Land in the Anarchist Tradition

Andrej Grubačić, Julien-Francois Gerber, Andro Rilović

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This chapter proposes an anarchist lens to look at the land question. The slogan “Land and Liberty” has been used by many anarchistic movements throughout history to convey the basic message that democratic control over land is a necessary condition for the construction of a free society. Injustice creeps in whenever resource ownership and human needs do not match. In response, anarchistic movements have promoted a variety of institutional arrangements based on usufruct and democratic self-management, two notions that are key anarchist contributions to the land question. In the anarchist sense, usufruct implies reunifying ownership and political deliberation, and therefore abolishing “the economy” as an independent domain of existence. The chapter is divided into three parts. It first briefly explores what some of the main anarchist theorists have said about land and ownership. It then presents three examples, historical and contemporary, of anarchistic organizing around land: the agrarian communes of Makhnovshchina, the Spanish revolution, and the agrarian economy of Zapatismo. Finally, the chapter discusses land in eco-anarchism, with special reference to Murray Bookchin’s work, and in the contemporary degrowth movement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Land Politics
EditorsSaturnino M. Borras Jr., Jennifer C. Franco
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780197618677
ISBN (Print)9780197618646
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2022


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