In this article, I’ll discuss the 10 best books on anarchism that are very popular among anarchists. I will also answer some of the very popular questions which are commonly asked by peoples.
“Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.”Edward Abbey, American author and Anarchist
Firstly, the word “anarchy” is derived from the Greek word ” Anarchia ” which means “absence of governance“. Anarchists do not support the law, they believe in freedom. In short, they feel that the people in power can exploit the common people and also curb their rights. And the principles that support anarchy are called anarchism.
But how is it possible to manage any place without any governance? The only answer is after understanding anarchism deeply. And how can you understand anarchism deeply? The best and the easiest way is after exploring the books on anarchism. So, there are 10 best books on anarchism that will help to understand what anarchism is mentioned below.
Do you want to explore these books?
If yes, then okay.
10 Best Books on Anarchism
The ABC of Anarchism
“The ABC of Anarchism” by Alexander Berkman portrays an unflinching look at how the world works. In addition, it presents the case for communist anarchism clearly and intelligently which is enough to understand anarchism well. This book is also good for those who have questions about anarchism. Moreover, Berkman provides lucid answers to them that make this book more engaging for them.
Anarchism or Socialism?
It is the earliest work of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin that is based on analyzing anarchism using Marxist methods. The book describes the situation of Russia at that time when the Russian Revolution was failed. It is first published in the Georgian language but now it is available in English. You will find many informative facts about many Russian leaders through this book that will help you understand what anarchism is.
Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination
It is a brilliantly original work by Benedict Anderson on the explosive history of national independence and global politics that gives a glimpse of anarchism. Moreover, the author presented many historical incidents that are rare examples of anarchism. For instance, a Cuban insurrection, the assassination of President McKinley are the most famous examples of anarchism in this book.
Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism
Firstly, it is an interesting overview of Anarcho-Syndicalism by Rudolf Rocker who is one of the most cherished characters of anarchism. The book describes anarchism as well as its aims and purposes. Some topics that you will get in this book are the proletariat and the beginning of the Modern Labour Movement, the objectives of Anarcho-Syndicalism, and the evolution of Anarcho-Syndicalism. To sum up, the author did his best to portray anarchy through this book.
No Gods, No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism
“No Gods No Masters” is an excellent introduction to anarchism. This definitive book portrays anarchism as a sophisticated ideology whose nuances and complexity highlight the natural desire for freedom in all of us. Its language is a little bit advanced but you will engage with it easily that is its beauty. In short, if you want to go deeper into anarchism, it is one of the best paths for you to start.
“On Anarchism” by Noam Chomsky ranks 8th in “Anarchism” on the list of Amazon bestselling books. It is a modern update on anarchism that sheds much-needed light on the foundations of Chomsky’s idea. Therefore, this book is very insightful and dense in communicating its themes and messages to readers. In conclusion, it is well written and a very engaging book that needs to be read.
Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings
“Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings” by Peter Kropotkin explains not only its political and economic foundations but also its practical application in all aspects of society. You will get answers to your questions about anarchism in this book easily. Although it is an old book, it is still very popular among lovers of anarchy.
Two Cheers for Anarchism
“Two Cheers for Anarchism” by James C. Scott is a very good introduction to anarchism that describes what real anarchy is. It is a series of personal reflections on independence and its enemies. Moreover, the book is based on the author’s life experiences, history, and knowledge about agrarian peasant/subsistence agriculture-based communities. In this insightful book, the author also reveals the meaning of his ‘anarchist’ sensibility through a series of wonderful personal stories.
Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism
“Demanding the Impossible” by Peter Marshall is one of the best books on anarchism that explains the theories and also the principles of anarchism. If you are even slightly interested in the origins and practice of Anarchism, this book can become a great starting for you. Although the language of it is a little bit moderate yet it is very easy to understand. Even a person who has little interest in anarchism can understand it well.
Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction
As the name suggests, it is a brief introduction to anarchism that deals with the history of anarchism, theories, and the expansion of anarchy. Therefore, if you want to know almost everything about anarchism in one place, this book is for you. You will also get here a good summary of political and non-political views that will help you to understand anarchism well.
Anarchy is a state of government where there is no central governing authority, but everyone is at full liberty. In anarchy, every person has the freedom to do anything which doesn’t harm anyone’s right. Moreover, they don’t need to obey the administration’s rule.
Anarchism is an idealistic political philosophy that speaks of abolishing governance. Most importantly, it believes that the biggest goal of life is freedom and administration is the biggest obstacle of it.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, a French socialist, politician, philosopher, and economist is considered the father of anarchy. He is also known as the first anarchist in the history of the world.
No; anarchy is not a crime but when people start to misuse it then it becomes a crime. For instance, the attempt to assassinate the executive chief, conspiracy to overthrow the government by force or violence, or to commit any unlawful activities comes in the list of crimes.
Yes; Noam Chomsky supports anarchism. He is a great anarchist as well as a linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, and social critic. He was interested in anarchism since his teenage.
It cannot be said whether Friedrich Nietzsche was a completely anarchist or not. The reason behind it is, on the one hand, he openly criticized anarchism, and on the other hand, he supported many theories that were related to anarchism. He used to associate with anarchist movements also which proves that he is an anarchist, but not completely.
No; Anarchists don’t believe in law or any governance. They believe that life is a very beautiful gift by God and freedom is the ornament of life. So, there should be no rulers or laws that rule over themselves. Therefore, the anarchists don’t believe in the laws.
There are some words that can replace ‘anarchy’-
Anarchism is good or bad, it depends entirely on how one uses it. If one uses it wisely, it is definitely a good provision. Therefore, many authorized persons in history supported anarchism and proved that there is no need for governance for the management of the country.
I hope, you have known these 10 best books on anarchism now. The next step is to take these books and study with concentrations. These books will give you a deep understanding of anarchism.
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