Title: Making anarchism respectable?
Subtitle: The social philosophy of Colin Ward
Author: Stuart White
Date: February 2007
Source: Journal of Political Ideologies (February 2007), 12(1), 11–28. <cyberdandy.org>

ABSTRACT Anarchism suffers from a respectability deficit, a problem of achieving a threshold level of credibility in the eyes of non-anarchists. One anarchist thinker who has grappled persistently with this problem over 60 years of activism is the influential post-war British anarchist, Colin Ward. Responding directly to the respectability deficit, Ward helped to develop a ‘pragmatist’ anarchism characterized by direct engagement with urgent social problems. The paper explains the nature of this pragmatist anarchism, and places it in its historical intellectual context. It discusses how far Ward has indeed succeeded in producing a social philosophy that is at once genuinely anarchist and ‘intellectually respectable’.

My theme in this symposium ... is ‘are we respectable enough?’, and in asking this question I am not concerned about the way we dress, or whether our private lives conform to a statistical norm, or how we earn our living, but with the quality of our anarchist ideas: are our ideas worthy of respect? (Colin Ward, Anarchism and Respectability, 1961)


In his essay, ‘Revolution and Reason’, Herbert Read recounts being asked by a Conservative MP at a formal dinner what his politics were. When he replied ‘I am an anarchist’, ‘she cried, “How absurd!”, and did not address another word to me during the whole meal’.[2] While Read was perhaps somewhat exceptional in being an anarchist who dines alongside Conservative MPs, his experience nevertheless points to a familiar problem for anarchists: achieving a threshold level of credibility in the eyes of the vast majority of non-anarchists. Undoubtedly, anarchism has long suffered from wide misunderstanding, associated, unfairly, with pathological preferences for chaos and violence. But even amongst political theorists, anarchism is usually dismissed as little more than theoretical curiosity, a philosophy which pushes widely shared ideals of freedom and equality to an implausible extreme. While political theorists might be willing to concede that anarchic societies, or approximations of them, are possible in some circumstances,[3] the overwhelmingly dominant view is that the ideal of an anarchic society has little or no relevance to modern industrial, or post-industrial, societies. So the question is posed: Is anarchism a respectable social philosophy? Can it be made so?

One post-war British anarchist who has been exercised by this challenge, over 60 years of untiring activism, is Colin Ward. ‘[I]t is ... a question’, he writes, of persuading people to ‘treat anarchism as something more than a joke, or an “interesting” intellectual attitude’.[4] This paper attempts to explain the nature of Ward’s anarchism and to assess its claim to respectability. As we shall see, Ward’s response to the challenge presents a somewhat different conception of anarchism to that which informs much of the philosophical commentary on anarchist thought, although it is nevertheless one which has clear antecedents in the historic anarchist movement as well as considerable contemporary resonance.

I begin by setting out the main elements of, and influences on, Ward’s ‘pragmatist’ anarchism. I then look at how Ward applies this anarchism to a specific social problem, housing, and clarify the relationship between Ward’s anarchism and the anarcho-communism of Kropotkin. I consider, and rebut, the criticism from within the anarchist movement that Ward seeks respectability for his ideas by effectively abandoning anarchism. I discuss the attraction which Ward’s ideas have had to the wider left and society—for Ward, a key test of achieving anarchist respectability.

1. ‘Pragmatist’ anarchism

Ward came into the anarchist movement in the 1940s, joining the editorial team of the main British anarchist newspaper, Freedom, in 1947.[5] To many at this time anarchism’s prospects must have seemed hopeless, particularly given the recent, emphatic defeat of revolutionary anarchism in Spain. What could it mean to be an anarchist in the second half of the twentieth century? Ward, along with some other Freedom anarchists, began to develop an answer to this question in the 1950s. In place of an ‘apocalyptic’ anarchism which seeks ‘all or nothing at all’, Ward advanced the idea of a ‘pragmatist’ anarchism which seeks ‘in Martin Buber’s words, ... to fashion a new community “wholly in the present, out of the recalcitrant material of our own day”’.[6]

Some of the ideas that would feed into the development of Ward’s pragmatist anarchism were set out in Britain by writers such as Herbert Read and Alex Comfort in the immediate post-war years. Another important influence from the United States was the journal politics, and in particular its sometime contributor, Paul Goodman.[7] But new opportunities for pragmatist anarchism were opened up in the second half of the 1950s as a result of the emergence of the first New Left. Referring to New Leftists such as E.P. Thompson, Ward wrote that: ‘These people are groping for the solutions which we, from an anarchist background, ought to be propounding’.[8] Pessimistic that this potential opening to the wider left could be seized within the format of a weekly newspaper, and clearly impressed by the example of the recently launched New Left Review, Ward pressed within the Freedom group at the turn of the decade for the establishment of a monthly journal which would be able to explore anarchist thinking in more depth.[9] The result, Anarchy, ran from 1961 to 1970 under Ward’s editorship.[10] After stepping down from editorship of Anarchy, Ward developed his pragmatist perspective further in a range of books covering education, social history and specific policy issues. His Anarchy in Action, first published in 1973, but drawing on material that appeared earlier in Anarchy and Freedom, is perhaps the most influential overall statement of pragmatist anarchist thought.[11]

The starting-point for Ward’s kind of pragmatist anarchism lies in a deep scepticism towards an insurrectionary conception of anarchism. In the 1940s Read and Comfort both produced analyses which called insurrectionary anarchism into question, partly on grounds of feasibility, but also, more fundamentally, on grounds that genuine social change has to grow out of prior changes in personality and concrete, social relationships, something which cannot bemandatedbya‘political’act ofrevolution.[12]Writinginthemid-1950s,Geoffrey Ostergaard, whose thinking ran somewhat in parallel with Ward’s, argued that anarchists had traditionally followed Marxists in believing in ‘a leap into freedom by way of a revolution which would break the chains of the oppressed’.[13] But twentieth century history, he claimed, had not ‘demonstrated the plausibility of this belief’. ‘Freedom’, according to Ostergaard, ‘has to be won inch by inch and our ownself-imposed chains have also to be removed before we can act like responsible human beings. It is a sign not of disenchantment but of growing maturity that Anarchists are beginning to speak in terms of “gradualism”...’.[14]

These thoughts blended well with those of the German communitarian anarchist, Gustav Landauer, whose ideas started to find an English-language audience in the 1950s through the writings of Martin Buber.[15] Landauer’s basic claim, repeatedly invoked by Ostergaard and Ward, is that: ‘The state is not something which can be destroyed by a revolution, but is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of human behaviour; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently’.[16] So whereas the ‘Fabian gradualist’ seeks to work through the state, extending ‘State activity until the State has swallowed society’, anarchist gradualism is a matter of choosing, here and now, to ‘contract other relationships’ to those of the state, relationships based on cooperative self-help and mutual aid.[17] Of course, in taking direct action on these lines, the anarchist might find herself in confrontation with the state, for example, in the case of an illegal squat. So there remains the need, as Read put it, ‘to act in a revolutionary spirit in a given situation’.[18] Ward’s position is not so much to reject emphatically the very idea of revolution as to argue that anarchists should not be so preoccupied with revolutionary change as to neglect other ways of advancing. What the anarchist should value is ‘social changes, whether revolutionary or reformist, through which people enlarge their autonomy and reduce their subjection to external authority’.[19]

Revolution is a matter of means; but what about ends? Here we come to a particularly striking feature of Ward’s pragmatist anarchism: scepticism about the very idea of an ‘anarchist society’. According to George Molnar, whose work Ward published in Anarchy, the idea of creating an anarchist society is vulnerable to what one might call (with apologies to social choice theorists) an ‘impossibility theorem’. The mode of social organization favoured by anarchists is highly unlikely ever to win universal consent (what social system is ever likely to?). Hence, an anarchist society is not possible unless anarchists use force to implement or maintain it. But that would be contrary to the basic norm of anarchism. So an anarchist society is, for all practical purposes, an impossibility.[20] In a very important article published in Freedom in 1961, and originally delivered that year to an anarchist summer school, Ward signals his agreement with Molnar’s basic claim, commenting that an ‘anarchist society’ is not ‘an intellectually respectable idea’.[21] For Ward, society inevitably embodies a plurality of basic organizing techniques, including market, state and the anarchist technique of mutual aid: ‘Every human society, except the most totalitarian of utopias or anti-utopias, is a plural society with large areas that are not in conformity with the officially imposed or declared values’.[22]

However, if anarchism is not about the creation of an anarchist society, what is it about? One answer, which had some support amongst US and British anarchists in the 1950s and 1960s, is that anarchism is about personal liberation and individual resistance to the state. It is about an individual way of being in the world. As Ward put it: ‘One reasonable reaction is to stress again the individual character of anarchism and declare like Robert Frost and Ammon Hennacy: “I believe in the one-man revolution. We ain’t going to get any other kind”’.[23] However, Ward is not content to let matters rest with this ‘permanent protest’ perspective. Anarchists should retain an ambition to transform social structures and practices. For while the ‘concept of a free society may be an abstraction, ... that of a freeer society is not’.[24] Although society cannot be wholly transformed in an anarchist direction, it can be more or less anarchic. From this standpoint the idea of an ‘anarchist society’ reemerges but in a different way: ‘... having thrown the idea of an anarchist society out of the front door’, Ward writes, ‘I want to let it in again by the back window. Not as an aim to be realized, but as a yardstick, a measurement or means of assessing reality ...’.[25] This comment helps us understand the sense in which Ward is an anarchist, notwithstanding his scepticism about the possibility of an ‘anarchist society’. He is a normative anarchist, holding that the key ethical criterion for judging the merits of different societies is how far they are anarchic; this need not entail the view that any society is ever likely to be, or feasibly could be, fully anarchic.[26]

One might ask: Why should we think it likely that society can be made more anarchic? Why assume society is not already as anarchic as it can be? Here, again, Ward’s thinking is informed by Martin Buber. In an essay called ‘Society and the State’, which Ward published in Anarchy,[27] Buber distinguishes the ‘social principle’ exemplified in informal groups, churches and other associations, from the ‘political principle’, embodied in ‘power, authority, dominion’.[28] In one of the passages that Ward quotes very frequently in his work, Buber argues that governments tend to:

... [possess] more power than is required by the given conditions ... The measure of this excess ... represents the exact difference between Administration and Government. I call it the ‘political surplus’ ... The political principle is always stronger in relation to the social principle than the given conditions require. The result is a continuous diminution in social spontaneity.[29]

The thesis, then, is that in most societies, most of the time, there is, corresponding to the ‘political surplus’, an anarchy deficit. (One might similarly speak of a tendency within societies using markets for economic organization to develop a ‘market surplus’, an excessive reliance on market mechanisms to organize economic life, relative to anarchist mechanisms.) The thesis of the anarchy deficit is a working hypothesis of Ward’s pragmatist anarchism, one that he seeks to vindicate through empirical research focused on specific social problems.

Implicit here is a third basic tenet of pragmatist anarchism, that anarchy, understood as a particular form of social relationship, is already present in society. To some extent we have already followed Landauer’s advice and contracted with our fellow citizens to form anarchic social spaces. The task of the anarchist is to take note of examples of ‘anarchy in action’ already present in society, and to consider how these might be developed. As Ward puts it:

... far from being a speculative vision of a future society ... [anarchy] is a description of a mode of human organisation, rooted in the experience of everyday life, which operates side by side with, and in spite of, the dominant authoritarian trends of our society ... the anarchist alternatives are already there, in the interstices of the dominant power structure. If you want to build a free society, the parts are all at hand.[30]

This, of course, raises the question: What makes a social relationship anarchic? What, fundamentally, is ‘anarchy’ for Ward? If we look at the many examples he gives of actually or historically existing anarchy—Friendly Societies, selfhelp therapeutic groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, housing cooperatives, squats, free schools—we can identify some basic shared features of these organizations. First, there is a strong emphasis on direct action by individuals to take charge of their environment and lives. People create and enter an anarchic social space as doers; they are not inserted as people for whom things are done for or to. Second, there is a strong emphasis on relationships of mutuality. In anarchic social space, people act cooperatively to meet a common need or interest and, moreover, do so on a footing of equality. Like Kropotkin, Ward views such cooperation as running with the grain of human nature, albeit a human nature that can be disfigured by the wrong social institutions.[31] An institution or practice is more or less anarchic according to whether it satisfies these various conditions. Anarchy, so understood, is a form of ‘social self-determination’ to meet needs, one which we can contrast both with state-bureaucratic and free market methods.[32]

The fact that anarchy is to address needs points to a fourth basic tenet of Ward’s pragmatist anarchism: anarchy must be problem-solving. The anarchist’s task is to show how anarchic initiatives can meet important needs, perhaps more effectively than approaches that rely on state provision or the market. Ward’s editorship of Anarchy was driven by this problem-solving approach:

I am convinced that the most effective way of conducting anarchist propaganda through the medium of a monthly journal is to take the whole range of partial, fragmentary, but immediate issues in which people are actually likely to get involved, and to seek out anarchist solutions, rather than to indulge in windy rhetoric about revolution.[33]

Ward’s interest in an explicitly problem-solving anarchism was in part stimulated by George Woodcock.[34] Woodcock came into the British anarchist movement, via pacifism, in the Second World War. A member of the Freedom Press group, he published a number of pamphlets with them during and shortly after the war, including New Life to the Land, Railways in Society and Homes or Hovels, which addressed specific policy problems from an anarchist perspective.[35] After he left the movement, he went on to write one of the most influential works on the history of anarchist movements and ideas. Posing the question of why anarchists in the early twentieth century failed, he argued that failure lay in ‘... their disinclination to attempt specific proposals [which] led to their producing a vague and vapid vision of an idyllic society’; the masses preferred to follow those who could offer concrete improvements to concrete problems.[36] Published shortly after Ward initiated Anarchy, Woodcock’s claim reads like a statement of the deficiency that this journal was intended to put right.[37]

Ward also found support for a problem-solving approach from Gaston Leval, a major figure in the international anarchist movement. In an article entitled ‘A Constructive Libertarian Movement’, published in Freedom in 1960,[38] Leval criticized the idea that anarchism should be defined solely by what it opposes: ‘It is obvious’, he wrote, ‘that a social movement cannot live on negation’.[39] Anarchists must offer a constructive agenda and to this end ‘... we must acquire a training and background which will convince those whom we wish to influence that they are dealing with capable, serious and responsible men [sic]— not with simple agitators or dilettantes of revolution’.[40] The problem-solving approach naturally pressed anarchist reflection to keep on top of contemporary social and broader scientific studies, consolidating the focus on sociology and psychology for which Read and Comfort had already argued in the 1940s. Hence, some came to refer to Ward’s brand of anarchism as ‘sociological anarchism’.[41]

2. Problem-solving in action: The case of housing

To clarify the character of Ward’s anarchism further it may help to look at Ward’s proposals for responding to one specific social need in an anarchist manner: housing. Ward’s writings on housing, which draw on his professional experiences in architecture, are contemporary and historical, though there is a clear contemporary relevance in the more historical work.[42]

Ward’s ‘anarchist approach’ to housing is defined in opposition to the ‘High Modernism’ of post-war British housing policy and to the associated managerialist approach which sees housing as a good which the state, local or central, will provide to or for the people, drawing on the insights of planning and architectural experts.[43] In a 1974 open letter to Tony Crosland, the then Labour Minister for Housing, Ward characterizes this perspective acidly as follows: ‘You ... see the homeless, the ill-housed and overcrowded and the newly-weds just coming up for membership of the Housing Shortage Club, as the inert objects, the raw material of policy, waiting to be processed by the Housing Problems Industry’.[44] Ward is not against collectivism in the sense of public support, but, reacting against the modernist architects and planners—‘the dreadful and expensive saga of the tower block era’[45]—he does affirm the principle of ‘dweller’s control’: the people should be enabled to house themselves, not be housed by authorities.

Ward’s commitment to the idea of dweller control manifests itself, firstly, in his sympathy for squatting movements. Ward’s early anarchist journalism covered the squatters’ movement which emerged in Britain in the late 1940s. The squatting movement of the late 1960s also drew his supportive commentary.[46] In Ward’s view, squatting is a constructive form of direct action to meet social needs, one which works to improve not only the prospects of those who squat, but the housing situation as a whole: ‘The real crime, and perhaps the real achievement of the squatters’ movement, is that it has called the bluff of those who believe in political action. The squatters have shown that they can rehabilitate housing more quickly and more effectively than the official system can’.[47] Taking the direct action approach further, Ward has written widely on the history of popular self-build, episodes in which poor people have achieved title to cheap land, or squatted it, and have then gradually built on the land (sometimes to the consternation of local planners or those of supposedly more refined aesthetic tastes).[48] He has also supported contemporary efforts at urban self-build and has written on the architecture of self-build.[49] Taking this approach a step further, Ward floated in the 1970s the idea of the ‘Do-it-Yourself New Town’ in which a planning body locates a site and organizes the provision of basic services such as power and sewerage, but then allows people to come and, within some parameters, build for themselves.[50]

Not least, Ward was an early and consistent proponent of the idea of tenant cooperatives as an alternative to council housing.[51] Mass council housing, in his view, typifies the paternalistic approach in which people are treated like ‘inert objects’ to be housed. The lack of dweller control results in rapid deterioration of the housing stock. An alternative is to make tenant associations the owners of the housing stock, responsible for its management. Ward’s book, Tenants Take Over, seems to have had a role in stimulating interest in the idea in the 1970s and to have been useful to groups such as the famous Weller Street Housing Co-operative in Liverpool which, in an area of severe housing shortage, fought a successful battle to acquire land and funds for a new housing development with full popular participation in the design process.[52] Following publication of this book, Ward spoke to ‘innumerable meetings of tenants or housing committee members’.[53]

Ward’s underlying vision of dweller control is, in general, not a narrowly individualistic one, but a communitarian one in which local groups assert a collective control over their housing and their physical environment more generally. This approach is also reflected in his educational work in the 1970s as an employee of the voluntary association, the Town and Country Planning Association. A good example of this is the book Streetwork, which explores ways of teaching environmental studies which get children into their community, exploring its layout and the local politics of housing and land use.[54] Ward clearly presents this as an education in citizenship, developing in children a sense of shared ownership in their surroundings which in turn might feed into (demands for) more participatory forms of planning, design and housing management.[55]

3. The underlying social vision

From what I have said so far one might think that Ward’s anarchism consists only of a collection of specific proposals for addressing social needs in an anarchist way. But this would be wrong. The milieu into which Ward moved as a London based anarchist in the late 1940s, based around Freedom Press, was one heavily influenced by Kropotkin’s ideas. A strong Kropotkinian influence is evident, for example, in the work of the aforementioned Woodcock.[56] Ward himself asserts the affinity. In a BBC Radio 3 program broadcast in 1968, Ward defines himself as ‘an anarchist-communist, in the Kropotkin tradition’.[57] Many of Ward’s essays on housing and urban planning include discussions of the relationship between anarchism and early planning theories in which Kropotkin features prominently.[58] Ward has edited a version of Kropotkin’s Fields, Factories and Workshops with a substantial commentary to explain its contemporary relevance.[59] Consequently, when one brings together many of Ward’s specific proposals one begins to get a sense of a more comprehensive conception of the good society, of an underlying social vision, with strong affinity to that of Kropotkin.

Aside from their similar views about the cooperative potential of human nature, the fundamental point of similarity with Kropotkin derives from Ward’s sympathy for the ‘garden city’ and ‘regionalist’ traditions of urban design associated with Ebenezer Howard and Patrick Geddes (a sympathy also evident in Woodcock’s anarchist writings).[60] In Howard’s vision, which has much in common with that set out in Kropotkin’s Fields, Factories and Workshops,[61] garden cities are based on a mixof industrialandagriculturalproduction,oriented mostly to local needs(that is, needs of the city itself or cities within the same region). Given this economic base, the urban space would contain significant green patches mixed in with residential and industrial land use. Cities in a given region are networked so that people (and goods) move readily between them. On this geographical, economic base, it is (allegedly) possible to develop a highly decentralized, confederal structure of governance. Neighbourhoods of a city are the prime unit of governance, federating at the city level, with cities inturn federating with other cities into regions, and soon. Ward endorses this model, advocating neighbourhood councils as base units in a participatory democratic system of land-use planning.[62] In Ward’s view participatory planning would also cover the transport system, guided by a concerted attempt to discourage use of the private motor car in favour of public transport.[63]

The garden city model also informs Ward’s broader views on economic organization. Here he defends the allotment or community garden as a way of giving people greater control over their own food supply.[64] He also envisages the establishment of community workshops in neighbourhoods, offering cheap access to basic machine tools and raw materials to enable people to produce a range of basic goods for themselves.[65] In Howard’s original vision of the garden city, each city would own its land base and receive an annual rental income from this asset, an idea at one with Ward’s understanding of ‘anarchist-communism’ as implying community ownership of natural resources.[66] So garden city neighbourhood councils might receive budgets reflecting their share of local land rent, and use them to subsidize self-help welfare groups, Friendly Societies, run libertarian schools, and so on.[67] Ward is explicit that fundamental tax-raising authority should lie with local bodies, praising the Swiss political system in this respect.[68]

Ward’s social vision has strong affinity with that of Kropotkin in two key respects. First, it obviously shares an emphasis on economic and political decentralization.[69] Second, it shares a commitment to labour integration.[70] In the course of a typical working year, individuals will move between formal jobs and work in allotments and community workshops. In this way they will combine agricultural and manufacturing work, and everyone will engage in some manual work. These themes of decentralization and labour integration are clearly ones which Ward sees as having considerable continuing relevance in Kropotkin’s work, as his commentary on Fields, Factories and Workshops indicates.

However, Ward’s specific proposals do not map precisely (one might say, dogmatically) onto Kropotkin’s social vision. Two, related points of difference should be noted. First, it is by no means clear that Ward’s vision is egalitarian to the same extent as Kropotkin’s. Kropotkin affirms the communist principle of ‘From each according to ability, to each according to need’.[71] Ward never formulates any very precise view of distributive justice and, although his social vision is broadly egalitarian, he seems to allow distribution to some extent to be determined by labour rather than need. For example, Ward is a keen proponent of Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS).[72] To establish an entitlement to goods and services under a LETS one must be willing and able to make a labour contribution to the scheme. One cannot simply stake an ongoing claim to resources through a LETS on the basis of needs. Ward also comments sympathetically on the workshop economy of the Italian Emilia-Romagna region,[73] which involves small-scale cooperative and private ownership of capital. There is no explicit insistence on a strictly communistic division of the product of these small enterprises. Related to this, whereas Kropotkin clearly envisages a transition to a post-monetary economy, this is not something that Ward insists upon, although specific proposals, such as community gardens, community workshops and LETS, would reduce people’s dependency on a monetary economy. Ward certainly does support the demand for ‘workers’ control’ in the formal economy.[74] But his discussion tends to focus on methods of achieving control within specific units of production. The vexing (possibly unanswerable) question of how the demand might be translated into a system of popular economic planning that dispenses with the market as a means of coordination between different units of production is not really addressed.

However, at this point it is important to recall the non-utopian character of Ward’s anarchism. As we saw above, Ward is concerned with how we can move closer to the ideal of an ‘anarchist society’, but he does not expect that we will realize this ideal in practice. It is not surprising, therefore, that we when we put together Ward’s specific proposals we do not get a social vision that corresponds exactly to Kropotkin’s. It is an imperfect approximation of a Kropotkinian society. Nevertheless, it is a picture of a society that is radically different to our own, in a way that scores much better against the Kropotkinian benchmark of an ‘anarchist society’. It therefore makes sense, for the anarchist, as something to work for.

4. Is it anarchism?

While Ward was certainly not alone in developing a pragmatist anarchism in the 1950s and 1960s, his efforts in this direction have been predictably controversial amongst anarchists. In essence, critics from within anarchism have argued that in his struggle to render anarchism respectable, Ward breaks with, or downplays, ideas that are essential to any genuine anarchism.

In a review of Ward’s Anarchy in Action, one such critic takes Ward to task for suggesting ‘that there can be “social changes” which “enlarge autonomy and reduce authority” within the State, a belief which is pure liberalism—for liberalism is the conception of freedom within the State just as anarchism is its conception beyond it ...’.[75] For this critic, ‘anarchy’ is, by definition, a stateless society. So there cannot be more or less anarchy in any society with a state. So long as the state is there, there is no anarchy. Ward, of course, would not accept this way of stating the possibilities. Anarchy, for Ward, is a form of social relationship characterized by self-defining individuals acting cooperatively as equals. If the sphere of self-managed mutuality expands to cover the whole of social life, then we would indeed have a stateless society. But we can enjoy more or less self-managed mutuality, and therefore more or less anarchy, short of living in a stateless society.

To the charge that is revisionism—‘the dread word “revisionist” was used about me’[76]—Ward has two responses. One response is to argue that one does not show appropriate fidelity to an ideological tradition simply by repeating old formulas when there are good reasons for questioning them. True fidelity, consistent with a living tradition, is self-interrogative and discriminating. Thus Ward writes that in writing the ‘handbook of twentieth century anarchism’, the anarchist must be ‘selective’, taking from the ‘classical anarchists their most valid, not their most questionable ideas’.[77] The second response is to argue that the classical anarchist texts are more ambiguous than the guardians of orthodoxy think. According to Molnar:

There is a streak in anarchist thought which contradicts the utopian elements: certain passages in anarchist writings, emphasise present protest and present anti-authoritarianism ... in addition to a considerable amount of naive speculation anarchism also contains a realistic line of thought on the nature of society ... I want to argue that those who work out this realistic line consistently, by freeing it from its utopian associations, are entitled to claim a stronger connection with traditional anarchism than the mere use of the word “anarchist” as an appropriated label.[78]

Ward emphatically and explicitly concurs.[79] Like Molnar, Ward argues that even in a thinker like Kropotkin we can see some wavering between a notion of anarchy as a stateless society and a notion of anarchy as a principle of social organization which is permanently in play but rarely, if ever, finally and fully victorious over its competitor(s), and which is to varying extents present even in societies which have a state.[80] If we were to consider Proudhon, who is usually included in the anarchist canon, there are even more obvious points of similarity. As K. Stephen Vincent puts it, for the later Proudhon ‘[t]he elimination of politics tout court became an ideal asymptote which remained forever beyond man’s grasp’, a perspective which seems to be essentially the same as Ward’s.[81] Proudhon was accordingly willing, like Ward, to advance ideas for social change to expand the operation of anarchy in society without supposing that these will make for an anarchist society. So rather than being simply ‘revisionist’, Ward, along with contemporaries such as Molnar and Ostergaard, can be seen as retrieving and making more explicit a particular, long-standing way of thinking about anarchy within the anarchist tradition. Moreover, this way of conceptualizing anarchy, and its related effect of bringing anarchy into the ‘present tense’, as Uri Gordon puts it, rather than postponing it entirely to a future stateless society, is one that many anarchists in today’s alternative globalization movement share.[82] Ward’s conception of anarchy not only looks back to Proudhon but anticipates (and continues to be cited by theorists of) the anarchism of the early twenty-first century.

5. Engaging the wider left

Ward is not very interested in polemics within the anarchist camp. The approach he pioneered in Anarchy was to look out to the wider left, indeed the wider society, to try to bring anarchist ideas into mainstream public discussion. For Ward, this is where the test of respectability ultimately lies: Are pragmatist anarchist ideas ones which find support and guide action beyond the ranks of the formal anarchist movement? Do they, as a result, shift the basic perspective of the wider left, or, indeed, of society in general, in a substantively more anarchist direction?

There is no doubt that Ward’s ideas have found a receptive audience in the wider society. In part, this reflects the way his ideas ran with the grain of the later waves of New Left politics which emerged in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s. This new politics was community-based, committed to direct action techniques, and often focused on precisely the issues which concern Ward: housing, the urban environment, social services. The same period also saw a relatively high level of union organization, militancy and interest in ideas of ‘workers’ control’.[83] In Anarchy in Action, Ward identifies these developments as exemplifying the positive, pro-anarchic tendencies in contemporary British society at time of writing.[84] As Raphael Samuel, a leading thinker of the first New Left, notes, Anarchy to some degree anticipated the new politics.[85] In so doing, it may have contributed in a modest way to its emergence. Certainly, as we have noted, works such as Tenants Take Over helped community-based groups around the country to put their aspirations into better practice. Other indications of wider interest in Ward’s ideas are not hard to find. From the 1970s through to the 1990s, Ward served as regular columnist for journals such as New Society and the New Statesman with large, broadly left-inclined readerships. A recent festschrift explores Wardian themes across a range of policy areas, although few of the contributors self-define as anarchists.[86] The editor of this volume, Ken Worpole, sees Ward as a key thinker in imagining ‘a new kind of politics ... to fulfil the needs left unfulfilled ... by mainstream political parties and programmes’.[87] As David Goodway notes, Ward’s thinking has much in common with that of the influential British social democrat, Michael Young. Young established a number of associations to campaign and work for things that Ward also championed, such as neighbourhood councils and ‘mutual aid’.[88] When Young initiated Samizdat as a journal to provide a ‘popular front of the mind’ in opposition to Thatcherism, Ward contributed two articles to the journal before it folded.[89]

The wider left’s response to Ward has not, of course, been an uncritical one. As Worpole comments, ‘Ward’s anarchism has been strongly antagonistic to most forms of state provision, and some writers, myself included, do not always share this particular antipathy’.[90] Any balanced assessment of the respectability of Ward’s anarchism should take note of some reasonable concerns from this point of view. One area of criticism concerns what one might call Ward’s ‘micro’ bias, his emphasis on the local and small-scale. One aspect of this is his commitment to decentralization which inevitably prompts the question: How will resource inequalities between communities be handled in a pure confederal system in which, presumably, each local unit is under no obligation to sign up to any system of transfers? Underlying the institutional question lies a more fundamental philosophical one. As noted above, Ward does not defend any clear principles of distributive justice. But we do need such principles if we are to start to consider on what basis transfers from richer to poorer localities should be made. Moreover, if some principles of distributive justice are to apply across localities, how are people to develop the sense of common citizenship which seems necessary to underpin solidarity across them?[91] As Buber notes, it is all to easy for localized expressions of mutuality (such as producer cooperatives) to succumb to ‘collective egoism’ at the expense of the wider society.[92] Ward’s work is somewhat thin in offering answers to such questions.

A second, and perhaps related, point of criticism concerns Ward’s tendency to view what Buber calls the ‘social principle’ and the ‘political principle’ as standing only and always in opposition to one another. This is emphatically not how Buber himself sees the matter.[93] Even if we accept the thesis that there is a ‘political surplus’, reflecting an undue expansion of state power at the expense of self-organizing groups within society, is it not possible that to some degree, as Buber suggests, the political principle can give support to the social principle? Political structures can obviously take very different forms and is not there a possibility that some forms of political organization can work with self-organizing groups, facilitating what they do? One thinks here, for instance, of contemporary theories of ‘associative democracy’ which see the state functioning as a regulative, financing and coordinating agency across self-organizing groups which take immediate responsibility for managing services such as education and healthcare.[94] Or one might think of earlier theories of Guild Socialism which accorded the state a role in representing consumer interests against self-organizing producer groups.[95]

What explains the continuing attraction of Ward’s work to some on the wider left, notwithstanding these problems? Part of the answer, I suspect, is simply that it speaks to important values and concerns of the left that many perceive to be poorly served by conventional left politics and policy. Consider, in particular, the values of democracy and ‘fellowship’ (or ‘community’) and the concern for environmental sustainability. In the course of the twentieth century, Communism has obviously been inimical to democracy, on any reasonable understanding of the term, while social democracy has tended to accommodate itself to forms of representative democracy which allow for, or even presume, low levels of popular participation in government and administration. While canonical socialist thinkers, such as R.H. Tawney, saw the achievement of ‘fellowship’ as essential to the creation of a socialist commonwealth,[96] in practice social democratic (let alone Communist) institutions have had an uneven record in promoting or expressing it. Social democrats have looked to the welfare state as a vehicle for fellowship, but state welfare provision is often experienced as paternalistic rather than as an expression of mutual concern. Much of the normative concern of the first New Left was focused on the perceived inadequacies of Communism and social democracy in respect of these values.[97] In the past few decades, environmental concerns have also fuelled dissatisfaction with Communism and social democracy.

Ward’s proposals as a pragmatic anarchist offer concrete suggestions as to how these suppressed values and concerns can be more effectively embodied in contemporary social life. Proposals for neighbourhood councils, ‘workers’ control’ in the economy, tenant-led housing design, and for environmental education that encourages people to see their surroundings as something over which they can and should exercise control, all speak to the desire to create a more participatory democratic society. Support for welfare provision on the model of cooperative self-help is just one way in which Ward’s ideas address the concern about ‘fellowship’. Ward’s attachment to the garden city model of urban design, implying greater economic localization, including increased local control over food supplies, obviously connects with environmental concerns. In essence, Ward was right when he sensed that the first New Left was implicitly reaching out to anarchist ideas in its attempt to articulate an alternative to Communism and social democracy. Long after the first New Left has dissolved, and the tide of 1970s community politics has ebbed, the dissatisfactions which drove their emergence remain, and Ward’s work has continued to draw those of the non-anarchist left who share them.

6. Conclusion: Bringing anarchy back to the table

Has Ward succeeded in making anarchism respectable? Not if one insists on presenting the challenge in the conventional way. Ward agrees with the critics that the idea of an anarchist society, considered as a practical proposition under modern conditions, is not intellectually respectable. Its role within anarchist thought is not as a blueprint for enactment, but as a frankly utopian ideal against which actual societies, in all their messy complexity, can be judged from an anarchist point of view. The practical role of the anarchist is not to build this unattainable dream, but to push the messy complexity of society in a more anarchist direction. This cause is best advanced by exploring concretely how anarchy—self-managed mutuality—can contribute to meeting specific social needs. If we ask whether Ward has made the case for the respectability of anarchism understood in this way, then the answer is plausibly seen as positive. Notwithstanding the criticisms sketched above, Ward has helped to bring anarchy back to the table when social problems are discussed. In the process, Ward’s work reminds us of the potential for direct action to change the circumstances in which we live. It chips away at the ‘hard crust’ of our ‘inner “statehood”’,[98] encouraging us to step forward as individuals who see the social world as something to be authored, not simply accepted. Even if this does not lead to an ‘anarchist society’, it is surely important for the creation of a genuinely democratic one.

Other ideological families, liberal and socialist, have their utopias, but critics do not necessarily dismiss them on grounds of the utopias they project, it being wellunderstood that action and achievement can be true to an ideology’s core values and yet reasonably fall short of the relevant utopian vision. Ward forcefully asserts the same right for anarchism. It is surely time to acknowledge this right and to desist from the tendency to dismiss anarchism on the basis of its more utopian expressions.

[1] For comment and encouragement on this paper, I would like to thank Christopher Bertram, Harry Brighouse,Paula Casal, Laurence Davis, Michael Freeden, Uri Gordon, Catriona Hobbs, Clarissa Honeywell, David Leopold, Catriona MacKinnon, David Miller, Colin Ward, Harriet Ward, Katherine Wedell, Stephen Yeo, and two anonymous referees. Particular thanks are owed to David Goodway for sharing with me his deep knowledge of the subject.

[2] H. Read, ‘Revolution and Reason’, in H. Read, Anarchy and Order (London: Souvenir Press, 1974), pp. 13– 31, specifically p. 13.

[3] M. Taylor, Community, Anarchy and Liberty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).

[4] C. Ward, ‘It Never Dies ...’, Freedom, 17 (43), October 27, 1956, p. 2. (Many of Ward’s articles in Freedom are signed ‘C.W’, but it is clear that Ward is the author.)

[5] For comprehensive biography, see D. Goodway, ‘Introduction’, in C. Ward and D. Goodway, Talking Anarchy (Nottingham: Five Leaves Press, 2003), pp. 1–20, a version of which can also be found in D. Goodway, Anarchist Seeds Beneath Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2006). I am much indebted to Goodway’s article.

[6] C. Ward, ‘Who Rules the Schools?’, Freedom, 18 (8), May 14, 1957, pp. 3, 4, specifically p. 3. Characteristically, Ward downplays the importance of the distinction in practice in this article, but it points to a real and interesting difference of perspective.

[7] According to Ward: ‘... I read Dwight Macdonald’s New York magazine Politics from its beginnings in 1944 to its end in 1949, and it influenced me greatly’ (Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, p. 89). On politics, see G.D. Sumner, Dwight Macdonald and the politics Circle (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996). See also P. Goodman, Growing Up Absurd (New York: Vintage, 1960), Utopian Essays and Practical Proposals (New York: Vintage, 1962). Ward published numerous articles by Goodman in Anarchy.

[8] C. Ward, ‘What Kind of Paper do we Really Need?’, Freedom, 21 (50), December 10, 1960, p. 4.

[9] Ward, ibid.

[10] For an account close to the events, see David Stafford, ‘Anarchists in Britain Today’ in D. Apter and J. Joll(Eds), Anarchism Today (London: Macmillan, 1971), pp. 84–104. Stafford’s analysis of the ‘reformist’ position in British anarchism, represented by Anarchy, is similar to my account of pragmatist anarchism here, and I am indebted to his discussion. It should be noted that by no means was the whole Freedom group in agreement with Ward’s pragmatist anarchism. Other leading figures in the group, such as Vernon Richards, continued to propound a more traditional revolutionary anarchism (as did other anarchists outside the group, such as Albert Meltzer). Others in the ‘reformist’ camp included Geoffrey Ostergaard and Ian Vine. Ward shared with Ostergaard an interest in the Gandhian sarvodaya movement in India which has much in common with the pragmatist anarchist perspective; see C. Ward, ‘Revolution Through Love’, Freedom, 16 (28), July 9, 1955, pp. 2, 4.

[11] C. Ward, Anarchy in Action, second edition (London: Freedom Press, 1982 [1973]). See also C. Ward, Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

[12] H. Read, ‘Anarchism: Past and Future’, in H. Read, D. Goodway (Ed.), A One-Man Manifesto (London: Freedom Press, 1994), pp. 117–125. See also David Goodway’s ‘Introduction’, pp. 1–26, to this collection which notes Read’s anticipation in this essay of the themes that would later be associated with the ‘“new anarchism” of Alex Comfort and Paul Goodman, Colin Ward and Murray Bookchin ...’ (p. 8).

[13] G. Ostergaard, ‘Utopia and Experiment’, Freedom, 17 (10), March 10, 1956, pp. 2, 4, specifically p. 4.

[14] Ostergaard, ibid, p. 4.

[15] See M. Buber, Paths in Utopia (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1949). Ward seems to have first discussed Buber and Landauer in a series of articles on the theme of ‘Anarchism, Zionism and the Kibbutz’; see in particular C. Ward, ‘The Intrusion of Politics and Nationalism’, Freedom, 16 (39), September 25, 1955, p. 2, and ‘The Libertarian Tradition and the New Society’, Freedom, 16 (40), October 1, 1955, pp. 2, 3.

[16] Ward, Anarchy in Action, p. 23. Ward published an article by Geoffrey Ostergaard on this theme in a relatively early issue of Anarchy, and when Buber died in 1965, he devoted an entire issue of Anarchy to a discussion of Buber’s and Landauer’s ideas. See G. Ostergaard, ‘Contracting other relationships’, in C. Ward (Ed.), A Decade of Anarchy (London: Freedom Press, 1987), pp. 36–38, originally published in Anarchy, 20 (1962); and Anarchy, 54 (1965). For helpful discussion of Landauer see also R. Day, Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements (London: Pluto/Toronto: Between the Lines, 2005), pp. 123–126.

[17] Ostergaard, op cit, Ref. 13, p. 4.

[18] Read, op cit, Ref. 12, p. 122.

[19] Ward, Anarchy in Action, p. 137, emphasis added.

[20] See especially G. Molnar, ‘Conflicting strains in anarchist thought’, Anarchy 4, 1961, pp. 117–127. See also G. Molnar, ‘Controversy: Anarchy and Utopia’, Freedom, 19 (30), July 26, 1958, p. 2; ‘Controversy: Anarchy and Utopia—2’, Freedom, 19 (31), August 2, 1958, pp. 2, 3; and ‘Meliorism’, Anarchy 85, 1968, pp. 76–83.

[21] C. Ward, ‘Anarchism and Respectability’, Freedom, 22 (28), September 12, 1961, p. 3, and ‘Anarchism and Respectability—2’, Freedom, 22 (29), September 19, 1961, p. 3. The quote is from the first part of the article.

[22] Ward, Anarchy in Action, p. 131.

[23] Ward, op cit, Ref. 21, first part.

[24] Ward, ibid.

[25] Ward, ibid.

[26] That said, the normative anarchist position ceases to be very interesting unless it is combined with a belief inthe possibility of making a modern society substantially anarchic, significantly more so than, say, state socialist or welfare state capitalist societies of the twentieth century. As will become clear, Ward certainly does hold such a belief.

[27] M. Buber, ‘Society and the State’, Anarchy, 54, 1965, pp. 232–243. The essay was first delivered as a lecture at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in 1950.

[28] Buber, ibid, p. 232.

[29] Buber, ibid, p. 241. Citations of the passage (which I have edited) by Ward can be found, for example, inWard, Anarchism, p. 27 and Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, p. 87. Ward also refers to this Buber essay in Anarchy in Action at p. 23.

[30] Ward, Anarchy in Action, p. 18.

[31] ‘What extreme situations always reveal is the enormous untapped resources of human solidarity which arenormally stultified by our manner of living, by the values we honour, and by our social passivity’. See C. Ward, ‘Pull Up the Ladder, Jack ...’, Freedom, 19 (20), May 17, 1958, p. 3. See also C. Ward, ‘Kropotkin and Ashley Montagu’, Freedom, 18 (37), September 14, 1957, p. 3, discussing scientific work supporting the account of human nature set out in P. Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1939).

[32] Ward, Anarchy in Action, pp. 131, 137.

[33] Cited in Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, p. 59; originally in C. Ward, ‘A Hundred Issues of Anarchy’,Freedom, 30 (20), June 14, 1969, p. 3.

[34] See Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, p. 35.

[35] G. Woodcock, New Life to the Land (London: Freedom Press, 1942), Railways in Society (London: Freedom Press, 1943), Homes or Hovels: The Housing Problem and Its Solution (London: Freedom Press, 1944).

[36] G. Woodcock, Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Movements and Ideas (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975 [1961]), pp. 446–447.

[37] Woodcock continued to contribute to Freedom in the 1950s and also contributed to Anarchy in the late 1960s, commenting very favourably on it in the second edition of his book: ‘... a monthly review, Anarchy, which for a decade was superior to any journal that anarchists had published since the libertarian literary magazines of Paris during the 1890s’. See Woodcock, ibid, p. 457.

[38] Gaston Leval, ‘A Constructive Libertarian Movement’, Freedom, 21 (13), March 26, 1960, pp. 2, 4.

[39] Leval, ibid, p. 2.

[40] Leval, ibid, p. 4.

[41] A. Uloth, ‘Anarchism, the workers, and social revolution’, Anarchy 74, 1967, pp. 114–116, specifically p. 114.

[42] The more contemporary works include C. Ward, Tenants Take Over (London: The Architectural Press, 1974); Housing: An Anarchist Approach (London: Freedom Press, 1976); When We Build Again ... Let’s Have Housing That Works! (London: Pluto, 1985); Talking Houses (London: Freedom Press, 1990); and Talking to Architects (London: Freedom Press, 1996). Historical works include C. Ward, Cotters and Squatters (Nottingham: Five Leaves Press, 2002), and, with D. Hardy, Arcadia for All: The Legacy of a Maksehift Landscape (London: Mansell, 1984). See also Ward, Anarchy in Action, pp. 67–73.

[43] See J. C. Scott, Seeing Like a State (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999), and P. Hall, Cities of Tomorrow: Third Edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), pp. 218–261.

[44] Ward, ‘Dear Mr. Crosland ...’, in Ward, Housing, pp. 93–98, specifically p. 94.

[45] Ward, When We Build Again, p. 87.

[46] See Ward, Anarchy in Action, pp. 70–72; Housing, pp. 13–34; Cotters and Squatters; Social Policy: An Anarchist Response (London: London School of Economics, 1996), pp. 25–31; Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, p. 73.

[47] Ward, ‘What Have the Squatters Achieved?’, in Housing, pp. 28–34, specifically p. 34.

[48] See Ward, Cotters and Squatters and Hardy and Ward, Arcadia for All. See also Ward, When We Build Again, pp. 71–84; Talking Houses, pp. 65–80; Social Policy, pp. 18–23.

[49] Anarchy, 23 (1963), contains articles on cooperative self-build projects. A later summary of views is Ward, ‘Self-Help in Urban Renewal’, The Raven, 2 (1987), pp. 115–120. See also Ward’s discussion of Walter Segal, an architect whose designs helped pioneer the self-build movement in contemporary Britain, in C. Ward, Influences: Voices of Creative Dissent (Bideford: Green Books, 1991), pp. 97–101, and Talking to Architects (London: Freedom, 1996), pp. 31–40. Another influence on Ward in this area is J. Turner, Housing by People: Toward Autonomy in Building Environments (New York, Pantheon, 1976).

[50] Ward, Talking Houses, pp. 15–35; Hardy and Ward, Arcadia for All, pp. 298–300.

[51] In addition to Tenants Take Over, see Ward, Anarchy in Action, pp. 72–73, and When We Build Again, pp. 27–45.

[52] Ward comments that: ‘The proudest moment of my housing advocacy was when the Weller Street Coop chairman, Billy Floyd, introduced me at a meeting by waving a tattered copy of Tenants Take Over and saying: “Here’s the man who wrote the Old Testament ... But we built the New Jerusalem!”’ See Ward and Goodway, Talking Anarchy, pp. 74–75. For an account of the Weller Street Co-op, see Alan McDonald, The Weller Way (London: Faber and Faber, 1986).

[53] Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref 5, p. 74.

[54] See C. Ward and A. Fyson, Streetwork: The Exploding School (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973). See also C. Ward, Utopia (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974), which, like Streetwork, encourages children to take an active interest in the physical (and, by extension, social) environment in which they live.

[55] The underlying theory is set out in C. Ward, ‘Education for Participation’, in Ward, Housing, pp. 119–129.

[56] The Kropotkinian influence is clear in New Life for the Land, and also in G. Woodcock, Anarchy or Chaos (London: Freedom Press, 1944), pp. 90–104, which also refers to the garden city model of Howard (p. 104); and The Basis of Communal Living (London: Freedom Press, 1947), especially pp. 3–7, 37–41.

[57] R. Boston, ‘Conversations about anarchism’, in op cit, Ref. 16, pp. 11–23, specifically p. 11. The typescriptwas also published in Anarchy 85, 1968.

[58] See, for example, Ward, Welcome, Thinner City: Urban Survival in the 1990s (London: Bedford Square Press, 1989), pp. 14–21; Talking Houses, pp. 15–35, specifically pp. 19–20; Talking to Architects, pp. 65–76.

[59] See P. Kropotkin, C. Ward (Eds), Fields, Factories and Workshops Tomorrow (London: Freedom Press, 1975).

[60] See Ward, Influences, pp. 103–114 (on Geddes); Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, pp. 70–73 (on Howard and Geddes). For an account of garden city philosophy, emphasizing the links with anarchist thought, see P. Hall, Cities of Tomorrow, Third edition (Oxford, Blackwell, 2002 [1988]), pp. 87–187. For the original text stating the garden city ideal, see also E. Howard, To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform (London, Routledge, 2003), with introduction by P. Hall, D. Hardy and C. Ward. The influence of the Goodman brothers, Percival and Paul, is also important in Ward’s thinking about urban design. See Ward, Influences, pp. 115–132, and Goodway, ‘Introduction’, in Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, p. 16. For Woodcock’s earlier endorsement of garden city ideas, see Woodcock, Homes or Hovels, pp. 31–33, and Anarchy or Chaos, p. 104.

[61] See Kropotkin, op cit, Ref. 59.

[62] Ward, Anarchy in Action, pp. 59–66.

[63] See C. Ward, Freedom to Go: After the Motor Age (London: Freedom Press, 1991).

[64] See D. Crouch and C. Ward, The Allotment: Its Landscape and Culture (Nottingham: Five Leaves Press, 1997); Ward, Welcome Thinner City, pp. 96–102, and Anarchism, p. 97 (illustration by Clifford Harper).

[65] Ward, Anarchy in Action, pp. 104–106; Anarchism, pp. 47–49. Anarchy 30, 1963, is themed on this topic.

[66] Hall, op cit, Ref. 60, pp. 93–97. This is also noted by Ward in Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, p. 72. Ward’s definition of ‘anarchist communism’ can be found in Anarchism, p. 2. Ward also discusses local popular management of water supplies as a feasible response to the ‘tragedy of the commons’ in C. Ward, Reflected in Water: A Crisis of Social Responsibility (London: Cassell, 1997).

[67] On self-help therapeutic groups, see Ward, Anarchy in Action, p. 120. See also A. Pressman, ‘Synanon and anarchy’, Anarchy, 60 (1966), pp. 40–51. On Friendly Societies, see Ward, Anarchy in Action, p. 119; Social Policy, pp. 1–7. On education, see C. Ward, ‘A modest proposal for the repeal of the Education Act’, Anarchy, 53 (1965), pp. 214–216; Anarchy in Action, pp. 79–86; Talking Schools (London: Freedom Press, 1995).

[68] C. Ward, ‘Federalism, Regionalism, and Planning: An Anarchist Perspective’, The Raven, 31, 1995, pp. 290–302. See also R. Rendell and C. Ward, Undermining the Central Line (London: Chatto and Windus, 1989).

[69] On economic decentralization, see Kropotkin, op cit, Ref. 59. On political decentralization, see P. Kropotkin,trans. by Vernon Richards, The State: Its Historic Role (London: Freedom Press, 1987 [1897/98]).

[70] ‘We proclaim integration ... a society of integrated, combined labour. A society where each individual is a producer of both manual and intellectual work; where each able-bodied human being is a worker, and where each worker works both in the field and the industrial workshop; where every aggregation of individuals, large enough to dispose of a certain variety of resources—it may be a nation, or rather a region—produces and itself consumes most of its agricultural and manufactured produce’. See Kropotkin, op cit, Ref. 59, p. 26.

[71] P. Kropotkin, ‘Anarchist Communism: Its Basis and Principles’, in R.N. Baldwin (Ed.), Kropotkin’s Revolutionary Pamphlets (New York: Dover, 1970 [1887]), pp. 46–75, specifically p. 59.

[72] C. Ward, ‘Learning About LETS’, The Raven, 31, 1995, pp. 229–233; Ward, Social Policy, pp. 1–7.

[73] C. Ward, ‘A Few Italian Lessons’, The Raven, 7, 1989, pp. 197–206; Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, pp. 52–53.

[74] Ward, Anarchy in Action, pp. 98–102. Workers’ control was a regular theme in Anarchy. See especially issues 2 (1961), 40 (1964), 47 (1965), 80 (1967), 86 (1968), 95 (1969), 108 (1970) and 118 (1970).

[75] Review of Ward’s Anarchy in Action, Black Flag, 3 (8), 1974, pp. 13–14. The review is unsigned but the style suggests Albert Meltzer.

[76] C. Ward, ‘Notes of an Anarchist Columnist’, The Raven, 12, 1990, pp. 315–319, specifically p. 316.

[77] C. Ward, ‘The Unwritten Handbook’, Freedom, 19 (26), June 28, 1958, p. 3.

[78] Molnar, ‘Controversy: Anarchy and Utopia’, p. 2.

[79] C. Ward, ‘Anarchy for Adults’, Freedom, 19 (31), August 2, 1958, p. 2.

[80] Ward puts emphasis on the following passage: ‘Throughout the history of our civilisation, two traditions, twoopposed tendencies, have been in conflict; the Roman tradition and the popular tradition, the imperial tradition and the federalist tradition, the authoritarian tradition and the libertarian tradition. Between these two currents, always alive, struggling in humanity ... our choice is made’. What Molnar and Ward stress is the idea that the two tendencies are both ‘always alive, struggling in humanity’. Ward reports that the passage is to be found in the 1913 French edition of Kropotkin’s Modern Science and Anarchism. See also Buber, Paths in Utopia, p. 39. A more extended interpretation of Kropotkin on Ward-Molnar lines is presented in Day, op cit, Ref. 16, pp. 117–123.

[81] K. Stephen Vincent, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and the Rise of French Republican Socialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 209.

[82] See Day, op cit, Ref. 16, and U. Gordon, ‘Anarchism and Political Theory—Contemporary Problems’,unpublished D.Phil thesis, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University, 2006.

[83] See P. Hain, Radical Regeneration: Protest, Direct Action and Community Politics (London: Quartet, 1975).

[84] Ward, Anarchy in Action, p. 132.

[85] Speaking in 1987, Samuel comments that ‘I have been struck with how much of the cultural revolution of the1960s was actually prefigured in that journal, which was running in easy tandem with a larger New Left’. See R. Samuel, presentation in ‘Then and Now: A Re-evaluation of the New Left’, in Oxford Socialist Discussion Group (Eds), Out of Apathy: Voices of the New Left Thirty Years On (London: Verso, 1989), pp. 143–170, specifically p. 148.

[86] K. Worpole (Ed.), Richer Futures: Fashioning a New Politics (Bristol: Earthscan, 1999).

[87] Worpole, ibid, p. 1.

[88] See A. Briggs, Michael Young: Social Entrepreneur (Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2001), pp. 280–309.

[89] C. Ward, ‘A Confederation of Confederations?’, Samizdat, 11, 1990, pp. 15–16, ‘City People Can House Themselves’, Samizdat, 12, 1990, pp. 7–9. The affinity between Ward and Young, noted by Goodway, is worthy of further consideration. See Ward and Goodway, op cit, Ref. 5, pp. 91–95.

[90] Worpole, op cit, Ref. 86, p. 182.

[91] This line of criticism of anarchist thought is developed at more length by Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers intheir critique of Noam Chomsky’s anarchism. See J. Cohen and J. Rogers, ‘Knowledge, Morality and Hope: The Social Thought of Noam Chomsky’, New Left Review, 187, 1991, pp. 5–27, specifically pp. 14–16.

[92] Buber, op cit, Ref. 15, p. 36.

[93] Buber writes, ibid, p. 39: ‘In history there is not merely the State as a clamp that strangles the individuality ofsmall associations; there is also the State as the framework within which they may consolidate ... not merely the machina machinarum that turns everying belonging to it into the components of some mechanism, but also the communitas communitatum, the unions of the communities into community, within which “the proper and autonomous common life of all the members” can unfold’.

[94] P. Hirst, Associative Democracy: New Forms of Economic and Social Governance (Cambridge: Polity, 1994), and J. Cohen and J. Rogers, Associations and Democracy (London: Verso, 1994).

[95] See, for example, G.D.H. Cole, Social Theory (London: Methuen and Co., 1920).

[96] R.H. Tawney, Equality (London: Allen and Unwin, 1931).

[97] As Michael Kenny writes, ‘...the New Left placed tremendous emphasis upon democracy, spontaneity and initiative from below’, and many of its thinkers shared a ‘concern for the restoration of community within British political life’. See M. Kenny, The First New Left: British Intellectuals after Stalin (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1995), pp. 95, 74. Turning very selectively to the original texts, one might cite R. Williams, ‘Towards a Socialist Society’, in P. Anderson and R. Blackburn, eds., Towards Socialism (London: New Left Books, 1965), pp. 367–397, as an article with a strong emphasis on the democracy theme, and P. Townsend, ‘A Society for People’, in N. MacKenzie (Ed.), Conviction (London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1958), pp. 93– 120, as an eloquent statement of the concern for fellowship (see especially pp. 118–120). The values of participatory democracy and fellowship also feature prominently in a helpful retrospective set of essays by leading theorists of the first New Left. See S. Hall, ‘The “First” New Left: Life and Times’, R. Samuel, ‘Born-again Socialism’, and C. Taylor, ‘Marxism and Socialist Humanism’, in Oxford Socialist Discussion Group (Eds), op cit, Ref. 85, pp. 11–38, 39–57, 59–78.

[98] Buber, op cit, Ref. 15, p. 48.