Critical projects that seek to sustain themselves over a long stretch of time have to change if they are to avoid becoming part of an establishment. And if they are prepared to change, they have to change more than once. Radical Philosophy began as a magazine produced on typewriters and photocopiers, with images literally cut and pasted into the text, mailed out by members of the collective to its readers. The changing shapes and fortunes of independent spaces of the Left, and the general penetration of the computer and the internet into writing and publishing, have since then transformed what it means to autonomously produce and distribute a journal like Radical Philosophy. Most importantly, for a journal seeking to construct as wide a community of readers and contributors as possible – including those outside the West European and North American academy – the access restrictions under which the magazine has previously operated seem increasingly unacceptable. Given the new technological possibilities made available via the internet and ‘print-on-demand’, it has been apparent to us for a while that, for a journal of radical philosophy, making a commitment to an equally radical form of openness – in a context where, too often, ‘open access’ has simply meant the revivification of the zombie forms of commercial academic publishing – was something we could no longer put off.
With its 2017 re-launch, Radical Philosophy will remain, as it has always been, a collectively edited, self-published and self-produced journal – but one with, we hope, a renewed editorial energy and a more radical, collaborative openness (if with no less philosophical rigour or critical bite). Among the things that our readers can look forward to, starting with issue 2.01, is a redesigned website, built by our new in-house engineering collective, through which we will be publishing all our content in a freely available form, as well as a redesigned print version of the journal. At the same time, from January 2018 the archive of the last forty-five years of Radical Philosophy will be made fully open with downloadable pdfs of everything that we have published since 1972.
Of course, throwing ourselves into this brave new world does not come without costs, and so we will also be setting up a new Supporters scheme to replace our existing subscriber system – about which we will also announce further details in due course. In the meantime, existing individual and library subscribers will continue to have access to the full RP archive for the rest of 2017 while we prepare to open it up for free. Those wishing to purchase this access for the remainder of this calendar year can also do so for the small amount of £10 via the ‘Subscribe Here’ button on the website.
We continue to welcome submissions and proposals for the journal, and look forward to introducing our community of friends, contributors, subscribers and readers to the new series of Radical Philosophy in the autumn.
The Radical Philosophy Collective
Claudia Aradau, Brenna Bhandar, Victoria Browne, David Cunningham, Peter Hallward, Lara Mancinelli, Stewart Martin, Lucie Mercier, Daniel Nemenyi, Hannah Proctor, Rahul Rao, Alex Sassmannshausen, Martina Tazzioli, Chris Wilbert