Critiques of Proudhon and/or Bakunin on Industrial Society?

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Joined: 29-09-03
Feb 18 2005 20:41
Critiques of Proudhon and/or Bakunin on Industrial Society?

OK i am writing a 5000 word essay on "an assessment of the views of Proudhon and Bakunin on industrial society"... i've written about their attitudes to work (as a virtue (PJP) or as a burden to be alleviated (MB, as with Marx), the stuff Bakunin wrote about science/technology/authority, division of labour, economic growth, etc, but so far the essay just looks like a comparative description of bits of what both of them wrote, with both of them coming out fairly pro-industrial, despite their faith in the revolutionary potential of the peasants...

I want it to have a bit more "bite" than that, and wanted to include or at least make mention of some critiques of MB's and PJP's views from a more recent anarchist viewpoint, particularly criticising their (MB's in particular) faith in large scale industry... i don't want primitivists or deep ecologists really, more social ecology or localist anarchist stuff... so i was wondering if anyone knew of anything that anyone on the more critical if not outright anti-industrial side (Bookchin, for example) has written specifically commenting on Bakunin or Proudhon...

sources that wouldn't be too hard to find in a UK university library or else are online would be ideal (not got money to buy books with, already bought loads of actual Bakunin and Proudhon stuf at the last bookfair...)

any good ideas?

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Feb 19 2005 15:51

Pretty sure Bookchin sees large scale industrial society as the prerequisite for the advanced yet localised (or at least appropriately scaled) technology he argues for - so contextually I don't think he'd criticise them for advocating mass production at all. His arguments against contemporary industry are that much of it is unnecessary and that social relationships distort its uses - not against technology or industry itself by any means. If anything he'd probably criticise Proudhon's politics for being based on localised craft networks and ignoring emerging urban industrial trends - leading to mutualistic individualism rather than outright communism.