Political philosophy that considers government unnecessary and advocates instead a stateless society
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  • FreedomPedia
  • Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary institutions. These are often described as stateless societies, although several authors have defined them more specifically as institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism considers the state to be undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, because anarchists generally believe that human beings are capable of managing their own affairs on the basis of creativity, cooperation and mutual respect, and when making individual decisions they are taking into account the concerns of others and the well-being of society. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of all human relations.

    • Anarchism, Individualist - Anarchism that emphasizes the individual and his or her preferences over other considerations
    • Anarcho-Capitalism - Political theory that rejects governmental authority and advocates laissez-faire capitalism
    • Mutualism - Anarchist doctrine proposed by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
    • Voluntaryism - Libertarian philosophy that advocates non-political strategies to delegitimize the State

    Articles

    Anarchism, by Voltairine de Cleyre, Free Society, 13 Oct 1901
    Examines various economic propositions for anarchism (socialist, communist, individualist and mutualist) and opines that all could be tried out
    "It no longer seems necessary to me, therefore, that one should base his Anarchism on any particular world conception; it is a theory of the relations due to man and comes as an offered solution to the societary problems arising from the existence of these two tendencies of which I have spoken. ... Anarchism, alone, apart from any proposed economic reform, is just the latest reply out of many the past has given, to that daring, breakaway, volatile, changeful spirit which is never content."
    Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections, by Roderick Long, 6 Aug 2004
    Transcript of talk given at the 2004 Mises University. First makes the case for anarchism and then responds to objections others have raised against it
    "Government Is Not a Coercive Monopoly ... Hobbes: Government Is Necessary for Cooperation ... Locke: Three 'Inconveniences' of Anarchy ... Ayn Rand: Private Protection Agencies Will Battle ... Robert Bidinotto: No Final Arbiter of Disputes ... Property Law Cannot Emerge from the Market ... Organized Crime Will Take Over ... The Rich Will Rule ... Robert Bidinotto: The Masses Will Demand Bad Laws ... Robert Nozick and Tyler Cowen: Private Protection Agencies Will Become a de facto Government"
    Society without a State, by Murray N. Rothbard, 28 Dec 1974
    Talk delivered at the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy
    "In my view, the anarchist society is one which maximizes the tendencies for the good and the cooperative, while it minimizes both the opportunity and the moral legitimacy of the evil and the criminal. If the anarchist view is correct and the state is indeed the great legalized and socially legitimated channel for all manner of antisocial crime — theft, oppression, mass murder — on a massive scale, then surely the abolition of such an engine of crime can do nothing but favor the good in man and discourage the bad."
    Related Topics: Law, The State, Taxation
    Karl Hess: 1923-1994: His Words, by Karl Hess, Libertarian Party News, Jun 1994
    Selections from "The Death of Politics", Dear America, "The Playboy Interview", "If I Were Running Against Reagan", "Why Me?", "The Most Unforgettable Libertarian I Ever Knew" and "A Fond Farewell"
    "PLAYBOY: But no man is without ambition. What's yours?
    HESS: I want to be the perfect anarchist.
    PLAYBOY: Which is?
    HESS: A good friend, good lover, good neighbor.
    PLAYBOY: That's all there is to being an anarchist?
    HESS: What did you expect, a lot of rules?"
    Objectivism and the State: An Open Letter to Ayn Rand, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., Individualist, Aug 1969
    Published by the Society for Individual Liberty; responds to five of Rand's arguments in her essay "The Nature of Government"
    "... anarchy ... is the absence of the initiation of force, the absence of political rule, the absence of the state. We shall replace the state with the free market, and men shall for the fist time in their history be able to walk and live without fear of destruction being unleashed upon them at any moment – especially the obscenity of such destruction being unleashed by a looter armed with nuclear weapons and nerve gases."
    Robert A. Heinlein's Soaring Spirit of Liberty, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jul 1997
    Biographical essay, including multiple quotes from fellow authors and significant excerpts from Heinlein's novels and stories
    "Asked to expand on his views, Prof says: 'I'm a rational anarchist. ... A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as "state" and "society" and "government" have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame ... as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. ...'"
    The Politics of Étienne de La Boétie, by Murray N. Rothbard, 1975
    Introduction to the 1975 edition of The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, translated by Harry Kurz; summarises the key insights of La Boétie's work
    "Several historians of anarchism have gone so far as to classify La Boétie's treatise itself as anarchist, which is incorrect since La Boétie never extended his analysis from tyrannical government to government per se. But while La Boétie cannot be considered an anarchist, his sweeping strictures on tyranny and the universality of his political philosophy lend themselves easily to such an expansion."

    Books

    Anarchy, State and Utopia
        by Robert Nozick, 1974
    Partial contents: Why State-of-Nature Theory? - The State of Nature - Moral Constraints and the State - Prohibition, Compensation, and Risk - The State - Distributive Justice - Equality, Envy, Exploitation, Etc. - Demoktesis - A Framework for Utopia
    Related Topic: The State
    Escape From Leviathan: Liberty, Welfare, and Anarchy Reconciled, by Jan Clifford Lester, 21 Jun 2000
    Excerpts from each major section of the book available at Libertarian Alliance website; contents: Introduction - Rationality - Liberty - Welfare - Anarchy
    Related Topic: Liberty

    Videos


    Why Choose Anarchy?, by Anarchris, 17 May 2015
    "When you come to these realizations, the question is no longer "why choose anarchy?" The question becomes "why choose government?" Amidst all the war and mayhem and corruption and destruction perpetuated in the name of the state, these elite criminals have the audacity to say that anarchy is chaos, but I have realized that government is chaos. This is why I call myself an anarchist. When I say that I am an anarchist, what I'm saying is that I recognize the evils of the world and that I understand who is responsible for them and I refuse to be complicit."

    Anarchism in America
    As shown on The Documentary Channel
    Related Topic: Anarchism in America

    Podcasts

    Are You an Anarchist?, by Roderick Long, The Lew Rockwell Show, 14 Nov 2008
    Long explains what is anarchism and describes his intellectual influences

    The introductory paragraph uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.