Anarchist Essays

Anarchist Essays

Brought to you by Loughborough University's Anarchism Research Group (ARG), Anarchist Essays presents leading academics, activists, and intellectuals exploring themes in anarchist theory, history, and practice. For more on the ARG, please visit and follow us on Twitter at @arglboro


March 6, 2023 18 min

Saidiya Hartman asks, “Is love a synonym for abolition?”. bell hooks writes that “true love requires an ongoing commitment to constructive struggle and change”. This essay proposes that anarchism is a practice of honest, dedicated and expansive love that opens our lives and our political societies to the possibility of transformation.

Charlotte Lowell is an undergraduate student at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, wh...

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In this essay, Nora Ziegler critically explores “radical hospitality” as a diversity of tactics that co-construct relationships of mutual aid across differences of power. Her reflections are based on her experience of living and working in the London Catholic Worker’s house of hospitality for migrants with no recourse to public funds.

Nora Ziegler is an independent researcher and writer, active in mutual aid and union organising. H...

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In this essay, Kiara Mohamed Amin and Priya Sharma explore the liberatory potential of psychedelic trips, arguing that such practices possess the potential to humanise parts of the self that have been dehumanised by capitalist systems of living. 

Kiara Mohamed Amin is a trans, Somali multidisciplinary artist based in Toxteth, Liverpool. His work focuses on what it means to live at the intersections of marginalisation and still choo...

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In this podcast, Dai and Steve discuss the issues that deaf people and deaf communities face in capitalist society and the ways in which deaf people have traditionally framed their engagement and resistance to these issues. We discuss the issues that anarchists need to consider when reflecting on how anarchist spaces can be more accessible to deaf people.

For a video of this talk in British Sign Language, see here: https://www.yout...

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In this essay, Kim Kelly discusses her opinions and experiences with the past and present of leftist gun ownership and armed self-defense. 

Kim Kelly is a freelance journalist, and author of FIGHT LIKE HELL: The Untold History of American Labor

This episode of ‘Anarchist Essays’ was supported by a grant from The Lipman-Miliband Trust.

Our music comes from Them'uns (featuring Yous'uns).

Anarchist Essays is brought to you by Loughb...

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In this essay, Gloria Truly Estrelita provides an overview of the history of anarchism in Indonesia. Co-authored with Jim Donaghey, Sarah Andrieu and Gabriel Facal, this essay discusses the early roots of anarchist movements in the archipelago in the context of anti-colonialism and nationalism in the late 1800s and early 1900s; details the abolition of leftist movements, including anarchism, in the 1960s; traces the re-emergence of...

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In this essay, Jim Donaghey reads the introductory chapter to the newly published book Smash The System! Punk Anarchism as a Culture of Resistance, edited by Jim Donaghey, Will Boisseau and Caroline Kaltefleiter, and published by Active Distribution in December 2022. The volume includes 18 chapters, offering a snapshot of anarchist punk as a culture of resistance across the globe. In these diverse and internationalist contexts we w...

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In this essay, Maia Ramnath discusses the concept of the racial capitalocene as a framework for linking anticolonialism and climate justice.  As part of a critical dialogue across time with earlier movements, in this case the Progressive Writers Association in South Asia, this framework offers a global context in which to place specific liberation struggles that's appropriate to the present day, as anti-fascism and Afro-Asian solid...

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This special issue of the Anarchist Essays podcast features a discussion between JoNina Ervin, Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin, and William C. Anderson. It originally appeared on the Black Autonomy Podcast.

In October 2021, Pluto published the definitive edition of Anarchism and the Black Revolution by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin. The book first connected Black radical thought to anarchist theory in 1979, and now amidst ...

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In this essay, Hannah Kass discusses how the state, capitalism, and property are interconnected systems, working together to produce peasant dispossession and hunger. To challenge these systems and their social relationships, she proposes food anarchy: a new pathway for the food sovereignty movement to wield in their struggle to challenge the current food regime. 

Hannah Kass is a joint Ph.D student in the Department of Geography a...

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In this essay, Jennifer Cole discusses how Peter Kropotkin's early writings on mutualism sit alongside Charles Darwin's writings on human evolution and underpin current interests within evolutionary anthropology on how human psychology, altruism and morality developed. Kropotkin is largely ignored within biological and evolutionary academia, however, even though his approach to human development offer a more cooperative and caring ...

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In this essay, Laura Galián delves into the history of anarchism in the south of the Mediterranean from a historical and historiographical perspective by reviewing the anti-authoritarian geographies of the southern shore of the Mediterranean and reassessing the postcolonial status of these emancipatory projects.

For the English version: 0.40-14:10 For the Spanish version: 14.19-29.12

Laura Galián is an Assistant Professor at the Un...

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In this essay, Sophie Scott-Brown explores the life and times of anarchist autobiography. From Proudhon to Kropotkin, Goldman to Read, many anarchists have written their life stories and provided generations of readers an intimate glimpse of the radical life, but what else motivates this sort of memory making? Moreover, how has it changed over time and what can it tell us about the relationship between anarchist ideas and anarchist...

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In this essay, Nathaniel Andrews explores both the role of children within anarchist activism, and anarchist understandings of childhood, focusing specifically on the Argentinian city of Rosario, in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Nathaniel Andrews is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute. His most recent publication is a co-authored article with Professor Richard Cleminson, ti...

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In this essay, Sarah Gelbard reflects on the messy relationship between punk, anarchy, and anarchism and ways it can be conceived of as identity, politics, scene, performance, and/or practice. For punks in academia and academics studying punk, how do we position ourselves in relation to the work, to power, and with our comrades?

Sarah Gelbard is a Ph.D. candidate in urban planning at McGill University. Her research speaks to the wa...

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In this essay, Frankie Hines argues that an anarchist literary theory requires engaging with the anarchist critique of representation and considering possibilities for non-representational literary modes. Rather than looking for representations of reality, he argues anarchist literature should instead be read for the political effects it produces; that is, as a form of direct action.

Frankie Hines received his PhD in English Litera...

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In this essay, Dorian Wallace discusses the use of music as a source of emancipatory inspiration, revolutionary practice, and transformational communal healing. He addresses the interconnections between music therapy, political music, and liberation psychology as the first step toward deeper exploration and discourse.

Dorian Wallace is a composer, pianist, music therapist, and educator renowned for his stylistic versatility, improv...

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In this essay, Janet Biehl discusses her new graphic memoir, Their Blood Got Mixed: Revolutionary Rojava and the War on ISIS, an exploration of the Rojava revolution as of the spring of 2019. She gives an overview of the revolution and the many and varied people she interviewed, explains how she came to write and illustrate the book, and offers her thoughts on the meaning of this remarkable experiment. 

Janet Biehl is an independen...

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In this essay, Elizabeth Vasileva discusses what kind of ethics are compatible with anarchist principles and makes the case for joyful, relational ways of being together.

Elizabeth Vasileva is a lecturer at the Free University of Brighton. Her PhD is available to download from your usual choice of legal-grey-zone book repository.

Anarchist Essays is brought to you by Loughborough University's Anarchism Research Group. For more info...

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In this essay, Mark Bray discusses propaganda by the deed and the roles of human rights and 'terrorism' in the anarchist-led transnational campaigns against the "revival of the Inquisition" in Spain at the turn of the twentieth century. 

Mark Bray is a historian of human rights, political violence, and radicalism in Modern Europe at Rutgers University. Bray's most recent publications are The Anarchist Inquisition: Assassins, Activi...

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