Summary

James Scott taught us what's wrong with seeing like a state. Now, in his most accessible and personal book to date, the acclaimed social scientist makes the case for seeing like an anarchist. Inspired by the core anarchist faith in the possibilities of voluntary cooperation without hierarchy, Two Cheers for Anarchism is an engaging, high-spirited, and often very funny defense of an anarchist way of seeing - one that provides a unique and powerful perspective on everything from everyday social and political interactions to mass protests and revolutions.
Through a wide-ranging series of memorable anecdotes and examples, the book describes an anarchist sensibility that celebrates the local knowledge, common sense, and creativity of ordinary people. The result is a kind of handbook on constructive anarchism that challenges us to radically reconsider the value of hierarchy in public and private life, from schools and workplaces to retirement homes and government itself.
Beginning with what Scott calls "the law of anarchist calisthenics", an argument for law-breaking inspired by an East German pedestrian crossing, each chapter opens with a story that captures an essential anarchist truth. In the course of telling these stories, Scott touches on a wide variety of subjects: public disorder and riots, desertion, poaching, vernacular knowledge, assembly-line production, globalization, the petty bourgeoisie, school testing, playgrounds, and the practice of historical explanation.Far from a dogmatic manifesto, Two Cheers for Anarchism celebrates the anarchist confidence in the inventiveness and judgment of people who are free to exercise their creative and moral capacities.
©2012 Princeton University Press (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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4 out of 5 stars
By Greg Gauthier on 09-06-16

Eye-Opening and Insightful

James Scott's case for anarchy is one of the best mainstream presentations I've ever seen. Chapters two and six are especially good. Scott offers a view of *present* political life that is at once novel and powerfully convincing (albeit, a little naive). Despite it's vaguely unsatisfying incompleteness, I would count this as a much better book than Chomsky's "On Anarchy" for example, for the strength of its arguments.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 29-12-17

fragmentary but illuminating

Scott's essays are all over the place, for good or ill. Superficially they might seem unfocused. But they shed light on how anarchism is not an abstract ideology but a living practice that can pop up in all areas of disjointed human life.

The book is easy reading/listening, but don't let that deceive you. You will learn a lot in the process.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Edwin A. Blanton on 16-01-16

Three cheeers for Two cheers for Anarchism

This is one of my favorite Audiobooks, I loved it so much I went and bought the physical version to sneak into work. Regardless of your personal political leanings or feelings about Anarchism, give James C Scott a chance, and youll probably find yourself rethinking some of those veiws

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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