Bookpresentation: “Worshiping Power” by Peter Gelderloos

Fort van SjakooJodenbreestraat 24

Bookpresentation: “Worshiping Power” by Peter Gelderloos

According to Worshiping Power, we need to stop thinking of the State as a potential vehicle for emancipation. From its origins, the State has never been anything other than a tool to accumulate power.

This book provides a history of state formation in Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Europe, from Mesopotamia to the 20th century. Identifying different models or paths of state formation, Worshiping Power lays the groundwork for an anarchist theory of the origin of states, and in

the process disputes common misconceptions stemming from liberal, Marxist, primitivist, and environmental determinist theories of state formation. Rather than treating state formation as a singular event, a Pandora’s Box, Worshiping Power analyzes state formation as a constant

process, with religious, militaristic, economic, and kinship-based motors. It is also a work in grassroots scholarship, taking the study of the State out of academic institutions and into the streets, showing how a historically grounded understanding of the nature of the State is relevant to today’s struggles against patriarchy, environmental devastation, racism, war, and capitalism.

Peter discuss the ideas in Worshiping Power, how states usually take root, the insidiousness of democracy, the concept of how salvation religions intertwine with the state, and much more.

There will be room for debate and discussion as to what this means for us anarchists

Peter Gelderloos is an anarchist writer originally from Virginia. He is author of How Nonviolence Protects the State, Consensus, Anarchy Works and The Failure of Nonviolence.


The presentation will be on Friday the 9th of June

The evening starts at 17h. at Fort van Sjakoo

Jodenbreestraat 24 Amsterdam

The talk/discussion will be in English


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