City of the Sun: Development and Popular Resistance in the Pre-Modern West

City of the Sun: Development and Popular Resistance in the Pre-Modern West

City of the Sun: Development and Popular Resistance in the Pre-Modern West

City of the Sun: Development and Popular Resistance in the Pre-Modern West

Synopsis

Reviewing history from an anarchist perspective, it is clear that the common people were rarely content to suffer domination by the powerful few. This book traces the evidence and patterns of popular resistance to social domination in the ancient and medieval periods, before European imperialism spread around the world at the end of the 15th century.

Excerpt

This book is an attempt at writing macro-history, whereby we look for secular trends in the long run of history. Starting with a premise that workers have resisted domination by other classes since the onset of industrial capitalism in the 19 century, we address the questions of if, when, where, why, and how did working people resist social domination in the eras before the modern era. Historians usually agree modernity began in 1492, the year that marked the first regular contacts between Europe and the Americas as initiated by the voyages and activities of Christopher Columbus.

During the last two centuries of modernity, in response to industrial capitalism, workers have developed tools of defense and promotion of their class interests that were, in large part, the expression of working class culture. These workers’ organizations have included unions, political parties, co-operatives, credit unions, mutual aid societies, clubs, charities, religious, community and popular organizations. Even the organizing and pursuit of certain educational, sporting, artistic, and religious activities have been marshalled to help workers resist the social domination of other classes. in addition, the major political movements of the modern era—anarchism, communism, socialism, feminism, social democracy, and radical democracy—also have given voice to the perspectives and resistance by working people. So, the questions we ask in this book relate to if, when, where, and how popular classes resisted domination in pre-modern times before the advent of industrial capitalism and modern tools of workers’ defense and promotion of their interests.

These questions are important today since contemporary workers are besieged by attacks on their tools of defense and promotion of their interests they have developed during the last two centuries of modernity. These aspects of workers’ culture have been under assault for more than two generations by globalization, free trade arrangements, multinational corporations, neo-liberal ideologies and . . .

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