Nick Heath. The Idea. Anarchist Communism: Past, Present and Future.
Just Books Publishing new title, Nick Heath’s The Idea. Anarchist Communism: Past, Present, Future.
A welcome new comprehensive work on anarchist communism, this book seeks to rehabilitate the current of anarchist-communism. To make it better known and understood.
Nick Heath’s new book is a timely addition to the literature on Anarchist Communism.
Anarchist communism often hides in the shadows in the general works on anarchism available, only clearly emerging when the ideas of Kropotkin, Reclus and Malatesta are discussed. All too often, apart from the worthless speculations on various philosophers outside of the historic anarchist movement, anarchist communism is rejected as a poor relation to the mass movements launched by anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism. Others state that the accommodation of anarchist communism to syndicalism, made it a simple variant of anarcho-syndicalism, that it failed to discover the causes of the counter-revolution initiated by the Bolsheviks, and that it died as a credible current with the aftermaths of the Mexican and Russian Revolutions and that it was absorbed or replaced by anarcho-syndicalism. This book will seek to counter these assertions.
Anarchist communism, as opposed to anarchist collectivism, is the only anarchist current that specifically argues for the end of the market economy and of exchange value. It has survived down to the present day and features as an important current in Russia, France, Latin America, Ukraine, China and Japan amongst other countries.
This book seeks to rehabilitate the current of anarchist-communism and make it better known and understood; and to renovate and modernise it. It offers a prehistory of the idea, its origins in the First International and extensive chapters on the history of anarchist communism in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. As such it will be the first comprehensive work on anarchist communism, one where it is not side-lined or where it ends up as a footnote. As Brian Morris has correctly asserted, anarchist communism has been the main current within the body of anarchism and this book aims to stress that and to bring it out of the shadows.
Brian Morris on The Idea:
‘It is a good, substantial book, and much needed. Lucidly written, it provides a rich brew of engaging discussions of the “Idea” (anarchist communism as a political philosophy), interesting vignettes of the life and ideas of many individual anarchists, and a great historical account of the many anarchist communist organisations over the last 150 years. I particularly appreciated the sentiments expressed on the final page of the book.’
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