My goal overall is to produce a work that is at least potentially useful and shareable among anarchists of a variety of tendencies, as well as students of “the anarchist idea.” (The phrase is one of Nettlau’s that was obscured in translation.) But, to be honest, I am also very interested not to get too deeply involved in certain kinds of debate about how inclusive anarchist history ought to be. I expect that the best version of the work would hold little interest for those for whom anarchism does not appear still nascent in some important senses. For those willing to at least weigh the possibility of really sharing a historical tradition, I have some hope of presenting a relatively compelling case, but for others, honestly, I got nothin’… […]
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 […]
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. […]