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Michael Robinson

6 December 2014
English 600 Critical Methodologies
Engaged Learning Final Project

The Legacy and Lessons of Love & Rage (1990-1998)


to the Revolutionary Community and Its Scholars
ENGAGED LEARNING PROJECT
Archiving for the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research (SCLSSR)
Michael Robinson
ENGLISH 600 Critical Methodologies
6 December 2014
Publication(s):
Love and Rage: A Revolutionary Anarchist Newsmonthly
(Apr. 1990, Vol. I:1 through Jun. 1992, Vol. III:5)
Love and Rage: A Revolutionary Anarchist Newspaper
(Sep. 1993, Vol. IV:4 to end of run, Fall 1998, Vol. IX:2)
also Amor y Rabia: una publicacion mensual anarquista revolucionaria
(published w. LnR: Newsmonthly only, through Vol. 3:5)

Issues Archived and Housed at SCLSSR:


Vol 1: Issues 1 (April 1990), 2 (May 90), 6 (Oct 90), 7 (Nov. 90)
Vol 2: Issues 1 (Jan 1991), 2 (Feb 91), 3 (Mar. 91), 4 (Apr. 91), 5 (May 91)
Vol 3: Issues 5 (Jun 1992) last volume of monthly publication? Amor y Rabia continues
as a separate Spanish-language paper advertising on back page of Love and Rage at
some point after this issue.
Vol 4: Issues 3 (Jun/Jul 1993), no Vol/Issue #s (Sep. 1993), 5 (Nov. 93)
Vol 5: Issues 1 (Mar/Apr 1994), 2 (Jun. 94), 4 (Nov/Dec 94)
Vol 6: Issues 3 (May/Jun 95), 4 (Aug/Sep 95)
Vol 7: Issues 2 (Jun/Jul 96) Began using second color in printing (red)
Vol 9: Issues 2 (Fall 1998) Final Issue
Part One
Love & Rage began life as a newsmonthly for the Love and Rage Revolutionary
Anarchist Federation (L&RRAF) formed after a conference in Chicago in 1989. The conference

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brought together various revolutionary factions from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico and reformed
them into a loose network or very loose federation. That formation would unravel, eight-and-ahalf years later, and with the end of the organization came the end of the paper with the Fall 1998
issue (Vol. 9, No. 2) cover brandishing a skeleton with a pen in one hand and a scroll in the other
that read Love & Rage Is Dead. Viva La Revolucion!
The publication towards its end as well as in its wake left, however, documentation that
grants an insider perspective on the internal strife that led to its parent organizations demise.
Christopher Day (aka Christopher Gunderson post-L&R), who contributed stories for Love &
Rage from its inception to its end, wrote at least one of these documents, The Historical Failure
of Anarchism: Implications for the Future of the Revolutionary Project, and, likely, contributed
mightily to another After Winter Must Come Spring, obstinately written by the Fire by Night
Committee, the official splinter group of Love and Rage. Wayne Price, a signatory of What
We Believe, an alternative vision to Days Historical Failure view, wrote his own postmortem, A History of the North American Anarchist Group Love and Rage. Considered with
and against other documents found onlinesuch as the NY local chapter of Love and Rages
Member Handbookand, in the publication itself (Love and Rages Political Statement in
the first issue and the article entitled Love and Rage Breaks Up in the pages of its final issue),
there exists a wealth of information for anyone interested in underground political movements,
political organizing in general or, specifically, anarchism, its nuances and its pros and cons, in
the context of the United States. What is, additionally, edifying is that Love & Rage permits a
birds eye view of the country from the perch of revolutionary radicalism during the historic
decade of the 1990sa decade that began with the end of South African apartheid (with the
release of Mandela) and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall (signaling the end of the Cold War

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and the failure of Soviet-style authoritarian communism) as well as the incursion of Saddam
Hussein into Kuwait and the waging of the first Gulf War.
Love & Rage/Amor y Rabias first publication in April 1990 featured a cover story by
Christopher Day on the ramifications of the freeing of Nelson Mandela from 27-and-a-half
years in apartheids dungeons (Day 1). This first issue, a twenty-page tabloid comprised of a
fourteen-page English Love & Rage and a six-page, Spanish-language summary publicacin
Amor y Rabia, included articles on Malcolm X; East Bay Womens Sexism Center; the defeat of
the Sandinistas (Nicaragua: Goodbye to the Promised Land, also written by Day); a piece on
people of color organizing against AIDS; News from the East Bloc: On Gogol Boulevard and
Anarchist Black Cross (ABC), political prisoners news, both, like News from the Revolt to be
regular columns; and a piece by Wayne Price on the protesting on Wall Street of the
corporatization of Earth Day on its 20th anniversary.
This issue of the paper also featured a half page Love and Rage Political Statement on
page 7 (reproduced in Spanish on la pgina 4 in the Amor y Rabia third of the paper):
Love and Rage is a monthly anarchist newspaper intended to foster revolutionary
anti-authoritarian activism in North America. We will provide coverage of social
struggles, world events, anarchist actions and cultures of resistance. We will
support the struggles of the oppressed people around the world for control over
their own lives. Anarchy offers the broadest possible critique of domination,
making possible a framework for unity in all struggles for liberation. [We}
reject any prepackaged ideology. Anarchy is a living body of theory and practice
connected directly to the lived experiences of oppressed people fighting for their
own liberation. We anticipate the constant and radical revision of our ideas as a
necessary part of any revolutionary process (Love and Rage Revolutionary
Anarchist Federation 7).
This preamble is followed by eight, foundational pronouncements that frame the titular
organization as much as the publication. Love and Rage was committed to being:

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1) Anti-statist: in opposition to all States, capitalist or communist.
2) Anti-capitalist: supportive of all efforts to overthrow all forms of class rule and state
power.
3) Anti-racist: against white supremacy and work[ing] for the creation of societies that
respect cultural diversity. [taking] front rank in the fight against racist skinhead,
klan, nazi and cop terror.
4) Anti-imperialist: supporting self-determination of nationalities. get[ting] the U.S.
out of Central America, Puerto Rico and all other lands the destruction of the U.S.
Federal Statethe destruction of the Soviet EmpireApartheid, the IMF, World
Bank, multinational corporations.
5) Anti-sexist: for the liberation and self-determination of all womyn. Against
patriarchy and for the empowerment of womyn unquestionable reproductive
freedom a world free of sexist violence. [recognizing] that the oppression of
womyn is necessary for the continued functioning of the State. Our liberation lies
in the overthrow of the State.
6) Supportive of Lesbian, Biaffectionate (Bisexual) and Gay liberation: rejecting the
compulsory heterosexuality of the patriarchal family, and support[ing] attempts to
foster a diversity of consensual human relationships and sexuality.
7) Supportive of the struggles of youth against their special oppression.
8) Supportive of the struggle against the domination of the natural world: in
recognition of the toll of the current industrial order upon the very survival of
life. We see the need for the revolutionary transformation of our relations with the
planet and the species on it (Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation 7).
The statement ends with the disclaimer that it does not attempt to include all issues of
concern to anarchists and anti-authoritarians, nor does Love and Rage pretend to fully
understand, or be fully united on, all issues. We do not purport to represent the full spectrum of
diversity in the contemporary anarchist movement. We will not shy away from controversy (7).
The inability to accommodate ideological differences clearly made problematic not
shy[ing] away from controversy. In the unsigned piece, most likely collectively written, entitled
Love and Rage Breaks Up, it is noted that the dissolution was preceded by a two-year-long
debate within the organization around a number of issues that proved irreconcilable (LnRRAF
2). This debate created an organizational schism that struck at the core values of the group. Two

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documents seemed to have acerbated the gradual drawing of lines in the sand: the alreadymentioned Historical Failure of Anarchism by Christopher Day and a rebuttal by more
seasoned membersWayne Price among themwho signed off on a document entitled What
We Believe. There was Days Historical Failure article on his take of what was wrong with
the anarchist movement. Using the Spanish Revolution as an example, Day indicated that the
movement was unreflective and, worse, made excuses for its crushing defeat in that conflict. It
is nothing short of a complete abdication of one of the most basic responsibilities of
revolutionaries: the responsibility to subject the defeats and failures of the movement to the most
thoroughgoing critical scrutiny. Day concluded, in the penultimate paragraph that there is a
crying need for the development of a new body of revolutionary theory that breaks decisively
with the dogmatism and political shallowness of anarchism as well as with the authoritarian
essence of Marxism. (Day, The Historical Failure of Anarchism).
In response to this, a faction developed within Love and Rage which produced a
document entitled What We Believe that argued that all of the practical and theoretical
problems that faced the organization could be answered from within anarchism (LnRRAF 2).
Though I have been unable to find a printed or digital copy of this document, Price, a signatory
of the original, released a pamphlet called What I Believe and How I Came to Believe It which
appears in the online Anarchist Library and which, in part, addresses the conflict. Price writes:
Some of us then joined with a variety of younger anarchists to form the Love and
Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (most former R.S.L. [Revolutionary
Socialist League, a well-known Trotskyist group] members dropping out of
politics altogether). This was the wing of anarchism which saw itself as leftist and
anti-capitalist; they supported the struggles of People of Color, of women, and of
oppressed nations. Unfortunately, they were ambivalent about supporting the
working class. They were for a distinct anarchist organization, unlike the antiorganizationalist anarchists. They were serious about joining in popular struggles

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in a militant way, working together with others while raising the perspective of
anarchist revolution.
Love and Rage lasted for nine years. As my friends and I had been moving from
Marxism to anarchism, others had been moving from anarchism to Marxism of
a Maoist variety, no less. As our paths crossed, we thought for a while that we
agreed with each other, but actually we were moving in opposite directions. The
left as a whole was declining in the 90s, including its anarchist wing. In reaction,
there was an attraction for some to the successes of Marxism and its body of
work. Former R.S.L. members and a few others opposed this tendency, out of our
many years of hating Stalinism. The resulting faction fight ended with the
dissolution of Love and Rage in 1998 (Price,WhatIBelieve)(Price,WhatIBelieve)can
Othermembers,however,heldtotheidea,espousedinitsoriginalpoliticalstatement,that
constantandradicalrevisionofideaswaspartoftherevolutionarydynamic(Loveand
RageRevolutionaryAnarchistFederation7).Thesemembers,inthetimeoftheBerlinWall
comingdown,werenotconvincedthatanarchismhadalltheanswers.Iwishtoexplorethis
ideologicaldynamicwithregardtothepaper.

(Price, What I Believe)


Additionally, as both papers focus on political prisoners, student politics, Mexico and, what can
broadly be termed, American imperialism, I will look for ways in which, editorially, Love and
Rages approach to reportage changed between the two issues.

Important questions: What is the legacy of this paper, this organization, this movement? How
did it initially define anarchists obligations (looking at the first issue) and how did that change
by the break up?

Circulation
Audience
Cultural/historical moment represents
Rhetorical analysis
How/why important to preserve for future researchers

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Publication(s): Love and Rage: A Revolutionary Anarchist Newsmonthly (thru Vol. 3:5) also
Amor y Rabia: una publicacion mensual anarquista revolucionaria
Love and Rage: A Revolutionary Anarchist Newspaper (beginning Sep. 93 aka
Vol. 4:4 pub freq. is not bimonthly) also Amor y Rabia no longer included in
LnR; has separate publication
Contents
Vol 1: Issues 1 (April 1990), 2 (May 90), 6 (Oct 90), 7 (Nov. 90)
Vol 2: Issues 1 (Jan 1991), 2 (Feb 91), 3 (Mar. 91), 4 (Apr. 91), 5 (May 91)
Vol 3: Issues 5 (Jun 1992) last volume of monthly publication?
Vol 4: Issues 3 (Jun/Jul 1993), no Vol/Issue #s (Sep. 1993), 5 (Nov. 93)
Vol 5: Issues 1 (Mar/Apr 1994), 2 (Jun. 94), 4 (Nov/Dec 94)
Vol 6: Issues 3 (May/Jun 95), 4 (Aug/Sep 95)
Vol 7: Issues 2 (Jun/Jul 96) Began using second color in printing (red)
Vol 9: Issues 2 (Fall 1998) Final Issue

Publication Background
Love and Rage (LnR) was a publication out of New York produced by the Love and Rage
Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (LnRRAF) that grew out of a conference in Chicago in
1989. It is crucial to point out that the parts that synergized into the LnRRAF whole included
individuals and members of anarchist collectives from across the US and Canada as well as an
anarchist faction of the freshly-dissolved Trotskyist group Revolutionary Socialist League
(RSL) (LnRRAF 2).

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LnR published with a Spanish language version, Amor y Rabia: una publicacion mensual
anarquista revolucionaria and came out monthly when it was subtitled A Revolutionary
Anarchist Newsmonthly (likely through Vol. 3) and bimonthly or quarterly (Vol. 5, given the
issue dates, may have had only four issues) upon becoming A Revolutionary Anarchist
Newspaper. The last volume, number 9, had only two issues, the final issue being Vol. 9, no. 2.
The folder contains twenty (20) of the estimated fifty-one (51) issues. All volumes of the
paper are represented by at least one issue except for volume eight which is not part of the
collection. Amor y Rabia also ceases co-publication at this time, becoming a separate paper
printed in Mexico. With the last years, the paper began to use a second printing color (red).
The publication ended, as it began, at a conference. This one was held at Hunter College
in New York on May 23, 1998 when LnRRAF voted to dissolve (LnRRAF 2). Though, as
asserted in its original political statement, Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation
embraced the virtues of anarchism, it also held to the idea that constant and radical revision of
ideas was part of the revolutionary dynamic.
The break-up of Love and Rage was preceded by a two-year-long debate within
the organization around a number of issues that proved irreconcilable. In the
course of this debate, the ex-RSL members and a few others active in the AntiRacist Action Network (ARA) signed onto a document entitled What We
Believe (WWB), which argued that all of the practical and theoretical problems
that faced Love and Rage could be answered from within anarchism. Other
members raised provocative questionsand often found that anarchist history and
thought didnt have satisfying answers. The WWB document and its backers
offered vague and moralistic answers to such questions. Worse, WWB warned
that this questioning was evidence of a covert plot to corrupt anarchism with
Marxist thought (LnRRAF 2).
Clearly the above recount of events was presented by the non-WWB signatories who it would be
equally safe to say edited the final issue of LnR.

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Extrapolating from the Buy a set of Love & Rage Back Issues ad on the last page of the final
issue, 51 issues of the periodical were produced, plus the sole issue of Rage!

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Organization Background
As pointed out in the above background, according to its final issue, Love and Rage
Revolutionary Anarchist Federation was founded as a collective at a 1989 conference in Chicago
from a number of groups located in Canada and the United States. One of these came out of the
implosion of the Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL), a well-known Trotskyist group that
published the Torch/La Antorcha from 1973 to about 1989. After eight years, internal dissention
imploded LNRRAF. The catalystnot the only oneseemed to be the signing of a document
called What We Believe (WWB) pushed by ex-RSLs and the Anti-Racist Action Network, which
promoted positions and ideologies that others in LnRRAF could not embrace. There had, also,
been growing disenchantment with anarchy and a desire to move in a more Marxist direction.
Beyond the ideological points, the coalition endured the collapse of two locals, Minneapolis and
New York, as well as internal personal attacks. The Fire by Night Organizing Committee briefly
replaced the LnRRAF before, itself, dissolving into obscurity.
Contents of Interest:
The publication had an international anarchist scope and dealt with issues of female
empowerment, gay/queer rights, race, prison issues and imperialism.

Bibliography
LnRRAF. "Love and Rage Breaks Up." Love and Rage: Revolutionary Anarchist
Newspaper Fall 1998: 16.
Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation. "Love and Rage Political Statement."
Love and Rage: A Revolutionary Anarchist Newsmonthly (Amor y Rabia) April 1990: 7.

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If you only want to provide a summary, do so by describing in a brief paragraph the
primary topics you found in the folder, including whether or not the texts differ in some
way from one another (title, different editors, number of contributors, etc.). Include any
information that you thinks might be of use to someone interested in the primary topic
(unusual rhetoric, for example, visuals, famous or noteworthy contributors). Additionally,
propose a population that may find your file to be helpful (i.e. a particular student
demographic, an organization, a community activist interested in xyz, a policy maker, etc.)

For those summaries that interest you, continue your explorations. Do some additional
research on the file. Peruse databases such as those listed below and summarize any
interesting findings or useful information about the text, editor, a major contributor, the
journals history and/or historical significance.

By the third week of October, be prepared to turn in your single best summary and
research narrative (one page) along with the folder you are summarizing.

Your summary & research narrative will include:

A paragraph summarizing the most prominent topic(s), issue(s), idea(s) communities


and/or locations that surface in the folder.
This paragraph should be directed toward people who might be interested in southern
California cultural history. What do you think researchers--students, community activists,
historians--need to know about this file?

A paragraph describing the texts origins, circulation, popularity (distribution numbers?


Run?), political cause/issue addressed and/or perhaps information about the editor and/or
prominent writers featured in the text. Be sure to cite where you found this information.
This paragraph is helpful for researchers who need to understand the context and nature of
the published material.

Date your summary and/or summary and research narrative (day, month, and year)

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Databases of use for L.A. or southern California-specific materials:

Archives Grid should be helpful for most materials as well as

Los Angeles Times database (database via LMU catalog)


Los Angeles Sentinel (database via LMU catalog)
American Periodicals (database via LMU catalog)
ArchivesGrid
Online Archive of California
Penn Libguide (look under California)
County of Los Angeles Public Library has collections that discuss various local issues that
may be relevant
L.A. As Subject is a cohort of archives in and around Los Angeles with varying subject
areas. Students might find it beneficial to ask about additional contextual information from
other archives that hold similar collections. The searchable directory is located
at: http://www.laassubject.org/index.php/directory

The Digital Public Library of America might be a good starting place for research since it
pulls materials from a wide range of libraries and archives: http://dp.la/

Archives Grid should be helpful for most materials as well as

Los Angeles Times database (database via LMU catalog)


Los Angeles Sentinel (database via LMU catalog)
American Periodicals (database via LMU catalog)
ArchivesGrid
Online Archive of California
Penn Libguide (look under California)
County of Los Angeles Public Library has collections that discuss various local issues that
may be relevant
Los Angeles Public Library digital collections