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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection - shame about the introduction
An excellent collection of Chomsky's discourse on anarchism.

The first chapter ('Notes on Anarchism') is essential reading for anyone interested in anarchism or Chomsky, giving a very rational and historically grounded - but no less radical - perspective on the anarchist tradition.

The second chapter ('Excerpts from "Understanding Power"') is very...
Published 3 months ago by R.Mark

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit repetitive
This is a collection of articles, speeches and interviews: I feel a synthesis of them into a new article would be much more valuable than reading several slightly different articles. I'd recommend this book only if you're a fan of Chomsky and know the subject already quite well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection - shame about the introduction, 1 Sep 2014
By 
R.Mark (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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An excellent collection of Chomsky's discourse on anarchism.

The first chapter ('Notes on Anarchism') is essential reading for anyone interested in anarchism or Chomsky, giving a very rational and historically grounded - but no less radical - perspective on the anarchist tradition.

The second chapter ('Excerpts from "Understanding Power"') is very interesting and covers some widely misunderstood aspects of revolutionary libertarian thought (such as it being utopian, that it is unworkable in large-scale/advanced societies, the supposed polarity of the individual and collective, the confusion of anarchy with chaos and traditional libertarianism with US 'libertarianism', the futility of creating definitive or intricate blueprints for future societies, the negation of the wage incentive, and more).

The third chapter ('Part II of "Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship"') elucidates Chomsky's perspective of the anarchist revolution in Spain, as he challenges the liberal elitist narrative. As the 1936 social revolution is probably considered the greatest advancement of humanity so far by libertarians everywhere, this is a significant and intense analysis.

The fourth chapter ('Interview with Harry Kreisler, from "Political Awakenings"') connects Chomsky's early life and experiences with his understanding of the world, and so provides a more personal look at his thought.

The fifth chapter ('Language and Freedom') is a fascinating read as Chomsky bases his examination of both freedom and language on the classical liberal and Cartesian schools of thought, and subsequently tries to connect both, ultimately proposing a direction for future scholarship rather than providing the answers.

However, the introduction ('Anarcho-curious? or, Anarchist America' by Nathan Schneider') greatly undermines the rest of the book. From claiming that "Anarchism, then, is a corner backed into rather than a conscious choice - an apophatic last resort", to citing the hacking group 'Anonymous' as a prime example of anarchist action, among other harmful misinformation, Schneider's introduction does a disservice to genuine anarchism. Finally, after quoting Chomsky dismissing right-wing 'libertarianism' as "an aberration" unique to the USA, which is the theory of "a world built on hatred" that "would self-destruct in three seconds", Schneider goes on to suggest that left-wing and right-wing libertarians should "learn from one another", and puts out the possibility of right-wing 'libertarians' re-entering the mainstream (and fundamentally anti-capitalist) anarchist movement. Considering that Chomsky has put great effort into undoing the ultra-capitalist misappropriation of the libertarian/anarchist tradition Schneider's musings are an insult towards Chomsky, whose thought he is supposed to introduce. I would recommend disregarding almost everything in this introduction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: On Anarchism (Paperback)
A nice introduction to Chomsky's thoughts. I would also recommend checking out Chomsky's talks and debates on this topic (of which plenty exist on the internet).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit repetitive, 12 Aug 2014
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This is a collection of articles, speeches and interviews: I feel a synthesis of them into a new article would be much more valuable than reading several slightly different articles. I'd recommend this book only if you're a fan of Chomsky and know the subject already quite well.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or not ... no government is better than what we have, 21 Feb 2014
By 
Wayne Wilmot (Clarksburg, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On Anarchism (Paperback)
Chomsky takes on the impossible task of answering what the alternative to dysfunctional government should be. The era of the individual is coming worldwide. That will be a vindication that Chomsky is right and government is wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Oct 2014
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A bit hard going in places, but enlightening
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On Anarchism
On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky (Paperback - 5 Nov 2013)
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