In Episode 210 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg traces the paradoxical trajectory from medieval heresies to the Protestant Reformation, proto-anarchist movements of the English Civil War, fights for religious freedom in colonial America (with an emphasis on the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657), Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad (e.g. at the Quaker homestead of Bowne House in Flushing, NY)—to evangelical Protestantism as a pillar of Christian fascism in the impending MAGA order. How did we get here, and what elements of American political culture can we look to as a source of resistance today?
Raoul Vaneigem, famous as a key figure in the Situationist International and author of The Revolution of Everyday Life, a tract associated with the May 1968 uprising in Paris, traces Gnostic and millenarian movements of ancient and medieval times as critical precursors of the revolutions of the modern age. In Episode 208 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg discusses his book Resistance to Christianity: A Chronological Encyclopaedia of Heresy from the Beginning to the Eighteenth Century, newly translated from the French by Bill Brown and released by Eris imprint of Columbia University Press.
English-language media accounts are calling Argentina's far-right president-elect Javier Milei a "self-described anarcho-capitalist," but this appears to be a translation error. In Episode 203 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg sets the record straight, exposing "anarcho-capitalism" as an oxymoron and the fascistic Milei as antithetical to everything that Argentina's proud anarchist tradition ever stood for. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
An appeals court in Moscow on Aug. 22 upheld the 13-year sentence imposed on Ukrainian human rights defender Maksym Butkevych, in what Amnesty International called "a grave miscarriage of justice." Butkevych had been convicted in a "sham trial" by a de facto court in the Russian-occupied "Luhansk People's Republic" in Ukraine, which Moscow has unilaterally declared annexed territory. A platoon leader in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Butkevych was taken captive in March and charged with war crimes. Amnesty dismisses the case as "a reprisal by Russia for his civic activism and his prominent human rights work." Before the invasion, Butkevych led a Ukrainian NGO helping refugees find asylum in the country, and had long been a frontline opponent of the militant right in both Ukraine and Russia.
In Episode 190 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg discusses the cases of Azat Miftakhov, Darya Polyudova, Aleksandra Skochilenko, Yelena Milashina, Larysa Schchyrakova, Maksym Butkevych and other Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian anti-fascist activists imprisoned by the dictatorships of Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. These courageous women and men recognize these twin allied regimes as now actually having crossed the line into fascism—despite the paradoxical fascist pseudo-anti-fascism of their propaganda. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
Russian anti-fascist activist Azat Miftakhov was arrested by FSB agents Sept. 4, immediately upon his release from a prison colony in Omutninsk. Azat had been in detention since February 2019, convicted in connection with the breaking of a window at a Moscow protest outside an office of the ruling United Russia party. At that time of that arrest Miftakhov was a mathematics graduate student at Moscow State University. Miftakhov endured torture, threats, and other mistreatment at the hands of authorities while imprisoned. After a trial marked by widespread judicial abuses and the use of "secret witnesses," in January 2021 he was convicted of "hooliganism" and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released on parole two days after an International Day for the Liberation of Azat Miftakhov was held in cities around the world. But just as he exited the prison colony to meet his family, he was taken into custody again—this time on charges of "publicly justifying terrorism."
In Episode 187, the CounterVortex podcast presents audio from the panel "Ukraine and Anarchist Internationalism" at the Los Angeles Anarchist Book Fair. Bill Weinberg urges solidarity with the Ukrainian anarchist units fighting the Russians—and calls out the American left for essentially supporting the wrong side in the war. For instance, the perennially problematic Democracy Now ignores the heroic Russian left-dissidents who have sacrificed their freedom or even lives to resist Putin's war effort, such as Darya Polyudova, Aleksandra Skochilenko and Dmitry Petrov. But it gives splashy coverage to Yurii Sheliazhenko, the Ukrainian pacifist just arrested in Kyiv for "justifying Russian aggression." Also: Yevgeny Lerner speaks on the national liberation struggle of the Crimean Tatars. Introduction by Javier Sethness, author of Eros & Revolution: The Critical Philosophy of Herbert Marcuse and the upcoming Queer Tolstoy. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
Imprisoned Russian anti-war activist Darya Polyudova has been placed in punitive solitary confinement after guards said they found a razor-blade in her belongings, which is considered a major violation at the penal colony in the North Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria where she is incarcerated. Polyudova's mother told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on Aug. 1 that her daughter said guards had planted the blade in her belongings to frame her, adding that the activist is starting a hunger strike to protest the move.