I finally picked up a copy of Daniel Colson’s 2001 Petit lexique philosophique de l’anarchisme – De Proudhon à Deleuze. It is simply remarkable; easily one of the best works of contemporary anarchist theory out there. As the title suggests, it takes the form of a lexicon, with entries ranging from “Action” to the “Will to power,” with a heavy emphasis on Proudhon’s mature work and its connections to, and elaborations in, philosophical and sociological works, from Bakunin up to Deleuze. Colson adds a few novel names to the mix: Gabriel Tarde and Gilbert Simondon feature prominently in the work. Deleuze’s usual references–Bergson, Spinoza, Liebniz, Nietzsche–also play important roles. Of course, Spinoza and Liebniz were also important references for Proudhon. This work does, with a delightful seriousness and care, what the “postanarchist” writings of Todd May and Saul Newman barely gestured at, bringing together anarchism and poststructuralism, and without the wrongheaded criticisms of “classical anarchism” which pretty well doom those works.
And if you don’t read French, but still want to support a sharp contemporary anarchist theorist, grab Crispin Sartwell’s Against the State: An Introduction to Anarchist Political Theory. Then grab another for a friend. I’m long overdue for a real review of this one, but the capsule review is this: Good anarchism + good Sartwell = damn good stuff.