December 2021

Welcome! Newsletter 12.

This comes with a slight delay, although it’s been shorter than feared. My computer crashed and I’m a Luddite but was able to improvise. Gotta keep this up, especially since the December newsletter is rounding out the blog’s first year. Hooray!

I also wanted to get back into the monthly review routine, but decided not to review the title I had planned for this month. The reason is: I don’t want to be overly critical in reviews unless there is a reason for it (strong political disagreement, false claims, arrogance on part of the author), but I am not going to say I like a book if I don’t either. So I dropped this one. There was nothing wrong with it per se, but it was one of those academic treatises with an intriguing title and then plenty of hot hot air. I suppose it’s false advertising and you could rightfully criticize author and publisher for that, but, then again, who cares? Seems like there is more important stuff to write about. In any case, I’m confident the book I ordered for next month will actually be reviewed. It looks good.

Even if I didn’t write an original review for the blog this month, I reviewed a couple of titles for other outlets. There’s a review in German about a neat fictional account of anti-Nazi resistance in the Tyrol, the Austrian province I grew up in. And I revived an old pseudonym to review the book My Life: Antifa for DIY Conspiracy. A review of sorts was also an article I wrote, in German, for junge Welt about CLR James’s legendary book on cricket, Beyond a Boundary.

Other sports articles in junge Welt in November: I managed to sneak in something about sports in South Tyrol, there was a short piece about modern pentathlon, and, of course, winter sports: the Alpine parallel races of Lech/Zürs, the women’s slaloms of Levi, the start of the biathlon world cup season, and the question of how on earth the International Skiing Federation wants to turn skiing competitions into a “climate positive” enterprise.

There were a few junge Welt articles on Sweden as well, more specifically, the housing situation, the truth commission on Sámi history, the political exploitation of crime, and the new prime minister.

Still rolling with Sweden, I interviewed Pär Plüschke, cofounder of a group of left-wing preppers in Stockholm, for the German monthly ak.

In capacity of being a member of the SAC‘s (my union) international committee, I talked to the Russian magazine Egalité. It’s a really nicely designed issue! I also spoke on behalf of the SAC’s international committee – about labor and imperialism – at the 50th anniversary gathering of Internationalt Forum in Copenhagen. Congratulations! The Anarcho-Syndicalist Review ran an SAC-related article – on syndicalist strategy – in its Winter 2021/2022 issue (it was uploaded on their site earlier).

With regard to translations of texts I have worked on, it sometimes takes a while for the news to reach me. I only found out now that the series of images from the 1931 Vienna Workers’ Olympics that I prepared with Georg Spitaler is also available in French. Under the title La vida bajo la bandera pirata, my book on pirates has become available in Catalan. There’s more audio from the book All Power to the Councils!, and the German sports podcast beyond the ball has repeatedly recommended the book Die Linke und der Sport, which is sweet.

Speaking of books: With this blog, I can, for the first time ever, share the news about the PM Press Christmas sale. Yes, even radicals do it. 50 percent off everything until January 1. Not bad. More info – of course – on their social media; the Instagram banner is kind of pretty.

In case you have missed it: David Gilbert has been released on parole. I highly recommend his writings. Here is a review of his autobiography Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond. For German readers, there is the pamphlet Die weiße Arbeiterklasse, rechte Gefahren und linker Widerstand.

Another recommendation: Anthony T. Fiscella‘s two-minute video on spiritual anarchism. It’s part of a series of short videos on anarchism uploaded by the Anarchism Research Group at Loughborough University, the hub of academic anarchism.

I’d also like to draw attention to a new foundation in Sweden. Olle Erikssons minnesfond carries the name of a dear friend who passed away way too soon. For more than twenty years, Olle worked with incarcerated youth, opening up possibilities rather than closing doors. The foundation is run by people very close to Olle and will continue to work in his spirit.

Stay safe!