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Anarchism: The Formula Explored

Having established a formula for anarchism-in-general, we certainly haven’t established that all anarchisms are created equal. We have simply provided a means by which those anarchisms that take the form suggested by the formula can be rendered comparable. While the proposed formula leaves considerable space for variation among the anarchisms that it will recognize, it also sets a relatively high bar for consideration.  […]

Corvus Editions

Constructing Anarchisms (drafts)

Becoming Anarchists, Constructing Anarchisms [ARGUMENT] Becoming Anarchists — Embracing Anarchy Anarchism: A General Formula Anarchisms: An Exploratory Taxonomy A General Theory of Archy and Anarchy Encounters with Anarchism(s) Synthesis as a Theory of Anarchist Development […]

A Beautiful Nihilist

Anarchism: A General Formula

We are proposing anarchism as something that we can make our own, meaning that, in a certain sense, we can each make our own anarchism. Thus, there will be anarchisms, in the plural, that we must learn to identify by their shared characteristics. Part of our task here will be to establish the elements that must be defined in order to present an anarchism. But, in order to be recognizable as an anarchism, each instance must present itself as not just logically or ideologically complete and consistent, but also as intelligible within patterns of historical development.  […]

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Margins and Problems: Some Premature Conclusions

There are plenty of useful histories of anarchism, including some general histories that draw from the anarchist past the material by which various conceptions of anarchism might be bolstered and enriched. And the more we know about the complexities of the anarchist past, the less, I think, we can begrudge ourselves or our fellow anarchists these ideological and organizational supports. We pick and choose among the various available narratives on the basis of various kinds of present utility. Sometimes we are more scrupulous and demanding with regard to the accuracy of those various histories or the amount of the anarchist past for which they can account. Sometimes we fall back on a familiar “keep what works and discard the rest” standard—with or without real connection to anarchism’s experimentalist tendencies. […]

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Margins and Problems: Enter the Anarchist

The 1840s opened with a bang, with Proudhon’s declaration: je suis anarchiste. When we’re examining the conditions of possibility for various possible anarchisms, the emergence of anarchist as a role or identity, a means of self-identification, is undoubtedly a moment that will be hard to top. We have seen the various contexts in which libertarian analyses had already emerged—and the degree to which they were emerging from analyses of the mechanisms of government and authority, whether it was a question of the deconstructive reading of someone like Thomas Skidmore or the alleged mental lapse of P. W. Grayson. Something anarchistic was apparently in the air, but it was a decisive step to give it a name—and what a name!—and also to claim that name as a position within the field of social systems. […]

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Margins and Problems: Individualism and Socialism

The essay that follows originally appeared in 2010 and, for a time, lent its name, “Two-Gun Mutualism and the Golden Rule,” to what is now the “Contrun” blog. It is very much a creature of certain contexts specific to the reemergence of mutualism as an anarchist tendency—contexts that alternately freed and constrained my projects at the time. But it is also a pretty good introduction to Pierre Leroux and his influence on the anarchist tradition. […]

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Margins and Problems: Disquisitions and Demands

This is obviously a narrow conception of anarchism, but also one that we will find, combined with other elements, in quite a number of the works he will examine moving forward. In 1840, for example, Proudhon will assure us that, thanks in part to his anarchistic analysis, “the despotism of the will will be succeeded by the reign of reason”—but it isn’t at all clear that the transition will be rapid or the road smooth. […]

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Margins and Problems: A Philosophical Anarchism

We’re concerned, in these early phases of the survey, with the means by which we might recognize an anarchism emerging in contexts where that term did not yet have any of its familiar associations. What are the conditions for an emerging body of thought to inspire in us the same responses we have to the sorts of anarchism we presently espouse? […]