Reflections on the "New Anarchism"

With specific reference to some influential con-temporary anarchist writers, Morris describes a series of modern variations on anarchism that have been garnering attention in recent years. From Ayn Rand’s individualist capitalism to John Zerzan’s anarcho-primitivism, Morris argues that the ideas being put forth are either patently inconsistent with anarchism, or are a thinly-veiled rehash of notions that Kropotkin advocated a century earlier.

There is a bit of an exasperated tone in Morris’ writing, but not without cause. The almost hypnotic allure of postmodernism swept over most of the social sciences in the past few decades, and the intellectually radical theories of Derrida, Foucault, and Guattari probably served as the introduction to activist political philosophy for many students in recent generations. A reminder that not all of history need be jettisoned for the sake of (post)modernism is a welcome and refreshing read.

Originally published in issue 42.