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Herbert Read’s Forward to Albert Camus’ The Rebel

With the publication of this book a cloud that has oppressed the European mind for more than a century begins to lift. After an age of anxiety, despair, and nihilism, it seems possible once more to hope–to have confidence again in man and in the future. M. Camus has not delivered us by rhetoric, or by any of the arts of persuasion, but by the clarity of his intelligence. His book is a work of logic. Just as an earlier work of his (Le Mythe de Sisyphe) began with a meditation on living or not living–on the implications of the act of suicide–so this work begins with a meditation on enduring or not enduring–on the implications of the act of rebellion. If we decide to live, it must be because we have decided that our personal existence has some positive value; if we decide to rebel, it must be because we have decided that a human society has some positive value. But in each case the values are not “given”–that is the illusionist trick played by religion or by philosophy. They have to be deduced from the conditions of living, and are to be accepted along with the suffering entailed by the limits of the possible. Social values are rules of conduct implicit in a tragic fate; and they offer a hope of creation.

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Abraham Maslow: the (Almost) Existentialist Anarchist

Anyone who has been in a classroom even remotely related to Developmental Psychology or read a popular article on the topic will be familiar with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs.

But Maslow was much more interesting than most people would assume. First of all, he was philosophically oriented towards anarchism. If one reads his late work “The Farther Reaches of Human Nature,” especially ”Part V. Society,” then they will surely find out that Maslow’s ideal society is an anarchist one.

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