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MOORE, John. Prophets of the New World: Noam Chomsky, Murray Bookchin, and Fredy Perlman.
Article published on 5 September 2004
last modification on 25 April 2014
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How well they flew together side by side the Stars and Stripes my red and white and blue and my Black Flag the sovereignty of no man or law!

— Paul Goodman [1]

Any approach to contemporary anarchism initially encounters the two major problems of definition and terminology. In "Notes on Anarchism," Noam Chomsky avers:

"There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as ’anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition..it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specific and determinate theory of society, pertinent to the American context, especially given the diversification characteristic of the contemporary period. But if Chomsky denies the possibility of formulating a comprehensive anarchist theory or tradition, he elsewhere offers a definition which clearly implies why such a formulation remains inconceivable. Anarchism, he asserts,

"does not limit its aims to democratic control by producers over production, but seeks to abolish all forms of domination and hierarchy in every aspect of social and personal life, an unending struggle, since progress in achieving a more just society will lead to new insight and understanding of forms of oppression that may be concealed in traditional practice and consciousness." [2]

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Notes :

[1Noam Chomsky, For Reasons of State (London: Fontana, 1973), p.151.

[2Idem, "The Soviet Union versus Socialism," in The Radical Papers, ed. Dimitros I. Roussopoulos (Montreal: Black Rose, 1987), p. 60.


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