Project Weekly Posts

Week 2 Synthesis Paper

A Dangerous Woman in a Dangerous World

Emma Goldman was a tornado of a woman who tore through the ideas of morality, marriage, child rearing, capitalism, war, and gender during a time when these discussions were unspeakable. Her speeches and lectures radicalized many people into questioning their place in the world. I chose to read and discuss Goldman because her ability to mobilize thousands of people inspires me; I hope to learn how her words could motivate such large groups. I also wanted to read Goldman because her critiques of religion, morality, and gender can form a base from which I can create my own understanding of challenging these ideologies in a modern world. Since my ILC has everything to do with understanding radical political theories and movements, I wanted to see what Goldman had to say because she was one of the only women who has gained world-wide renown in anarchist philosophy. As someone who has been socialized female my entire life I found it necessary to involve someone who was also socialized female in this project.

For the full paper, follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EKNpl2vA7K_VlhTsCjiizUjpnbMUZYE7vuSujtuFEyc/edit?usp=sharing


Week 3 Synthesis Paper

Cooperation is Human Evolution

This week I read “Anarchy,” by Errico Malatesta and “Mutual Aid,” by Peter Kropotkin, two anarcho-communists who promote the evolutionary theory of mutual aid. The reason that I chose Malatesta is because he has clear definitions of his idea of anarchism and mutual aid, while Kropotkin goes more in depth on these theories and gives historical context as to how mutual aid has been such a large factor in human evolution. Following the reading of Emma Goldman during week two, these authors have provided me with more understanding of how the theories of mutual aid and anarcho-communism are rooted in cooperation between human beings in already-lived historical experiences.

To read the full paper, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1t1rRiTKRbWorKDQR-oPrY83gS08v2vRM1v_XXygaGBI/edit?usp=sharing

Week 4 Synthesis Paper

Global General Strikes: The First and Last Call

    Rosa Luxemburg was a woman who lived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and she witnessed the Russian Revolution of 1905. Her analysis of the Russian Revolution, the general strikes that took place in the early 1900’s, and her assumptions about the potential for a German revolution in that time period are applicable to my study because we are living in a time where workers are facing exploitation the likes of which we have never seen. The gap between the working class and the owning class are growing at the largest rate since the Great Depression; more people are living in poverty while under the illusion that they have free choice, Since Luxemburg was able to witness large strikes and revolutionary actions and compare them to the events happening in Germany, I think that her understandings of how strikes and revolutions work could be applicable to struggles we are facing now. Along with Luxemburg, I will be discussing Richard Wolff’s Marxist understanding of modern economics while bringing him into conversation with Luxemburg. Through discussing these two together, I hope to shed some light on the possible success of a worker’s uprising here in the United States.

To read the full paper, please follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xAJ73Sg3mGMbOb8njm8SL0Z2iS7qi8ueTDWusSvs9so/edit?usp=sharing

Week 5 Synthesis Paper

Social Ecology and Revolutionary Technology

We are facing an age in which technology is often posed as the enemy of human survival and the planet. The extraction of materials such as oil and coal has consistently escalated pollution since the Industrial Revolution, clearcutting of massive areas of trees around the world with machinery that runs off of oil and gas has devastated natural environments, and the mechanization of the agricultural industry  poisons our bodies and the land  with chemicals such as pesticides.  Workers see jobs disappearing as they are replaced with technology; people face unemployment and low wages due to competition fueled by machines that can now work faster and often smarter than humans. Indigenous ways of caring for and living with the environment are erased through the uses of industrial technology. The reason that technology has been so detrimental is because of capitalism and ecocide: inventions are funded by capitalists to increase production rather than meet the material needs of humans while casting little care about environmental destruction.

Murray Bookchin, a social ecologist and anarchist, says technology has the potential be liberatory,  that if used in the right contexts could create better lives for humans while eliminating a lot of the toil that restricts us from participating in revolutions. In his compilation of essays titled Post-Scarcity Anarchism, he discusses the possibility of an anarchist revolution that utilizes technology in order to meet the needs of all, while attempting to balance the relationship between human beings and the environment.

To read the full paper, please download from this link: Week 5 Synthesis Paper

Week 6 Synthesis Paper

Lucy Parsons was raised in chattel slavery; she was an black anarchist woman who, once she became free, organized labor against wage slavery and capitalism. During the “Haymarket riots” in May 1886, her husband, Albert Parsons, and seven others were arrested for allegedly setting off a bomb that killed multiple police officers and wounded many more. Lucy continued to organize black communities, workers, and women even after her husband was hung in Chicago for events at the Haymarket. I value what Lucy had to say in her travels across the U.S. on speaking tours as well as in her writing. She was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and critiqued patriarchy within the radical union; there are not enough radicals who discuss patriarchy and anarchism from a woman’s perspective. This quarter I have purposely chosen multiple women who identify as anarchist or communist in order to better understand my own position as a person who challenges patriarchy and yet witnesses it and often carries the weight of educating anarchist men about it.

To read the full paper, please download from this link: Week 6 Synthesis Paper

Week 7 Annotated Bibliography

This week, I chose to write an annotated bibliography instead of a synthesis paper. I was hoping that doing this I could include all of my readings instead of focusing in on one reading and leaving out the others. In this annotated bibliography are summaries and analysis of writings by Nestor Mahkno and Voltairine de Cleyre. Mahkno was a Ukranian anarchist alive during the late 19th century and early 18th century. He witnessed the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Bolsheviks. Voltairine de Cleyre lived from 1866-1912 and was an American anarchist who opposed marriage, religion, and the state; she briefly met Emma Goldman in the United States and they agreed on many issues. I also listened to a podcast by Mabel Williams, wife of Robert Williams, who were two Civil Rights Activists from Monroe, North Carolina. They advocated for armed self-defense of black communities and fought against the racist imperialist wars of the United States, as well as colonialism and racial oppression.

To read the full annotate bibliography, please download from this link: Annotated Bibliography Week 7

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