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Communiqués and insurrectionary violence

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.

A sociological analysis of movement anarchism

The black flag means negation, anger, outrage, mourning, beauty, hope, and the fostering and sheltering of new forms of human life and relationship on and with the earth. This book aims to destroy many of the assumptions and stereotypes about anarchism, anarchists, and anarchist movements. It introduces Mario Diani's definition of a social movement: networks of individuals and organizations, united by some shared identity, that engage in extra-institutional action with the interest of changing society. Social movements must be composed of individuals. The book provides new insights into individual participants in anarchist movements by investigating what the micro-level characteristics of contemporary anarchists are, and how these characteristics differ from those of anarchists in past movements. The anarchist movement can be interrogated from many vantage points (especially macro- and meso-analyses), in both longitudinal and cross-sectional contexts. The book explores the usefulness (or lack thereof) of social movement theories for understanding anarchist movements. It challenges the assumption that the state is a strategic location of opportunity from the perspective of radical, anti-state movements. The essential dimensions of "new social movement" (NSM) theories are discussed, with highlights on the differences between the contemporary anarchist movement and other NSMs. The book also explores ideas from major social capital theorists, and considers the value of social capital. Whereas most sociological research on anti-authoritarian diffusion and isomorphism has focused on mainstream organizations or reformist social movements, anarchist movements pose a particular challenge to the earlier findings focused on the non-anarchists.

An unlikely convergence, 1890–1940

This book focuses on the apparently surprising convergence between anarchism and eugenics. By tracing the reception of eugenic ideas within five different anarchist movements –Argentina, England, France, Portugal and Spain – the book argues that, in fact, there is ample evidence for anarchist interest in, and implementation of, some form of eugenics. The author argues that this intersection between anarchism and eugenics can be understood as an emanation from anarchism’s nineteenth-century legacy, which harnessed science as a means to change the social world and an ideological commitment to voluntarism as a political praxis. Through the articulation of interest in birth control, ‘neo-Malthusianism’, freedom to choose for women and revolutionary objectives, many anarchists across these five countries provided the basis for the creation of ‘anarchist eugenics’ in the early twentieth century.

Food Not Bombs, Homes Not Jails, and resistance to gentrification
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On Labor Day in 1988 two hundred hungry and homeless people went to Golden Gate Park in search of a hot meal, while fifty-four activists from Food Not Bombs, surrounded by riot police, lined up to serve them food. The riot police counted twenty-five served meals, the legal number allowed by city law before breaking permit restrictions, and then began to arrest people. The arrests proceeded like an assembly line: an activist would scoop a bowl of food and hand it to a hungry person. A police officer would then handcuff and arrest that activist. Immediately, the next activist in line would take up the ladle and be promptly arrested. By the end of the day fifty-four people had been arrested for “providing food without a permit.” These arrests were not an aberration but part of a multi-year campaign by the city of San Francisco against radical homeless activists. Why would a liberal city arrest activists helping the homeless? In exploring this question, the book uses the conflict between the city and activists as a unique opportunity to examine the contested nature of urban politics, homelessness, and public space, while developing an anarchist alternative to liberal urban politics, which is rooted in mutual aid, solidarity, and anti-capitalism.

Towards a left-libertarian conception of freedom
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This book presents a new left-libertarian conception of liberty, ‘freedom as Marxian-autonomy’, which is explored above all in terms of its organisational contours. The project brings together in theoretical dialogue Karl Marx’s (1818–83) critique of capitalism, certain ideals adapted from the guild socialist writings of G.D.H. Cole (1889–1959) and the sub-schools of social anarchism. In doing so it contributes towards the healing of a major historical schism in socialist theory. The outcome is a newly formed anarchist constitution, ‘associational anarchism’. In offering something important to the recent outpourings in current anarchist discourse, the book contends that liberty can be attained without passing through the mediation of self-interested employers, career politicians or state planners. The foundational claim is that a condition of freedom requires equal and democratic access to the material means of life, where self-mastery is attained in both the productive and consumptive spheres. Negative (non-coercion) and positive (self-direction, self-development) ideals are combined congenially in a conceptual framework that does not frame them in perpetual contradiction. This specific protection of a set of individual liberties, of which the political liberties are of equal value, effectively challenges the ideological belief that only liberalism safeguards negative liberty. As the book unfolds, an argument is developed that hard market forces must lose their ascendancy in much the same way the socialist state must be stripped of its unaccountable authority. The associational anarchist configuration of social planning with a guild-regulated market system is offered as the necessary corrective.

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Paradoxes of hierarchy and authority in the squatters movement in Amsterdam
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This book is an ethnographic study of the internal dynamics of a subcultural community that defines itself as a social movement. While the majority of scholarly studies on this movement focus on its official face, on its front stage, this book concerns itself with the ideological and practical paradoxes at work within the micro-social dynamics of the backstage, an area that has so far been neglected in social movement studies. The central question is how hierarchy and authority function in a social movement subculture that disavows such concepts. The squatters’ movement, which defines itself primarily as anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian, is profoundly structured by the unresolved and perpetual contradiction between both public disavowal and simultaneous maintenance of hierarchy and authority within the movement. This study analyzes how this contradiction is then reproduced in different micro-social interactions, examining the methods by which people negotiate minute details of their daily lives as squatter activists in the face of a funhouse mirror of ideological expectations reflecting values from within the squatter community, that, in turn, often refract mainstream, middle class norms.

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A politics for the deep commons
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Based on award-winning research, Love and Revolution brings classical and contemporary anarchist thought into a mutually beneficial dialogue with a global cross-section of ecological, anti-capitalist, feminist and anti-racist activists – discussing real-life examples of the loving-caring relations that underpin many contemporary struggles. Such a (r)evolutionary love is discovered to be a common embodied experience among the activists contributing to this collective vision, manifested as a radical solidarity, as political direct action, as long-term processes of struggle, and as a deeply relational more-than-human ethics. The theory developed in this book is brought to life through the voices of Tom at the G20 protests in Toronto, Maria and her permaculture community in Mexico, Hassan on the streets in Syria, Angelo and his comrades occupying squares in Brazil, Dembe and his affinity group in Kampala, and many more. Love and Revolution provides an essential resource for all those interested in building a free society grounded in solidarity and care, and offers a timely contribution to contemporary movement discourse.