Friday, 27 September 2013

Zerzan: "The least pessimistic book I can recall reading"

"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 is the comment, in a recent article, from US anarchist writer John Zerzan on Paul Cudenec's The Anarchist Revelation, published by Winter Oak Press.

Zerzan is the influential author of  Elements of Refusal, Future Primitive and Other Essays, Running on Emptiness, Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections and Twilight of the Machines.

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.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Paul Cudenec: talks in Brighton and London


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.

Paul's talk will be on the third floor, room 3.20, from 5pm to 6pm. The programme says he will explain "how only anarchy can save humankind and the planet - and why today’s anarchists must urgently reconnect with the primal force of our root ideology, a free and profound way of thinking that stands in direct opposition to the blinkered and soul-stifling materialism of contemporary society". It will be followed by a general discussion.

The bookfair itself, a must for anyone in the UK interested in anarchism, runs from 10am to 7pm with the usual packed programme of diverse meetings and rooms full of stalls.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Daring journey through the history of ideas

Gabriel Kuhn
"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."

Above are a few key paragraphs from a review of Paul Cudenec's The Anarchist Revelation, published by Winter Oak Press, by author Gabriel Kuhn. The original can be seen on the Alpine Anarchist Productions website.

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's Revolution 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).

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Antibodies, Anarchangels and Other Essays


A new collection of writing by Paul Cudenec has been published by Winter Oak Press.

Antibodies, Anarchangels and Other Essays brings together a selection of work by the author of The Anarchist Revelation, published earlier this summer.

Cudenec calls for a new deeper level of resistance to global capitalism - one which is rooted in the collective soul not just of humankind but of the living planet. 

He leads us along the intertwining environmental and philosophical strands of Antibodies, through the passion of Anarchangels and The Task and on to a cutting analysis of Gladio, a state-terrorist branch of what he calls the "plutofascist" system. 

Also included, alongside short pieces on Taoism and Jungian psychology, is an interview with the author, in which he explains key aspects of his approach. 

Peter Marshall, author of Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism and Nature's Web: An Exploration of Ecological Thinking, has described Antibodies as “very readable and profoundly thoughtful... Many new insights on the destructive relationship between the greater part of humanity and the planet which tries to sustain them".

Antibodies, Anarchangels and Other Essays is 154 pages long and is available at £7.99 in the UK, $11.99 in the USA and  Euros 9.62.

The Kindle version can be had for a special price of just 77p in the UK, $1.18 in the USA and 0.89 Euros.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Anarchist Revelation in London

The Anarchist Revelation by Paul Cudenec is now on the shelves of two radical bookshops in London - Housmans and Freedom.

Housmans, at 5 Caledonian Road, King's Cross, London N1 9DX, is a not-for-profit bookshop, specialising in books, zines, and periodicals of radical interest and progressive politics.

It stocks the largest range of radical newsletters, newspapers and magazines of any shop in Britain. It opens Monday to Friday, 10am to 6.30pm, Saturday, 10am to 6pm, and Sunday, noon to 6pm.

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 also stocks an extensive range of political t-shirts, badges, CDs, DVDs, posters and Zapatista coffee. It opens Monday to Saturday 12 noon to 6pm and Sunday 12 noon to 4pm

The Anarchist Revelation is also available at the Cowley Club bookshop, 12 London Road, Brighton.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Excerpt from Anarchist Revelation now online

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.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Anarchist Revelation at The Cowley Club


We are pleased to announce that Paul Cudenec's The Anarchist Revelation is now available from the Cowley Club bookshop at 12 London Road, Brighton, East Sussex. Copies are on sale there for £7 each.

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.

It is collectively owned and run as a base for those involved in grassroots social change and those sympathetic to such activities. It is run entirely by volunteers.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Anarchist Revelation - more outlets

The Anarchist Revelation by Paul Cudenec is now available from Waterstones bookshops, at £7.99, with free delivery in the UK.

Other commercial outlets include The Book Depository and

For potential readers in India, there's Bookadda, in Australia there's Bookworld and in New Zealand Mighty Ape.

In Norway you can buy The Anarchist Revelation from Bokklubben or Studia and in Sweden from Adlibris or  Bokus.

In Croatia it is available from Superbookshop and in the USA it is now stocked by Tower Books and should be found on the shelves of Left Bank Books in Seattle.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Online interview with Paul Cudenec

An interview with Paul Cudenec, author of The Anarchist Revelation, has been published on  the internet.

It was originally published on the Vast Minority blog site but has since also appeared at on UK Indymedia and

Here's the text:

Q: Your book The Anarchist Revelation is very much focused around presenting an anarchist spirituality. Why?

That’s the question I hopefully go some way to answering over the course of some 150 pages! In short, there are two separate, and yet interwoven, strands. Firstly there is the individual question – how can an alienated individual such as an anarchist, who is sane enough to find the contemporary capitalist world insane, carry on living in that world? Involvement in the anarchist struggle is part of the answer, but you also need something more than that, some greater perspective to fall back on in times of doubt or isolation.

I think anarchism, historically, has always offered a depth of vision that can sustain and propel an individual through adversity but, if we start to regard anarchism not as a life-philosophy but as a narrowly defined social movement, we will lose contact with that vital force.

Secondly, there’s the spiritual depth of the anarchist movement as a whole. To me, it stands opposed to the modern materialist mindset at a fundamental level. It’s not just that we reject all those assumptions about the legitimacy of authority, property or privilege, but we also reject the blinkered and one-dimensional thinking of the current age.

Anarchy is lateral thinking, creative thinking, poetic thinking in many ways, and in that it has a lot in common with something like Sufism, the esoteric strand of Islam. It’s not stuck on the one level - like Marxism is, for example. And I think we need to reconnect to that imaginative and fluid side of anarchist thought.

Q: But there’s a difference between the vitality or fluidity of a philosophy and this idea of “spirituality”. Why does that come in? Why does it have to come in?

Spirituality for me is all about using the parts of our mind that are left to wither away in a purely materialist society, where nothing it considered valid unless it can be “empirically” proven to be so. These are the powers we need to reignite, on both an individual and collective level.

Q: But what about the religious aspect to “spirituality” that you do evoke in your book? Are you suggesting that these unused parts of our mind are something to do with a supernatural element?

Not supernatural, no. But my definition of what is natural, and real, would go a lot further than what’s generally understood by that. As far as religion goes, the only religion I’m promoting is anarchism. OK, maybe it’s not quite a religion at the moment, but I think it has the potential to be, if it doesn’t cut itself off from the less materialist aspects of its philosophy that take it up in that direction.

Q: So what kind of religion would anarchism be? A religion with no god?

There doesn’t have to be a “god”, in the sense in which it’s normally meant in the West. It’s all about an holistic vision, understanding that on every level of existence everything is interconnected and ultimately part of the one entity. On a human level, this is already the anarchist position – mutual aid, co-operation, solidarity and so on. On a planetary level this is the environmentalist position – the Gaia idea of a living Earth. On a cosmic level, this becomes a Buddhist or Taoist idea of the ultimate unity.

I think that anarchism naturally embraces the holistic approach on the other levels, as well, thus expanding itself into a complete vision of life, rather than remaining merely a social or economic programme spiced up with a confrontational attitude.

Q: Is this a bad thing, then, a “confrontational attitude”? Should anarchists be adopting the quietism of Eastern mystics?

Not at all. A confrontational attitude is essential for anarchism. I think we need to be more confrontational, in fact, in contexts other than street battles with the police or fascists. We need to be more confrontational in our refusal of the moral claims of the state, by stating clearly that we don’t accept that they have the right to rule us, to jail us, to control us in any way. Of course, we recognise the reality that they can do so, in the same way that a large man with a knife has the physical ability to rob me in the street, but we should make it clear that we don’t buy into their lie that there is any moral legitimacy behind this.

We also need to be more confrontational in attacking the limits that are placed around possible futures. Although it’s often a tactically good idea to work with reformist campaigns, if only to help stem the tide of increasing capitalist domination, we should never stop talking about the completely different society that is our vision and inspiration. It doesn’t matter if people can’t grasp that this could ever happen, that they are conditioned by society to think that such a future is not only undesirable but also impossible.

We have to keep our black flag flying so that the vision stays alive, at least on an abstract level, and it’s there for people to turn to one day when they finally realise that the only alternative is going to be a future of slavery and misery for the vast majority of humanity. What we need to reclaim is the total opposition to the current system that was historically offered by anarchism. There’s such a strength in that.

Also, by the way, there’s nothing necessarily quietist or pacifist about faiths like Buddhism – take the Tibetan monks in their struggle against Chinese occupation, for a start. Many religions are used by authorities to promote obedience and submission, and Buddhism is no exception, but that doesn’t reflect on its innate qualities or its potential as an aid to human liberation.

Q: Total opposition? That sounds quite full-on!

In the context in which I just used it, I meant total opposition in a philosophical sense – attacking the current death-system at its roots, rather than focusing on trimming it back here and there. But I do think that’s what we need, at every level. Otherwise nothing will change, all possibilities of improvement will remain blocked and the future will be like this, only a thousand times worse.

Q: There’s a strong environmental current running through your work. Would you describe yourself as an eco-anarchist?

I have done, yes, though I’m tending now to focus on just being an anarchist, which I think is enough. For a start, I can’t see that anything other than anarchism – and the total opposition that it involves – is going to save the planet. The system is not going to reform itself or voluntarily concede any power or control. I also don’t feel there’s a need for any of us to qualify our anarchism with adjectives.

I’ve been playing around with the notion of an Anarchy Threshold, this being the “finishing tape” that all anarchists are aiming at, the point at which humankind can said to be liberated. The idea is that we don’t really have to argue about what happens after that, because, as anarchists, we’re saying that the people around at the time (whenever it actually happens!) will decide that, by their actions and views, among themselves.

So it doesn’t matter if my vision of a better future is one without factories, while my comrade sees the need for a continuation of some form of industrialism. Neither of us will be in a position to decide that. As anarchists we’re not about imposing our views on others anyway, even if we could do so. So it’s purely theoretical – our only input is in putting forward our own visions of how life could be. If we have faith in a free humanity, we will have faith in the future it will create for itself in an anarchist society. Personally, I can’t see that a post-capitalist world would be industrial in any way, because industrialism is capitalism.

The capitalists are right when they say that without the profit incentive, we wouldn’t have what they call “progress” – it’s the forces of money and power, feeding off each other, that have spawned the industrial hell in which we are all forced to live today and the moment that there is no more capitalism there will be no raison d’être for factories, oil refineries, nuclear power stations, shopping malls and so on.

I don’t have to argue too much with other anarchists about what a future anarchist society would look like, though. Firstly, because it’s not my call – or theirs. Secondly, because I know, in my own heart, that an anarchist society would not be an industrial one. It will all unfold in due course. And in the meantime, before the Anarchy Threshold has been reached, our only aim should be to work towards that point with a diversity of tactics and a respect for each others’ personal visions.

Q: Isn’t that a bit naïve, to think that anarchists could all work together happily ever after?

It’s not naïve to think we should all work together – or at least not snipe at each other. If we can’t, then perhaps that’s something to do with the egos of individuals concerned (not just inflated egos, but fragile ones as well) – and that is something that can be addressed by an individual spiritual approach that is a microcosm of our social struggle, as I describe in the book. It’s about rediscovering our strength and clarity, both individually and collectively.

Q: The language in your book can be quite academic at times – do you feel that this can create a barrier to people understanding what you’re saying and limit the numbers who are going to read your message?

Firstly, I’m not a professional academic and I try to make my meaning clear to readers. It’s difficult, though, to express complex ideas without using the short cut of a certain vocabulary – otherwise the end result would be both long-winded and a little patronising.

Secondly, when you’re quoting writers like Herbert Marcuse or Karl Jaspers it would be strange if the surrounding text was in a completely different register – the flow wouldn’t be there. Thirdly, part of theme of The Anarchist Revelation is the lowering of the intellectual level and the denial by the narrow positivist mindset of people’s ability to think clearly and profoundly. Dumbing-down the language in which that sort of argument is expressed seems to me like something of an own goal!

It’s not just a question of vocabulary, but also the way ideas are expressed. Everything doesn’t always have to be compressed into soundbites. I do take on board the criticism to a certain extent, though, and I would like to work on ways of communicating these ideas in a way that they can be more readily absorbed.

Q: Finally, your book draws on the work of a whole range of writers, many of whom are not anarchists. How would you respond to criticism that you risk diluting the anarchist message and confusing it with unrelated strands of thought. Is this some kind of “post-anarchism” that you’re serving up?

No, it’s not “post-anarchism”. If anything, I’m trying to unearth an “Ur-anarchism”, a primal force behind the philosophy, hence my foray into the worlds of hermeticism, alchemy, Sufism and Taoism.

I think it’s a mistake to imagine that anarchism is, or should be, some kind of self-contained bubble of consciously-limited political analysis. It’s not airtight, but porous. Anarchism influences the world around it and it is, in turn, influenced by that world. The fact that an idea is expressed by a particular individual does not make it “their” idea anyway; it’s all drawn from the common cultural resource of humanity.

So if a writer expresses something that seems valid and interesting to me, I don’t have to agree with everything else they ever wrote or did in order for me to make use of it in my work and acknowledge where I read it. To me, it’s actually exciting to find anarchist ideas bubbling up in unexpected places, as it makes it clear that our vision is not as peripheral as the thought-authorities would like to make out.

Anarchism is the political label we give to a massive underground river of suppressed thinking that is flowing under the streets of our materialist capitalist civilization, waiting to rise up and sweep away its factories, prisons and city halls. Ultimately, it’s the life-force itself and as such it’s unstoppable. 

The Anarchist Revelation is now also available from The Book Depository.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Number one best seller in anarchism!

The Anarchist Revelation by Paul Cudenec is currently showing up as "#1 Best Seller in Anarchism" on the Amazon website!

So don't miss out - jump on that bandwagon and get hold a copy today! We reckon the book's fairly priced - £7.99 for the printed item and £3.40 for the Kindle version in the UK.

In Europe it's Euros 9.14 and Euros 3.98 for the Kindle and in the USA at the time of writing there's a special price of  $10.30 for the book and $5.34 for the Kindle.

Mentions of the book are starting to appear all over the place - such as on Infoshop, Anarchist News, A Pinch of Salt, Tír na Saor and, here in Sussex, The Porkbolter - plus a quite a few Tweets flying about.

If anyone wants any more information about the book, about using excerpts from it or about interviewing the author, please get in touch with us at winteroak(at)

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Anarchist Revelation by Paul Cudenec

An important new book on anarchist thought is now available from Winter Oak Press.

Here, he turns his back on contemporary trends of anarchism in a bid to reconnect with the primal force of its root ideology.

Cudenec notes the significance of its refusal of the state and its judicial system, of land ownership and of the need to work for wages in order to live.

But he goes further in suggesting that anarchism represents a whole way of thinking that stands in direct opposition to the blinkered materialism of contemporary society and its soul-stifling positivist dogma.

He writes: “The anarchist does not merely stray outside the framework of acceptable thinking as carefully assembled by the prevalent system – she smashes it to pieces and dances on the wreckage.”

Cudenec explores the fluidity and depth of thinking found in anarchism, in stark contrast to Marxism, and identifies, in particular, a love of apparent paradox that seems to appeal to the anarchist psyche.

He also sees a connection between and anarchism and esoteric forms of religion – such as Sufism, Taoism and hermeticism - whose inner light defies the crushing patriarchal conservatism and hierarchy of the exoteric institutions.

Cudenec provides evidence that anarchism’s roots lie partly in this life-embracing source of inspiration, the bringer of art and poetry as well as of resistance and revolt.

While, he argues, anarchism is incompatible with existing religions, it has the potential to harness its powerful ideology to this universal esoteric current and thus become the religion of the future, the spiritual and political revelation that will save humankind from a grim future of slavery, corruption and destruction.

In making his case, Cudenec draws on the work of anarchists such as Gustav Landauer, Michael Bakunin and Herbert Read. But he also widens the field of enquiry to include the philosophy of René Guénon, Herbert Marcuse and Jean Baudrillard; the existentialism of Karl Jaspers and Colin Wilson; the vision of Carl Jung, Oswald Spengler and Idries Shah, and the environmental insight of Derrick Jensen and Paul Shepard.

With a fusion of scholarly research and inspiring polemic, Cudenec succeeds in forging a coherent and profound 21st century world-view with an appeal that will reach out far beyond those who currently term themselves anarchists.

Contact Winter Oak Press via winteroak(at)
Contact Paul Cudenec via cudenec(at)

Paul Cudenec has a blog at

The book will in due course be available in independent radical bookshops but currently the best way to get a copy is here.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Welcome to Winter Oak Press

Winter Oak Press is a new small publisher based in Sussex, England. Watch this space for news.