• “As one of the leading French anarchist thinkers and friend of Bakunin, Élisée Reclus, put it: “The external form of society must alter in correspondence with the impelling force within; there is no better established historical fact. The sap makes the tree and gives it leaves and flowers, the blood makes the man, the ideas make the society” (8). That is but one formulation of the anarchist notion of deterministic idealism, a belief that slavery and oppression must be overcome by first changing fundamental habits of the mind, which goes, of course, directly against Marxist materialism. Anarchists argue that the slave mentality can be exchanged for the revolutionary mentality if one is sufficiently exposed to the ideas of liberation and social change. (p. 49)

    ,... crucial to conveying the anarchist doctrine that the struggle for liberation begins in the mind and that the true subversion of authority consists in the recognition that we as individuals create the mental preconditions for the existence of bondage or freedom. (p. 50-51)

    But arguably, anarchism is the most misunderstood of all political theories. Although it is sometimes aligned with concepts of nihilism and terrorism, the philosophical anarchism of Proudhon, Kropotkin, Bakunin, and the Reclus brothers is essentially a pacifist, utopian, and liberal theory of voluntary association and mutual aid. The “propaganda by the deed” is not at all a recipe for terror, although some isolated anarchists have invoked this principle to justify their resort to violence, especially in Russia in the later part of the nineteenth century and in the Spanish Civil War. In general, however, anarchism’s rejection of centralized state power and institutionalized authority has ironically limited the political effectiveness of this philosophy, which stands in direct contrast to communism and socialism, both of which have traditionally embraced hierarchical structures of power. (p. 79)”

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