In our first-ever holiday special, Clara and Alanis take a whirlwind tour through two hundred years of blistering anarchist critiques of religion and morality. From romantic poets to guillotined dynamite artists, from Enlightenment philosophers to punk rockers, anarchists have never been so fiery as when they've denied the gods and affirmed our right to determine our own values. The discussion touches on direct actions against religion, the shifting politics of atheism, and the contradictions of Christian anarchism. Prison rebel Sean Swain responds to our episode on fascism, a murderous police department receives some crime stopping tips, and we offer anarchist reflections on Nelson Mandela's legacy, decapitated Lenin statues, and Finnish hockey riots. As the Greeks say: Merry Crisis and Happy New Fear!
Notes and Links
Don't forget to write in and tell us what anarchy means to you, so we can include it in our first episode of the new year on “What is anarchism?” Send us an email with your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the 19th and early 20th century anarchist critiques of religion, get started with Mikhail Bakunin’s classic God and the State. Emma Goldman’s essays “The Failure of Christianity” and “The Philosophy of Atheism” are enjoyably scathing, as are Johann Most’s “The God Pestilence” and Sebastien Faure’s “Does God Exist? Twelve Proofs for the Non-Existence of God”. The final chapter of The Philosophy of Poverty by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Peter Kropotkin’s work on ethics are erudite, if dry, expositions of radical Enlightenment atheism. Also check out Voltarine de Cleyre’s essay “The Economic Aspect of Freethought”.
Among contemporary critiques, some of our favorites include “Drowning,”, from the 2000 insurrectionary anarchist magazine Killing King Abacus, Alfredo Bonanno’s “Palestine, Mon Amour”, Wolfi Landstreicher’s 2005 essay “The Network of Domination”, and of course the “No Gods” section of the CrimethInc classic Days of War, Nights of Love. We also cited Nicholas Walter’s 1991 talk on Anarchism and Religion. The Anarchist FAQ’s discussion of religion is a helpful jumping off point, too.
So what about anarchist religion? That’s really beyond the scope of this episode, but if you want to know more, we’ve got a few resources. The writings of Peter Lamborn Wilson / Hakim Bey offer some of the most creative and playful engagements with spirit and mystery from an anarchist perspective: you could start with “Anarchist Religion?”, “Spiritual Anarchism: Topics for Research”, and parts of the books “T.A.Z.” and “Millennium”. Regarding Islam, there is the scathing pamphlet “The Misery of Islam” by Al-Djouhall, and also a growing body of work on contemporary Islamic anarchism, including Mohamed Jean Veneuse’s work on “Anarca-Islam”. Jewish Anarchism has a long and lively history; You can also read Gary Snyder on Buddhist Anarchism, Clayton Dewey on Anarchism and Unitarian Universalism, and thoughts on anarchism and Taoism.
Si tu veux être heureux (Nom de Dieu!)
Pends ton propriétaire…
Coupe les curés en deux (Nom de Dieu!)
Fout les églises par terre (Sang Dieu!)
Et l’bon dieu dans la merde (Nom de Dieu!)
If you want to be happy (Bloody hell!)
Hang your landlord…
Cut the priests in half (Bloody Hell!)
Rip the churches to the ground
And chuck the good lord into the shit (Bloody Hell!)
Special Bonus Playlist! “Fuck Your God, Mom!”: Alanis & Clara’s Top 10 Anti-Religious Anarcho-Punk Songs
1) Crass - Reality Asylum
2) Naked Aggression - Religious Lies
3) Leftover Crack - Atheist Anthem
4) Amebix - No Gods, No Masters
5) Oi Polloi - Religious Con
6) Burnt Cross - Jacking Up On Jesus
7) Aus Rotten - Modern Day Witch Hunt
8) Chumbawamba - Today’s Sermon
9) The Varukers - Another Religion, Another War
10) Minor Threat - Filler
“On Fascism: One Anarchist’s Response to CrimethInc’s Podcast #11” by Sean Swain, as discussed in our listener feedback section
Here’s the video of the hockey-playing Finnish anarchist rioters in Tampere.
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