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On Anarchism cover art

On Anarchism

By: Noam Chomsky, Nathan Schneider - introduction
Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
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Summary

On Anarchism provides the reasoning behind Noam Chomsky's fearless lifelong questioning of the legitimacy of entrenched power. In these essays, Chomsky redeems one of the most maligned ideologies, anarchism, and places it at the foundation of his political thinking. Chomsky's anarchism is distinctly optimistic and egalitarian. Moreover, it is a living, evolving tradition that is situated in a historical lineage; Chomsky's anarchism emphasizes the power of collective, rather than individualist, action. The collection includes a revealing new introduction by journalist Nathan Schneider, who documented the Occupy movement for Harper's and The Nation, and who places Chomsky's ideas in the contemporary political moment. On Anarchism will be essential listening for a new generation of activists who are at the forefront of a resurgence of interest in anarchism - and for anyone who struggles with what can be done to create a more just world.

©2013 Noam Chomsky; Introduction 2013 Nathan Schneider (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about On Anarchism

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Enlightened minds seeking a better world

it is for the enlightened mind. Someone interested in social justice and a better world.

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Fascinating

I really liked this book, as there are many questions that still loom large in my mind about anarchism and efficiency, as well as its larger role in societal transformation.

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  • DT
  • 29-05-16

Brilliant

Fresh thinking and real solutions for the modern world, beyond the typical, failed "solutions" we usually hear. Anarchism(s) contain a great deal of wisdom.

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interesting perspectives

A good listen with great contextual examples that resonate with the current situations in 2020.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Don't be Scared off by the name "Chomsky...."

.....It is NOT a Chomsky technical read!

It might require some concentration, but this book is in plain English and relays the basic concepts of anarchism in a user-friendly way, dipping into a bit of history and some sound logic. Also, it expanded my appreciation for the role of language in thought and social innovation. A constant sponsoring consciousness throughout the book is one that merely requires authoritarianism to justify its existence and give an account of itself. It is not some ranty studenty slogan-trotting posturing fashion accessory, it is meek and deductive reasoning in a considered, and dare I say, (c)onservative way. There is no lunacy or rabidity to it. It's a reasonable and comfortable book. It is a good introduction to anarchism, even if it doesn't start at the beginning. It is THE book i would throw at smug, blazer-wearing English Tories (Toffs AND Barrow Boys) who are oh so realist, but nonetheless intelligent, and challenge them to, "Show me the Rabies!"

In fact, it is the book I would throw at anyone who is new to, or frightened of the words, "anarchy," or "anarchism." I'd also throw it at crusties who have kind of hijacked the word, "anarchy," to mean getting stoned at Glastonbury and having an enduring a mullet haircut between the great mullet eras of the 1980's and now. There are a couple of things I disagree, with but so what? Overall, I find it to be a sensibly written book on a sensible set of politics. From this book, you can reverse engineer or explore other anarchist ideas.

I simply love this book. It gets four stars because five stars is a standing ovation, and this is a dummies guide for the likes of me, who are uneducated yet biologically inclined towards anarchism and find comfort in the fact that an academic grown-up endorses something intuitive. The book itself is not a mind-shattering work of genius, although Chomsky probably is, but it is a concise and useful pocket guide entry book. It ended and I thought, no surely not, I must have accidentally jumped some chapters, such is the fluidity of Chomsky's writing.

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Dreadful Narration

Dreadful narration; interesting points. Narration is easily the worst I’ve ever listened to. A shame.

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it's short it's important listen to it

this is a very important piece of political theory from a very smart man. Give it the time it deserves.

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First Chomsky will not be the last

Noam Chomsky is one of those names that I have heard quoted by intellectual types for a while now. I do not consider myself to be particularly intellectual or academic so it was with some trepidation that I downloaded "On Anarchism". Well it is less than 5 hours long so I did not think it would be beyond me to concentrate on. I had recently listened to Orwell's excellent Homage to Catalonia and the background of the story of the anarchist struggle during the Spanish Civil War served as a useful backdrop to Chomsky.
This book is a bit of a hotchpotch of essays, interviews and seemingly random ideas on the subject of Anarchism that complement each other and form a coherent and interesting perspective of the concept of nation states and the use of power by their leaders. As fundamentally a linguist, Chomsky has a unique take on the terminology used by nation states regarding the use and misuse of authority to assert their power.
Noam Chomsky is undoubtedly one of the greatest original thinkers of our time and I now want to explore more of his works.

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17 people found this helpful

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This will either change your life or reaffirm it.

There's really not much more to say than the title of this review, the book is brilliant, and definitely worth your time.

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Lazy, Rambling, Unpersuasive

This is on of the laziest and least persuasive books I've ever read on the topic of Anarchism. Rather than offering a discursive positive argument, all Chomsky did was cobble together a collection of Q&A transcripts and tangentially related essays already written. The only reason he gets 3 stars is for the research on the Spanish Civil War and a handful of interesting insights on Humboldt and Rousseau.

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7 people found this helpful