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Some Comments on "Black Flame"
Article published on 25 March 2018
last modification on 10 February 2023

by Eric Vilain

No doubt Schmidt and van der Walt are aware of the extreme complexity of the history of the anarchist movement and of the surprising variety of approaches from which the various authors of the movement have considered the questions of doctrine. No doubt Black Flame is an attempt to find consistency in this movement. Other authors have tried: Sébastien Faure, for example, has defined an artificial and very unconvincing typology, but which may have provided a reassuring framework of explanation for generations of militants.
Schmidt and van der Walt provided their own explanatory framework, which is no less artificial and just as unconvincing as Sébastien Faure’s. While the first wanted to make a synthesis of the different currents of the anarchist movement, the two South Africans proceed at the same time by exclusion and amalgam: on the one hand they say that what does not fit with their own definition of anarchism is not anarchism, and on the other hand they say that what they designate as anarchism is anarchism, whatever the concerned people think.
To a large extent, their approach is even more confused than that of Sébastien Faure.


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