Full Text

Anarchist synthesis

Jeffrey Shantz


Synthesist anarchism refers to organizing approaches that attempt to bring together anarchists of varying tendencies and perspectives within a single group, federation, or project. As a form of political action, anarchist synthesis is sometimes referred to as “big tent” or “small-a” anarchism. The term is drawn from the critical response to the platformist position of the Dielo Trouda Group by a number of Russian anarchists, including notably Voline . The synthesist opponents of platformism argued for an inclusive anarchist organization that could achieve the theoretical and tactical unity advocated by the platformists. Much of anarchist activity in North America is synthesist, still fitting the description from Dielo Trouda in 1926: “local organizations advocating contradictory theories and practices, having no perspectives for the future, nor of continuity in militant work, and habitually disappearing, hardly leaving the slightest trace behind them.” Many of these short-lived projects are based on the “synthesist” model in which contradictory or incompatible ideas and practices are expected to coexist. Many of these ephemeral organizations are built on the synthesist basis that platformists have been and remain critical of. While synthesist approaches can succeed, they do exhibit a tendency to be the “mechanical assembly of individuals” that the platformists suggested. Such groupings ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top