By Peter H. Marshall
Lively and authoritative, this research of a commonly misunderstood topic skillfully navigates the tough waters of anarchistic concepts—from Taoism to Situationism, ranters to punk rockers, individualists to communists, and anarcho-syndicalists to anarcha-feminists. Exploring key anarchist principles of society and the kingdom, freedom and equality, authority and gear, the list investigates the successes and screw ups of anarchist pursuits during the global. providing a balanced and significant survey, the unique rfile covers not just vintage anarchist thinkers—such as Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Reclus, and Emma Goldman—but additionally different libertarian figures, reminiscent of Nietzsche, Camus, Gandhi, Foucault, and Chomsky. crucial studying for somebody wishing to appreciate what anarchists stand for and what they've got accomplished, this interesting account additionally comprises an epilogue that examines the latest advancements, together with postanarchism and anarcho-primitivism in addition to the anarchist contributions to the peace, eco-friendly, and international justice activities of the twenty first century.
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Additional info for Demanding the impossible : a history of anarchism : be realistic! Demand the impossible!
While all anarchists are opposed to the State, a few are ready to allow government in an attenuated form in a transitional period. Godwin, at a time when Nation-States in Europe were beginning to take on their modem form, wrote mainly about the evils of government. He argued that men associated at first for the sake of mutual assistance, but the 'errors and the perverseness of the few' led to the need for restraint in the form of government. But while government was intended to suppress injustice, its effect had been to perpetuate it by concentrating the force of the community and aggravating the inequality of property.
Kropotkin in his study of the origins of the State argues that the Roman Empire was a State, but that the Greek cities and the medieval city republics were not. In European nations, he argues, the State barely dates from the sixteenth century when it took over the free towns and their federations. 16 They were later joined by the capitalists who continued to strengthen and centralize the State and crush free initiative. The people in the mean time were persuaded to co-operate with the process and grew accustomed to voluntary servitude.
Kropotkin argued that the main supports for crime are idleness, law and authority. 59 For those people who will still be anti-social and violent, Kropotkin insists that punishment is not appropriate since the severity of punishment does not diminish the amount of crime. 6O It is not possible to improve prisons. The more prisons are reformed, the more detestable they become: modem penitentiaries are far worse than the dungeons of the Middle Ages. The best cure for anti-social tendencies is to be found in human sympathy.