In 2015, the Netherlands seems to be the European country with the toughest restrictions on immigrants. The extremely permissive Dutch society has voiced or adopted some of the harshest declarations and measures against Muslim immigrants. Muslims have been accused of being involved with gangs and the raping of Dutch women, female genital mutilation, attacks on homosexuals, honour killings, etc. Theo van Gogh's focus switched to Islam and Muslims, following a well-known pattern for European skinheads and racists who start out as anti-Semites and move on to targeting and finding fault with Muslims, thus bringing a temporary 'relief' to Jews. Van Gogh caused widespread resentment in the Muslim community by consistently referring to Muslims as geitenneukers. Indeed, as of the early 2000s, Sweden had one of the highest rates of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, coming third after Germany and Austria.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book attempts to convey the different sociological contexts for how contemporary anarchist theory and practice is to be understood. It concentrates on the issue of broadening the parameters of how anarchist theory and practice is conceptualised. The question of individual liberty and collective needs raises an equally important anarchist principle: equating the means of an action with its ends. The book compares the major philosophical differences and strategies between the classical period and the contemporary anti-capitalist movements. It assesses the viability of libertarian education, a century on from the life and work of Spanish writer and activist Francisco Ferrer and finds considerable evidence for the endurance of these ideals.
This chapter illustrates the importance of broadening the understanding of social anarchism. Social anarchism has shifted its ground as it has embraced some elements of poststructuralist philosophy. This shift in territory from social to poststructuralist anarchism is most noticeable and particularly important at two levels of theory. The first, and the one that underscores the others, is the poststructuralist denunciation of foundationalist discourses or narratives. The second shift in theoretical territory is less pronounced but nonetheless real. The chapter suggests that, when situated alongside the practices of new social movements associated with the anticapitalist protests, the poststructuralist perspective affords insight into how new modes of anarchist practice are emerging. It also highlights how anarchist theory and practice is evolving into something distinct and is, at the same time, nurturing contemporary modes of resistance against traditional social, political and economic forms of oppression.