Nick Heath. The Idea : Anarchist Communism, Past, Present and Future.

The Idea

News about an important book on anarchist communism.

Submitted by Battlescarred on September 23, 2022

Published by Just Books in Belfast, Nick Heath’s new book is a timely addition to the literature on Anarchist Communism.
Anarchist communism often hides in the shadows in the general works on anarchism available, only clearly emerging when the ideas of Kropotkin, Reclus and Malatesta are discussed. All too often, apart from the worthless speculations on various philosophers outside of the historic anarchist movement, anarchist communism is rejected as a poor relation to the mass movements launched by anarchosyndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism. Others state that the accommodation of anarchist communism to syndicalism, made it a simple variant of anarcho-syndicalism, that it failed to discover the causes of the counter-revolution initiated by the Bolsheviks, and that it died as a credible current with the aftermaths of the Mexican and Russian Revolutions and that it was absorbed or replaced by anarchosyndicalism. This book will seek to counter these assertions. Anarchist communism, as opposed to anarchist collectivism, is the only anarchist current that specifically argues for the end of the market economy and of exchange value. It has survived down to the present day and features as an important current in Russia, France, Latin America, Ukraine, China and Japan amongst other countries. This book seeks to rehabilitate the current of anarchist-communism and make it better known and understood; and to renovate and modernise it. It offers a prehistory of the idea, its origins in the First International and extensive chapters on the history of anarchist communism in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. As such it will be the first comprehensive work on anarchist communism, one where it is not sidelined or where it ends up as a footnote. As Brian Morris has correctly asserted, anarchist communism has been the main current within the body of anarchism and this book aims to stress that and to bring it out of the shadows.
Available from JUst Books, AK Press, PM Press and from the Anarchist Communist Group website

Comments

Steven.

1 year 5 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on September 23, 2022

So great to hear! Congrats on finally releasing it. I can't remember how many years you must have been working on this, when did you start again?

Steven.

1 year 5 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on September 24, 2022

ha! At least I knew it had to be a bit after Charles Mowbray was born…

Battlescarred

1 year 4 months ago

Submitted by Battlescarred on September 28, 2022

Hurry ! special offer for limited period. Normally £18.99 but only £9.50 from ACG website for short period.

pi

1 year 4 months ago

Submitted by pi on September 30, 2022

Hello Battlescarred

I got my copy yesterday and look forward to reading it but the print is really small for my old eyes. Do you by any chance have a pdf you could email me?

jack white

1 year 4 months ago

Submitted by jack white on October 3, 2022

I received my copy last week from Just Books and look forward to reading it.

I wonder if there is a draft index or work in progress that could be made available online? It would certainly be useful.

Just scanning through it quickly I was surprised not to see any mention of Ireland's Workers Solidarity Movement. Whatever about differences Heath might have had with the organisation they had a huge influence on Platformists internationally, and were probably responsible for a bit of a revival of Platformism.

freemind

1 year 4 months ago

Submitted by freemind on October 7, 2022

I thought the WSM were one of the few Anarchist organisations who were cogent,eloquent and gave an impression of being serious about Anarchism.Recently only the ACG fit that description imo.

Battlescarred

1 year 4 months ago

Submitted by Battlescarred on October 22, 2022

Hi, Jack White, if you're implying that I consciously left out mention of the WSM because of bias and prejudice then you're mistaken. I always had great respect for Alain MacSimoin . The book is huge and if I had included every facet of anarchist communism then it would have been twice the size. Sorry if you think I don't give the WSM the attention you think it's due.

jack white

1 year 4 months ago

Submitted by jack white on October 26, 2022

Hi Battlescared, I suppose I did raise that as a possibility. Glad to hear you say that it's not the case.

I understand the challenges around fitting everything into an already weighty book.

Hope it does well.

nastyned

1 year 4 months ago

Submitted by nastyned on October 26, 2022

The WSM do get a brief mention in the book.

nastyned

1 year 3 months ago

Submitted by nastyned on October 28, 2022

Fairly far in to the book they get a mention for being involved in the ILS/SIL which lead to anarkismo.

Battlescarred

1 year 3 months ago

Submitted by Battlescarred on November 1, 2022

Recently two important books on anarchist communism have appeared. They both seek to reclaim the tradition of anarchist communism, and both have been written by veterans of the anarchist communist movement. The first to appear has been A Defence of Anarchist Communism by Brian Morris, followed by The Idea: Anarchist Communism, Past, Present and Future. Brian has been defending the “integrity, importance and contemporary relevance of anarchist communism as a historical movement and as a political tradition” for more than 40 years in pamphlets, articles, books and letters. In Defence of Anarchist Communism is a very valuable book, and one that will hopefully rehabilitate anarchist communism and bring it to the attention of many new readers. As Brian writes: “…it is important to recognise and stress the vitality and continuing relevance of anarchist communism as a political tradition. Like all social movements, anarchist communism is complex, diverse, and ever-changing, open and responding to new events and new ideas…”

Nick Heath’s book seeks to rehabilitate the current of anarchist-communism and make it better known and understood; and to renovate and modernise it. It offers a prehistory of the idea of anarchist communism, its origins in the First International and extensive chapters on the history of anarchist communism in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. As such it will be the first comprehensive work on anarchist communism, one where it is not sidelined or where it ends up as a footnote.

Both authors will present their books and there will be time for questions and answers. There will be food and refreshments provided.

The event is sponsored by Housmans Bookshop, who will be providing a stall.

Come along to find out about the amazing idea of anarchist communism!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/anarchist-communism-launch-of-two-landmark-books-tickets-458200960407

Anarchist Communism: Launch of Two Landmark Books
Eventbrite - Anarchist Communist Group presents Anarchist Communism: Launch of Two Landmark Books - Saturday, November 19, 2022 at May Day Rooms, London, England. Find event and ticket information.
www.eventbrite.co.uk

MT

1 year 2 months ago

Submitted by MT on December 21, 2022

Hi Battlescarred, is there any chance to get an ebook version or at least PDF?

Battlescarred

1 year 2 months ago

Submitted by Battlescarred on December 21, 2022

no, not at present. If you order from ACG website you can get it at a special price of £12.50.