What Is Anarchism?
What Is The Wooden Shoe?
To put it simply, anarchism is the the political philosophy that people are better off making decisions for themselves, and communities making decisions for their communities, rather than having any centralized power/governing body do it for them. Furthermore, anarchism is opposed to capitalism and all systems of oppression that attempt to exploit or control.
Founded in 1976, the Wooden Shoe is an all volunteer, collectively-run, anarchist book store. Functioning within a system we oppose, we seek to be an example of one way things can function without anyone commanding or forcing us to think or act a certain way. We have neither bosses nor managers and make all of our decisions through consensus rather than majority rule voting so as to empower those involved. We also identify as an infoshop, meaning that we serve as a space for people to gather, learn, and find out more about like-minded activities happening in their communities.
As of March 2009 we would like to make a special announcement. After nearly six months of work, we have completed a major restructuring of the organization of our collective. Many people might wonder why the Wooden Shoe collective found it necessary to restructure. For years collective members worked hard to find new solutions to the ever-present main problems: finding committed and accountable collective members, combating the yearly loss of funds, and finding ways to hold larger community events. Many different solutions were presented and tried, but none were successful. We needed to re-organize in order to survive financially, but also to make the collective stronger. With our new structure, we have a better system of open and honest communication, better training process, and much better accountability amongst our members. We cannot truly confront the many systems of oppression in larger society until we have confronted those very issues within our own collective.
We're primarily an information sharing and educational space, yet in the end, the idea we really want to promote is that workers ought to control their own workplaces, neighbors should control their own neighborhoods, and all people should be able to live their lives free of oppression. The space we make should further these ideals. This is a moment in our history and we wanted to share it with our community.This project was largely inspired by Red Emma's collective in Baltimore, MD. We are extremely grateful to them for assisting and consulting with us throughout the transformation process. The information and advice they shared proved to be incredibly invaluable. Although we adopted our new structure to retain the original Wooden Shoe flavor, we borrowed many concepts they use in their collective, and highly encourage others to look at their model for creating a strong collective. We now have a new structure for our collective, a new outlook, and new energy for building a pretty amazing space. Our members have discussed and agreed to a revised mission and statement of values.
Wooden Shoe Books In The News/Media
Listen to the Mp3 from the July 21, 2010 Talk: "The New World View of CLR James" with Noel Ignatiev and the WSB audience
Part Two Q&A from the July 21, 2009 Talk: "The New World View of CLR James with Noel Ignatiev and the WSB audience
Listen to the Mp3 from the July 10, 2010 Talk: "Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States" with Craig Hughes and Stevie Peace
Listen to the Mp3 from the June 11, 2009 Talk: "11 Years of Defenestrating" with The defenestrator Colelctive and the WSB audience
Listen to the Mp3 from the June 4, 2009 Talk: "The Vegetarian Myth" with Lierre Kieth and the WSB audience
Listen to the Mp3 from the April 23, 2009 Talk: "Arm The Spirit: A Woman's Journey Underground and Back" with Diana Block and the WSB audience
Listen to the Mp3 from the April 9, 2009 Talk: "Radically Democratic Urbanism" with Matt Hern and the WSB audience
Listen to the mp3 from the April 10, 2008 Talk: "Anarchists and the Elections: The Love-Hate Relationship w/ Presidential Elections and Should Our Approach Be Any Different?" with Cindy Milstein and the WSB audience
Forty Years in the Struggle: The Memoirs of a Jewish Anarchist
By Chaim Leib Weinberg
Translated by Naomi Cohen
Edited and annotated by Robert P. Helms
Jointly published by:
Wooden Shoe Books & Robert P. Helms
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