Anarchy Works - PDF book by Peter Gelderloos

Anarchy Works 

Anarchy Works

This book takes examples from around the world, picking through history and anthropology, showing that people have, in different ways and at different times, demonstrated mutual aid, self-organization, autonomy, horizontal decision making, and so forth–the principles that anarchy is founded on–regardless of whether they called themselves anarchists or not. 

Too well documented to be strictly mythology, and too expansive to be strictly anthropology, this is an inspiring answer to the people who say that anarchists are utopian: a point-by-point introduction to how anarchy can and has actually worked.


No more talk about the old days, it’s time for something great. I want you to get out and make it work... Thom Yorke Dedicated to the wonderful people of RuinAmalia, La Revoltosa, and the Kyiv infoshop, for making anarchy work. Although this book started out as an individual project, in the end, a great many people, most of whom prefer to remain anonymous, helped make it possible through proofreading, fact-checking, recommending sources, editing, and more. To acknowledge only a small part of this help, the author would like to thank John, Jose, Vila Kula, AAAA!, L, J, and G for providing computer access throughout a year of moves, evictions, crashes, viruses, and so forth. Thanks to Jessie Dodson and Katie Clark for helping with the research on another project, that I ended up using for this book. Also thanks to C and E, for lending their passwords for free access to the databases of scholarly articles available to university students but not to the rest of us.

 There are hidden stories all around us, growing in abandoned villages in the mountains or vacant lots in the city, petrifying beneath our feet in the remains of societies like nothing we’ve known, whispering to us that things could be different. But the politician you know is lying to you, the manager who hires and fires you, the landlord who evicts you, the president of the bank that owns your house, the professor who grades your papers, the cop who rolls your street, the reporter who informs you, the doctor who medicates you, the husband who beats you, the mother who spanks you, the soldier who kills for you, and the social worker who fits your past and future into a folder in a filing cabinet all ask “WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITHOUT US? It would be anarchy.” And the daughter who runs away from home.

the bus driver on the picket line, the veteran who threw back his medal but holds on to his rifle, the boy saved from suicide by the love of his friends, the maid who must bow to those who can’t even cook for themselves, the immigrant hiking across a desert to find her family on the other side, the kid on his way to prison because he burned down a shopping mall they were building over his childhood dreams, the neighbour who cleans up the syringes from the vacant lot, hoping someone will turn it into a garden, the hitchhiker on the open road, the college dropout who gave up on career and health insurance and sometimes even food so he could write revolutionary poetry for the world, maybe all of us can feel it: our bosses and tormentors are afraid of what they would do without us, and their threat is a promise — the best parts of our lives are anarchy already.

Author: Peter Gelderloos
  Publication Date:2010
Public domain


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