Begin the lesson by providing a brief explanation of anarchism. In this explanation five key points would be advantageous:
- Anarchists oppose power and authority
- Propaganda of the deed – decisive actions of individuals, sometimes violent, inspire the masses to action.
- A famous propaganda of the deed was the assassination of President McKinley, who was engaged in expansionism, in making the U.S. a world power.
- The Haymarket Affair was an event in the history of the United States in which anarchists instigated a propaganda of the deed, but those found guilty were found guilty because of their beliefs.
- Anarchy is the umbrella term for many different anarchist philosophies.
Divide the class into nine groups. Each group is responsible for one of the following groups:
- Anarchist communism
- Christian anarchism
- Collectivist anarchism
- Individualist anarchism
Each group, upon gaining an understanding of their form of anarchy must then divide in half. One half of the group will argue for their particular form of anarchy; the other half of the group will argue against their particular form of anarchy.
Debates on each type of anarchy should occur in front of the class.
One final note of caution, the information written by and about anarchists can be controversial, including advocacy for violence. Students should be closely supervised during this project and frequent class discussions should occur during the research process.
Andrews, J. A. and James, Bob. What is Communism & Other Anarchist Essays. Fullerton: Libertarian Resources, 1984.
Chomsky, Noam and Pateman, Barry. Chomsky on Anarchism. Oakland: AK Press, 2005.
Eltzbacher, Paul and Byington, Steven. The Great Anarchists: Ideas and Teachings of Seven Major Thinkers. Mineola: Dover Publications, 2004.
Foster, Thomas W. The Taoists and the Amish: Kindred Expressions of Eco-anarchism. Springer: Ecosystems, 1987.
Friedman, David D. The Machinery of Freedom: A Guide of Radical Capitalism. Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company, 1989.
Hoffman, Abbie. Steal this Book. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002.
Goldman, Emma. Anarchism and Other Essays. London: Dover Publications, 1969.
Guerin, Daniel and Klopper, Mary. Anarchism: From Theory to Practice. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970.
Kropotkin, Peter. Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings. London: Dover Publications, 2002.
Kropotkin, Peter. Anarchism and Anarchist. London: Freedom Press, 1987.
McLean, G. The Rise and Fall of Anarchy in American. Chicagor: R.G. Badoux & Co., 1886.
Meltzer, Albert. Anarchism: Arguments For and Against. San Francisco: Cienfuegos, 1981.
Niebuhr, Reinhold and Lovin, Robin W. The Nature and Destiny of Man: A Christian Interpretation: Human Nature. London: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.
Niebuhr, Reinhold, Schweiker, William. The Responsible Self: An Essay in Christian Moral Philosophy. London: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.
Powell, William. The Anarchist Cookbook. El Dorado: Ozark Pr Llc, 1003.
Rocker, Rudolf. Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism. London: Freedom Press, 1988.
Rocker, Rudolf. Anarcho-Syndicalism. London: Pluto Press, 1998.
Wasserman, Harvey. Revolution for the Hell of It: The Book that Earned Abbie Hoffman a 5 Year Prison Term at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005.
Anarchism by Wikipedia
Chicago Anarchists on Trial
This lesson was written by Debra L. Clark, Kent State University.