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"Anarchy in the UK" (B-side "I Wanna Be Me") was the first single by the punk band the Sex Pistols. It was released on November 26, 1976, and is often said to be the "first punk single". [1]

People: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon


Anarchism is a generic term describing various political philosophies and social movements that advocate the elimination of all forms of imposed authority, including social hierarchy and coercive power. In place of hierarchy, these movements favor relations based upon voluntary cooperation and mutual aid, leading to a society characterised by the ability of each actor to have a say in outcomes proportionate to the degree they are affected by them. These philosophies use anarchy to mean a society based on voluntary cooperation of free individuals. Philosophical anarchist thought does not advocate chaos or anomie — it refers to "anarchy" as a manner of human relations that is intentionally established and maintained.

While individual freedom and opposition to the state are primary tenets of anarchism, anarchism is, at its core, much more than that. There is also considerable variation among the anarchist political philosophies. Opinions vary in areas ranging from the role of violence in fostering anarchism, to the preferred type of economic system, to the relationship between technology and hierarchy, the interpretation of egalitarian ideals, and the desirability of various forms of organization. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism [Apr 2005]

Anarchism and the arts

Anarchism has long had an association with the creative arts, particularly in music and literature. It shares these traits with other radical political movements, such as socialism, communism and even fascism. Some of this art, like punk rock, would become partially co-opted by capitalist industry (a process called "recuperation" by the situationists).

The influence of anarchism is not always directly a matter of specific imagery or public figures, but may be seen in a certain stance towards the liberation of the total human being and the imagination.

Anarchism had a large influence on French Symbolism of the late 19th century, such as that of Stéphane Mallarmé, who was quoting as saying "Je ne sais pas d'autre bombe, qu'un livre." (I know of no bomb other than the book.) Its ideas infiltrated the cafes and cabarets of turn of the century Paris (see the Drunken Boat #2).

More significantly, anarchists claim that 'strains' may be found in the works of the Dada group, whose anti-bourgeois art antics saw them wreaking havoc in war neutral Switzerland during World War I. However on closer analysis the Dadaists were much closer to the Council Communists, having much of their material published in Die Aktion.

Many White American artists of the early 20th century were influenced by anarchist ideas, if they weren't anarchists themselves. The Ashcan School of American realism included anarchist artists, as well as artists such as Rockwell Kent and George Bellows that were influenced by anarchist ideas. Abstract expressionism also included anarchist artists such as Mark Rothko and painters such as Jackson Pollock, who had adopted radical ideas during his experience as a muralist for the Works Progress Administration. Pollock's father had also been a Wobbly.

In the late 20th century, anarchism and the arts could primarily be associated with the collage works by James Koehnline, Freddie Baer, Johan Humyn Being, and others, whose work was being published in anarchist magazines, including Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed and Fifth Estate. Freddie Baer is noteworthy for her work as a book designer for AK Press and for her contributions to the feminist science fiction milieu. Baer has contributed art to the annual WisCon conference, a convention featuring feminist science fiction which awards the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Freddie Baer has been nominated several times for the Hugo Award for her work as a fan artist. Also, The Living Theatre, a theatrical troupe headed by Judith Malina and Julian Beck, were outspoken about their anarchism, often incorporating anarchistic themes into their performances.

In the 1990s, anarchists were involved in the mail art movement, which can be described as "art which uses the postal service in some way." This is related to the involvement of many anarchists in the zine movement. And many contemporary anarchists are involved in making art in the form of flyposters, stencils, and radical puppets. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_and_the_arts [Oct 2005]

Culture and Anarchy (1869) - Matthew Arnold

Culture and Anarchy is a book by Matthew Arnold, first published in 1869.

Arnold's famous piece of writing on culture established his High Victorian cultural agenda which remained dominant in debate from the 1860s until the 1950s.

According to his view advanced in the book, "Culture [...] is a study of perfection". He further wrote that: "[Culture] seeks to do away with classes; to make the best that has been thought and known in the world current everywhere; to make all men live in an atmosphere of sweetness and light [...]".

This passage is often misquoted as "[culture is] the best that has been thought and said". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_and_Anarchy [Oct 2005]

See also: culture - 1869

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