Anarchism critiques of the state

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The state: is oppressive

The state is oppressive because it represents the few who seek to oppress the many.

  • Marx described the state as the "management committee" of the ruling class of any age.
  • Historically, the ruling class has consisted of the aristocracy, with Russian aristocracy consisting of less than 10% of the population.
  • In the modern age, the forces of capitalism has been the ruling class, exploting workers and peasants not only domestically, but in less economicall developed countries as well.
  • Malatesta described the function of govt being of "ecploting the masses, of defending the oppressors and exploiters"
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The state: removes freedom

The state removes freedom because we are subject to "artificial" laws and regulations.

  • This goes against the belief in individual sovereignty-that no individual/organisation should impose their power over another individual.

Similarly to Liberals, anarchists see an incompatibility between the POWER OF THE STATE and the FREEDOM OF THE INDIVIDUAL

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The state: is corrupting

Lord Acton stated that "power corrupts, and asolute power corrupts absolutely" and that "it is easier to find people fit to govern themselves than people to govern others"

  • Similarly to liberals, anarchists believe that the act of governing in itself is corrupting!
  • This is because those who came intogovt even with good motives, inevitably become exploiteers themselves.
  • Socialist thinker Orwell, supported this in his book, Animal Farm, by critiquing the soviet state- a state that had een born out of high ideals, but soon turned into a dictatorship under Stalin.
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The state: is unnatural

Anarchists see the state as an artificial form of scoiety.

  • Collectivist anarchists feel that humans should be free to form voluntary communities, which are natural.
  • Anarcho communist, Kropotkin, agreed that humans should form self governing communities, because this was how people had organised themselves through history.He hoped that humans would return to this stage once the state was abolished.
  • Individual anarchists believe that humans should be free to withdraw altogether from any political organisation

Anarchists also believe that communities are not voluntary under the state

  • If  communities were voluntary, then there should essentially be no need for a state or laws.
  • If we voluntarily entered that community, then we should surely feel no need to conform or go against the rules.
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