What possibilities for social change does anarchism offer in the Age of Trump? While anarchy is often misunderstood as a form of dog-eat-dog survivalism, the latter description more accurately applies to the grim wave of fascism currently breaking on U.S. shores. In contrast, those who practice anarchy refuse and resist all forms of domination, imagining instead an anti-authoritarian world of unlimited possibilities.
Former UIS faculty members Dennis Fox and Ron Sakolsky will discuss anarchism as a catalyst for unleashing individual autonomy and mutual aid. In 1995, they were arrested at a public event in Brookens Auditorium for distributing leaflets criticizing the sponsor of the union-busting legislation associated with SSU’s transition to UIS. In response, free speech and academic freedom advocates rallied to their defense and all charges were dropped.
Dennis Fox co-edited Critical Psychology: An Introduction and co-founded the Radical Psychology Network. Reflecting a sense of anarchism as a movement for psycho-political change, his work on psychology’s role in maintaining the status quo examines the intersection of psychology, law, and justice. His most recent essay, “Border Lines and Border Regions,” published in the anarchist magazine Fifth Estate, describes the interplay between crossing global political borders and challenging personal borders built up over a lifetime.
Ron Sakolsky regularly taught the course “Anarchy and Social Change” throughout his 30 years at SSU/UIS. Among his many books are Creating Anarchy (2005) and Breaking Loose: Mutual Acquiescence or Mutual Aid? (2015). Ron was instrumental in arranging for the re-publication of Vachel Lindsay's long out-of-print utopian visionary novel, The Golden Book of Springfield. His introduction placed Lindsay in the context of Springfield's radical history. Published widely in anarchist publications (Anarchy, Social Anarchism, Fifth Estate, Green Anarchy and Modern Slavery), Ron edits his own anarcho-surrealist magazine, The Oystercatcher.