Embracing Anarchy – Introduction

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Embracing Anarchy — Becoming Anarchists, Constructing Anarchisms


We become anarchists by embracing and internalizing anarchy.

We express that internalized anarchy by constructing anarchisms.

I take this to be a kind of general formula, describing the relations between three key concepts — anarchy, anarchist and anarchism — in their most general senses. This formula should be applicable to any form of anarchism that defines itself in terms of a commitment to anarchy. It should serve us as a rough schematic as we analyze and construct various anarchisms. The devil is, as usual, in the details — and the complex development of the various anarchist tendencies has provided us with no shortage of details to confront. There are plenty of reasons why anarchists find themselves so divided in the present, many of which will not be easily overcome.

Let’s not let that worry us. If we find, as well we may, that some anarchisms are ultimately incompatible with one another, antagonistic in their expressions, incommensurable in their specific conceptions, so be it. There is a proposal to accompany the analysis presented here, but it is not a proposal for unity. My expectation is that the account given here of what we might call anarchism-in-general will suggest significant common ground for some anarchist tendencies that are generally seen as irreconcilable rivals, but that, while it may facilitate the building of bridges among anarchists, it may also mark previously unseen chasms — identifying them as at least potentially unbridgeable. My hope is that, in either case, the outcomes will be a result of increasing clarity with regard to anarchism in its most basic, schematic form.


Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State

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