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; as you point out in your latest article for us, not all working class people give two fucks (which is at odds with the notion of an army of proletarian wordsmiths and their 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 (as is the notion we can just pick up the phone and get whoever we want to write for us). 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 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: 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com 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 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 for you myself, to advertise the Class War election campaign. Let me know when Rusbridger picks up the phone – we can go carousing😉 x.