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June 14 , 2009

Order Without Power

An Introduction to Anarchism: History and Current Challenges


With the rise of the global protestor—from Arab Spring to the Occupy movement—the term "anarchist" has been littered throughout mainstream media as never before. But just as frequently, its definition is skewed or left wanting: anarchists are painted as nihilists, supporters of chaos, or even terrorists.
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In Order without Power, an informative primer, Normand Baillargeon thoroughly defines anarchism and recounts its long history. In outlining the forerunners of this movement, he illuminates the differences between collectivists, federalists, communists, syndicalists, and further strains such as anarcho-feminism, pacifist anarchism, and religious anarchism. With sharp examples and concise, lively language, Baillargeon describes the contributions from early anarchists like William Godwin, Max Stirner, Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, and Pierre Kropotkin, through Noam Chomsky, as well as the uprisings, struggles, revolts, and revolutions that tested or expanded the theories. From the International Workingmen’s Association to Haymarket, from the Russian Revolution to May 1968, Baillargeon unpacks anarchism’s position on various issues and reveals this political theory’s vibrant heart: anti authoritarianism, or the rational and conscious refusal of any form of illegitimate authority and power.
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