Saku Pinta is an independent scholar based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He gained his PhD from Loughborough University in 2013. His research has concerned left and labour movement ideas and history with a focus on libertarian communism and the intersections between anarchism and Marxism. Most recently, his research has concentrated on the history of the Finnish North American left and the Industrial Workers of the World union in the twentieth century.
Pinta is a co-editor and contributor to Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red (Palgrave, 2012/PM Press, 2017) and his essays appear in the anthologies Anarchist Pedagogies: Collective Actions, Theories, and Critical Reflections on Education (PM Press, 2012) and Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW (Pluto Press, forthcoming). He also is the writer, researcher, and co-producer of To My Son in Spain (2009), a documentary film that tells the story of Jules Päiviö, the last surviving member of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion and one of the many Finnish-Canadians from northern Ontario that fought in the Spanish Civil War and Revolution.
Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red
Editors: Alex Prichard, Ruth Kinna, Saku Pinta, and David Berry
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 368 pages
The history of anarchist-Marxist relations is usually told as a history of factionalism and division. This collection of essays, based on original research and written especially for this collection, reveals some of the enduring sores in the revolutionary socialist movement in order to explore the important, too often neglected left-libertarian currents that have thrived in revolutionary socialist movements. By turns, the collection interrogates the theoretical boundaries between Marxism and anarchism and the process of their formation, the overlaps and creative tensions that shaped left-libertarian theory and practice, and the stumbling blocks to movement cooperation. Bringing together specialists working from a range of political perspectives, the book charts a history of radical twentieth-century socialism, and opens new vistas for research in the twenty-first. Contributors examine the political and social thought of a number of leading socialists—Marx, Morris, Sorel, Gramsci, Guérin, C.L.R. James, Hardt and Negri—and key movements including the Situationist International, Socialisme ou Barbarie and Council Communism. Analysis of activism in the UK, Australasia, and the U.S. serves as the prism to discuss syndicalism, carnival anarchism, and the anarchistic currents in the U.S. civil rights movement.
Contributors include Paul Blackledge, Lewis H. Mates, Renzo Llorente, Carl Levy, Christian Høgsbjerg, Andrew Cornell, Benoît Challand, Jean-Christophe Angaut, Toby Boraman, and David Bates.
“Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red is an invaluable contribution to historical scholarship and libertarian politics. The collection of essays contained in the book has the great virtue of offering both analytical perspectives on ideas, and historical perspectives on movements. The contributions examine classical themes in anarchist politics such as individual liberty, whilst also exploring more neglected thinkers and themes from a libertarian standpoint, such as C.L.R. James and race. There can be little doubt that the volume will be of major interest to historians, theorists, students and activists.”
—Darrow Schecter, reader in Italian, School of History, Art History and Philosophy, University of Sussex
“Just what we need as we move into a new phase of revolt against the obscenity of capitalism: a recovery of the richness of our different traditions of struggle, with their weavings and bumpings. Time to move on, time to redeem the struggles of the past. A valuable and welcome collection.”
—John Holloway, author of Change the World Without Taking Power and professor of sociology, Autonomous University of Puebla
“This is a welcome and essential collection that is sure to spark debates and support ongoing efforts to build a liberatory movement in which Marxists and anarchists can find common ground and practice mutual respect and humility. In this period of late-capitalism, survival itself is at stake. Theory and practice, whether Marxism or Anarchism in their many manifestations, lead to dead ends without careful assessment of the world as it is now.”
—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
“An important, redemptive collection of essays that questions narratives of sectarian difference without resorting to easy answers. In exploring the productive frictions, convergences, agonisms and affinities that have created and re-created the 'black and red,' the contributors recover the neglected histories of a capacious Left, one that repudiated ideological rigidity and sterile orthodoxies without abandoning its socialist commons. Itself a model of such capaciousness, this is a stimulating and necessary work.”
—Raymond B. Craib, associate professor, Department of History, Cornell University
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- Who is this man? Part 1
What a black and white photograph of an unidentified man found in the Lakehead University Archives tells us about violent class relations in the twentieth century.