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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #301 - culture, Read: Davranche, "Ten Questions About Anarchism" (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:58:13 +0200

Libertalia and Guillaume Davranche editions propose to answer 10 questions on anarchism in the following way: "A small popular book on anarchism: easy to access, inexpensive, which goes to the essentials." ---- In a sense, the essential is said from the foreword, in which Guillaume Davranche presents this project of a popularization book which is useful for activists, and the urgency of speaking of anarchism in order to inform our political news. ---- This task requires bypassing several fundamental pitfalls, of which Davranche offers a fair and concise inventory, which goes from historicism to encyclopedia through to canonical tributes. Making the link between a historical approach and the present, the main objective is to reflect the existing movement.
The challenge is met with this little work, very educational but never simplistic and at the same time committed, anchored in today's struggles.

The book is organized around 10 questions, which are the result of remarkable synthesis and selection. The presentations are often anchored in a French perspective - perhaps because of the historic place of France in anarchism - while integrating international perspectives. We particularly appreciate the desire to widen the canon to reflect the modernity of anarchism, especially in the arrangement of the sections, where ecology and feminism figure prominently, just after the chapters on the origins of the movement and its economic and democratic projects Davranche offers clear and useful syntheses on classic but complex doctrines, notably the question of nationalism and anarchist support for national liberation movements.; the same applies to the question of strategies, which is also the subject of a section.

In each section, the attention given to the different currents but especially to the strategic and terminological redefinition processes animating the movement is always just and precise and avoids any angelism: one of the merits of the book is to be indulgent in the face of the movement's past errors , for example the misogyny of a Proudhon and the "patriarchal conformism" of the Belle Epoque, but also the "heap" of the first libertarian communist models.

A biographical, international and diachronic chapter closes the whole, offering another way of reading the history of the movement, always very relevant, by recalling the famous part of the militants.

In total, a small book full of ideas, which makes knowledge both encyclopedic and living accessible and relevant ; that's all we expected from Guillaume Davranche, who brings to this project his erudition, his clear and well-felted pen and his militant experience, and the always excellent house Libertalia.

The exercise is circumscribed by its very project ; it is a work of diffusion (which reflects its price moreover) which must be read as such, and which offers a model of the genre.

Constance Bantman

Constance Bantman is a researcher, specialist in anarchism at the University of Surrey (United Kingdom).
Guillaume Davranche, Ten Questions on Anarchism, Libertalia, January 16, 2020, 5 euros

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