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Geography and Anarchy: A Libertarian Social Order As Goal

The earth’s surface, the natural environment, human, animal and plant life, but also the culture, have all been mapped out for centuries. Old cartography and engravings often show this with striking images. How one understands and interprets this mapping and imaging will depend largely upon the state of scientific development at the time. The reasons why people begin this activity can differ greatly.

Can the space be exploited? What about the possibility of trade, industry and traffic, which logistical problems will occur? These questions relate to imperialist objectives. There are geographers who offer their services to answer these questions. In the nineteenth century the objectives of imperialist nations such as England, France and Germany contributed to the development of a nationalist geography.

Not every geographer, just as every economist, sociologist or lawyer, is willing to serve the development or application of nationalist, imperialist objectives. The rejection is due to the difference in ideological perspective, which is chosen. This approach simultaneously determines scientific development. Because the ideas of the French geographer Elisée Reclus (1830-1905) [1] will be central here, it is not so strange to choose anarchy as the ideological perspective.

Anarchy refers to a state of order without an imposed government and without imposed rules. It is about order, which is self-chosen or has a freely accepted structure. The question now is, what is the possible link between geography and anarchy? It is this question that is formulated by the French social geographer Philippe Pelletier in his recently published book Géographie et Anarchie. Reclus, Kropotkine, Metchnikoff et d’autres.

The author, besides teaching geography at one of the universities in Lyon, is active in the anarchist movement. He publishes regularly on both subjects.

Introduction

For the purpose of answering the question of the possible link between geography and anarchy, it is necessary to discuss a number of previous questions. Pelletier does this especially in the first part of his book. Then it should be clarified that there are several choices to be made, depending on the ideological ‘spectacles’ that one uses. It matters greatly whether personal presuppositions are being influenced by anarchist elements or ideological elements of a capitalist and nationalist kind. Pelletier maps these differences out relevant to the kind of geography that is developed, in the second part of his book.

Although Elisée Reclus plays a leading part in Pelletier’s book, it has not become a Reclus biography. Significantly he puts in the title of his book, next to Reclus, the geographers/anarchists and his friends, Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) and Leon Metchnikoff (1838-1888). Reclus does have a distinct stamp on the kind of geography that he operates. He has called this ‘social geography’. In addition Pelletier also speaks of ‘Reclusian geography’. In short, Reclus has claimed attention in many ways.

This makes a person vulnerable to insults. But are these indeed justified? Did Reclus defend colonialism, which is asserted, and would he not be free of anti-semitism? In the third part of his book Pelletier responds to such insults and he makes it clear that these are without any foundation. In this part he also deals with some themes that are dear to Reclus, such as the development of the social phenomenon: the city.

The work of Reclus has influenced both geography and anarchism. Each continuously overlaps the other. In order to provide an insight into the heart of those thoughts, I will first discuss some concepts or phenomena in pairs, taking Pelletier’s text as a point of reference.

The first pair concerns ‘geography and anarchy': to what do these concepts refer? This then leads to the pair ‘anarchists and geography': why are anarchists interested in geography? After that we come to the ‘anarchist position and science’. Anarchism (and anarchy) is not a science, but some anarchists are called scientists. Does the one have an impact on the other?

If this has repercussions, is this reflected in the type of geography in which one is engaged? This question refers to the following theme, in which the core is formed by the phenomenon of ‘border’. The accumulated sum of knowledge leads Reclus towards the end of his life, to what he calls ‘social geography’. Finally, one can find here a summary by Pelletier successfully defending Reclus against unjust criticism.

Geography and Anarchy

Previously Pelletier notes in his book that when we wander through the countryside, then we engage with geography. This is what I call a functional description of the object of study. What purpose does geography serve? It can be used for diplomacy and warfare (geography serves in the making of topographic maps for commanders) and for discovering areas that can be exploited (colonialism, imperialism).

Such a functional description, as opposed to an essentialist definition (what is geography?) is an open description. So geography can also be used for the creation of ‘peace’. In that case it is possible to connect it to irenology [2] (the science of peace), for which I refer to the Dutch libertarian social critic and antimilitarist Bart de Ligt (1883-1938).

A functional description can be instrumentalized. Through the course of time this can also be done with geography, as Pelletier has outlined in detail. This is exactly what the geographers among the anarchists have done. They have instrumentalized their geography using anarchy. This created the goal of a social order other than the existing one.

Anarchy is a term used in anarchist circles to indicate simultaneously a state of affaires, a perspective and a set of principles. Pelletier explains that one should not confuse anarchy with anomie. The latter term refers to the absence of rules in social life. Such absence is not characteristic of anarchy. A characteristic of anarchy is the rejection of heteronomy. So in summary, anarchy does not preclude the existence of freely expressed, social rules. Anarchy includes order and structuring, freely agreed by free people. It also reflects, Pelletier argues, the recognition of scientific and natural laws (so it is absurd to resist the law of gravity) and presuppose a multitude of principles. The principles referred to are considered to include mutualism and
libertarian federalism, other elements of the social order as the goal.

Anarchists and Geography

The descriptions of geography and anarchy do not clarify by themselves, which links exist between the two. Therefore Pelletier poses the question: why would anarchists involve themselves with geography? Furthermore, why should geographers engage themselves with anarchy? In short, there is a whole melange of links to investigate. That is the task that Pelletier has set himself.

The practice of geography to the extent that occurred in the last quarter of the nineteenth century within anarchist circles, involved three main characters: Reclus, Kropotkin and Metchnikoff. In addition, it is striking that in the work of some of the anarchists who preceded them such as Proudhon (1809-1865) and Bakunin (1814-1876), geographical dimensions can be distinguished. And in our period the work of Paul Goodman (1911-1972) and Murray Bookchin (1921-2006) refers back to the geographical dimensions of the previous ideas of Reclus and his contemporaries.

In this way Pelletier develops an order of people who, on the one hand, held libertarian views and on the other hand gave their work geographical dimensions (such as Patrick Geddes, Ebenezer Howard, Lewis Mumford and Colin Ward). It is also striking that the development of the Reclusian network of anarchist geographers, coincides with the development of the anarchist, socialist and syndicalist movement. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, socialism is known as an intellectual and social project. It gets rid, as noted by Pelletier, of mysticism and irrationality. It is then possible to connect it with various social sciences.

Thus, in Proudhon one can see an ‘announcer’ of sociology (following Auguste Comte (1798-1857) who was one of its founders). Proudhon is the first one to theorise mutualism and the premises of anarchism. Pelletier then sees Bakunin building, “on the rubble of the romantic nationalism”, the theory of revolutionary and libertarian socialism.

In fact, here we find the ‘personal touch’ of scientification of the libertarian project: some scientists (like geographers) began to instrumentalize their ideological principles (anarchy) within their scientific work. Can this be justified methodologically? That is the question, which is discussed in the following topic.

The Anarchist Position and Science

In the practice of science it is inevitable that a ‘personal touch’ plays a role. Strict positivism in this regard is a pacifier. “Facts are not facts”, I learned from the Dutch legal philosopher J.F. Glastra van Loon (1920-2001) in his critique of positivist science. The personal element provides subjectivity in science. Is there then, in that case, any science possible, as objectivity is presupposed?

I would think so. For that purpose, I derived from Helmut Schreiner (1942-2001) two minimum requirements proposed to be able to rise above a purely subjective moment.

These concern:

  • The requirement of inter-subjective possibility of reconstruction, and
  • The requirement of inter-subjective acceptability.

Possibility of reconstruction refers in this regard to the possibility of a person, other than its author, to develop not at random, certain reasoning of the author. The reader must therefore be able to follow and to check the data in use by the author (verifiability requirement). The requirement of reconstruction thus presupposes the existence of mutual communication and open communication channels.

Acceptability demands the accounting with regard to the conformity to the principles contained within a thought. The agreement about the principles can be realised voluntarily and/or by convention (conventional legitimacy) or procedural (procedural legitimacy). Thus an inter-subjective level can be achieved by using well-known methods, such as to analyse, systematise, and abstract, to apply logical reasoning, coherence and transparency.

It is clear that especially the requirement of acceptability places a clamp on the open end of the anarchistic epistemology, which was pleaded at the time by Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994). [3] ‘Anarchy’ is reflected in his slogan: anything goes. The latter should be understood as a methodological challenge. I refer here to this point, because Pelletier expresses a different vision regarding Feyerabend, as do I.

With Pelletier, I am of the opinion that Feyerabend is frankly nearsighted in his book Against Method, with regard to his observations on Lenin and the neutrality of the state. Feyerabend also uses the term anarchy in a different way to both Pelletier and myself. He disconnects it from the anarchist movement and uses the term anarchy to describe the unconditioned practice of science. He rejects the compulsion and pressure in science. And this, for me, is an acceptable use of the term anarchy. However, at the same time, Feyerabend consigns the history and continuity of classical anarchism and anarchist philosophy, to the dunghill. As with Pelletier, I do not agree with this. Whilst this whole discussion can be ignored, the methodological approach of Feyerabend can still be appreciated.

So I am of the opinion that the methodological meaning of ‘anything goes’ with regard to Feyerabend has a fundamental, a procedural and a conditional character. It is fundamental because it requires the channels through which the communication takes place to be kept open. It is procedural because it works by hearing both sides: it is accepted that it is possible to introduce all arguments, to voice opposition (principle of contradiction). It is conditional because it is free to look at a completely different way beyond current levels. It is quite possible that what is accepted as a ‘normal’ position or vision should or can be surpassed.

All of this can lead to the discovery of facts or to acquire insights that are contrary to those previously considered being part of a ‘well established position’. The methodological position, which has the potential to enable contrarian discoveries, I am willing to defend as an ‘anarchistic position’. Without such a methodological commitment, the earth would still be flat, the sun would still revolve around the earth (Galileo Galilei, 1564-1642); evolution would still be objective, linear, directed and executed according to a certain (divine) design (Charles Darwin, 1809-1882).

The opposition (of Galilei, Darwin) would under no circumstances be made public, as for example where the power has lain entirely within the Roman Catholic Church. These are the thoughts, which Feyerabend has provoked under his slogan ‘anything goes’. It is therefore completely incomprehensible why precisely he extols Lenin and his state as ‘neutral’. On this point he must have been blind. Perhaps his aim was to antagonise people, to that end his approach was masterly.

Different Types of Geography

So far, Pelletier has outlined different starting positions on geography and geographers, anarchy and anarchism and the study of science and their mutual relationship. Now it is possible for him to concentrate more on the Reclusian geography and the Reclusian network in particular. In addition, he can now also clarify what other types of geography occur or develop. In the context of this discussion I will focus primarily on the Reclusian view. But for creating a contrast it is good to pay some attention to the other views.

Two leading geographers in the late nineteenth century are, along side Elisée Reclus, the Frenchman Vidal de la Blache (1845-1918) and the German Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904). Politically, we find here very different personalities. Reclus takes on the side of Bakunin and the Paris Commune (1871), in which he also participated. He will be sentenced for that (ultimately to ten years exile from France). Reclusian geography has its roots in Proudhon and Bakunin and develops by the cooperation of Reclus with Kropotkin and Metchnikoff. They are anarchist and anti-capitalist in character.

In contrast, Vidal takes the side of ‘Versailles’ (the right-wing government that also bloodily pounds the Paris Commune). He will be the first to occupy the chair of historical geography (1891). Pelletier describes him as a nationalist intellectual who elaborates on an economic imperialism within a territorial one. This is influenced by the vision of Ratzel. Ratzelian geography serves the state apparatus and provides support for colonialism. This view permeates through Vidal into the Vidalian School. This school will preach pétainism (derived from the French commander Pétain), so too the Vichyist doctrine ‘back to nature’, explains Pelletier. It is the line along which the ‘Geopolitique nazifiee’ develops.

Thus Pelletier outlines two orientations, each with their own ‘ideology’ and diametrically different results. Who can thus pretend that an objective study of science is possible? In my opinion nobody can (the question of the personal touch arises; we are always at the level of statistical objectivity and/or in inter-subjective situations). So it is clear that whomever is engaged along side that of power, it is his conception that will be recognized as ‘objective’ and will be selected for use. Thus, those on the one hand in order to preserve ‘the power’ purge out those on the other hand who have a ‘desire for change’. Reclus, spokesman for the second position, holds that a libertarian social order is the goal.

In short, it does matter to pose the question along with German jurist Joseph Esser (1910-1999), with which kind of ‘Vorverständnis’ (premise, prejudice) one works. This is not only so in jurisprudence – compare Joseph Esser’s Vorverständnis und Methodenwahl in der Rechtsfindung (1970) – but also in geography. In that science it is not about ‘law’ that one thinks, but about ‘borders’. It appears that our perception of borders is equally as influenced by our different presuppositions, as we shall see from Pelletier.

Border

We saw above that Ratzel and Vidal take nationalist positions, whilst Reclus takes a ‘communalist’ position. The nationalist positions are grafted onto state law and the communalist manifests as anti-state law. The first two geographers focus on defending state borders, the latter rejects state borders. Pelletier argues that it is from this rejection of borders that the federalist proposals by Proudhon, Bakunin and Reclus come into being.

In the context of the ideas of Reclus, he takes a real break from predefined, legally guaranteed, territorial boundaries just like the so-called ‘natural’ borders. What applies to national state borders, I think can also be applied to municipal and provincial boundaries. In this case a functional approach can play an important role, concerning – current – boundaries. My suggestion here is derived from the role it also plays in jurisprudence. Two examples:

When the Dutch lawyer J. In’t Veld was searching, for his thesis in 1929, for new forms of decentralization (also the title of his thesis), he does not begin by describing a legal order, instead, he places value on thinking in terms of dynamic forces; centripetal forces (centralizing) and centrifugal forces (decentralizing). The problems analysed by In’t Veld were mainly related to the growth of the harbour of Rotterdam and the question of whether or not the expanding harbour activity ‘reflects’ the need in that area of Rotterdam of a new type of administrative authority of their own.

In a different way, considering (current) boundaries comes up for discussion via the expression of the immanent law of the functional structure. It is a conception by the Dutch legal theorist Jack ter Heide (1923-1988), elaborated in his doctrine of functional law. I took this from him, but applied it in a broad geographical perspective. The phrase indicates the relationship between a concrete means and the (direct and indirect) effects of the use of that means.

For example, an operating windmill (let’s say for grinding grain or sawing wood) can be used. Such a mill can only work if it can catch the wind freely and surely, which I call the immanent law. This means that within a certain radius around the mill no high constructions may arise. The mill itself can be seen as a functional structure. The interdiction of erecting high-rise constructions within the indicated radius does not depend on legal regulations (the ban), but the immanent law of that mill, which is contained within itself as a functional structure. Here the functional structure dictates the ‘law’ (the border) and not a legislator.

Pelletier reminds us that borders are markers of dominance. They are determined by or after warfare – by conquest. I would add that dominance also comes into play when determining municipal and county borders.

Borders are associated with geography, which is partly reflected in geopolitics. Theoretical anarchists, who are interested in politics by definition, engage consciously or not in geography, even though it is not their area of activity (such as Proudhon and Bakunin). Obviously the reverse is also true. A geographer, who is carrying anarchy as his Vorverständnis, will develop geography with an anarchist appearance. We meet this as far as it concerns Reclus in his ‘social geography’.

Social Geography

Pelletier points out that the geography as practiced by Reclus, rests on the dialectics of environment-space and environment-time. Space is a social construct; environment-space is studied in a synchronous approach to the complex structures of interactions (‘horizontal’ consideration). It involves attention to phenomena that coexist in the same period. Environment-time is studied by means of a diachronic, evolutionary approach. Here the attention is paid to phenomena that follow each other in time (‘vertical’ consideration). This provides a dynamic vision. So, as Pelletier concludes, Reclus has no static views of nature.

A difficulty arises when translating the term ‘environment’. Reclus has given that term a wider range than usual. The ‘environment’ simultaneously indicates a middle position: median (Reclus also speaks about mesology, ‘meso’ indicates the place between micro and macro). In my discussion with the author we found that the term, representing the inclusive character of ‘environment’ in Reclus’ notion, should be ambience: the material and moral atmosphere that surrounds a person or a group of people (the French explanatory dictionary Le Petit Robert).

Toward the end of his life, Reclus defines three “laws” and uses the term social geography. The three laws are “orders of facts” which must by studied, namely: (1) class struggle, (2) search for balance and (3) the sovereign decision of the individual. In the chaos of things, these orders of facts show themselves as sufficiently constant to talk about in terms of “laws”, believes Reclus.

It is not about legal but sociological laws, which are characterized in sociology as ‘conventional laws’. This involves groups of no more than partial regularity. This is also apparent in the explanation by Pelletier. The first law is a reference to socialist issues: human history can be understood as a long story of struggle between two differently resourced groups, of which one group consists of rulers.

The second law is now known by the term ‘homeostasis’. In relation to the first law, the second refers to seeking a balance in the struggle for justice. The third law refers to the idea that society cannot function properly and cannot move forward if it is not based on the free cooperation of the individual (for which the individual should be sovereign).

The three laws mentioned by Reclus make it clear where the differences can be found in relation to the view of Marx. For Marx the course of history is derived from determinism. Therefore predictions about the future possess levels of certainty (following the phases of capitalism, socialism will occur in the world). It is, as Pelletier indicates, an approach to history rejected by anarchists. Namely it upholds a vision in which phenomena are approached, linear, teleological and fatalistic (based in part on the dialectics of Hegel). In history, it is proclaimed as necessary for the different phases to proceed. We now know that nothing remains of the predictive value of these Marxian dialectics.

Insofar as one can speak of dialectics in anarchism, they take a serial form. So Proudhon speaks about ‘dialectique sérielle’ (sérielle, serial is here: bipolar). One is seeking balance (Reclus). That’s to say, there are ‘fields of tension’, for example, between freedom on the one side and justice on the other side. The contradictions have no ‘synthesis’ in which they are released (as in the Hegelian, Marxist conception). It just runs to ‘unstable equilibrium’ (Reclus).

This manner of Reclusian observation also determines how one reacts in discussions about, for example, Darwinism, nature, and ecology. Pelletier discusses all of this and takes the opportunity in his magnum opus to treat the themes. Whenever something is presented as transcendent, a non-correctable determinism, an inevitable fatalistic and an eschatological end, then this exasperates both Reclusian geographers and anarchists. Tirelessly Pelletier explains why this is so.

Criticism of Reclus

It almost goes without saying that certain views, or views of a scientist more than a century ago will be outdated. Pelletier points this out regularly as he discusses Reclusian views. However, these observations do not diminish the value of the aforementioned scientist. This is not the purpose of the criticism mentioned here.

The criticism here has been expressed within recent years. Namely that Reclus has been accused of being a racist, that he would have approved of colonialism and would have espoused anti-semitism. Pelletier rejects these criticisms. The basis for them being, is in one case a vague reference and in another literally nonsensical. The reason why such anachronistic accusations are made is completely unclear. The only thing I can think of is that one wishes to bring Reclusian anarchist thought into disrepute.

Pelletier pays most attention to the anti-semitism-reproach. He refers to texts by Henriette Chardak and Jean-Didier Vincent. These two authors do not mention documented sources from where they get their idea. Beatrice Giblin recently joined them. She notes that Reclus always refers to Jews in a certain discriminatory manner, but for this accusation she gives no textual reference. Pelletier takes some thirty pages for citing sources to disprove these damaging allegations.

Pelletier does not waste words answering the burning question of where this desire to discredit someone like Reclus comes from. I return to this question because in the Netherlands a similar anachronistic issue is at stake concerning the figure of Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis (1846-1919). Domela is one of the nineteenth century founders of socialism and later on, an anarchist. It is the contemporary Dutch biographer Jan Willem Stutje who, not so long ago, seized upon anti-semitism within Domela’s work. Historians such as the Dutch Bert Altena and Rudolf de Jong then skillfully parried these complaints. Nevertheless, such a reproach remains and is not easily silenced.

To another author, Robin te Slaa, these facts lead to the disfiguring comment that some fascists have derived their anti-semitic conceptions from some anarchists. On what does he base his view? Among other things, on a number of remarks about Domela found by Stutje. Hans Ramaer, editor of the Dutch anarchist three monthly de AS, notes in his commentary on Te Slaa’s book that this is how myths develop and go on the lead their own lives.

Sociability First

What is the overarching doctrine of Reclusian geography? This is difficult to summarize in one word, but with sociability, or mutual aid we are pointing in the right direction. It can be reasoned as follows.

The space, as we saw, is a social construction. A plurality of spaces is to be found. Also the ‘environment’ is characterized by Reclus in multiple forms. The human himself he called an environment for human beings. This multiplicity of spaces and environments are thought of as being in motion, hence the use of dynamic thought in relation to geographical and historical determinism. Determinism is in fact immediately counterbalanced by variation.

Plurality is therefore essential for Reclus says Pelletier. That struggle therefore is a factor in evolution, as Darwin worked out, is not denied. Darwin, however, forgot some factors, namely those of solidarity and cooperation, contained in one term: entraide (mutual aid). On this the anarchist geographers expound unrelentingly. It is one of the effects of people (and animals) that live in social relationships. The reference to the use of the term sociability proves it.

Mutual aid, entraide, plays a role in Reclus’ thoughts but it is put on the map by another anarchist and geographer, Kropotkin, with whom he was a friend, with his book Mutual Aid, a Factor of Evolution (1902). It should be noted that Leon Metchnikoff, the third geographer and anarchist, has played a major role in this. In fact it is he who in 1886 put forward the material base for the theory of mutual aid.

Pelletier has mapped out all of this in his book. He has consistently pointed out how concrete situations and social structures, in other words concrete sociability, produce composite human forces. These forces contribute to define the emancipating and revolting quality of collective unity. But without the presence of the sovereign individual this collective unity would deflate. The dynamics must be guaranteed.

Pelletier has delivered a book to study and to use as reference. It is also one of the rare French books with particular keywords and index!

Thom Holterman (September 2013)

PELLETIER Philippe, Géographie et anarchie, Reclus, Kropotkine, Metchnikoff et d’autres, Éditions du Monde libertaire & Éditions libertaires, Paris, 2013, 632 p., price 24 euros.

Remarks

[1] Reclus. The most Élisée Reclus has published about geography is his unprecedented Nouvelle Geography Universelle, La Terre et les Hommes, Hachette Paris, 1876-1894, 19 volumes. Towards the end of his life he completed L’Homme et la Terre, Librairie Universelle, Paris, 1905-1908, 6 parts, in which he explicitly elaborated on his ‘social geography’.

On anarchism he wrote only one book L’Évolution, La Révolution et l’Ideal anarchique (1898). In the hometown of Reclus, Sainte Foy la Grande (near Bordeaux) is an active Reclusian association called “Les Reclusiennes”.

[2] Irenology. It is the libertarian social critic and antimilitarist Bart de Ligt (1883-1938) who deals explicitly with irenology between the two world wars, see his “Introduction to the science of peace” (by De Ligt written for the first summer course at the Academie de la Paix in 1938), included in the anthology Bart de Ligt 1883-1938, Arnhem, 1939.

[3] For my observations on Paul Feyerabend, I used his Against Method, Outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledge, London, 1975; furthermore I based my comment on his “Outline of a pluralistic theory of knowledge and action”, in S.Anderson (ed), Planning for Diversity and Choice, Possible futures and their relations to the man-controlled environment, Cambridge, Mass., 1968, p.275-284.

My thoughts on scholarship, I justified in my book Argumentative arbitrariness and the practice of constitutional science (Zwolle, 1988), as well as in “Scholarly and public law” in the collection: Thom Holterman, C.Riezebos (ea ed.), General constitutional concepts (Zwolle, 1991, third edition, P 281-317). Both texts are only available in Dutch.

The “Facts are not facts” of J.F.Glastra van Loon is included in his collection The unity of action – Drawing on law and philosophy (Boom, Meppel/Amsterdam, 1980). With regard to inter-subjectivity I worked from H.Schreiner, who wrote Die Intersubjektivität von Wertungen, Zur Begründbarkeit von Wertungen im Rechtsdenken durch ethisch verpflichtetes Argumentieren, Berlin, 1980.

On the position of Paul Feyerabend within the anarchist movement, I suggest the following information. In the years 1974-1985 appeared the anarchist cultural magazine Unter dem Pflaster liegt der Strand, edited by Hans Peter Duerr, published by the libertarian Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin. It appeared in 15 parts (in the form of yearbooks). In almost every part a contribution of Paul Feyerabend is included.

De AS, a Dutch anarchist three monthly, devoted considerable attention to Feyerabend in the special issue “Anarchism and science” (No. 37, January/February 1979).

On YouTube one can find an interview with Feyerabend, a year before his death, recorded in Rome, from a balcony overlooking the Vatican. The opening refers to it when the interviewer rhetorically comments on its grandeur. Feyerabend reacted by declaring “Es kann nicht gros sein!” For the interview, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr-Q6pfXSPo .