“Political, economic, and social institutions are crumbling; the social structure, having become uninhabitable, is hindering, even preventing the development of the seeds which are being propagated within its damaged walls and being brought forth around them. The need for a new life becomes apparent…” –Peter Kropotkin, The Spirit of Revolt
Radicle /ˈrædɪkəl/ [rad-i-kuhl] n. (Botany) The rudimentary shoot of a plant that first emerges from the seed during the process of germination, often the embryonic root of the plant.
It is somewhat coincidental that The Portland Radicle has emerged in the early days of March. Walking around the city through the rain and gray, one sees green seedlings sprouting from the mud of every garden, abandoned lot, and forest floor. The name “Radicle” draws on the earliest stage of a process in which the dormant seed explodes with the determined growth of the plant it contains. From this initial shoot grow the roots that will feed the developing leaves, stems, trunks, and blossoms.
Anatomically a seed isn’t entirely one self-contained organism. The shell that surrounds the seed is actually a hard, dead husk leftover from the parent flower, alien to the new life inside. To reach its full development the plant must shake off its spell of dormancy and the shell that entraps it. The success of this process is never guaranteed; some seeds lay forever stillborn in the soil, while others realize the inner vitality that grows a tree from seed to sky.
Throughout the world communities are enacting the same struggles as the seedling. In order to realize our full potential―indeed to go on living―we are working to break out of the dead structures of our ancestors; working to break through the State, racism, sexism, capitalism, and all the everyday forms of domination suffocating life. The task, it seems, is to burst a new society from the shell of the old.
We are dedicated to tracking and promoting this movement of social radicles. In form and content we hope to foster the exuberant passion and vitality that smashes old hierarchies. We don’t purport to have a blueprint for this process―one cannot anticipate every movement in the expansion of a hundred-meter redwood from a seedling measured in millimeters―but we know that to remain dormant is to abandon the possibilities of life and freedom that beat within our hearts. This paper seeks those possibilities and is dedicated to those who dare to fight to make a rich and overflowing life possible to all