Essays in Anarchism and Religion: Volume 1

  • Posted on: 2 May 2017
  • By: thecollective

We are very pleased to announce that Essays in Anarchism and Religion: Volume 1 has now been published online. The paperback is still in the final stages of production but can, it seems, already be ordered online. Here is the link to the online version:

The book is available in free open access format online thanks to the many generous donations we gathered via a crowdfunding campaign. We are currently working on two further volumes of essays in anarchism and religion, which with enough support we again also hope to make avaiable freely online. If you wish to support the project, we welcome any financial contribution, however small, via

Best wishes,
Alex & Matt (eds.)



Religion & the state-form are enough to be going on with. Later for capitalism!
Leave capitalists to those specialists in tackling it - the Marxist. They know how to ' take care of capitalism'.
There is a good atheist site called NoBeliefs. Anyone know of others?

Hi prof, you should read some post-modern authors like Baudrillard , Agamben and Lyotard to broaden and enrich your voluminous critiques of the modern cultural situation. Just saying,,,

Deleuze and Foucault.

fuck the pious atheists and all their followers. they are every bit as religious as those they proclaim as ignorant fools. but because their religion is "science" and "reason", all you rationalists follow just as blindly as any god-fearing religionist. "the scientific method" is your "word of god". keep your faith if you must, but keep that shit away from me.

Pace Baudrillard, post-modernism didn't happen and I don't think - like Lyotard - that all grand-narratives are bad...just stupid ones ( To his credit, Lyotard thinks Marxism is a stupid grand-narrative )
As for Agamben, his championing of Schmidt ( the Nazi-era one) makes him a bit of a sacer homo, doesn't it?
Delueze actually interests me more than those three you mentioned since his technique of enculage bends itself so well to post-1960 anarchism.

He didn't champion Schmidt. Sacer homo is the out-caste member of a political binary, like banished one/citizen, citizen/criminal, included/excluded, either one is still devoid of individual sovereignty, and the politics which condone the "Leader" are prone to legitimize ultra-violence and incarceration (State of Exception)as a universal human law, which is what Schmidt inferred by immanence and Hitler's supremacy and sovereignty to commit ultra-violence. Oops, just did a Godwin Law,,,,

Schmidt has nothing to do with postmodernism, or poststructuralism.

is The Postmodern text as to how to redeem the figure (of us all)
as "Sacer Homo";
and explains the what and how of a collaborative society(s)can contribute to
reconciliation, mutual aid and muturalre-gard .A mind -blowing short work, of art.

It surely is a work of art azano.

messianic time and classless society are theorized together in Agamben's homo sacer series (the time that remains 27ff), especially in the franciscan concept of use (the highest poverty; the use of bodies). Messianic time makes vocation (identity, work, purpose--according to the state, etc.,) neither here nor there. You might say this comes down to a form of passive nihilism, but indifference towards law (world), making it inoperative, and yet remaining invisible to the state exception, is the flagship idea in the kingdom of God (cf. Pilate and Jesus (Agamben)). Whether or not this is identical to Stirner's conception of revolt is an open question; for if God calls an individual to indifference to the world (to follow in discipleship), there is barely a sense of agreement with others in a similar vocation. Or perhaps there is. But perhaps not. The idea of divisiveness is not repugnant in the kingdom of God.. (cf.. Luke 12:51).

Obviously religion, if it is a matter of rules (opposed to principles), is very mechanical and hardly open to the kingdom of God; but the kingdom of God should not be ruled as opposed to anarchism, prima facie. To say nothing of the fact that anarchism isn't well defined; that non-violence includes a concept of property destruction (cf. A. Nocella's work on quakerism; John 2: 13-17), etc.,

The last text in the pdf book above seems to gesture in such a fashion.

Stirner's indifferent individual, having a kairological Nowness rather than a chronological historical perception, evolved the monastic sense of the highest poverty to a poverty of beliefs. The individual's consciousness will not be indoctrinated,,,,,Stirner has taken the Franciscan concept to the next stage, from a dogmatic immaterial humility and invisibility from the State law behind the walls of the monastery, as penance, to the insurgency of having the creative nothing as the consciousness's beginning outside the binary walls and mixing within the world. No longer embracing this passive nihilism, Stirner declares history as an irrelevant lie as are morals, culture and truth, the word God is only a name which is nothing. Certainly religion opposed to principles, and I'm thinking of Zen and some indigenous tribes without idols or hierarchies are not opposed to anarchism. Not familiar with Nocella's work on quakerism which I'll peruse.


The franciscan dogmatism you imply doesn't seem apt given the response of the pope, as recorded by Bonaventure, upon Francis' arrival. Francis travelled to see the pope, and the response which won him exemplary treatment (basically free room and board, indefinitely), was one of kneeling, subservience--from a pope! It is unclear who is master and who slave in that relationship, which is precisely the point--that's the stroke of genius caught up in messianic vocation; such is beyond law.

I think it is obvious that there are differences between Stirner and the messianic moment--dont get me wrong, I'm not ignorant to the point--I just wonder if the differences are so obviously clear. Again, the uniqueness of vocation spelled out "specifically"--har har--in the post-fransiscan thinkers (cf. Duns Scotus on haecceity) seems well equipped to foster none of the dogmatic collectivism you seem to impute to the monastic "form of life". The disciples are called uniquely, and they respond uniquely. For instance, there is a world of difference between Peter and Paul, or between Judas and John. Called uniquely to enter into a unique non-world, beyond law. They are all similar, of course, but there are substantial differences, which is to be expected from unique individuals not coerced, although it is obvious that Paul (once Saul), is almost punished, as the text of Acts specifies on the road to Damascus.

You imply that Stirner has moved beyond the monastic messianic moment and has traded all that for the poverty of belief. I don't think it is impossible to have minimal beliefs as a desert monk; and so, surely there is no sense to saying one is beyond if one has less. Perhaps it is possible to see both beyond each other according to different final causes? Strange bedfellows, surely!

It was presumptuous of me to assume Stirner's consciousness as terminally voided of values, which is what beliefs are, regardless of individual modalities, ' uniqueness' COULD include having a monastic messianic value in a personal cosmic perception of ones purpose in life, forgive my minimalist reductionism regarding the depth of human potentiality. Is not being 'human' the awareness of the uniqueness of other humans, thus overturning dogma and law in one stroke? To un-incarcerate humanity is a noble task. Don't we all seek friendly bedfellows or strive to enlighten them to this undefinable doctrine?

i think we do, yes.

I don't think that being human is sufficient to overcome law; but setting sites on different final causes than those given to us (by Mammon as the messianic would posit) is starting on the way. The question is whether the principle of messianic life undermines rules in theory and practise; and I suppose love of the other human as unique individual does just that. The question of seeing passed one another as mentioned in my last word is obviously distinguished by the fact that self-sacrificial love from the messianic moment is better than self-serving love; but I'm not even sure if Stirner posits self-serving love as something ideal or rather, whether it is just trivial, as Kant notes with respect to the moral law as always involving self-ness (not selfishness). the messianic cannot unhinge this; for the messianic calls us towards the continued completion of the yoke (my burden, my cross).

I wonder if the messianic moment cannot see in Stirner something proper and profound (iconoclasm, or maybe it does??), just as Stiner cannot see something profound in the messianic. Nietzsche said in his AntiChrist that everything that doesn't support life is bad and that all self-sacrificial love is anathema to life. And yet, the messianic promise is that life IS had in full only if one adopts "doulos" (slavery in messianic discipleship). It is thankfully almost always impossible to understand something as an external viewer.

Is not self-ness an individual identity and the messianic a selflessness, they are irreconcilable unless the individual chooses an orthodoxy and thus forfeits individual sovereignty. I feel that Stirner and the messianic disciple would be sympathetic opposites, one espousing insurrection, a rising against externals, whilst the messianic preaching resurrection, a rising within oneself. This sympathy I imagine they would share would be the innate condition of empathy, whichever way it may be expressed during the common ordeal which life unfolds for all beings.

PS When I first read Stirner I thought he was a student of theology, I'm sure he had contemplated these ideas, he was not driven by a malicious hatred for the holy ones.

good. excellent

Agamben treats Carl Schmidt far too respectfully. Something you might expect from anyone stupid enough to rely on M. Foucault

An anarchist pushing Agamben among us is like some degenerate moron trying to push Nietszche, NIETSZCHE! among us.

You sound like like the biggest moron here, prof, by saying misinformed dumb shit like Foucault's connection to.... Carl Schmidt? Cool confusionnist work you're doing here! And in real-life. But you won't confused about the pain of your broken nose when I find you... And I'm starting to be closing in on to who you are.

i hear that some folks refuse to consider concepts come what may created by Heidegger and Schmidt et al. because they were card carrying Nazi's. But surely there is little harm in the mere repetition of ideas, especially if they are good ideas.

Even though Heidegger was an opportunist (in the the Nazi party, as a privileged philosopher) and an anti-semite (in replacing Husserl), surely there is still something to be said about his ideas. We wouldn't discount any academic for being complicit in the functioning of the state, or if so, surely the ideas are worth considering whatever the person. The late Heidegger (the Heidegger redeemed by Arendt) is surely worth quite a bit in the field of thinking. To pick up ideas and to develop them is just what it means to think. To reject ideas because of their authorship is just backwards Alexander Reid Ross (TM) thinking.

Yeah Barthes covered that dilemma with his Death of the Author,,,and prof, you French is appalling,,,,,

Heidegger was never "redeemed". He refused to let go of his hatred for the Jews 'til the end. Arendt, being a liberal petty bourgeois, has refused to accuse him of being the fascist patriarch he was, and she is also responsible for casting a bling eye in her conception of totalitarian regimes, by casting the blame basically at the proles and the political militaristic elite they follow. But the man was the product of an ultra-conservative German background, and had a reputation of fucking his young female students at Heiberberg while he had his position of authority, and did not hesitate to ostracize his master Husserl, the actual founder of Phenomenology, the day the Nazis came to power.

Now I'm still interested to read what, exactly, was so original in Heidegger's concepts, that previous authors did not come up with... or that he wasn't entirely an academic fraud who used the worst in 20th century politics to make himself as an eminence for the decades to come.

To get a handle on Derrida or Lyotard, or most of continental thought in France, post-war, it is helpful to take up Heidegger's ideas. If you think continental thought is irrelevant, I can understand why you might find it laughable. Heidegger is still hotly discussed in continental philosophy, proper; and the controversy over Nazism is not really at play because most accept that the author is dead, or irrelevant, to the ideas that are offered. The controversy is discussed by historians, of course; but philosophers don't really engage that way.

The early Heidegger (Being and Time) is important for existentialism; and the later Heidegger is important in philosophy of technology. The ideas there are originary and contained by later traces.

I guess i just don't see any difference between reading any philosopher in the academy today and reading Heidegger because if academics are somehow personally responsible for the actions of the state and there is little difference between states (if the thesis that germany was just capitalism pushed to its extreme), then we just shouldnt read anyone getting paid by the institutions that carry out war. Heidegger's thoughts about the holocaust are chillingly apropos: such is what modern states do; the slaughtering of animals, the killing of migrants, the murdering of the other: There is blood everywhere, and where we draw the line of responsibility is arbitrary.

I suspect you haven't read much Derrida or Heidegger. And Im not going to argue that this is necessary; but I would question the naive inference that because someone had disagreeable views means their thoughts are irrelevant.

Jacques Derrider was a fraud, or a post-modern satirist at best.

I still don't see what is "originary" (dare not thou say "original" as it would sound too laymen) in Heidegger's abstaction of "Being" and "Time". How are they not slight reformulations of the well-accepted notion of the "Being" in past Western philosophy, and Husserl's ontology of the Being, and the "Time-Consciousness"?

"if academics are somehow personally responsible for the actions of the state and there is little difference between states (if the thesis that germany was just capitalism pushed to its extreme), then we just shouldnt read anyone getting paid by the institutions that carry out war."

That's quite a twist of logic here... Not sure if you ain't more into rethorics, than actual philosophy for pooping out such a nice one. Heidegger had the choice to -as many German, Austrian and Polish intellectuals and scientists did during the '30s- leave Germany for some decent positions in Allied countries... or just very close south from Heidelberg, to Switzerland. Instead, he went for the intentional and conscious choice to not only profit from his membership in the Nazi Party to gain a position of authority in the university, but also to help the regime in chasing down those Jews, commies and all the others who were not "Dasein" within the new German "Weltanshauung".

"Freiburg", not "Heidelberg". I tend to confuse the two universities for some reason. But Freiburg is even closer to Switzerland...

I didn't argue that Heidegger was substantially different from Husserl; all I said was that his work has been picked up by thinkers today and that understanding what one is talking about (Say Derrida's criticism of Heidegger) depends on at least a familiarity with Heidegger. I read Heidegger in grad school to understand hermeneutics in Gadamer and to understand Derrida's protreptic rhetoric; and again in grappling with philosophy of technology, specifically in Marcuse, etc.,. That's the use to which one might put Heidegger. You don't have to in your own aesthetics, of course; but lot's of folx find his work to be exemplary in opening up their own ideas.

I don't think its a stretch of the imagination to see Germany as one more institution in a host of institutions that carry out the same shit everywhere. No one would say Chomsky is responsible for the repugnant behaviours of MIT even though he's on the payroll. And my guess is this kind of argument has everything to do with Heidegger's ahistorical understanding that he wasn't personally responsible. Hence it is not surprising to see him downplay the reality of the holocaust by noting that factory farming is common. In other words: No one should be surprised that every state is interested in destroying bodies.

Someday we will perhaps begin to see individuals as utilizing shitty conditions to their personal advantage without foisting ridiculous politics onto their personal intentions. Was Heidegger a Nazi or an opportunist? Open question. I don't see how his pathetic politics (mostly naive) should! undermine the desire on my part to read his works. I read Heidegger for my own reasons, to deepen my thoughts; not because I think he's a God, or some such stupid reason.

"Someday we will perhaps begin to see individuals as utilizing shitty conditions to their personal advantage without foisting ridiculous politics onto their personal intentions."

Huh... and why wait? Good to see you brain-raped academic Stockholm-syndrome rhetoricians who still are standing by their man wil be waiting a few more decades to look at the actual power and economical dynamics behind some of the Great Minds.

Indeed, as you've been into the ontological realm of "ideas-in-themselves" for so long, and despise the impurity of the sociological context of the academic formation of theories and their disciplines, that might take a bit more patience.

Im not "standing by him" more than others have, despite the desires on your part to make pathetic guilt by association arguments. Again, I do not think he's God; I just don't think he's as problematic as you'd like him to be perceived. As though people can't simply decide for themselves. We're not talking about reading Mein Kampf for fruitful spiritual exercise; we're talking Heidegger simply to understand what others who haven't been afraid to pick him up are saying.

Dave Foreman used to read social darwinism in order to develop his arguments against civilization; Murray Bookchin tried to make him out to be an ecofascist--whatever that term means. His response was that there are some good arguments, meaning, there are arguments here worth considering; arguments not to be thrown out simply because they fail to fit with an aesthetic devised for oneself by others. Some of us know that ideas live only as far as you let them. Best of luck with your activism.

HOORAH !! The word "Weltanschauung" is catching on in the common laymen's lexicon.

After reading this about Heidegger I feel like changing Barthes title and calling for the death of this (Heidegger's) authority.

Anyone down for starting a Cult of the Stirner Ego?

Oh wait...

Joe - Agamben connects Nietszche & Foucault, you fool. That's not me linking them - that's Wikipedia. Take your damn fool self over there if you don't agree with them.

As for breaking my nose, well I published my address here last week.

Break a leg, you prize chump.

Carl Schmitt’s The Nomos of the Earth and related work conduct a generally unacknowledged dialogue with Nietzsche

In 1950 Schmitt writes in his notebook:

My Nomos der Erde is arriving at the right historical moment. The time is coming (said Nietzsche in 1881–82), when the battle for the domination of the earth will be waged; it will be waged in the name of fundamental philosophical doctrines; i.e., an ideological battle for unity. The Kellog Pact is creating a free path; war as means of rational politics is despised, condemned; war as means of global domination of the earth is the just war.

Ahaaa, so Kellogs cornflakes is the breakfast of the ubermensch!!

I can't make out the name of the painter in the Jesus firing squad painting anyone know?

damn, it sure makes a non-academic wonder about all you university types that are so enamored of post-modern obscurantism that the more convoluted and incomprehensible someone's writing is, the more you hang your ideological hat on it.

it's really not that bad--with the exception of virilio--you just have to sit with it for a while; with virilio you have to go slowly because he incorporates speed in his writing. Most philosophy operates that way. Even analytic philosophy is a headache. You might have to read a page twice.

These chumps jump from one useless PoMo dipshit to another the way Wayne Price jumps from ' revolution' to ' capitalism' to 'working-class'. Its a grift. Just another left-fascist racket run by the scum of the earth on behalf of the scum of the earth.
Post-left anarchism was supposed to clean out all this Marxist and neo-Marxist 'structualist' crap. It clearly failed miserably.


Go digital, the pick-up needle is stuck in the binary Marxist/capitalist vinyl LP groove from the 60's,,,,

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