Anarchism 15 marks


Why do anarchists believe in a stateless society

  •  Human nature is ‘plastic’ formed by society and life experiences, and that capitalism creates selfish and greedy individuals
  • Kropotkin stated individuals are only ever greedy based on their economic and social circumstances.
  • once the state is abolished humans will be free and will release they are autonomous creatures and will see no need to build a state again.
  •   Anarchistic see humans as essentially good and rational creatures with universal morals and do not need a state to govern them.

o  Natural order or spontaneous social harmony

  •  Anarchism-social describes that social order with arise naturally and therefore does not require the mechanism of ‘law and order’ to ensure it does so.
  •   social institutions that maintain order in the absence of the state.

v They encouraging development of positive human attributes rather than negative ones.

v  Collectivist anarchists thus endorse common ownership or mutualist institutions, to ensure everyone looks after each other.

v  Individualist anarchists however support the market believing in its capacity to maintain unregulated economic equilibrium.

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anarchism vs. marxism view of state

  •   The anarchist ideology has grown out of opposition to the state, whereas Marxism grew out of opposition to class conflict introduced by capitalism.
  • Consequently, the two ideologies view the state quite differently

v  anarchism stresses freedom over equality.

  • The anarchist emphasis on freedom results in the need for the absence of a state.
  •  whereas the Marxist need for absolute equality renders the state necessary to ensure this is upheld.
  • Anarchists see any restriction of liberty as being corrupting and oppressive. Therefore, all anarchists, view the state as inherently evil and oppressive.
  • Marxists view the state as being intrinsically linked the economic class system, which can either ameliorate or strengthen class conflict.
  • Anarchists are opposed to the state in all its forms; therefore reject the notion of dictatorship of the proletariat.
  •  Whereas Marxists see it as bad only insofar as it oppresses the working class.

  how to achieve power.

  • Marxists  see the state as the means by which to implement power.
  • anarchists could not contemplate using the state to achieve power as they are so opposed to it; Anarchists trace oppression to the capacity for human corruption when anyone exercises power over others, and therefore believe in using other means such as violence, strikes or peaceful protest/reeducation.
  • This divide was shown in the 1917 Russian Revolution, when Lenin’s seizure of power through the state using the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ was criticized heavily by leading anarchists such as Bakunin and Kropotkin.
  • However, the end points of both Marxism and anarchism are similar as they are stateless, but still anarchists reject the idea of the state ‘withering away’.
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