Bloomsbury Academic (Contemporary Anarchist Studies), 2013. 272 p.
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.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: In search of the impossible community
2. Critique of the Gotham Program: From libertarian socialism to communitarian anarchism
3. The third concept of liberty: Theorizing the free community
4. Against principalities and powers: Critique of domination versus liberalization of domination
5. Anarchy and the dialectic of utopia: The place of no place
6. The microecology of community: Toward a theory of grassroots organization
7. Bridging the unbridgeable chasm: Personal transformation and social action in anarchist practice
8. Disaster anarchism: Hurricane Katrina and the shock of recognition
9. The common good: Sarvodaya and the Gandhian legacy
10. Beyond the limits of the city: A communitarian anarchist critique of libertarian municipalism