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I imagine that most of us read material that is relevant to our present concerns—when we are not reading simply to entertain ourselves. I suppose that some of us are just a little less interested in policing the present concerns of others.

Your "changing practices for changing times" homily is sort of funny, given that the whole impetus of "Constructing Anarchisms" is the present need to create different relations to the anarchist past. You might actually think about the development of my own project in the context of postanarchism, with which you are clear familiar. It was a wonderful idea to bring together poststructualism and anarchist theory. The problem was that a lot of the postanarchist work didn't handle either half of the mix particularly well. And of the most striking problems with it was that there were obvious similarities between poststructuralism and the work of the early anarchists, which were not just ignored, but actively denied by those who thought they were bringing some novel set of concerns into anarchist theory. Times and concerns do indeed change, but not in some simple, linear manner. Stirner was not an anomaly—somehow miraculously ahead of his time—but one representative, among others, of a general tendency that makes many of those early anarchist figures much more "contemporary" (if that is actually the right way to talk about tendencies like poststructuralism) than the dominant anarchist figures of later periods, like Kropotkin. So, for example, one reason to pay some attention to Proudhon in the 21st century is that the heart of his project amounts to an application across various areas of social science of some of the concerns we find some timely in someone like Stirner.

The argument that we made back in 2003 ("What's Wrong with Postanarchism"), from a poststructuralist anarchist perspective, was that it didn't make much sense to deny the existence of relevant reflections in early anarchist texts—just to try to reinsert them again into anarchist theory, on the basis of a mistaken historical critique. I still think that's a sensible argument.

Anyway, one of the reasons I turned to a much closer examination of both early anarchist theory and some of the neglected later tendencies was precisely to address some of those presumably contemporary concerns directly in their first appearances, urged on by the inadequacies of what I was reading in the postanarchist literature and encountering in the active debates at the time. But examples like postanarchism raise larger questions about the ways in which dubious relationships to the anarchist past shape anarchism in the present—and what sorts of presently useful corrections might be fairly easily made. And here we are.