Clarity, Intelligence, Integrity

Anarchism - A Collection of Revolutionary Writings

Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings by Peter Kropotkin

4/5

‘Anarchy,’ a non-dispassionately abused and confused term, used as a tool to stoke fear and perpetuate the institutions it threatens. In a world of misinformation and misappropriation, a collection of writings by one of anarchism’s better known proponents offers clarity.

Polemical, yes, being, as it is, a collection of writings issued in pamphlet form or for public performance. But there are sufficient enlightened gems sparkling throughout to arouse a spirit laid dormant by the fear and apathy engendered by institutional indoctrination.

Being conditioned, as the majority of us are, to evermore elaborate and convoluted linguistic and discursive contortions built out of an imperative to obscure a central deceit – a fundamental faultline underpinning an ideological foundation – its straightforward, accessible, even ‘commonsense’, style may in some ways work against it as appearing akin in tone and style to the simplistic, populist, reactionary tracts that pollute so much popular discourse.

As an open philosophy created for and by us all, its analyses and conclusions are inherently accessible in nature, and apparently self-explanatory – but they are satisfying; being built upon a body of rigorous thought, observation, and experience, it robustly withstands and negotiates intellectual and academic scrutiny.

As a platform for political action, it may or may not convince: that is for you to decide. However, if this book does nothing more than demystify what ‘anarchism’ represents, which it does with clarity, intelligence, and integrity, then that is reason enough to recommend it in this world of misinformation and misappropriation.

Great Adaptation for Polish (and English) Language Learners

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Alicja w krainie czarów adapted by Scotia Victoria Gilroy

5*/5

As an adaptation and translation, I felt the vibe of the original Alice story, and found myself laughing and smiling throughout. I can happily say, therefore, that this was a job very well done and performed with care to the source material, allowing me to confidently recommend this to Polish language learners at around the B1/Lower Intermediate+ level who may be interested in improving their skills while enjoying an adaptation of a classic tale that talks to rather than down.

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*Of course, this mark reflects my opinion on this as an adaptation and translation rather than as a piece of literature.

Simple Things

Zlechov to Kyjov: Saturday 08 July 2017

7:20am.

Keep thinking I’m in Italy.

Cracking night’s sleep. Was it the fact that we slept snugly amongst the huddled orchard trees – apricots, walnuts and nie-wiems? Was it feeling less at risk of exposure to accidental humans stumbling across us?

Probably.

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This was stealth camping. Great spot.
Just outside Zlechov.
The town that doesn’t accept cards.

I’m in Czechia.

On we go…

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What was I thinking bringing The Communist Manifesto as optional reading? I’ve read it – on more than one occasion – and found the statist conclusions, if not the analysis, clearly wanting on each of them. Some kind of reminder of a path not to follow? Some kind of continuity and grounding within this venture in liberation? Whatever, an inflatable-mattress-mate this does not make. Do widzenia.

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1:33pm. Kyjov (three hours since we set off).

Emotions rose to the surface outside Borsice.

“Let’s go this way.”
“But where are we?”
“This way.”
“But where the fuck are we?!”

Need coffee. Food.
Czechia doesn’t accept cards widely.

On.

“No.”

 

And on.

 

“No!”

 

“Fuck it!
let’s just get to Kyjov.”

And

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The Holy Grail
a cash machine.
“Let’s go and eat somewhere!”

Three hours after setting off, six hours after getting up, we can eat and drink properly ☹️

Lovely town, though. Lovely.

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Six days in a row riding. Three days in a row under canvas. That’s a lot for us, in our first week – technically, the second day of the second week, but, well … though our morale is good and spirits are high, our tempers are quite short when the simple things – ‘the simple things’ – don’t go our way.

I guess that’s good: if it were the major things like camping or riding the bikes that were a problem, that may be a more significant issue.

But hassles

– ensuring we’re always carrying enough cash in local currency
– acquiring a hard copy of a map of the country and local area asap, so you have a
good idea of your general geographical position, not just your specific location

are just simple logistical details.

But ones that can have a huge impact on the quality of your day; as those little hassles can become major inconveniences when you’re just trying to pedal from one place to the next.

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