” the most detailed fictional treatment of the movement from a world recognizably like our own to an anarchist society that I have read.. imagined strongly enough to allow readers to believe that events could happen this way.”
Dr Daniel P. Jaeckle is author of Embodied Anarchy in Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed .
One of the thorniest issues faced by anarchists is imagining a viable process by means of which the contemporary world of dominance and oppression passes into a world of freedom and equality. Is the process to be evolutionary or revolutionary, and if the latter, is it to be violent or non-violent? Interestingly, not many anarchist fictions are dedicated to describing such a transformative process. Most either assume that the anarchist society already exists and devote little attention to how it came about, or they posit some catastrophic event that ends the old order and allows a new one to emerge.
Rarely does an author patiently outline a process of transformation that shows a continuous progress from something like the current state of society to an anarchist one. 1*
It is for this reason that M. Gilliland’s The Free merits an essay here.2.*
It is the most detailed fictional treatment of the movement from a world recognizably like our own to an anarchist society that I have read. More importantly, it is imagined strongly enough to allow readers to believe that events could happen this way. That is to say, it gives plausible answers to the two most important questions regarding such a transformation: under what preconditions is it likely to occur, and once it starts what factors most contribute to its success? After a brief summary of the plot, I trace the answers that The Free gives to these questions. 3*…
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