Organizing Anarchy

Anarchism in Action


Author: Jeffrey Shantz
Organizing Anarchy details the remarkable growth and diversity of anarchist organizational practice in a range of spheres of activity from community centers and social spaces to online activism to labor and workplace militancy—and beyond—over the first decades of the twenty-first century. These projects involve innovative approaches by which anarchists resist current forms of exploitation and oppression while building anarchist relations for the future post-capitalist world in the present. In direct action and solidarity they make anarchism real, rather than a beautiful goal.
Organizing Anarchy critically examines the possibilities and problems facing attempts to build radical real world projects, which seek to pose effective challenges to capitalist forms of exploitation and control. The work also engages theoretical developments around these emerging political practices, particularly in terms of social movement theories that tend to downplay, overlook, or misunderstand anarchist movements and forms of organizing.

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Jeff Shantz, Ph.D. (2007), York University, Toronto, is Professor of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, British Columbia (Unceded Coast Salish territories). He has published more than 20 books and hundreds of articles and book chapters as well as hundreds of works in popular media.

1 Another Kind of Order: Anarchism against the State
 1 The Anarchist Seed beneath the Statist Snow
 2 Anarchy Is Order
 3 Constructive Anarchy
 4 The Disobedients: Organizing Alternatives, Not Consent
 5 Conclusion

2 Anarchist Tendencies
 1 Anarchisms Plural?
 2 Big Tent or Tactical Unity: Synthesist and Platformist Approaches to Organizing
 3 On Affinity
 4 De-centralism
 5 Direct Action
 6 Against Majoritarianism in Politics
 7 Individuality
 8An Alternative Socialism

3 Against the State: Anarchism and the Problems with Social Movement Theories
 1 Of Modern and Pre-modern
 2 On So-Called Agitators
 3 Beyond Protest and Dissent
 4 Against Representation
 5 Toward Infrastructures of Resistance

4 Theory Meet Practice: Evolving Ideas and Actions in Anarchist Free Schools
 1 Anarchism, Education, and Free Schools
 2 Building Blocks: Locating Free Schools
 3 Out of the Ruins: From G20 Protests to Occupy Free School
 4 Sites of Change: Shifting Priorities, Shifting Practices in Free Schools
 5 Class Issues
 6 Necessary Infrastructures
 7 Conclusion: Context Matters

5 Class Conflicts: Anarchists and Workplace Organizing
 1 The Classless Class?
 2 A Special Strategic Character
 3 Anarchist Perspectives on Unionism: Labor Organizing and Rank and File Resistance
 4 Rank-and-File Organizing: Anarchic Forms
 5 Flying Squads
 6 Working Groups
 7 Conclusion

6 Cyber Disobedience: Organizing Anarchy Online
 1 Anarchy in Cyberspace
 2 Online Activist Organizations
 3 Anonymous
 4 Collective Anarchy Online
 5 Process
 6 Beyond Novelty
 7 Connectivity

7 Beyond Therapy: Autonomist Movements against “Mental Illness”
 1 Beyond Therapy: Autonomous Movements and Collective Alternatives
 2 Freedom Center
 3 The Icarus Project: Navigating the Space between Brilliance and Madness
 4 Autonomy Movements, Agency and Identity
 5 Conclusion

8 Duty of Care: Anarchist Organizing for Health
 1 Do-It-Ourselves Healthcare
 2 Holistic Health
 3 Street Medics
 4 Street Medic Organizations
 5 Holistic Training beyond the Streets
 6 Harm Reduction
 7 A Social War Crime: Targeting the Medics
 8 Toward Healthy Anarchy

9 Out Here for You: Anarchist Prisoner Defense
 1 Prisoner Support
 2 The Anarchist Black Cross
 3 The General Defense Committee
 4 The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
 5 Prison Strike
 6 Broad Movement Support
 7 Against Isolation
 8 Criminal Justice and Class Struggle
 9 Conclusion

10 Anarchists against (and within) the Edu-Factory: The Critical Criminology Working Group
 1 Anarchism and Criminology
 2 The Critical Criminology Working Groups
 3 Structures of Collaboration
 4 SurreyWhat!?!: Anarchy in the Suburban Hinterland
 5 “Special Purpose Teaching Universities” and the Neoliberal Edu-Factory
 6 Neoliberalism and Criminology
 7 Conclusion: Breaking Free

11 Defending Ourselves and Our Communities: Anarchist Self-Defense
 1 Black Blocs
 2 ARA : Anti-Racist Action
 3 The Nature of Policing
 4 Copwatch
 5 Defense Trainings
 6 An Existing Model: Flying Squads and Self-Defense
 7 Community Defense
 8 Conclusion

12 A Wrap: Organizing Anarchis162m
 1 From Here to There: Survival Strategies, Insurrectionary Infrastructures, and Prefigurative Politics
 2 Not a Party
 3 Beyond Social Movement Frameworks
 4 Some Pitfalls
 5 Participation Problems
 6 Against Colonialism and Borders: Building Bridges
 7 More to Be Done
 8 Conclusions


All interested in sociology, political science, cultural studies, and anthropology. The book will prove to be of great interest to students of labor and social movements and political and social theory, especially those taking upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in sociology political studies, communications and social justice. It will also have broader public appeal among activists and those directly involved in community action.