Should We Take Anarchism Seriously? Essay

2018 words - 8 pages

Anarchism as a political ideology did not emerge until Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) declared himself an 'anarchist' in his book What is Property? in 1840. Before this, the term 'anarchy', deriving from Greek and literally meaning 'without rule', had negative connotations and was often applied to political opponents as a derogatory term with the meaning "advocating chaos", for example the Diggers of the English Civil War and the Enragés of the French Revolution were referred to as 'anarchist' by their opponents. These pejorative connotations are still around today:In conventional usage it conjures up visions of chaos, confusion and disorder, and is frequently equated with the actions of urban guerrillas, plane hijackers, even common criminals.'The aim of this essay is to assess such criticisms of anarchism, and to show that we should not, as is usual, dismiss it as 'puerile and absurd' or dismiss its 'ideal of pure liberty as at best utopian, at worst, a dangerous chimera'. But, as this essay will show, we should instead see it as a set of coherent political ideas that we should take seriously as a political ideology with influence in the past and relevance to modern political issues.Although there are different strands of anarchism, all directly oppose political authority and advocate the abolition of the state and its governing institutions, believing it to be 'unnecessary to social, political and economic life' and oppressive and limiting to human freedom and equality:For anarchists the root of all evil was government, whether by the state, church, party, or individuals. At the door of government they laid the multiple ills...holding it responsible for all inequality and injustice.Instead, anarchists propose a stateless society, or a 'state of nature', 'in which free individuals manage their own affairs by voluntary agreement, without compulsion or coercion' and where 'a more natural and spontaneous social order will develop.' Anarchist supporters all follow the same views on certain principles, notably 'the right to complete individual freedom, a complete rejection of authority of all forms, the establishment of a non-hierarchical society and an abiding belief that human nature is always essentially good'. The origins of anarchism are debateable, the ideas have been traced back to Ancient Greece; to Taoism in Ancient China; to the Gnostics of the twelfth-century; to the German Anabaptists of the sixteenth-century; to Buddhist ideas. But, although not claiming to be an anarchist himself, it's principles were first set down by William Godwin (1756-1836) in his Equality Concerning Political Justice in 1793. Godwin 'believed that people have a natural propensity to organize their own lives in a harmonious and peaceful fashion.' Anarchism gained support in the late nineteenth century in Russia and South Europe, as well as India, Japan and the USA#, and gained prominence as a movement, particularly in the form of anarcho-syndicalism, in...

Find Another Essay On Should We Take Anarchism Seriously?

Anarchism vs. Capitalism Essay

1495 words - 6 pages however we find a curious thing. Since the mass expulsion and criminalization of Anarchists in the period during and after the first world war there has been no major Anarchist movements in Canada or the US.The USA's CIA is one of the most experienced anti-revolutionary organizations in the world. As part of one of the longest and bloodiest campaigns against Anarchism ever known the United States Government has gone to great lengths to discredit the

Anarchy vs. Liberalism Essay

2713 words - 11 pages . Anarchist have very good ideas of how a natural society could function without government or modern institutions but the biggest problem they have is how to get to that point. Both theories look good on paper but once they hit the real world they change due to alternating conceptions and individual influences. The root of the word anarchism comes from the Greek word anarchos, which means without ruler. The main philosophy behind anarchism is

Are we free? An examination of the percieved freedoms that citizens have in the US.

888 words - 4 pages your own property. In a Free Society you should be able to do what you wish on your own property, as long as you are not violating the Rights of someone else.Freedom doesn't force you to wear a seatbelt when inside a car, whether as a passenger or driver. Freedom doesn't take your Income in the form of taxes giving back to you only a percentage. In a Free Society smoking Marijuana would not be illegal. In a Free Society anything you choose to put

Discuss the view that understandings of politics are always based on conceptions of human nature.

2072 words - 8 pages different types of anarchism mainly between individualist and collectivist anarchism that disagree on certain issues.Another debate that centres around human nature is whether it is in our nature to be irrational or rational, in other words are we instinctual or intellectual creatures. However some theorists have argued the real issue is the degree to which the reasoning mind influences human conduct, which suggests a distinction between those who

Western states and Security Concerns

1577 words - 6 pages Realism philosophers such as Glaser affirm that, ‘the international system is anarchic –there is not an international authority that can enforce agreements and prevent the use of force’ . This assertion facilitates the analysis and understanding of the role that each state ought to adopt to survive in a world where the lack of authority at the highest level primes. Furthermore, such anarchism promotes the individual strengthening of the states

The Dispossessed Le Guin

1240 words - 5 pages responses to the present events of the story are a function of his past development. In particular, his past reveals him to be someone who asserted his own freedom against the seemingly necessary coercions of an anarchist utopia. When he is denied the publication of his time theories, Shevek decides to take direct action on his own by founding a publishing collective. In the earlier moments of his development we see that the roots of domination are

Final Paper on Social Theory

1748 words - 7 pages Burke says, our patience will achieve more than our force (Burke, 1979). I believe, inasmuch as we are disheartened by the injustices done us by the elites, the rightful procedures should be followed in raising our concerns and in meeting our set targets without hurting others. As a future economist, I see capitalism as just a necessary evil as the classical liberals see the state as a necessary evil. Competition in a capitalistic

Thoreau, King, & Goldman on Unjust Laws

1074 words - 4 pages government thus becoming a state of anarchism. All three thinkers have made it clear in their arguments that it is justified to break an unjust law. In his essay “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau starts off by saying, “Government is best which governs least” (Thoreau 98). Thoreau clearly states that he is not an anarchist and does not believe that government should be abolished. Rather, he believes that we are entitled to a

Secession: Is it the Answer?

2470 words - 10 pages to voice their opinions and needs each person will have the freedom to make decisions that are healthy for everyone. “Majority rules” has made a mockery of the 49% minority. In Against Organization: Anarchism as Both Theory and Critique of Organization, McQuinn cautions, “In order to prevent further defeats, we can consciously base our practice on consistent principles of self-organization, always with as few compromises as possible, and with a

Anarchism in Albert Camus' Short Story, The Guest

1137 words - 5 pages Anarchism in Albert Camus' Short Story, "The Guest" [[ "The Guest" is a small story which can usually be found in a compilation of Camus' works or in a World Literature anthology. Here, I have used the translation of "The Guest" found in the Norton Anthology of World Literature, 5th Edition. Since this is a critical essay on a particular story, it assumes that the reader has read the story. I do not believe

Should Drug Use Be Decriminalized?

1072 words - 4 pages , can very well bring upon shame if one is addicted and is no longer able to maintain an income, and can place others in a great deal of danger. By the libertarian view, no way should drugs be accepted into society. In Anarchism, each being should strive to achieve a higher level of life, a moral autonomy. Without being subjected to laws and institutions, anarchists believe that one will be able to grow morally. Although

Similar Essays

A Secret Life Of The Nature And Its Laws. Should We Take Care And Think About The Nature?

2228 words - 9 pages their health and last but not least the fresh air in what I thinkeveryone is needed in his/her lives. When the Nature has a problem of pollution, we have bad diseases and ofcourse the problem of the health. So here we can make conclusion for ourselves that we should take care of theNature and think about it more seriously. The Nature is our past, present and future. We are the owners of ourmajesty and powerful planet.Bibliography:1)Deborah, Rinbold

The Lack Of Female In The It Industry Today. This Essays Explores The Reasons Why The It Industry Is Not Seen As An Ideal Career For Young Women Today, And The Steps We Should Take To Remedy His.

636 words - 3 pages students doing Information Processing Technology were female. This raises the question: 'Why aren't girls participating in IT and how can we remedy this?'Though a career in IT is an interesting and profitable prospect, it is not portrayed as being glamorous. In a survey conducted in 1997 it was found that the majority of 17-year-old's thought of IPT professionals as people who "Sit and scratch themselves" and whose job entails "drinking coffee and

Noam Chomsky And Murray Bookchin Essay

1654 words - 7 pages of that destroyed.Bookchins main ideological battle played out into the distinction between lifestyle anarchism and social anarchism, his main focus is on the self. He believes that one can create an autonomous zone for oneself at any time. He believed that people should be free of state and be able to be self expressive and independent."Thus is social nature essentially dissolved into biological nature; innovative humanity, into adaptive

The Problems Of Philosophical Anarchy Essay

1082 words - 4 pages "all sorts of fantasies, obscure even to himself, about true bourgeois property." Although, if we accept that many forms of crime are born out of social deprivation and inequality, there will still be certain crimes i.e. rape, murder etc that might not be under these two categories. Consequently, philosophical anarchism offers no alternative for institutions such as, the police or the prison service, this would become very problematic if these