Although Marxism and even anarchism are sometimes treated as if they
are simply varieties of socialism, we consider that they have
sufficiently distinctive characteristics to warrant separate treatment.
Starting with Marxism, we examine Marx’s theories of history,
economics and politics before discussing the controversies within
Marx-inspired political organisations in the
In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.
Since the early 2000s, global, underground networks of insurrectionary anarchists have carried out thousands of acts of political violence. This book is an exploration of the ideas, strategies, and history of these political actors that engage in a confrontation with the oppressive powers of the state and capital. The vast majority of these attacks have been claimed via online communiqués through anonymous monikers such as the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI). The emphasis of the insurrectionary, nihilist-infused anarchism is on creating war-like conditions for opposing capitalism, the state, and that which perpetuates structural violence (e.g. racism, poverty, speciesism, gender roles). To connect the various configurations of post-millennial, insurrectionary resistance, the book explores explore three of its most identifiable components, the FAI, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), and emergent networks in Mexico. In his discussion of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, conflict theorist Richard Rubenstein points to a two-stage understanding advocated by Vietnamese leader and military strategist General Vo Nguyen Giap. The book also examines the strategy of Blanquism, the contribution of "classical anarchists," the influence of theorists such as Tiqqun and The Invisible Committee. It seeks to construct the basis for an insurrectionary framework based around a shared politic. The feminist methodology and ethic of research adds a great deal, including a reading of identity politics, standpoint theory, action-orientated research, and embedded, emotive and sincere participatory involvement. The design and methodological intent of the book is to embrace a "militant" form of inquiry which is counter to the project of securitization.
Insurrection as a
network of cells
Revolt needs everything: paper and books, arms and explosives, reflection and swearing, poison, daggers and arson. The only interesting question is how to combine them. (Anonymous 2001a, 29)
Is insurrectionism even anarchism?
Prior to developing the history of the modern insurrectionary subject in this
chapter, it is necessary to consider the historical and ideological tradition it
is being descriptively embedded within, and to decide if insurrectionism is
indeed anarchist in any meaningful way
Death to the bourgeois judiciary! Long live dynamite!” (quoted in Joll 1964,
131). When he was sentenced, he “gave the jury an hour and a half lecture
on anarchist theory and said specifically that he had intended to carry out
‘an act of propaganda by the deed for anarchist doctrine’” (quoted in Joll
1964, 131). This form of propaganda has its roots in the ideas of Bakunin
who turned towards insurrectionary tendencies declaring “nowhere are
there more favorable conditions for the Social Revolution than in Italy”
(quoted in Pernicone 1993, 82). Following the
sense, it can be seen as a form of ‘postfoundational’ politics which articulates universal concerns and issues in radically new and non-essentialist ways.
Here I will show how the different theoretical approaches discussed in previous
chapters can inform our understanding of this movement, as well showing how
this movement can in turn advance contemporary radical political theory and
help us resolve some of the tensions central to it. Furthermore, I will explore the
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Radical politics today
link between this new radical politics and anarchism: the anti
concept of milieu gives us some
tools to look more microscopically at this. In relation to Crass, we can see how
its members – specifically Penny Rimbaud ( Jeremy Ratter) and Steve Ignorant
(Steve Williams) – developed a politics that tried to deal with a hybrid class
identity in relation to ideas of anarchism, humanism and transcendentalism.9
I wanna be me
Such a politics, moreover, was at least partially a response to the variety of
organised and programmatic political groupings on the far left and far right
that sought to engage with the band at their gigs
)), fostering conflict to expose inequality (i.e. making social war), and
directly attacking forms of domination through informal, individualist,
illegal action including property destruction, sabotage, propaganda, expropriation, and strikes at individuals.
Unlike Marxism and other revolutionary frameworks, insurrectionary
anarchism is not rooted in a specific theory of change (e.g. historical materialism) but is rather a theory of critique and action, not prefiguration. In
his discussion of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, conflict theorist Richard
Rubenstein (1987, 29
The original aim of this book, when it was conceptualized as a doctoral
thesis, was to trace the borders of an insurrectionary canon through anarchism and poststructuralism, concluding at modern insurrectionary theory.
I hypothesized that the High Theory forebears, such as Tiqqun and Bonanno,
inform the ideological framework of attackers. After spending several years
surveying the literature produced by the anarchists of praxis, the contemporary urban guerrillas, I have observed that, in fact, the communiqué
corpus does not demonstrate any strongly central
indiscriminate persecution of Muslim, Christian, other-faith, and secular civilians, ostensibly, and unlike most liberatory movements, in the service of its own very selective interpretation of religion.
The case of Kurdish military activity in the region therefore indicates a noteworthy contrast with neo-jihadism. Differences between these movements can also be highlighted through comparison of the ideology of neo-jihadism and that of the political philosophy of anarchism. Despite its definition as terrorism by some, the PKK in fact claims inspiration from the principles of