chapter  1
28 Pages

Introduction

The period of this study begins in 1840 with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first avowed anarchist who confronted the modern nation-state, the emergence of economic industrialization, and bourgeois political economy. It ends with the temporary burial of anarchist economic ideas as a consequence of the explosion of the First World War.2 The historical characters who have been selected for detailed inquiry are Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), Alexander Herzen (1812-1870), Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876), Elisée Reclus (1830-1905), Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921), Jean Grave (1845-1939), and Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910). The study demonstrates the existence of a distinct tradition of communitarian anarchist economic thought, the neglect of that tradition throughout the twentieth century within histories of economic thought, and the contemporary relevance of communitarian anarchist economic ideas.