ANTHROPOLOGY AND ANARCHISM

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wisolyvahode.tk: Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (Paradigm) (): David Graeber: Books

Climate Change Labor Studies.. Mystery and Thrillers Science Fiction.. World History Latin America Punk Rock Big Noise Tactical Media Busboys and Poets Charles H. Kerr Library Common Notions Flashpoint Press Found in Translation Freedom Press Green Arcade Outspoken Authors Reach and Teach Revolutionary Pocketbooks Spectacular Fiction Tofu Hound Press Author Collections China Martens Derrick Jensen Gabriel Kuhn Howard Zinn Jacinta Bunnell John King Josh MacPhee Kenneth Wishnia Leon Rosselson Marge Piercy Matt Meyer One of the reasons why some anarchists have put a lot of emphasis on publishing propaganda and education, is that they have always eschewed party organization as well as violence.

Anarchists have always been critical of the notion of a vanguard party, seeing it as inevitably leading to some form of despotism. And with regard to both the French and Russian revolutions history has proved their premonitions correct. A consistent critique of anarchism offered by Marxists is that it is utopian and romantic, a peasant or petty-bourgeois ideology, or an expression of millennial dreams.

Concrete historical studies by John Hart on anarchism and the Mexican working class and by Jerome Mintz on the anarchists of Casas Viejas in Spain have more than adequately refuted some of the distortions about anarchism. The anarchist movement has not been confined to peasants: it has flourished among urban workers where anarcho- syndicalism developed. Nor is it utopian or millennial. Anarchists have established real collectives, and have always been critical of religion.

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They realised it would be a long haul. Another criticism of anarchism is that it has a narrow view of politics: that it sees the state as the fount of all evil, ignoring other aspects of social and economic life. This is a misrepresentation of anarchism. It partly derives from the way anarchism has been defined, and partly because Marxist historians have tried to exclude anarchism from the broader socialist movement.


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But when one examines the writings of classical anarchists like Kropotkin, Goldman, Malatesta and Tolstoy, as well as the character of anarchist movements in such places as Italy, Mexico, Spain and France, it is clearly evident that it has never had this limited vision. It has always challenged all forms of authority and exploitation, and has been equally critical of capitalism and religion as it has of the state. Most anarchists were feminists, and many spoke out against racism, as well as defending the freedom of children.

A cultural and ecological critique of capitalism has always been an important dimension of anarchist writings. This is why the writings of Tolstoy, Reclus and Kropotkin still have contemporary relevance. A final criticism of anarchism is that it is unrealistic; anarchy will never work. The market socialist David Miller expresses this view very well in his book on Anarchism His attitude to anarchism is one of heads I win, tails you lose. The state, in any case, is a recent historical phenomena, and in its modern nation-state form has only existed for a few hundred years.

Human communities have long existed without central or coercive authority. Whether a complex technological society is possible without centralized authority is not a question easily answered; neither is it one that can be lightly dismissed. Indeed, many global theorists nowadays are beginning to contemplate libertarian social vistas that become possible in an age of computer technology.

But at least Miller wants to rescue anarchism from the dustbin of history—to help us to curb abuses of power, and to keep alive the possibilities of free social relationships. The word derives, of course, from the Latin, Societas, which in turn derives from Socius, meaning a companion, a friend, a relationship between people, a shared activity. Buber was a close friend of the anarchist Gustav Landauer, and what Landauer basically argued—long before Foucault—was that the state could not be destroyed by revolution: it could only be undermined—by developing other kinds of relationships, by actualizing social patterns and forms of organization that involved mutuality and free co-operation.

Such a social domain is always in a sense present, imminent in contemporary society, co-existing with the state. For Landauer, as for Colin Ward, anarchy, therefore, is not something that only existed long ago before the rise of the state, or exists now only among people like the Nharo or Piaroa living at the margins of capitalism. Nor is it simply a speculative vision of some future society: but rather, anarchy is a form of social life which organizes itself without the resort to coercive authority.

It is always in existence—albeit often buried and unrecognized beneath the weight of capitalism and the state.

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Close Table of Contents. Title: Anthropology and Anarchism. Subtitle: Learning from stateless societies. Author: Brian Morris. Date: View history Edit this text Add this text to the bookbuilder Select individual parts for the bookbuilder.

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Brian Morris Anthropology and Anarchism Learning from stateless societies. Anarchism can be looked at in two ways. Misconceptions of anarchism Of all political philosophies anarchism has had perhaps the worst press. Bottomore, T. Clastres, P. Society Against the. State Oxford: Blackwell, Ellen, R. Today ; pp.

Anarchism and Anthropology

Gledhill, J. Power and its Disguises London: Pluto, Goldsmiths Anthropology Research Papers. This essay brings together anthropology and anarchism, first by an examination of anthropologists who have expressed an interest in anarchism, then by discussion of classical anarchist thinkers who have drawn upon anthropological literature to develop their ideas. The second part of the essay offers some reflections on anarchism as a political tradition and deals with certain misconceptions that have been forwarded by its liberal and Marxist critics.

He carried out fieldwork in South India, and has published on the anthropology of religion, conceptions of the self, and on herbalism in Malawi.


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