by Cindy Milstein
From nineteenth-century newspaper publishers to the protesters in the “Battle of Seattle” and the recent Greek uprising, anarchists have long been incited to action by the ideal of a “free society of free individuals”—a transformed world in which people and communities relate to each other intentionally and without hierarchy or domination. But what exactly would that look like, and how can we get there?
Anarchism and Its Aspirations provides an accessible overview of the history and hopeful future of this vision for a better world. The book quickly brings even the uninitiated reader up to speed with a crash course on some of the most influential anarchists in history and their ideas about how we might achieve the transformation of society. From there, the book looks at how these principles have been put into practice by groups such as the Situationist International, social ecologists, Zapatistas, anti-globalization activists, and other directly democratic organizations and communities in their respective struggles against capitalism and state control.
Laying out a clear introduction to some of the main ideas behind an often-misunderstood political philosophy, Anarchism and Its Aspirations helps us imagine the vast possibility of a truly free and democratic society.
Cindy Milstein is an activist and educator from Vermont. She serves on the board of the Institute for Anarchist Studies, co-organizes the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition conference, and is a collective member at Black Sheep Books. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies, including Realizing the Impossible, Confronting Capitalism, and Globalize LiberationX.