Contr'un

Looking Forward—Mapping our “Lost Continent”

Despite the potentially daunting number of research and publishing projects I have in progress, I really don’t get overwhelmed by the variety.

That’s not to say, of course, that I don’t get overwhelmed. I do, at fairly frequent intervals, but what is truly daunting about the project-load that I’ve accumulated over the last decade or so is the fact that it is all really just one big project.

Somehow — for my sins, as like as not — I’ve found myself committed to some deep explorations of just how the anarchist tradition developed in its earliest, formative years […]

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Neo-Proudhonian Anarchism (A Step toward Synthesis)

The more we learn about the history of mutualism, the clearer it becomes that the conception we have inherited was conceived—primarily by rivals of Proudhon’s thought—as a sort of theoretical foil for the communist “modern anarchism” of the late 19th century. It’s a rather complicated tale, since what Kropotkin called “modern anarchism” was, in fact, anarchism emerging for the first time, unless we count the purely literary emergence of the term in the works of Joseph Déjacque. There had, of course, been anarchists and theories of anarchy. […]

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Proudhon to Villiaumé, July 13, 1857

My dear Villiaumé, it is too cold for me to venture, with my sick head, all the way to Rue Marsollier. I am thinking instead of fleeing for ten or twelve days to some hole in Franche-Comté, where the devil may perhaps not come to torment me with his pomps and work. But you, who are spry, come some evening after your dinner and we will have a mug at the local cabaret, which will do you as much good as an ample banquet. Friendship, and understanding as well, is surely found in a modest “to your health.” […]

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Voltairine de Cleyre, “Justice is Blind” (1891)

Aye, and deaf and dumb in Kansas! For what, save utter deafness to all justice, could lead a judge to so far forget the dignity of authority as to sentence any living being without first asking the question: “Have you anything to say which sentence should not be pronounced against you?” True, the question is often a farce. I venture to say that not once in five hundred times is the sentence altered thereby; but true also we are treading upon dangerous times when judges no longer respect even the form of justice. […]