- Editor’s Introduction
This issue marks the inception of our ninth year of JSR, and with it, we return to one of the most productive and interesting of subjects, that of anarchism. Periodically, we have featured thematically linked series of articles on anarchism, and in this issue, our articles cover a range of related subjects that, taken together, ask us to consider the extent to which the word “anarchism” accurately describes the phenomenon in question and to what the word really corresponds. It also prompts questions about the political consequences of anti-authoritarian or anarchist movements or individual actions. Their social effects and consequences are not always what one might assume.
Our first article is Dimitris Kitis’s “The Anti-authoritarian Chóros: A Space for Youth Socialization and Radicalization in Greece (1974–2010),” which discusses the history of anti-authoritarianism in Greece during the latter part of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. One of the most interesting contributions of this article is to delve more deeply into the social milieu and the underlying social connections that contribute to the development of what Kitis refers to as “anarchism” in quotation marks, highlighting how the phenomena in question can’t always be categorized very easily.
The second article, Andrew Hoyt’s “Active Centers, Creative Elements, and Bridging Nodes: Applying the Vocabulary of Network Theory to Radical History,” analyzes some important early twentieth-century [End Page v] examples of anarchism with an eye to contemporary theoretical models that emphasize the horizontal, interlinked rather than the vertical aspects of radicalism. He argues that network analysis is particularly appropriate when one’s subject is transnational and overlaps with a variety of much larger social groups.
Our third and fourth articles are Benjamin Pauli’s “Pacifism, Nonviolence, and the Reinvention of Anarchist Tactics in the Twentieth Century” and Kyle Harvey’s “Prayer or Protest? The Radical Promise of Voluntary Poverty in the Anti-nuclear Fast for Life, 1983.” Pauli’s article is particularly broad in scope, whereas Harvey’s focuses much more narrowly on a very particular protest movement in 1983, but both of the articles grapple with the subject of nonviolent protest, how it developed, when, and why. When, how, and to what extent did anarchism become anarcho-pacificism?
Our final article is Jacob A. Zumoff’s “Hell in New Jersey: The Passaic Textile Strike, Albert Weisbord, and the Communist Party,” a close study of how a particular social movement intersected with and diverged from the Communist Party in the 1920s. While Zumoff’s is the only article not specifically on the theme of anarchism, it still raises and instantiates some of the same questions raised in other articles in this issue, particularly those in Hoyt’s article about network theory and anarchism, but also with the articles of Kitis and Pauli. To what extent do radical movements emerge spontaneously in particular social conditions, and to what extent are they the result of assiduous cultivation by relatively small, elite groups?
In this issue we do not include a conversation or any dossier materials, as did our previous two issues, and we only had space to feature four book reviews. These reviews are of books on diverse themes, ranging from new interpretations of the 1960s counterculture era, NGO-ization, the Black Panthers, and a “forgotten” black radical. At some point we expect to feature a larger number of reviews than we can include here—we have quite a number of books out for review, and there are many new publications coming in. The study of radicalism is indeed flourishing.
As you know, JSR seeks to provide a forum for the scholarly and dispassionate analysis of radicalism of many kinds, and from many different perspectives. Our next issue will feature a new look at the 1960s and its aftermath, with articles that consider pharmaceutical radicalism, [End Page vi] hippie commodification, and much else. In this regard, we may take a moment to remember Stephen Gaskin, who died in 2014. We featured an interview with Gaskin in JSR 4.1, and his death prompted us to reflect on our conversation with him and our visit to the community in Tennessee where he lived...