read: 30 October 2002
I have mixed feelings about things you can buy to support anti-capitalism. Now that corporate globalization is a daily reality that most of us can write and converse intelligently about, it seems only natural that someone would compile these discussions and sell them back to us. That said, this book offers a good overview to the many “talking points” surrounding the current cynicism about the brave new capitalist world being force-fed to us by the likes of Big Business and their henchmen the WTO and the IMF.
The essays range from a very down to earth and humorous look at the consumer-orientation of transexuality to post-modern yammering that I stopped reading at the phrase “the terms of anti-capitalism’s symbolic/conceputal production.” You’ll find more Marx here than Kropotkin, but the Reader is largely doctrine-free, though more closely aligned with the philosophical concerns of the anti-capitalist movement than the very real “well what do you do without capitalism, smart guy?!” issues that affect the day to day lives of many modern anti-capitalist thinkers.
Interviews with Thomas Frank from The Baffler, and Ramsey Kanaan from AK Press are two of the book’s stronger pieces, as is Naomi Klein’s homage to Subcommandante Marcos. The Reader covers a wide range of topics from open source software and intellectual property rights to bioengineering to Leninism. There’s a little something for everyone -- a perfect primer for Anti-Capitalism 101 at your local Megaversity -- and Punk Planet co-editor Schalit has the necessary cred to not only bring it all together but get it noticed as well.
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