Anarchist geographies and revolutionary strategies
2014-09-24T11:12:59Z (GMT) by
These are certainly fruitful times for anarchist intellectual publishing. Reading through the articles in this special issue of Antipode, I was impressed by the diversity and creativity of efforts to apply anti-authoritarian perspectives to the geographical discipline, whose notorious breadth of application (“everything is spatial”) seems to offer unlimited possibilities for new avenues of research. I also began thinking about two related issues that seem to run across much of what appears in the preceding pages. The first concerns the anarchademic enterprise itself, and its possible contribution to the development of anarchist politics. The second concerns a more specific problematic, which accompanies the integration of poststructuralist insights into our understanding of anarchism, and the concomitant celebration of prefigurative politics in the present tense. What connects the two is the question of revolutionary strategies. Does the postanarchist shift of perspective require us to abandon strategy as a valid category for our struggles? If not, how are strategies supposed to emerge as a conscious artefact of such a decentralized and swarming movement? What is the role of anarchist intellectual labour in such an emergence? Finally, what considerations—however preliminary and open to debate—can be presented as its starting point, and what might a geographical perspective contribute to their elaboration? In what follows, I begin with some thoughts on the pitfalls of anarchist intellectual labour becoming institutionalized in the academy. I then turn to look at the question of revolutionary strategies, a concept that I fear may have fallen victim to a careless misunderstanding of postanarchist insights. Finally, I reiterate a few basic coordinates, which I believe should at least be considered when projecting ourselves into the future of social struggles.