Bread Books and Political Theory

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qt3.14
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Bread Books and Political Theory

Post by qt3.14 »

Political Theory General, for discussion, (lighthearted, good faith) debate, and shitposting.

Ground rules:
  • Assume good faith
  • Be gracious in ignorance, both when educating others and being educated
  • Agreeing to disagree is fine, this is a big tent
  • Don't be an asshole
What book you currently reading? What questions do you have? Is eating rich people compatible with a vegan diet? What're you doing for Praxis?

>How can I get involved

Meet people IRL and ask them. Join a local book club that focuses on radical text, ask the book keeper at an anarchist bookstore, ask around at a freestore, join a protest and ask them, or join a local chapter of Food Not Bombs, or a local chapter of the SRAand help. This stuff is primarily discussed offline, via Facebook/instagram/or encrypted messaging apps. Depends on the local opsec culture. There is no central place to find these things. It's all very localized.

>What should I read?

What are you curious about? Good introductory texts are in the anarchist library. If you want to dive into theory you should read the texts everything else are built on, so Marx and Boukounin. It'll give you the vocabulary and ideas to help you engage with more specific and modern texts, as modern authors (by and large) still use the frameworks and definitions built up by the dead bearded white writers from the 17th and 18th centuries.


Good resources:
https://theanarchistlibrary.org/special/index

https://crimson.earth/

https://libgen.is/ (may be blocked in your country)

Feel free to add to this here OP, either DM me or post in the thread.
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Re: Bread Books and Political Theory

Post by AuzzieJay »

I'm currently reading Settlers.

I literally cannot stop reading it. It explains American history through a Marxist lens. It explains everything from the perspective of the Capitalists.

As a White American, I remember learning about American history and our numerous atrocities in history class, but there was always some way to explain it- "oh these people were just racist".

But no, this text examines the motivations or the American Settler Class Bourgeois and their propaganda which has seeped into "our history books".

My entire life I knew something wasn't right, and when I learned about this history something always felt off. This book ties up all the loose ends. Combining it with my Marxist readings in general it's been extremely satisfying.

I'm going to be making a library page when I get a chance, but naturally I also recommend Peter Singer's Animal Liberation and Paulo Freiere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

And of course eating the rich is vegan.
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Re: Bread Books and Political Theory

Post by Sadness »

I'm currently reading A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. It's an in-depth overview of the history of the US with a special focus on the people who were oppressed throughout that history. There is a lot about the history of women, of slavery, of Native Americans and labor uprisings in the US.

It's a hefty and emotionally heavy book so I've been working through it little by little, but I already have learned so much more than they ever touched upon in any of my "formal schooling" history classes.

I have to second Auzzie's suggestion,
AuzzieJay wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:44 am Paulo Freiere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Very good, very insightful book! I also link to some theory-type stuff I've read on my Reading page, which is sorely in need of an update!

Oh! And Michael Parenti is a great author, I've read a couple of his books and I think they're amazing and chock full of lots of great insights.
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Re: Bread Books and Political Theory

Post by vincent »

AuzzieJay wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:44 am I'm currently reading Settlers.

[snip]
I'm currently on Section 3 of Chapter 1 (Euro-Amerikan Social Structure) listening to an audiobook version of it, and wow! You were not wrong on how great this book is.

I also have that feeling of a lot of things clicking into place as I'm listening to it. For example, I found the elements so far about Indigenous American slavery to be very interesting - this is something that is only so briefly touched upon in history classes (if at all) that hearing about it in depth adds a lot of understanding to the social and power structurse of early colonial America.

Another reason why I'm enjoying this book so far - it's a very deep look at class structure as something that is not a unique structure on its own but influenced by other elements of society. I appreciated the part in the first chapter in which it preempts that people will disagree with the book on the grounds of "splitting the working class" (which, checking the Wikipedia for the book, some leftist groups did end up critiquing the book like this with no hint of irony.) because I think that is a common refrain amongst white leftists that lets us, in many ways, stick our fingers in our ears with regards to understanding class as multi-faceted.

Thank you for the recommendation!
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Re: Bread Books and Political Theory

Post by NULLinvis »

I have just finished Digital Materialism by Baruch Gottlieb.

Half of it is an unhinged tour from Greek Epistemology to modern Marxist Materialism, and half incredibly insightful journey on establishing a post humanist, materialist framework to the digital age. The passages examining the epistemological gap between quantum phenomena such as particle decays and how we record and interpret them are fascinating, especially when it comes to questioning the materiality of the digital and how we interact with it increasingly in our lives. It also tears down the utopian, transhumanist idea that technology and the digital is some post-scarcity frontier in which capital can endlessly colonise, examining the struggles of the workers working in the mines and refineries that produce the rare earth metals required to construct this technology and how this can fit into a materialist framework suited for the digital age.
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Re: Bread Books and Political Theory

Post by madness »

NULLinvis wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 1:06 am I have just finished Digital Materialism by Baruch Gottlieb.
I have added this to my reading list, thank you!

Also I recommend anyone who finds Settlers enlightening may want to check out Zak Cope's Divided World Divided Class. It is a thoroughly convincing walkthrough of how the wealth divide between rich and poor countries is deliberately enforced. A world free of this parasitic injustice would result in a sharp drop of the material wealth of those living in the rich nations. Oversimplifying of course but it is a plausible basis for the relative economic conservatism of even the poorest people in the richest countries.

I haven't read anything or had a chance to update my library in a while, but my next project will be a book I found in Spanish called Women In Social Development. It appears to be a collection of lectures by Alexandra Kollontai, and this is my translation of the table of contents:
  1. The situation of women in primitive communism
  2. The role of women in the economic system of slavery
  3. The situation of women in the closed natural economy
  4. The work of women in the rural community and in artisan production
  5. The situation of women during the splendor of commercial capital and in the era of manufacturing
  6. The work of women in the period of development of great industrial capitalism
  7. The causes of "the women's problem"
  8. The feminist movement and the importance of working women in the class struggle
  9. The work of women during war
  10. [within the proletarian dictatorship] how work is organized
  11. [within the proletarian dictatorship] conditions of work and regulation of work protections
  12. [within the proletarian dictatorship] revolutionary changes in ordinary life
  13. [within the proletarian dictatorship] revolution in customs of life
  14. The work of women today and tomorrow
I am excited to have time to read and translate again.
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Re: Bread Books and Political Theory

Post by NULLinvis »

obsidiana wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 7:33 pm
NULLinvis wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 1:06 am I have just finished Digital Materialism by Baruch Gottlieb.


I have added this to my reading list, thank you!

Also I recommend anyone who finds Settlers enlightening may want to check out Zak Cope's Divided World Divided Class. It is a thoroughly convincing walkthrough of how the wealth divide between rich and poor countries is deliberately enforced. A world free of this parasitic injustice would result in a sharp drop of the material wealth of those living in the rich nations. Oversimplifying of course but it is a plausible basis for the relative economic conservatism of even the poorest people in the richest countries.
This sounds like a great read!! have also added to the reading list -> A related, kind of depressing aside, I had the displeasure of reading the FT the other day and they were talking about the increasing frequency of workers strikes in China and how this would have a knock on effect on inflation by increasing the price of consumer goods ?? Bruh god help us if the people we export our labour to start demanding to be fairly paid for it !! A lot of people still seem to suffer from post colonial brain rot
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Re: Bread Books and Political Theory

Post by qt3.14 »

This sounds like a great read!! have also added to the reading list -> A related, kind of depressing aside, I had the displeasure of reading the FT the other day and they were talking about the increasing frequency of workers strikes in China and how this would have a knock on effect on inflation by increasing the price of consumer goods ?? Bruh god help us if the people we export our labour to start demanding to be fairly paid for it !! A lot of people still seem to suffer from post colonial brain rot
I've found it depressing how little the abundance of cheap material goods is examined, especially by people who otherwise support workers rights. Shortly after the unions gained power their roles were exported to countries where they were not organized or the jobs were further automated. International solidarity just doesn't seem to get extended in a material fashion to countries outside the imperial core. It's a damned shame.
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