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By David Weir

A masterful research of the hidden roots of up to date tradition and will b learn by way of somebody drawn to how and why our highbrow panorama has replaced fairly dramatically because the Victorian period.

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Additional info for Anarchy & culture: the aesthetic politics of modernism

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Another conventional way of placing anarchism is to situate the development in relation to Enlightenment thought in more general terms, rather than in terms of specific ideologies. Most anarchists Page 14 participate in the Enlightenment belief in the ultimate perfectibility of society, although not all accept the premise that the grand goal of a stateless society can be achieved by reason alone. The classical anarchists are divided on this point, as some put their faith in the gradual improvements that reason brings, while others insist on the more expeditious method of revolution.

I refer to anarchism, the one ideology that might have allowed Breton to reconcile art and action, since anarchism as a form of individualist politics is perfectly suited to the type of individualist poetics Breton practiced. Indeed, several important dadaists, the precursors of the surrealists, had clear affinities with anarchism; because of this they Page 4 never found themselves in the kind of position Breton did in 1935. " 6 Even here, however, the wall remains between development and creation, progress and poetry.

In Russia, the anarchists were overcome by the Bolsheviks; in Europe, they disappeared into the divide that separated the fascists from the communism; in America, they merged back into the libertarian tradition that had produced them in the first place. Anarchism was, quite simply, an outmoded ideology in the period between the world wars, too antiquated to be of use to anyone. The historical destiny of anarchism tells us a great deal about the ideology itself, which had always seemed out of touch with the times.

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