I like STRIKE!magazine. It looks great, it feels great. I like the people who produce it and their determination to sell it on the streets. I’ve written for it and just submitted an article for the issue after next. It’s contents can be a bit RED PEPPERISH but hey ho its flourishing so they must be getting it right and their target market is probably not curmudgeonly pensioners. BUT…………

The latest issue has far too many professors and senior academics writing for it. Every other article is by a professor of geography or anthropology or…….Are academics the only people with ideas or ability to write……where are the working class contributors………have you looked for them? Most of these academics already contribute to the Guardian – do you aspire to be only Guardian ‘Comment Is Free’ with better visuals. They also have plenty of other platforms. I’m moaning cos I like STRIKE! but you’re replicating class society’s hierarchy of experts and academics. Make an effort to find some working class writers – it may be harder than picking up the phone to Danny Dorling or Nina Power and they may not have the name pulling power you want. But they are out there………..imagine the joy of finding some unheard voices that can knock spots off the proffs. I don’t want to read more from Richard Seymour and the like…….I want to her some blistering prose from the army of proletarian wordsmiths out there who can never get published. Go for it.



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  1. Ray

    Fair enough Ian but what exactly do you mean by working class? If you mean background, well Danny Dorling came from Oxford estate to eventually be a prof at that uni up the road. So was working class – but not anymore. Is that what you mean? Trouble is that any genuine proletarian with a talent for writing will, if they have their head screwed on, do their best to make some money from the craft ( maybe become an academic)and will I suppose lose entitlement to be called working class. Tricky innit?
    Oh! and happy birthday.

  2. Uncle Sam

    According to some economic theology or another, academics may be workers. But anyone with the brains and application to hold down an academic position should have no trouble finding a way to be directly useful in society. They should not have to spend their life taking bribes to solve capitalism’s problems for it by teaching young people to be zombies of production and consumption, and/or finding new markets and materials for goods churned out solely for profit — in the processcreating and increasing vast differences in wealth and laying to waste the Earth’s finite resources.

    Are those who remain in their well-upholstered kennels really the best people to guide the rebel impulses of the dispossessed?

  3. Putting aside the notion that working class people can’t also be academics (and we really should), there are more contributions from non-academics than academics in this issue – and every other issue. Obviously it gives us more joy to feature an article like Andy’s, or Bill’s, or the London Anarchist Bookfair collective’s than more mainstream things – unfortunately it seems (to us, so far) that you need a mix of content if you want more people to read the more radical stuff (not everyone does: we do). And as you point out in your latest article for us, not everyone gives two fucks (which is at odds with the notion of an army of proletarian wordsmiths brandishing blistering prose bombs: apparently they’re on covert manoeuvres, because they ain’t firing in my direction on a regular basis – I wish they would). Of those that do, lots of them would like to be paid for their writing – which is completely fair enough, but also something we can’t do.

    That’s but one reason the comparison between ourselves and The Guardian is pretty funny from where we’re sitting. The Guardian’s staff are handsomely remunerated: none of us have ever taken a salary or even expenses (some people call this ‘self-exploitation’: we call it struggle); we’ll soon be registered as a workers co-op: Guardian is capitalist swine-dog media; the Guardian carry advertising: our latest issue has a feature on how to break into bus stops and subvert advertising*; the Guardian has a vast, shiny headquarters: I’m writing this in my tiny bedroom, in the housing co-operative in which I live. I don’t know what the Guardian’s objects are, but STRIKE!’s are below.

    Putting aside all of that, the main point of STRIKE! is do it yourself. If you don’t like the shit that the government/The Guardian/STRIKE! are feeding you, close your mouth and start cooking up your own alternatives. That’s what we did, and I’m guessing that’s what you did with Class War. The difference between the government/The Guardian and STRIKE! is that they’ll have you believe that’s a difficult thing to do: not only will we say it’s actually not that difficult (if you’re prepared to struggle), but we’ll also show you how to do it – collaboration is joy. If anyone’s interested in starting a publication of the sort Ian’s talking about, get in touch with and we’ll do all we can.

    That’s mutual aid, yo. And these are our objects:

    STRIKE! exists as a radical publisher, primarily in print publications.
    STRIKE! is anti-capitalist, anti-profit and run on anarchist principles.
    STRIKE! will never sell any content or advertising.
    STRIKE! will never contain content that promotes class, fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or the police, or affiliate itself with organisations that do.

    *You’ll recall that I actually offered to break into a bus stop myself, to advertise the Class War election campaign. Let me know when Rusbridger picks up the phone – we can go carousing 😉 x.

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