Uni essay on anarchism! Anti-industrial writers needed...

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
rebel_lion
Offline
Joined: 29-09-03
Nov 5 2004 14:54
Uni essay on anarchism! Anti-industrial writers needed...

OK, one of the essay titles i can choose to do for one of my degree modules is something like "what did anarchist writers (insert examples here) think of industrial society and to what extent did they want to preserve it?"

The module is really about Enlightenment era writers, so the anarchists it covers are basically Proudhon and Bakunin (and maybe Kropotkin), all of whom as far as i can tell are fairly pro-industrialist. I would like to include an anti-industrialist anarchist writer as well, but not sure whether i would be able to include someone more contemporary like say Bookchin because of the time period focus of the module...

So basically, i was wondering if anyone could recommend me an "early" anarchist writer (preferably someone whose stuff is *fairly* well known in academic circles, ie someone Warwick Uni lecturers might have heard of) who had a strong critique of industrialism in general... someone who explicitly envisaged an agriculture-based rather than factory-based "ideal society" would be nice...

Also, in the "academic world" rather than the more free-thinking world of anarchism itself, is William Morris considered "anarchist"? Ie would it be "legitimate" ( wink ) to say "anarchist writers X, Y and Morris"? He's my standby (still pretty pro-industrialist, but had a different take on it from the Russians) if i can't find a proper anti-industrialist writer...

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Nov 5 2004 21:11

You could try some of the utopians like Fourier, although I'm pretty sure he was into industry as well. Was going to say Josiah Warren (who was individualist/craft-based/mutualist), but he patented a few things (fast printing press for one I think) so probably not, although he was pretty early in the 1800s.

For really non-industrial stuff you'd have to look at pre-enlightenment millenarian religious groups like the Ranters, Levellers, Diggers (mid-17th Century) - they were more liberal than libertarian socialist generally - bit like modern day primmies, I consider deep ecology etc. to be fundamentally religious ideology, rather than politics (albeit a new age one), so lots and lots in common. No way for them to be anti-industrialist though, because industrial methods of production weren't around, so at least they had an excuse. Pre-industrialist, and non-hierarchical, worth looking into anyway.

Luddites didn't have much politics (that I know of anyway), but they did have a class-based attitude towards technology, they didn't hate it for it's own sake.

In fact, I can't think of a single anti-tech anarchist up until quite recently. And Bookchin is very much for industry and technology, he just wants it scaled to human/community manageable proportions. In this way he's in the pro-technology tradition of Kropotkin, most differences are due to history and context, not fundamental philosophy.

rebel_lion
Offline
Joined: 29-09-03
Nov 8 2004 12:57

Pretty much as i thought, thanks anyway...

Will probably have to be just Proudhon and Bakunin then...