Anarchism is a controversial, misunderstood and misrepresented political philosophy. Which is often used in a negative context to describe scenes of chaos.
To make matters worse, often those who describe themselves as anarchists, don’t truly exemplify the true meaning of the philosophy.
To many the concept of the rejection of state, is often a difficult one to comprehend. After all, most probably the for a vast majority of people being controlled by state is all they have ever known. It’s their safety blanket, familiar and a soothing oppression.
Just with any political philosophy, there are many different strands of Anarchism, each with their own objectives and desires, but all share the same root in the ideal of living outside of the control of a central state.
Anarchists believe the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, dangerous and brutal. How, why and where could communities live beyond the influence of the state.
Anarchism : A beginners guide explains the influences that have shaped the philosophy of anarchism ,explaining the influences that have shaped it and the different tactics and strategies that have been used by anarchists throughout history to achieve their ends.
Providing important background, historical references and origins of the philosophy, which are truly important to understand in order to appreciate the true meaning and value of anarchy.
I feel this book provides a very detailed and informative definitions of anarchism, which is no mean feat, when you consider the book is only 219 pages.
The author has included a myriad of reference materials, to assist you in exploring the philosophy further.
The book is broken up in 5 easy digestible sections:
- What is Anarchism
- Anarchist rejections of state
- Strategies of change
- Concluding remarks
Each of these sections provide a roadmap to help the readers questions like :
- Could anarchy ever really be a viable alternative to the state?
- Can anarchist ideals ever be consistent with the justification of violence?
- How has anarchism influenced the anti-globalization movement?
Throughout the book, I feel the author has been both perfectly balanced and objective in explaining the philosophy, and has not been deterred from being critical. In my opinion she has been careful and deliberate in exposing both the weaknesses and the strengths of the philosophy.
All in all this book is certainly a must read for anyone who is interested in learning and understanding anarchism. It is certainly a book that is much easier to read, than most. Its a great introductory text into a fascinating subject.