by John P. Clarke
The Impossible Community confronts a critical moment when social and ecological catastrophes loom, the Left seems unable to articulate a response, and the Right controls public debates. This book offers a fresh and highly readable reformulation of anarchist social and political theory to develop a communitarian anarchist solution.
In this stunningly original work, John P. Clark, author, lifelong activist, and one of the most fascinating anarchist luminaries of our time, skillfully argues that a free and just social order requires a radical transformation of the modes of domination exercised through social ideology, the social imaginary, the social ethos, and social institutional structures. Communitarian anarchism unites a universalist concern for social and ecological justice while recognizing the integrity and individuality of the person. The Impossible Community is a renewed examination of the anarchist principles of mutual aid and voluntary cooperation and provides convincingly lucid examples in various contexts, from the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina to social movements in South Asia.
Ambitious in scope and compelling in its strength and imagination, The Impossible Community offers readers an accessible theoretical framework along with concrete case studies to show how contemporary anarchist practice continues a long tradition of successfully synthesizing personal and communal liberation. This provocatively innovative work will appeal not only to students of anarchism and political theory but also to activists and anyone interested in making the world a better place.
"At a time of growing social and ecological crisis, John Clark is a very welcome voice, bringing hope with his version of communitarian anarchism. He writes very vividly and persuasively, whether it be general theory or particular case studies. The Impossible Community should be widely discussed and realized, as it shows brilliantly a way out of our present predicament." -- Peter Marshall, author of Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism
"In The Impossible Community, John Clark proposes something that is sorely lacking in today's landscape: the prospect of going beyond our obsessions with catastrophe in all its guises -- environmental, geopolitical, financial, etc. -- to the exploration of new forms of social organization based on voluntary anarchist cooperation. Clark is able to bring to bear his immense erudition and experience with alternative modes of social organization, both historical and geographical, and thus can lead us, like Ariadne with her thread, out of the labyrinth of our present-day paralysis." -- Ronald Creagh, professor emeritus, Université Montpellier 3, France
About the Author:
John Clark is a philosopher, activist, and educator. His books include The Anarchist Moment; Anarchy, Geography, Modernity; and Between Earth and Empire. He is director of La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology.