A Review of Tribes: The National-Anarchist Magazine

Issue #1 July 2018. Now available. Order here.

By Juleigh Howard-Hobson

With an unaffected sense of balance and variance, Tribes is more than a mere issue of a magazine. It is a thoughtful compendium of many facets of National-Anarchism. None steal center stage. None erase or confute. Even while each article is quite firmly individual, this is a cohesive publication that both explores and presents ideas about and of National-Anarchy.

This cohesion is doubly impressive as it is more of an overarching general sense of shared passion and aim than an adherence to any one set of dogma. Indeed, there is no dogma here, as Troy Southgate states in a beautifully succinct editorial-forward: “The ideas contained in the magazine cover a vast range of subjects and have been produced by a truly international team of contributors. Therein lies the beauty of National-Anarchism, which, contrary to the decidedly internationalist proclivities of both Left and Right, offers a universalist concept that is able to manifest itself in a multitude of different ways”.

Contributing directly —and beautifully I will add— to the overall feeling of the integrity of Tribes are the illustrations. The work of one artist, which is unusual as most magazines go in for a jumble of artworks, each one attention-seekingly different from the last, these deceptively ‘simple’ wood-cut-like pieces seamlessly bind the contents of Tribes together. Each and every illustration is an eloquent statement in its own right; the fact that they also highlight and underline the articles in the magazine is absolute perfection. I want to see them all hanging as framed art, I want them all as tattoos, I want them as stickers, I want to see a whole book of the work of Zbigniew Bogusławski, who is more than talented, he is clearly a genius, and adept at capturing the spirit of National Anarchy.

And the spirit of National-Anarchy is not so easy to capture — seeing as it is both particular and general. Tribes does this vital distinction justice. The articles in this issue range and range well.

Adam Ormes, who edited Tribes and coordinated everything (including getting a copy to me, for which I am eternally grateful!), does a deft job with examining and exploring root concepts of National-Anarchy in his article, “The Challenge of National-Anarchism”, which opens the magazine. Ormes writes in a compelling manner throughout, making the article a readable, excellent choice for first piece (by the way, it’s the fine details such as this that really pull a magazine together, the fact that National-Anarchists are cognizant of it speaks volumes for their strength of vision and clarity of organization). As a person who has dropped out of the modern world to raise a family on ten acres in the middle of nowhere, I like that he ends his article’s focus on the practical side of National-Anarchy: “My advice is this: find a  way to live and create livelihoods with those that you hold dear, and if you can, do so far enough away from large cities to be in with a decent chance of protecting what you build should the breakdown of society progress rapidly. Developing a shared sense of the sacred is likely essential. And do try to retain your sense of humour as you go about it—it may be one of your most valuable assets”.

One of my favorite articles (I carefully do not say it is one of the best because, honestly, every article in Tribes could be considered one of its best, but not everyone will share the same favorites) is by Gregor Elliott: “From the streets in black, to a field in a wide brimmed hat / A Left Anarchist’s journey to N-AM”. The voice of this could so easily have been resentful, whiney, preachy or self-flagellating but it’s not. Elliott has a solidly square outlook and a personable, sensible style that makes this piece shine. Plus, I found it very absorbing — here is a person who gets it. Gets why both Left and Right are always so intolerably wrong and so often sound just like each other: “…I know that the only way we can get it is to build it for ourselves, but let others build their lives how they want to as well. This seems obviously, to me anyway, the only to be an ‘anarchist’ of any kind.”

I keep wanting to add ‘Bravo’ at the end of all my article summaries here, by the way, as each and every piece in Tribes is worthy of it. But, I’ll refrain.

The balance of longer and shorter articles lends a feeling of action to the magazine. Add to this the different subject matters and you have a publication that holds and keeps the reader’s attention and interest. There are reviews and creative nonfiction pieces as well as academic and practical articles. There is a natural flow to their arrangement and –unlike so many political journals on either side—there is no sense of pointless inclusion or exclusion. Some are written by men, some by women, some by people of one distinct ethnicity, some by others. All of them hang together nicely, all of them have something of value to impart, compelling enough to read before checking into bylines.

“Autonomy and Introspection” by Marykate Morris is a fast read, but an important one. Not so much a child-rearing article (the gods know everyone has an opinion on how to do that) but a person-building one. “For those of us who can see the error in the ways of the modern world it can be a challenge to live amongst others who don’t understand or who choose not to. As individuals, we can make our own way but what if you have a family? How can we encourage children to question things and themselves in decision making?” I won’t give Morris’ answers to these questions, you’ll have to buy the magazine for those.

“Ecology and the Ethnosphere” by Thom Forester is an intelligent and well-reasoned look at how “The integrity of the ethnosphere is thus revealed as the human mechanism by which the ecological integrity of the Earth itself is sustained. Territories, and the human-scale communities which inhabit them, give rise to cultural beliefs and practices through the development of ‘narratives of place’, which define distinct ecological biomes”. People respect and sustain these biomes through being “animated by a radical sense of belonging to both place and people”. Wipe out this sense, (as we see being done all around us) and our life processes and our world itself become the prey of the Empire. There will be no bio-diverse and stable human nations or tribes, only “’world leaders’ being in charge of the life processes of us all.” My summary hardly does this article justice, of course. It is well worth reading and re-reading.

Graphics are often overlooked by editors who wish to impart important verbal messages, not realizing that good graphics can state these very same things. Not so when it comes to Tribes. The graphics are the work of Kostas Kafritsas (who also wrote the article ‘Anarchy Against Politics’) and are another facet that contributes to the action/power dynamic of the whole magazine. The use of certain phrases as graphics (for example: WE DO WHAT WE ARE / WE BECOME WHAT WE DO and BEYOND LEFT AND RIGHT / SMASH ALL POLITICAL DOGMAS ) is a nice touch. I imagine someone leafing through the journal will have their eye caught on more than one occasion. Again, it would be magnificent to see stickers and banners made with these phrases, and those banners hung from bridges, those stickers stuck on walls. Such things enhearten, inspire and get the message out. The day will come, I trust when this will naturally happen, and the words will not be quickly taken down by idiots on either side of the political divide but instead kept up by ethno-stable people who understand what is going on and what must come to be.

On a practical level, there are articles that lend themselves to application more than to erudition. Although one must be savvy and motivated enough to grasp how important they are! Hildr Jorgensen’s article (which closes the journal, a clever and pleasing placement) titled “Zero.Waste” contains real-life applicable approaches on how to live without generating waste, such as plastic and cardboard.  From the basics such as cooking from scratch (less processing = less packaging) to introducing options like going in on an eighth of a beef cow or raising meat rabbits to hitting the internet for DIY reusable supplies — this piece is a powerhouse of thought-generating zero-waste inspiration.

A bonus is that with reducing the amount of waste you produce, you also reduce the amount of money you spend – the staples and the reusable basics are generally much cheaper in the long run than any one-time-use anything. Packaging costs money, and that cost is placed on the consumer and the earth, never on the industry producing it. This article serves as an excellent spring board to turning your back on ‘the onslaught of made-in-China toxic products that are encountered in many modern homes”. Jorgensen also has a wonderful article on “Birth Against the Modern World” — as a reviewer who has home birthed her own children, all I can say is — it’s great to see a political journal go beyond the usual fare and include system-shunning subjects such as this.

Listed in order of appearance, other contributors to this issue are: Linda Hext, Piercarlo Bormida, Alexander Storrsson, Sean Jobst, David Oakspawn, Keith Preston, Troy Southgate, Vince Rinehart, and Marista Solares Rico. Lack of space, not lack of brilliance, alone prevents me from expounding on them all. Suffice to say — they are each an interesting, deeply thoughtful intelligent writer.

From its striking full color cover to the intelligent diversity of its contents, Tribes belies the fact that this is, in fact, a very new magazine. Only its first issue has been published. But, The National-Anarchist Movement is no stranger to media, there is a long history of anthologies behind this magazine. Still, books are one thing and magazines another, many the would-be periodical editor has not realized this. The National-Anarchists have. This debut issue of Tribes is brilliant in thought, concept and execution. I wholeheartedly and very much look forward to reading the next issues.









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