Reading for December: The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism by Fredy Perlman

Need to get some not-so-last-minute shopping done for the holidays? Join us on Sunday, December 2nd for our monthly anarchist bazaar and discussion at Riffraff bookstore + bar (60 Valley Street in Providence, inside The Plant)! We’ll have books and zines for sale from 12pm-4pm and the discussion will start at 2:30pm.

This month’s reading is a classic and one of our favorites – Fredy Perlman’s “The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism”. Over 30 years since it was written, this essay continues to provide an elucidating definition of nationalism and its uses by both “left” and “right” and is all the more relevant in a context in which “nationalism” and “fascism” are terms mobilizing large numbers of people.

The idea that an understanding of the genocide, that a memory of the holocausts, can only lead people to want to dismantle the system, is erroneous. The continuing appeal of nationalism suggests that the opposite is true-er, namely that an understanding of genocide has led people to mobilize genocidal armies, that the memory of holocausts has led people to perpetrate holocausts.

It’s somewhat long as pieces we’ve read go and we’ll be discussing the whole thing, so plan ahead!

You can read the essay here, including the option to print it out for yourself in pamphlet form!

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