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Occult Features of Anarchism
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About the Author

Erica Lagalisse is an anthropologist, a writer, and a postdoctoral fellow at the International Inequalities Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of 14 books, including the bestselling Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch.

Reviews

"Occult Features of Anarchism is a rich work that forces readers to confront questions about the nature of anarchism, conspiracy theories and knowledge." --Bethan Johnson, LSE Review of Books
"Lagalisse is one of those exceptional scholars who manages to follow a clear line of argument while also dropping profound commentaries on a variety of other topics as she goes. She provides, almost in passing, a brilliant and ruthlessly incisive take-down of the performative allyship of academic elites toward persons of oppressed identities (this, she says, all too often 'consist[s] in valorizing one's self vis-a-vis one's peers... instead of constituting tangible benefits for the persons with whom one is "allied"'). There's also an excellent critique of performative politics--'good politics'--and its racist consequences. Identity-policing and call-out culture is more often than not a matter of semantics, where the people being called out are not necessarily trying to be racist or oppressive, but simply lack the sophisticated verbiage of the people doing the calling out. 'As a consequence, ' she writes, 'articulate students of Edward Said or well-spoken sexists may enjoy "good politics" simply because they cite and reiterate their bourgeois self-detachment ("reflexivity") by way of choicefully framed speeches.'" --Hans Rollmann, https: //www.popmatters.com/occult-features-anarchism-erica-lagalisse-2635333993.html
"Erica Lagalisse's Occult Features of Anarchism is a wonderful and learned provocation. Taking the concept of modern politics as a form of theology and magical ritual, she traces some aspects of the origins of socialist and anarchist politics and performance to the Hermetic tradition which influenced the Radical Enlightenment and its originators, in for example, the work of Spinoza. But she also argues that this 'magical' or Hermetic tradition rested on a masculinist coup against women's knowledge, especially in the transformation of women healers into malevolent witches." --Carl Levy, professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths, University of London

"Fun and fascinating, playful and serious at once, Occult Features of Anarchism reveals further why and how the social worlds of the Left often carelessly reproduce and even further entrench mainstream forms of gendered power." --Sally Cole, professor of anthropology emerita, Concordia University, author of Contesting Publics: Feminism, Activism, Ethnography
"This is surely the most creative and exciting, and possibly the most important, work to come out on either anarchism or occultism, in many a year. It should give rise to a whole new field of intellectual study." --David Graeber, professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years

"A tour de force. Any self-respecting radical should know this history, right down to the dirty history of the 'A for anarchism' sign from its location within Freemasonry and magic. Ripping apart with historical detail our contemporary common sense we learn the tactics of how elite radicals claim power through difference. The significance of this history for the politics of now should not be underestimated and most certainly more widely known. Essential reading." --Dr. Beverley Skeggs, director of the Atlantic Fellows programme at the International Inequalities Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science, author of Class, Self, Culture

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