In this wide-ranging and original book, James C. Scott analyzes failed cases of large-scale authoritarian plans in a variety of fields. He argues that centrally managed social plans derail when they impose schematic visions that do violence to complex interdependencies that are not -- and cannot be -- fully understood.
Further the success of designs for social organization depends on the recognition that local, practical knowledge is as important as formal, epistemic knowledge. The author builds a persuasive case against "development theory" and imperialistic state planning that disregards the values, desires, and objections of its subjects.
In this, his most famous work, Marcel Mauss presented to the world a book which revolutionized our understanding of some of the basic structures of society. By identifying the complex web of exchange and obligation involved in the act of giving, Mauss called into question many of our social conventions and economic systems. In a world rife with runaway consumption, The Gift continues to excite and challenge.
A brilliant example of the comparative method, The Gift presents the first systematic study of the custom—widespread in primitive societies from ancient Rome to present-day Melanesia—of exchanging gifts. The gift is a perfect example of what Mauss calls a total social phenomenon, since it involves legal, economic, moral, religious, aesthetic, and other dimensions.
Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, Stone Age Economics includes six studies which reflect the author's ideas on revising traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original affluent society.
The book examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. It consists of a set of detailed and closely related studies of tribal economies, of domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large.
The first English-language philosophical study of Mikhail Bakunin, this book examines the philosophical foundations of Bakunin's social thought.
It is concerned not so much with the explication of his anarchist position, as such, with the basic philosophy which underpins it, and focuses on two central components: a negative dialectic or revolutionary logic; and a naturalist ontology, a naturalistic account of the structure of being or reality.
Partial online archive of issues of Internationale, which used to be the monthly journal of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers' Association in the 1930s.
This short pamphlet was put together by Simon Pirani in 1996/7 from a series of interviews with Ukrainian worker activist Oleg Dubrovskii. It’s of general interest in relation to the way that life for the workers changed when the old Soviet Union disintegrated, but also provides some useful background information to what’s happening in the Ukraine today.
It’s always useful to remind ourselves that the class struggle is lurking in the shadows, even in situations where national divisions appear to be far more significant than class ones.
Partial online archive of issues of a bulletin produced by the UK, US and Australian sections of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association, the Direct Action Movement, Workers Solidarity Alliance and Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation respectively, from 1988.
The english language discussion bulletin of the IWA for the year 1988. Courtesy of the WSA archives.
A 1990 bulletin on the American workers' movement from members of the WSA in NY.