Culture and Anarchism

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Culture, in anthropological usage, refers to that which is modified, refined, cultivated or domesticated in accordance with human notions. It makes no distinction between what is presumed to be refined and what is presumed to be crude – rock and roll and Mutt and Jeff are as cultural as Bethovan and Shakespeare – but is the unifying concept of anthropology, the concept in terms of which different societies are described. In some cultures, people are aware of few alternatives, but those alternatives are open to all. In others there is a wide range of choices, but the range is not available to everybody. The question, which type of culture gives more freedom to its inhabitants, causes thought about what we mean by freedom. This book provokes thought throughout, citing actual examples from the author’s encyclopaedic knowledge of different cultures. Not just native cultures. The book also studies the cultures of anarchic communities which are deliberately created within ‘modern’ society, and discusses how closely the ideas of Josiah Warren, who initiated such communities, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, correspond to anarchism in the complete sense.

Freedom Press
1997
ISBN: 0-900384-84-0
166 pages
Black and White