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By Giorel Curran

Anarchism has seldom had solid press, and anarchists have consistently confronted resistance to their political philosophy. regardless of this, 21st Century Dissent contends that anarchism has significantly motivated the trendy political panorama. Giorel Curran explores the modern face of anarchism as expressed through environmental protests and the anti-globalization circulate. She contends that anti-capitalist protest has propelled an invigorated - yet reconceptualized - anarchism into the center of twenty first century dissent.

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For Bakunin, there could be only one logical conclusion to Marx’s scientific socialism – the supplanting of one form of oppression by another. While Bakunin adopted, and adapted, Marx’s economic materialism he developed Marx’s class analysis considerably, locating revolutionary potential beyond the working class to the peasants and even the ‘dreaded’ lumpenproletariat. By promoting the spontaneous uprising of all comers in their clamouring for freedom and autonomy, Bakunin left little room for Marx’s scientific socialism, and for the socialist state’s paternalistic role (see Malatesta 1974).

In expanding the domination discourse beyond the Marxist one, the New Left named instrumental rationality as one of capitalism’s key tools of domination. Essentialism and instrumentalism began to be very directly linked to the domination of both people and nature. Much anarchism felt vindicated by such analyses. Others, such as Murray Bookchin, saw in the theorization of postmodernism and poststructuralism, empty obfuscatory rhetoric designed to mask rather than illuminate domination. Nonetheless, the resonance between anarchist and, for example, Foucauldian analyses illustrates well the contributions of postmodernism and poststructuralism to the broader discourse of domination.

Stirner’s greatest insight was to identify in the humanist abstraction of ‘Man’ a replacement for the abstraction of ‘God’. Through creating a human essence when in fact there was none, both God and Man denied the individual their uniqueness and integrity. Accordingly, when the state demands ‘that I be a man … it imposes being a man upon me as a duty’; to not assume the mantle of such ‘manhood’ is to invite punishment and estrangement, so that the ‘fear of man has taken the place of the old fear of God’ (Stirner 1995, 161, 165).

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21st Century Dissent: Anarchism, Anti-Globalization and Environmentalism (International Political Economy) by Giorel Curran


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