Every Rose Has Its Thorn

May 24, 2009

There is some very interesting discussion about hierarchy and authority, loaded words in many debates about anarchism, in this interview. I was particular struck by the concept of self-subverting authority. Check out Graeber’s book Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology which, as the title suggests, is a look at anarchism from an anthropological perspective.


7 Responses to “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”

  1. James Tuttle Says:

    Gotta love that line about the little anarchistic societies flourishing around the world, just under the State’s radar. Why has nobody heard of them; exactly.


  2. That’s all very well and good, but how should we discuss hierarchy and authority? What aspects should we emphasize, and what aspects should we sweep under the carpet?

  3. James Tuttle Says:

    I love the descriptive and prescriptive potentials found in Grarber’s terminology: Self-effacing vs non-self-effacing.

    What aspects should we emphasis? I feel this is a context sensitive question. Give me a context; tell me a story.

    What aspects should we sweep under the carpet? I am leaning towards none.



  4. Not sure I have an answer to that.

  5. James Tuttle Says:

    Sorry. I did my best and doubleplus sorry about the typos.


  6. Royce Christian Says:

    The book was interesting though. Contained some very interesting information, though having read the book and not the interview originally, I had the impression the guy was a more of a Marxist than an Anarchist. He had some good points and observations, especially about arguments where people ask for actual examples of ‘Anarchies’ or ‘Anarchist’ societies, which is essentially a loaded question. I also liked his take on globalisation and past governments which grant current governments their legitimacy.

  7. James Tuttle Says:

    @Royce Christian,

    I have only read excerpts from his “Fragments…” and have been waiting for his Direct Action: An Ethnography to come out for awhile.

    Marxism vs Anarchism: from my understanding there are two, distinct, schools of Marxist thought.

    One (Critical Marxism) is concerned with Marx’s earlier, more Hegelian/Feurbachian musings; with using Marxism as a critical or apparatus of critique for other/competing social systems and has a discernibly more voluntaristic spirit.

    The other (Scientific Marxism) is concerned with Marx’s later, Das Kapital/paradigm consolidation, writings; with using Marxism as a science or apparatus of description and prediction of history and the material forces that determine history.

    As you could probably predict the scientific flavor has a less voluntaristic spirit.

    I feel there are a number of fruitful insights to be found in “Critical” Marxism critiques; they tend to vindicate Anarchism more then the eschatology of the latter Marx(ism).

    What’s your take?


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