↠´ Read ò Anarchy In Action by Colin Ward ò This book is a collection of essays, and, as one would expect, therefore uneven Some of the chapters were underdeveloped or clearly dated, but others offered very intriguing and tangible glimpses of what aanarchist society might look like the chapters on family, housing, schools, and the self employed society are particularly notable.
While this book could be interpreted as anti revolutionary, I think it is better understood as providing an alternate framework of social organization that can develop in a nascent way underneath and alongside domineering society Something in the meantime to connect means and ends while we work for truly revolutionary change Consider this quote The argument of this book is that an anarchist society, a society which organises itself without authority, is always in existence, like a seed beneath the snow, buried under the weight of the state and its bureaucracy, capitalism and its waste, privilege and its injustices p 18.
I had no idea what anarchy as a principle of personal, political and social organization was before I read this book Now I guess I know a tiny bit at least.
Anarchists have always delivered the most withering of social critiques Their shortcoming has typically been in the alternatives they offer This book, despite the barricade evoking title, is an attempt at remedying this Ward sees examples of voluntary, unregulated cooperation everywhere and builds on these to provide a framework for how an anarchist society might function in a complex, industrialised world His scope is wide from family structure to education to housing to play His argument simple there is no need to smash the state , nor is there some utopian endpoint, rather the seeds of change lie all around us It really is a most beguiling read.
Sentus Libri 100 word reviews of overlooked books.
exellent overveiw of anarchism as a social relationship, backed up by loads of examples of working alternatives to the state in loads of areas of life from the international postal network to the Malinowskian gift economies in the Trobriands the focus on the social relationship side means that there is not much dicussion of anarchism as a politics of opposition to capital, patriarchy, racial hierarchy etc , and this, with Ward s rejection of things like community watch services as un anarchist leads to the slightly dispappointing conclusion that pure anarchism is unrealistic when it s not but overall, one of the clearest arguments for the reorganisation of society along anarchist lines that i have read Grateful that PM Press brought back this classic Ten years since the last edition came out from Freedom Press There s a reason why this book has been reprinted, now for the fifth time, since coming out in 1973 In spite of some dated references, Ward s book is an accessible, easy to read introduction to anarchism Fortunately, PM included the Introduction to the Second Edition a cheat sheet to what Ward presents in his book Useful, too, in getting your feet wet if you ve not read anarchist material for a bit.
I m biased towards several sections The first three chapters about anarchy, the state, order, and leadership offer some of the most readable, cogent, and friendly framings of key anarchist concepts that I ve found Not bloated Not fuck you Not academic Just viable, practical words Excellent stuff.
Ward s take on education, both in Schools No Longer as well as throughout the text is particularly useful Can t say I agree in all places however, like most of his writing, his points are well made, the evidence consistent, and the arguments usually persuasive.
Not so keen on the discussions of families, Play as Anarchist Parable, and The Breakdown of Welfare Just did not read as engaging or effective as the other pieces I ll go back and reread in a couple months to reassess My point here is that even if you don t agree or are not in accord with his claims, it s still worth reading and working through Ward It s not wasted effort, and a lot can be gained just be reading good writing about anarchism While I applaud books like Chris Robe s Breaking the Spell that address anarchist history and practice, I also want to be sure that even anarchist academic texts are accessible to most audiences Ward s work sets an excellent bar as your friendly, local anarchist read.
The preface is a concise and incisive criticism of social democracy The rest of the book is quote worthy in its evaluation of every part of our state authoritarian global society The problem is the in Action part of the title there is little action to be found in the book.
Yes, each chapter has examples of voluntary organisations addressing critical social issues But few, if any, of the examples are anarchist I was reminded of the finger pointing at the moon Zen koan The premise of the book is mutual aid is all around us But is that anarchy Colin Ward states anarchist principles demand organisations that arise from voluntary, functional, temporary and small groups So TAZ The Temporary Autonomous ZoneBut, the rise of Consent Culture as captured in Ask Building Consent Culture shows anarchist principles can make meaningful social change even inside a state structure Regardless, the conclusion leaves no inspiration for the liberty lover Is an anarchist society possibleWe can only say, from the evidence of human history, that no kind of society is impossible If you are powerful enough and ruthless enough you can impose almost any kind of social organisation on people for a while But you can only do so by methods which, however natural and appropriate they may be for any other kind of ism acting on the well known principle that you can t make an omelette without breaking eggs are repugnant to anarchists, unless they see themselves as yet another of those revolutionary elites leading the people to the promised land You can impose authority but you cannot impose freedom An anarchist society is improbable, not because anarchy is unfeasible, or unfashionable, or unpopular, but because human society is not like that, because, as Malatesta put it in the passage quoted in the last chapter, we are, in any case, ony one of the forces acting in society.
Qui invece l autore propone una riflessione molto pratica sui diversi aspetti della societ che potrebbero essere modificati da questa che non una rivoluzione politica, ma un autodeterminazione sociale.
Insomma, lascia con l idea che non dobbiamo sederci aspettando che qualcuno faccia la rivoluzione che peraltro come diceva Gaber oggi no, domani forse, ma dopodomani di sicuro , ma che ognuno di noi nelle piccola cose che riguardano la sua vita possa organizzarsi in maniera pi libera da certi schemi autoimposti e non necessari.
Alcuni sono necessari, ma molti che diamo per scontati non lo sono.
Apriamo qualche porta.
It s honestly closer to a 3.
5 for me I ve got issues with the chapter about self employment because I think Ward mischaracterized how anarchists go about changing the division of labor, and if this is your first introduction to anarchist ideas, you may get the wrong impression However, the book itself is still quite good at laying out the basics of anarchism as a practical mode of organizing society and why it s not only feasible in the present, but one of the best methods for orginizing society.
With Chapters On The Family, Federations, Schools, Housing, Crime, Employment, Welfare, Deviancy, Planning, And , This Is Probably The Best Practical Example Of Anarchist Ideas In Action As Colin Ward Writes In His Introduction, This Book Is Not Intended For People Who Had Spent A Lifetime Pondering The Problems Of Anarchism, But For Those Who Either Had No Idea Of What The Word Implied Or Knew Exactly What It Implied And Rejected It, Considering That It Had No Relevance For The Modern World It Is Not About Strategies For Revolution And It Is Not Involved In Speculation On The Way An Anarchist Society Would Function It Is About The Ways In Which People Organize Themselves In Any Kind Of Human Society, Whether We Care To Categorize Those Societies As Primitive, Traditional, Capitalist Or Communist An interesting read I am fairly convinced as to self organisation allowing better functioning of society, however I also disagree with many concepts presented in this book not all groups of people are capable of self organisation and any form of freedom can t be decided by a single activist Banning religion, for example, serves as an incredible oppression akin to that of the Soviet Union and should be avoided by progressive anarchists.