Žiga Vodovnik, PhD, is an associate professor of political science at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His teaching and research focus on contemporary political theories and praxes, social movements in the Americas, and the history of political ideas.
A Living Spirit of Revolt: The Infrapolitics of Anarchism
Author: Žiga Vodovnik
Introduction by Howard Zinn
Publisher: PM Press
Published October 2013
Format: PDF, ePUB, Mobi
Size: 8 by 5
Page count: 256 Pages
“The great contribution of Žiga Vodovnik is that his writing rescues anarchism from its dogma, its rigidity, its isolation from the majority of the human race. He reveals the natural anarchism of our everyday lives, and in doing so, enlarges the possibilities for a truly human society, in which our imaginations, our compassion, can have full play.” —Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, from the Introduction
At the end of the nineteenth century, the network of anarchist collectives represented the first-ever global antisystemic movement and the very center of revolutionary tumult. In this groundbreaking and magisterial work, Žiga Vodovnik establishes that anarchism today is not only the most revolutionary current but, for the first time in history, the only one left. According to the author, many contemporary theoretical reflections on anarchism marginalize or neglect to mention the relevance of the anarchy of everyday life. Given this myopic (mis)conception of its essence, we are still searching for anarchism in places where the chances of actually finding it are the smallest.
“Žiga Vodovnik's A Living Sprit of Revolt is an original and brilliant exploration of the great tapestry of theory and praxis that belongs in the anarchist tradition and its contemporary forms. For the first time he makes a striking case that the Transcendentalists and their intellectual cousins belong firmly in this tradition. No library of contemporary or historical radicalism can be without it.”
—James C. Scott, author of Seeing like a State and Two Cheers for Anarchism
“Like Marx’s old mole, the instinct for freedom keeps burrowing, and periodically breaks through to the light of day in novel and exciting forms. That is happening again right now in many parts of the world, often inspired by, and revitalizing, the anarchist tradition that is examined in Žiga Vodovnik’s book. A Living Spirit of Revolt is a deeply informed and thoughtful work, which offers us very timely and instructive lessons.” —Noam Chomsky, MIT
"This book with its felicitous title is an important and essential work, honest, painstaking, and intelligent. Unlike so many political scientists, Žiga Vodovnik understands anarchism. It is unlikely that anyone can read A Living Spirit of Revolt without gaining a wholly new perspective on the history of and future of the anarchist movement in the age of Occupy! In a period that promises to spawn exciting transformations and occupations of politics, this brilliant work offers a degree of real understanding, and therefore cannot be too much commended." —Andrej Grubačić, author of Don't Mourn Balkanize!: Essays After Yugoslavia and coauthor of Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History
"Žiga Vodovnik has made a fresh and original contribution to our understanding of anarchism, by unearthing its importance for the New England Transcendentalists and their impact on radical politics in America. A Living Spirit of Revolt is interesting, relevant and is sure to be widely read and enjoyed." —Uri Gordon, author of Anarchy Alive: Anti-Authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory
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What others are saying...
A Living Spirit of Revolt: A Review
by John L Murphy
May 4th, 2014
Vodovnik supports a flexible nature for anarchism. He grounds it in the ‘absence of a leader or ruler’ as its meaning, and its anti-authoritarian ethos rather than one that avoids any authority. This key distinction aligns with Dave Neal’s ‘small-a’ methodology rather than a ‘capital-A’ ideology insisting on no overarching plan. As many motivators cited here agree, the spark lies in the ‘infrapolitics’ where ‘seemingly non-political’ or hidden forces seek to undermine unjustly imposed and unfairly distributed power structures, where the majority lack viable options to pursue opportunities to enrich self-fulfillment.
A Living Spirit of Revolt: A Review
"Never has there been a better time for a lucid, lean, inclusive primer-history about anarchism. We're blessed that it's from Faculty of Social Sciences professor Ziga Vodovnik, someone deeply knowledgeable and personally passionate about those who are linked officially and ontologically by a "suspicion of authority." A previous work of his, Ya Basta! Ten Years of the Zapatista Uprising (AK Press, 2004) cohesively detailed how regional revolutionary acts in 1994 would eventually lead to the rising of the anti-globalist movement internationally at the turn of the century. In a similar, more sweeping way, Vodovnik here superbly elucidates how many levels and layers of anarchism have fed into each other or synchronistically arrived at the same roots of rebellion..."
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