by Suzy Weiss at The Free Press
Nestled into the mountains of the Upper Valley in New Hampshire, up a semi-paved road in a house next to a tiny cemetery lined with white picket fencing, Fergie Chambers, 38, leans over his kitchen island, worrying over his commune.
“It feels like we’re throwing the same half-assed solutions at this over and over again and hoping it will yield something different,” he groans into his iPhone, which is on speaker. Fergie’s slight, but buff, on account of his multiple times a day martial arts training and competitions. His hair is cut short. A silver boxing glove dangles from one of his ears. He is covered in tattoos, including a double portrait of Stalin and Mao inked onto his thigh. He looks as if the phrase “Fuck you, Mom and Dad” were a person.
I offer my hand to a wheezing bulldog named Madison while Fergie talks over the phone to his employee in Alford, Massachusetts—the tiny Berkshires town where he’s bought 300 acres since 2019. Around 10 people live there at any given time. But he’s unclear—with me, possibly with himself—on what that place is exactly.
It’s a commune. It’s a “liberatory training space.” It’s a housing collective meets agricultural collective. It’s where the People’s Gym (“free for working-class people and permanently closed to cops, active military, landlords, and capitalists”) is located. It’s where the journal Combat Liberalism is based. It’s the headquarters for the Berkshire Communists group, which Fergie started. It’s where the Babochki Collective, the funding arm of all of Fergie’s projects, sometimes meets.
Fergie’s the General Secretary of the Berkshire Communists,…Continue Reading