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Jacob King

Of all that is written I love only that which is written with blood. -Nietzsche

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  • On Anarchism

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Noam Chomsky, Nathan Schneider (introduction)
    • Narrated By Eric Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (10)

    On Anarchism provides the reasoning behind Noam Chomsky's fearless lifelong questioning of the legitimacy of entrenched power. In these essays, Chomsky redeems one of the most maligned ideologies, anarchism, and places it at the foundation of his political thinking. Chomsky's anarchism is distinctly optimistic and egalitarian. Moreover, it is a living, evolving tradition that is situated in a historical lineage; Chomsky's anarchism emphasizes the power of collective, rather than individualist, action.

    Jacob King says: "Hit and Miss"
    "Hit and Miss"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What is not made clear anywhere in the description of the book is that this is a collection of pieces, often excerpts from longer works, including interviews and book reviews where Chomsky talks about anarchism. It is not analytic or deeply thought through; the inclusion criteria seems to be if Chomsky mentions anarchism in the text then it is in. It is also quite often repetitive - not on Chomsky's part but if he wants to quote the same passage from Humboldt at different points across a thirty year period it is probably up to an editor to not to collect all those quotations together.

    Some of the pieces are better than others - the middle section on the Spanish civil war is the most interesting but is a review of a book that probably no one has read since the sixties so it is not the best anarchist history of that time period. The final essay on "Language and Freedom" is hampered by Chomsky clearly working to a commission and not really being sure of what the topic is supposed to be about.

    This is still worth listening to, Chomsky is a clear and interesting thinker and the reader does a good job with the material, but as a curiosity. You need to know going in that this book is not intended to be in any way a definitive statement on anarchism by Chomsky but is a collection of lesser writing by a third party.

    Also introduction is unrelated to the book and has already dated more than anything else here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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