Getting Free
A sketch of an association of democratic,
autonomous neighborhoods and how to create it

Title page, copyright page, table of Contents,
and acknowledgments

by James Herod
2004

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/GetFre/C.htm

to contact the author,     <jamesherod@gmail.com>

Getting Free (the entire essay, complete in one long file), is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/GetFre/index.htm
It is also available in 16 separate files, such as this one, linked to from this
first one (title page+copyright page+table of Contents+acknowledgments), at
http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/GetFre/C.htm
The "C" page also has links to 9 supplementary essays.


© Copyright 2004 by James Herod and
placed in the public domain. Please reproduce freely.

First edition, fall 1998, eighty copies.
Second (Internet) edition, revised and expanded, January 2000.
Third (Internet) edition, revised and expanded, February 2002.
Final version, January 2004.
 

Getting Free is available on the Web at:
http://www................

and also at:
http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/GetFree/index.htm

A Portuguese translation of the 2nd Internet edition is available on the web at: http://www.geocities.com/projetoperiferia/gettingfreept.htm

A Spanish translation of the final edition, in preparation, will be at:
http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Estrate/LiberEs/indexEs.htm

A serialized translation of the first edition into Persian has appeared in:
xxxxxxxxx


[Note: The page numbers in the following Table of Contents refer to the original
printed copy of the essay, which is available as a rich text format file at
http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/GetFree/index.rtf.
Both the left and right links go to individual htm files for
each of the essay's sections. --G.S.]

Table of Contents

C. Acknowledgments .................................................................... 4

P. Preface ...................................................................................... 5

1. An Awareness of How We Do Not Want to Live ................... 8

2. A Notion of How We Might Want to Live ............................ 10

3. Basic Agreements of the Association ................................... 12

4. Obstacles ................................................................................ 13

5. Strategies That Have Failed ................................................. 16

6. The Strategy Described Abstractly ...................................... 23

7. Ways to Begin Gutting Capitalism ....................................... 25

8. General Comments on the Strategy ..................................... 42

9. Ways to Finish Gutting Capitalism ....................................... 44

10. Further Discussion ............................................................... 44

11. Some Comments on the Literature ..................................... 63

12. Appendix: Draft General Agreement for "An Asso-
      ciation of Democratic, Autonomous Neighborhoods" ........ 73

13. Footnote on Terminology ..................................................... 75

14. Recommended Reading ....................................................... 76


Acknowledgments

     Getting Free, in a much shorter version, was first prepared for the conference on “Critical Issues in Contemporary Anarchism” held at Montague, Massachusetts on June 7-9, 1996. I would like to thank the organizers of that conference, John Petrovato and Cindy Milstein, for providing an incentive to get it written.

     I would like to thank the following friends and acquaintances who read various earlier drafts of the essay and returned comments to me (my apologies if I have overlooked anyone): George Salzman, Betsy Rueda Gynn, Libardo Rueda, Jaime Becker, Brian Hart, Juan Carlos Oretga, Sonya Huber, Gary Zabel, Chris Pauli, Brian Griffin, Henry Jung, Bob McKinney, Thomas Reifer, Marianela Tovar, Behrooz Ghassemi, Monty Neill, Charlene Decker, Steve Heims, Danielle Zabel, Jon Bekken, Sanya Hyland, Mark Laskey, Suzanne Miller, Sarah Shoemaker, Barry Tilles, Andrew Nevins, Hudson Luce, Tony Young, and Alex Dajkovic.

     I also presented the paper at a workshop at the Anarchist Gathering held in Lawrence, Kansas in June 2002. The essay was well received and I got much useful feedback from some of those attending.

     I had interesting conversations about the book via e-mail with Lenny Gray, Edwin Laing, Marc Silverstein, (I)An-ok Ta Chai, Duy Nguyen, Brian Martin, Micah Bales, Derek, Kenny, Simon Cumming, Hugo Mildenberger, Sebastien Gagnon, Louis Gosselin, and Matt Leonard.

     I was able to improve the essay considerably because of these many suggestions, although I did not agree with all of them. I've tried to answer some of the criticisms in this revised version.

     I did the typesetting and proof reading myself (and am therefore responsible for the remaining mistakes), but I had help, much appreciated, in reproducing and distributing the first edition, from Betsy Gynn, Jon Bekken, Kenn Browne, and Chris Pauli. Unfortunately, the manuscript has not yet been privileged to receive the attention of a good copy editor; I’m sure the text could be improved thereby.

     I would especially like to thank George Salzman. Without his interest and encouragement I doubt if the essay would have reached this finished form. He carefully read the various versions of the essay, and made comments that helped clarify the text at numerous places. He has also promoted the essay vigorously in many ways, including posting it on his web site, and arranging to have it translated into Spanish. Naturally, he doesn’t (and hardly anyone does) agree with everything in it.

     A first edition was published in the fall of 1998 in only eighty copies, photocopied (not printed), but bound in book form. A second version, revised and expanded, was posted on the Internet in the winter of 2000, under the name of Jared James. The Internet version was updated with further additions and revisions in February, 2002. This last, and final, version was wrapped up in January 2004.

     Rather than load this book down with footnotes, I've decided to refer the reader instead to another book of mine, Emancipatory Social Thought: A Partially Annotated Bibliography in English for the Libertarian Left and Progressive Populists in the United States, which gives references to most of the topics discussed here.

     I would also like to refer the reader to other essays I’ve written over the past few years which supplement Getting Free. These are included in my book, Selected Writings: 1969-2004. Eight of them are also available by links just following the Recommended Reading at the end of this essay.

     Neither of these works, Selected Writings or Emancipatory Social Thought has yet been published, but they are available on the Internet at: (web site address to be announced).


Supplementary essays
1. Breaking Out of the Cage and Destroying Our Jailers
2. Weakness of Protest Politics
3. Seeing The Inadequacies, a flawed anarchist strategy for achieving a free society.
4. A Stake Not a Mistake, misunderstanding United States foreign policy.
5. Is Greed All that's Wrong with Capitalism?
6. Majority Rule
7. Indigenism
8. Loss of Anti-Capitalism
9. Identities

*      *      *
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Last update of this page January 22, 2006