Libertarian Anthology IV : ‘The negativity of Anarchism’ by David Thoreau Wieck

A new issue of Libertarian Anthology by a local group of anarchists known as the Grupo Cultural de Estudios Sociales de Melbourne was published this week. You can download a copy here [PDF]. I’ve republished the ‘Introduction’ below. You can find previous anthologies elsewhere on the blog: Libertarian Anthology Volume 3 : Trade Unionism, Councilism and Revolutionary Syndicalism (November 2012); Libertarian Anthology II : The Ancient Greeks and the Anarchist tradition (September 2012) [PDF]; Libertarian Anthology I : Anarchism: Aims, Principles, Historical Development and Objections (July 2012) [PDF].

Libertarian Anthology IV | Edited, Published and Produced by: Acracia Publications with the co-operation of Grupo Cultural de Estudios Sociales de Melbourne | December 2013


An investigation into anarchism always directs the researcher towards progressive and freedom seeking events recorded through the centuries onto the pages of history, opening up new social outlooks of negating institutionalised authority and replacing it with the concepts of solidarity, mutualism and self management.

Yet, we must also recognise that at the same time, authority, be it a tradition, a custom, a law or arbitrary has since the evolvement of the human species, placed its claws upon a number of human interrelationships, an incident that undoubtedly derives from an even more pre-historic and animalistic era. Despite the consequences, history records through the ages, a continuous effort of struggles by humanity to liberate itself from the claws of authority.

The advents of those struggles were so varied, the battles so cruel and rigid that relatively few have reached an anarchist outlook. The majority of the struggles fought for partial freedoms and often tried to reconcile their new freedoms with the maintenance of ancient authorities believing they could never evolve into autocratic authoritarianism, or innocently believed authority to be useful in their endeavours to maintain and defend the new freedoms. In modern history many individuals have struggled for constitutional or democratic freedom, unfortunately this freedom has always been confined to the custody of a government. Such misunderstanding in the complexity of social evolvement has produced social statism; that is socialism imposed authoritatively and deprived of the
fundamental concept which gives it life.

Comprehending that socialism can only flourish in an environment of complete freedom, the editorial collective of Libertarian Anthology has subsequently decided to devote this fourth issue to an essay written in the 1970’s by David Thoreau Wieck, The negativity of Anarchism.

The members of this editorial collective were first exposed to this essay by Wieck in the pages of the multilingual magazine “interrogations” in 1976, produced in Paris, France. “interrogations” was an international magazine of anarchist research, publishing articles in French, English, Italian and Spanish incorporating a resumé of the essay in the alternative languages.

In September of 1977 we once again came across this essay, this time translated into Spanish by compañero Eduardo Vivancos from Canada, published in number 32 of “Ruta”, an anarchist publication produced in Venezuela by exiled Spanish anarchist compañeros.

It could be said that by republishing this essay we are positioning ourselves within a certain heterodoxy. Nothing new for us, for we have previously incurred these type of accusations. None the less, we are well aware that it is necessary to occasionally shake the social bodies of doctrine if we do not want to paralyse the continuous transition and evolvement required particularly within anarchism ensuring it does not stagnate as an ideal and that it cannot be misrepresented. Anarchism by its own definition and condition of permanent confrontation is obliged to question itself every day by testing the soundness of its structures, the foundations of its ideals, given that it progresses from within the confines of a permanently evolving egoistical and suicidal society.

For these reasons we thought it would be worthwhile to publish this philosophical examination, because to read David Wieck is to travel along a new road of the libertarian ideal.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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