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Reflections on Anthropology and Anarchism

The author deals with the relation between anthropology and anarchism, which is understood as a relation of mutual appropriations. The aim of the text is to contribute to the discussions on the relation between anthropology and anarchism, by focusing on the political potential of anthropology as it is used by anarchists themselves, and by stressing the anthropological character of anarchist social relations. In the first part, the author considers the possible relations between anthropology as a discipline and anarchism as theory and practice of radical social transformation. Although the relation can be problematic, the author argues that anthropology carries great potential in the theoretical substantiation of social relationships, which are not organized by the market or the state. Anthropology enables us a way to de-naturalize the dominant way of living and demonstrates a heterogeneity of possible futures. The author regards anarchism as a mode of theoretical production »from below«, which generalizes micro-political aspects of revolutionary transformation. In the second part, the author deals with anarcho-primitivism as a strain of anarchism that uses anthropological knowledge most actively in the advocacy of »primitive anarchy«. He discusses the challenge of anarcho-primitivism to traditional forms of anarchism, such as anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism. In the last part, the author draws on Graeber’s conceptualization of communism, in order to substantiate the anthropological character of anarchism. According to Graeber, we can regard communism, on the one hand, as social totality while, on the other hand, we can also understand communism as »the foundation of all human sociability.« The author argues that it is also possible to understand anarchism as the key part of human sociability, if we take into account our everyday experiences of horizontal social relations, mutual aid and organization of social relations in the absence of authority.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 257 - Anarchism: Beyond of the Existing
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2014 , volume volume 42 , issue issue 257