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  • Occult Features of Anarchism

    Erica Lagalisse

    Chapter from the book: Christoyannopoulos A. & Adams M. 2018. Essays in Anarchism and Religion: Volume II.


    By exploring the hidden correspondences between classical anarchism, Renaissance magic and occult philosophy, this chapter advances the critical study of Left-political attachment to the ‘secular’, wherein Western anarchist and socialist cosmologies have been mystified. By historicizing Western anarchism and ‘the revolution’, it highlights the development of Left theory and praxis within clandestine masculine ‘public’ spheres of the radical Enlightenment, and how this genesis proceeds to inflect anarchist understandings of the ‘political’. Inspired by ethnographic research among contemporary anarchist social movements in the Americas, this essay questions anarchist ‘atheism’ insofar as it has posed practical challenges for current anarchist-indigenous coalition politics. Moreover, in its treatment of ‘secret societies’ this essay has pedagogical utility for today’s political activists as well as scholars of anarchism. Where popular fear of ‘secret societies’ is widespread, charting the construction of the secret society in European history has practical political importance. By attending to this history, we also witness the co-evolution of modern masculinity and secularized social movements as a textured historical process, and observe the privatization of both gender and religion in the praxes of radical counter-culture, which develops in complex dialectic with the “privatization” of gender and religion by the modern nation-state.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Lagalisse, E. 2018. Occult Features of Anarchism. In: Christoyannopoulos A. & Adams M (eds.), Essays in Anarchism and Religion. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bas.i

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Sept. 26, 2018


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