it.
If any of this sparks your interest or curiosity, then come join us every Tuesday evening from 7:30-9:30pm at The Long Haul (3124 Shattuck Ave in Berkeley). Email birdsoffire [at] riseup [dot] net with any questions. We hope to see you soon!
Walk expropriating and igniting!
Always leaving behind me howls of moral offenses
and smoking trunks of old things.
For the annihilation of all authority!
For the refusal of all submission!
Toward the beautiful idea of anarchy!