An Anti-Authoritarian New Year

The wall calendar vs. the state.


Autonomedia's Calendar of Jubilee Saints, by James Koehnline and the Autonomedia Collective, Autonomedia, 32 pages, $9.95.

Autonomedia has published many anti-authoritarian books over the past two decades, but none is as original or remarkable as its annual Calendar of Jubilee Saints. Measuring 17″ across and 11″ high, thus opening to 22″ high if you hang it on your wall, it is at once a month-by-month calendar, a work of book art, and a repository of useful critical information.

In every well-designed two-page spread for each month of the year is a box for every day of that month. Within each box is first a thumbnail photo or drawn portrait (usually by Seattle's James Koehnline) of someone dead who should be remembered by anti-authoritarians, broadly defined. For examples, consider from the end of this coming year: 24 December, Claudia Jones (a Trinidadian feminist and black nationalist—a name new to me); 25 December, Jesus of Nazareth (not new to me, but identified here as a "persecuted leader of an underground liberation movement"); 26 December, Cornelius Castoriadius (a Greek-French anti-statist philosopher); 27 December, Julien Benda (a French critic, especially of "intellectuals"); 28 December, Guy Debord (a French Situtationist agitator); 29 December, Sheikh Anta Diop (an African historian); 30 December, Victor Serge (an anti-Stalinist novelist and activist); 31 December, John Wycliffe (a 14th-Century religious dissident).

As these samples suggest, the political/cultural taste informing the selections for each date is eclectic, erudite, and discriminating. Along the calendar's margins is further information about each date. For 25 December, for instance: "1621—Massachusetts halts all sinful game-playing, confiscates children's toys. 1924—Twilight Zone creator Rod Sterling born, Binghamton, New York. 1989—Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausecu executed."

Only rarely would I excommunicate a selection, thinking that better choices must exist for days assigned to, say, Karl Marx (at least Lenin doesn't make it here), the arts patron Mabel Dodge Luhan, the literary scholar Edward Said, the experimental novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet, the leftist biologist Stephen Jay Gould, and the Marxist writers Antonio Gramsci and Paul Sweezy. Weigh these duds against perhaps 10 times as many whom you're pleased to see included, including many names previously unfamiliar, and you begin to appreciate the intelligence and literacy behind this heaven's gatekeepers. (The "anarchists" at Autonomedia wouldn't agree, but I'd add Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman to the roster.)

The calendar also includes advertisements of Autonomedia's conventionally sized books (including—full diclosure—some of mine) and a single-page knock-out stylish preface: "And since we have missed proper celebrations for most of the last millennium, we are proclaiming a Grand Jubilee—just maybe, here at the end of History, one crafted to last forever." It continues, "Steal back your own and every other life from the forces of freed and immiseration! Toss that monkeywrench! Throw that OFF switch. Hit that DELETE key! Join the Work-Resistor's League! Workers of the World, Untie! Get out NOW! Just say no! And leave no child behind!"

Under each saint's puss is a blank box in which you can write in some notes for each day or, as the preface advises, "If you are less than completely enthused with our choice for some day…go ahead and paste in your own Saint." The principle of choosing your own saint for the pantheon suggests a Catholic sensibility turned libertarian.

As the cover of this 21st calendar proclaims, "Every day a Holiday!" as indeed it should be in the libertarian millennium. I also recommend trying to find the 20 previous editions of the calendar and saving them, as I have done. As book art of a sort, they are at once very readable and quite beautiful; they will be treasured.

NEXT: The Last Time America Declared War

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  1. Saint Marx? It sounds like they were trying a little too hard to be eclectic.

    1. I might consider it if they included Saint Kermit of All Frogs.

  2. The whole thing sounds terrible. If someone gifted this to me for Christmas, I would consider it hostile and threatening. Pass.

  3. Since the powers that be do not see fit to provide, I declare this thread to be the weekend lynx. (Only because I have an article and this was at the top of the list..story looks too dummm to read.)

    But, looks like the University of Colorado is going to tow the federal lion.

    I was personally opposed to Amendment 64 and worked on my own time to defeat it. But it passed and CU, like many entities, is working to determine the implications.

    The glaring practical problem is that we stand to lose significant federal funding….

    Likewise, the 4/20 event we worked to shut down last year (and will continue to in coming years), paints a picture of CU that is far from accurate. More than two-thirds of those who participate are not CU students. Regardless, it is not what we want our university known for.

    We are not only within our rights to ban marijuana on our campuses, it is the right thing to do. Many insist the legalization votes in Colorado and Washington state are in part a referendum on the war on drugs, and the point is hard to argue. That is a discussion we should have as a society. However, in a tenuous funding environment, the possibility of losing nearly a billion dollars is a chance we simply cannot take. We have better things to focus on.

    1. Disappointing since CU is the university that permits open carry on campus and in their dorms.

      1. The city of Boulder prohibits open carry, and CU only allows concealed carry by permitted students in certain dorms so long as the weapons are locked up at night.

        1. Thanks, I wasn;t clear about the exact nature of the rule there.

          1. The city of Boulder is a nasty enclave of socialist idiots nestled in one of the most beautiful spots on the front range. For example, the city effectively prevents construction of new housing (open space is like, nature, man), driving housing prices up, and forcing most people who work in Boulder to commute from elsewhere. To remedy the problem the city caused, the city raised taxes on everything you can imagine to subsidize housing costs for teachers, cops, firefighters, and every other public-sector union with a presence in town.

            I’m convinced their CW dorm is nothing but a cynical attempt to ostracize any student who might want a gun.

    2. Tow the (federal) lion? And workers of the world…untie? Everybody must be trippin’ tonight.

    3. “Many insist the legalization votes in Colorado and Washington state are in part a referendum on the war on drugs, and the point is hard to argue. That is a discussion we should have as a society.”

      That’s why they gathered signatures and put it on a BALLOT. And won. Is there another kind of “discussion we should have as a society”?

  4. Federal agency wants black boxes in every new car by September 2014
    But some fear that there isn’t enough built-in data protection for such devices.

    Who wants to bet this opens the door for GPS tracking in the future?

    As we reported earlier this year, Congress has two related, pending bills on car EDRs that have not yet been reconciled between the two houses.

    So much for those house republicans…

    1. One transmitter away from your speeding tickets just showing up in the mail. Hell, they could just take the fines out of your bank account and send you a notice of how many points you received.


      Fully automated cars can’t get here too soon.

      1. Yeah, come to think of it, what excuse will the traffic cops use to pull you over in the age of robotic cars?

  5. At the risk of drawing the ire of half the people here, beat Army!

    1. As a former bubblehead concurs with the sentiment, though I find football and its spectation droll.

      1. *I concur*

      2. I’m also a former submariner – though now I’m an EDO and ironically deeply embedded in the military-industrial complex.

    2. Navy can get to Bin Laden in Pakistan but they can’t get to a mule in West Point.

      1. Ha. Well, good on ’em. Nice to see that sort of stuff still going on. Navy’s got the edge in dance videos, though – compare the academies’ renditions of Gangnam Style for example.

      2. More than 200 years ago, livestock were kept aboard ships for food, milk and company.

        1. It’s not gay if it’s underway.

    3. Since no one else has said it… Go Army, Beat Navy!

      1. Not today! That fumble should continue my class’s status of being the junior class to have been there for a loss.

        1. Army won. They don’t have to stand next to Biden.

          Congratulations! The Navy streak continues.

          1. I’m not proud, that was an ugly win. But it’s better to be lucky than good.

    4. I’m not shy. GO NAVY.

  6. For examples, consider from the end of this coming year: 24 December, Claudia Jones (a Trinidadian feminist and black nationalist communist?a name new to me) … 26 December, Cornelius Castoriadius (a Greek-French anti-statist philosopher communist); 27 December, Julian Benda (a French critic, especially of “intellectuals” communist); 28 December, Guy Debord (a French Situtationist agitator communist); 29 December … 30 December, Victor Serge (an anti-Stalinist novelist and activist communist)…

    Nice selection of “anti-authoritarians”.

    1. My exact thoughts.

    2. It’s Julien Benda, and anyone who writes La Trahison des clercs is fine by me. Yeah, he seems to have been in the Popular Front in the ’30s, but as far as I know, he was not a communist in the way the others on your list were.

  7. Francisco d Anconia| 12.8.12 @ 2:26PM |#
    “Since the powers that be do not see fit to provide, I declare this thread to be the weekend lynx.”

    OK, how about the Sierra ski resorts don’t have a base yet (don’t ski anymore, but when I did, it was rare to be able to ski before Xmas).
    Anyhow: “California’s Sierra Nevada has yet to feel the full effect of what researchers said this week is an impending global disaster.”

    So nothing is really happening yet, but ‘researchers’ are telling us WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!…..101277.php

    1. “We need to protect one of America’s greatest assets – a stable climate,”

      Um…has the climate EVER been stable? What an idiot.

      But while the rate of warming has tripled in the rest of the United States since 1970,

      Of course he left out the fact that there hasn’t been a statistically significant rise in temperature for the last 16 years. So he’s a disingenuous idiot.

      1. Other countries have climates that just jump around like “WOOOO WHAT’S COMING NEXT… SUMMER? NO, LET’S GO BACK TO SPRING!”.

        That’s why they’re so poor. ECON 101.

    2. Wait, wait, some asshole hired a group called “Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council” … and trusts them to have an unbiased opinion?

      What. The. Fuck.

      Fucking morons.

  8. Those guys really seem to now what time it is. Wow.

  9. Dear Reason,

    What the fuck is this shit?


  10. Speaking of calendars, I am very disappointed with my Mayan Advent Calendar this year.

  11. We have to remember here that what they(meaning the liberals) refer to “authoritarianism,” is different what what some of us think of it as. Authority need not always be coercive, to the left it represents one person’s having more power than another. To them, capitalism is an authoritarian system, as it give “authority” and “power” to capitalists. Thus Marx is “anti-authoritarian.” Relgion, likewise is “authoritarian,” as is the traditional family. Not wanting to pay for Flucke’s birth control is “authoritarian.” Steven Jay Gould is an anti-authoritarian because he opposed “social darwinsim” because it describes some people as more intelligent than others, which is a form of “authority.” The fact that he has called for free speech to be suppressed is anti-authoritarian. Libertarians need to stop apologizing for these people.

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