Anarcho-feminism and permanent revolution in Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Dispossessed"
Morrison, Mary Irene
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Ursula K. Le Guin's science fiction novel, The Dispossessed (1974), is a narrative political manifesto in which Le Guin imagines an anarcho-feminist utopia, and articulates the possibilities of an anarchist revolution in our world as it is on the bring of ecological disaster. The narrative follows Shevek, an Anarresti physicist who comes to the realization that his society has lost sight of its anarchist ideals. He challenges his society's retrenchment in various ways, highlighting the need for permanent revolution in order to maintain a just society. While problematic at times, I show that Le Guin's anarcho-feminism is a significant contribution to both anarchist and radical feminist theory. I also discuss the society of Urras, the planet which shares an orbit with Anarres, as an allegory to Earth, and its contemporary political significance.