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Between the individual and the collective: Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin and the spirit of collaboration

(2013) NEOPHILOLOGUS. 97(1). p.231-244
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Abstract
In a letter to his daughter Julie dated 11 September 1935, the British author and editor Ford Madox Ford wrote that he had “no politics at all except the belief––which I share with Lenin––that the only thing that can save the world is the abolition of all national feelings and the prevailing of the Small Producer” (Ford and Bowen 1993 , p. 441). While scholars have related Ford’s social vision as displayed in his first magazine The English Review (1908–1910) and in his war tetralogy Parade’s End (1924–1928) to C.H. Douglas’s Social Credit Movement (Green 1981 ) and Tory Radicalism (Gasiorek 2002 ), this essay argues that Ford’s political philosophy of the thirties transcends national boundaries, making these predominantly British identifications less relevant for his later writings: Provence (1935), Great Trade Route (1937) and A History of Our Own Times (1988). It asserts that Ford recalls an earlier connection with the Russian prince, scientist and Anarchist Communist Peter Kropotkin (1842–1921) to advocate a society consisting of small, self-sufficient communities. It traces the similarities between Ford’s and Kropotkin’s philosophies in the areas of politics, historiography and the local and demonstrates that Ford shares with Kropotkin a belief in mutual aid and self-jurisdiction as two main factors for evolution. Rather than considering Ford’s essays of the thirties as mere expressions of nostalgia and francophilia (Judd 1990 ), the article shows that Ford was concerned with the political situation of his own day and saw Anarchist Communism as the logical solution to an integration of individual and communal interests.
Keywords
Historiography, Mutual aid, Anarchist Communism, Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin, Postmodernism, Provence

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MLA
Van Puymbroeck, Birgit. “Between the Individual and the Collective: Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin and the Spirit of Collaboration.” NEOPHILOLOGUS 97.1 (2013): 231–244. Print.
APA
Van Puymbroeck, B. (2013). Between the individual and the collective: Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin and the spirit of collaboration. NEOPHILOLOGUS, 97(1), 231–244.
Chicago author-date
Van Puymbroeck, Birgit. 2013. “Between the Individual and the Collective: Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin and the Spirit of Collaboration.” Neophilologus 97 (1): 231–244.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Puymbroeck, Birgit. 2013. “Between the Individual and the Collective: Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin and the Spirit of Collaboration.” Neophilologus 97 (1): 231–244.
Vancouver
1.
Van Puymbroeck B. Between the individual and the collective: Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin and the spirit of collaboration. NEOPHILOLOGUS. 2013;97(1):231–44.
IEEE
[1]
B. Van Puymbroeck, “Between the individual and the collective: Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin and the spirit of collaboration,” NEOPHILOLOGUS, vol. 97, no. 1, pp. 231–244, 2013.
@article{2112034,
  abstract     = {{In a letter to his daughter Julie dated 11 September 1935, the British author and editor Ford Madox Ford wrote that he had “no politics at all except the belief––which I share with Lenin––that the only thing that can save the world is the abolition of all national feelings and the prevailing of the Small Producer” (Ford and Bowen 1993 , p. 441). While scholars have related Ford’s social vision as displayed in his first magazine The English Review (1908–1910) and in his war tetralogy Parade’s End (1924–1928) to C.H. Douglas’s Social Credit Movement (Green 1981 ) and Tory Radicalism (Gasiorek 2002 ), this essay argues that Ford’s political philosophy of the thirties transcends national boundaries, making these predominantly British identifications less relevant for his later writings: Provence (1935), Great Trade Route (1937) and A History of Our Own Times (1988). It asserts that Ford recalls an earlier connection with the Russian prince, scientist and Anarchist Communist Peter Kropotkin (1842–1921) to advocate a society consisting of small, self-sufficient communities. It traces the similarities between Ford’s and Kropotkin’s philosophies in the areas of politics, historiography and the local and demonstrates that Ford shares with Kropotkin a belief in mutual aid and self-jurisdiction as two main factors for evolution. Rather than considering Ford’s essays of the thirties as mere expressions of nostalgia and francophilia (Judd 1990 ), the article shows that Ford was concerned with the political situation of his own day and saw Anarchist Communism as the logical solution to an integration of individual and communal interests.}},
  author       = {{Van Puymbroeck, Birgit}},
  issn         = {{0028-2677}},
  journal      = {{NEOPHILOLOGUS}},
  keywords     = {{Historiography,Mutual aid,Anarchist Communism,Ford Madox Ford,Peter Kropotkin,Postmodernism,Provence}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{231--244}},
  title        = {{Between the individual and the collective: Ford Madox Ford, Peter Kropotkin and the spirit of collaboration}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11061-011-9293-x}},
  volume       = {{97}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}

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