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What is Communist Anarchism by Alexander Berkman

What is Communist Anarchism by Alexander Berkman

A good introduction this is the two thirds of the original work not included in the Freedom title 'ABC of Anarchism'.

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Emma Goldman records in her autobiography that Berkman found *What is Anarchism* a difficult book to write. He wanted to write a book that would explain anarchism to the average American. Given that the average American misunderstood anarchism to be about throwing bombs, Berkman had to begin on a basic introductory level. 

He pulled it off masterfully. Berkman takes a commonsense and conversational tone throughout the book, and he covers considerable ground. He explains to readers how the capitalism is basically a system of wage slavery and he discusses the other great social harms it produces. He differentiates left anarchism from western European socialism (a system of reformist capitalism) and from Marxist socialism. In fact, Berkman often discusses the Bolsheviks in the USSR, who imposed an oppressive system of, effectively, state-capitalism that he witnessed first hand. Other topics include trade unions, war, religion, violence, revolution and others. Berkman is particularly effective in discussing how an anarchist revolution would not be one given to wanton destruction, that it would try to preserve as much life and infrastructure as possible. And he sketches how an anarchist society would operate. 

Those who are completely unfamiliar with anarchism will find this book worthwhile. Anarchists will also find this book helpful because Berkman shows how to explain anarchism on an intuitive level.

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