During the second half of the Twentieth Century, the ideas of leading anarchist thinkers such as Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin seemed destined to fade into history. But today they are finding new energy and power. Libertarian flags wave above the crowds at anti-globalization and anti-corporation rallies. Anarchist axioms appear in contemporary debates on neoliberalism and ecology. Websites passing on anarchism’s radical principles proliferate in cyberspace. Popular intellectuals like Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Osvaldo Bayer, Noam Chomsky and Murray Boochkin acknowledge in their work the debt they owe to the towering nonconformist figures who preceded them.
The anarchists’ fight against power, oppression and the State, which reached its pinnacle with the farmers’ collectives of pre-Franco Spain, has influenced societies around the world. Vanguard artistic movements high and low, from dada to punk, were inspired by anarchism. In Anarchism For Beginners, Marcos Mayer aided by illustrations from the incomparable Sanyú, takes readers on a journey through the anarchist movement, explaining its principles and documenting its influence, inspiring figures and indefatigable fighting spirit.