Organising anarchy spatial strategy prefiguration and the politics of everyday life
This research is an analysis of efforts to develop a politics of everyday life through embedding anarchist and left-libertarian ideas and practices into community and workplace organisation. It investigates everyday life as a key terrain of political engagement, interrogating the everyday spatial strategies of two emerging forms of radical politics. The community dimension of the research focuses on two London-based social centre collectives, understood as community-based, anarchist-run political spaces. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), an international trade union that organises along radical left-libertarian principles, comprises the workplace element. The empirical research was conducted primarily through an activist-ethnographic methodology. Based in a politically-engaged framework, the research opens up debates surrounding the role of place-based class politics in a globalised world, and how such efforts can contribute to our understanding of social relations, place, networks, and political mobilisation and transformation. The research thus contributes to and provides new perspectives on understanding and enacting everyday spatial strategies. Utilising Marxist and anarchist thought, the research develops a distinctive theoretical framework that draws inspiration from both perspectives. Through an emphasis on how groups seek to implement particular radical principles, the research also explores the complex interactions between theory and practice in radical politics. I argue that it is in everyday spaces and practices where we find the most powerful sources for political transformation. Grassroots politics are most 3 effective when enacted through everyday place-based relations. Prefigurative spatial strategies enacted by the groups studied not only strive to create relations fit for a post-capitalist society, but also seek to mobilise and articulate their politics in ways that are tailored to the specific context of struggle. Thus, groups such as social centres and the IWW can tell us a lot about how utopian ideas can be directly relevant to immediate everyday material needs and experiences.
AuthorsInce, Anthony James Elliot
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