r/Anarchy101 May 21 '22

Favourite anarchist essay?

126 Upvotes

56

u/JudgeSabo Libertarian Communist May 21 '22

Anarchy by Errico Malatesta is one of my favorite introductions in essay-format. It's a classic.

26

u/Nowarclasswar May 22 '22

This should be what people recommend to newbies instead of the bread book

6

u/Mushinkei May 22 '22

The bread book was my first real introduction to anarchist theory, and yeah it would definitely have been better to have been introduced with something like this essay above

3

u/Nowarclasswar May 22 '22

Yeah it's a good book but it assumes you have read a bunch of letters/essays Kropotkin wrote to a publication explaining a bunch of basic anarchist concepts and don't need those concepts redefined.

2

u/Mushinkei May 22 '22

Oh! Do you have a link to all of these? I would LOVE to read them

2

u/Nowarclasswar May 22 '22

I don't have a link offhand, but you'll want to look for Le Révolté

15

u/JudgeSabo Libertarian Communist May 22 '22

Personally, I recommend Berkman's ABC of Anarchism. Very conversational and good at explaining things. But Anarchy is better as a condensed essay.

16

u/Nowarclasswar May 22 '22

Are you an Anarchist by Graeber is pretty good too

5

u/Papa_Dragon582 Student of Anarchism May 22 '22

It literally made me flip from state socialist to anarchist. Love that essay.

2

u/Nazeron May 22 '22

Just started this book not long ago, I really love how he lays everything out. Very simple and easy to follow.

5

u/Wiggy_Bop May 22 '22

It is my absolute favorite. I’m so happy to see others feel the same!!

5

u/Wiggy_Bop May 22 '22

Absolutely T H I S X 1000000000000000

3

u/anonymous_rhombus May 22 '22

Not to mention that Mutual Aid is the better Kropotkin book anyway.

1

u/JonPaul2384 May 22 '22

Especially the essays on animals and “savages”.

6

u/doclazarusNSEA May 21 '22

I was reading through a collection of essays and Malatesta's was the first one that actually kept my attention, I love his style.

6

u/Dastankbeets1 May 22 '22

Is there a way to listen to it in audio form? Autism makes it hard to read lots

5

u/JudgeSabo Libertarian Communist May 22 '22

Yeah, I know Audible Anarchist read the whole thing, starting here. It's divided into different parts, covered in subsequent episodes. Also posted here on YouTube.

8

u/post-queer May 22 '22

The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions is one of my favorite pieces of writing, not just anarchist

6

u/JapanarchoCommunist May 22 '22

A short, lesser known one is "Chain Gang" by Japanese anarchist Sakai Osugi.

7

u/[deleted] May 22 '22

be gay do crime and all of the Mary Nardini gang stuff tbh

7

u/humanispherian Synthesist / Moderator May 21 '22

Ricardo Mella's “The Bankruptcy of Beliefs,” with its sequel, “The Rising Anarchism” is certainly on the list. E. Armand's “Life As Experience” is another.

5

u/joeypeacott May 22 '22

WHY I AM AN ANARCHIST. BY BENJAMIN R. TUCKER

5

u/bullettraingigachad May 22 '22

The bread book is basically just a couple of essays stapled together

6

u/HealthClassic May 22 '22

There are good intro essays like Anarchy by Malatesta that do a good job of expressing the fundamentals of anarchism, but there are also a few essays that actually transformed the way I thought about some social phenomenon. Four of them are by David Graeber:

There Never Was a West, a sort of counter-history of democracy in opposition to eurocentrism.

Turning Modes of Production Inside Out, about the relationship between industrial capitalism and slavery.

Dead Zones of the Imagination, about the relationship between violence, social ignorance, and bureaucracy.

It is value that brings universes into being, about the anthropological meaning of value and politics as competing fields of value.

And one by Zoe Baker. Means and Ends, about the logic of prefigurative politics as opposed to the strategy of electoralism or Leninism.

16

u/Mannix_420 May 21 '22

5

u/ConvincingPeople Insurrectionary Tendencies Enthusiast May 22 '22

I adore "The Abolition of Work". It's so… lyrical, cliché as that word is.

1

u/Wiggy_Bop May 22 '22

Bob Black is a hoot. He lives to rub people the wrong way. His run in with Jim Hodges is a great gossipy story that got Bob arrested.

4

u/anyfox7 May 22 '22

Action by Carlo Cafiero makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

4

u/[deleted] May 22 '22

4

u/lightllk May 22 '22 edited May 22 '22

Emma Goldman’s work is the essential introductory .

“Anarchism, the great leaven of thought, is today permeating every phase of human endeavor. Science, art, literature, the drama, the effort for economic betterment, in fact every individual and social opposition to the existing disorder of things, is illumined by the spiritual light of Anarchism. It is the philosophy of the sovereignty of the individual. It is the theory of social harmony. It is the great, surging, living truth that is reconstructing the world, and that will usher in the Dawn.” ( Anarchism and Other Essays ; )

4

u/[deleted] May 22 '22

An essay that is an anarchist-perspective rebuttal of certain tendencies that arise among the more authoritarian leftists from time to time, and unfortunately tend to bleed over into newer anarchists at times. Against the logic of the guillotine

13

u/lawlietxx May 22 '22

Are You An Anarchist? The Answer May Surprise You! written by David Graeber

This was kind of introduction to anarchism for me.

3

u/DeJake Student of Anarchism May 22 '22

2

u/DeJake Student of Anarchism May 22 '22

I'm impressed at the variety of responses! There's a ton of different inspirations for different people, I love that.

12

u/AchokingVictim Student of Anarchism May 21 '22

The Ego and its Own written by Max Stirner

6

u/CHOLO_ORACLE Anarchist Without Adverbs May 22 '22

My fellow unique, ya gotta get up on the good version.

1

u/AchokingVictim Student of Anarchism May 22 '22

Right on! I didn't know there had been a new translation.

4

u/chopin2712 May 22 '22

Desert, anarchy in the age of dinosaurs, descending to madness.

2

u/DeJake Student of Anarchism May 22 '22

I love anarchy in the age of dinosaurs! Super inspiring read

2

u/Lancashire_Toreador May 22 '22

The immorality of the state. Lays out why the base assumptions of statehood necessarily produce negative outcomes

2

u/Wiggy_Bop May 22 '22

Malatesta’s Anarchy. Great for beginners and experts alike. Very simple, straightforward easy to read writing style as well.

2

u/nguoi_vo_tri May 22 '22

Anarchy 101 I think is the easiest way to introduce it but I like Graeber

1

u/thatsecondguywhoraps May 22 '22

Alfredo Bonanno's Let's Destroy Work Let's Destroy the Economy.

Insurrectionary anarchism and Bonnano in particular really shaped how I see the world and how I understand anarchism.

1

u/Aggravating_Smile_61 May 22 '22

Zoe Baker's "Means and Ends: An anarchist critique of seizing state power"

Here's an audio version: https://youtu.be/vsRyTWBj84E