This course will provide an overview of anarchism as a philosophical and social movement from its inception in the early nineteenth century to its climax as a revolutionary force with the Spanish Revolution of 1936.
The class will begin with a look at the social and historical conditions from which anarchism emerged, followed by an exploration into anarchist philosophy as it developed and matured over time and arrive finally at anarchism’s role in the social and revolutionary movements that dominated the late 19th and early 20th century.
Anarchism is here defined as the desire for and movement towards the complete annihilation of states, private property and all forms of oppression and hierarchy, to be replaced by a free society of autonomous communities organized horizontally along the lines of free federation and mutual aid. There are infinite ideas of what anarchism may look like and even more around how to get there, it would be impossible to capture them all here. Therefore this course will limit itself to “social” forms of anarchism, those which are explicitly both anti-state and anti-capitalist.
In addition to historical study, the class will have two practical focuses. The first is to look at what “worked” in these movements and what circumstances were at play to allow them to “work.” The second is to encourage students to explore and research the dusty and less explored corners of anarchist histories that may not make the standard narrative: the involvement of women, people of color and other folks with marginalized identities, non-western anarchism etc. We do this as an attempt to contribute to a broader and more representative anarchist history and evade the trappings and recurring errors of standard histories.
Anarchism has been the only social movement of the nineteenth and twentieth century to appreciate both the Enlightenment values of individual liberties and socialist notions of economic equality. In our present situation, where the former has degraded into every-person-for-themselves capitalism and the latter into authoritarian communism, anarchism’s unique role has a lot to teach us about how we might structure social movements in our time and what type of world we might aim to achieve.
Location: To be determined
Schedule: weekly, three hours courses, to be determined. Begins early February.
Teacher: Jake Bison
Email moc.liamg|nosibekaj#moc.liamg|nosibekaj to enroll. Once enough folks have enrolled we'll figure out what time works for everyone to meet.