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Erica Lagalisse explores the relationship of 19th century anarchism with the clandestine fraternity; challenges leftist attachments to atheism; and intervenes in current debates concerning “conspiracy theory”. In the nineteenth century anarchists were accused of conspiracy by governments afraid of revolution; but in the current century various “conspiracy theories” suggest that anarchists are controlled by government itself. The Illuminati were a network of intellectuals who argued for self-government and against private property; yet the public is now often told that they were (and are) the very group that controls governments and defends private property around the world. Intervening in such misinformation; Lagalisse works with primary and secondary sources in multiple languages to set straight the history of the Left and will illustrate the actual relationship between revolutionism; pantheistic occult philosophy; and the clandestine fraternity. Exploring hidden correspondences between anarchism; Renaissance magic; and New Age movements; Erica Lagalisse also advances critical scholarship regarding leftist attachments to secular politics. Inspired by anthropological fieldwork within today’s anarchist movements; challenging anarchist atheism insofar as it poses practical challenges for coalition politics in today’s world. Studying anarchism as a historical object; Lagalisse will show how the development of leftist theory and practice within clandestine masculine public spheres continues to inform contemporary anarchist understandings of the “political;” in which men’s oppression by the state becomes the prototype for power in general; how gender and religion become privatized in radical counterculture; a historical process intimately linked to the privatization of gender and religion by the modern nation-state.

Hong Kong Theatre
Clement House
99 Aldwych
London
WC2B 4JF

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