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Constructing Anarchisms (Reimagined)

When Constructing Anarchisms was interrupted by “reopening” and a growing pile of unanswered questions, plenty of unfinished business remained. I’ve been chipping away at it ever since. The fundamental questions I needed to answer before I could start my historical survey have largely been answered. The toolkit from “A Schematic Anarchism” has been an unexpected bonus. The process of answering those questions seems to have been useful to others as well. […]

Contr'un

Reading Proudhon Today

There is a lot of interesting material in Proudhon’s unpublished manuscripts, not all of which is vital to understanding his project, but there are two sets of texts in particular that any serious student should at least be aware of—if only to know what we don’t know. […]

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A Schematic Anarchism: Notes on Application

It’s no very great leap from the position I had already taken in “A Schematic Anarchism” to the one I’ve been exploring in Proudhon’s manuscripts. In general, I have been proposing that we shift our approach from endless, more or less interminable arguments about whether or not a given ideology or practice is anarchism or not to analyses of proposed anarchisms that ask: “If we treat X as an instance of anarchism, in what sense is that claim true and how does it compare to other instances?” The answers to that question ought to demonstrate that some of the proposed anarchisms only qualify in the most trivial senses, on the basis of the most implausible explanations, while others can be plausibly situated among the ranks of anarchisms on the basis of a variety of plausible narratives. […]

Corvus Editions

Rambles in the Fields calendar — 2023

The local landscape is woven into the work that appears here. My daily walks through the parks near my home are an explicit part of the process in the “Rambles in the Fields of Anarchist Individualism,” but, in general, the out-of-doors is where the fine points tend to get worked out. Last year, I published a calendar of photographs taken in several local green spaces. This year, I limited things to a single park and focused on the cycle of gradual, but steady change that takes place through the year.
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Contr'un

Further Reflections on Anarchist Tendencies and Mutualist History

This is a collection of another Twitter thread, in the course of which I’ve been sharing some reminiscences on how “neo-proudhonian” mutualism emerged and how those who have adopted the label or encounter it in anarchist circles might understand the particular gambits involved in its construction. These things necessarily get away from us, once loosed upon the world—and that’s fine, perhaps simply as it should be—but I suspect they may serve others better if they retain some of the character of their origins.   […]

Contr'un

Reflections on Anarchist Tendencies and Mutualist History

So much energy is wasted in debating anarchist labels that we imagine designate historical tendencies with clear programs, but mostly emerged from contexts where the rich diversity of anarchist ideas was reduced to forms appropriate for some earlier round of sectarian debate. Most of the keywords we fight over in anarchist circles are neither that sort of label not anti-concepts. They are the sort of obvious constructions (individualism, socialism, mutualism, capitalism, feminism, etc.) that you would to be contested in ideology-centered discourse. […]

Featured articles

A Schematic Anarchism: Anarchism-in-General

For me, the last few years have involved a rather public renegotiation of my relationship with anarchism—and more specifically with the possibility of an anarchism-in-general that is not just a jumble of incommensurable theories with some superficial resemblances. I have most often presented that work as a matter of synthesis, with a very specific reference to Voline’s 1924 essay, “On Synthesis,” where he gives that notion—so often limited in anarchist discourse to debates about the organization of federations—a considerably more general significance. […]