All three titles by Paul Cudenec are now available from two radical bookshops in London.
Freedom Bookshop in Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX, is Britain’s largest anarchist bookshop, stocking thousands of books, newspapers and pamphlets on history to sex, philosophy to workers’ struggles, fiction to anti-fascism, as well as the latest magazines, periodicals and newsletters from all the major anarchist and radical groups.
It opens Monday to Saturday 12 noon to 6pm and Sunday 12 noon to 4pm.
This very positive review of Paul Cudenec’s The Anarchist Revelation can be found on the Permaculture magazine website.
Helen Moore reviews Paul Cudenec’s book that explores why knowing ourselves more deeply requires that we move beyond society’s conditioning and connect with the power of the transpersonal.
Could the twin urges in my life – to know myself deeper and, in the face of ecocidal capitalism, an increasingly radical sensibility – actually have their roots in the same impulse? Paul Cudenec’s passionately argued book, The Anarchist Revelation, Being What We’re Meant to Be, persuades me that they do.
Drawing on an impressive range of sources, Cudenec begins by showing how much the status quo relies on our not knowing ourselves. Our educational system, the media, TV, scientific materialism and established religion all play their part, so that: “Being just what we are… is the greatest challenge any of us face in a civilisation where our compliance, our obedience, depends on us not knowing who we are.”
Of course, individual development originally unfolded in interconnection with the natural world, and was embedded within the anarchist ‘organic society’, based on natural laws, co-operation and the self-organising capacity of ecosystems. But having lost our ancient rites of passage and with little awareness of the natural world, in which clues to the meaning of life can be found, our modern alienation from Nature contributes to our collective dysfunction and madness, moving us yet further from our own authenticity.
Fortunately, because we have in fact been shaped through evolution and don’t actually come into the world as “helplessly amoral blank sheets of paper”, on which the state puts its stamp, but as “an integral part of the collective existence”, we can still access our natural sense of ‘love and rage’ as we witness injustice and oppression on a global scale. Cudenec believes this “builds up in our spirits – individually and en masse, consciously and unconsciously – and becomes the force behind the need for revolution”; but it also sustains us by offering a “spiritual pool”, from which we can draw.
In proclaiming ‘No Gods, No Masters’, many anarchists have, of course, notoriously rejected religion, in particular the authoritarianism of the church. Emma Goldman nevertheless saw anarchist revolution as “the mental and spiritual regenerator”, while Cudenec skilfully demonstrates how the roots of anarchism and the universal spirituality posited by Aldous Huxley and Carl Jung, amongst others, are deeply intertwined.
Ultimately, the author’s heartening message is not only that the spirituality inherent in anarchism can sustain us against the deadening effects of capitalism, but also that by transforming ourselves – surrendering to the alchemical processes that dissolve the ‘base metals’ of our superficial ego-selves – we can serve the greater whole, becoming “a conscious manifestation of [the] greater unity, as a temporary representative-on-earth of the life force.” Mind-expanding and well-written, The Anarchist Revelation will appeal to a wide range of readers.
“The least pessimistic book I can recall reading. It brings anarchist resistance and the spirit together in a very wide-ranging and powerful contribution”.
This positive international feedback to Cudenec’s work follows on from anarchist author Gabriel Kuhn’s review on the Alpine Anarchist site, in which he refers to it as “a daring journey through the history of ideas”.
Kuhn, author of Life Under the Jolly Roger and Soccer vs the State, adds: “The book attempts no less than equipping contemporary anarchism with a footing that is often neglected: the transformation not only of society’s structures but also of people’s souls.
“Cudenec’s text is well-structured, consistent in its arguments, and manages to address poetry, mysticism, and spirituality without regressing into lofty gibberish.”
Peter Marshall, author of Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, has described Cudenec’s essay Antibodies as “very readable and profoundly thoughtful” and offering “many new insights on the destructive relationship between the greater part of humanity and the planet which tries to sustain them”.
Paul Cudenec will be talking on The Anarchist Revelation at the London Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday October 19, at 5pm in room 3.20.
Paul Cudenec will be giving two talks in the UK in the next few weeks, based around the themes of his book The Anarchist Revelation, published by Winter Oak Press.
The first is at The Cowley Club at 12 London Road, Brighton, East Sussex, on the evening of Wednesday September 25.
The event, oganised by Cowley Books, is open to all and free of charge and begins at 7pm. The Cowley Club is a libertarian social centre, which hosts a range of cultural and political activities and has its own bookshop, library and bar.
The second talk will be on Saturday October 19 at the 2013 Anarchist Bookfair at Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS.
“The book attempts no less than equipping contemporary anarchism with a footing that is often neglected: the transformation not only of society’s structures but also of people’s souls.
“In order to achieve his goal, Cudenec embarks on a daring journey through the history of ideas. Make no mistake, though: this is no hodgepodge of random notations, and no new age hocus-pocus disguised in anarchist colors.
“Cudenec’s text is well-structured, consistent in its arguments, and manages to address poetry, mysticism, and spirituality without regressing into lofty gibberish.
“It is never in doubt that the book is a serious attempt at helping us answer the ever relevant question of whether life can change with a rearrangement of social institutions alone, if we don’t change as human beings…
“Paul Cudenec’s work will mostly appeal to those who – in increasing numbers – explore the relations between anarchism and philosophy, psychology, and religion.
“People looking for in-depth analyses of governmental bodies, labor conditions, or gender and race relations might have to turn somewhere else. No single book has it all.
“The Anarchist Revelation has a clear purpose, however, that is, reflecting on the transformation of the self for the benefit of the community. Everyone interested in this mighty challenge will find the text to be an inspiring read.”
Gabriel Kuhn is well known to English-speaking anarchists for the likes of Life Under the Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy (2010), Soccer vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics (2011), and for editing and translating Gustav Landauer’sRevolution and Other Writings (2010) and Liberating Society from the State and Other Writings (2011) by Erich Mühsam.
His German-language works include Tier-Werden, Schwarz-Werden, Frau-Werden. Eine Einführung in die politische Philosophie des Poststrukturalismus(2005) and Neuer Anarchismus in den USA. Seattle und die Folgen (2008).
Paul Cudenec has posted a passage from his book The Anarchist Revelation on his blog, under the heading The Natural Laws of Freedom.
For details of how to get hold of a copy, see previous entries on this site.
The cub is a social centre which houses a cafe and bookshop during the day and a members’ bar during the evenings. It also has a library and is a base for a variety of other projects.