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Defined by the central belief that political authority (esp. the state) is both evil and


The defining feature of anarchism is its opposition to the state and the accompanying
institutions of government and law.
Anarchists have a preference for stateless society in which…

Page 2

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1. Anti-statism
2. Natural order
3. Anticlericalism
4. Economic freedom

Sébastien Faure defined anarchism as `the negation of
the principle of Authority'.
The anarchist case against authority is simple and clear:
authority is an offence against the principles of
freedom and equality.
Anarchism is unique in that it endorses the…

Page 3

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regulate economic life,
Interfere with private morality and thinking.
The authority of the state is also compulsory.
Anarchists reject the liberal notion that political authority arises from voluntary
They argue instead that individuals become subject to state authority either by being born in
a particular country or through conquest.…

Page 4

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Anarchists not only regard the state as evil, but also believe it to be unnecessary.
While liberals believed that a stateless society will cause chaos and that ORDER IS
Godwin, in contrast, suggested that human beings are essentially rational creatures:
with an educated mind and tolerant judgement…

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Anarchists have also criticised the CHURCH since it is one form of compulsory authority.

This is the reason why anarchism prospered in countries such as Italy, Spain and France
where there was strong religious traditions.

Anarchist objections to organized religion serve to highlight broader criticisms of authority in


Page 6

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In the nineteenth century, anarchists usually worked within the working-class
movement and subscribed to a broadly socialist social philosophy.
Capitalism was understood in class terms: a `ruling class' exploits and oppresses `the
However, this `ruling class' was seen to encompass all those who command wealth, power
or privilege in…


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