Chapter

Debating Postanarchism: Ontology, Ethics and Utopia

Saul Newman

in The Politics of Postanarchism

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780748634958
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652846 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748634958.003.0005
Debating Postanarchism: Ontology, Ethics and Utopia

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This chapter engages with contemporary anarchist theorists, whose thought, it argues, displays a continuity with classical anarchism. Indeed, despite their substantial differences, Murray Bookchin and John Zerzan are united in their rejection of postmodernism/poststructuralism, and rely instead on an essentialist ontology. In pointing out the limitations of their approaches, the chapter develops further the idea of a politics of anarchism that does not base itself on essentialist identities, processes of dialectical unfolding, or on a certain organic conception of the social body; rather, the possibilities of radical transformation should be seen as contingent moments of openness which break with the idea of a naturally determined order.

Keywords: contemporary anarchist theorists; classical anarchism; John Zerzan; Murray Bookchin; essentialist ontology

Chapter.  11258 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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