History of Anarchist Ideas
- Book: Trois essais de philosophie anarchiste. Daniel Colson. Ed. Les Scheer, 2004
From the Reading Notes of Michel Bauwens, 2006:
Daniel Colson distinguishes three great periods in the intellectual development of anarchism:
- 1) After 1848, the development of a political philosophy, but not of a mass movement. He notes that it was not an utopia, but a description of reality 'as is', i.e. based on 'an absense of first principles, i.e. an-archy
- 2) from 1864 to 1937, a 'praxis', a social movement involving 6 or 7 generations of workers. But it always transcended the workers' situation, which it considered a historical and thus passing, phenomenom; and within this movement, it was always a minority and always very heterogeneous
- 3) the philosophical resurrection at the end of the 20th cy. The 1968 movement could not at first find a theoretical grounding, dominated as it was by Marxism. The influence would eventually come through due to the ideas of Deleuze, Scherer, Foucault and Derrida, Castoriadis, Blanchot, and Klossowski, all more or less derived from left interpretations of the work of Nietzsche.
The author equates the concept of 'postmodern', according to him a misnomer, to libertarian and anarchist thinking. By finding non-modern sources within the European tradition, it opened itself to non-European thinking.
In the chapters on Islam, drawing on A. Laouri's book, Islam et Histoire, he particularly brings a discussion of libertarian traditions within the Middle East, i.e. the Arabian-Persian sphere, arguing that both this and Europe belonged to the same intellectual tradition, each having concepts that the other cultural region lacked.