Anti-statism

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Anti-statism is a term describing opposition to state intervention into personal, social, and economic affairs.[1]:260 Some anti-statist views reject the state completely and in some cases rulership in general (e.g., anarchism).

General categories

Anti-statists differ greatly according to the beliefs they hold in addition to anti-statism.

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 legitimate use of physical force in a particular geographic area.

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]

Anti-statist philosophies

See also

References

  1. ^ Gallaher, Carolyn; Dahlman, Carl T.; Gilmartin, Mary; Mountz, Alison; Shirlow, Peter (2009). Key Concepts in Political Geography. London: SAGE. p. 392. ISBN 978-1-4129-4672-8. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ Civil Disobedience. Annotated works of Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau Society.