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KropotkinReviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition$
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Ruth Kinna

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748642298

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642298.001.0001

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Mapping the State

Mapping the State

(p.79) 4 Mapping the State

Ruth Kinna

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter outlines three parallel accounts of the state that Kropotkin developed in the 1870s and 1880s as an anarchist critic of Tsarism. The first was an explanatory account for West European audiences and it described the iniquities of the Tsarist regime, and the social, economic and political problems that Russian revolutionaries were attempting to address. The second was a general anarchist critique that probed ideas of class and slavery and set out the reasons why constitutional solutions being proposed by radicals in Russia and elsewhere would fail to bring about social transformation. The third was an examination of the dynamics of change that drew directly on Kropotkin's understanding of geography. Kropotkin applied this to distinguish between nations and states and to develop ideas of colonisation, monopoly and a politics of anti-statecraft. By looking at the dynamics of the state, Kropotkin also explored the relationship between the state and capitalism and the power relationships of the international system. This analysis led him to identify Germany as the central power in Europe.

Keywords:   Anarchism and slavery, Anarchist critique of the state, Anarchist geography, Elisée Reclus, State and colonisation

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