Open Access (free)
Anarchist theory and practice in a global age

This book attempts to convey the different sociological contexts for how contemporary anarchist theory and practice is to be understood. It concentrates on the issue of broadening the parameters of how anarchist theory and practice is conceptualized. The book compares the major philosophical differences and strategies between the classical period (what Dave Morland calls 'social anarchism') and the contemporary anti-capitalist movements which he regards as being poststructuralist in nature. It also documents the emergence of the now highly influential anti-technological and anti-civilisational strand in anarchist thought. This offers something of a challenge to anarchism as a political philosophy of the Enlightenment, as well as to other contemporary versions of ecological anarchism and, to some extent, anarcho-communism. The book further provides a snapshot of a number of debates and critical positions which inform contemporary anarchist practice. The specific areas covered offer unique perspectives on sexuality, education, addiction and mental health aspects of socialisation and how this can be challenged at a number of different levels. The fact that anarchism has largely premised its critique on a psychological dimension to power relations, not just a material one, has been an advantage in this respect. Ecological anarchism, which has been the driving force behind much contemporary anarchist theory and practice, has been committed to thinking about the relationships between people and 'nature' in new ways.

1 Dave Morland Anti-capitalism and poststructuralist anarchism1 Introduction Social anarchism has a long reputation as a disparate and incoherent ideology. Commentators, sympathetic and objective alike, have frequently accused social anarchism of being too diverse to constitute a singular, recognisable ideology at all (Chomsky, 1970; Miller, 1984; Ball and Dagger, 1991). To a degree this is true: social anarchism is a loose and diverse ideology that may be too elusive for some commentators to categorise neatly and clearly. However, other commentators, myself

in Changing anarchism
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Why anarchism still matters

the major philosophical differences and strategies between the classical period (what he calls ‘social anarchism’) and the contemporary anti-capitalist movements which he regards as being poststructuralist in nature. John Moore (chapter 3) acknowledges these epistemological differences in his argument that the often-overlooked figure of Max Stirner can be useful for understanding the impact of power on the formation of the Self, as well as prefiguring poststructuralist and situationist perspectives on revolutionary language. It is through an assessment of Stirner

in Changing anarchism
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Stirner, anarchy, subjectivity and the art of living

, Social anarchism or lifestyle anarchism: an unbridgeable chasm (Bookchin, 1995).4 In order to understand the significance of Stirner to both modernist anarchism and (more pertinently) the new anarchism(s), the nature and significance of his thought needs to be radically revised. Stirner and the anarcho-psychological episteme In The order of things and The archaeology of knowledge, Michel Foucault develops a discursive archaeological methodology which ‘attempts to study the structure of the discourses of the various disciplines that have claimed to put forth theories of

in Changing anarchism