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Introduction by Noam Chomsky "Notes on Anarchism" in For Reasons of State Noam Chomsky, 1970 Transcribed by firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill Lear) A French writer, sympathetic to anarchism, wrote in the 1890s that "anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything"---including, he noted those whose acts are such that "a mortal enemy of anarchism could not have done better." There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as "anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition, as Daniel Gurin does in Anarchism, it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specific and determinate theory of society and social change. The anarchist historian Rudolph Rocker, who presents a systematic conception of the development of anarchist th...
ANARCHISM: WHAT IT REALLY STANDS FOR ANARCHY. Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood, Thou art the grisly terror of our age. "Wreck of all order," cry the multitude, "Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage." O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven The truth that lies behind a word to find, To them the word's right meaning was not given. They shall continue blind among the blind. But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure, Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! Thine secure When each at least unto himself shall waken. Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill? I cannot tell--but it the earth shall see! I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will Not rule, and also ruled I will not be! &n... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Individualist Anarchism is a round square, a contradiction in set terms. As a cube is not a ball, so " Individualism " is not Anarchism. What then, is Individualism? It is the chaos of to-day in social and industrial life, which has sprung from the licentious play of self-will Self-will is the will to be somewhat, and to have hold and sway something in isolation from other such wills, and in opposition to them. Property, dominion, government, law, are embodiments of this self will. Individualism is this striving, grabbing, over-reaching, and self-seeking of atoms, that seek to possess human individuality, but go about their quest the wrong way. It calls itself civilization, progress, fair competition, free trade, and many other fine names. ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Ideas are true liberators. Ideas as distinguished from so-called reason. For in our work-a-day world there is much reason and too little thought. It is given only to the seer and poet to conceive liberating ideas - impractical, wild thoughts that ultimately light the way of practical, blind man to better and higher endeavor. To "practical" minds the regeneration of the world is an empty dream. To transform the cold winter of our age into the warmth of a beautiful summer day, to change our valley of tears and misery into a luxurious garden of joy is a vain fantasy lacking reason and sanity. But a William Morris sees in his mind's eye a world of comradeship and brotherhood rejoicing in the plenitude of earth's bounty, and he challenges "pract... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. GREEN PERSPECTIVES Newsletter of the Green Program Project A LEFT GREEN PERIODICAL P.O. Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 No. 6, May 1988 Price:$1.50 The Crisis in the Ecology Movement by Murray Bookchin American ecology movements -- and particularly the American Greens -- are faced with a serious crisis of conscience and direction. Will ecologically oriented groups and the Greens become a movement that sees the roots of our ecological dislocations in social dislocations -- notably, in the domination of human by human whi... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
ROUSSEAU was not a Socialist in any scientific and definite way, simply because he was not a political economist. Yet there was in himself amid to a great extent in his works also, all the emotional material of Socialism. And, inasmuch as the Anarchist faith and formula distinguish themselves from general Socialism, in that they affirm entire equality and freedom in association, not merely saying of the members of society that each is for the whole, but adding with the same emphasis that the whole is for each one, and that he, in and through the whole in which he lives and moves and has his being, is an end to himself and never merely a means to any alien end or good that does not include him and is not his very own: this being Anarchism in... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
In our last two articles we have summarized a somewhat unusual, and therefore unpopular, view of the great intellectual movement. that, during the last three centuries, has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of the idea of private property and economic individualism. Thereby we have gravely scandalized certain devotees of reason-worship, who have mistaken our criticism of their superstition for an attack on human reason. Now we Anarchists protest against the superstitious worship of anything whatever. We protest against an exclusive reverence for any one human function or faculty as a mental attitude unworthy of the dignity of man. Human beings have continually displayed a curious inclination to adore themselves piecemeal. Everyone has heard... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
From: Bakunin's Writings, Guy A. Aldred Modern Publishers, Indore Kraus Reprint co. New York 1947 GOD OR LABOR The two Camps You taunt us with disbelieving in God, We charge you with believing in him. We do not condemn you for this. We do not even indict you. We pity you. For the time of illusions is past. We cannot be deceived any longer. Whom do we find under God's banner ! Emperors, kings, the official and the officious world; our lords and our nobles; all the privileged persons of Europe whose names are recorded in the Almana de Gotha; the guinea, pigs of the industrial, commercial and banking world; the patented professors of our universities; the civil service servants; the low and high police officers; the gendarmes; the jailers; the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This manuscript has been provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. History, Civilization, and Progress: Outline for a Criticism of Modern Relativism by Murray Bookchin Rarely have the concepts that literally define the best of Western culture--its notions of a meaningful History, a universal Civilization, and the possibility of Progress--been called so radically into question as they are today. In recent decades, both in the United States and abroad, the academy and a subculture of self-styled postmodernist intellectuals have nourished an entirely new ensemble of cultural conventions that stem from a corrosive social, political, and moral relativism. This ensemble encompasses a crude nominalism, pluralism, and skepticism, an extreme subje... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The minds of men are in confusion, for the very foundations of our civilization seem to be tottering. People are losing faith in the existing institutions, and the more intelligent realize that capitalist industrialism is defeating the very purpose it is supposed to serve. The world is at a loss for a way out. Parliamentarism and democracy are on the decline. Salvation is being sought in Fascism and other forms of "strong" government. The struggle of opposing ideas now going on in the world involves social problems urgently demanding a solution. The welfare of the individual and the fate of human society depend on the right answer to those questions The crisis, unemployment, war, disarmament, international relations, etc., are among those p... (From : Anarchy Archives.)