Written by John P. Clark
Publication Date: June 6, 2013 | ISBN-10: 144118547X | ISBN-13: 978-1441185471 0
The Impossible Community confronts a critical moment when social and ecological catastrophe loom, the Left seems unable to articulate a response, and the Right is monopolizing public debates. This book offers a reformulation of anarchist social and political theory to develop a communitarian anarchist solution.
It argues that a free and just social order requires a radical transformation of the modes of domination exercised through social ideology and institutional structures. Communitarian anarchism unites a universalist concern for social and ecological justice while recognizing the integrity and individuality of the person. In fact, anarchist principles of mutual aid and voluntary cooperation can already be seen in various contexts, from the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina to social movements in India.
This work offers both a theoretical framework and concrete case studies to show how contemporary anarchist practice continues a long tradition of successfully synthetizing personal and communal liberation. This significant contribution will appeal not only to students in anarchism and political theory, but also to activists and anyone interested in making the world a better place.
In this often insightful and illuminating book John P Clark sets out his vision for a radically democratic 'communitarian anarchism'...Clark's deep commitment to the anarchist ethics that he advocates, and his work in putting them into effect, lend weight to the distinction between ethics as working ideals and the kind of 'abstract moralism' he criticises...This book is valuable for several important reasons...Clark adeptly deploys Marx, Hegel, Aristotle, Enlightenment Philosophers, Zizek and a host of other modern and ancient thinkers, making this work erudite and rich. -- Chris Tomlinson Red Pepper Magazine In The Impossible Community, John Clark proposes something that is sorely lacking in today's landscape: the prospect of going beyond our obsessions with catastrophe in all its guises (environmental, geopolitical, financial, etc.) to the exploration of new forms of social organization based on voluntary anarchist cooperation. John Clark is able to bring to bear his immense erudition and experience with alternative modes of social organization, both historical and geographical, and thus can lead us, like Ariane with her thread, out of the labyrinth of our present-day paralysis. -- Ronald Creagh, Professor Emeritus, Universite Montpellier 3, France Endorsement At a time of growing social and ecological crisis, John Clark is a very welcome voice, bringing hope with his version of communitarian anarchism. He writes very vividly and persuasively, whether it be general theory or particular case studies. The Impossible Community should be widely discussed and realized since it shows brilliantly a way out of our present predicament. -- Peter Marshall, author of Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, Nature's Web: Rethinking our Life on Earth, and Riding the Wind: Liberation Ecology for a New Era Endorsement The Impossible Community is a magnificent book, distilled from a lifetime of radical practice. I know of no other work that so successfully integrates rigorous philosophical inquiry with on-the ground struggle. Generous and compassionate in spirit, fierce in critique, prodigious in learning, and universal in scope, this celebration of the anarchist way is a beacon of hope for our afflicted times. -- Joel Kovel, author of The Enemy of Nature Endorsement
About the Author
John P. Clark is Gregory F. Curtin Distinguished Professor in Humane Letters and the Professions as well as Professor of Philosophy and a member of the Environmental Studies faculty at Loyola University New Orleans, USA. He is the author of several books, including Anarchy, Geography, Modernity: The Radical Social Thought of Elisée Reclus (2004).
Series: Contemporary Anarchist Studies
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (June 6, 2013)
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