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Chapter

Cover Political Ideologies

5. Anarchism  

David Bates

This chapter examines the key ideas and concepts of ‘classical’ anarchist thinkers. Among the ideas associated with anarchism are: a belief in the potential of human nature, and a corresponding critique of arbitrary authority; a refusal of state authority; a rejection of the institution of private property; militant atheism; and an emphasis on the importance of revolutionary politics. The chapter first considers how anarchist views on human nature, the state, political action, private property, and religion vary, and where possible, what unites them. It then discusses recent critical responses to anarchism, particularly ‘post-anarchism’, and specific historical examples of anarchism. It also analyses the extent to which anarchism can be regarded as a cohesive political ideology.

Chapter

Cover Issues in Political Theory

1. Political obligation  

Keith Hyams

This chapter discusses the justifications for political obligation. The most important historical justification for political obligation is what is often called consent theory or contract theory. Consent theorists claim that we should obey the law because we have consented to do so. Meanwhile, the theorist H. L. A. Hart argues that if we accept a benefit, then it is only fair that we should reciprocate and give something back; if we enjoy the protection of police and armies, if we use roads, hospitals, schools, and other government-run services, then we should reciprocate by obeying the law. Other theorists argue that political obligation is something that we are bound by simply for being a member of a political community. If we cannot justify an obligation to obey the law, then we may have to adopt some form of philosophical anarchism — the view that we have no obligation to obey the law.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

6. Traditional Ideologies  

Robert Garner

This chapter examines a range of traditional ideologies associated with the Enlightenment, including liberalism, socialism, nationalism, anarchism, conservatism, and fascism. It first explains what an ideology is and what their general characteristics are before discussing liberalism, socialism, conservatism, nationalism, fascism, and anarchism. It is noted how all of these ideologies were shaped by the Enlightenment, either—in the case of liberalism, socialism, nationalism, and anarchism—adopting its key principles, or—in the case of conservatism and fascism—railing against them. The chapter suggests that each ideology must be understood within the economic, social, and political environment in which it emerged. It also emphasizes the impact of these ideologies on the development of world politics in the last two centuries.

Book

Cover Political Ideologies

Edited by Paul Wetherly

Political Ideologies provides a broad-ranging introduction to both classical and contemporary political ideologies. Adopting a global outlook, it introduces readers to ideologies' increasingly global reach and the different national versions of these ideologies. Importantly, ideologies are presented as frameworks of interpretation and political commitment, encouraging readers to evaluate how ideologies work in practice, the problematic links between ideas and political action, and the impact of ideologies. Regular learning features encourage readers to think critically about ideologies, and view them as competing and contestable ways of interpreting the world. A unique ‘stop and think’ feature calls for readers to reflect on their own ideological beliefs. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, socialism and communism, anarchism, nationalism, fascism and the radical right, feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, religion and fundamentalism.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

6. Traditional Ideologies  

Robert Garner

This chapter examines a range of traditional ideologies associated with the Enlightenment, including liberalism, socialism, nationalism, anarchism, conservatism, and fascism. It first explains what an ideology is and what their general characteristics are before discussing liberalism, socialism, conservatism, nationalism, fascism, and anarchism. In the case of fascism, the chapter describes it as anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and totalitarian. Fascists reject abstract intellectualizing in favour of action and focus on the state’s role in creating meaning for individuals. The chapter suggests that each ideology must be understood within the economic, social, and political environment in which it emerged. It also emphasizes the impact of these ideologies on the development of world politics in the last two centuries.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to Political Philosophy

1. The state of nature  

This chapter examines whether it is possible for human beings to live in a state of nature. Sometimes it is claimed that not only have human beings always lived under a state, but that it is the only way they possibly could live. On this view, which is often associated with Aristotle, the state exists naturally in the sense of being natural to human beings. In response, some theorists argue that human beings have been able to live without the state. To elucidate the issue further, this chapter analyses the views of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It also considers the arguments of anarchists and suggests that the gap between rational anarchism and the defence of the state is vanishingly small.

Chapter

Cover Politics

7. The Ideal State  

This chapter examines the basics of political philosophy, focusing in particular on what makes the state legitimate, or what is the ideal state we should be striving for. It first considers the use of normative analysis by political philosophers — that is, they are concerned with asking how the state ought to be organized and how much freedom ought individuals be granted. It then discusses the issues of consent and democracy, social contract, and the general will, along with utilitarianism as an account of state legitimacy. It also explores liberalism and liberty in relation to the state, Marxism and communitarianism, the idea of a just state, and how the traditional state focus of political theory has been challenged by globalization. Finally, it describes the influence of anarchism on modern politics and the position of anarchists with respect to the ideal state.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to Political Philosophy

1. The State of Nature  

This chapter examines whether it is possible for human beings to live in a state of nature. Sometimes it is claimed that not only have human beings always lived under a state, but that it is the only way they possibly could live. On this view, which is often associated with Aristotle, the state exists naturally in the sense of being natural to human beings. In response, some theorists argue that human beings have been able to live without the state. To elucidate the issue further, this chapter analyses the views of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It also considers the arguments of anarchists and suggests that the gap between rational anarchism and the defence of the state is vanishingly small.

Chapter

Cover An Introduction to Political Philosophy

2. Justifying The State  

This chapter examines consent theory and utilitarian theory, along with some other approaches to the moral defence of the state. Before deciding how best to justify the state, the chapter explains what a state is. It considers different types of state, from liberal democracies to dictatorships, benign or tyrannical, based on military rule, a monarchical family line, or party membership. Some states promote the free market, while others attempt collective forms of production and distribution. The chapter proceeds by discussing the goal of justifying the state: to show that there are universal political obligations. It then explores a number of defences of political obligation based on social contract, utilitarianism, and the principle of fairness.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

26. Emma Goldman  

Ruth Kinna

This chapter examines resistance in Emma Goldman’s anarchism. It starts with an discussion of her reputation, especially with respect to her detachment from conventional political theory and her failure to investigate race as a category of oppression. The chapter contends that Goldman’s structure of resistance involves love with open eyes and the spirit of revolt. It then considers her understanding of political theory as a practice informed by experience, which she then deploys to develop her conceptions of power and emancipation, in particular her understanding of the relation between class power and women’s oppression. The chapter discusses slavery and slavishness to show how Goldman used rights to advocate resistance to domination. The chapter further explores how her acceptance of revolt highlighted the futility of struggles for inclusion.