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Two new reviews of Accumulation of Freedom, by Gabriel Kuhn and David D’Amato

Posted on April 20th, 2012 in AK Authors!, Reviews of AK Books

The Accumulation of Freedom edited by Deric Shannon, Anthony J Nocella, II and John Asimakoupolos received two great reviews this week. The first from Gabriel Kuhn at Alpine Anarchist and the second by David D’Amato at Center for a Stateless Society.

Alpine Anarchist Review
by Gabriel Kuhn

Anarchist discussions revolve around abolishing the state, capitalism, and all forms of oppression, at the same time envisioning a better future for all of us in a just and free society. Interestingly enough, some very basic questions are rarely asked. For example: How do we get our bread? How do we get our cotton shirts? How do we get the smart phones we have become so accustomed to? Obviously, these questions, and a million of others like them, all relate to a very general one: How will anarchists run the economy?

Stimulating anarchist debate on economic issues seems to have been a main motivating factor behind the publication of The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics. At the same time, the book attempts to refute the argument – particularly popular among Marxists – that such debates are entirely absent from the anarchist tradition. In their introduction, the editors, Deric Shannon, Anthony J. Nocella II, and John Asimakopoulos, state: “[A]narchists have contributed to economic thought, despite historical portrayals that write them out – reducing the narrative to capitalism and its Marxian opponents – and we do aim to remedy this despite some of these tensions. Indeed, as the libertarian wing of the socialist movements, anarchism played a key role in the development of economic analyses, practices, and visions of a future society that were anti-capitalist and non-Marxist.” (13-14) Read More

Center for a Stateless Society Review
by David D’Amato

The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics, edited by anarchist scholars Deric Shannon, Anthony J. Nocella, II, and John Asimakopoulos, treats a controversial realm of radical thought, one that has led to divisions and mutual dubiety within the anarchist tradition. In their opening essay Anarchist Economics: A Holistic View, the editors acknowledge that, for many contemporary anarchists, captive to “the assumption that ‘economics’ is capitalism,” the notion of anarchist economics itself is an oxymoron, at variance with anarchism’s commitment to opposing capitalism and therefore destined to prove abortive from the start.

In a vital collection of essays from contemporary anarchists writing in a range of academic disciplines, The Accumulation of Freedom challenges the idea that anarchists should not be concerned with economics. Divided into six parts, the collection moves from history to vision, first sketching the diverse backstory of anarchist economic thought and then both suggesting critiques of contemporary, global capitalism and advancing promising ways of resisting and escaping it, replacing it with something better. Read More