A Living Spirit of Revolt: The Infrapolitics of Anarchism
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Dissecting anarchist history from classic examples through contemporary occurrences, and even tying it to everyday life, this exploration collects many disparate movements into a cohesive whole to better understand anarchy in theory and praxis. The book posits modern anarchy as not only the most revolutionary, but as the only antisystem movement left—a seclusion that is occurring for the first time in history. Chronicling anarchy with a discerning eye, this study provides a greater understanding of anarchist thought, including how it applies in current tumultuous times, and reveals how many movements have been forgotten—contributing to a misconception of anarchy’s essence. Further insight into American philosophies, such as New England Transcendentalism, is also included.
avoid listing out the ideas of the “classics of anarchism” whose theoretical contributions enriched anarchist thought in the nineteenth century. Suffice it to say that the beginning of authentic anarchist thoughts dates back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the works of Gerrard Winstanley and particularly in the Enquiry concerning Political Justice by William Godwin, considered a pioneering work in this field. In his work, Godwin offered the first explicit criticism of capitalism
political goals and means of political struggle. Nevertheless, anarchists have always generally tried to pursue Bakunin’s idea that future society has to be prefigured in the current political struggle. For Zinn, anarchism should not be anarchistic “just in wanting the ultimate abolition of the state, but in its immediate requirement that authority and coercion be banished in every sphere of existence that the end must be represented immediately in the means.”26 This means that the means of our
491. 25 In professional circles there is often a dilemma as to whether Whitman’s expression (mingling traditions) is prose or poetry. This dilemma is substantiated the most by his “O Captain! My Captain!” 26 Though puritanical society was ready to condone Whitman’s unconventional poetic form, it was unwilling to do so with the substance of his poems. The themes and narration of the undestined reformer of the American cultural and artistic mentality strongly overstepped all limits of the
the immigrants’ distrust of any authority was only reinforced, along with their reluctance to pay compulsory taxes. This feeling of independence and individualism, which had developed among self-enthusiastic pioneers and immigrants in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, is the main reason that anarchism in the United States developed unique, distinctive characteristics justifying the currently used term “American anarchism.” After the War of Independence, the Founding Fathers acknowledged
(post)ideology of activistism or actionism.17 This should obviously be understood not as a criticism of activism as such, but as a warning against problems in the future, when the anarchist movement requires transformation and, hence, a self-reflection. The new anarchism recognizes differences and plurality, but emphasizes similarities and inclusivity. It is global, just as exploitation and poverty are global, and flexible just as capital and our jobs are flexible. As each struggle for a better