ANARCHIST HISTORY AND THOUGHT
- Political Studies 155
- Office Hours
- Contact Professor Ward by email for individual appointments
The roots of this course are entangled with the roots of the World Wide Web. Although the internet component receives virtually no emphasis this semester, an important resource for the course is Anarchy Archives, the most comprehensive and oft-visited anarchist site on the internet. Conceived in 1995 as the World Wide Web was just starting to inflitrate into our lives, this course was designed following a "content based approach to internet literacy." The idea was to simultaneously develop internet skills and an understanding of the history and theory of anarchism by creating digitized versions of anarchist writings. As a result, the great bulk of materials found in Anarchy Archives is the product of students at the Claremont Colleges. Today, most students no longer require basic internet training, so the emphasis has shifted to the history and theory of anarchism, using Anarchy Archives as the princple source of reading material. As explained below, anyone interested in continuing to develop Anarchy Archives for the required monthly projects can choose a development option.
Although unintended and despite attempts to reign it in, the internet is the quintessential example of a large scale anarchist organization. There is no hierarchical authority controlling the internet, the subunits participate voluntarily, information flows freely, individuals join and exit associations at will. Since the internet also contains abundant information about anarchism, it is the perfect medium for a course on the political history and theory of anarchism.
Class sessions will consist of lectures, films, and discussions.
Traditionally, teachers control students' behavior by establishing a hierarchy based on the power to grade. The result is that most students pursue grades rather than knowledge. Anarchists have approached education in an entirely different manner. Anarchists believe that in all spheres, including education, "more harm than good results from coercion, top-down direction, central authority...pre-ordained standardization..., etc." (Goodman, 1987, "The Anarchist Principle", in A Decade of Anarchy, ed. Colin Ward, p. 38. Also see Godwin, Political Justice, Book IV, Chapter 5, appendix.) Anarchists still recognize the value of leadership and expertise, but leadership and expertise must be separated from the exercise of power in order to avoid the deleterious and corrosive effects of coercion. Accordingly, in this course, my evaluations will not result in a grade. As elaborated upon below, students will be responsible for grading, and my evaluation of your work will be solely for the purpose of edification.
The practice of anarchy requires order and moral integrity. Although adherence to anarchism is by no means a requirement of the course, order and integrity are necessary values to maintain if the course is to be a success. To meet these requirements, by voluntarily enrolling in this course, you have agreed to attend class sessions, do the weekly reading for the course on a regular basis and on time, and produce four works on any topic in the history and theory of anarchism, one due February 16, one on March 21, one on April 13, and the final work is due the last day of class, May 2.
By eliminating traditional grading from the internal structure of the course I hope to create the possibility of a truly collective learning experience. Hopefully, this will create an environment in which we participate in the class activities for the intrinsic pleasure of learning, not the fear of a plummeting GPA. While grading has been eliminated, work has not. Perhaps by removing the drudgery of grades, room can be made to experience the joy of productive work. The class is designed in such a way that we will all be able to make real contributions to others' potential for learning, at the same time that we learn ourselves. How much we each learn will depend upon how much effort we each put into the course. The basic activities of the course are elaborated upon below.
There are three books not on the internet which you will read during the semester and should be purchased:
- Marshall, Peter. Demanding the Impossible: A History of
- Anarchism. London: Fontana Press.
- Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame:
- The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism. Oakland: AK Press.
- Cornell, Andrew. Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the 20th Century.
- Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mere assimilation of material, without an attempt to analyze, synthesize, and recapitulate the material, is mere intellectual wheel spinning. It takes you nowhere. Consequently, each month of the course you are expected to try to put together an intellectual product dealing with some topic in the history and theory of anarchism. You should be working on these projects throughout the course and it would be a good idea to have at least a vague notion of what all four projects will be as early as possible. You will be expected to consult with me about the projects regularly throughout the semester. I will provide as much feedback and evaluation of the project as I possibly can to make your project a success. You will also share your work with other members of the course who will also provide feedback, and a grade for your work. Peer groups of no less than three and no more than five members will be formed each month based on some affinity for the topics chosen for the monthly projects and these groups will provide the feedback and grade for your work. What form this work takes is up to you. It may be a written article or any other form of reproducible intellectual communication. One additional option is to continue working on developing content for Anarchy Archives, including updating of bibliographies, biographies, and written work by classical anarchists for inclusion in the archive. I have new materials related to the Spanish Civil War and other materials as well which you can choose to work on if you chose archive development for a monthly project. All projects must be submitted to me at least a week before they are due for my evaluation. I will provide feedback during the ensuing week and the final version will be due for the peer group's evaluation on the dates mentioned above. The peer group will then have one week to submit the grade for the work. Each project will constitute 25% of your final grade. For the final project due the last day of class, peer evaluations and grades will be due during the period scheduled for the final exam (there is no final in the course).
Movies will also be included as part of the course on a voluntary basis. Over the course of the semester I will screen various anarchist films at my home to which you will be invited, and most will be available for private viewing as well. A few films will be shown during class sessions.
The required readings are listed below in Blue type.
- Jan 17: Orientation
- Jan 19: Marshall, P., Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, pp. ix-xv, 3-50.
- Cornell, Andrew, Unruly Equality, pp. 1-52.
- Jan 24: Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, pp. 5-27.
- Cornell, Andrew, Unruly Equality, pp. 53-110.
- Jan 26: Marshall, P., Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, pp. 191-219.
- Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, pp. 33-73.
- Jan 31: Godwin, Political Justice, Book III, Chapter 6, "Of Obedience.
- Godwin, Political Justice, Book VIII, Chapter 1, "Of Property",
Godwin, Political Justice, Book VIII, Chapter 2, Principles of Property.
- Feb 2: Marshall, P., Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, pp. 234-262.
- Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, pp. 83-114.
- Feb 7: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What Is Property?, Chapter 2
- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1847). The Philosophy of Poverty.
Chapter II. Of Value.
- Feb 9: Marshall, P., pp. 263-308.
- Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, pp. 123-144.
- Feb 14: Bakunin, M., The Immorality of the State
- Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, pp. 149-171.
- Feb 16: Rocker, R. "The Forerunners of Syndicalism", chapter 3 of Anarcho-Syndicalism.
- Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, pp. 181-204.
- Feb 21: Kropotkin, P., "The Commune of Paris."
- Edwards, S., The Communards of Paris, 1871, "Introduction," pp. 9-42 (on Sakai Resources)
- Feb 23: Marshall, P., pp. 309-338, 339-344.
- Recus, An Anarchist on Anarchy
- Reclus, Evolution and Revolution.
- Reclus, On Vegetarianism.
- Feb 28: Kropotkin,
Law and Authority
- Mutual Aid, Introduction
- Mar 2: Marshall, P., pp. 220-233, 345-361, 362-383, 410-421.
- Stirner, The Worker and the Government
- Malatesta, "Anarchism and Organization" (1897)
- Malatesta, Syndicalism and Anarchism
- Tolstoy, On Anarchy
- Most, Johann (1884) "When Is The People "Ready" For Freedom?"
|THE IMPACT OF NINETEENTH CENTURY ANARCHISM
- Mar 7: Kropotkin, P., "Anarchism", from the 1910 Encyclopaedia Britannica.
- "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." San Francisco: Free Society, 1898.
- Cornell, Andrew, Unruly Equality, pp. 111-144.
- Mar 9: Marshall, P., pp. 181-188, 384-395, 496-503.
- "Haymarket Martyrs--Origin of International Workers Day". Watch the 3 part series on YouTube.
- Cornell, Andrew, Unruly Equality, pp. 147-182.
- Mar 21: Marshall, P., pp. 396-409.
- Emma Goldman, Anarchism: What It Really Stands For, in Anarchism and Other Essays (1911).
- Emma Goldman, Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty, in Anarchism and Other Essays (1911).
|EMMA GOLDMAN'S PHILOSOPHY
- Mar 23: Emma Goldman, Marriage and Love, in Anarchism and Other Essays (1911), pp. 233-245.
- Emma Goldman, The Psychology of Political Violence, in Anarchism and Other Essays (1911).
- Emma Goldman, THE TRAGEDY OF WOMAN'S EMANCIPATION, in Anarchism and Other Essays (1911).
- Mar 28: Marshall, P., pp. 469-478.
- Makhno, Nestor, The Struggle Against the State and Other Essays (read as much as you can).
|EUROPEAN & AMERICAN ANARCHISM
- Mar 30: Marshall, P., pp. 431-452, 479-495.
- Cornell, Andrew, Unruly Equality, pp. 183-239.
- Apr 4: Marshall, P., pp. 505-518, 519-535.
- Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, pp. 271-291.
- Apr 6: Marshall, P., pp. 453-468.
- Gaston Leval, Collectives in Spain. (To explore the topic further, see Leval's full book: Collectives in the Spanish Revolution
- Apr 11: Christie, Stuart, A Study of the Revolution in Spain, 1936-1937, Chapters 1-4.
- Apr 13: Dirlik, A. "The Anarchist Alternative in Chinese Socialism",
- in Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution, pp. 197-247 (on sakai).
THE CONTINUING CHALLENGE:
New Strains of Anarchism
- Apr 18: Marshall, P., pp. 539-558, 587-601
- Cornell, Andrew, Unruly Equality, pp. 240-300.
- (Optional) Jensen, Derrick. Endgame. Volume II: Resistance, pp. 673-737. (on sakai.)
THE CONTINUING CHALLENGE:
The Modern Anarchist Underground
- Apr 20: Marshall, P., pp. 602-622.
Corr, Anders, No Trespassing! Squatting, Rent Strikes, and Land Struggles Worldwide, pp. 17-37, 117-144. (on sakai.)
- Apr 25: Marshall, P., pp. 625-665.
- Day, Richard J. F. Gramsci, Is Dead: anarchist currents in the newest social movements, pg. 1-45 (on sakai).
THE CONTINUING CHALLENGE:
Social vs. Lifestyle anarchism,
Anarchism vs. Primitivism
- Apr 27: Marshall, P., pp. 670-705.
- Bey, Hakim. T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, pp. 60-70, 95-132, 145-147. (on sakai.)
Bookchin, Murray, Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm, pp. 4-66.
- May 2: Schmidt, Michael and Lucien van der Walt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism, pp. 297-335.