Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, Volume Three: The New Anarchism (1974-2012)

Volume 3

Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas has just been published by Black Rose Books. Volume Three goes all the way to 2012, with short pieces on the 2008-2009 revolt in Greece and the 2011-2012 Egyptian revolution added to the chapter on direct action. Below I reproduce the Preface and the Table of Contents. Volume Three concludes with my Afterward in which I analyze the history, development and evolution of anarchist ideas from the ancient Chinese Daoists to the present day.

Preface to Volume Three

This is the third and final volume of my anthology of anarchist writings from ancient China to the present day. Volume One, subtitled From Anarchy to Anarchism (300CE-1939), begins with an ancient Daoist text, “Neither Lord Nor Subject” (300CE), and ends with the positive accomplishments and defeat of the Spanish anarchists in the Spanish Revolution and Civil War (1936-1939). Volume Two, subtitled The Emergence of the New Anarchism (1939-1977), deals with the remarkable resurgence of anarchist ideas and movements following the Second World War, particularly during the 1960s. This final volume canvasses the many different currents in anarchist thought from the 1970s to the present day and another remarkable resurgence in anarchist ideas and action within the context of global justice movements against neoliberalism.

These movements against neoliberalism are commonly grouped under the rubric of anti-globalization, an inaccurate description for the reasons set forth by David Graeber in Selection 1. While anarchists and assorted left libertarians oppose the global dominance of corporate capitalism, they remain committed internationalists, seeking justice, freedom and equality for all. Anarchists have always been critics of capitalist exploitation and continue to emphasize the interconnections between capitalism, the state, imperialism and domination (Selections 2, 17, 19, 69 and Chapter 9).

Anarchists have been at the forefront of transnational and transclass liberation movements (Chapter 11), seeking to develop new and imaginative ways of achieving social liberation, from creating “temporary autonomous zones” (Selection 11) to antiauthoritarian forms of direct democracy (Selections 5, 10 and Chapter 2). Anarchists have continued to champion various forms of direct action as means of self-empowerment (Chapter 3), adapting anarchist tactics to a variety of situations and circumstances around the globe (Chapter 11).

Anarchists have sought to uncover the origins of domination, in patriarchal societies and incipient state forms with self-reinforcing and interlocking hierarchies of power (Selections 17 & 32), exploring the interrelationships between the state and the subjection of women (Chapter 7), technology, power and capitalism (Chapter 5), and the human subjugation of nature (Selection 26). At the same time, anarchists have continued to present positive alternatives to the status quo, such as human scale technology (Selection 24), community and worker’s self-management (Selection 5 and Chapter 10) and bioregionalism (Selection 28), culminating in a vision of an ecological society where people live in harmony with nature and each other (Selections 26, 29 & 30).

Rejecting the authoritarian hierarchical relationships of exploitation and domination inherent to capitalist economic forms, anarchists have presented a number of libertarian economic proposals, such as directly democratic control through community assemblies (Selection 46), consumer and producer cooperatives (Selection 47), and the elimination of the wage system (Selection 48). As Luciano Lanza argues in Selection 49, in the context of his critique of proposals that emphasize the need for a planned economy, anarchist economic proposals have always sought to maximize individual freedom within the context of a radical egalitarianism.

The idea of anarchy as a counter-cultural current and alternative aesthetic sensibility is explored by Richard Sonn and Max Blechman in Chapter 8. Ba Jin, the renowned Chinese anarchist (Volume One, Selection 101) reflects on the negative relationship between authority and creativity (Selection 37). Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky’s long time collaborator, defends their analysis of the corporate media as one of the primary means of manufacturing consent to state policies and capitalist economic relations (Selection 40). Anarchy as a form of social transgression and personal liberation is discussed by Jeff Farrell in his piece on anarchist criminology (Selection 20). Similar ideas have been developed within the context of the anti-psychiatry movement (Selection 31).

Notions of personal and social identity as both constraints on autonomy and as a basis for oppressed groups to further their own liberation, whether psychiatric patients, women, nonheterosexuals or people of colour, are discussed by Alan Mandell (Selection 31), Jamie Heckert (Selection 36), and Ashanti Alston (Selection 63). Richard Day explores recent attempts to go beyond “identity politics,” utilizing post-modernist concepts of groundless solidarity and infinite responsibility (Selection 71).

In the concluding chapter, Todd May and Saul Newman set forth the case for a post-structuralist anarchism (Selections 65 & 66). Jesse Cohn challenges the accuracy and fairness of the post-structuralist critique of anarchism (Selection 67), while Daniel Colson extends that critique by showing the connections between post-modernist approaches to anarchism and the “classical” anarchism of Proudhon and Bakunin (Selection 70). Mark Leier discusses the relevance of Bakunin’s anarchism today in the context of his critique of the “post-structuralists” of his own day (Selection 68), while Michael Schmidt and Lucien Van Der Walt argue for the continuing relevance of the Platformist current in anarchist thought (Selection 69).

In the Afterword, I discuss the continuity and change in anarchist thought documented in the three volumes of this anthology. Throughout these volumes, I have tried to present the anarchists in their own words, but within their historical context. I believe that they are more than capable of speaking for themselves and that readers can form their own judgments without the editor trying to impose a predetermined conceptual framework. While I have included material on a wide variety of topics, I have focused on anarchist writings that emphasize anarchism as an alternative kind of politics, whether on the personal, social or international level, eschewing more simplistic approaches which conceive of anarchism as simply an “anti-politics” with little or no positive content of any lasting value. I agree with Kropotkin that various anarchist currents can by perceived running throughout human history, representing anti-authoritarian approaches to social change and alternative forms of organization in opposition to the hierarchies of power, control, domination and exploitation characteristic of so-called “civilization.” I hope that the readers of these volumes will come to appreciate the variety and richness of anarchist ideas, and will continue to be inspired by them. Additional material can be found at my blog,, for those interested in continuing their exploration of anarchist ideas.

The New Anarchism (1974-2012)

The New Anarchism (1974-2012)

Table of Contents





1. David Graeber: The New Anarchists (2002)

2.  Madrid Declaration: For a New Libertarianism (2001)

3.  The Gaucho Anarchist Federation: Especifismo (2000)

4.  Alfredo Errandonea: Anarchism in the 21st Century (2001)

5.  Dimitri Roussopoulos: The Politics of Neo-Anarchism (2012)


6.  David Graeber: Democracy and Consensus (2004)

7.  Eduardo Colombo: On Voting

8.  Amedeo Bertolo: Libertarian Democracy (1999)

9.  Andrew Flood: Assemblies Are the Revolution (2011)


10.  Murray Bookchin: From Direct Action to Direct Democracy (1979-82)

11.  Hakim Bey: Temporary Autonomous Zones (1985)

12. Luc Bonet: Beyond the Revolutionary Model (2005)

13.  Andrea Papi: Violence and Anti-Violence (2004)

14.  Benjamin Franks: The Direct Action Ethic (2003)

15.  A.G. Schwarz: The Revolt in Greece (2010)

16.  CrimethInc: The Egyptian Revolution (2012)


17.  Harold Barclay: Anarchy and State Formation (2003)

18.  Alan Ritter: Anarchy, Law and Freedom (1980)

19.  Alan Carter: The Logic of State Power (2000)

20.  Jeff Ferrell: Against the Law: Anarchist Criminology (1998)

21.  Uri Gordon: Israel, Palestine and Anarchist Dilemmas (2007)


22.  Campaign Against the Model West Germany: The Nuclear State (1979)

23.  David Watson: Nuclear Power (1979)

24.  C. George Benello: Putting the Reins on Technology (1982)

25.  Brian Tokar: Biotechnology (2003)


26.  Murray Bookchin: Toward an Ecological Society (1974)

27.  Noam Chomsky: Human Nature and Human Freedom (1975)

28.  Graham Purchase: Anarchism and Bioregionalism (1997)

29.  Chaia Heller: Ecology and Desire (1999)

30.  Peter Marshall: Liberation Ecology (2007)


31.  Alan Mandell: Anti-Psychiatry and the Search for Autonomy (1979)

32.  Rossella Di Leo: On the Origins of Male Domination (1983)

33.  Nicole Laurin-Frenette: The State Family/The Family State (1982)

34.  Ariane Gransac: Women’s Liberation (1984)

35.  Carole Pateman: The Sexual Contract (1988)

36.  Jamie Heckert: Erotic Anarchy (2006)


37.  Ba Jin: Against the Powers that Be (1984)

38.  Richard Sonn: Culture and Anarchy (1994)

39.  Max Blechman: Toward an Anarchist Aesthetic (1994)

40.  Edward S. Herman: The Propaganda Model—A Retrospective (2003)


41.  Brian Martin: Capitalism and Violence (2001)

42.  Normand Baillargeon: Free Market Libertarianism (2001)

43.  Peter Marshall: Anarchism and Capitalism (1993)

44.  Interprofessional Workers’ Union: Russian Capitalism (1999)


45.  Graham Purchase: Green Anarcho-Syndicalism (1995)

46.  Murray Bookchin: Municipal Control (1986)

47.  Kevin Carson: Mutualism Reconsidered (2007)

48.  Adam Buick and John Crump: The Alternative to Capitalism (1986)

49.  Luciano Lanza: Settling Accounts with Economics (2003)


50.  Sharif Gemie: Beyond the Borders (2003)

51.  An African Anarchist Manifesto (1981)

52.  Sam Mbah and I.E. Igariwey: African Anarchism (1997)

53.  Mok Chiu Yu: An Anarchist in Hong Kong (2001)

54.  Mihara Yoko: Anarchism in Japan (1993)

55.  The Cuban Libertarian Syndicalist Association: Anarchism and the Cuban Revolution (1960/2003)

56.  Ruben G. Prieto: Anarchism in Uruguay (2001)

57.  Marina Sitrin: Horizontalidad in Argentina (2003)

58.  Andrew Flood: What is Different About the Zapatistas (2001)

59.  CIPO-RFM: Enemies of Injustice

60.  Colectivo Alas de Xue: Strengthening the Anarcho-Indian Alliance (1997)

61.  Kurdistan: Anarchism and Confederalism (1999-2011)

62.  Bas Umali: Archipelagic Confederation – An Anarchist Alternative for the Phillipines (2006)

63.  Ashanti Alston: Black Anarchism (2003)

64.  Harsha Walia: No One is Illegal (2006)


65.  Todd May: Post-Structuralism and Anarchism (1989)

66.  Saul Newman: The Politics of Post-Anarchism (2003)

67.  Jesse Cohn: Anarchism and Essentialism (2003)

68.  Mark Leier: Bakunin, Class and Post-Anarchism (2009)

69.  Schmidt and Van Der Walt: Black Flame (2009)

70.  Daniel Colson: Belief and Modernity (2005)

71.  Richard Day: Groundless Solidarity and Infinite Responsibility (2005)


Robert Graham: The Anarchist Current: Continuity and Change in Anarchist Thought


Published on May 16, 2011 at 11:25 am  Comments (24)  

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24 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Mr. Graham,

    I’ve bought Vol. one and two and am eagerly awaiting the release of Vol. three. Do you know when it might be published? Thank you!

    • Thanks for your interest. My publisher, Black Rose Books, appears to be getting closer to publishing Volume 3, as we are now in the process of obtaining comments that can be included on the back cover recommending the anthology. I will definitely post an announcement on my blog when Volume 3 comes out.

      • Volume 3 was published in November 2012. It’s available online from AK Press, Barnes & Noble and, in Canada, Chapters/Indigo.

  2. Do you have an approximate date for the release of volume 3? I have been waiting for it :-)

    • Thanks for asking. I just sent the final manuscript to Black Rose Books. It should be out (finally) by November 2012.

  3. […] was pleased — not to mention honored — to see my work included in Vol. 3 (The New Anarchism: 1974-2008) of Robert Graham’s anthology “Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas.” It’s […]

  4. […] argued for an anarchist alternative in Africa. I have included excerpts from African Anarchism in Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. Last year, Mbah gave an interview in […]

  5. Hi!

    This newly published review is likely to be of interest…

    Bumper Anarchism

    Anarchism: Volume 3 (1974-2012). Ed Robert Graham.Black Rose Books, 2013. £19.99

    ‘There is always room and occasion enough for a true book on any subject; as there is room for more light [on] the brightest day, and more rays will not interfere with the first.’ (Thoreau)

    Does this book really illuminate the darkness of our souls? Or more prosaically, is there room on our bookshelves for another Bumper Book of Anarchism? The answer is probably no. There are, it must be said, some interesting essays in this work, subtitled ‘A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas’. Some like Ashanti Alston’s personal history of ‘Black Anarchism’ are even inspiring. Others are a useful potted history of recent events, eg. the Interprofessional Workers’ Union account of ‘Russian Capitalism’. However, outside the borderlands where the spark of Malatesta and Goldman clearly still burns bright, it would seem from this book that contemporary anarchist commentary is little more than an academic sport. It comes as no surprise that the first item in Graham’s selection is from the New Left Review, Britain’s premier distributor of intellectual flannel.

    The selection and arrangement of material are by no means objective. Indeed, it is markedly obvious that the author has a hidden agenda. This is particularly noticeable in the core section on ‘Libertarian Alternatives’. In the author’s mind, this is doubtless supposed to pose the classic anarchist dilemma of mutualism versus collectivism. That the terms have no particular meaning or interest to a revolutionary is made abundantly clear by the concise contribution jointly authored by Socialist Party member Adam Buick and the late John Crump. The final article in the sequence comes down firmly in favour of mutualism, the nonsensical ‘exploration of forms of market capable of moving beyond the capitalist market’, or as we might term it ‘Capitalism writ small’. Given this preference, socialists should by no means imagine that anarchists per se are naturally ‘on our side’.


    Yours for a world of free access,


    • Thanks for forwarding the review. I guess no publicity is bad publicity, but for the reviewer to claim that Volume 3 of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas tries to constrain anarchism within a mutualist framework is ridiculous. There is one pro-mutualist piece, and another which sees some merit in some mutualist ideas, but which also discusses anarchist communism in a favourable light. The two pieces make up less than 10 pages of a 600 page book (that’s about 1.6% of the book). To try to discredit David Graeber because his piece on the new anarchism originally appeared in the New Left Review is just plain stupid.

  6. […] its connection with male domination see the excerpts from Carole Pateman’s The Sexual Contract in Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian […]

  7. […] Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, I included a section on Kurdish […]

  8. […] or Volume Three of the Anarchism anthology, I wrote an Afterword, “The Anarchist Current,” in which I discuss the evolution from living without states, or “anarchy,” to the origins of anarchist ideas and movements, after the rise of so-called “civilization.” I then survey the development of anarchist ideas over time and across the globe, from the Daoists in ancient China to contemporary “Occupy” and similar transnational movements against neo-liberalism. As the Afterword also serves as an extended introduction to the material in the the volumes of the Anarchism anthology, and the history of anarchist thought, I have decided to publish it in serial form here on my blog in the hope that this will pique peoples’ interest in the original material contained in the anthology, of which the Afterward can of course only offer a glimpse (the material is referenced in the text by volume and selection numbers). I hope someday in the not too distant future to expand the Afterward into a book. […]

  9. […] the latest installment from the “Anarchist Current,” the Afterword to Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, I discuss the spread of anarchist ideas […]

  10. […] dates, like Women’s Day, here is a section from the “Anarchist Current,” the Afterword to Volume Three of my anthology of anarchist writings, Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, in […]

  11. […] Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, I included material by Kurdish anarchists […]

  12. […] It’s that time of year again — no, not Christmas! It’s Kropotkin’s birthday and the Winter Solstice! As in years past, I celebrate this date by posting something by Kropotkin. Given my recent focus on the debates and splits within the International Workers’ Association and the CNT, I thought it might be more useful to present some of Kropotkin’s views on syndicalism and anarchism. The following article was first published in Les Temps Nouveaux, the anarchist paper published by Jean Grave in Paris around the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. This translation was first published by Black Flag in 1997 (a better version is included in Iain McKay’s anthology of Kropotkin’s anarchist writings, Direct Struggle Against Capital). Among other things, Kropotkin discusses the historical development of revolutionary syndicalism, and the role played by the International Workingmen’s Association of the 1860s-1870s, something I deal with in more detail in ‘We Do Not Fear Anarchy – We Invoke It’: The First International and the Origins of the Anarchist Movement. I devoted an entire chapter of Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas to anarcho-syndicalism, and included additional anarcho-syndicalist material in other chapters, and in Volumes Two and Three. […]

  13. […] some of Graeber’s writings on the “new” anarchism, anarchy and democracy in Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. Graeber explores many of these ideas in […]

  14. […] Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, I included a piece by Bookchin advocating […]

  15. […] Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, I included excerpts from Graham […]

  16. […] of a “green” anarcho-syndicalism. While I included some pieces in Volumes Two and Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas reinterpreting syndicalist approaches to […]

  17. […] group, the Interprofessional Workers’ Union, “Russian Capitalism,” in Volume Three of […]

  18. […] anarcho-syndicalist group, the Interprofessional Workers’ Union, “Russian Capitalism,” in Volume Three of […]

  19. […] anarchist writers from the post-World War II era. I included a short piece by Colombo on voting in Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. I also posted on this blog his essay […]

  20. […] resistance in Rojava. I included material from Kurdish anarchists and Democratic Confederalists in Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. The complete interview, including the […]

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