George Walford: Angles on Anarchism (54)

Angles on Anarchism
George Walford
with a contribution by Peter Cadogan

Angles on Anarchism breaks new ground. Neither history nor polemic, it starts from the observation that the anarchist movement has settled down among the other members of the political cast; accepted, almost respectable, but of mainly theoretical importance. It asks why this has happened, and suggests that the reason may lie in the beliefs and assumptions anarchists accept.

Anarchists pride themselves on disagreeing with each other; to speak of orthodox anarchism would sound like a contradiction in terms. But they do have some things in common – this justifies their use of a common title – although, perhaps unexpectedly, unqualified opposition to the state and all its works does not appear as one of them.

The anarchist movement centres around these beliefs: That anarchism stands for freedom, has a special connection with the poor, advocates a natural condition, and has different roots from all other political movements. And of course anarchists don’t vote or form a party.

Angles on Anarchism challenges every one of these ideas.

Angles on Anarchism consists mainly of pieces and articles which have appeared in the anarchist journals Freedom and Raven, in the Bulletin of Anarchist Research, Ethical Record or IC. Most have been revised, some extensively, to clarify the argument and reduce repetitions.

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from Ideological Commentary 54, Winter 1991.