Cenocracy: A Declaration for Greater Independence
Anarchism Supplement

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The following is the rest of the Britannica article on Anarchism whose initial comments were used for the page entitled Anarchism and other Bad Words". It is offered as a supplement for those readers interested in the topic of anarchism as an alternative form of Social Reformist thinking.



Anarchism as a movement, 1870–1940


A crucial development in the history of anarchism was the emergence of the doctrine of “propaganda of the deed.” In 1876 Errico Malatesta expressed the belief held by Italian anarchists that “the insurrectionary deed destined to affirm socialist principles by acts, is the most efficacious means of propaganda.” The first acts were rural insurrections intended to arouse the illiterate masses of the Italian countryside. After the insurrections failed, anarchist activism tended to take the form of acts of terrorism by individual protesters, who would attempt to kill ruling figures to make the state appear vulnerable and to inspire the masses with their self-sacrifice. Between 1890 and 1901 several such symbolic murders were carried out; the victims included King Umberto I of Italy, the empress consort Elizabeth of Austria, President Sadi Carnot of France, President William McKinley of the United States, and Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, the prime minister of Spain. This dramatic series of terrorist acts established the image of the anarchist as a mindless destroyer, an image that was further strengthened as anarchist attacks on government officials, as well as on restaurants and other public places, became more widespread.


During the 1890s, especially in France, anarchism was adopted as a philosophy by many avant-garde artistic and literary figures, including the painters Gustave Courbet (who had been a disciple of Proudhon), Camille Pissarro, Georges Seurat, and Paul Signac and the writers Paul Adam, Octave Mirbeau, Laurent Tailhade, and Felix Fénéon. The Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé was also a strong sympathizer. In England, the Irish poet and dramatist Oscar Wilde declared himself an anarchist and, under Kropotkin's inspiration, wrote the essay “The Soul of Man Under Socialism” (1891).


Artists were attracted by the individualist spirit of anarchism. By the mid-1890s, however, the more militant anarchists in France began to realize that an excess of individualism had detached them from the workers they sought to liberate. Anarchists, indeed, have always found it difficult to reconcile the claims of general human solidarity with the demands—equally insistent—of the individual who desires freedom. Some anarchist thinkers, such as the German Max Stirner, refused to recognize any limitation on the individual's right to do as he pleases or any obligation to act socially; and even those who accepted Kropotkin's socially oriented doctrines of anarchist communism have in practice been reluctant to create forms of organization that threatened their freedom of action or seemed likely to harden into institutions.


In consequence, although a number of international anarchist congresses were held—the most celebrated being those in London in 1881 and Amsterdam in 1907—no effective worldwide organization was ever created, even though by the end of the 19th century the anarchist movement had spread to all continents and was united by informal links of correspondence and friendship between leading figures. National federations were weak even in countries where there were many anarchists, such as France and Italy, and the typical unit of organization remained the small group dedicated to propaganda by deed or word. Such groups engaged in a wide variety of activities; in the 1890s many of them set up experimental schools and communities in an attempt to live according to anarchist principles.


Revolutionary syndicalism


In France, where individualist trends had been most pronounced and public reaction to terrorist acts had imperiled the very existence of the movement, anarchists made an effort to acquire a mass following, primarily by infiltrating the trade unions. They were particularly active in the bourses du travail (“labour exchanges”), local groups of unions originally established to find work for their members. In 1892 a national confederation of bourses du travail was formed, and by 1895 a group of anarchists, led by Fernand Pelloutier, Émile Pouget, and Paul Delesalle, had gained effective control of the organization and were developing the theory and practice of working-class activism later known as anarcho-syndicalism, or revolutionary syndicalism.


The anarcho-syndicalists argued that the traditional function of trade unions—to struggle for better wages and working conditions—was not enough. The unions should become militant organizations dedicated to the destruction of capitalism and the state. They should aim to take over factories and utilities, which would then be operated by the workers. In this way the union or syndicate would have a double function—as an organ of struggle within the existing political system and as an organ of administration after the revolution. The anarcho-syndicalists' strategy called for sustaining militancy by creating an atmosphere of incessant conflict, which would culminate in a massive general strike. Many anarcho-syndicalists believed that such an overwhelming act of noncooperation would bring about what they called “the revolution of folded arms,” resulting in the collapse of the state and the capitalist system. However, although partial general strikes, with limited objectives, were undertaken in France and elsewhere with varying success, the millennial general strike aimed at overthrowing the social order in a single blow was never attempted. Nevertheless, the anarcho-syndicalists acquired great prestige among the workers of France—and later of Spain and Italy—because of their generally tough-minded attitude at a time when working conditions were bad and employers tended to respond brutally to union activity. After the General Confederation of Labour (Confédération Générale du Travail; CGT), the great French trade-union organization, was founded in 1902, the militancy of the anarcho-syndicalists enabled them to retain control of the organization until 1908 and to wield considerable influence on its activities until after World War I.


Like anarchism, revolutionary syndicalism proved attractive to certain intellectuals, notably Georges Sorel, whose Reflections on Violence (1908) was the most important literary work to emerge from the movement. The more purist anarchist theoreticians were disturbed by the monolithic character of syndicalist organizations, which they feared might create powerful interest structures in a revolutionary society. At the International Anarchist Congress in Amsterdam in 1907, a crucial debate on this issue took place between the young revolutionary syndicalist Pierre Monatte and the veteran anarchist Errico Malatesta. It defined a division of outlook that still lingers in anarchist circles, which have always included individualist attitudes too extreme to admit any kind of large-scale organization.


Revolutionary syndicalism transformed anarchism, for a time at least, from a tiny minority current into a movement with considerable mass support, even though most members of syndicalist unions were sympathizers and fellow travelers rather than committed anarchists. In 1922 the syndicalists set up their own International with its headquarters in Berlin, taking the historic name of the International Workingmen's Association. When it was established, the organizations that formed it could still boast a considerable following. The Italian Trade Union (Unione Sindicale Italiana) had 500,000 members; the Regional Federation of Argentine Workers (Federación Obrera Regional Argentina), 200,000 members; the General Confederation of Labour (Confederação General de Trabalho) in Portugal, 150,000 members; and the Free Workers (Freie Arbeiter) in Germany, 120,000 members. There were also smaller organizations in Chile, Uruguay, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Mexico, and Sweden. In Britain, the influence of syndicalism was shown most clearly in the Guild Socialism movement, which flourished briefly in the early years of the 20th century. In the United States, revolutionary syndicalist ideas were influential in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which in the years immediately before and after World War I played a vital part in organizing American miners, loggers, and unskilled workers. Only a small minority of IWW militants were avowed anarchists, however.


(Syndicalism) also called Anarcho-syndicalism, or Revolutionary Syndicalism, (is) a movement that advocates direct action by the working class to abolish the capitalist order, including the state, and to establish in its place a social order based on workers organized in production units. The syndicalist movement flourished in France chiefly between 1900 and 1914 and had a considerable impact in Spain, Italy, England, the Latin-American countries, and elsewhere. It had ceased to be a strong, dynamic force by the end of World War I, but it remained a residual force in Europe until World War II.


Syndicalism developed out of strong anarchist and antiparliamentary traditions among the French working class. Greatly influenced by the teachings of the anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and the socialist Auguste Blanqui, it was developed as a doctrine by certain leaders of the French trade-union movement toward the end of the 19th century. In France, syndicalism is known as syndicalisme révolutionnaire (the word syndicalisme means only “trade unionism”). Syndicalist tendencies manifested themselves with increasing strength during the 1890s in the two main French labour organizations of the period—the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) and the Fédération des Bourses du Travail. The secretary of the latter, Fernand Pelloutier, did much to work out the characteristic tenets of syndicalism and to spread them among his workers. When these two organizations joined forces in 1902, trade unionism, and syndicalism in particular, gained an immense accession of strength.


The syndicalist, like the Marxist, was opposed to capitalism and looked forward to an ultimate class war from which the working class would emerge victorious. To the syndicalist, the state was by nature a tool of capitalist oppression and, in any event, was inevitably rendered inefficient and despotic by its bureaucratic structure. As an appendage of the capitalist order, then, the state could not be used for reform with peaceful means and must be abolished.


The structure of the ideal syndicalist community was generally envisioned somewhat as follows. The unit of organization would be the local syndicat, a free association of self-governing “producers.” It would be in touch with other groups through the local bourse du travail (“labour exchange”), which would function as a combination of employment and economic planning agency. When all the producers were thus linked together by the bourse, its administration—consisting of elected representatives of the members—would be able to estimate the capacities and necessities of the region, could coordinate production, and, being in touch through other bourses with the industrial system as a whole, could arrange for the necessary transfer of materials and commodities, inward and outward.


In keeping with their conception of the state as a tool of capitalist oppression, the syndicalists shunned political means of achieving their goals. This reliance upon direct industrial action stemmed from practical considerations as well: outside the mine or factory, the syndicalists realized, political differences among workers would come into play, possibly hindering mass action. Inside, their similar employment gave workers a sense of solidarity. Georges Sorel, a leading syndicalist theoretician, developed the concept of the “social myth,” which could be used to stir workers to revolutionary action. The general strike, the preeminent syndicalist tool, was conceived of in these terms. If successful, it inspires workers with a sense of power; if unsuccessful, it impresses upon them the servility of their lot and the need for better organization and wider aims.


In the United States the Industrial Workers of the World embraced a form of syndicalism but aimed for a system based on large, centralized unions rather than on local associations. The Italian Fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini sought to use syndicalist sentiment to gain support for its corporate state, which was in fact very much at variance with the syndicalist model in emphasizing a strong state.


After World War I, syndicalists tended to be lured away from the movement either by the Soviet model of communism or by the prospects for working-class gains offered by trade unionism and parliamentarianism in the Western republics. During the early years of Soviet power, in 1920–21, quasi-syndicalist ideas were prevalent among the trade-union communists' opposition movement, which acquired the name of “Workers' Opposition.”


Source: "Syndicalism." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013

Anarchism in Spain


The reconciliation of anarchism and syndicalism was most complete and most successful in Spain; for a long period the anarchist movement in that country remained the most numerous and the most powerful in the world. The first known Spanish anarchist, Ramón de la Sagra, a disciple of Proudhon, founded the world's first anarchist journal, El Porvenir, in La Coruña in 1845, which was quickly suppressed. Mutualist ideas were later publicized by Francisco Pi y Margall, a federalist leader and the translator of many of Proudhon's books. During the Spanish revolution of 1873, Pi y Margall attempted to establish a decentralized, or “cantonalist,” political system on Proudhonian lines. In the end, however, the influence of Bakunin was stronger. In 1868 his Italian disciple, Giuseppe Fanelli, visited Barcelona and Madrid, where he established branches of the International. By 1870 they had 40,000 members, and in 1873 the movement numbered about 60,000, organized mainly in working men's associations. In 1874 the anarchist movement in Spain was forced underground, a phenomenon that recurred often in subsequent decades. Nevertheless, it flourished, and anarchism became the favoured type of radicalism among two very different groups, the factory workers of Barcelona and other Catalan towns and the impoverished peasants who toiled on the estates of absentee owners in Andalusia.


As in France and Italy, the movement in Spain during the 1880s and '90s was inclined toward insurrection (in Andalusia) and terrorism (in Catalonia). It retained its strength in working-class organizations because the courageous and even ruthless anarchist militants were often the only leaders who would stand up to the army and to the employers, who hired squads of gunmen to engage in guerrilla warfare with the anarchists in the streets of Barcelona. The workers of Barcelona were finally inspired by the success of the French CGT to set up a syndicalist organization, Workers' Solidarity (Solidaridad Obrera), in 1907. Solidaridad Obrera quickly spread throughout Catalonia, and, in 1909, when the Spanish army tried to conscript Catalan reservists to fight against the Riffs in Morocco, it called a general strike. The work was followed by a week of largely spontaneous violence (“La Semana Tragica,” or the Tragic Week) that left hundreds dead and 50 churches and monasteries destroyed and that ended in brutal repression. The torture of anarchists in the fortress of Montjuich and the execution of the internationally celebrated advocate of free education Francisco Ferrer led to worldwide protests and the resignation of the conservative government in Madrid. These events also resulted in a congress of Spanish trade unionists at Sevilla in 1910, which founded the National Confederation of Labour (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo; CNT).


The CNT, which included the majority of organized Spanish workers, was dominated throughout its existence by the anarchist militants, who in 1927 founded their own activist organization, the Iberian Anarchist Federation (Federación Anarquista Iberica; FAI). While there was recurrent conflict within the CNT between moderates and FAI activists, the atmosphere of violence and urgency in which radical activities were carried on in Spain ensured that the more extreme leaders, such as Garcia Oliver and Buenaventura Durutti, tended to wield decisive influence. The CNT was a model of anarchist decentralism and antibureaucratism: its basic organizations were not national unions but sindicatos únicos (“special unions”), which brought together the workers of all trades and crafts in a certain locality; the national committee was elected each year from a different locality to ensure that no individual served more than one term; and all delegates were subject to immediate recall by the members. This enormous organization, which claimed 700,000 members in 1919, 1,600,000 in 1936, and more than 2,000,000 during the Civil War, employed only one paid secretary. Its day-to-day operation was carried on in their spare time by workers chosen by their comrades. This ensured that the Spanish anarchist movement would not be dominated by the déclassé intellectuals and self-taught printers and shoemakers who were so influential in other countries.


The CNT and the FAI, which remained clandestine organizations under the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, emerged into the open with the abdication of King Alfonso XIII in 1931. Their antipolitical philosophy led them to reject the Republic as much as the monarchy it had replaced, and between 1931 and the military rebellion led by Francisco Franco in 1936 there were several unsuccessful anarchist risings. In 1936 the anarchists, who over the decades had become expert urban guerrillas, were mainly responsible for the defeat of the rebel generals in both Barcelona and Valencia, as well as in country areas of Catalonia and Aragon; and for many early months of the Civil War they were in virtual control of eastern Spain, where they regarded the crisis as an opportunity to carry through the social revolution of which they had long dreamed. Factories and railways in Catalonia were taken over by workers' committees, and in hundreds of villages in Catalonia, Levante, and Andalusia the peasants seized the land and established libertarian communes like those described by Kropotkin in The Conquest of Bread. The internal use of money was abolished, the land was tilled in common, and village products were sold or exchanged on behalf of the community in general, with each family receiving an equitable share of food and other necessities. An idealistic Spartan fervour characterized these communities, which often consisted of illiterate labourers; intoxicants, tobacco, and sometimes even coffee were renounced; and millenarian enthusiasm took the place of religion, as it has often done in Spain. The reports of critical observers suggest that at least some of these communes were efficiently run and more productive agriculturally than the villages had been previously.


The Spanish anarchists failed during the Civil War largely because, expert though they were in spontaneous street fighting, they did not have the discipline necessary to carry on sustained warfare; the columns they sent to various fronts were unsuccessful in comparison with the communist-led International Brigades. In December 1936 four leading anarchists took posts in the cabinet of Francisco Largo Caballero, radically compromising their antigovernment principles. They were unable to halt the trend toward left-wing totalitarianism encouraged by their enemies the communists, who were numerically far fewer but politically more influential, owing to the Soviet Union's support of the Republican war effort. In May 1937 bitter fighting broke out in Barcelona between communists and anarchists. The CNT held its own on this occasion, but its influence quickly waned. The collectivized factories were taken over by the central government, and many agricultural communes were destroyed by Franco's advance into Andalusia and by the hostile action of General Enrique Lister's communist army in Aragon. In January 1939 the Spanish anarchists were so demoralized by the compromises of the Civil War that they were unable to mount a resistance when Franco's forces marched into Barcelona. The CNT and the FAI became phantom organizations in exile.


Decline of European anarchism


By the time of the Spanish Civil War, the anarchist movement outside Spain had been destroyed or greatly diminished as a result of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the rise of right-wing totalitarian regimes. Although the most famous anarchist leaders, Bakunin and Kropotkin, had been Russian, the anarchist movement had never been strong in Russia, partly because the larger Socialist Revolutionary Party had greater appeal to the peasantry. After the revolution the small anarchist groups that emerged in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) and Moscow were powerless against the Bolsheviks. Kropotkin, who returned from exile in June 1917, found himself without influence, though he did establish an anarchist commune in the village of Dmitrov, near Moscow. A large demonstration of anarchists accompanied Kropotkin's funeral in 1921. In the south, N.I. Makhno, a peasant anarchist, raised an insurrectionary army that used brilliant guerrilla tactics to hold a large part of Ukraine from both the Red and the White armies; but the social experiments developed under Makhno's protection were rudimentary, and when he was driven into exile in 1921 the anarchist movement became extinct in Russia.


In other countries, the prestige of the Russian Revolution enabled the new communist parties to win much of the support formerly given to the anarchists, particularly in France, where the CGT passed permanently into communist control. The large Italian anarchist movement was destroyed by the fascist government of Benito Mussolini in the 1920s, and the small German anarchist movement was smashed by the Nazis in the 1930s.


Anarchism in the Americas


In the United States, a native and mainly nonviolent tradition of anarchism developed during the 19th century in the writings of Henry David Thoreau, Josiah Warren, Lysander Spooner, Joseph Labadie, and above all Benjamin Tucker. An early advocate of women's suffrage, religious tolerance, and fair labour legislation, Tucker combined Warren's ideas on labour egalitarianism with elements of Proudhon's and Bakunin's antistatism. The result was the most sophisticated exposition to date of anarchist ideas in the United States. Much of Tucker's political influence, especially during the 1880s, derived from his journal Liberty, which he published in both Boston and New York City. Anarchist activism in the United States was mainly sustained by immigrants from Europe, including Johann Most (editor of Die Freiheit; “Freedom”), who justified acts of terrorism on anarchist principles; Alexander Berkman, who attempted to assassinate steel magnate Henry Clay Frick in 1892; and Emma Goldman, whose Living My Life gives a picture of radical activity in the United States at the turn of the century. Goldman, who had immigrated to the United States from tsarist Russia in 1885, soon became a preeminent figure in the American anarchist movement. A follower of Kropotkin, she lectured widely and published numerous essays on anarchist theory and practice in her journal Mother Earth. Most of her campaigns were controversial. She argued on behalf of birth control, defended the bomb throwers of her era as victims of a ruthless capitalist system, opposed women's suffrage—because, in her view, it would only further bind women to bourgeois reformism—and spoke out against American entry into World War I, which she believed was an imperialist war that was sacrificing ordinary people as cannon fodder.


Although anarchists were more often the victims of violence than its perpetrators, the cartoonists' stereotype of the long-haired, wild-eyed anarchist assassin emerged in the 1880s and was firmly established in the public mind during the Chicago Haymarket Riot of 1886. Anarchists—many of them German immigrants—were prominent figures in Chicago's labour movement. After police killed two strikers at a rally at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company on May 3, 1886, a protest meeting was called for Haymarket Square the next day. The demonstration was pronounced peaceful by Mayor Carter Harrison, who attended as an observer. After Harrison and most of the demonstrators had departed, a contingent of police arrived and demanded that the crowd disperse. At that point a bomb exploded among the police, killing one, and the police responded with random gunfire. In the ensuing melee, several people (including six police) were killed and many more injured.


The incident created widespread hysteria against immigrants and labour leaders and led to renewed suppression by police. Although the identity of the bomb thrower was never determined, eight anarchist leaders were arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy. Four members of the “Chicago Eight” were hanged on November 11, 1887; one committed suicide in his cell; and three others were given long prison sentences. Excoriating the trial as unjust, Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld pardoned the three surviving Haymarket prisoners in 1893. May Day—international workers' day—was directly inspired by the Haymarket affair, and anarchists such as Goldman, Berkman, and Voltairine de Cleyre, as well as socialist Eugene V. Debs, traced their political awakenings to the events at Haymarket.


In 1901 an immigrant Polish anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, assassinated President McKinley. In 1903 Congress passed a law barring all foreign anarchists from entering or remaining in the country. In the repressive mood that followed World War I, anarchism in the United States was suppressed. Berkman, Goldman, and many others activists were imprisoned and deported. In a sensational trial in the spring of 1920, two immigrant Italian anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, were convicted of killing a payroll clerk and a guard during a robbery at a Massachusetts shoe factory. In apparent retaliation for the conviction, a bomb was set off in the Wall Street area of New York City, killing more than 30 people and injuring 200 others. Despite worldwide protests that raised serious questions about the guilt of the defendants, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in 1927.


In Latin America, strong anarchist elements were involved in the Mexican Revolution. The syndicalist teachings of Ricardo Flores Magon influenced the peasant revolutionism of Emiliano Zapata. After the deaths of Zapata in 1919 and Flores Magon in 1922, the revolutionary image in Mexico, as elsewhere, was taken over by communists. In Argentina and Uruguay there were significant anarcho-syndicalist movements early in the 20th century, but they too were greatly reduced by the end of the 1930s through intermittent repression and the competition of communism.



George Woodcock Ed.


Anarchism in East Asia


During the first two decades of the 20th century, anarchism was by far the most significant current in radical thinking in East Asia. Although East Asian anarchists did not make significant original contributions to anarchist theory, they did introduce a number of important ideas to the politics and culture of their countries, including universal education, the rights of youth and women, and the need to abolish all divisions of labour—especially those between mental and manual labour and between agricultural and industrial labour. Perhaps the most significant and lasting of their contributions was the idea of “social revolution”—i.e., the idea that revolutionary political change cannot occur without radical changes in society and culture, specifically the elimination of social institutions that are inherently coercive and authoritarian, such as the traditional family. Although some anarchists in East Asia sought to create revolution through violence, others repudiated violence in favour of peaceful means, especially education. Nevertheless, they all believed that politics is determined mainly by society and culture and therefore that society and culture must be the focus of their revolutionary efforts.


Anarchism in Japan


The first self-described anarchist in East Asia was the Japanese writer and activist Kotoku Shusui. In 1901 Kotoku, an early advocate of Japanese socialism, helped to found the Social Democratic Party, which was immediately banned by the government. Early in 1905, after the newspaper he published, the Heimin shimbun (“Commoner's Newspaper”), denounced the Russo-Japanese War, the paper was closed and Kotoku was imprisoned. While in prison he was profoundly influenced by anarchist literature—especially Kropotkin's Fields, Factories, and Workshops—and adopted anarchism wholeheartedly. As he wrote to a friend at the time, he had “gone [to prison] as a Marxian socialist and returned a radical anarchist.” After five months in prison Kotoku traveled to the United States, where he collaborated with members of the IWW, popularly known as the “Wobblies.” His experiences in the United States led him to abandon parliamentary politics in favour of a violent strategy of “direct action.”


After his return to Japan in June 1906, Kotoku began organizing workers for radical activities. He also managed to persuade the newly founded Socialist Party of Japan to adopt his views on direct action. In 1910 Kotoku was among hundreds arrested for involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate the Meiji emperor. Although he had withdrawn from the conspiracy before his arrest, Kotoku was tried for treason and was executed in 1911. His death marked the beginning of a “winter period” for anarchism in Japan, which was to last until the end of World War I.


Although much diminished, anarchist activity in Japan did not completely cease during this period. Osugi Sakae, the foremost figure in Japanese anarchism in the decade after Kotoku's death, published anarchist newspapers and led organizing campaigns among industrial workers. His efforts were hampered by continuous police repression, however, and he had very little impact in Japan. Nevertheless, Osugi greatly influenced anarchists in China and, later, Korea.


Anarchism in China


Shortly after 1900, as part of the reforms that followed the unsuccessful Boxer Rebellion, the Ch'ing Dynasty began to send many young Chinese to study abroad, especially in France, Japan, and the United States. In these places and elsewhere, Chinese students established nationalist and revolutionary organizations dedicated to overthrowing the imperial regime. Two of the most important of these groups—the World Association, founded in Paris in 1906, and the Society for the Study of Socialism, founded in Tokyo in 1907—adopted explicitly anarchist programs.


Between 1907 and 1910 the World Association published a journal, The New Century, that was a major source of information in Chinese on anarchist theory and the European anarchist movement. The journal promoted an individualistic and “futuristic” anarchism and was among the first Chinese-language publications to openly attack native traditions, in particular Confucianism. The Society for the Study of Socialism, on the other hand, favoured an antimodern anarchism influenced by the pacifist radicalism of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, and it stressed the affinity between anarchism and philosophical currents in the Chinese past, especially Taoism. Through its publications, Natural Justice and Balance, the Society advocated Kropotkin's programs for combining agriculture with industry and mental with manual labour, ideas that were to have a lasting influence on Chinese radicalism.


Significant anarchist activity in China itself did not begin until after the Chinese Revolution (1911–12). Chinese anarchists educated in Paris (the so-called “Paris anarchists”) returned to Beijing and immediately became involved in the reform of education and culture. Convinced of the need for social revolution, the Paris anarchists argued in favour of Western science against religion and superstition, called for the emancipation of women and youth, rejected the traditional family and the Confucian values on which it was based, and organized experimental work-study communities as alternatives to traditional forms of family and working life. These ideas and practices were extremely influential in the New Culture movement of the late 1910s and early 1920s. Led by the generation of intellectuals sent to study abroad, the movement was critical of all aspects of traditional Chinese culture and ethics and called for sweeping reforms in existing political and social institutions.


Anarchists were also active in South China. In Canton, a native school of anarchism emerged around the charismatic revolutionary Liu Shifu, better known by his adopted name Shifu. In 1912 Shifu founded the Cock-Crow Society, whose journal, People's Voice, was the leading organ of Chinese anarchism in the 1910s. Although not a particularly original thinker, Shifu was a skilled expositor of anarchist doctrine. His polemical exchanges with the socialist leader Jiang Khangu helped to popularize anarchism as a “pure socialism” and to distinguish it from other currents in socialist thought.


Anarchism in Vietnam and Korea


Anarchist ideas entered Vietnam through the activities of the early Vietnamese nationalist leader Phan Boi Chau. Phan, who led the struggle against French colonial rule during the first two decades of the 20th century, was introduced to anarchism by Chinese intellectuals in Tokyo in 1905–09. Although Phan was not an anarchist himself, his thinking reflected certain distinctly anarchist themes, notably anti-imperialism and “direct action.” After the Chinese Revolution in 1911, Phan moved to South China, where he joined a number of organizations that espoused or were influenced by anarchism, including the Worldwide League for Humanity. He also received advice and financial support from Shifu. In 1912, with Shifu's help, he founded the League of the Restoration of Vietnam and the League for the Prosperity of China and Asia, which aimed to build links between revolutionary movements in China and those in colonized countries such as Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), India, and Korea.


In the early 1920s Korean radicals established anarchist societies in Tokyo and in various locations in China. Like their counterparts in Vietnam, they were drawn to anarchism mostly for its anti-imperialism and its emphasis on direct action, which offered a justification for violent resistance to the Japanese colonial government. For leaders such as Shin Chaoe-ho, anarchism was an attractive democratic alternative to Bolshevik communism, which by this time was threatening to take control of the radical movement in Korea.


Decline of anarchism in East Asia


By the early 1920s anarchism in most parts of East Asia had entered a decline from which it would not recover. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Bolshevik communists in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea established their own revolutionary societies, which were eventually transformed into clandestine political parties, and began to compete with anarchists for influence in the labour movements. Faced with the Bolsheviks' superior organizational abilities and the financial support they received from the newly constituted Soviet Union, the anarchists could offer only weak resistance and were soon eclipsed. By 1927, Chinese anarchists were devoting most of their energies to this losing struggle, sometimes in collusion with reactionary elements in the loosely structured Kuomintang (Nationalist Party). In Japan anarchist activity enjoyed a brief resurgence in the mid-1920s under Hatta Shuzo, who formulated a doctrine of “pure” anarchism in opposition to Marxist influences. A period of conflict between such pure and Marxist-oriented anarchists ended in the early 1930s, when all forms of radicalism were crushed by the military government.


Although politically irrelevant after the early 1920s, anarchists in China continued to work toward social revolution in education and culture. The author Ba Jin wrote novels and short stories on anarchist themes that were widely popular in China in the 1930s and '40s, and Ba was elected to important literary and cultural organizations after the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War (1945–49). In 1927, a group of Paris anarchists helped to establish a short-lived Labour University in Shanghai, which put into practice the anarchist belief in combining mental and manual labour. This belief lingered long after the anarchist movement itself was gone, influencing debates on economic policy in the communist government in the decades after 1949.



Arif Dirlik Ed.


Anarchism in the arts


The central ideals of anarchism—freedom, equality, and mutual aid—have inspired writers and artists throughout history. When anarchism became an organized movement in the mid-19th century, its adherents hailed an impressive number of renowned literary and artistic figures as precursors and allies. In an influential essay, “Anarchism in Literature” (published posthumously in 1914), the American anarchist poet Voltairine de Cleyre identified anarchist sensibilities in writers and philosophers as diverse as François Rabelais, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Émile Zola in France; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman in the United States; Friedrich Nietzsche in Germany; and Leo Tolstoy in Russia.


Many of the central figures of early 20th-century anarchism were passionately interested in the arts. Several of them wrote extensively on artistic themes, including Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, Gustav Landauer, and Camillo Berneri. Most anarchist periodicals published original poetry and art, and many of them made culture and the arts their primary focus. The most widely circulated English-language anarchist magazine of the 1960s, Anarchy, devoted entire issues to poetry, science fiction, blues, theatre, and film.


From the time of Proudhon through the 1950s, most anarchists favoured a propagandistic style of art that treated themes of social protest, and they generally avoided art that was self-consciously abstract, inward looking, fantastic, or nihilistic, as was much of Modernist art during this period. Nevertheless, many Modernist artists participated in anarchist groups or aided anarchist causes. Emma Goldman's Mother Earth, for example, published two political cartoons by the American painter and photographer Man Ray, though it did not publish any of his post-Cubist or Dadaist art.


Poetry and prose


Anarchist presses published an enormous quantity of verse—indeed, before 1960 they published more poetry than all other forms of creative writing put together. Among the finest poets of anarchism was Voltairine de Cleyre, whom Emma Goldman considered the “most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced.” Although the anarchist themes of de Cleyre's work were typical of her generation—tributes to revolutionary martyrs, hymns to anarchist anniversaries, and songs of workers rising against tyranny—her powerful imagery and passionate lyricism distinguished her from all her contemporaries. Other notable American poets of anarchy in the 1910s and '20s were Irish-born Lola Ridge; Japanese-born Sadakichi Hartmann, reputed to be the first writer of haiku in English; IWW organizer Covington Hall; and IWW songwriter and humorist T-Bone Slim (Matt Valentine Huhta), who was renowned for his anarchist aphorisms (“Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack”).


Sicilian-American Surrealist poet Philip Lamantia belonged to an Italian-language anarchist group in San Francisco in the 1940s and later became a leading member of the Beat movement. Kenneth Rexroth, mentor to many Beats, identified himself as an anarchist from his involvement in the 1920s in Chicago's Dil Pickle Club, a popular forum for lectures and debates on revolutionary topics. Other anarchist-oriented Beat poets included Diane di Prima and Gary Snyder, whose manifesto “Buddhist Anarchism” (1961) proved to be one of that decade's most influential anarchist writings. The humorous Abomunist Manifesto (1959), by African American Beat poet Bob Kaufman, also had a markedly anarchist flavour. (According to Kaufman, “Abomunists vote against everyone by not voting for anyone.”) Both the Journal and Kaufman's Manifesto were published by City Lights press, founded with the City Lights bookshop in San Francisco in the early 1950s by the poet and anarchist sympathizer Lawrence Ferlinghetti.


Major anarchist poets writing in other languages included Pietro Gori in Italian; Ernst Toller and the Scottish-born John Henry Mackay in German; the Jewish worker-poet David Edelstadt in Yiddish; and Laurent Tailhade in French. Poetic anarchy was also the hallmark of French Surrealist poets such as Benjamin Péret, who fought in an anarchist brigade in the Spanish Civil War.


Anarchism's creative writers also produced significant works of fiction. Under the influence of Looking Backward, 2000–1887 (1888), the best-selling socialist utopian novel by the American writer Edward Bellamy, many anarchists devised utopias of their own—notably Lois Waisbrooker, whose A Sex Revolution (1892) blended anarchism and feminism, and J. William Lloyd, whose The Natural Man: A Romance of the Golden Age (1902) prefigured the counterculture of the 1960s. Largely owing to criticism by Kropotkin and other anarchists, Bellamy's Equality (1897), the sequel to Looking Backward, contained almost none of the earlier story's statist elements.


The mysterious German-language writer known as B. Traven, author of The Cotton Pickers (1926) and many other novels, may well be the most widely read anarchist storyteller of the 20th century. His tales excoriate statist intrusions upon individual existence, from passports and other bureaucratic paperwork to mass mobilization for war. The Good Soldier Schweik (1920–23), by the Czech author Jaroslav Hašek, is a hilarious satire of military life and bureaucracy and a classic of world literature, as is The Family (1931), by the Chinese anarchist Ba Jin.


Basic anarchist ideas, such as mistrust of state power, also have appeared in works by more mainstream American authors, such as Nelson Algren (who described himself as “basically against government”), Joseph Heller, Ursula Le Guin, and Edward Abbey, whose comic novel The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) inspired Earth First!, the anarchist-oriented environmental movement.


Theatre, film, and music


Emma Goldman's The Social Significance of the Modern Drama (1914) popularized the work of Henrik Ibsen and other European playwrights for American readers and helped to inspire the experimental little theatre movement in the United States. The Studio Players, an anarchist theatre company led by Lillian Udell, performed worker-oriented plays at the Radical Bookshop in Chicago throughout the 1920s. More avant-garde was The Living Theatre, founded in New York City in 1947 by Julian Beck and Judith Malina, which spearheaded a resurgence of anarchist theatre in the 1960s. Anarchist street theatre, replete with costumes, giant puppets, and dramatic stunts, became a mainstay of large protest demonstrations, such as those against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle in 1999.


An anarchist sensibility, characterized by ridicule of politicians, police, landlords, and other figures of authority, was evident early on in film in the work of Georges Méliès in France and in many American silent comedies of the 1910s and '20s, such as Cops, by Buster Keaton. More explicitly revolutionary were The Golden Age (1930), by the Surrealist Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel—which provoked a riot and was promptly banned—and works by the French director Jean Vigo, especially Zero for Conduct (1933). In the 1930s and '40s the film comedies of the French poet and screenwriter Jacques Prévert ridiculed all authoritarian values. In the 1950s and '60s the Greek filmmaker Adonis Kyrou, a collaborator on the Paris anarchist newspaper Libertaire, evoked the misery of war. Argentine-born Nelly Kaplan's A Very Curious Girl (1969 (1969)—which Pablo Picasso described as “insolence considered as one of the fine arts”—and Néa (1976) are classics of feminist anarchism.


Anarchists also made music. In the 1910s and '20s Rudolf von Liebich, music director of the Dil Pickle Club, composed songs and other music for the IWW. Avant-garde composer John Cage was an avowed anarchist. From the late 1970s many punk rock bands identified themselves with anarchy, and some—notably Crass and Chumbawumba in England and Fugazi in the United States—were actual anarchist collectives. Revolt and disrespect for authority were among their favourite themes. Anarchist critics and music historians also recognized a strong anti-authoritarian tradition in African American blues.


Painting, graphic art, and cartooning


Many major 20th-century painters, at one time or another, were active in the anarchist movement or acknowledged anarchism as a significant influence, including Pablo Picasso, Francis Picabia, and the Czech-born Marie Cermínová, known as Toyen, in France; Robert Henri, George Wesley Bellows, the Russian-born Max Weber, and Man Ray in the United States; Max Ernst in Germany; and Enrico Baj in Italy. Anarchist ideas affected all the major movements in painting—from the Ashcan School in the 1910s to Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s.


In the 1960s a new anarchist agitprop art began to flourish, largely inspired by Expressionism, Surrealism, and the work of the Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. The Italian painter Flavio Costantini's dramatic portrayals of anarchist history and the graphic art of Carlos Cortez, Eric Drooker, and Josh MacPhee in the United States and Clifford Harper in England were widely reproduced in anarchist magazines and as posters. Also striking are the imaginative collages of American artists Freddie Baer and James Koehnline.


Cartoons, always major weapons in the anarchist arsenal, were more prominent than ever in the movement's press at the end of the 20th century. Satirical sketches by Roberto Ambrosoli in Italy and Tuli Kupferberg in the United States appeared throughout the world. England's Freedom Press attracted many comic-strip artists, including Philip Sansom and German-born John Olday in the 1940s and later, from the 1960s through the 1990s, Arthur Moyse. Donald Rooum's inventive series Wildcat was collected in several volumes.



Franklin Rosemont Ed.


Contemporary anarchism


After World War II, anarchist groups and federations reemerged in almost all countries where they had formerly flourished—the notable exceptions being Spain and the Soviet Union—but these organizations wielded little influence compared to that of the broader movement inspired by earlier ideas. This development is not surprising, since anarchists never stressed the need for organizational continuity, and the cluster of social and moral ideas that are identifiable as anarchism always spread beyond any clearly definable movement.


Anarchist ideas emerged in a wider frame of reference beginning with the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s, which aimed to resist injustice through the tactic of civil disobedience. In the 1960s and '70s a new radicalism took root among students and the left in general in the United States, Europe, and Japan, embracing a general criticism of “elitist” power structures and the materialist values of modern industrial societies—both capitalist and communist. For these radicals, who rejected the traditional parties of the left as strongly as they did the existing political structure, the appeal of anarchism was strong. The general anarchist outlook—with its emphasis on spontaneity, theoretical flexibility, simplicity of life, and the importance of love and anger as complementary and necessary components in both social and individual action—attracted those who opposed impersonal political institutions and the calculations of older parties. The anarchist rejection of the state, and the insistence on decentralism and local autonomy, found strong echoes among those who advocated participatory democracy. The anarchist insistence on direct action was reflected in calls for extra-parliamentary action and violent confrontation by some student groups in France, the United States, and Japan. And the recurrence of the theme of workers' control of industry in so many manifestos of the 1960s—especially during the student uprisings in Paris in May 1968—showed the enduring relevance of anarcho-syndicalist ideas.


Beginning in the 1970s, anarchism became a significant factor in the radical ecology movement in the United States and Europe. Anarchist ideas in works by the American novelist Edward Abbey, for example, inspired a generation of eco-anarchists in the United States, including the radical Earth First! organization, to protest urban sprawl and the destruction of old-growth forests. Much influential work in anarchist theory during this period and afterward, such as that of Murray Bookchin, was noteworthy for its argument that statism and capitalism were incompatible with environmental preservation.


Anarchists also took up issues related to feminism and developed a rich body of work, known as anarcha-feminism, that applied anarchist principles to the analysis of women's oppression, arguing that the state is inherently patriarchal and that women's experience as nurturers and care-givers reflects the anarchist ideals of mutuality and the rejection of hierarchy and authority.


The most prevalent current in anarchist thinking during the last two decades of the 20th century (at least in the United States) was an eclectic, countercultural mixture of theories reflecting a wide range of artistic, literary, political, and philosophical influences, including Dada, Surrealism, and Situationism; the writers of the Beat movement; the Frankfurt School of Marxist-oriented social and political philosophers—especially Herbert Marcuse—and post-structuralist and postmodern philosophy and literary theory, in particular the work of the French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault. Other influential figures were the American linguist and political writer Noam Chomsky, the Czech-born American writer and activist Fredy Perlman, and Hakim Bey and other writers associated with the anarchist publisher Autonomedia in New York City. African American anarchism, as represented in the writings of former Black Panther Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin in the late 1970s, was a major influence in the United States and in many other parts of the world.


Although some older varieties of anarchism, such as Proudhonian mutualism, had faded away by the end of the 20th century, others persisted, including the anarchist individualism of Warren, Spooner, and others in the United States and anarchist communism in Europe and Latin America. Anarcho-syndicalism remained a significant movement in Spain, France, Sweden, and parts of Africa and Latin America. As in the 1960s, anarchism continued to exert a strong appeal among students and young people, and a large percentage of those who considered themselves anarchists were in their teens and twenties. From the early 1970s the anarchist emblem consisting of a circled A was an established part of the iconography of global youth culture.


anti-WTO protest (123K)

In 1999 anarchist-led demonstrations against the WTO in Seattle provoked wide media attention, as did later related protests against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The unprecedented publicity given to the anarchists' explicitly revolutionary viewpoint inspired a proliferation of new anarchist groups, periodicals, and Internet sites. Anarchists were also a significant—and in some cases a predominating—influence in many other political movements, including campaigns against police brutality and capital punishment, the gay rights movement, and diverse movements promoting animal rights, vegetarianism, abortion rights, the abolition of prisons, the legalization of marijuana, and the abolition of automobiles.


(See also: Wikipedia: 1999 Seattle WTO protests

At the beginning of the 21st century, no anarchist movement posed a serious threat to state power, and anarchists were no closer to achieving their dream of a society without government than they were a century before. Nevertheless, the perceived failure of governments to solve enduring social problems such as racial and gender inequality, poverty, environmental destruction, political corruption, and war increased the appeal of anarchist ideas among many groups. Young people in particular were attracted to the anarchist priorities of creativity and spontaneity—the importance of living the “new society” here and now rather than postponing it indefinitely until “after the Revolution.” For these people and many others around the world, anarchism remained an active and vibrant ferment of criticism, protest, and direct action.





George Woodcock
Martin A. Miller
Franklin Rosemont Ed.



Additional Reading


General

The best general accounts of anarchism are Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism (1992); James Joll, The Anarchists, 2nd ed. (1980); Paul Avrich, Anarchist Portraits (1988); George Woodcock, Anarchism, new ed. (1986); Harold Barclay, People Without Government, completely rev. ed. (1990); Daniel Guérin, Anarchism: From Theory to Practice (1970; originally published in French, 1965); Paul Eltzbacher, Anarchism (1960, reprinted 1972; originally published in German, 1900); and Richard D. Sonn, Anarchism (1992).


Good anthologies of anarchist theory include Irving Louis Horowitz (ed.), The Anarchists (1964); Leonard I. Krimerman and Lewis Perry(eds.), Patterns of Anarchy (1966); and David E. Apter and James Joll (eds.), Anarchism Today (1971).


For a comprehensive bibliography of anarchist literature from different countries over the last two centuries, see Denise Fauvel-Rouif (ed.), Anarchism (1982); and Helene Strub (ed.), Anarchism, vol. 2 (1993). There are also useful selected bibliographies in all the books listed above.


Classic authors


The earliest formulations of modern anarchist thought can be found in William Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness, 2 vol. (1792). Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's key anarchist work is Qu'est-ce que la propriété? (1840; What Is Property?, trans. by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1876). Of Peter Kropotkin's many writings, his Memoirs of a Revolutionist (1899) is essential. See also his La conquête du pain (1892; The Conquest of Bread, 1906), Fields, Factories, and Workshops (1899), and Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902). Leo Tolstoy's Christian anarchist concepts can be found in many of his later works, including T Sarstvo Bozhie vnutri nas (1894; The Kingdom of God Is Within You, trans. by Constance Garnett, 1894), and V chem moîa vera (1884; What I Believe, trans. by Constantine Popoff, 1885). Emma Goldman's voluminous writings include her autobiography, Living My Life, 2 vol. (1931, reissued 1988); see also the autobiography of Goldman's comrade Alexander Berkman, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (1912, reprinted 1970).


For an analysis of Godwin's work, see Isaac Kramnick, The Politics of Political Philosophy, A Case Study: Godwin's Anarchism and Radical England (1970). For information on Proudhon's life and thought, see Stewart Edwards (ed.), Selected Writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1969); K. Steven Vincent, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and the Rise of French Republican Socialism (1984); Alan Ritter, The Political Thought of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1969, reprinted 1980); and Robert L. Hoffman, Revolutionary Justice: The Social and Political Theory of P.-J. Proudhon (1972). For an anthology of Kropotkin's writings, see Martin A. Miller (ed.), Peter Kropotkin: Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution (1970). On Kropotkin's life, consult Martin A. Miller, Kropotkin (1976); Caroline Cahm, Kropotkin and the Rise of Revolutionary Anarchism, 1872–1886 (1989); and George Woodcock and Ivan Avakumovic, The Anarchist Prince: A Biographical Study of Peter Kropotkin (1950, reissued 1970). Two convenient volumes that explore the anarchist ideas of Michael Bakunin are Arthur Lehning (ed.), Selected Writings [of] Michael Bakunin (1973); and Sam Dolgoff (ed.), Bakunin on Anarchism, 2nd rev. ed. (1980; originally published as Bakunin on Anarchy, 1972). For biographies of Bakunin, see Edward H. Carr, Michael Bakunin (1937, reissued 1975); Arthur P. Mendel, Michael Bakunin: Roots of Apocalypse (1981); and Eugene Pyziur, The Doctrine of Anarchism of Michael A. Bakunin (1955, reissued 1968).


Articles by Emma Goldman are collected in her Anarchism and Other Essays, 3rd rev. ed. (1917, reprinted 1967); and in Alix Kates Shulman (ed.), Red Emma Speaks, 3rd ed. (1996). For a sympathetic biography of Goldman, see Richard Drinnon, Rebel in Paradise (1961, reissued 1982). The correspondence of Goldman and Berkman can be found in Richard Drinnon and Anna Maria Drinnon (eds.), Nowhere at Home (1975). The life of Johann Most is studied in Frederic Trautmann, The Voice of Terror: A Biography of Johann Most (1980).


Russian anarchist thought


The best general account of the anarchist movement in Russia remains Paul Avrich, The Russian Anarchists (1967, reprinted 1980). For documents on the anarchist critique of Lenin and bolshevism, see Paul Avrich (ed.), Anarchists in the Russian Revolution (1973). Voline, The Unknown Revolution, 1917–1921 (1955; originally published in French, 1947), is a good anarchist memoir of the Russian Revolution.


Anarchism in the United States


On the origins and history of American individualist anarchism, see Carlotta R. Anderson, All-American Anarchist: Joseph A. Labadie and the Labor Movement (1998); James J. Martin, Men Against the State: The Expositors of Individualist Anarchism in America, 1827–1908 (1953, reissued 1970); and Rudolf Rocker, Pioneers of American Freedom, trans. from German (1949). An excellent collection of historical source material can be found in Paul Avrich, Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America (1995). There is a large literature on Haymarket. Especially useful are Paul Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy (1984); and David Roediger and Franklin Rosemont (eds.), Haymarket Scrapbook (1986). Anarchist influences in the Industrial Workers of the World are discussed in Salvatore Salerno, Red November, Black November: Culture and Community in the Industrial Workers of the World (1989).


Anarchism in Europe


P. Holgate, Malatesta (1956), is a study of the leading Italian anarchist. See also Vernon Richards (ed.), Errico Malatesta: His Life & Ideas, 3rd ed. (1984). On France, see Marie Fleming, The Anarchist Way to Socialism: Elisée Reclus and Nineteenth-Century European Anarchism (1979). On Germany, the best book is Andrew R. Carlson, Anarchism in Germany (1972). See also Eugene Lunn, Prophet of Community: The Romantic Socialism of Gustav Landauer (1973). On Spain, see Temma Kaplan, Anarchists of Andalusia (1977); and Robert W. Kern, Red Years/Black Years: A Political History of Spanish Anarchism, 1911–1937 (1978). For developments in England, see Hermia Oliver, The International Anarchist Movement in Late Victorian London (1983).


Anarchism in East Asia


Arif Dirlik, Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution (1991), is a comprehensive analysis of anarchism in China during the first three decades of the 20th century. Ming K. Chan and Arif Dirlik, Schools into Fields and Factories: Anarchists, the Guomindang, and the National Labor University in Shanghai, 1927–1932 (1991), is a wide-ranging study of an educational experiment in which anarchists played a leading role. Edward S. Krebs, Shifu: Soul of Chinese Anarchism (1998), is a detailed if somewhat hagiographic biography of the most revered of Chinese anarchists. Olga Lang, Pa Chin and His Writings: Chinese Youth Between the Two Revolutions (1967), is a thorough treatment of the anarchist writer. Peter Zarrow, Anarchism and Chinese Political Culture (1990), which focuses on anarchist activity in the 1910s, is especially strong on anarchist contributions to feminist issues.


English-language studies of anarchism in Japan have concentrated largely on individuals. Major works are John Crump, Hatta Shuzo and Pure Anarchism in Interwar Japan (1993); F.G. Notehelfer, Kotoku Shusui: Portrait of a Japanese Radical (1971); and Thomas A. Stanley, Osugi Sakae, Anarchist in Taisho Japan: The Creativity of the Ego (1982). A translation of Osugi's autobiography is available in English as The Autobiography of Osugi Sakae, trans. with annotations by Byron K. Marshall (1992).


A good discussion of anarchism in Vietnam is Hue-tam Ho Tai, Radicalism and the Origins of the Vietnamese Revolution (1992).


Anarchism in the arts


Anarchist influences in early 20th-century American art are discussed in Alan Antliff, Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-Garde (2001). Richard Porton, Film and the Anarchist Imagination (1999), examines anarchist films as well as anarchist elements in mainstream films. Ron Sakolsky and Fred Wei-han Ho (eds.), Sounding Off! Music as Subversion/Resistance/Revolution (1995), includes much anarchist material. Ron Sakolsky (ed.), Surrealist Subversions (2001), focuses on anarchist elements in Surrealism.


Contemporary anarchism


Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Gabriel Cohn-Bendit, Obsolete Communism (1968; originally published in French, 1968), by two participants in the 1968 student uprisings in Paris, effectively describes anarchist involvement in the protests; its critique of the contemporary French Communist Party is richly informed by a historical analysis of early anarchist resistance to bolshevism in Russia. David Apter and James Joll (eds.), Anarchism Today (1971), is a very good summation of the influence of anarchism around the world in the aftermath of the student uprisings of the 1960s. Noam Chomsky, Radical Priorities, 2nd rev. ed., edited by Carlos P. Otero (1984), includes a good sample of Chomsky's anarchism-related writings. Margaret S. Marsh, Anarchist Women, 1870–1920 (1981), treats the early development of feminist anarchism. Essays on contemporary anarcha-feminism by Elaine Leeder, Susan Brown, Peggy Kornegger, and Carol Erlich appear in Howard J. Ehrlich (ed.), Reinventing Anarchy, Again (1996). The most influential thinking in contemporary anarchism can be found in the work of Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism, 2nd ed. (1986), and The Modern Crisis, 2nd rev. ed. (1987).



George Woodcock
Arif Dirlik
Franklin Rosemont
Martin A. Miller


Source: "Anarchism." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.

Date of Origination: Friday, 04-Nov-2016... 07:37 AM
Date of Initial Posting: Friday, 04-Nov-2016... 12:46 AM