What is New Compass?

— New Compass is a web-journal that publish shorter articles on social ecology and radical activism. We believe that it is necessary to present these perspectives to people in a relevant, easy-to-understand and accessible way. 

New Compass, therefore, has a double profile. On one hand we publish articles that explicitly deal with ideological aspects of social ecology and communalism, and on the other we publish articles and news that provides such perspectives on current affairs and movement issues.

We also publish books and pamphlets through New Compass Press. Our main aim is to inspire and give a sense of direction to a new international movement.

What do you stand for?

— New Compass stand for a new type of politics based on ecology, direct democracy and popular control over the economy. This ideology is called Communalism or Social Ecology. For a short description of this politics you can read our views, and if you are even more interested you can read The Communalist Project or Communalism as Alternative.

Isn´t communalism the same thing as conservative hinduism and islamism that has led to several sectarian massacres in India?

— The term "communalism" has two different traditions. One is the communalism you find among sectarian religious groups in India, and another is the communalist tradition in Europe stemming from the Paris Commune in 1871 where the citizens of Paris rose up against their rulers and called for a "commune of communes" as the basis of a new, socialist society. New Compass come from this progressive tradition, and what we stand for is the complete opposite of the religious "communalism" you find in India.

Do you belong to the Left-wing or the Right-wing of the political spectrum?

— We are definitely Left-wing and anticapitalist. We believe that capitalism is an extremely exploitative and destructive social order that has to be replaced by a socialist society. However, that is not to say that we share the views of all who call themselves socialists or anticapitalists. Quite to the contrary, the Left has committed enormous crimes and atrocities against humanity and we consider those socialists who advocate a "proletarian dictatorship" or strong centralized state our enemies rather than our friends. New Compass stand for a libertarian form of socialism and the decentralization of power.

What is the background of New Compass?

— New Compass was established in 2011 by a Norwegian-based collective of activists from social and environmental movements. This website has grown out of the Communalism journal, that ceased publication in 2010.

Why did you change the name to New Compass?

— As we ceased publication of the printed journal Communalism we wanted a new profile for the web-journal that we wanted to launch in its place. For us New Compass signifies the need to find a new direction for the Left, based on ecology, democracy and a libertarian form of socialism. We then got so happy about the name New Compass that we wanted to use it for our group as such.

Have you abandoned Communalism as an ideology?

— No. We still believe Communalism is the appropriate ideological framework on which to develop social ecology theory and praxis.

How do you define social ecology?

— Pretty much like Murray Bookchin did; social ecology is the body of ideas that Bookchin developed through his works. In a general sense, social ecologists recognize the relationship between society and nature, and insist that we must create a rational, ecological society to re-harmonize our relationship to the natural world. We consider ourselves social ecologists and therefore remain committed to the integrity of social ecology as a body of ideas.

How do you work?

— New Compass Press is a small collective in Norway. We try to meet as often as we can, but we are not functioning as a political group. We are mainly a publishing venture. As individuals we are active in other political projects and campaigns where we live. Perhaps we will expand our activities in the future, but for now publishing the web-journal and books is our focus. Although the collective is based in Norway, we do have network of writers, illustrators, photographers, and activists from all over the world.

Do you plan to translate your articles?

— No. This is an English language publication. If you are interested in translating or reprinting articles we have published, please do contact us.

Can I order copies of the journal Communalism?

— No. We are out of print. But we will make the old issues available for online reading and downloads here on the New Compass webpage. We plan to make other social ecology publications available here as well.

Are you planning to publish books regularly?

— Yes. We hope to publish at least four books each year. And we will also publish some pamphlets and other material for specific occasions.

Will you consider publishing my work?

— Yes, we will seriously consider all properly sent submissions. If you consider yourself a part of the social ecology movement and have something important to say, we really want to help you get your work published. But please remember that we are primarily a movement publisher, and you should read the views of New Compass to see if your writing would fit into our project. We do not have the capacities for outreach that major publishers have.

Can I write for your web-journal?

— Yes, we encourage contributions by social ecologists from all over the world. In addition of all, of course, everyone is allowed to post comments on the webpage and discuss our politics.

Do I have to be a social ecologist or communalist to write for you?

— We are a movement publisher, and normally we will publish material from communalists and social ecologists. Still, we are interested in all contributions that can help bring a direction to our movement.  Feel free to submit proposals.

Do you still have the forums for discussing Communalism?

—Yes, we do. But this is no longer a priority for us. While the forums sought to become a platform for an internal movement discussion, our new web-journal encourages debate with everyone interested in discussing these topics. Here, everyone—both people both inside and outside of our movement—is free to comment on our articles, and the new web-journal thus fills a very different function than the forums did.

Why have you chosen to use Facebook as a platform for interaction?

— Well, because it was simple and because most our audience are there. There are pros and cons involved in this decision, and we may opt for another solution later, but for now this works for us. We are also using Twitter to get the word spread.

How can I obtain printed copies of your material?

— Our books are available as paperback and can be ordered through AK Distribution or on Amazon. You will find links on the Publications pages. If you want to buy our books in bulk and become an active distributor, please do contact us. All articles published online will be conveniently available in a printer-friendly version.

Are you a non-profit initiative?

— Yes. No one is paid to work here; we are all volunteers. Still, we have many expenses. All money we earn go directly back into maintaining the website, postage and promotion costs, as well as publishing and promoting new titles. We hope that our regular publications will be self-sustaining so that we will be able to publish more movement building material.

How can I support you?

— By making a donation to New Compass you help ensure that we will be able to publish relevant social ecology literature. All contributions are appreciated. We will also have a network of regular contributors established soon; Friends of the New Compass. We will also urge you to join you to become part of our Review Program.

What is the Review Program?

— If you join our Review Program you receive all our publications for free, and you commit yourself to writing a review for a journal and for Amazon, and generally try to help get the word out. Read about our conditions here. You do not have to be a social ecologist to be part of the Review Program. We encourage you to get in touch with us about this: Send an email to us at press@new-compass.net if you are interested in joining our Review Program.

How can I get active?

— First of all, we hope that our web-journal and our publications will help inspire you in your own efforts to organize. We encourage you to start a local group or join an existing movement, or form a study group around these ideas. In time, we hope to provide more material to guide and inspire radical political activism. If you want to help us at New Compass with practical matters please do send us an email.