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KNOWLES, Rob. Political Economy from Below: Economic Thought in Communitarian Anarchism, 1840-1914
Article published on 20 November 2004
last modification on 22 November 2004

by ps

New York: Routledge (Series: New Political Economy), 2004. 424 pages. 6 x 9. ISBN: 0415949033

About the Book

Communitarian anarchism is a generic form of socialism that denies the need for a state or any other authority over the individual from above, and which requires absolute belief that the individual cannot exist outside of a community of others. This book suggests that the communitarian anarchists of the nineteenth century developed and articulated a distinct tradition of economic thought. The period of this study begins with the first major writing of the French communitarian anarchist, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, in 1840 and ends with the temporary burial of anarchist theorizing at the beginning of the First World War in 1914. However, he tradition of communitarian anarchist economic thought did not end in 1914. The economic thought explored in this book provides a fresh perception of the fragmentation evident in many societies today, especially where there is a substantial ’informal economy.’

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Explaining the Study, Actors and Context, and Histories of Economic Thought

2. Demanding the Possible: Unraveling the State and "Economic Thought"

3. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: From Caricatures to a Portrait

4. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: "A Continual Apostleship"

5. Positively Proudhon: His Economic Ideas

6. Proudhon: The "Agro-Industrial Federation"

7. Alexander Herzen and Mikhail Bakunin: "Intelligentsia I Narod"

8. Elisee Reclus and Peter Kropotkin: Evolution and Revolution

9. Jean Grave: "Society on the Morrow of the Revolution"

10. Leo Tolstoy: The "Ant Brotherhood" and the Green Stick

11. Conclusion: A Living Tradition