Why am I publishing an anarchist review of books? This is certainly a reasonable question. After all, there are a few out there, and several major anarchist publications have extensive review sections. But they generally limit themselves to reviewing specifically political (mostly anarchist) books, as if anarchists had only a single interest.
But anarchists are not mere political animals. I was attracted to anarchist perspectives due to my hatred of politics and my desire to grasp the fullness of my life as my own. Thus, I don’t just read political texts, but rather a wide variety of books on every topic: history, philosophy, art, science, travel and so on. In addition, I read poetry and fiction. As a critical reader, I can find ways to use the contents of these books to expand my understanding of the reality I am facing and to sharpen my critique both theoretically and practically.
I also tend to like to do things my own way. So, though I am willing to write reviews for other people's projects, I also like to have my own space where I don’t have to answer to anyone and can feel free to wander down whatever paths of passion, convoluted reason, poetic reverie, sarcasm and humor I like. There is so much to explore, so many tools, toys and weapons to discover…
My own anarchist perspectives could be categorized as “post-left”, anti-political, non-primitivist anti-civilization, insurrectionary and egoist. From the Armchair is certain to reflect this. But I have no interest in feeding sectarian dogmatism. I don’t need to set up a personal political cult for myself in order to figure out who I do and don’t want to be involved with (and I have learned all too well that in this world where most people just have opinions and beliefs, not living ideas in conflict with what exists, the fact that someone talks with words like mine doesn’t mean that I want to have anything to do with them). As in the world in general, so among anarchists, there are for too many parrot-like fools whose words are empty of meaning. I have nothing to say to them.
I would rather talk with genuine rebels against the ruling order, whatever color or shape their rebellion may take. So the central aim of this review is to make more tools available to anarchists of all sorts in their project of taking back their lives through the revolutionary destruction of the ruling order. And the armchair where I sit and read is also one of my weapons.