Anarchy at the Edinburgh Radical and Independent Bookfair

This weekend, Word-Power’s 10th Radical and Independent Bookfair is taking place in the former Drill Hall “Out of the Blue” in Leith Walk. Michael Albert was fantastic with his presentation about a “participative economy“. It was just a so empowering and optimistic talk, that I now wanna run out and get and read all of his books. It was also a really Down-to Earth presentation. Also I enjoyed **Achin Vanaik’**s talk about the defintions of terrorism in the slot about “Political Terrorism and the US Imperial project“. He really distinguished very well between all the different definitions of this violent tactic according to purpose and effects, organisation and strategy, and he included state terrorism, too, which I found quite important. His talk was more structured like a lecture, but the audience definitely was able to learn a lot. I did audio recordings, I hope I can share them soon.

George Monbiot‘s new proposals on how to combat climate change were slightly more controversial but he is a very good speaker. I do appreciate the bookfair for the possibilities to hear about a variety of new visions and perspectives on the world and to engage with various points of view.

Unfortunately I exploded a bit at the “Talking Anarchy” session with Benjamin Franks, author of the new book: “Rebel Alliances: The Means and Ends of Contemporary British Anarchism”. But it wasn’t Benjamin fault at all, I just was reacting allergic to poor old Jamie and his academic focus on anarchism. It just seems to me that I can not recognize my kind of beloved anarchism in Jamie’s interpretation of it. I just wish Harry would have been able to chair the talk. He always evokes a very empowering positive lasting impression in the audience. Even more unfair is that Jamie is usually really nice and patient to everybody. But that doesn’t really help me in the heat of the moment.
But Benjamin’s book is brilliant anyways, he researched 15 years for it. It has a lot of in-depth coverage. At a first glance it seems to focus more on obvious organisations, but I should read a bit more of it before giving a definite verdict.


Comment by David W on 2006-10-25 14:51:32 +0100

Hey I was there too for Albert,Monbiot and the talk on Anarchism and yep they were all pretty
great and would be nice to hear the recordings particularly of the talk on anarchism (Albert
pretty much does the same talk everywhere so you can get it online).I dont recall anybody
exploding during the talk well ..the only thing that comes to mind is the person who said
somethinglike “well what are you doing to kick ass?” .I also got a copy of Frank`s book from
wordpower a few days ago and am reading it now and am about a third of the way through it.Its
getting quite complicated so am reading it carefully ,very good though well worth it. Have
also listened to the lectures by Todd May on post-structucturalist anarchism which he
recommends in the book very interesting stuff.

Oh and nice blog shall take alook through the archives.

Comment by ajohnstone on 2006-11-06 23:28:13 +0100

A review of Franks book is in this month’s Socialist Standard and well worth a perusal since its not the usual polemical diatribe that is to be expected that would be expected from an avowedly Marxist party as is the SPGB . Can be read at

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