Basic Anarchist Philosophy

 

Anarchism is the political belief that society should have no government, laws, police, or other authority, but should be a free association of all its members. Anarchist Philosophy is, in essence a continually debated philosophy with a broad range of viewpoints. One example of of such a point of view is that of William Godwin, a well known and popular anarchist philosopher who lived in Britain in the late 18th century, who believed that the “euthanasia of government” would be achieved through “individual moral reformation”.

Anarchism is a philosophy on a political plane that takes into consideration ideals and opinions which view the state, as an instated governing force, to not be required, oppressive, and harmful to the further liberation and evolution of mankind.

Particular anarchists sometimes have more or less ideas for what anarchism means to them, many anarchists philosophize with each other on whose ideas, or which strain of anarchism is purer. Really, this is anarchism in its most basic form – an ever changing and very personal set of ideas that can constantly change and adapt to however the person wishes to apply them to his or her own life.

According to The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, “there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance.”

Anarchism can be a political theory which aims to create anarchy, “the absence of a master, of a sovereign.” (P-J Proudhon, What is Property, p. 264) In other words, anarchism is a theory for a political system that encompasses a society which people can freely co-operate with whom they choose, on an equal field. As such, anarchism opposes all forms of hierarchical control – be that control by the state or a capitalist – as harmful to the individual and their individuality as well as unnecessary. This idea is contrary to many peoples interpretation of anarchy as something equivalent with disorder or the breakdown of society. Such publications as “The anarchists cookbook” have not helped this perception.

“Anarchism” and “anarchy” are widely regards as some of the most misunderstood and poorly represented ideas in political theory. Taken in a general sense, these words to many people equate to “chaos” or “without order” and due to this – as a case of “guilty by association”, anarchists want chaos in a social sense and even a return to a more devolved time.” This, generally is not always the case.

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