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Backwoods: A Journal of Anarchy and Wortcunning
#1
Hello all,
I am excited to announce the publication of issue one of Backwoods, this one subtitled A Journal of Anarchy and Wortcunning. This journal evolved out of a series of conversations among the other two editors (Fera Sylvain and Thuggy Whiskers, PhD) and me about how we thought there was room for, and a need for, a third anti-civ publication in North America.

Black And Green Review and Black Seed each have their strengths and weaknesses; I am glad that both exist and have respect and admiration for the editors for their efforts in what can sometimes feel like projects for which one gets a lot of flak and little appreciation. But we felt our particular focus was not present in either, and we wanted to reach an audience that did not necessarily self-identify as anarchist or interact specifically with those milieux - specifically, we are trying to reach out to the permaculture and rewilding milieux as well as the anarchist ones.

While we will not a hold a fierce line as editors and will print things with which we do not totally agree, Backwoods has a focus on trying to live according to anti-civilization values here and now, with a suggested praxis of "desertion, autarky, and reinhabitation" - that is, withdrawing from civilization materially and psychically as much as is practical and possible; learning how to meet one's needs through foraging, horticulture, and small-group networks; and developing intimacy with one's landbase. Themes of the journal include but are not limited to: anarchy and liberation; forest gardening and tending the wild; foraging, hunting, natural building, and wild plants; exodus and evasion; ecological science, spirituality, and philosophy; slavery and civilization; existentialism and its relationship to nature; stories and advice from those actively pursuing subsistence lifeways; and technology and Luddism.

It will be print-only, though we will plug it online now and then as I am doing now. One of our editors is really pushing us to have a website that just announces the existence of the journal and gives people a contact point, so it is possible we will do that at some point - though another editor is against the journal even having an e-mail address for Luddite reasons.

Issue one is already printed and is available from both Enemy Combatant Publications (who printed it) and Little Black Cart Books. But, because this forum is populated by bona fide anti-civvers, I am happy to send a free copy to anyone on here who wants one (although it would be nice if you would toss a few bucks our way if the shipping is international, as it is expensive as hell to send stuff internationally from the U.S.), or even multiple copies if you are so cool as to want to distribute some for us. We hope you will consider subscribing to support us and to receive future issues.

The table of contents for issue one is:
An Invitation to Desertion, by Bellamy Fitzpatrick - a position piece laying out the anti-civ critique and our suggested praxis to establish the editors' position.

Subsistence and Slavery, by Fera Sylvain - a history piece showing how undermining individual and small group subsistence has long been a strategy of civilized enslavers.

"Pockets of Happiness" - a transcript of a 2014 interview by Bellamy with late permaculturist and anarchist Toby Hemenway, talking about the state of the world and what is possible in terms of liberation. I have a post-script at the end examining the interview from the current time.

A Forest Garden Primer, by Sylvia Wilde - the first in what will be an ongoing series by Sylvia giving practical advice for those interested in forest gardening - what can be done here and now to seek out subsistence outside civilization.

The Garden Path, by Kanzan Kitsune - a poetic description of a subsistence lifeway by a practicing forest gardener.

Reviews of two U.S. based permaculture periodicals by Bellamy, a review of Kaczynski's new book by Peter Lamborn Wilson, and a review of LBC's In Search of the Masterless Men by Bellamy.

Against Sustainability, by Peter Lamborn Wilson - our first backpage rant, as each issue will close with a rant against civilization. PLW's target this time is the lie of "sustainability".

Issue two will go to print this autumn, and will feature, among other pieces:

What Does the World Desire?: Anima Mundi and Its Ethical Implications (working title, may change), by Bellamy Fitzpatrick - an examination of Gaia Theory, panpsychism, and the notion that the whole biosphere may be a sentient, intentional, emergent being.

There is no such thing as renewable energy, by Alexander Dunlap - a concise takedown of the renewable energy nonsense by an anthropologist who has studied counter-insurgency and the green economy

A Forest Garden Primer, part II by Sylvia Wilde

Reviews:
Abdullah Öcalan's Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization, reviewed by Peter Lamborn Wilson
Jacque Ellul's The Technological Society, reviewed by Bellamy Fitzpatrick
Dale Pendell's The Great Bay, reviewed by Vincent Vulgare

Obviously, I am posting this here not only because I think people may be interested in reading it, but also because they may be interested in contributing. I can be contacted on here, but our mailing address is:

Backwoods
PO Box 238
Poestenkill, NY, 12018

Anyway, that is probably enough for now, but I am a bit fried and probably overlooking things that should be said, so please feel free to ask any questions or offer commentary - I will actually reply and try to be around this forum in general more than I have been.

Also, I am too incompetent to know how to post an image in this thread that is not from the Internet (as in, when I try to 'insert image' with the toolbar, it asks me for a URL, but I want to post a .jpeg that I have saved on my own computer), so if someone can help this fool out, I can post a little image of the cover.

~Bellamy
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#2
Bellamy,

I don't think the forum is set up for hosting pictures (I wouldn't want people to freely upload a bunch of stuff I don't have the space for…), so you would have to upload it elsewhere. If you email it to me, I can host it for you, on anti-civ.net somewhere.

I'll take a few copies and hand out—compensating you for shipping if it's not egregious. I'll email you. Right now. TTFN.
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#3
This is great stuff! I think that the practical side of anti-civ has been neglected (at least to my knowledge), so stoked to see something like this happening.
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#4
This sounds like a really interesting project, Bellamy. I'm definitely onboard with the idea of targeting people outside the anarchist milieu. Unfortunately, I don't have a way to distribute copies in my area but, if that ever changes, I'll drop you a line. I differ a little bit with Ola Boms' point in that I tend to see both the practical and theoretical aspects of anti-civ praxis as being equally neglected. What I'd really like to see is a publication that provides equal attention to both practical activity and intellectually rigourous theoretical critique. I think that the Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies journal sets a really good example of in-depth analysis that I wish publications like Black Seed and BAGR would attempt to achieve - but, for whatever reason, they both seem disinclined to do so. A publication that combines the intellectual rigor of ADCS with the practical focus of Backwoods is, in my opinion, very much needed. I'm encouraged by the fact that you've expressed an interest to include "philosophical" pieces in this new journal alongside more practical pieces, and I would hope that neither type of writing is given preferential treatment over the other.


Anyway, just my two cents. Best of luck with what sounds like a really worthwhile project!
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#5
"the intellectual rigor of ADCS"...
wow. i consider myself to be something like an intellectual and ADCS is awash in academic jargon and stylized post-this and post-that meandering discourse. it's more like an intellectual wankfest. i don't see any rigor in the analyses; i see self-congratulatory oneupsmanship inside a torrent of obscure terminology and analytical deadends. is that what passes as intellectual rigor these days? maybe i've just been out of school too long...
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#6
Thank you for the encouraging comments from Ola Boms and Matt.

To answer implied questions - I have never read ADCS and so cannot comment as far as comparing it, but the journal will definitely regularly feature theory and practicality in a roughly equal split, and there will even be some room for poetry and the like now and then. One thing I neglected to mention on the practical side is that we want to feature stories of people actively pursuing subsistence projects, with a focus on how they got there and what the day-to-day is like. I don't have any anti-academicism and so will have contributions and interviews with academics sometimes (see the tentative table of contents for issue two, for example) - but I definitely have an aversion to word-salad obscurantism as far as text that ends up in the journal. As an editor, I insist on clear and consistent citation, logical coherence, and clarity - jargon is fine so long as it is clearly defined and doesn't serve the purpose of inflating weak ideas through obfuscation.

Matt, can you explain a bit how you think the anti-civ position is theoretically underdeveloped? Are there specific themes and areas in which you think this is the case?
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#7
(Wed, 02 May 2018 03:01:32 +0000, 03:01 AM)Matt Wrote: I think that the Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies journal sets a really good example of in-depth analysis that I wish publications like Black Seed and BAGR would attempt to achieve - but, for whatever reason, they both seem disinclined to do so.

Matt,

We (Black Seed) would love to host an in-depth analysis. All it takes for us to publish one is someone to write one and submit it. Next issue deadline is October 1. blackseed@anarchyplanet.org

Aragorn!
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#8
really looking forward to getting this.

am mid-way through Corrosive Consciousness and am loving it (but more on that another time and place). tremendous.
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#9
(Wed, 02 May 2018 15:22:09 +0000, 03:22 PM)Bellamy Wrote: Matt, can you explain a bit how you think the anti-civ position is theoretically underdeveloped? Are there specific themes and areas in which you think this is the case?

In particular, I see a need to flesh out the implications of a comment that you yourself made to John Zerzan on his radio show back in 2015. What you said was that Max Stirner "dissolves Descartes' Cogito." This is a really important point and I'm glad you made it, but the discussion does not and cannot stop there. If it is, in fact, true that Stirner dissolves the Cogito, then what might a "post-civilized," non-essentialist understanding of individual subjectivity actually look like? This is a line of inquiry that I feel is not only underdeveloped, but that certain individuals within the anti-civ milieu would prefer to just sweep under the rug and never have to think about. I'm hoping that this latest series of episodes about Egoism that The Brilliant is putting out will address this theme in greater detail and that they won't play it too safe so as not to step on certain people's toes.
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#10
Looking forward to this new Backwoods project. Wish it was also available online.
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