I’ve just read the new book from James C. Scott – Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. I enjoyed his previous work so much that I had to own this one. I can happily report that it is simply fantastic.
First of all the book has been beautifully designed. From the elegant cover to the typography and page layout it is a gem. The only error seems to be that the Acknowledgements are incomplete. Secondly, the writing is brilliant, being both snappy and fun. The book consists of numerous “fragments”, examples from his life and experiences that illustrate his approach to looking at social problems and their solutions.
The overall thrust of the book is to encourage readers to develop an anarchist perspective to view the world, an anarchist political imagination, if you like. In this way he helps us to see our own fragments, and in doing so, Scott claims that we will be able see things more clearly than we otherwise would. He also encourages us to practice what he playfully calls “anarchist calisthenics”, by which he means regular (daily) acts of minor law-breaking so that when the situation arises for major disobedience, our rebellious muscles are exercised and ready.