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Exam question 7:

We have referred to anarchism several times in the classes one of the most intense and challeging alternatives to liberalism. Referring to the readings by Kropotkin, Bakunin, Wolff, Nozick and Winstanley to understand the anarchist position. Does it have value? Is it ethically correct? Is it practical? Defend your points using relevant texts from Political Thought.

The five sages?

Why this title, you probably wonder? Well, title is chosen to reflect the content of this paper obviously. The inspiration comes from academic journal that was released for the first time this year namely Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies (ADCS) carrying the title Blasting the Canon. One of the main themes in this first issue circles around Paul Eltzbachers book Anarchism: Seven Exponents of the Anarchist Philosophy in 1960 (Kinna & Evren, 2013, p. 2). Der Anarchismus, which were the original title released in 1900 in German has been notoriously known, not for its content but for its deductive method of illustrating anarchism through the seven sages being William Godwin (17561836), Max Stirner (18061856), PJ Proudhon (1809-1865), Michael Bakunin (18141870), Peter Kropotkin (18421921), Benjamin Tucker (18541939) and Leo Tolstoy (18281910). (Kinna, 2005, p. 10). According to Kinna, this method inspired George Woodcock in his Anarchism (1962), though skipping Tucker, creating a standard reference work in anarchistic schooling (Ibid, p. 10). Eltzbachers definition of anarchism is a very simplified one, namely based on the lowest common denominator: an opposition to the state (anti-statism), which was a reflection of the highly diverse group of thinkers. Eltzbachers approach have therefore been viewed not only as deductive but also reductive. Now I am facing the same kind of challenge in this paper, namely understanding the anarchist position based on the text of the five sages Winstanley, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Wolff and Nozick found in Rosen and Wolffs reader Political Thought being the course book of the class. Yet I feel an even greater challenge than Eltzbacher and Woodcock, in the sense that the five sages I am going to deal with spans over a greater ideological background. But before I move further into this it is essential to define the concept itself. Anarchy! The popular discourse has associated this with chaos, but is it that? In reality the word anarchy arrives from Greek and means no government or no ruler, and not chaos. No government can of course lead to chaos, but it can also lead to the most harmonious and balanced society, creating a horizontal structure were everyone has influence on their everyday life and power is placed at the bottom of society instead of the top1. So now that we know what anarchy means, then it is time to acknowledge, that there exist is a lot of types of anarchism, maybe it is the most diverse of the entire political ism? Whether it is the most diverse ideology does not matter. What matters is that this assignment gives a great opportunity to distinguish Libertarian Socialism and Libertarianism2, being on radical left wing and radical right wing (radical economic liberals) of the political spectrum, respectively. The exam question asks me to understand the anarchist
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Being the classical Anarchism, also known as Libertarian Socialism. Another vocabulary would anarcho-communist and anarcho-capitalist.

position taking its point of departure in five different anarchist thinkers ranging from the 17th century up to modern philosophers from the 1970s, namely Winstanley, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Wolff and Nozick. If I accept Eltzbachers very simplified version of what defines the anarchist position then it leaves me with four thinkers already, since Nozick belongs in the Libertarian traditions (anarcho-capitalism) and promotes a minimal state (Wolff, 2007). Now, I have spend the first page of our so bringing some inputs on the deductive/reductive method being requested in this exam question, and tried to display the issues with this approach. Therefore I have decided to construct an approach, which is easier to defend. First of all it is important to understand which kind of anarchism the five thinkers promote. The empirical data that I have been asked to base this assignment on originates from four different chapters being Human Nature, The justification of the state, Liberty and rights, and Economic Justice, in which thinkers are placed randomly. Unfortunately, the empirical data does not leave much space for comparison, and thereby a comparative analysis, which would have been the ideal approach for illustrating the difference between anarcho-communism and anarcho-capitalism . The empirical data is a really vague basis to understand the anarchist position, so I will use additional literature to support the views portrayed, in which the book Black Flame3 have been a part of shaping the ideological expression coming forward in this paper. Personally, I consider four core elements (call them value or ethics) essential to anarchism being: antiauthority (thereby anti-statism), anti-capitalistic (against exploitation of workers, against competition), for collective ownership (classless society), for collective organization (horizontalism). To help clarifying my position I have decided to add a quote from van der Walt and Schmidt (p. 33): anarchism is a revolutionary and libertarian socialist doctrine: advocating individual freedom through a free society, anarchism aims to create a democratic, egalitarian, and stateless socialist order through an international and internationalist social revolution, abolishing capitalism, landlordism, and the state. Based on the ideological beliefs expressed above I have tried to categories the five thinkers to which tradition they belong. I have already sorted one out, Nozick, for being Libertarian and pro a minimal state. Secondly, Winstanley belongs in the feudal/landlordism era and before the invention of the modern anarchism by PJ Proudhon (Woodcock, 1967)4. Thirdly, Robert Paul Wolff represents a modern and very individualistic approach to anarchism, and thereby distinguishing himself from the last two thinkers

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Advocates Libertarian Socialism To be found online at: http://www.ditext.com/woodcock/anarchism.html

Bakunin and Kropotkin, who forms more or less the basis for the premises I setup for defining anarchism, which is also known as classical anarchism or libertarian socialism. Finally, I feel that I have made it clear that it is impossible to give a unifying explanation and analysis of what anarchism exist of based on the empirical data, and at the same time I have illustrated my doubts in a canon approach. Therefore, I have decided to go separately through all of thinkers, though acknowledging the common features between Kropotkin and Bakunin.

Winstanley in his text The Common Stock addresses one of the central values of anarchism, namely the right to free use of the land and fight against property rights and its aggressors. To build up his argument he points out the false consciousness (a Marxist term, that I could not help but borrow) of the classes when he exemplifies that free trading, freedom to have ministers preach, sexual freedom of women, freedom to family hierarchy, in reality does not contain any freedom at all, since there is an authority behind controlling it (p. 227). These examples can be categorized as false freedom. Furthermore, it is advocated in the text a creation of public store-houses, be a common treasury (p. 229), to create an egalitarian economy, which is a strong anarchistic value. Two points in the text conflicts with traditional anarchistic values, being a government to uphold the laws in terms of protecting familys property. The existence of a government is a critical point as well as the family being the central organizational form of society. More than 300 years did George Woodcock comment on Winstanleys ideas in a flattering manner: If Winstanley's criticism of society as he sees it at this crucial point in his career ends in a libertarian rejection of both authority and property, his vision of the kind of egalitarian society he would like to create embodies many features of the ideal society envisaged by the anarchists two centuries later (Woodcock, 1967). I can only agree with Woodcocks observation, since Winstanley was highly inspirational thinker, far ahead of his times. A so-called anarchist would though complete brake with these ideas, namely Robert Nozick, who I will look into in the next section. I will now continue onto the empirical data dealing with the classical anarchism arriving from Kropotkin and Bakunin, dealing with mutual aid and science and the people.

Classical Anarchism: the works of Kropotkin and Bakunin

The two thinkers have probably been among the main contributors to libertarian socialism, being categorized as classical anarchism. After this I will bring in Wolff before the conclusion, to illustrate how he differentiates from libertarian socialism, with a much more individualistic approach. The narrative of the popular known as classical anarchism of today starts in Basal in september 1869 in Basel at a gathering of the First International (van der Walt & Schmidt, 2009, p. 5). In reality, anarchism did not evolve as an alternative to liberalism, rather an alternative to socialism.

Mutual Aid - Kropotkin

In this text Kropotkin focuses on the organization in the nature. He argues that competition is not a natural element in the development of species, but rather that elimination of competition improves the conditions of the species (Kropotkin, 1999, p. 30). The text clearly functions as a critique of the Hobbesian philosophy, which argues all against all, which later was connected to Darwins the survival of the fittest concept. Kropotkin rejects Hobbes primitive idea of man being in a constant state of warfare. Likely wise, does Kropotkin reject the Hobbesian understanding of of ethnology, exemplified with families being the ground foundation of human evolution. He explains that the concept of family did not form the bases of early human civilization but rather the tribal nature and smaller groups was the organizational nature. It is evident that it would be quite the contrary to all that we know of nature if men were an exception to so a general rule: if a creature so defenceless as man was at his beginnings should have found his protection and his way to progress, not in mutual support, like other animals, but in a reckless competition for personal advantages with no regard to the interest of the species (Kropotkin, 1999, p. 31). Through this analogy of the animal world, Kropotkin legitimizes why a structure based on mutual support, and thereby collaboration will secure a society in progress. There is no doubt that Kropotkin advocates a society based on a collectivistic approach, instead of an individualistic approach based on competition. Therefore we need society to be organized based on mutual aid, creating a space where people have the possibility and responsibility to take care of their social surroundings. Taking this to a more overall societal value would equal to collective ownership. How this is done I will look into in the next text by Bakunin, which discusses science and the people.

Bakunin: Science and the people

Before entering the text it is very important to take into consideration in which time it is written, though it still brings a lot of legitimate reason to redesign society. In Science and the People (p. 73-76), Bakunin reflects over the lack of freedom in society and advocates for a free anarchist society. Bakunin structures the main ideas of how an anarchist society function, based on the idea of constructing a society based on the scientific method. The premises for this society are real and total liberation (Bakunin, 1999, p. 73). This premise also represents the sole most important value of anarchism namely total liberation. Bakunin starts off by rejecting the dominant scientific method of the times, metaphysical method, due to their creation of an ideal social organization (p. 73). The paragraph does not really present it clearly, but with the reference state and statehood later in the text and the reference to Procrustes, it is most probably the social organization he is pointing to (states). This critique of the metaphysician transcends into discussion of the function of sociologist. According to Bakunin, sociologist represents the group of scientist that should to discover how to reach a real and total liberation, but instead they are doing the work of the governing class, and thereby legitimizing a state, when according to Bakunin: sociology must therefore be the point of departure for social upheavals and reconstructions (p. 75). Bakunin advocates a free society encompassed in this sentence: We believe that the people can be happy and free only when they create their own life, organizing themselves from below upward by means of independent and completely free associations, subject to no official tutelage but open to the free and diverse influences of individuals and parties (p. 75). This requires a fight against the state and statehood which represents all the oppressing factors. Several places in the text Bakunin refers to class, and thereby requiring a class-consciousness to occur in order for there to happen any social revolution. This class-consciousness will thereby be the foundation of the spontaneous mass-movement it will require to change the system. Bakunin deals with another central point of classical anarchism, namely that general manual labor will be obligatory for everyone (p. 74). Since then society have taking some huge technological steps, so today we have so much technical advantage that it the general manual labor is quite limited.

In general Bakunins text seems very complex, but delivers a simple message. The ones that believe that science will create the progress for the people have misunderstood something. What the established science does is legitimizing the current system, instead of questioning it and being on the forefronts on how to change society into a total liberation, which should be the task of sociologist. Bakunin advocates that the anarchism is for the masses whereas Robert Paul Wolff focuses on the individual anarchism.

Wolff and the individualistic anarchism

R.P. Wolff continues Bakunins critique of the state, but though the one pages text does not leave a lot of expressions other than authority, in the text as the state, is illegitimate. The conflict of autonomy and authority puts man in a box of philosophical anarchism (Wolff, 1999, p. 77), where the center of decision making is man himself, the autonomous man. The text focuses on man as an individual being decision taker, which represents another view than what we have seen of Kropotkin focusing on mutual aid and Bakunins on an organization structure, and thereby arriving to their arguments on socialist platform. Supporting this observation I have found a quote in Black flame that discusses the complete R.P: Wolffs work in In Defence of Anarchism: It is therefore incorrect to define anarchism as a philosophy that holds that every individual should be entirely free to establish ones obligations to society; given that anarchism advocated a social vision of freedom as realised through society and cooperation, it could not be in favour of absolute and unrestrained individual sovereignty. (van der Walt & Schmidt, 2009, p. 77) This view is furthermore support by Kinna who in her book writes that Wolffs philosophical anarchism is a commitment to individual decision-making (sometimes called private judgement) and divorced this commitment from the struggle to realize a particular socio-economic arrangement. (2005, p. 19). This individual form of anarchism seems to me to become a slippery slope for anarchism to develop into something for the personal gain, instead of being the structure securing that we are everyone well off without being the puppet of a master. This form of individual anarchism (or in this case libertarianism) takes a far greater turn away from the original anarchist school of thought, since I am going to deal with Nozick in the next section.

Nozick and Libertarianism

Nozick is one of the more popular thinkers of the course book, and I wonder why? Nonetheless, there are four texts of his in the reader5 all taking from his 1974 work Anarchy, State and Utopia. I do not find a single anarchistic element in these four texts, rather I see a libertarian one. Below I have used an instead of listing approach, to be able to display the differences between libertarianism and libertarian socialism (classical anarchism). All of the starting point of the sentence is ideas expressed by Nozick (Nozick, 1999)6, responded by an instead of, where I consider the values and ethics of classical anarchism: a minimal state (p. 178), instead of the abolition of the state Rights (p.176-79), instead of principles Individualism (p. 178), instead of collectivism Hobbesian worldview (separation and competition) (p. 178), instead of mutual support and altruism Financial compensation/punishment (p. 184-86), instead of reconciliation reducing labor to an individual act benefitting the person (p. 210-213), instead of the collective favoring private property (p. 212), instead of collective ownership Free market capitalism (p. 245), instead of anti-capitalism Individual contract aid (salary) negotiation (p.246), instead of syndicalism and workers councils Inequality (p.245), instead of egalitarianism o Production and distribution as separate functions (p.245), instead of united

I have now tried to illustrate some of the value based and ethical difference that are between classical anarchism (libertarian socialism) and libertarianism, which Nozick represents. This leads me back to Eltzbachers common denominator of what characterizes anarchism, namely the opposition towards a state, and therefore Nozick cannot be categorized as an anarchist. The only point where I have discovered similarities between classical anarchism and Nozick is the notion of a critical approach towards a deterrence theory, because fear represents a Hobbesian worldview. Libertarianism is not an alternative to liberalism, it is a radicalization of liberalism, more free market, smaller state, and it is no wonder that Nozick is one of the thinkers being central in former Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen book: From Socialist state to minimal state (Rasmussen, 1993, pp. 38-40).

Rights as Side-Constraints, Where Deterrence Theory goes Wrong, Difficulties with Mixing Labour, The Entitlement Theory 6 In the listing, the pages references are very general, and may span over the whole text, since the observations are based on thematical analysis, to discover which morals and ethics Nozick promotes.

The word value, well it can certainly mean a lot of things. If you asked a libertarian socialist it will certainly focus first and for most on principles and behavior, where as a libertarian will focus on the principles of free market value as well as the value of property rights. To distinguish the two in a simplified manner then we have on the one hand side the collectivist values and on the other hand the individualistic values.

During the paper I have somehow avoided this question of discussing the practical element of anarchism. First of all I would like to address, practical for whom? Since anarchism most central element is to remove states and governments, we would have to think in another of thinking. Since the ideal is that everything should be organized from down and up, all decision made will be based on the decision made at the lowest level. That also means that there will have to planned a great organizational structure. Well if all societies should be evaluated on the question of practicality, why do we then have a representative democracy, when a dictatorship is much more practical? My point is that freedom and avoidance of oppression will always overcome the question of practicality.

I have started out the paper by attacking the canon approach lined up by the exam question, and argued why this can be such a difficult approach. As mentioned, it has been really difficult to give one notion of what values and what ethics represents anarchism, but they come to appear due out the paper, and especially the notion of what anarchism is not in the comparison of libertarian socialism and libertarianism. This wide spread notion of the values and ethics of anarchism follows the critique of the canon approach, leaving us with conclusion that if you want to know the value and ethics of anarchism you will have study the thinkers individually, the only thing you can be sure of is Eltzbachers notion of anti-statism. If the point is to study libertarian socialism, then we would have to include the values of antiauthority (thereby antistatism), anti-capitalistic (against exploitation of workers, against competition), for collective ownership (classless society), for collective organization (horizontalism). So is there five sages?

Bakunin, M., 1999. Science and the people. In: M. Rosen & J. Wolff, eds. Political Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 73-76. Kinna, R., 2005. anarchism: a beginners guide. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. Kinna, R. & Evren, S., 2013. Introduction: Blasting the canon. Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies (Blasting the canon, issue 1), pp. 1-6. Kropotkin, P., 1999. Mutual Aid. In: Political Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 30-33. Nozick, R., 1999. Rights as Side-Constraints, Where Deterrence Theory goes Wrong, Difficulties with Mixing Labour, The Entitlement Theory. In: M. Rosen & J. Wolff, eds. Political Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 176-178, 184-186, 210-213, 245-248. Rasmussen, A. F., 1993. Fra socialstat til minimalstat. Kbenhavn: Olesen Offset. van der Walt, L. & Schmidt, M., 2009. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism. Oakland: AK Press. Wolff, J., 2007. Robert Nozick, Libertarianism, And Utopia. [Online] Available at: http://world.std.com/~mhuben/wolff_2.html [Accessed 12 November 2013]. Wolff, R. P., 1999. Thr conflict of Autonomy and Authority. In: M. Rosen & J. Wolff, eds. Political Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 76-77. Woodcock, G., 1967. Anarchism. In: P. Edwards, ed. Encyclopedia of Philosophy. New York: Macmillan.