Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair this weekend

Hugh D'Andrade sez, "The Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair takes place this weekend in San Francisco! I'll will be one of the speakers -- I am giving a slideshow all about the series of posters I have created for the Anarchist Bookfair over the last 10 years, called 'Anarchist Bookfair Artist: How I Tried and Failed to Solve the Anarchist Image Problem' on Sunday at 1pm. Here's my Flickr set of these 10 posters, each available for high-res download on a CC Attribution-Noncommercial license! And if you like, my Etsy shop, where I have these for sale."

Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair


    1. And why not?  Other anarchists and free people don’t respect copyright law, we rip and share freely.  And I’m sure Hugh would never complain about people doing that with his work (and even if he did, he certainly couldn’t stop us :)

      But corporate and for-profit institutions are the sworn enemy of anarchists, and we have no desire to help them do anything.  Since they are bound by their own law, why not use it against them?

  1. semi-serious question:  when did Anarchists become in favor of organizing labor movements?  (do they hold subcommittee meetings on the issue of disrupting authority groups?  “I told you! we’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. we take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.”)

    1. Many famous anarchists in that past have been associated with labor movements.  Anarchism is anti-capitalist because we oppose the unaccountable power which capitalists (banks, bosses, owners) have over the rest of us.  So when workers try to change the balance of power between them and their bosses, that’s anarchy in action!

      Of course, most labor unions rebalance that power so that rather than being held entirely by the boss, it’s split between the boss and the union brass – which is just as bad.  Anarchist labor organizing is very different, and focuses on empowering the average worker to have a voice and real power in their workplace.

      As you suggest, this sometimes means that precautions need to be taken to ensure that nobody ends up as a de-facto “chairman” or union boss.  But it’s not actually that hard, if one makes an effort to be egalitarian.

      1. would you take from history the lesson that “it’s not actually that hard” to effect a leaderless form of government?

        1. Certainly not on a national scale.  But my direct experience working in leaderless organizations gives me the lesson that anarchist practice – particularly on a smaller scale – is very effective and usually not as hard as many people would imagine.

          An important point that’s often confused is that most anarchists do not seek to overthrow the government and create a “United States of Anarchy”.  We do not want to replace the US government with an anarchist government.  We want to generally decrease the ability of the powerful to control others, and generally increase the ability of everyone else to live in freedom and peace.  So your question largely misses the point.

        2.  You need to go to the talk by Kim Stanley Robinson at 2pm on Saturday.  He likes to use the scientific endeavor as an example of a functional cooperative community based on distributed authority.

    2. Anarchists have always been involved in the labor movement, from the Haymarket martyrs to the Lawrence strike, to the Spanish revolution in 1936 to current IWW organizing at Starbucks.

  2. That’s a good point. In this case, copyright law is used to protect the artist from exploitation by large multinational corporations that seek to use his art for free — not against individuals or small publishers who seek to use his work for commentary, re-mixing, etc. (Most recent large corporation to come knocking for use of Anarchist Bookfair art: Disney.)

  3. theophrastvs: There were and continue to be plenty of anarchists involved in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Most anarchists take a dim view of large labor unions, while supporting self organization of workers, for obvious reasons.

    1. This poster looks more like someone’s personal agenda than anything to do with anarchy.

      Not sure that there’s a contradiction there.

  4. It’s a joke that’s ceased being funny in these parts, that the “mainstream” book fair was always an organizational mess that couldn’t keep it’s act together, but the “anarchists” have always been well-organized, and pull off these book fairs successfully year-after-year.

  5. Oh. I was hoping this was the Bay Area Antichrist Book Fair that I’ve been waiting all year for.

  6. Apparently, there’s been some controversy about this year’s fair. Can’t say I really have an opinion one way or the other on said controversy, but the embedded issues strike me as interesting.

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