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Justice in the Revolution and in the Church — I

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The people are philosophical, because they are as weary of praying as of paying. They have had enough of the pharisee and the publican; and all they desire, at the point we have reached, is to know how to direct their ideas, and to free themselves from this world of tolls and paternosters. […]

Proudhon’s Barbaric Yawp (1840)

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Every story has to start somewhere. And when the story is that of anarchist history, it seems hard to find a more likely place to begin than Proudhon’s 1840 declaration—je suis anarchiste—which we generally treat as the first instance of at least one kind of anarchist position-taking. […]

Anarchist History: Our Lost Continent

Corvus Editions: Anarchistic Frontiers

Corvus Editions

I am not sure there is any way forward but to gather together the fruits of the last couple of decades or research and present them for use, as if there was an audience ready and willing to use them. And since we’re talking about works deemed insufficiently commercial even for the niches filled by anarchist publishers and academic presses, the way to do that is through print-on-demand volumes. So the next phase of the Corvus Edition story involves a line of collections published through Lulu. […]

Our Lost Continent: Episodes from an Alternate History of the Anarchist Idea, 1837–1936

Our Lost Continent

My goal overall is to produce a work that is at least potentially useful and shareable among anarchists of a variety of tendencies, as well as students of “the anarchist idea.” (The phrase is one of Nettlau’s that was obscured in translation.) But, to be honest, I am also very interested not to get too deeply involved in certain kinds of debate about how inclusive anarchist history ought to be. I expect that the best version of the work would hold little interest for those for whom anarchism does not appear still nascent in some important senses. For those willing to at least weigh the possibility of really sharing a historical tradition, I have some hope of presenting a relatively compelling case, but for others, honestly, I got nothin’… […]

Anarchist History

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The Uses of a Lost Continent

Our Lost Continent and the Journey Back Project Page: Our Lost Continent: Episodes from an Alternate History of the Anarchist Idea, 1837–1936 RELATED: “Our Lost Continent” (April 4, 2015) “The ‘Benthamite’ anarchism and the origins […]

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Distributaries: “Modern Anarchism”

Our fast-moving mountain current has spread out across the a decade’s worth of terrain, splitting off into various distributary currents. We know—or at least the driving metaphor of this work suggests—that the various currents will never unite as fully as perhaps they were mingled before Proudhon’s death. We can certainly point to instances where some form of direct influence seems to carry forward from the earliest period examined through to the anarchism of the 1880s—but we have also inherited narratives that at least flirt with the notion of a rather complete reinvention of anarchist thought in what Kropotkin called “modern anarchism.” […]

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Distributaries: The Reform Leagues and Anarchist Individualism

There are important individual stories to be told. We’ll track the journey of Dyer D. Lum to anarchism and the post-war exploits of William Batchelder Greene. Ezra and Angela Heywood will feature prominently, as we account for the relationship between The Word and the emerging anarchist movement in the 1870s. There will be a lot of apparent diversions into the spiritualist press, adventures among the free religionists and free lovers, as well as plenty of exploration of the “Yankee International” and the associated organizations. We’ll say goodbye to figures like Calvin Blanchard. […]

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Distributaries: Atercracy

Some of our distributary channels really diverged early, as anarchist ideas spread through the export of the European press and through the exile of European revolutionaries. So, for example, there are individuals and incidents to be explored in the context of the French exile communities in North America. […]

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Distributaries: Anti-Authoritarian Collectivism

Let’s review our position just a bit, in the context of our riverine metaphor. Discussing the first leg of our journey, we were unlikely to go too far wrong talking about stages in the development of a single waterway or simple river system. We could talk about stages of anarchist development and stages in our journey back from the sources of the anarchist tradition in roughly parallel ways. But, as I’ve already noted, each of the long legs of the journey—each volume of the study—because more complicated than the last, which makes the metaphor even more useful in some ways, but also less obvious in others. […]