What Is Anarchism? Noam Chomsky on capitalism, socialism, free markets

What Is Anarchism? Noam Chomsky on capitalism, socialism, free markets (2013) Continue reading What Is Anarchism? Noam Chomsky on capitalism, socialism, free markets

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Practising (for) utopia

by Ruth Kinna This essay[1] highlights the constructive, utopian possibilities that spring from a sense of political compromise and argues that this distinctive type of utopian practice lends itself particularly well to anarchism. To show the distinctiveness of the approach in anarchist thought, the paper examines two other models of utopianism: one called realist and the other experiential. The argument is that, while all these conceptions of anarchist utopianism are valuable, the experiments that stem from compromise not only have the potential to inspire activists but also challenge non-anarchists to consider the costs of their everyday, apparently mundane decisions. On … Continue reading Practising (for) utopia

Anarchism in the academy

by Jeff Shantz Anarchist academic David Graeber devotes the first section of his book Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology to his attempt to answer the question, “Why are there so few anarchists in the academy?”  For Graeber this is a pressing question given the veritable explosion of anarchist theory and lively debates over anarchism outside of the academy, especially within the numerous social movements which have emerged recently.  Despite the blossoming of anarchist thought and practice, David Graeber is perplexed that this flowering of anarchism has found little reflection in the academy.  Graeber seems to long for the type of … Continue reading Anarchism in the academy

Black blocs and contemporary “propaganda of the deed”

by Jeff Shantz  That anarchists should run afoul of the authorities is hardly surprising.  Indeed, anarchism has a long history of direct conflict with State institutions and their defenders.  Some of the most striking images from this history are the caricatures of black trenchcoat wearing “bomb throwers” who owe their fame to activities at the turn of the Twentieth Century.  Novels such as Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent and Frank Harris’ The Bomb have kept the character of the fanatic alive.  In the popular imagination the spectre of anarchy still conjures notions of terror, chaos, destruction and the collapse of civilization … Continue reading Black blocs and contemporary “propaganda of the deed”

Capitalism, anarchism and Black liberation

by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin The Capitalist bourgeoisie creates inequality as a way to divide and rule over the entire working class, but it is deeper than that. White skin privilege is a form of domination by Capital over White labor as well as oppressed nationality labor, not just providing material incentives to “buy off” White workers and set them against Black and other oppressed workers. This explains the obedience by White labor to Capitalism and the State. The White working class does not see their better off condition as part of the system of exploitation. After centuries of political and social … Continue reading Capitalism, anarchism and Black liberation

Anarchism, protest and utopianism

by Ruth Kinna The recent explosion of popular energy made manifest in the Occupy movement was described by Adbusters as a shift in global revolutionary tactics, for democracy and against corporatocracy, inspired by a desire to fuse ‘Tahrir with the acampadas of Spain’.[1]  Like the movements for social justice that preceded it, it brought defiant protest together with an openly utopian politics but it captured public attention in ways that the earlier, more conventional protests had not. As the former canon chancellor of St. Paul’s Cathedral (the site of the London camp), Giles Fraser was well positioned to monitor the … Continue reading Anarchism, protest and utopianism

Anarchy and autonomy: Contemporary social movements, theory, and practice

By Jeff Shantz In an earlier article (Shantz 1998), written almost three years before the dramatic anarchist interventions during the Seattle WTO meetings of 1999, I suggested that theories of social movements were ill-suited either for understanding or even appreciating the innovative practices and ideas then being undertaken by anarchists in North America.  That article, and a series of follow-up articles, predicted the return of anarchist movements to a place of great importance within anti-capitalist struggles and offered the view that sociological movement analysis would largely be taken by surprise by the development (Shantz, 1999a; 1999b). Unfortunately, in the years … Continue reading Anarchy and autonomy: Contemporary social movements, theory, and practice