By David Weir
A masterful learn of the hidden roots of latest tradition and may b learn by way of a person drawn to how and why our highbrow panorama has replaced relatively dramatically because the Victorian period.
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Extra resources for Anarchy & culture: the aesthetic politics of modernism
This public person, which is thus formed by the union of all the individual members, formerly took the name of city, and now takes that of republic or body politic, which is called by its members State when it is passive, sovereign when it is active, power when it is compared to similar bodies" (Contract, 19). Anarchists would agree with two points in this key passage, given certain qualifications: first, they would agree with the principle of association, provided the associations formed did not encroach upon individual freedoms or upon the rights of other associations; second, they would affirm, or at least allow, the possibility of a state so long as the state remained passive.
But did this quasi-anarchism also draw cultural inspiration from the original anarchists of the last century? Not at all. Republican politics circa 199496 encouraged a proliferation of power not unlike anarchism, even though Republi- Page 10 can ideology dictated homogeneity of culture and common values. Paradoxically, Mr. Gingrich promoted a totalizing form of American culture even as he sought to break political structures down into ever-smaller units. Today, Republicans and Marxists mirror each other precisely: one has separated politics from ideology; the other has separated ideology from politics.
In fact, Proudhon draws an important line of distinction between "property" and "possession," the latter referring to the ownership of those things necessary for day-to-day life, including land, place of dwelling, and whatever tools or implements the individual's trade requires. 21 Property is theft only when the contractual principle of justice is violated and one person comes to possess what has not been produced by his own labor: "[A]nd so the famous aphorism 'property is theft' turns out to be less paradoxical and somewhat less radical in its implications than it appears at first sight.
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