The Anarchism of Despair
David S. D'Amato | January 30th, 2015
The life of Laurance Labadie appears very much like his anarchism, a deliberate, often anachronistic struggle against the vogues and prevailing winds of his day, a hopeless attempt to revive an energy faded or extinguished entirely. His thought belonged to a libertarian strain regrettably anchored to those of the previous generation or two, to a time just before the “official” anarchist movement coalesced firmly around communist and syndicalist patterns of thought. Perceiving the inherent stagnancy of such a narrowly circumscribed focus on these ideologies, Ardent Press, along with its distribution partner Little Black Cart, has worked to make egoist, individualist, nihilist, and anti-civilization writings available. For those of us who care about developing a more complete picture of anarchist history and ways of thinking, Ardent Press’s efforts are very much appreciated. Anarcho-Pessimism: The Collected Writings of Laurence [sic] Labadie is just such a vital effort, the most comprehensive compilation of Labadie’s writings ever, and to the author’s knowledge the only Laurance Labadie collection since the historian of anarchism James J. Martin made a selection of Labadie’s essays a part of his Libertarian Broadsides series. The volume features a series of introductory essays by someone called “Chord,” as well as a biographical introduction by historian Mark A. Sullivan, and Martin’s “We Never Called Him ‘Larry’: A Reminiscence of Laurance Labadie” (which also appeared in the Libertarian Broadsides collection). ...