Letter to Unknown


Bartlett J. Ridge’s student isn’t the first to suggest that Bob Black is a committee! That would be Dutch anarchist Siebe Thissen, referring to my new book Anarchy After Leftism (Yes, that was a plug.) My reply was that I write too well to be a committee. The only good writing ever done by a committee was the King James Bible, and it didn’t have to start from scratch.

I’m not an FBI agent, I have the law degree but not the requisite moral character. I didn’t learn what I know of legal history in law school. The little history typically taught there is what historians call law-office history, of which Constiutionalism is an extreme example. I have a book in the works about the relevance of history to law. (Yes, that was a plug.)

But the most important question is, is Battlett J. Ridge Bob Black? There is some circumstantial evidence to the contrary. Ridge is in Vietnam, a country I went to strenuous lengths not to be shipped off to 25 years ago. The direct evidence is sparse. Some eyewitnesses claim to have seen us conversing together at one of Mike Gunderloy’s “Factsheet Five parties” a few years ago. But if they were taking the same drugs we were taking, no wonder they were seeing double.

The truth is more startling still. Bob Black is not Bartlett J. Ridge. Bob Black is Ben G. Price! Nobody claims to have ever seen us in the same place at the same time. A few years ago, Ben submitted a review of my book The Abolition of Work and Other Essays (yes, that was a plug) to the anarchist mag The Match! Its cranky editor/publisher Fred Woodworth, who never lies and is always right, saw right through my feeble subterfuge. So prodigious is my output and so sweeping in scope is my knowledge that if I hadn’t lived off the “Ben G. Price” alter ego, people might be thinking that I was a committee.


Bob Black