Defense Date

9-14-2014

Graduation Date

2014

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Philosophy

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Fred Evans

Committee Member

Daniel Selcer

Committee Member

George Yancy

Committee Member

James Bernauer

Keywords

Dynamic Anarchism, Event, Marxism, Revolution, Social Contract Theory

Abstract

This dissertation studies the question of how to conceive of revolution without necessarily drawing any concepts from the state. When concepts, figures, or objects drawn from the state are assumed to exist following a revolution, the ability of revolution to radically change the state is constrained. This problem limits earlier theories of revolution, such as social contract theory and Marxism, both of which present certain parts of the state as unchangeable. Social contract theorists necessitate that certain elements like the sovereign and the nature of the contract be preserved, while Marxism maintains that the state must follow a trajectory that determines its evolution. A new theory of revolution (called Dynamic Anarchism) is drawn from theorists who theorize events (called `Evental thinkers'). It is claimed that revolutions should be seen as separate from the world, and thus are incommensurable, unpredictable, and indiscernible from the state. Outside the state revolutions are anomalies, but they present themselves within the state as catalytic change. Dynamic Anarchism adds to the discussion of events and revolutions by developing notions of complexity, interconnectivity, and interconnectivity to describe how revolutions function. The final chapter of the dissertation consists of an application of the theory of Dynamic Anarchism to the strategies and tactics used in the French and American Revolutions, by Guerrilla Warfare, and in 20th Century American Black Radicalism. Lessons about the practicality of Dynamic Anarchism are drawn from analyses and critiques of these revolutionary movements.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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