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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. […]

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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. […]

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A Schematic Anarchism: Rethinking Anarchism Without Adjectives and Synthesis

The schematic anarchism introduced over the last few months is at once a comparatively adjectiveless anarchism and a tool for synthesis. It is, however, not an example of anarchism without adjectives or anarchist synthesis in their most familiar senses. Exploring the ways in which those ideas are transformed in the context of this new conceptual toolkit should help clarify the character and uses of the new apparatus. […]


A Schematic Anarchism (Introduction)

One way to get at what is constant in the widest senses of anarchy and anarchism is to begin with what is least contestable about the elements of those terms. Etymology is certainly no definitive source of meaning — and few things are more tiresome than the attempt to resolve ideological debates with dictionaries — but if we are going to take inspiration from the interpretive freedom extended by Proudhon to his readers, we don’t really have much but the words themselves as references. […]