A magisterial study of the history and theory of one of the most controversial political movements
Anarchism routinely gets a bad press. It's usually seen as meaning chaos and disorder -- or even nothing at all. And yet, from Occupy Wall Street to Pussy Riot, Noam Chomsky to David Graeber, this philosophical and political movement is as relevant as ever. Contrary to popular perception, different strands of anarchism -- from individualism to collectivism -- do follow certain structures and a shared sense of purpose: a belief in freedom and working towards collective good without the interference of the state.
In this masterful, sympathetic account, political theorist Ruth Kinna traces the tumultuous history of anarchism, starting with thinkers and activists such as Peter Kropotkin and Emma Goldman and through key events like the Paris Commune and the Haymarket affair. Skilfully introducing us to the nuanced theories of anarchist groups from Russia to Japan to the United States, The Government of No One reveals what makes a supposedly chaotic movement particularly adaptable and effective over centuries -- and what we can learn from it.
Ruth Kinna is a professor of Political Theory at Loughborough University, working in the Department of Politics, History and International Relations, where she specializes in political philosophy. She is the author of William Morris: The Art of Socialism and co-editor of the journal Anarchist Studies.