Libertarian Labyrinth

Constructing an Anarchism: Tradition

from Libertarian Labyrinth

I’ve decided to skip “Notes” this week and devote the time to other projects. (So if, for example, you were interested in 175 installments of anarchist writing, fiction and memoir, on exile in New Caledonia, I’ve at least provided the bibliography.) The post on An-Anarchy has elicited some passionate responses, but they have mostly been of the “after the horse has bolted” gate-keeping variety. And while it is true that even those conflicts have their uses — C’est du choc des idées que jaillit la lumière and all that — some kinds of light are considerably less likely to provide much clarity for our particular purposes here.

Constructing an Anarchism: An-Archy

Constructing an Anarchism: An-Archy

From Libertarian Labyrinth by Shawn P. Wilbur

The first order of business is to again thank everyone who has followed along—and particularly those who have taken the opportunity to comment. A special shout-out to the folks on the Anews Podcast, who took some time again last week to talk about “Constructing Anarchisms.” The responses—sometimes even the trollish ones—have helped make clear the various little course-corrections that seem necessary. There is necessarily a lot of the work on this project happening just-in-time (or, like today, just-past-time) and the kind of active engagement required on my end is a lot easier to maintain when there are signs of life elsewhere.

Constructing Anarchisms—Philosophy

Constructing Anarchisms—Philosophy

From Libertarian Labyrinth by Shawn P. Wilbur

Constructing Anarchisms: What It Is & What It Is Not

Survey courses are peculiar things, particularly when they address subjects of more than just passing interest. The construction of a survey always seems to involve at least some claim regarding the exemplary nature of the materials chosen. And if we were more certain about the character and extent of the anarchist tradition, we would expect a historical survey to take us, rather neatly, from milepost to milepost along the path of growing ideological clarity. But it’s hard to spend any time discussing history and theory with other anarchists—and I spend hours nearly every day—without recognizing that anarchy, anarchism and the anarchist tradition are all things that we struggle with, constantly, without necessarily making much headway in the process.

Workshop: Constructing Anarchisms

from Libertarian Labybrinth

This online workshop combines elements of a traditionally structured survey course and a vehicle for self-study. In some ways, it will resemble a year’s worth of office hours as much as a yearlong seminar. The goal is to make the basic experience—an extended practical crash-course in thinking about anarchist theory and history—available to as many potential participants as possible. It has been constructed with busy people in mind and should be able to carry on despite some ebb and flow in participation

Rambles in the Fields of Anarchist Individualism — No. 6

from: The Libertarian Labyrinth

No. 6. — Songs of Solitary Selves

Just when it looked like summer had settled in for good, August delivered a bit of rain. And just when I thought I had pretty well wrapped up this set of Rambles, I found my casual browsing through the anarchist individualist literature yielding a remarkable number of writings focused on the notion of solitude....

Anarchy: Action in the Face of Uncertainty

From The Libertarian Labyrinth

By Shawn P. Wilbur

These preliminary, exploratory writings are always half pleasure, half drudgery for me. You can have the right elements in hand and still require a lot of experimenting before they are anything like an elegant ensemble. With this series on “Defining Anarchy,” I’m conscious, not for the first time, that between the simplest and most abstract sorts of definitions and those that we might really apply in practical terms there are a variety of clarifications regarding present contexts and future possibilities that need to be made.

Rambles in the Fields of Anarchist Individualism — No. 2

From Libertarian Labyrinth

I expect that my method in these exploration and experiments will be much like my daily circuits of the grassy hillside, as I cover the same general ground in all kinds of light and weather. But those atmospheric effects are not to be discounted, particularly when what we are circling are some fairly protean understandings of individuality. So there will be some advantage to sorting through the impressions a bit, as I present them.

Rambles in the Fields of Anarchist Individualism

From Libertarian Labyrinth

Whatever we think of individualism, anarchist individualism or a range of related topics, anarchist theory can hardly dispense with some close consideration of the individual. The question is whether that is a permanent condition or whether we have yet to extricate ourselves from a philosophical problem that we will eventually solve.

Positive Anarchy, Profusion, Uncertainty and the Uses of History

Positive Anarchy, Profusion, Uncertainty and the Uses of History

From Libertarian Labyrinth by Shawn P. Wilbur

The last post in this series, on “The Uses of a Lost Continent,” ended with a rapid escalation from questions about the limits of specific historical narratives to the image of “the anarchist past” as a familiar sort of “new world” to, perhaps, be carved down to a more usable size by whatever means seem necessary. Feel free to supply your own image of a burning jungle, clear-cut forest, strip-mined mountain, etc. History certainly provides no lack of handy analogies.

The Uses of a Lost Continent

From The Libertarian Labyrinth

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the reception of Our Lost Continent and the Journey Back—particularly as it has been a matter of draft sections distributed through social media without much in the way of rhyme or reason. It appears that some of the method in my madness has shown through.

Distributaries: “Modern Anarchism”

From The Libertarian Labyrinth

Our fast-moving mountain current has spread out across the a decade’s worth of terrain, splitting off into various distributary currents. We know—or at least the driving metaphor of this work suggests—that the various currents will never unite as fully as perhaps they were mingled before Proudhon’s death. We can certainly point to instances where some form of direct influence seems to carry forward from the earliest period examined through to the anarchism of the 1880s—but we have also inherited narratives that at least flirt with the notion of a rather complete reinvention of anarchist thought in what Kropotkin called “modern anarchism.”

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