Alejandro de Acosta: Anarchy as thinking in which anything goes

Whatever becoming anarchist entails, it is ultimately neither the subject of a pedagogy nor the object of an ideology. One can’t say that anarchist philosophy is merely a decision concerning the concepts, theories, intuitions, books, and thinkers that are to be taught. Anarchy can’t be taught!

… our objects and subjects, our gestures and postures, our languages and sign systems, our acoustic and visual images. So many impulsive investments wearing so many masks, ever more carnivalesque, of an anarchic history in which anything goes.

Alejandro de Acosta

Reflections on pedagogy quickly spill over into spaces of politics.  And the inverse is equally true.  Following on our posting of Alejandro de Acosta’s essay That Teaching is Impossible: How to Live Now or Never, we share a further study by him, this time reflecting on anarchism more broadly.

Two undecidable questions for thinking in which anything goes(1)

(Originally published in the anthology Contemporary Anarchist Studies, Routledge, 2009, and available at in pdf format).

This is an outline, a sketch. It is purposely abstract and philosophical. There are many other ways to make its case, some of which I am working on, some of which others are working on – or, for that matter, living out. In my case, abstraction has a purpose. This is a telegram to my many possible communities; thus its abrupt prose. I seek dialogue, discussion, incorporation, and mutation; thus my overly interrogative tone.

What is at stake in talking or writing about anarchism as theory, contemplation, or philosophy? When people refer to “anarchist theory,” they usually mean something like a pedagogy: a theory not only informing and justifying but somehow teaching what anarchists and our allies do. They seem to mean something like a series of positions, or decisions, concerning fundamental questions. They usually do not mean a theory in which thought and action are themselves anarchic: an intensification not of anarchism but of anarchy. That is what I want to make manifest: an emergent philosophy that dissolves the certainty according to which there is or ought to be a center, principle, or beginning of, or for, thought and action. A thinking that does not teach anarchy but enacts it.

In the same way and for the same reasons that anarchist practices are both incredibly common and dramatically underdeveloped (most folks in fact do engage in mutual aid, direct action, etc., but are badly out of practice), anarchist philosophy already exists, but mostly in unrecognized or diffuse forms.(2) To make manifest or intensify this philosophy, or rather, cluster of philosophies, theories and contemplations, is both a provocation and an excessive gesture. It borders on tautology or absurdity, as all appeals to such common practices and ideas ultimately tend to do.

Tautology and absurdity: this implies the question, not just of pedagogy, but of ideology as well. Ideas, concepts, naming, and reference: whatever someone intends when she indicates, or tries to, patterns of thought and action with a noun ending in “-ism.” With “anarchism,” at least, this reference is of necessity paradoxical: it both creates and does not create. It names something that was already there, “in the air” and so strictly speaking creates nothing. At the same time, this kind of naming (in the pragmatics of a political game called “ideology”)(3) seems to add a model, or a scheme. Something on the order of a password, enough for strangers to recognize something of what they do in each other’s doings, enough for people to gather and feel that they share something.

Indeed, would anyone want to claim that anarchist philosophy exemplifies what is best about philosophy? Would anyone claim that anarchist theory condenses philosophy’s occasional but recurrent questioning and refusal of authority, calls for joy, and insistence on the freedom of thought and action? Certainly great anarchist writers have brought in as citation or inspiration whatever they needed or learned from mainstream, “unmarked,” non-anarchist philosophers and called it theirs. Perhaps they shared the more or less explicit sense that these citations and inspirations would justify (ontologically, epistemologically) or provoke (ethically, aesthetically) their own anarchism – and so make others anarchists as well.

But herein lies the problem. Becoming anarchist has to be something on the order of a seduction, a passionate attraction, the feeling of anarchy’s lure. Whatever becoming anarchist entails, it is ultimately neither the subject of a pedagogy nor the object of an ideology.4 One can’t say that anarchist philosophy is merely a decision concerning the concepts, theories, intuitions, books, and thinkers that are to be taught. Anarchy can’t be taught!

Anarchist philosophy, a thinking in which anything goes, is just philosophy, apprehended from the perspective of anarchy. It is philosophy insofar as it arises from anarchy, concludes in it, enacts or is enacted by anarchy. To the extent that it is just philosophy, it is already there. To the extent that its relation to anarchy remains to be explicated, it has yet to be created.

This is the problem with decision: anarchist theory, on analogy with many other sorts of theories, has been approached largely from a perspective that presupposes scarcity: the belief that only one theory can adequately model anarchy. Thus we find various theories of “anarchism,” more or less related to anarchist practices, contesting each other’s claim to truth. In good or in bad faith someone decides what it is, could be, should be – and proceeds to debate or negotiate its particulars. Some of us assume, that is, that the negativity of debate (contradiction and its supposed resolution) and the positivity of consensus will allow “us” to arrive at a singular theory, teaching “us” to act as if it were final for all time (if “we” are focusing on human nature) or adequate for the present (if “we” are analyzing the current situation). I am not writing here of what people say their theories contain, but of how they act. I prefer to write and think from a perspective that presupposes abundance. There are many actual and possible philosophies that operate anarchistically. They do not need intellectual hegemony to be effective. In this way we might become interested in the undecidable: not a new philosophy, exactly, but a new complex of relations among philosophies.

As I read Kropotkin (1955: passim), his most interesting claim is that mutual aid just happens, all the time, in the animal world and in human societies of all sorts. He implied that theorizing or contemplating mutual aid is a way of intensifying the common anarchist impulses that make mutual aid happen – better, that are mutual aid happening – in the first place. Mutual aid “just happens”: this means that philosophy in the narrow or broad sense, as theory or contemplation, does not bring about those impulses. Philosophy might, however, intensify them, by making them more interesting, more compelling, more seductive, more of a lure for feeling or action. Kropotkin shows them as both elemental and remarkable, particularly in societies that “structurally” (as they say) marginalize their idea – and especially their enactment.

Something along these lines might also be the best way to interpret Bookchin’s onetime claim that “anarchism” is merely the most recent name taken on by a recurrent creative-destructive urge (what I call anarchist impulses, or just anarchy) that manifests here and there throughout history.(5) He implied that the name “anarchism,” invented in conjunction with other political ideologies of the nineteenth century, should have a different effect, spurring us on to remember or discover other political (even anti-political) histories and imaginaries.

Anarchy, then, cannot be said to happen because it is first planned or modelled and then taught. Anarchist impulses appear here, there, anywhere, anytime, almost any place at least in tendency. (I suppose that this is also part of Kropotkin’s claims: mutual aid, and anarchy, by extension, is one of the poles of human sociality and that of at least some animals and perhaps of other things as well.) It is of little interest to divide, in thought or action, any social practice from anarchy, even the most repressive or authoritarian ones. The question is: what is there here in which anything goes? What is there in this practice, this activity, in which relations are anarchic? When exploring this question (often all we can do is openendedly explore or navigate through a given territory) we may be traversing unknown realms of dream and imagination. We can only be so concerned, therefore, with what is still all too officially recognized as “anarchism.” We are more interested in anarchy’s other names.

Let me give a sense to “anarchy.” One way to talk about anarchy could borrow from an old philosophical toolbox and call itself ontological. To do so will entail a strong dose of what the Situationists called “parodic seriousness” (Knabb 1989: 9). I am thinking of an ontologically grounded or founded anarchism, in which anarchy is the Ultimate, the ground or foundation, the most fundamental reality. Such an anarchist philosophy would propose that being itself “is” anarchy, all the way down. As anarchy, being is something and nothing, wound in a weave entirely too chaotic to be resolved in any dialectic. The interest of making the claim is to intensify ourselves. Parodically, seriously, we engage in ontology and perhaps eventually undo it as well.(6)

Ontological anarchism need not be abstract. I suggest that we can grasp our immediate, everyday experience of desire and affect as the feeling of anarchy. I call our everyday experience, conscious or not, of desire and affect, the libidinal economy. It sounds like a science, but it isn’t and can’t be one.(7) It is a voice, a dramatic staging of desire and affect in the realm of concepts and theories.

Of course the phrase is Freudian, but its most remarkable ontological challenges are found in texts such as that of Deleuze and Guattari, and Lyotard.(8) In various ways, these texts propose that desires and affects, as intensities of existence itself, compose a primary, libidinal economy. (Why desire and affect? I suppose these are two ways of grasping what is “libidinal” and its assemblage of intensities: “desires” emphasize flow and circulation; “affects,” the atomic, passing states.)  Multiplicities of desire and affect circulate before anything else does – or rather, in order for anything else to circulate. What there is, then, are ultimately impulses – impulses to exist. These impulses, in their tendency to invest each other, in their inexorable succession, in their insistence as investment, are chaotic-creative. Thus we have attained an ontological dimension: not just the impulse of anarchy, but also the anarchy of impulse. That is what is utterly common, what has recurred under countless names in history. In the libidinal-affective economy, anything goes. Desiring and affective investments can and do change. And the libidinal economists did not invent them! Like mutual aid, anarchist impulses – desires and affects – are exemplarily what is already there, “in the air.” Social formations are regimes of desire and affective regimes all the way down.

Félix Guattari once wrote some fine pages, utterly practical pages, on the question of evaluation of desiring investments in political groups. The evaluation was ethical and qualitative. He outlined a difference between “group subjects” and “subjugated groups”: in the former case, external forces form the group’s subjectivity; in the latter, the group assumes the production of its own subjectivity. Subjugated groups imagine themselves as eternal and tend to be rigid and unchanging; group subjects tend to grasp their finitude and are open to mutation.(9) Subjugated groups deny desiring investments will change. Since they do, of course, change, such groups are perpetually in conflict with themselves and lack insight into their own functioning. (They often deny that desire plays any role in their composition at all!) Group subjects are open to mutation, seeking more artful arrangements of desire and affect. Importantly, the two dispositions are almost always present in the same groups. What is crucial in Guattari’s outline for an evaluation is that the transition from subjugated to subject group begins when the former attempts to analyze its own micro-politics of desire. At this stage, the proposal was largely political: a dissection of group subjectivity into authoritarian and liberatory impulses.

When Guattari and Deleuze wrote Anti-Oedipus, they repeated and ontologized this outline along the lines of a Spinozist evaluation of affects: the construction of joy and the destruction of sadness Anti-Oedipus concluded by announcing a series of radical practices to be called, parodically, “schizoanalysis.”(10) In both cases we find the idea of a possible and necessary evaluation, political and ethical: that one could somehow pay attention to, grasp, even, the shifts of desire that go in liberatory directions, the affective branchings that lead to joy, and abandon the branchings that lead to sadness as dead ends. In short: given our impulsive life, some investments are better than others. So we need an ethics or a politics of the libidinal economy. Deleuze and Guattari’s gamble, then, was to propose that what is liberatory in the libidinal economy is liberatory in every other sense.

However, it is also possible that one cannot evaluate in this way. That was the position Lyotard took in Libidinal Economy, harshly underlining the “anything goes” of the primary process, the amoral anonymity of the unconscious. If the “white-hot libidinal band” is anarchy itself, the anarchy of desire and affect, perhaps one cannot make any evaluation. One may compose or practice a politics or ethics of or for the libidinal economy, lining it up in one way or another with the political economy that it precedes; but as for the impulses themselves, it is impossible to take a position.11

In this sense, if one indeed cannot take a position in terms of our impulses, if desire and affect are not the ultimate ground of politics and ethics but their perpetual undoing, we should be very suspicious of analytic claims amounting to “the libidinal band is good, . . . the circulation of affects is joyful” (Lyotard 1993:11). For Lyotard, this would be “building a new morality;” instead, he writes that “we need an ars vitae.”12 Such suspicion is in its own way healthy: it does not sink us into inaction but rather shows how dramatic the ungrounded ground of anarchy can be, how risky it indeed is to speak impulsively in the name of, or just from, one’s desires.

Accepting that anarchist activity pivots, consciously or not, on something like this libidinal economy, we can pose a first undecidable question (the place of skepticism) for anarchist philosophy. From one perspective, that of Guattari and Deleuze, the group-subject, the active and joyful affects, free desire (even!) would be the very stuff, presupposition and aim, of anarchist activity. They are best because they are the most intense manifestation of anarchy, and what is called freedom or liberation pivots on their analytic invention and discovery (and reinvention and re-discovery). Lyotard’s perspective on this libidinal economy denies the possibility of such a politics, even ethics, of impulses. For Lyotard, all of this sounds like another not-quite-forgotten authoritarian morality. He rejects any grounding in nature and perhaps even points beyond grounding altogether. Here anarchist activity pivots on the acknowledgment of chaos, on the thoroughly ambiguous character of the libidinal economy, without claiming to opt for one aspect or another of it. Lyotard’s libidinal economy re-synthesizes what was to be analyzed, leaving no such “aspects.”

I wrote that the force of the ontological claim is to intensify our selves.(13) I mean all of them, good and bad, “inner” and “outer,” fake and real, masks and more masks. One aspect of the – I no longer want to write ontology, but I am not yet proposing alternatives, so I’ll write – ontological effects of libidinal economy might be a theory and practice of multiple selves. They are invented and discovered: discovered as the masks of impulses; invented as their passing proper names, designations, “identities” even.(14)

We could find or develop many kinds of selves: first, of course, we wear the masks of individualized, apparently “total” selves. They appropriate to themselves all the affects and desires that they can; they are either possessed or unique egos in Stirner’s (1995: 35–61, passim) sense. But we could also find or develop many “partial egos,” sub-individual selves, discovering masks closer to particular bundles of affects and desires, selecting among them, or allowing them to select: roughly, this corresponds to various passing dispositions, to nicknames, pet names, code names, tags, or stage personas. And, according to a similar procedure, but operating now not so much on the affects themselves but on their masks, group selves, “unions of egoists,” according to the vicissitudes of temporary gatherings of individuals (Stirner 1995: 160–161). That every self is multiple is already implicit in Deleuze and Guattari’s discussion of groups; we merely need to think, feel, and practice “the” self as a peculiarly condensed group (of impulses or individuals). The condensation is its self-relation or just its “self.”

We are then the property of these ontological effects as much as they are ours: our objects and subjects, our gestures and postures, our languages and sign-systems, our acoustic and visual images. So many impulsive investments wearing so many masks, ever more carnivalesque, of an anarchic history in which anything goes. I mean to say that according to the ontological effects of libidinal economy, its voice or voicing of anarchy, selves could be grasped as a kind of artifice – as fetishes. The term “fetish” has no intended pejorative connotation here: that selves are multiple and fetishes is an ontological claim about how they are produced. We make ourselves in the practices that make us, and that process is anarchy, the anarchy of impulse and the ways of living that express or designate it. That process is the most interesting, according to this perspective, because in it – in inventing and discovering the selves that embody them, that bear their masks – we anarchists embody most forcefully the becoming that “is” being, the creation-destruction that “is” nature as perpetual emergence of novelty. It is interesting, then, not because it is right or just; and not because it can be taught; but because in it anything goes.

As far as we may seem to be here from recognizable anarchist discourses of an ethical or political sort, multiple selves could be a significant supplement to the healthy anarchist preoccupation with the multiplicity of forms of domination. “The state” is not and has never been a monstrous unity. It is rather a proliferation of tactics of domination, an interminable and repeated emphasis, an endless channeling of impulses on the side of “you are the property of”; and an equally interminable de-emphasis, disinterest on the side of “you own.” As Stirner would have it: possession.

Or call it “authority.” And rather than wondering at what illegitimate or legitimate authority might be, wonder at how it is that people desire their own domination, enjoy it even (both perspectives on libidinal economy share  this wonder, see Lyotard 1993: 111 and Deleuze and Guattari 1983: 29–30). From one side of the libidinal economy there might be a way of freeing desire from its grip, affective life from its structures. From the other there might not. Either way, we cannot do without this question.

Though these two “poles” (paranoiac and schizophrenic? analytic and synthetic? skeptical and credulous?) of the libidinal economy might seem to compose an unsurpassable continuum of ways of life, anarchy could go even farther “down” than being. Rather than an ontology, or even just “ontological effects,” of “the” libidinal economy, anarchists could desert the terrain of ontology altogether, and with it the desire for a center, for a One: a philosophy, a criterion for practice.

Mutual aid, direct action, etc., may be happening all the time, but not in every place. Attention to differences in location – where, not when, anarchy manifests in all intensity – underlines the importance of space, geohistorical space, the archipelago of territories that make us as we make them. For every practice implies and involves a territory. Anarchy, creative-destructive complex of impulses that it “is,” insists not only throughout history, but in multiple places that conceive, contemplate, or model themselves in various ways, as various kinds of selves. These places are different territories, giving rise to varied consequent constitutions of territoriality (considering territory as land and body, both as components of self).(15) When it comes to these locations, these territories, we can grasp them as artifices, as fetishes: the land, too, makes us as we make it.

That, it seems to me, is the importance of the transitional idea of our selves as multiple and as masks. At first it seems like an outgrowth of libidinal economy: desire and affect are unrepresentable, too intense to perceive, so we name them by their masks. Suddenly the thinking mutates, and libidinal economy is not the sole story of anarchy. We would like to know where the masks come from. This is the second undecidable question (or place of perspectivism): not a “when,” as in, “when can desire and affect be liberated and liberatory?” but “where?” It is the question of territoriality, of place and of culture.

Yet another kind of anarchist philosophy is possible: a thinking entangled in, and by, the voids, real and apparent, between philosophies and cosmologies, curious about, even obsessed with geohistorical openings where other names and intuitions of anarchy thrive or fail, larval and half-formed. Indeed, these voids are also places inside and between instituted territories. In the interstices that compose a global archipelago of minority and marginality, there is suffering, as everywhere; there might also be a greater chance for something new and unexpected to insist for us. An ontogenesis, maybe, that is interesting or vital precisely in its fragility. Anarchists might rediscover the marvels of abandoning the imaginary of force, intensity, strength, and orient their practices around the larval, the fragile, the failed, even. Gathering with border dwellers, refugees, and exiles, cohabitating with multiply-tongued and -cultured mestizos of every sort, anarchists could learn what they share with those without one primary territory, those whose philosophy is fabricated piecemeal. To be interested in such popular forms of thought and action might amount to the path towards “pluritopic thinking.”(16)

Such curiosity and the relation it wants, it seems, undoes the closure demanded by a certain ontology, maybe by ontology absolutely. The closure that shuts out the libidinal economy by making it secondary or subordinate; the closure that makes the impulses the property of a person; the closure that obscures how a mask is already the trace of a territory.

When anarchists decide upon (or claim to) a philosophy or ideology, one destined for victory, do we not ultimately imply we are done with masks and fetishisms? To have distinguished the true and the false, the strong and the weak? To produce but not be produced? The alternative would be to act as some (sexual, especially) fetishists among us today do and assume fetishes and masks in their risky and desirable positivity. Affirm fetishes, that is, beginning with the selves that have them (and are not just had by them). Our fetishes may not seem like fetishes. We might call them obsessions, preoccupations, recurring themes, repetitions, or dreams. Or just impulses when our impulses are known. But they all have this curious structure: we fabricate them, as feelings or situations, so that they can fabricate us.

“Thinking in which anything goes” is the name I give to the anarchist philosophy that speaks with this voice. To philosophize in this way is to grasp multiple worlds or natures and the larval cosmologies and proto-philosophies that do not explain but rather expand, add to, them as fabrications. Masks for masks: that is fabrication, its skepticism, and its pluralism. “Thinking in which anything goes” is an experiment with consciously fabricating one or more cosmologies, one or more philosophies. What happens when a complex of impulses that wants to contemplate, to theorize, to philosophize, to invent a cosmos, knows itself as such, discovers its own contemplation? The mask comes to life (O pleasure!): we make worlds populated with objects, subjects, discover, that is, new objectivities and subjectivities, as we make puppets, music, body armor, gardens, love, in a spirit of decentralized plurality (of anarchy) corresponding to the greatest health of the anarchist impulse.

Perhaps, then, the anarchist intuition, or “thinking in which anything goes,” suspends ontology altogether. It is interested in and knows it emanates from anarchy without claiming or needing to make anarchy a ground. Suppose that, out of curiosity or circumstance, we found ourselves in conversation with someone who speaks, not of “anarchy” and “impulse,” but of other things: gods, for example, since so many of us still repeat the slogan which began “ni dieux.” When we hear of gods (fetish gods!) we need not accept their existence in our philosophies. We may not be able to contemplate them, or embody them in our practices. But we can be interested in their insistence, along with that of any “entities” in foreign worlds that do not (for all that) exist for us. The other worlds are located for us precisely insofar as we are interested in the insistence of their “entities” – let us call them “intities” or maybe chimeras? – in or between ours. These “intities” provoke the question: “Are you interested in making this world, too?” The question is a lure for feeling, a creation of impulse, that offers an alternative to the all-too-imperious idea of anarchism as another ideology-seeking intellectual or political hegemony on grounds of having gotten “it” right. It is a way to recognize other instances of anarchy, which surely call themselves by other names and wear different masks; selves that experience anarchy otherwise.

Is it enough for anarchy to have but One philosophy or theory, however compelling its claims? Echoing Stirner: you anarchists, you say you want no masters? Then do not make Being your master! Dissolve the One, that egg laid by the philosopher-cop in your head! Just One philosophy, merely One reality (17) – does that not inherently limit who we can enter into dialogue or alliance with? (Not to speak of “federation”!) The desire for the One is precisely the mark, the umbilicus, of the attempt to stage anarchy as “anarchism.” However noble I consider the protagonists of that attempt, I want to marginalize it, to return it to its local history and its regional sensibilities. One day we might be fortunate enough to regard all that as a matter of taste! Instead, I propose a decentralized federation of philosophies as well as practices and ways of life, forged in different communities and affirming diverse geohistories. Why not make councils and assemblies what they already are and can be: councils of thought, assemblies of opacity and communication? How not to feel, in solitary silences, the lonely breakthroughs of other worlds?

According to this voice of anarchy, there is no single criterion for knowledge or practice, no need for that sort of universality. (The great and paradoxical anarchy of Neo-Platonism: The One is beyond Being and enumeration.) This is what seems most anarchic: there is simply no defensible criterion as to the highest form of contemplation or the best way of doing. What we want to know, rather, is how to build relations, or relations of non-relation, between forms and ways of life. Criteria appear only in the sense that they are emergent in singular territories and modes of territoriality. They are irreparably local. There can be – ethically, politically, and anti-politically – no preferred, central, geohistorical location from which – in which – to think or do. Instead, we could begin to embody a multiplicity of criteria, not arranged in an abstract hierarchy but rather distributed in geohistorical spacetime, corresponding to multiple contingent instantiations-insistences or expressions of anarchy. Thus, becoming-anarchist …

There is no way to decide between various ways of being individuals or groups, except in local terms of broad or narrow geohistorical locations – or even situations. At any rate, traditions and the criticism of traditions. To decide, we would have to affirm or accept a central place, erecting a kind of epistemological or ontological statism. My impulse is, rather, to tell some story other than that of enclosure-scarcity-alienation. I prefer to affirm something, perhaps all, of our present conditions, without recourse to stupid optimism, or faith.


1 A first version of this essay was extemporaneously created on September 25, 2004 at the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition Conference in Plainfield, Vermont. I would like to thank Lex Bhagat for comments on an early draft.

2 I owe the sense of this “already exists” to the witty and accurate opening pages of David Graeber’s Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology.

3 Huizinga (1950: 203) writes: “Wherever there is a catch-word ending in -ism we are hot on the tracks of a play-community.”

4 Though I can, sadly, easily imagine someone declaring themselves anarchist in bad faith, due to the coercive micro-politics of certain intimate relationships or social groups.

5 “There is a subterranean movement in history which conflicts with all forms of authority. This movement has entered into our time under the name of ‘anarchism,’ although it has never been encompassed by a single ideology or body of sacred texts. Anarchism is a libidinal movement of humanity against coercion in any form, reaching back into time to the very emergence of propertied society, class rule, and the state” (Bookchin 2004: 136).

6 An entire parody-seriousness continuum is apparent in the ambiguous usage of the phrase by the author and readers of T.A.Z.

7 Indeed, here I might have appealed to any number of scientific accounts of chaotic processes in nature. But I prefer not to. It’s not that they are not interesting. It’s that I prefer what I know better: the vertiginous process of the appeal to experience.

8 See Deleuze and Guattari (1983) and Lyotard (1993).

9 See “The Group and the Person” and “Causality, Subjectivity, and History” in Guattari (1984).

10 Deleuze and Guattari (1983) said repeatedly that, if something as outlandish as schizoanalysis was possible, it was because it already existed here and there.

11 As Lyotard (1993: 42) observes: “Not good and bad intensities, then, but intensity or its decompression.”

12 Again, Lyotard (1993: 42): “but then one in which we would be the artists and not the propagators, the adventurers and not the theoreticians, the hypothesizers and not the censors.”

13 Well into the composition of this essay, I found what seems to me to be a similar idea in Landauer’s 2007 essay, “Anarchic thoughts on anarchism.”

14 Including, of course, “anarchist,” which for me occupies an ambiguous space between “anarchism” and “anarchy.” One might compare this to the notorious Situationist claim that there was no “Situationism.”

15 Consider, by comparison, that Euromodern philosophy, dominated by ideas of spaceless time, has made but one contribution to thinking about territoriality: the concept of “nation-state”!

16 The phrase is Walter Mignolo’s (2000); he calls the thinking of dwellers between territories “border gnosis.”

17 See Frye (1983) for a compelling claim for multiple realities made from a radical feminist perspective.


Bookchin, M. (2004) Post-Scarcity Anarchism, Oakland, CA: AK Press.

Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1983) Anti-Oedipus: capitalism and schizophrenia, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Frye, M. (1983) The Politics of Reality, Berkeley, CA: The Crossing Press.

Graeber, D. (2004) Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, Chicago, IL: Prickly Paradigm Press.

Guattari, F. (1984) Molecular Revolution: psychiatry and politics, New York: Puffin.

Huizinga, J. (1950) Homo Ludens, Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Knabb, K. (ed.) (1989) Situationist International Anthology, Berkeley, CA: Bureau of Public Secrets.

Kropotkin, P. (1955) Mutual Aid, Boston, MA: Extending Horizons.

Landauer, G. (2007) “Anarchic thoughts on anarchism,” Perspectives in Anarchist Theory, 11: 1.

Lyotard, J. (1993) Libidinal Economy, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Mignolo, W. (2000) Local Histories/Global Designs, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Stirner, M. (1995) The Ego and Its Own, Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press.

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