The Anarchist Banker – Fernando Pessoa

Tonight we bring you a recorded version of The Anarchist Banker by Fernando Pessoa. Recently this was published as a zine on underHILL Distro, so we asked underHILL to write us an intro:

“Come off it, that’s ridiculous. How do you reconcile your life, […] with anarchist theory?”

In 1922, the question resounded as forcefully off the tiled walls of the café where the two bankers sat for lunch as it does today, thrown across living room tables in our collective apartments. How many hours spent playing that old game, debating the contours of the places our jobs and ideas have taken us and whether or not we’ve strayed across those lines, “are you, are they, really an anarchist?”—the question met each time with such a practiced response, “Well, let me tell you how I came to hold this position my friend, you see…” Accumulated credentials and experiences spill out, ready to be notarized, filed, judged. Our anarchist credit scores. Do they drop every time we check them?

Fernando Pessoa, wrote from behind many faces, his heteronyms piling on top of each other, and spilling into each others lives. We’ve had little time for biography, but from his text it’s clear he was familiar with the all-too-unchanging social dynamics of our milieu 😉

The text caricaturizes the developmental path of one anarchist as they move from a red workerism through individualist iconoclasm. From affinity groups to “…the commercial and banking phase of my anarchism”. Hopefully you will find it as entertaining as we do.

The Anarchist Banker, was it not enough to send it shuffling through the hands of so many friends, acquaintances, and strangers? We can’t say why it was recorded. But it was always meant as a gift.


This was recorded by Cornelius as the banker, Dirtroll as the friend’s voice, and Kehaar as the friend’s thoughts. Sound edited by Linn O’Mable.