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Utopian civic virtue: Bakunin, Kropotkin, and anarchism’s republican inheritance

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journal contribution
posted on 27.09.2019, 08:50 authored by Matthew AdamsMatthew Adams

Civic virtue is a core concept in the republican tradition. Its associations with duty and sacrifice indicate that it is temperamentally incompatible with anarchism, an ideology typically defined by its commitment to maximising freedom. Presenting an original reading of the work of Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin, two seminal figures in the history of anarchist ideas, this article argues that, nevertheless, a conception of civic virtue was central to their political theory. Tracing their engagement with the language of Enlightenment civic virtue, filtered through the experience of the French Revolution and the politics of Jacobinism, it argues that Bakunin and Kropotkin looked to anarchist civic virtues to both conceptualise anarchist revolution and underpin future anarchist social relations. Casting fresh light on anarchism’s intellectual origins, its neglected relations with republicanism, and the complexities of republican visions of civic virtue, this article also recovers duty, and a potentially demanding model of participation, as key values in anarchist political thought.


History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

Political Research Exchange

Volume

1

Issue

1

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Author

Acceptance date

09/09/2019

Publication date

2019-10-18

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

2474-736X

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Matthew Adams

Article number

1668724