"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

Welcome to Infoshop News
Wednesday, July 23 2014 @ 03:05 AM CDT

Toward Anarchist and Autonomist Marxist Geographies

Anarchist Movement

In recent months, the Occupy movement has reinvigorated the imagination of the Left in the United States and elsewhere, by moving radical politics in new directions and creating spaces based upon participatory and non-hierarchical modes of organizing. Anarchist, autonomist Marxist and libertarian socialist ideas have played critical roles in imagining and enacting Occupy spaces, achieving renewed influence in the process. Writing about this turning point in politics for The Nation, Nathan Schneider states: “The anarchists’ way of operating was changing our very idea of what politics could be in the first place. This was exhilarating” (2011 unpaginated online source).

Toward Anarchist and Autonomist Marxist Geographies

Nathan Clough
University of Minnesota, Duluth
clou0062@umn.edu

Renata Blumberg
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Blum0135@umn.edu

Introduction

In recent months, the Occupy movement has reinvigorated the imagination of the Left in the United States and elsewhere, by moving radical politics in new directions and creating spaces based upon participatory and non-hierarchical modes of organizing. Anarchist, autonomist Marxist and libertarian socialist ideas have played critical roles in imagining and enacting Occupy spaces, achieving renewed influence in the process. Writing about this turning point in politics for The Nation, Nathan Schneider states: “The anarchists’ way of operating was changing our very idea of what politics could be in the first place. This was exhilarating” (2011 unpaginated online source).

This volume brings together geographic scholarship on anarchism and autonomist Marxism for the first time. Even before Occupy Wall Street, anarchism and autonomist Marxism as political ideologies and radical methodologies have been on the rise in the West at least since the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, when anarchistic protesters exploded onto the international media landscape due to their successful application of direct action tactics to stop the trade ministerial meeting (De Armond, 2001; Sheppard, 2002; Graeber, 2004; Levi, 2006). That anarchism and autonomist Marxism have been deeply implicated in the alter-globalization movement of the past decade cannot be denied. For example, radical movements such as Ya Basta!, the edu-factory movement, European movements of students and precarious workers, and the contemporary Industrial Workers of the World union in the United States have integrated autonomist Marxist theory into their broadly anti-authoritarian and anarchosyndicalist perspectives. Indeed, although anarchism and autonomist Marxism have different histories and geographies, activist spaces such as the Occupy movement, increasingly feature encounters and engagements between the two diverse trajectories of thought, leading to new configurations. Anarchism and autonomist activism have attained a prominent position within Western oppositional politics and we seek to examine these trajectories together because they confront us together in activist spaces, despite their sometimes-divergent histories and conceptualizations.

Drawing on, but also going beyond, a daylong series of sessions at the 2008 AAG in Las Vegas, this special issue has several ambitions. First, to more broadly publicize anarchist and autonomist Marxist work in geography, and thereby expose the mainstream of critical geography to these strands of radical scholarship. Second, by bringing these two distinct trajectories of radical theory together we hope to foster an examination of the affinities these trajectories have with one another and to explore how both are apropos for thinking about the current conjuncture of neoliberal crisis. Third, we hope that this issue will help to foster a research community in radical geography such that anarchist and autonomist Marxist approaches may find more opportunities for resonance, cooperative theorizing, and the rigorous development that occurs when geographers (or anyone for that matter) enter into debate and conversation with the intention to improve understanding.

Read more (PDF)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Ask
  • Kirtsy
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • SlashDot
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • Fark
  • Del.icio.us
  • Blogmarks
  • Yahoo Buzz
Toward Anarchist and Autonomist Marxist Geographies | 0 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.