Featured Zine: With Allies Like These
January 16, 2015
Over the past several years (or maybe even decades), the discussion of privilege theory and anti-oppression politics has become quite prevalent within the anarchist space. Many anarchists will speak to the importance of anti-oppression politics, but few take the time to consider the implications of the ideas or their origins.
“With Allies Like These: Reflections on Privilege Reductionism” is an important zine that explores the origins of anti-oppression politics and their consequences. The authors trace the origins of anti-oppression politics in the failures of the movements of the 1960s and the institutionalization of social struggles within the university setting. This result has been the development of a set of critical theories largely separated from political practice, with a focus on individual behaviors instead revolutionary struggle. Beyond the important historical study, the authors look at the ways anti-oppression politics operate in the “real world” and the ways in which they often limit struggles. It’s a thoughtful and careful consideration of a topic that merits more discussion than it receives, both within the anarchist space and what is often called the broader “radical left.”
The culture of anti-oppression politics lends itself to the creation and maintenance of insular activist circles. A so-called “radical community” — consisting of collective houses, activist spaces, book-fairs, etc. — premised on anti-oppression politics fashions itself as a refuge from the oppressive relations and interactions of the outside world. This notion of “community”, along with anti-oppression politics’ intense focus on individual and micro personal interactions, disciplined by “call-outs” and privilege checking, allows for the politicization of a range of trivial lifestyle choices. This leads to a bizarre process in which everything from bicycles to gardens to knitting are accepted as radical activity.
You can download the zine (imposed for printing or screen readable) or order a copy.
Also, you can browse our catalog for more zines and check out our past “featured zines.” We welcome correspondence and suggestions for additional titles, feel free to get in touch.
Featured Zine: With Allies Like These was published on January 16, 2015
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