Rescued from the depths of my archive, here is an old Auckland magazine from 1980 (it’s a large file): Lumpen

The main reason I am posting it is because each page was printed in a different bold and garrulous colour. Wow. Sort of psychedelic colour splash anarcho-punk, if there is such a thing. Despite the cover, however, those who produced it were not punks. Unfortunately, they were anarchists, and even worse, carnival anarchists. (Shockingly, if i remember right, the unholy trinity of carnivalism, anarchism and punk were actually combined in one Christchurch publication from the mid-1980s called Numberless Anarchist Hordes (NAH)).

What the hell is carnival anarchism? I doth go into academic mode:

Carnival anarchism is both a distinctive style and type of anarchism. It aimed to combine the cultural revolution with a socio-economic one, and synthesise personal transformation with collective transformation. Theoretically and organisationally, it valued eclecticism, creativity, informality and spontaneity. Carnivalists were aggressive and provocative tactically, mixing absurdist humour with direct action. In brief, they wanted revolution and fun too.

Enough of the frilly analysis. Anyone whose been around anarcho circles since the 1960s will instantly spot this particular sub-(cultural)-type of the anarchist species. Yes, the carnies had humour.

An example of humour in Lumpen

Yes, they took drugs (horse tranquilisers in some instances).  But in reaction to the unhealthy appetite of some Leninists to worshipping blue-collar male-dominated factory workers and dissing the unemployed as the unstable dregs and scum of the proletariat, they went to the opposite extreme and dissed all workers for having – shock! horror! – jobs and not joining them in their oh so creative lives (read: dull and repetitive lifestyles) on the dole. Of course these are crude stereotypes, but like many crude stereotypes, they have a hint of truth about them…

A lot more could be said about the weaknesses of carnival anarchism…But enough! If you have a read of the magazine, you will probably see that it did not have any theoretical substance. Or any real, in-depth, content. Which is hardly surprising really. But at least it was colourful.


~ by vomitingdiamonds on 24/06/2011.

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