Anti-statism

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Anti-statism is a term describing opposition to state intervention into personal, social and economic affairs. Anti-statist views may reject the state completely as well as rulership in general (e.g. anarchism), they may wish to reduce the size and scope of the state to a minimum (e.g. minarchism), or they may advocate a stateless society as a distant goal (e.g. autonomism).

Translations of this material:

into Russian: Антиэтатизм. Translation complete.
Submitted for translation by anarchofront 26.03.2011 Published 6 years, 8 months ago.

Text

Anti-statism is a term describing opposition to state intervention into personal, social and economic affairs.[1] Anti-statist views may reject the state completely as well as rulership in general (e.g. anarchism), they may wish to reduce the size and scope of the state to a minimum (e.g. minarchism), or they may advocate a stateless society as a distant goal (e.g. autonomism). Henry David Thoreau expressed this evolutionary anti-statist view in his essay Civil Disobedience:

I heartily accept the motto,—"That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,—"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men and women are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. [2]

General categories

Radical anti-statists differ greatly according to the beliefs they hold in addition to anti-statism. Thus the categories of anti-statist thought are sometimes classified as collectivist or individualist.

A significant difficulty in determining whether a thinker or philosophy is anti-statist is the problem of defining the state itself. Terminology has changed over time, and past writers often used the word, "state" in a different sense than we use it today. Thus, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin used the term simply to mean a governing organization. Other writers used the term "state" to mean any law-making or law-enforcement agency. Karl Marx defined the state as the institution used by the ruling class of a country to maintain the conditions of its rule. According to Max Weber, the state is an organization with an effective legal monopoly on the use of force in a particular geographic area.

Anti-statist philosophies

This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.

Completely anti-statist

* Libertarian socialism

* Anarchism and its inner schools.

* Voluntaryism

* Anarcho-capitalism

* Philosophy of Max Stirner

Partially anti-statist, or anti-statism as an ideal or deferred programmatic goal

* libertarian capitalism

* Political philosophies related to classical liberalism and minarchism.

* Political philosophies related to Marxism and communism.

Chronology of anti-statist writing

This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.

1548 – Étienne de la Boétie, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude

1793 – William Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice

1825 – Thomas Hodgskin, Labour Defended against the Claims of Capital

1840 – Pierre Joseph Proudhon, [2]

1844 – Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own

1849 – Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

1849 – Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

1849 – Gustave de Molinari, The Production of Security

1851 – Herbert Spencer, The Right to Ignore the State

1866 – Michael Bakunin, Revolutionary Catechism

1867 – Lysander Spooner, No Treason

1886 – Benjamin Tucker, [3]

1902 – Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid

1935 – Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State

1962 – Murray Rothbard, Man, Economy & State with Power and Market

1983 - Samuel Edward Konkin III, The New Libertarian Manifesto

1985 – Anthony de Jasay, The State

2001 – Kevin A. Carson, The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand

References

1. Gallaher, Carolyn. "Anti-statism. Definition: Opposition from Above and Below" in Gallaher, et al. Key Concepts in Political Geography, London: Sage Press, 2009. p.260

2. http://eserver.org/thoreau/civil1.html

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