Freedom Press

Kropotkin and the anarchist tradition


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Peter Kropotkin’s philosophy of anarchism suffers from neglect in mainstream histories; misrepresented as a utopian creed or a recipe for social chaos and political disorder, the intellectual strengths and philosophical integrity is overlooked.

Moving beyond most previous accounts of Kropotkin’s anarchism, Mac Laughlin focuses less on the man and his political career, instead providing a sustained and critical reading of his extensive writings on the social, historical and scientific basis of modern anarchism. The result is a thorough examination of a number of key themes in Kropotkin’s philosophy of anarchism, including his concerted efforts to provide anarchism with an historical and scientific basis; the role of mutualism and mutual aid in social evolution and natural history; the ethics of anarchism, and the anarchist critique of state-centred nationalism and other expressions of power politics.