By Nicholas Evans
Peter Maurin, Dorothy Day, and the Catholic Worker group are Christian Anarchists.
What sort of economy do they advocate?
Day who is one of the founders of the Catholic Worker group discussed a sort of Anarcho-Distributism.(also known as Anarcho-Distributivism) In actuality Anarcho-Distributism is very similar to the economics of Proudhon’s Mutualism.
This article as well as my review of Marx’s The Poverty of Philosophy are the fruit of an attempt to go through Marx’s book and critique it. This proved to be quite a bit of work, as Marx’s book is pretty poor. It can only be considered a classic if you have not read the two volumes it is meant to be a reply to. Also, Marx rarely gave page numbers – unsurprisingly, given that he made quotes up and was apt at selective quoting. So a misleading book – talking of which, I was flicking through David Harvey’s new book Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason and he spends a few pages repeating Marx’s nonsense on Proudhon and “labour notes.” He also adds that Proudhon would have been horrified by the notion of “the associated producers,” so showing how little he has actually read by Proudhon.
It is now 20 years since An Anarchist FAQ (AFAQ) was officially launched and six years since the core of it was completed (version 14.0). Its has been published by AK Press as well as translated into numerous languages. It has been quoted and referenced by other works. So it has been a success – although when it was started I had no idea what it would end up like.
Make a more or less angry break with the anarchist milieu. Settle down to write a book about anarchism. It might all seem a bit bizarre if it wasn’t, for a certain sort of anarchist, pretty much inevitable. I know that there are people who move from the anarchist scene to other political scenes, who trade in the beautiful idea for other ideas. Honestly, though, I don’t understand them and don’t imagine I have much in common with them. For me, the encounter with anarchy was a sort of Rubicon—or perhaps more like a sort of Styx. Anyway, once across, there has never been any question of crossing back. But it’s not some radical sort of semper fidelis that keeps me faithful to a movement. Instead, for me at least, anarchy is one of those things that, as we say in less serious contexts, “you can’t unsee.” It started as a look outside—and gradually became a kind of being outside—which has always mixed uncomfortably with the often strict border-patrolling characteristic of the milieu.
Property is Theft!… is in many ways quite successful… the critical work of the 1840s [is] presented with a depth that is unfamiliar, refreshing and enlightening... this is a work designed to introduce Proudhon to an anarchist mainstream that has largely written off his particular form of anarchism… It is a powerful corrective to the second-hand Proudhon we have inherited from Marx… it is an important contribution. ” (Shawn P. Wilbur, Black Flag, no. 236)