From The Anvil Review
The Anvil Review started as an experiment. How do we, as anarchists, engage with the world outside of ourselves. How do we present ourselves to the world or engage with the world’s presentation of us. We started The Anvil Review to address this broad question of engagement through the form of the review essay
The Anvil Review lives once again, with a new look and four entries from authors new and old! Encouraging anarchists to look at the world outside of the milieu and the morsels of media we consume from that world with a critical lens, as well as to offer our insight to non-anarchists on the media, etc. that surround us all.
It’s About Slavery, Right? – By Chisel
Accomplices on the Road – By Eliane
Anarchy and Daoism: It Lives! – By Dadam
Abolition: a piece in four voices – By Ohmad
“The episode that sticks out for me the most is one in which Kenya searches for how to determine the value of his work, and the work of other black people. Responding in part to the successful but criticized Blackish—and struggling with the question of audience: who he wants to write for, whose criticism he feels accountable to, who he’s trying to talk to, and why—he attempts to pull together a group of black artists as a kind of council of peers. He wants to belong to a group that doesn’t exist but could, a group of people who are also struggling with these questions of audience and accountability and could be struggling with them together. So he tries to create it. Of course the group doesn’t even make it through a single meeting, and of course whatever good might have come out of it is sabotaged–primarily by Kenya’s angst, but also by the wariness of the other artists. This episode, in particular that scene, in which someone’s aspirations are so beautiful-for-being-difficult, for being so outside of the normal, such a challenge, so hard to live up to, even/especially by the person most motivated by them, and so dependent on other people, with whom he has so much in common, and yet (or, and so) has such a hard time communicating… That episode will always bring the taste of anarchy to my lips.”
“The relationship between anarchists and indigenous peoples is not new. Since the 19th century, science and politics have brought them closer by categorizing both as savages. To use a term by Pierre Clastres, the approximation may be because both are against the State, and more than that; because they know from experience that the state is not a necessary evil; that life is more exuberant where the state does not exist. Aragorn! may have lost sight of this long-standing connection between anarchists and indigenous peoples due to a certain disappointment expressed in more than one moment of the book, but it is worth remembering. For example, there was the fruitful relationship that Louise Michel established with the Kanak, in which neither was interested in colonizing or abducting the other, but in which both got stronger by generous reciprocity.
This book is precious. It opens up possibilities. The stories are many and they resonate in the lives of those who want to reject the government of life. […] It is not a book for indigenous people or a book for anarchists, but a book for accomplices.”
“This is a review of five essays: Toward a New Anarchism: Anarcho-Daoism, Dark Virtue: Daoism and the Rejection of Civilization, Neither Lord nor Subject, The Theory of the Individual in Chinese Philosophy: Yang-Chou and A Chinese Sage. Each discusses Daoism and anarchy: the intersections, the similarities, and/or how one might find anarchy in Daoism. Here I look at these writings as works that are both isolated from and in conversation with each other, with a particular focus on how the different essayists source their arguments: what these sources can tell us about the authors’ backgrounds and who they are writing for.”
“The crash of a ceiling collapsing is heard in the background.
The Curious: What was that noise, friend?
The Bored: Just the sound of dead ideas collapsing in on themselves.
The Curious: Should we be concerned?
The Bored: I would say no, it seems to be the fate of most dialogues.
The Curious: Hmmm, well, I hope they enjoyed it while it lasted.”