At The Balance of the Light (updates)

Today’s the equinox; that of spring in the north and autumn of the south. It is the balance of light and dark, welcome in a time when all else is out of balance.

Sometimes balance is mere ease, a quiet slipping into equilibrium. But sometimes, balance is like lightning, a sky full of charged energy so unbalanced it must ground in explosive bursts.

Shall our balance be that of the seasons or the storms? Either is the way of nature.

Gods&Radicals, off-site and off-line

The good people at It’s Going Down interviewed Rhyd Wildermuth last month on their podcast. Rhyd and Lia Hunter were also interviewed this week about A Beautiful Resistance: Left Sacred on live radio on KOPN fm’s Chautauqua program (archive currently not available, but we hope it’s coming soon!). Look for more interviews soon to appear in the coming weeks.

Yesterday was the last of four A Beautiful Resistance: Left Sacred release parties. They were hosted in San Jose, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Baltimore, Maryland. This latest issue has been our most popular yet, and we’ve been excited both to meet our readers and engage in the fascinating conversations our work has inspired.

Below are some photos from the Seattle and Baltimore events.

 

Updates on Publications and Distributions

We are deeply happy to announce we were able to hire a distributor for our US publications. Previous to this, all our shipments were sent out by volunteers (usually, the managing editor) during whatever spare time was available. Now that we are selling many, many more books, this method wasn’t working so well.

You’ll note that all our order forms now include a $1.50 ‘distributor’ fee. This is basically a handling fee, and goes directly to pay our (really awesome) distribution team.  This also means that publications will arrive much faster than previously!

All our publications can be ordered here.

The call for submissions for the next issue of A Beautiful Resistance will begin in May. Expect an announcement of another upcoming publication soon.

What’s Going On In France?

Perhaps you’ve heard about the massive protests again keeping the police busy in several French cities, especially Paris. Many of these events are specifically in response to police brutality, much like the Black Lives Matters protests in the United States. For great video and photo-journalism, check out Taranis.news. (Pagans familiar with the Gaulish and Celtic god of storms will find their title rather clever).

Also, Gods&Radicals co-founders Rhyd Wildermuth and Alley Valkyrie will be in France this week. Expect more posts about resistance to oppression from the eastern side of the Atlantic soon!

 

End-of-Year Update

From the Editor

A calendar year is a somewhat arbitrary construct, though 2016 certainly seemed a bit…different. If anything, it seemed a year when illusions no longer held, certainties fell away, and those in the sheltered empires of Liberal Democracy were suddenly reminded that death happens.

Brexit and the election of Donald Trump both heralded the end of the Liberal Democratic dream, while the massive uprisings against the government in France gave us a sign that people no longer believe electoral politics and passive resistance can change anything. In the United States, more manifestations against police brutality and the mass-resistance at Standing Rock showed us that the cracks in empire are widening, while the continued strength of the Rojava Canons remind us another world is possible.

Though the capitalist consensus of the last 20 years assured us that history was over, the angel of history shakes its head at the wreckage behind it and flies onward, taking us with it.

A year of Gods&Radicals

This year, Gods&Radicals grew from a small site with 1000 regular readers to one with almost 6000 followers. We posted almost 300 pieces this year, added ten more regular writers, published three print works, and have now raised enough money to pay our site writers in 2017.

Below are two lists of articles we’d like to highlight at the end of the year. The first is a list chosen by the editor of works whose importance endures, and the second is our ten most-read essays in 2016.

Editor’s Picks

(in no particular order)

The Ten Most-Read Essays of 2016

Publishing News

Gods&Radicals will be publishing several new print works in 2017, including two issues of our journal, A Beautiful Resistance. The third issue, “Left Sacred,” will be released on Imbolc, and the fourth issue will be released on Lughnasadh. Announcements about other publications will be forthcoming.

Our prices on all print publications will increase slightly in 2017 to accommodate a price increase from our printer, the deflation of the Euro and Pound against the US dollar, and the increased shipping demands as we grow. This will not affect our digital editions prices, and we will always continue to offer solidarity copies for those who cannot afford our works.

To order any of our publications before the price increases, go here.

Also, starting 1 January we will use Stripe as our payment processor, rather than Paypal. However, PayPal will still be available for those who wish to pay without bank or credit cards.

Contact us

Interested in writing with us? Have a news tip? You can reach us through this form. Or join our mailing list for bi-monthly updates and special announcements.

Dancing in the Ruins of Empire

Things are rough in the United States, yeah? We’re in terrifying, fearful times, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much we can do about it.  There is…but I’ll get to that stuff in a minute.  First though, I think we should be hopeful, and maybe even a little excited.

That sounds awful, I’m sure. And before I continue, let me say I understand why we should be panicked. The right and far-right of American politics is about to take the reins of the largest and most violent empire the world has ever seen. They’ll have control of the military, the congress, and the courts. They’ve already said they intend to dismantle most of the civil rights protections, benefits, and social programs that not only keep many of us safe, but keep the most vulnerable amongst us alive.

That’s terrifying, yes. We should be very worried, and I’m not going to tell you otherwise. Anyone who tells you not to worry probably hasn’t taken the time to see how bad things are going to get, and maybe even stands to benefit from the new regime.

I don’t mean you shouldn’t worry. You should. But you shouldn’t be terrified, because terror will cripple you. “Terror” is what was used to bring in most of the government surveillance that’s about to be used against us. “Terror” is why many environmentalists in the last decade were imprisoned. “Terror” is also why most of the police forces in the United States are now as armed as military units overseas.

Terrified people make mistakes. They run towards the nearest person offering them protection, or hide in silence as those around them suffer violence. Terrified people are easily controlled, easily abused, easily conquered.

We must not be terrified.

Instead, we should be excited. Not for the rise of the far-right, for nationalism and white supremacists and fascists and Christian fundamentalists. Not for the suffering of our friends, nor for ours, nor for the coming violence against everyone who doesn’t fit into the plans of our new masters.

We should be excited because we suddenly have a chance we didn’t have before. This is a crisis, absolutely, but it isn’t just ours. During the summer, I wrote of the impending death of Liberal Democracy. That time is upon us.

Environmental destruction, climate change, and extinction are all the effects of capitalism. Racism, patriarchal violence, and the oppression of the poor and disabled are requirements of capitalism. And the government, the ‘State,’ is how capitalism survives.

This is why no real change has ever happened regarding climate change. Why no government has ever truly stopped racist oppression of minorities in any country, why life has never been fully livable by the poorest and most vulnerable. The State serves capitalism, and fascism arises whenever they are under threat. If capitalism and the state are under threat, though, who is threatening them?

We are.

Anti-government and anti-capitalist protests around the world have only increased in the last 20 years. Entire countries in Europe have become ungovernable because of the people’s unwillingness to play along with elected leaders who promise them only austerity, more war, and the hope of eventual reform. Entire towns and regions in Spain and Greece, for instance, are de-facto autonomous zones.  In smaller regions of France it is the same.

That is, empire is crumbling, people are finding a new way to live, and governments and the rich everywhere are on the defensive.

That’s why we shouldn’t be terrified. That’s why we should be excited. It’s time to press our advantage. It’s time to dance in the ruins of empire.

Here’s some stuff that might help.

Rhyd

Collected links:

First off, this link is amazing. It’s the “Oh Crap, What Now? Guide” and is a great resource for pretty much everything you might need to know to prepare yourself for what’s coming. It was previously attacked by new/alt-right goons, but it’s in a more permanent place now.

From Anarchist Resistance NYC’s manifesto, “The Days After the Election and the Days Before the Revolution”

The liberals promised to protect everyone with nothing but a ballot, and now they have been routed and are publicly conceding on all fronts. They are asking us to passively accept whatever injustices Trump has planned for us, for our neighbors, for our friends, for our co-workers, and for those comrades we have not yet met. We have never believed in hiding who we are or being ashamed of our liberatory aspirations. We know the power of solidarity.

From the statement of #DisruptJ20,

From day one, the Trump presidency will be a disaster. #DisruptJ20 will be the start of the resistance. We must take to the streets and protest, blockade, disrupt, intervene, sit in, walk out, rise up, and make more noise and good trouble than the establishment can bear. The parade must be stopped. We must delegitimize Trump and all he represents. It’s time to defend ourselves, our loved ones, and the world that sustains us as if our lives depend on it—because they do.

From Margaret Killjoy’s succinct guide to starting resistance, “ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN VOTES:

There are a lot of things that might happen. The status quo might lurch along, drifting towards the right. An emboldened white nationalist populism is likely to strike out against Muslims, immigrants, gender minorities, and visible members of the Left. Trump might fulfill his campaign promise to turn America into exactly the kind of country 400,000 Americans died stopping Germany from being in World War II.

Any or all of those things might happen. But political struggle does not begin at the ballot box, and it certainly doesn’t end there.

From Resistance Matters: Strategies for Coping With These Times, an essay and guide to resources by T. Thorn Coyle:

The only hopelessness is in saying we are defeated.
The only hopelessness is in the refusal to take back and claim our power.
You are powerful. I see you.
You are beautiful. I see you.
You are terrified. I see you.
You weep, and wail, and take to your bed, and take the streets and hug and rail.

“The vote is coming from inside the house” says this article on Jacobin. We highly recommend itand it’s also beautifully written:

Whatever the cause, something is different here. One age is dying, and another is rearing its head.

This election was a reckoning, a bastard starchild of extant forces, the magnetic fields already bending and shearing the planet. Listen carefully, and you might hear the same fascist baying from country to country — from Japan to the Philippines, India to Russia, from Jerusalem, Athens, Budapest, Paris, London — and now, from New York City.

A weirdly pagan resonance, being picked up around the world on some fascist subterranean frequency — the rumblings of a dark monitor stone, now come to life. And now, this dumb, appalling power, this brute force, unenlightened by conscience, unencumbered by pity, is America’s destiny.

AK Press has made several of their digital editions free to help people get a handle on what’s happening. Here’s the link. 

We’ve also reduced the price on digital editions of both editions of A Beautiful Resistance. You can get either of them for $4.

We also highly recommend reading this document on security culture, and this essay by Peter Grey for a magical perspective on the matter. And please consider getting encrypted email. We’ll have a post from a tech professional on this later in the week.

We have also posted the first of our own resource documents on Solidarity Networks. We have more coming, including a disaster- and crisis-preparedness document written by an emergency management professional and the aforementioned article on security.

And also… 

Pagan Anarchism is now available as a digital download. To find information on all our publications, go here.

And we’re doing pretty well so far on our solidarity fundraiser. If you can help us, that’d be awesome… we really want to pay our writers!

resistance

Never Mind The Ballots!!! (weekly update)

Pagan Anarchism Update

Pagan Anarchism has gone to the printers! We’re really, really happy with the way it turned out, and excited for it to get in your hands.

The delivery estimate for pre-sale copies is as follows:

  • US, UK: November 15th-25th
  • EU, CANADA: November 18-27
  • Australia: November 20-30th

Digital editions of Pagan Anarchism will be available 18 November.

Primary sale has also begun. As shipping will become busy with holidays, we recommend ordering by 1 December if you’d like it by Northern Winter Solstice.

A Beautiful Resistance #3

As mentioned earlier, we extended the deadline for submissions for the third issue of A Beautiful Resistance. It’s now 15 November.

Interesting writing elsewhere

From ROAR Magazine, a great discussion on the need for physical (rather than theoretical) alternatives to Capitalism and Fascism:

The rise of the far right across Europe and the United States is deeply linked to the failure of the left to provide realistic and convincing alternatives to the present system. With nowhere else to turn, members of declining or stagnant classes are easy prey for fascist movements that prey on prevalent feelings of resentment and fear. Unless we build real alternatives to the present system, we will continue to lose ground to the far right.

From The Baffler, an essay on how ‘activism’ and ‘social justice warfare’ have come to eclipse organising physical networks:

A century ago, the idea of activism was born of a philosopher—Eucken—who preferred the mystical to the material, and that preference still lingers on today, for many still believe that action, even when disconnected from any coherent strategy, can magically lead to a kind of societal awakening. Social justice warfare, in turn, emerged from some of the Internet’s more unsavory recesses as an insult concocted to belittle those who take issue with bigotry. But vitriol aside, the term betrays a faith that unites social justice warriors and their critics (a faith, to be clear, that is all too common today): that arguing with and attacking strangers online is a form of political engagement as significant as planning a picket or a boycott once was.

Jacobin asks the question: has the Democratic party co-opted Feminism?

Time Magazine (of all places!) has a story on Anarchist and Communist-led refugee support networks. And from the Daily Mail (ugh) awhile ago, a story about how anarchists smuggled a Syrian refugee into the UK…on a plane.

Can’t get to Standing Rock? There are many, many other pipelines also currently being built, and other sites of the DAPL to blockade as well!

Help Us Pay Our Writers!

solidarityWe have just begun our fundraising for the year, with our primary goal to secure enough donations to pay our site writers. Can you help us?

Here’s the Rest of Your Life…

What’s an anarchist to do when everyone’s gone election-crazy?

Cracks in the Pavement (weekly update)

An Urgent Call…

We received the following communiqué and are pleased to repost it:

This is a call. Not to be heard, but felt. A call to be moved. A call to action.

Many of you now know of the struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux and innumerable other indigenous nations against the Black Snake called Dakota Access Pipeline. The prayer and action camp at Standing Rock has been sustaining a vibrant community in resistance to the pipeline since the spring, slowing down construction and withstanding militarized police harassment on a near daily basis. The 20 mile injunction placed on construction by the federal government has been lifted, and construction is now within just 6 miles of the Mni Sose River and the encampment. The battle has entered its most decisive moment.

Our indigenous relatives from across Turtle Island have come here to continue a struggle that has been kept alive for over half a millennium. They have come here as the original and sovereign land tenders, earth defenders, and water protectors of this place.  As the original walkers of the path of right relationship. They have come here to take back power and to show leadership in the fight against exploitation and commodification, against the culture of colonization and inquisition, and for a healthy and bountiful world.

We are humbled and inspired by their initiatives, and unconditionally support them. Now is the time for us as allies in this anti-colonial struggle, to call upon our fellow comrades to join us on the battlefield.

To all who pray to our Earth and the water that cleanses her and brings forth life. To all who cast a circle and call in the elements, spirits, gods and goddesses, and deities; who ask for guidance from the spirit world.  To those who listen to the ancestors as our descendants lay and wait. To those who align themselves with the cycles of the moon, the seasons, and the tides. For whom the cycle of life and death does not instill fear and aggression, but strength and comfort. To all who know how to listen.

It is time now witches, to deepen our work not only of casting spells and hexes, but of breaking them. We call forth the de-spelling of individualism, empire, spectacle, domestication, and whiteness.

It is time now witches to join us. Join us in spirit and join us in humility on this land. Bring your magick. Bring your prayers. Bring your bodies to the frontlines to protect all of creation. Come ready to take decisive action to kill this Black Snake. Come ready to follow in the path of indigenous warriors. We call you to join a frontline battle in a spiritual war that has been raging for centuries. A war against a dead civilization for all life on earth.

If you cannot come in body, take action from afar; the form of life of our enemies pervades all around us. If you cannot come, pray, cast, gather the coven, go to the wild, hold ritual, plan attacks. Ground yourself and continue to do the work. Continue to be moved.

We toss you a bundle of thread sweet witches, from the beautiful homelands of the Oceti Sakowin in each direction. It is the thread of centuries of resistance. Weave with it.

The Persistence of Ink

Though we’re not anti-technology ’round here (see: this site you’re reading), over-reliance on centralized networks powered by coal and accessed by machines built by children and others in near-slave labor makes the internet not quite the future any of us hope. In light of the massive Denial-of-Service attacks that shut down many sites this weekend, we’d like to point out that Gods&Radicals is also a print-publisher.

Our latest book, Pagan Anarchism by Christopher Scott Thompson is still available for pre-sale.

The next A Beautiful Resistance will be out February 1st, 2017. The deadline for submissions has been extended to 15 November!

La plus ça change….

You’re no doubt aware that the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP) continues unabated as private security firms increase their presence.

Government arrests of journalists continue, as well, using the same laws originally written to arrest and imprison anarchists and communists in the early 1900’s.

There’s a connection between the use of private security and those laws, by the way. The Pinkerton Detective Agency was formed in the United States as a for-hire private security firm (read: mercenaries) to arrest IWW members as well striking miners and railroad workers. Later, the Federal Bureau of Investigations was formed as a way of giving the government the same capability that Pinkerton had. The FBI is heavily involved in breaking the power of leftist groups, be they unionists, anarchists, the Black Panthers, environmentalists, or indigenous resistance movements.

History is full of repeating forms, and in this case it’s clear that private security (hired by corporations) and the government are working in tandem just like the early 1900’s. Laws once used against anarchists and communists never went away, and the same apparatuses used to put down earlier revolts continue to be used.

We Are All Mercenaries

In the US state of California, soldiers are being forced to pay back sign-up bonuses to the US Military. In Paris, police are protesting against the government:

Soldiers and police officers are people–mostly men–hired by the State to maintain the ‘state monopoly on violence.’ Soldiers are hired to fight and kill people their government has declared enemies; police are hired for the similar purposes within the State.

As governments need to implement more and more violence in the world to maintain capitalism, they’ll need to continue paying and arming footsoldiers to do their will. The key, though, is pay.

Under capitalism, we are all mercenaries. We all sell our time and labor for a price. Police and soldiers are mercenaries like us, except their job is to keep the rest of us in line. Eventually, any resistance movement to capitalism and the state will need workers to refuse to sell their labor, to desert their jobs, and we’ll need soldiers and cops to do the same.

How do we get there, though? By widening the cracks in the system. When police start to sicken over their work and protest against the government’s use of their bodies to destroy the bodies of others, the state weakens. When the illusions that soldiers are doing ‘honorable’ work and ‘defending freedom’ starts to fall away, the state weakens.

Any anti-capitalist movement must use these moments to get police and soldiers to desert, to refuse to work, refuse to beat protestors and other workers, refuse to kill Black people, refuse to be mercenaries for the rich.

But we must also start to desert, too, and make the same refusals.

 

Resistance is Beautiful

On 1 November, Gods&Radicals will be a year-and-a-half old!  Thanks to everyone who’s read and supported us from the beginning, and hello to all of our many new readers!

There are a few updates we’d like to give you as we do the work to manifest the sort of world we’d like to see.

 

pagan-anarchism-headerOn November 15th, our fourth publication (and first book!) will be born into the world: Pagan Anarchism, by Christopher Scott Thompson.

Want to get a reduced-cost copy? You can pre-order a copy now (until 31 October), or even sponsor the book (until 20 October).  After that, it will be available at its regular price through our website and retailers.

Want a review copy? Contact us at gods.and.radicals@gmail.com with a note telling us who you are and where you write!

Information on solidarity copies for low-income and activist folks will be announced on 15 November

a-beautiful-resistance

The next issue of A Beautiful Resistance will be published 1 February. There’s still time to submit work for the next issue–in fact, we’re extending the deadline to 15 November, 2016. Information on how to submit is here.

fundraising

Gods&Radicals is a non-profit anti-capitalist publisher, so we rely on donations from reader to do our work. Currently, site-writers are unpaid, but at the beginning of next year, we’ll be changing that…with your help!

On 1 November, we’ll be asking for your help to raise funds to pay our writers, and in return, we’ll be offering some awesome perks. Look for more information on that soon!

connect

We’re spreading!  Besides our site, there are other places to find us.

You probably already know about our facebook page and twitter. We also post through Tumblr. But did you know we’re also on Instagram? And we have a mailing list.

Also, we’re always interested in more writers! For more information on how to write with us, see this page.

Be well!!!

cst-cover-front

 

 

Weekly Update: October 2

After Sean Donahue’s wonderful piece this past week, Disabling Capitalism, we thought it appropriate to revisit his wisdom from a few months back, The Neurobiology of Re/Enchantment.

Pagan Anarchism

As you may have heard, we have officially launched the preorder campaign for the first book published by Gods & Radicals: PAGAN ANARCHISM by Christopher Scott Thompson. Get the preorder info and see a video trailer for the book here:

wufoo-bannerFeatured in the trailer is music from the fantastic Disemballerina, specifically the song “Thieves’ Oil“. Audio production for the trailer by Crafted Recordings, with details on the process for the audiogeek-minded.

A Beautiful Resistance #3

Don’t forget, there is still time to submit some of your creativity to A Beautiful Resistance #3 until the end of this month:
SUBMIT

Oh, by the way…

There’s some really good stuff coming on Gods & Radicals this week. There is another Crafted Recordings Podcast coming about Magic & Music, a healthy dose of Dr.  Bones is in the pipeline, and another piece from Rhyd Wildermuth. As always, this is subject to change and surprises are quite likely to happen.

Elsewhere

In case you hadn’t heard, the largest prison strike for decades in the US continues. There are some prison guards showing solidarity in Alabama by joining them, which we applaud. It’s important to remember, as Shaun King reminded us this week, that slavery is alive & well in the US:

“The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution did not end slavery. In fact, it is the first time the word “slavery” was ever mentioned in the Constitution and it is in this amendment where it is not abolished once and for all as we were taught, but given the constitutional protection that has maintained the practice of American slavery in various forms to this very day.”

Neuroscientists should study crows (and all corvids):

Corvids, such as crows, ravens, and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds on the planet—the list of their cognitive achievements goes on and on—yet neuroscientists have not scrutinized their brains for one simple reason: They don’t have a neocortex. The obsession with the neocortex in neuroscience research is not unwarranted; what’s unwarranted is the notion that the neocortex alone is responsible for sophisticated cognition. Because birds lack this structure—the most recently evolved portion of the mammalian brain, crucial to human intelligence—neuroscientists have largely and unfortunately neglected the neural basis of corvid intelligence.

For the first time in recorded history, there are more than 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere:

Scientists say we have to go back 2 million years to find similarly high concentrations of atmospheric CO2. For at least 400,000 years, levels fluctuated between 170 and 290 parts per million. Then, the Industrial Revolution happened, and since 1950 atmospheric carbon has shot up from about 310 parts per million to the over 400, level we see today. And it will only go higher, scientists predict.

Lastly, as we navigate the cacophony of election season here in the US, we must never forget:

ruling-classes-bush-obama

Weekly Update: 18 September

Awesome writing elsewhere

We’ve got a lot of really cool links for you!

We’ve heard this is pretty cool: The Burning Times Never Ended:A Story of Disenchantment and Re-membering Resistance

Crystal Blanton has a great column over at The Wild Hunt on #MyPolytheism.

Also at The Wild Hunt, Heathen Chinese has written an essay looking at the post-colonial resistance and Tupac Shakur.

We’re big fans of ROAR Magazine, and also of David Graeber. So this interview is pretty exciting.

Rhyd Wildermuth was a guest on the Tree of Life Hour discussing his essay, “Fuck The Good People.”

Pipelines? Totally safe!!!

Some good news. The United States Government was about to kill 45,000 wild horses. Outrage changed their mind.

Poet, writer, and editor of the second issue of A Beautiful Resistance Lorna Smithers has a new book coming out!

And some reminders!

The call for submissions for the next issue of A Beautiful Resistance ends 1 November.

We have a neat instagram account. And we’re also on twitter, tumblr, and facebook. And possibly hiding behind your compost bin.

And a teaser!

We’re about to announce the publication of our first book!  But we’re not ready to announce it yet. So we’re sorta being jerks. But check back soon!

magicofcrimedrbones

 

Weekly Update: 11 September

Site & Publishing News

Gods&Radicals recently received verification that our application for tax-exempt status was approved, so not only are we a registered non-profit, but we also have gained 501c3 status.  All donations to us qualify as tax-deductions.

The open submissions period for the third issue of A Beautiful Resistance is under way. For information on how to submit, go here. Information about ordering will be released later this year. In addition, we have other exciting book projects soon to be announced. And we’ll soon be implementing a new online purchasing system for our publications, which will help us better track order.

Note to Canadian subscribers: we learned that many of our shipments were undelivered or marked undeliverable by the shipping company Purolator. They also refuse to deliver to P.O. Boxes.  We’re currently trying to find a way around these problems, and are seeking Canadian retailers who might be willing to handle distribution on our behalf. This will also help us reduce shipping costs (currently higher than for any other country we ship to).  Thank you for your patience, and if you are (or know of) a Canadian retailer interested in distribution, please contact us at Gods.and.radicals[at]gmail.com.

Coming up this week: essays from Yvonne Aburrow, Margaret Killjoy, Rhyd Wildermuth, a poem from Jah Egregius, and more!

Links:

re-weave-by-liahunter