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Books & Beers #4: The Privilege of Politeness



‘Books and Beers’ is happening again next week, so if you're interested to get stuck into a text over a beer, read on.

  Books and Beers is an informal group that gets together at a pub to discuss a chosen paper, zine or book. From topical themes and radical history, to ideas around organising and other random rants, we hope to gain some knowledge, exchange ideas, and have a few beers while doing it.   Our latest reading is ‘The Privilege of Politeness’ (read it or download it here: Have a read, then join us in a conversation, hot chips, and a brew.   WHEN: Wednesday 7th of March, 6.30pmWHERE: The Pegasus Arms (Oxford Terrace, down from the Christchurch Hospital)   Books & Beers is an informal, open space and anyone interested is welcome to take part.



at the risk of seeming impolite (ho ho), why are so called anarchists wasting time discussing a blog post from a random angry nutter when they could and should be discussing what anarchists should be doing to help the fight against the ruling class who are currently stomping on beneficiaries, selling off publicly owned assets and downgrading working conditions all over the country.

Seriously, why should I give a fuck about some angry blogger on the other side of the world when we have important stuff to be doing. If you Books & Beers folks think this is an important text that needs to be discussed then you may well be privileged and out of touch. BTW I am less privileged then you so you are not allowed to be angry with me even though I think you all suck and have shit politics!



Hi Britney,I agree that

Hi Britney,

I agree that things are really bad for us at the moment, that we are being screwed as workers, as beneficiaries, as living beings who need a healthy planet to survive on. There is a crisis going on. I also think that this crisis is likely to last for my whole lifetime. So, I'm not gonna put off thinking about how I talk to people (more or less privileged than myself) until the crisis is resolved. I think that would be a disaster, both for the quality of my own life and for the struggles I am part of.

That said, sure there needs to be balance between reflecting on how we operate and talking about what we're actually gonna do. That's something we are all the time trying to balance in BR, and it doesn't always suit all of us all the time, or any of us, sometimes. Being human and all...


Also, I should prob say that

Also, I should prob say that although BR is organising the venue and dates for these discussions, it is now the people who actually come to books and beers who decide what we're gonna read next. This reading was decided at the last one as it flows on from what we were discussing then. So, if you wanna come along and have your say...

I guess I am suggesting that,

I guess I am suggesting that, since we all agree there is a crisis, we should be focued on that. How we talk to people is almost completely irrelevant, compared to what we are doing. It appears that BR (and for that matter quite a few so called radicals) agree with you that  we must focus on our language in order to avoid 'disaster'. I think the opposite, that all this focus on politically correct language is not only a waste of time it is entirely counterproductive becaue it makes the left look like out of touch idiots who are more concerned with words than we are with concrete political issues

Not bullshit ;)

Yep, as Pip pointed out, this text was a follow-on text from our last discussion—chosen by the people on the night as it seemed fitting to the last text and the issues raised. It doesn't mean we all agree with it, or believe it's important.

We've read all sorts of texts in the past, including one on anarchist strategy ( and we will read different texts in the future. Our struggles are not one-dimensional, nor are our activities (for example on Saturday many of the reading group crew will be out collecting for the Affco workers who are locked out, and we've had many discussion nights on the state of affairs in NZ as well). So I don't reckon you should judge a book by its cover—to use a bad pun.


I dont give a fuck about

I dont give a fuck about AAFCO or its workers , are you guys even vegan?



Fair enough, I don't give a

Fair enough, I don't give a fuck about you either.