Anarchism and Authority (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in by Paul McLaughlin PDF

By Paul McLaughlin

ISBN-10: 0754661962

ISBN-13: 9780754661962

Studying the political thought of anarchism from a philosophical and ancient viewpoint, Paul McLaughlin relates anarchism to the basic moral and political challenge of authority. The ebook will pay specific realization to the authority of the nation and the anarchist rejection of all conventional claims made for the legitimacy of country authority, the writer either explaining and protecting the valuable tenets of the anarchist critique of the state.The founding works of anarchist notion, through Godwin, Proudhon and Stirner, are explored and anarchism is tested in its ancient context, together with the impression of such occasions because the Enlightenment and the French Revolution on anarchist idea. eventually, the main theoretical advancements of anarchism from the late-nineteenth century to the current are summarized and evaluated.This ebook is either a hugely readable account of the improvement of anarchist considering and a lucid and well-reasoned defence of the anarchist philosophy.

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Additional info for Anarchism and Authority (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy)

Example text

So it was the error of Hobbes and the political theorists of the seventeenth century to hope that authority and religion could be saved without tradition. 4 The initiation of an attack on authority was the ‘final, though decisive, phase of development’ in a process (the great process of Enlightenment, as we will see in Part 2) that undermined religion and tradition previously. With this development, ‘the general doubt of the modern age has also invaded the political realm’, calling into doubt the very foundations of political order as we have known it since Roman times.

The ‘tension’ between these two positions can only be resolved in two ways, Martin concludes: ‘by cutting free the traditional moral argumentation from its entanglement with the thesis about the impossibility of rightful political authority and letting the latter drop. Or [by doing] the opposite’. According to Martin, De George ultimately adopts the former strategy, while Wolff lets ‘the detail of the moral argument go’. 15 Some of Martin’s ideas here are interesting and instructive. His distinction between the ‘moralistic’ tradition of anarchism (which attempts to show the moral ‘undesirability’ of political authority, and, in fact, more besides) and Wolff’s conceptual form of anarchism (which is concerned with demonstrating the factual impossibility of governmental authority from a highly abstract ‘Kantian’ standpoint) is especially useful.

1 This seems like a reasonable summary of the components that make up the anarchist ideology, but it is cumbersome as a definition. 2 This definition implies both (1) an ethico-social ideal (that is, ‘non-authoritarianism’) and (2) criticism of existing institutions that fall short of the ideal (that is, more or less ‘authoritarian’ institutions). Moreover, the ideology of non-authoritarianism would presumably be premised on (3) some more or less coherent view of human nature – at least in the sense that every ideology is.

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