As poet, artist and publisher, d.a. levy was an important literary and underground figure in Cleveland's emerging poetry and small/alternative press scene in the early 1960s and continued to be until his untimely death in 1968. levy documented his love-hate relationship with thecity and the politics of the day through his poetry and art which today provides a unique political and social perspective of 1960s Cleveland.
The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle is an early, key, mimeograph publication which was not only a flashpoint for freedom of speech and poetics but was also a radical example of collage and underground publishing.
Anarchism is a radical, revolutionary leftist political philosophy that advocates for the abolition of government, hierarchy, and all other unequal systems of power. It seeks to replace what its proponents view as inherently oppressive institutions — like a capitalist society or the prison industrial complex — with nonhierarchical, horizontal structures powered by voluntary associations between people. Anarchists organize around a key set of principles, including horizontalism, mutual aid, autonomy, solidarity, direct action, and direct democracy, a form of democracy in which the people make decisions themselves via consensus (as opposed to representative democracy, of which the United States government is an example).
We are not sure, but we want to try. Maybe the concept of friendship is already too colonized by liberalism and capitalism. Under neoliberalism, friendship is a banal affair of private preferences: we hang out, we share hobbies, we make small talk. We become friends with those who are already like us, and we keep each other comfortable rather than becoming different and more capable together. The algorithms of Facebook and other social networks guide us towards the refinement of our profiles, reducing friendship to the click of a button. This neoliberal friend is the alternative to hetero- and homonormative coupling: “just friends” implies much weaker and insignificant bond than a lover could ever be. Under neoliberal friendship, we don’t have each other’s backs, and our lives aren’t tangled up together. But these insipid tendencies do not mean that friendships are pointless, only that friendship is a terrain of struggle.
The narratives and the images of ourselves we’ve created over many decades are being shattered virtually overnight. It’s as if we had been looking at ourselves and the world around us through a crooked mirror, and now that the mirror has been shattered, a different reality is confronting us. This is a sobering and painful experience — adjusting to a new image and identity for our country. However, as painful as it is, the process is much needed and long overdue. Eventually all the fragilities and distortions hidden by crooked mirrors had to break through — extreme wealth inequality, racial injustice, brittle supply chains, an underfunded public health system, outdated public technology infrastructure, and so much more. Our social immune system — our collective ability to withstand shocks — has been severely compromised as a result of decades of abuse and neglect. It took a tiny virus to shatter the mirage of might and prosperity.
Anarchists work toward two general goals. First they want to dismantle oppressive, hierarchical institutions. Second, they want to replace those institutions with organic, horizontal, and cooperative versions based on autonomy, solidarity, voluntary association, mutual aid and direct action. Through mutual aid, anarchism takes shape as a practice in care, exchanging resources and solidarity, information, support, even comfort, care, and understanding. People give what they can and get what they need. When a group comes together to push for a change; when social outsiders come together to share or explore ideas and new ways of living, these are all forms of mutual aid.
This book is about mutual aid: why it is so important, what it looks like, and how to do it. It provides a grassroots theory of mutual aid, describes how mutual aid is a crucial part of powerful movements for social justice, and offers concrete tools for organizing, such as how to work in groups, how to foster a collective decision-making process, how to prevent and address conflict, and how to deal with burnout.