free to read and download plain PDF , EPUB (for mobile etc) https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/peter-gelderloos-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 generalized 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.
Anarchy Works has 143 ratings and 16 reviews. Molly said: An excellent survey of various examples of anarchist theory successfully applied in practice (w…
Oct 20, 2016 – Anarchy Works – Peter Gelderloos. This book uses historical and anthropological examples to show that people have, in different ways and at …
No radical politics is possible except against the police, for they are an integral and fundamental instrument in the reproduction of capitalist social relations. This does not mean however they they should become the object of any open and exclusive counter-violence; but rather, that all should be done to create conditions in which the violence of the police is rendered pointless and they themselves cease to be necessary.
In the mass protests-occupations of spain’s cities in 2011, for example, the police were often simply marginalised by the sheer scale of the mobilisations, or pushed back in many smaller, but determined, protests. The creation and defense of spaces of autonomy is only viable not against the police, but against the society as whole to which they belong. In other words, autonomy lies beyond policed societies.
A world without police
by Peter Gelderloos (Originally published with Counterpunch)
In two previous essay, I discussed the role of the Left in protecting the police through cautious reformism, and the effectiveness of a pacified, falsified—in a word disarmed—history of the Civil Rights movement to prevent us from learning from previous struggles and achieving a meaningful change in society.
The police are a racist, authoritarian institution that exists to protect the powerful in an unequal system.
Past and present efforts to reform them have demonstrated that reformism can’t solve the problem, though it does serve to squander popular protests and advance the careers of professional activists. Faced with this situation, in which Left and Right unwittingly collude to prolong the problem, the extralegal path of rioting, seizing space, and fighting back against the police makes perfect sense.
In fact, this phenomenon, denounced as “violence” by the media, the police, and many activists in unison, was not only the most significant feature of the Ferguson rebellion and the solidarity protests organized in hundreds of other cities, it was also the vital element that made everything else possible, that distinguished the killing of Michael Brown from a hundred other police murders. What’s more, self-defense against state violence (whether excercized by police or by tolerated paramilitaries like the Klan) is not an exceptional occurrence in a long historical perspective, but a tried and true form of resistance, and one of the only that has brought results, in the Civil Rights movement and earlier.
What remains is to speak about possibilities that are radically external to the self-regulating cycle of tragedy and reform. What remains is to speak loudly and clearly about a world without police.
We don’t want better police. We don’t want to fix the police. On the contrary, we understand that the police work quite well; they simply do not work for us and they never have. We want to get rid of the police entirely, and we want to live in a world where police are not necessary.
Far from being a naïve position, I believe it is the only one that can withstand serious scrutiny, whether in the form of a comprehensive historical analysis of the role and evolution of police and the effectiveness of reform movements, or of an examination of the breadth of possibility that human societies have already demonstrated………………….
Peter Gelderloos has participated in various initiatives to support prisoners and push the police out of our neighborhoods. He is the author of several books, including Anarchy Works and The Failure of Nonviolence.