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Since the consensus is that Anarchism generally means anti-state and anti-capitalist, there needs to be a page to describe anti-statism in general. I hope everyone can agree on this page not to use "Anarchism" as a generic synonym for "Anti-statism" so as not to bait the POV warriors. Saswann 30 June 2005 12:48 (UTC)

There is no such consensus. 01:32, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Right, there is no consensus on that --too many POV warriors trying to make up their own definition. Anyway, I don't get this article. The intro says "Anti-statism refers to all philosophies that in some degree reject or oppose the establishment of a state, or territorial national governments.." What does that mean? Either you oppose the establishment of a state or you don't. There are no "degrees." Now, there are varying opinions on how much of a preponderance the state should have, in regard to restraining individual freedom. Is that what's it's trying to say? RJII 06:34, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Good point. For a philosophy to be anti-statist, it must be against the existence of a state, either immediately or as a programmatic goal. Note that this uses the social science definition of "statism," not the economic one. I'll fix things in the article now. Hogeye 16:57, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Also, the article attempts to list the "completely anti-statist" philosophies, but you would have to list every one wouldn't you? That would be identical to what would be listed in the anarchism article. Complete anti-statism is anarchism. This article is bizarre. How about a vote for deletion? RJII 06:40, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
I think there's a valid element to explore here RJII in terms of liberal and marxist partially anti-statist philosophies: ie, council communism, autonomism, etc. They're not "anarchist" in the historical meaning or in the ancient greek meaning, but they're relatively connected. I'd vote against a delete, but someone needs to thematically deal with why political ideologies are anti-state, and the different reasons and historical causes for the specific anti-state stances of those ideologies.Fifelfoo 08:06, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Leave out the Anarchism definitional debate[edit]

RJ, IMO this is not the place to push a definition of anarchism as a generic term for anti-statism. I know it seems patently obvious to you, but it is nowhere near universal usage, esp. with those who are interested in these particular movements. The purpouse of this article is to be a place to actually consolidate the various strains of anti-statist thought in a straightforward NPOV manner. There is no reason to start that POV war here. Saswann 15:37, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

It's not debatable. The usage of anarchism = anti-statism is virtually universal in English dictionaries.[1]. Get over it. Hogeye 18:07, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Then this article should be a redirect to anarchism. If anti-statism = anarchism, there's no point in having two separate articles, is there? The whole reason why this article was created in the first place was because "anti-statism" is a broader term than "anarchism". -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 02:47, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Where is the Anarchism = anti-statism in your dictionary evidence hogeye???????????? Your 'one look' link doesn't mention anti-statism once. You two are either very sad trollers or are real Agent provocateurs besides being evangelical (not angelical) anarcho-capitalists! - max rspct 14:20, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Is Marxism Anti-statist?[edit]

A philosophy is "anti-statist" if it opposes the state. It is possible to oppose the state without calling for an immediate abolition of the state. Thoreau's "evolutionary anarchism" is a good example. But a philosophy which explicitly endorses the state, even that state is eventually to be eliminated, can not be considered anti-statist IMO. Thus Marxism, at least in it's classic form, is not anti-statist since it endorses "the dictatorship of the proletariat." Shouldn't we eliminate all forms of Marxism from the list? (Unless it's a school which disavows the dictatorship of the proles?) Hogeye 18:27, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I'd say it isn't anti-statist. If Marx had advocated minarchism as a means to anarchism, sure, but he advocated big government. RJII 16:16, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Sigh. Read Manifesto, then read Gotha Programme. Marx comes out for a minimal workers state comprising the nationalisation of the banks in public hands in Manifesto. This is about as far as Marx himself goes in favour of government in the "first stage of communism". Marx very clearly indicates that the "higher stage of communism", ie, a stateless society, is the goal of communism. Additionally, Marx doesn't advocate the dictatorship of the proletariat in a programmatic way. Its mentioned as a secondary point in a minor work. You're thinking of Lenin. Then again, for Lenin and the dictatorship of the proletariat, read State and Revolution which clearly spells out Lenin's conception of what a State is: armed bodies of people claiming the right to use force. State and Revolution's state during the "first stage of communism" is a very open thing, and its definition is so minimal as to be smaller than that advocated by classical liberals. You might also start by looking up the Autonomism, Council Communism and Left Communist articles, all of which are very clearly anti-statist marxisms. Fifelfoo 22:31, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

definition of anti-statism[edit]

I don't agree with THE definition as being opposition to the existence of a state. One can oppose statism while still supporting the existence, and continued existence, of a state. Merriam-Webster defines statism as: ":concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government." There are two main definitions of statism --one of which is opposition to the very existence of a state. So, it would seem to me that anti-statism can mean two things --anarchism and minarchism. RJII 17:06, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Hey, you're right - there are two reasonable definitions. I've always used the adjective "anti-state" to describe a belief that there should be no state, and therefore "anti-statism" to be the name for that belief system. But instead of the root being "anti-state" and the suffix "ism," you see the root as "statism" and the prefix as "anti." Would you like to rewrite the intro to include both definitions, RJII? If you don't care to, I will. Hogeye 21:55, 10 December 2005 (UTC)


I strongly disagree with declaring libertarian socialism and individualist anarchism as the two main branches of anarchism, and listing all other branches as subgroups of these two. Such a classification is completely unfounded in fact. Instead, we should keep the old idea of dividing the branches of anarchism in two loose "currents". Also, Voluntaryism does not need to be listed separately, since, as its article explains, it is just an older name for anarcho-capitalism. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 03:04, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

anti-statism as opposition to the ontology of state (without regard to its existence as a social-political fact)[edit]

My view, which may be connected with ideological-constructivist approaches - if naming an approach helps readers make better sense of my point - is that reference to "states" or "the state" in social-political language itself constitutes "statism." Anti-statism, then, may be taken to mean a political orientation to ideology in which one is against the reductionism of describing a complex of individual actors' actions as simply, "state actions."

Anti-statism, then, does not necessarily have to be for or against anything that is done with reference to "a/the state" as the responsible agent. For example, the fact that one is sent a tax-bill may please or displease a particular anti-statist, but s/he would oppose the ideological framework that recognizes "the state" as the party responsible for the tax bill. Instead s/he may recognize the tax collecting individual, or the law-maker who created a particular tax law, as the individual agent responsible for the tax bill s/he is paying.

Opposition to referring to "the state" as a shorthand for complex interactions and chains of authority-delegation and interest-translation/transference may have its own qualms that have nothing to do with the material consequences associated with having a strong or weak state, by state-realists. Anti-statists of this kind may be more concerned with the consequences for individuals taking initiative and responsibility for their actions when operating within the ideological framework that they are acting on behalf of a "state," whose authority leads them to disregard their own judgment and/or obscure the very possibility of individual decision-making completely from imagination.

Anti-statists of this kind may then expect accountability from individual actions undertaken in the name of "state business" or "state authority." They may not be for or against a particular action undertaken, but still find it unacceptable for individuals to deny or shirk responsibility for their actions by saying, "I was only following orders" or "that's just policy, I don't have any say in it," while the same individual is supporting the orders or policy by carrying them out in practice. (talk) 01:38, 30 November 2008 (UTC)


Wouldnt Socialism and Communism be the opposite of Anti-statist due to their push for government intervention? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

No, both of these sh1tty ideologies love the state. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 19 January 2013 (UTC)


Self-note: German article will be created. -- Horst-schlaemma (talk) 12:30, 29 May 2015 (UTC)