Title: Postanarchism and the ‘3rd World’
Author: Süreyyya Evren
Date: 2006
Notes: Süreyyya Evren is editor of the magazine Siyahi (a postanarchist culture and politics magazine) based in Istanbul. This paper was presented in the 56th annual conference of the PSA (Political Studies Association) which took place at the University of Reading in 2006.
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Abstract: The paper is a combination of various questions: What is the general detailed picture of the postanarchism studies as recently developed? What do these theories lack which they need to directly touch in today’s political agenda, cultural theories and everyday life? Do we see eurocentric perspectives in post-anarchist works? What kind of problems a non-eurocentric reading of these works will find out? What does non-western (third world) anarchism mean? Main founding shows that we have past the introduction period in postanarchism studies and now I a new phase where we have new lines both going to arts, literature, everyday life, political action, and post-eurocentric studies.

* * * * *

During the last ten years if we can say, we witnessed a growing interest in re-reading anarchism through so-called post-modern or poststructuralist theories, namely through thoughts of Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard, Derrida, Lacan, (with poststructuralist interpretations of) Nietzsche, Baudrillard and like. More and more publications have been made on this ground giving it different titles like “poststructuralist anarchism”, “post-anarchism” or “post-modern anarchism”. For now I will use the term postanarchism because it is less defining and less limiting. It may also seem like a choice of side.

I can’t make a detailed map of this postanarchist tendency in the world but may point out some positions and conflicts. Everyday it is possible to come across a new article on the subject and the network is becoming more complex. A study of already walked paths will show the features of this interest. But the more critical contribution could be extending the field by researching to find ways to add new areas of studying to post-anarchism. And this critical contribution, I would argue, is today being applied in various contexts by various people.

On the other hand, if we turn back to the term choice; three book length contributions to the subject, Todd May’s The Political Philosophy of Poststructralist Anarchism, Saul Newman’s From Bakunin to Lacan, and Lewis Call’s Postmodern Anarchism prefer and use different terms for the same field. May prefers “poststructralist anarchism”, Newman “postanarchism” and Call “postmodern anarchism”. The problem with ‘poststructralist anarchism’ is it represents an intersection of anarchism with limited thinkers who are generally called poststructralist. May would find no problem with that, he even exclude some poststructralist thinkers for their thought he thinks won’t be appropriate for a political project. This understanding secures possible fields of research on different intersections between different anarchisms and thinkers like Bakhtin who are not directly poststructralist thinkers but who are post- in many aspects. There is no way to think anarchism through hypertext or Cixous or Irigaray or art works or facts from political life or everyday life. It is limiting post- with just some philosophical works. So, “postmodern anarchism” sounds more open and useful. Postmodern is much more flexible and it is not limited to some writers only. That’s how the postmodern matrix of Call, reaches and combines Marcel Mauss, Saussure, Durkheim or Freud on one line and cyberpunk, Chomsky and Butler on the other line. Although Call did not draw it as a historical temporal context, postmodern easily represents ‘a postmodern era’ and a historical slice which makes ‘postmodern anarchism’ a bit problematic. But compared with these two, postanarchism may be the most problematic term. It is not telling anything besides possible meanings you can load to the prefix post- like ‘after’ or ‘beyond’. I will still prefer postanarchism for it is elusive and the field we are stepping in now is much elusive as well.

I am not going to make critical analysis of these three books here. From various angles these books have been criticised, just to name few I can mention critiques of Michael Glavin, Sasha, Jesse Cohn & Shawn Wilbur, Simon Tormey etc.

But what I will do here is a kind of periodisation which does not actually show a period of time but a period of approaching.

So I will suggest that we can understand these three works as a period in postanarchist studies. An introductory period, which is over. I will try to draw the characterisation of the coming period which I think we are in now and point out some proposed areas. And examine these three books just in relation with this periodisation, a loose periodisation that will be but still could help I feel. It is not of course a conceptualisation to accuse these writers/books or labelling them as out dated etc. — which would be a paradox at the same time. And besides, they are very important contributions, just to name the few positive affects they had we can remember how May did open the platform to discuss anarchism and poststructralism together for many people. May’s book opened many ways to rethink anarchism through poststructralist theories and helped to discuss the new anarchist movements through these theories. And Saul Newman turned eyes to directly political grounds. Newman approached the subject in such a way that the aim was clearly defined as a political aim. That created some further discussion and his introducing of Stirner and Lacan into the debate was an important shift. And Call did another very important contribution by including literature (although just a genre of popular science fiction literature, cyberpunk) including contemporary anarchists (although he only included Bookchin and Chomsky and didn’t consider Bookchin’s late politics in greater scale and give a bit more importance to Chomsky’s anarchism then it deserves in the eyes of many anarchists). And Call also expands the field of study through his postmodern matrix scheme.

Still, some characteristics of this introduction period are over. For example, all these works operate with an excuse, they behave like a justification is needed for thinking anarchism and poststructralism or anarchist and poststructralist thinkers together. They try to explain their motivation believing it can be found as a weird combination by many and irrelevant in both academic and anarchist circles. I would not claim they were wrong. But probably we won’t see this again. I can’t imagine a new book using similar justifications today. Now in different places with different new theories and approaches we have a known area for to discuss upon although the limits and aspects are still the more elusive.

One of the most serious critiques of these works was based on their reductioning of anarchism into few anarchist thinkers. I would argue that this kind of reductionism also belongs to the introduction period and it won’t work furthermore. New studies today understand different aspects and figures of anarchism in their plurality.

Both Lewis Call, Saul Newman and Todd May refer to anarchism as a thought that can be summarized by views of few Western activist thinkers. This is in contradiction with the anarchist understanding of theory and practice where there is no hierarchy between the form and content. As a current example, when David Graeber wrote about the “new anarchism” that can be seen in anti-globalization movements (or the global justice movement or The Movement) he insisted that the ideology of the new movement is the form of its organisation and organisational principles. This is very typical of anarchism. Although Call, May and Newman, with these works, become part of a project which combines anarchism with theories that are known with their strong critiques of modernism, their approach to anarchist history is still carrying modernist limitations. First they give priority to anarchist texts and understand anarchist practices as simple applications of these principles, whereas anarchist history has always been against this hierarchy and have a strong place to learn from the practice. And then, as a continuation of this logic, these writers give priority to Western modern anarchist thinkers, and leave in shadow those texts produced in various geographies (along with experiences out there). Implying that these events and texts in the non-western world were just pure applications (if not imitations) of modern western anarchism. And that would mean that the truth of western anarchism is the hidden-truth of non-western anarchism(s) whereas the truth of written anarchism is the hidden-truth of anarchist practice. Homogenization of the anarchist ideals is one danger here. Pyramidal thinking and conceptualizing ‘classical anarchism’ as western anarchism should be questioned as well. A new post-anarchism (or a poststructuralist/postmodern anarchism) can present a potential for understanding (or rewriting) anarchist history with its plurality and rhizomatic structure. Main argument is not blaming these three postanarchists for being “eurocentrist” or “orientalist” for sure, but contributing with these above mentioned post-eurocentric concerns to the theoretical body they are building. This requires to indicate missing perspectives and then to enhance the field.

That means in many ways looking for heterodox approaches in every different field, looking for the post-anarchist tendency in different fields, and preparing a platform where linkages can be constituted to create a network of post-anarchist tendencies. I will take the aim of extending to the non-western world as a tool for understanding it more heterogeneous and complex.

This new proposed post-anarchism (or from another point of view the already emerging postanarchism) would have new qualities (or has new qualities):

a) It will not construct itself from within a Western epistemology only; it will not have a progressivist world history or history of philosophy to build itself on, but a horizontal understanding of history and philosophy mostly based on a poststructuralist approach. Will not depend on the Western constructed ‘mainstream history of anarchism’ but instead re-examine facts according to a post-eurocentric perspective (as we see in Jason Adams’s work.) It will be connected with the third world in this sense but this does not mean to look for a special post-anarchism that would work in the third world but it means to reach something that would work in the third world as well and even more importantly that would include non-Western, non-eurocentric knowledge and viewpoints as well.

And behind practical conclusions: it will be forcing possibilities for to be able to talk on new multiple faces of history and philosophy. So it means to gather a complex history of philosophy to create a new post-anarchist tradition from both western and non-western thought.

b) This new proposed post-anarchism takes the political field much larger. It will be more than something between Bakunin-Lacan-Kropotkin-Nietzsche-Deleuze. Action forms are taken as ideologies, third wave anarchism and post Seattle events are read through this point of view, art forms and literature forms and art works are read through this perspective, heterodoxical approach is being searched everywhere.

This would be a postanarchism which thinks with arts and thinks with literature — it does not only think on them. As it does not only think on non-Western world but think with and think through the non-Western world.

The research of post-anarchism would be dismissing modernist eurocentric elements in the classical modern anarchism too. Jason Adams has showed some examples of how we can see eurocentric elements in anarchist history writing and in writing the history of anarchism.

We can say that postanarchist studies since today didn’t pay enough attention to the history of modern anarchism in the third world, but surely pre-modern heterodoxies were much more neglected. Although mythicising the pre-modern can be a real danger, categorising all pre-modern traditions as primitivism or conservatism and thus depending on modernist history writing may mean to lose some insights and to make a serious misreading. Many times a picture of the orthodox community dominates the image of the whole era and leaves anarchistic communities and heterodoxies in shadow. (On the other hand the problem of modernisation/Westernisation in many countries and intersections with anarchist movements is a big issue here.) In an interview we made with Saul Newman for our magazine Siyahi, Newman makes it clear that he sees post-anarchism as taking modernity as its starting point. (He was also stressing that in his book from Bakunin to Lacan. He argues that poststructralism operates within the discourse of modernity to expose its limits and unmask its problems and paradoxes...” And “we must work at the limits of modernity, and maintain a critical attitude, not only toward modernity itself, but toward ant discourse which claims to transcend it.”) In that interview Newman was close to identify pre-modern with the primitive and conservative. And he also claims that the attack on eurocentrism in poststructuralism is in itself Eurocentric because it is mainly based on European intellectual origins. And he also claims that attacks on eurocentrism miss the point because today capitalism is not Eurocentric but global and universal... From a non-eurocentric point of view, there is a lot to discuss in these opinions. If non-european thinking is identified with primitivism and conservatism then it is not something to build a libertarian theory and critic on. But if you build your libertarian critic of eurocentrism on European intellectual grounds, then it is supposed to be Eurocentric anyway! Catch-22.

But in the period we are in, there is a growing dialogue, translations, publications, growing fields of study that are now included.

And looks like we should note the outside affect as well.

The emergence of a strong international horizontal movement (the ‘anti-globalisation movement’) mainly after Seattle 1999 created an impulse for postanarchist studies as well because anarchism or anarchistic organisation principles characterised these events. The third wave of anarchism is in deep dialogue with possible postanarchist findings and theories. We were reading and witnessing from different sources that horizontal left approaches were quite too close to a postanarchistic approach. But this link is another subject and needs to be examined separately. What David Graeber described as the new anarchism was somehow a postanarchism or a changing anarchism. Postanarchism is obviously impossible in the sense that it is a way to question the anarchism it is talking about and the post theories it is talking about. So it is just a way not to define and at the same time put a distance to orthodox modernist tendencies. Very much like the Zapatist motto, ‘no is clear but yes is elusive’.

I would like to address paths to broaden the post-anarchist field to a more non-western plurality of perspectives where we will find “third world” (or non-western) traditions, experiences and approaches considered.

I wish we can survey the lacking points of post-anarchism studies up to now but especially focus on the ways to re-examine the field with a post-eurocentric perspective. That would be broadening the spectrum and opening new areas for a new post-anarchism which runs over western epistemology and embrace the third world (non-Western world) as well. I will be trying to find out clues for further research which will combine post-anarchist theories with post-eurocentric or non-eurocentric perspectives that could in turn become a new post-anarchism.

So, a basic map of the current theoretical efforts concentrating around the term post-anarchism shows that we are now in a new period of multiple paths. Actually this session is a part of it.

Already lacking (at the same emerging) fields and perspectives can be summarized as third-world, arts, everyday life, minor thinkers of anarchism and of poststructralism and hinterlands...We can try to understand the aspects of works which throw into doubt the universality of post-anarchism today, this can be discussed while discussing third world anarchism.

Although there is a lack of non-western traditions and experiences in the project, I would like to shortly mention some other possible areas to broaden the post-anarchist body of work. These would be covering the neglected heritage of practical political struggles in anarchism and the multifarious forms of culture, from literature to arts and daily life studies.

Existing post-anarchist knowledge projects a post- reading on classical modern anarchist thinkers. Todd May mainly compares thoughts of Deleuze, Foucault and Lyotard with thoughts of Kropotkin and Bakunin with a little reference to Emma Goldman, Colin Ward and Bookchin. Saul Newman adds Lacan, Stirner and Derrida to the picture, especially underlining Lacan and Stirner. Lewis Call broadens a bit and describes a matrix, a post-modern matrix from Nietzsche to Baudrillard and compares their work with anarchist classical thinkers and Chomsky and Bookchin. One of the unique aspects of his work is that he enters the field of literature. Last chapter of his book is devoted to links and similarities between postmodern anarchism and cyberpunk literature. But he also broadens the work area to many different thinkers although he do not spent much work on them — from Irigaray to Mauss.

Besides these three book-length projects there are many many articles and web sites relevant to post-anarchist theories, written and prepared by Jesse Cohn, Jason Adams, Karen Karapetyan, Jamie Heckert, Juergen Mumken, Tadzio Mueller, Dave Morland, Daniel Colson and others. Although here I am mostly pointing out book length contributions these articles are now making a wider literature. We have anti-postanarchism articles (like Paul Nursay-Bray’s article or Zabalaza response to Saul Newman), pro-postanarchism articles and also critiques written from inside postanarchism. At the end of this article you will find bibliographic references showing a late picture.

I wish to see missing fields in post-anarchist studies. Mainly it will be extending the political thinking into arts, cultural products and everyday life, extending western modern political philosophy to world anarchist thinkers and extending modern anarchist history writing to cover pre-modern libertarian third world traditions as well as libertarian experiences in non-western modernizations.

I wish to point out a possible post-anarchism (or a coming/growing postanarchism we can say) that focuses on fields that these previous studies left behind and try to find out paths to a new post-anarchism that will extend its work area and be able to much more affect both politics today and cultural studies today.

As anarchism always denied understanding the struggle of holding the state power as its core aim, it has always been broadening the political sphere, spreading politics into culture, everyday life, wherever we can find power and resistance.

So a new post-anarchism thus cover not only classical western anarchist thinkers of the modern age but also anarchist figures of non-western modern geographies and all the practices and theories with an anarchist tendency applied before the rise of the modern anarchism, from the early communal experiences in many places to organisational practices of the so-called anti-globalisation movement. All the movements and thoughts practised in the pre-modern Europe or non-western world or others of the Western modernity.

Actually, a Eurocentric opinion do not mean an opinion created in the continent Europe or based on ideas created in the continent Europe (On the other hand, these geographical codes- — i.e. Europe, Asia, East, West, etc. — are themselves ideological concepts. Besides others, Lewis and Wigen clearly show this in their “The Myth of Continents, A Critique of Metageography”, Martin W. Lewis & Karen E. Wigen, University of California Press, 1997.)

I think we have to examine these modernist assumptions in post-anarchism separately, which means to ask questions on the character of capitalism and globalisation today and on the intellectual agenda of critics of eurocentricism.

As in most of the post-anarchist works, anarchism has been represented by few representative thinkers. And writers found different links from these same classical anarchist ‘father’ writers to different post- theories. Jess Cohn and Shawn Wilbur already criticised this. (But they didn’t mention differences between May, Newman and Call adequately on this matter. Because where Newman only refers to Bakunin and Kropotkin and once to Proudhon and Godwin, May does refer to Colin Ward and Bookchin and Call to Chomsky and Bookchin as contemporary anarchist thinkers.

It is very important to consider non representative elements of the modern anarchist history as well: practical solutions and different forms of actions at the first place, libertarian workers movements and communes and other experiences, as I stressed above, it is also important to consider anarchist thinkers in different countries beside the main European anarchist thinkers, and anarchist approaches that seems more cold to the enlightment and more open to a anarchism of differences, like the pan-anarchism in the beginning of the 20th century. Anarchism can not be reduced to few thinkers is a key idea now.

There is a certain need to look at the ideology of organisations — carnavalisation, from Bakhtin to anti-globalisation movements and compare these with the anarchist concept of community and organisation. There is a ‘queer’ mechanism that doesn’t fit orthodox pyramidal hierarchical understandings anywhere. So new phase of postanarchism is thinking on what people did as well what people said.

Poststructuralist theories and generally anarchism do not define the field of politics as a modern political discipline which takes state as its centre. As anarchism left behind the idea of holding the state power or anything related, politics has run over to everything that is not political at first from a modern view. Whole culture is understood from the point of view of a politics that cover everyday life, action forms and arts as things equal.

So; how can a post-anarchist thought operate in the “Third World” as well, although the term is literally left in the cold war era, it can still be used as a flexible tool — but then why it shouldn’t? And how can post-anarchist thought operate ‘with’ the arts? Although these questions, won’t be inspected in the same detailed manner detail as the question of “what would thinking ‘with’ the third world mean” does.

Do we have a definition for anarchism that would enable us to recognize the anarchist in the third world? And how can we leave behind the modernist vision to freely reconsider possible anarchistic backgrounds in the third world. And how would third world itself get transformed to the body of anarchism and now for us postanarchism as a subject? And what role cultural differences will play in anarchism in general and postanarchism specifically. So how can we theorize a non-universalist universal postanarchism? And mentioning culture and cultural differences, how would (could) be the role of arts and culture here? How can postanarchist thought operate in the “Third World”, although the term is literally left in the cold war era, it can still be used as a flexible tool. And how can postanarchist thought operate ‘with’ the arts? I would also mean, for sure, thinking ‘with’ the third world and thinking ‘in’ the arts...

Introduction period of postanarchism insisted on a naive picture of anarchism (so-called ‘classical anarchism’). A picture usually seen from a Marxist perspective. This modern accusation has quite direct connections with Elias-kind accusation of non-civilisations. Childish, naïve. The lacking of economical reductionism made many marxists think that anarchism is not realistic. And the anarchist way of refusing taking power in hand to be the new oppressor was also understood as a deep naivety and of false ideals about human nature.

They didn’t wanted to see that anarchism is constant warning to human nature — as Sasha K. says, this not contradiction of Bakunin that he doesn’t believe in good human soul it is just anarchism we have to face — because anarchists were also warning people against their revolutions and their revolutionary aims as well.

Anarchist practices has always been constant warning and preliminary precautions a constant resistance in undefined non-definable situations of power. These precautions invest in a human nature which is not moral and purely good but which is always ready to change and already changing and which should be under anti-hierarchy control every minute. And even more so, this control is both from outside- — with precautions — and from inside — an anarchist community understanding and social will to anarchy. So the ever changing human is under never lasting control by anarchy.

And if anarchists haven’t paid attention to positive power and if they had really cursed every kind of power for being domination it would not be possible for the anarchist practice (anarchy in action) to be such courage and support for personal empowerment. It is a constant encouragement for minor empowerments of both people and also small groups and than resistance movements. Strong anti-representational warning means a strong call for talking for herself. Well I don’t know if there is any anarchist text showing different power positions as deliberately and delicately as Foucault does, but the anarchist history shows positive power understanding worked in anarchism and that was not in contradiction with anarchist texts — otherwise why to stay in anarchism anyway?

So anarchism has always dreamed a dirty point of departure — even an uncleanable one. Manifestations like the pananarchism of early 20th century leave no place for any ever clean spot. Anything clean is temporaliy clean.

So actually what postanarchism (or the ‘new pananarchism’) aims to throw away from classical anarchism mostly are not qualities of classical anarchism but the qualities of conceptualising and categorizing of classical anarchism and the parallel history writing. Which does not mean that worldwide classical anarchism of the first wave didn’t have any roots for tempting this history writing. But it is also obvious that any critic of Kropotkin’s modernism should be considered of modernist history writing of anarchism. Not forgetting that history writing is just showing struggling forces.

This classical anarchist history writing also worked to limit anarchist scope. The complex theories of 20th century had little communication with anarchism which stood out there categorized as naïve and referred only to reform existing modes.

As I tried to underline, this introduction period is not completely temporal. The obvious reason is different efforts continue in different languages and context. Just to name few, I would like to note that Juergen Mumken’s approach in German and in Germany had its own development. Or Daniel Colson’s early writings may be understood already out of this introduction attitude. There are language barriers. But today there is some kind of dialogue atmosphere — including this conference — initiated with English language publications and events. (Like the book on Nietzsche and anarchism, I am not Man I am Dynamite, which includes translations from Daniel Colson — from French — and Salvo Vaccaro — from Italian.)

Our work in Istanbul has also been an example. The relations between poststructuralist ideas and anarchism constitute a field I have been interested in directly or indirectly for about ten years and as a kind of affinity group we have been writing, reading and publishing and discussing the subject. If I give a short history; between 1996–1998 we published photocopy magazines, newspapers and pamphlets showing our interest in postanarchism as a group for the first time. Then between 1999–2001 we worked inside a known literature and culture magazine and made special dossiers on various subjects from poststructralist anarchism to postfeminism. Then we made a web site (www.postanarki.net, 2003–2005), a radio programme(on Acik Radio/Open Radio,2002–2004), organised talks and published books on postanarchism and then started to make our printed magazine Siyahi (published 7 issues since 2004.)

In the book we wrote with my friend Rahmi (Bagbozumlari, published in 2002) we conceptualized postanarchism as something that covers arts, everyday life and culture in general as well as politics. And we also tried to use a hypertextual writing style. The articles were themselves network like horizontally organized articles. Hypertext, postfeminism, poststructralist anarchism, potlatch, the critique of metageography, rhizomatic thinking, cyberfeminism alternative media and body politics were all subject we aimed to travel in.

But three years ago we were very much closed to ourselves. We were doing our work in Istanbul and didn’t have any dialogue. But in the last 3 years not only we had more dialogue but there is actually more dialogue. In 2003, postanarchism yahoo groups was formed by Jason Adams, then we met with him and Joe in Istanbul(they were American activists on a tour for finding postanarchists in Europe in some sense), I met Juergen Muemken in Berlin and Tadzio Mueller met Kursad Kiziltug from Siyahi in Istanbul, a lot of mail traffic and translation traffic went on. And now Juergen and Tadzio are preparing a postanarchism anthology in German. We are in this session of a conference and there have been some other sessions in conferences in US. I just came across a Polish translation of Saul Newman and heard that there are Brazilian academicians interested in the subject. Sure still there is a language barrier and there is more access to English language works, but now also there is a growing field in different languages and with different intersections. That wouldn’t necessarily mean something but it could do mean if the new postanarchism studies will spread like they started I guess.

As I finish, I would like to do two things. First, I am going to link here a small section on Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks and try to give an example of how I would like to think power with arts and not only think on arts for the proposed postanarchism. Few weeks ago a Colombian artist, Maria Linares, wanted a text from me for an art project on Anarchy in street level art gallery of sox 36 in Berlin, Kreuzberg. And I wanted to give a text that shows my main concerns — all related to postanarchism. And gave this piece on Buddenbrooks which you will read now as well as an example. And then I will put a large bibliographical references section which will give a map of spreading knowledge which I found important.

To a postanarchist ethics — Hanno’s class in Buddenbrooks

Maybe we are still living in the last chapters of the Buddenbrooks, which were really alluring and extraordinary. Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks, The Decline of a Family, goes smooth for some hundred pages and some generations of events. A family notebook records the events, even very peculiar single small events of the family members, and this notebook is very very important for the ‘concept of the family’. The substance of the family lies in the lines written there and the character of the family is structured with this history writing. A strong believer in the notebook, Antonie Buddenbrook, is also one of the best believers of the family concept, along with her successful brother Thomas. Once, the notebook documentation comes before the real life even — when Antonie reads the family history with great esteem and feelings of belonging, she agrees to marry a merchant she doesn’t actually want to marry with for this choice would be more convenient with their family history already written, and she determinedly writes “Antonie Buddenbrook got married..” into the notebook in the past tense. That clearly means it would happen. Period. She first writes as she was married already and then marries as it was written.

Although Antonie Buddenbrook is a great believer of the family concept she is also a great failure for it and she always suffers for that. And she also knows that it is her brother Thomas, who is holding the concept and family firm altogether. When Thomas dies in an early age we can say, it is very possible to consider whole Buddenbrooks as dead too — the game is over. And Thomas’s weak son, Hanno, is not a part of the Buddenbrooks concept, we all know he won’t carry it further and he is living in another reality. But in the infamous last chapters, starting with chapter eleven[1], we find ourselves more and more in Hanno’s world. The Buddenbrooks concept is already forgotten in Hanno’s world full of much different details and perspectives. There we have a very good survey of collective amnesia and consensus related authority building.

We are in the classroom, with Hanno and his classmates. Students react to issues very collectively and manipulate themselves in a way to be in harmony with the teacher’s perspective. First we see how easily students can hate a classmate if he fails to satisfy the teacher and attracts his anger. Then very stunningly, one of the students, cheat the teacher in a way. He pretends he memorized a piece that he had to study and memorize, but actually he is reading it from a book surreptitiously. That’s why when teacher comes close he can not continue to read. But teacher Doctor Mantelsack goes back to his place, and the student Timm continues to pretend. At the end, teacher is cheated. He really believes that Timm studied well, even though couldn’t read perfectly, put great effort. He congratulates Timm and gives a high mark. And very strangely, although the class knows Timm was cheating Doctor Mantelsack, they also believe that Timm was really a good student and he really deserved a high mark. More strangely, Timm himself believes in the same thing. And Hanno Buddenbrook, sees the shift and realize this, but can’t get himself out of it. He believes the same thing.

Then another student fails in answering and the class hates him easily again. And at the end, its Hanno’s turn. He behaves like Timm and cheats the teacher. Successfully gains well done applauds from Doctor Mantelsack. And more and more strangely, he also believes that he deserved the nice eulogies and he gets proud of himself. He believes in the situation although he knows it is not true and he knows it happened minutes ago when Timm cheated the teacher. He feels disgust, weakness and exhaustion. So this collective politics of remembering, which is very much organized in terms of authority building and consensus culture, has strong urge to create collective amnesia any time it is needed and the way we resist to it and create new classes or just go out of that atmosphere is the key.

Selected bibliography on post-anarchism and related topics

  1. Angus, Ian. (ed.). Anarcho-Modernism: Toward A New Critical Theory — In Honour of Jerry Zaslove, Talonbooks, 2001.

  2. Antliff, Allan. Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-Garde. The University of Chicago Press, Spring 2001.

  3. Bey, Hakim. The Temporary Autonomous Zone: Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism. Online. Available: www.t0.or.at. 2 March 2006.

  4. Cafard, Max. The Surre(gion)alist Manifesto and Other Writings. Baton Rouge: Exquisite Corpse, 2003.

  5. Cabuklu, Yasar. Özgürlükçü Düşüncenin Peşinde (In Pursuit of The Libertarian Thought). Istanbul: Metis 2003.

  6. Call, Lewis. Postmodern Anarchism. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2002.

  7. Colson, Daniel. Petit lexique philosophique de l’anarchisme de Proudhon à Deleuze. Librairie générale française (Coll. Livre de poche Biblio essais n° 4315), 2001.

  8. Crowder, George, Classical Anarchism: The Political Thought of Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991.

  9. Evren, Sureyyya and Ogdül, Rahmi G. Bağbozumları — Kültür, Politika ve Gündelik Hayat Üzerine (Vintages — Essays On Culture, Politics and Everyday Life ). Istanbul: Stüdyo Imge, 2002.

  10. Evren, Sureyyya (ed.) and Ogdül, Rahmi G. (ed.) Başka Bir Dünya Mümkün (Another World Is Possible) Istanbul: Stüdyo Imge, 2002.

  11. May, Todd. The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism. University Park: Penn State University Press, 1994.

  12. Moore, John (ed.) and Sunshine, Spencer (ed.). I Am Not A Man, I Am Dynamite: Nietzsche and Anarchist Tradition, Brooklyn. New York: Autonomedia, 2004.

  13. Muemken, Juergen. Freiheit, Individualität und Subjektivität — Staat und Subjekt in der Postmoderne aus anarchistischer Perspektive (Freedom, Individuality and Subjectivity — State and Subject in the Postmodern Anarchist Perspective). Frankfurt: Verlag Edition AV, 2003.

  14. Muemken, Juergen. [Hrsg.], Anarchismus in der Postmoderne. Beitraege zur anarchistischen Theorie und Praxis. Frankfurt/M.: Edition AV, 2005

  15. Newman, Saul. From Bakunin to Lacan: Antiauthoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2001.

  16. Newman, Saul. Power and Politics in Poststructuralist Thought: New Theories of the Political. Routledge, 2005.

  17. Perez, Ronaldo. On An(Archy) and Schizoanalysis. New York: Autonomedia, 1990.

  18. Purkis, Jon and Bowen, James (eds.). Twenty-First Century Anarchism: Unorthodox Ideas for a New Millenium. London: Cassell, 1997.

  19. Purkis, Jon and Bowen, James. (eds.) Changing Anarchism: Anarchist Theory and Practice in a Global Age. Manchester University Press, 2004.

  20. Schurmann, Reiner. Heidegger on Being and Acting: from Principles to Anarchy. Trans. C.-M. Gros. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

  21. Simmons, William Paul. An-Archy and Justice: An Introduction to Emmanuel Levina’s Political Thought. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2003.

  22. Weir, David. Anarchy and Culture The Aesthetic Politics of Modernism. Vancouver: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997.

Unpublished Thesis
  1. Adams, Jason. Popular Defense in the Empire of Speed: Paul Virilio and the Phenomenology of the Political Body. MA Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University November 2003. Online. Available: www.geocities.com. 2 March 2006.

  2. Gordon, Gareth. Horizons of Change: Deconstruction and the Evanescence of Authority. Online. Available: raforum.apinc.org. 2 March 2006.

  3. Karapetyan, Karén. The State of Spectacle: A Postanarchism Investigation od The Problem State Reificication. Department of International Politics Univertsity of Wales Aberystwyth 2004. (Unpublished Phd dissertation).

  4. Kiefte, Barend. The Anarchist Concept Of Commmunity In Blanchot Batialle Nancy., McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, 2002. (Unpublished Phd dissertation).

  5. Heckert, Jamie. Resisting Orientation: On the Complexities of Desire and the Limits of Identity Politics. Ph.D. thesis, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh, 2005, Online. Available: sexualorientation.info. 2 March 2006.

Journal Articles:
  1. Adams, Jason. “Postanarchism in a Nutshell.” Online. Available: info.interactivist.net. 2 March 2006.

  2. Adams, Jason. “Proletariat or Multitude? A Postanarchist Critique of Empire.” Online. Available: slash.autonomedia.org. 2 March 2006.

  3. Adams, Jason. “The Constellation of Opposition.” Online. Available: www.geocities.com. 2 March 2006.

  4. Adams, Jason. “The Reembedding of the War Machine: Resistance to Mediation in Societies of Primary Orality and Primary Literacy.” Online. Available: info.interactivist.net 2 March 2006.

  5. Adams, Jason. Nonwestern Anarchisms: Rethinking the Global Context, Zabalaza Books, 2003. Online. Available: raforum.apinc.org. 2 March 2006.

  6. Amster, Randall. “Anarchism as Moral Theory: Praxis, Property, and the Postmodern.” Anarchist Studies, 6 (1998), 97–112. Online. Available: slash.autonomedia.org. 2 March 2006.

  7. Amster, Randall. “Restoring (Dis)Order: Sanctions, Resolutions, And ‘Social Control’ In Anarchist Communities.” Contemporary Justice Review, 2003, Vol. 6(1), pp. 9–24.

  8. Angus, Ian. “Globalization Versus Social Movements: Towards a New Alliance?” Online. Available: www.ianangus.ca. 2 March 2006.

  9. Aragorn! “Toward Non-European Anarchism or Why a movement is the last thing that people of color need.” Online. Available: www.geocities.com. 2 March 2006.

  10. Call, Lewis. “Anarchy in the Matrix: Postmodern Anarchism in the Novels of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.” Anarchist Studies, 7: 99–117.

  11. Cohn, Jesse and Shawn, Wilbur. “What’s Wrong With Postanarchism?”, Institute for Anarchist Studies web site, Publishing date: 31.08.2003. Online. Available: www.anarchist-studies.org. 2 March 2006.

  12. Cohn, Jesse. Review article: “What is Postanarchism “Post”?” Postmodern Culture — Volume 13, Number 1, September 2002. Online. Available: www3.iath.virginia.edu. 2 March 2006.

  13. Colson, Daniel. “Lectures anarchistes de Spinoza” Réfractions recherches et expressionns anarhistes Numéro 2. Online. Available: www.plusloin.org. 2 March 2006.

  14. Evren, Sureyyya. Review article: “Appropriating ‘Another World’.” New Formulation Volume 2, Number 2 — Winter-Spring 2004. Online. Available: www.newformulation.org. 2 March 2006.

  15. Gambone, Larry, Toward Post-Modern Anarchism. [n.p.] Red Lion Press, 1999.

  16. Gemie, Sharif. “Habermas et L’anarchisme, ou la Rationalité du Quotidien.” Réfractions recherches et expressionns anarhistes Numéro 1. Online. Available: www.plusloin.org. 2 March 2006.

  17. Glavin, Michael. Review article: “Power, Subjectivity, Resistance: Three Works on Postmodern Anarchism.” New Formulation, Volume 2, Number 2, Winter-Spring 2004. Online. Available: www.newformulation.org. 2 March 2006.

  18. Graeber, David. “The New Anarchists.” New Left Review 13, January-February 2002. Online. Available: www.newleftreview.net. 2 March 2006.

  19. Griffin, John, A Structured Anarchism: An Overview of Libertarian Theory and Practice, London: Freedom Press, 1991.

  20. Heckert, Jamie. “Toward Consenting Relations: Anarchism and Sexuality.” Online. Available: www.iisg.nl. 2 March 2006.

  21. Jeppesen, Sandra. “Seeing Past the Outpost of Post-Anarchism. Anarchy: Axiomatic”, Institute for Anarchist Studies web site, Publishing date: 26.02.2004. Online. Available: www.anarchist-studies.org. 2 March 2006.

  22. Joff. “Nothing Inhuman is Alien to Me.” Online. Available: raforum.apinc.org. 2 March 2006.

  23. Joff. The Possibility of an Antihumanist EcoAnarchism. Online. Available: library.nothingness.org. 2 March 2006.

  24. Koch, Andrew M. “Max Stirner: The Last Hegelian or the First Poststructuralist.” Anarchist Studies, 5 (1997), 95–107.

  25. Koch, Andrew M. “Postructuralism and the Epistemological Basis of Anarchism”, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 23 (1993), 327–351.

  26. May, Todd. “Interview With Todd May” by Sureyyya Evren and Kursad Kiziltug, Siyahi Interlocal: Journal of Postanarchist Theory, Culture and Politics, April 2005. Online. Available: www.livejournal.com. 2 March 2006.

  27. May, Todd. “Poststructuralist Anarchism: An Interview with Todd May” by Rebecca DeWitt, Perspectives on Anarchist Theory — Vol. 4, No. 2 — Fall 2000. Online. Available: perspectives.anarchist-studies.org. 2 March 2006.

  28. May, Todd. Review article: “Lacanian Anarchism and the Left.” Theory & Event — Volume 6, Issue 1, 2002. Online. Available: muse.jhu.edu. 2 March 2006.

  29. Moore, John. “Anarchist Maximalism/Maximalist Anarchism.” Social Anarchism, No 25 1998. Online. Available: library.nothingness.org. 2 March 2006.

  30. Moore, John. “Anarchism and Poststructuralism.” Anarchist Studies 5 (1997) , 157–161.

  31. Mueller, Tadzio. “Open Marxism?” First Review, Reviewing For The Social Sciences, 2003: 1. Online. Available: www.theglobalsite.ac.uk. 2 March 2006.

  32. Mueller, Tadzio. “Empowering anarchy Power, hegemony, and anarchist strategy.” Anarchist Studies Volume 11, 2003 No.2 pp26-53. Online. Available: www.infoshop.org. 2 March 2006.

  33. Newman, Saul. “Anarchism and the Politics of Ressentiment.” Theory & Event — Volume 4, Issue 3, 2000. Online. Available: slash.autonomedia.org. 2 March 2006.

  34. Newman, Saul. “Derrida’s Deconstruction of Authority.” Philosophy & Social Criticism, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2001, 1–20. Online. Available: info.interactivist.net. 2 March 2006.

  35. Newman, Saul. “Spectres of Stirner: a Contemporary Critique of Ideology.” Journal of Political Ideologies, 6/3, 2001.

  36. Newman, Saul. “Max Stirner and the Politics of Post-Humanism.” Contemporary Political Theory, 1/2, 2002.

  37. Newman, Saul. Review Essay: “On the Future of Radical Politics.” The Drawing Board: An Australian Review of Public Affairs, July, 2002. Online. Available: www.australianreview.net. 2 March 2006.

  38. Newman, Saul. “The Politics of Post-anarchism.” Publication date in 26 Oct. 2002. Institute for Anarchist Studies website. Online. Available: www.anarchist-studies.org. 2 March 2006.

  39. Newman, Saul. ‘Politics of the Ego: Stirner’s Critique of Liberalism’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 5/3 (Autumn), 2002.

  40. Newman, Saul. “Stirner and Foucault: Toward a Post-Kantian Freedom.” Postmodern Culture — Volume 13, Number 2, January 2003. Online. Available: info.interactivist.net. 2 March 2006.

  41. Newman, Saul. “Empiricism, Pluralism and Politics in Stirner and Deleuze.” Idealistic Studies 33/1, 2003.

  42. Newman, Saul. “War on the State: Stirner and Deleuze’s Anarchism.” Anarchist Studies Vol. 9 No. 2, 2003.

  43. Newman, Saul. “Anarchism, Marxism and the Bonapartist State.” Anarchist Studies, 12:1, pp 36–59, 2004. Online. Available: info.interactivist.net. 2 March 2006.

  44. Newman, Saul. “Spectres of Freedom in Stirner and Foucault: A Response to Caleb Smith’s “Solitude and Freedom”.” Postmodern Culture — Volume 14, Number 3, May 2004.

  45. Newman, Saul. “Interview with Saul Newman” by Sureyyya Evren, Kursad Kiziltug, Erden Kosova, Siyahi Interlocal: Journal of Postanarchist Theory, Culture and Politics, August 2004. Online. Available: www.livejournal.com 2 March 2006.

  46. Newman, Saul. “Is there a Postanarchist Universality?” Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, 8/2 (Fall): 49–53. 2004. Online. Available: www.anarchist-studies.org. 2 March 2006.

  47. Nursey-Bray, Paul. “Anarchism and Poststructuralism.” Online. Available: www.history.und.ac.za. 2 March 2006.

  48. Radekker, Helene Bowen. “Resistance to Difference: Sexual Equality and its Law-ful and Out-law (Anarchist) Advocates in Imperial Japan.” Online. Available: wwwsshe.murdoch.edu.au. 2 March 2006.

  49. Robinson, Andrew “The Political Theory of Constitutive Lack: A Critique” Theory & Event — Volume 8, Issue 1, 2005.

  50. Schurmann, Reiner. “‘What Can I Do?’ In Archaeological-Genealogical History?” Journal of Philosophy 82 (1985): 540–547.

  51. Schurmann, Reiner. “On Constituting Oneself as an Anarchist Subject.” Praxis International 6, no. 3 (1986): 294–310.

  52. Smith, Caleb. “Solitude and Freedom: A Response to Saul Newman on Stirner and Foucault.” Postmodern Culture, Volume 14, Number 3. May, 2004.

  53. Spencer, Nicholas. “Historicizing the Spontaneous Revolution: Anarchism and the Spatial Politics of Postmodernism.” Paper presented at Revolutions Conference, University of California, Irvine, October 12 1997. Online. Available: www.ags.uci.edu. 2 March 2006.

  54. Tormey, Simon. “From Utopian Worlds to Utopian Spaces: Reflections on the Contemporary Radical Imaginary and the Social Forum Process.” Ephemera Theory & Politics In Organization, Volume 5, Number 2, May 2005. Online. Available: www.ephemeraweb.org. 2 March 2006.

  55. Truscello, Michael. “The Architecture of Information: Open Source Software and Tactical Poststructuralist Anarchism.” Postmodern Culture, Volume 13, Number 3, May, 2003. Online. Available: www3.iath.virginia.edu. 2 March 2006.

Some web sites of anarchist theory and contemporary anarchism debates:
  1. Institute for Anarchist Studies — www.anarchist-studies.org

  2. Research on Anarchism — raforum.apinc.org

  3. Aporia Journal — aporiajournal.tripod.com

  4. Siyahi Interlocal — community.livejournal.com

  5. A Post-anarchism web site in English — www.postanarchism.org

  6. A Post-anarchism web site in German — www.postanarchismus.net

  7. Interactivist Info Exchange — info.interactivist.net


[1] Buddenbrook Ailesi, Thomas Mann, trans. into Turkish by Burhan Arpad, Can, Istanbul 1983, p. 662 and further. The starting paragraph of the eleventh chapter is interesting in this sense. Mann tells us that we sometimes remember somebody, think about them, and realize that we are not seeing them for a while. And understand that they are dead already. Then Mann gives accounts of actual deads, each in one single paragraph, but more strikingly, it is the ‘family concept’ itself which is dead also, and from now on, we will not see it alive in the following pages.