The Political Theory of Anarchism

April Carter

Formerly lecturer in Politics,
Lancaster University



Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1
1 The Political Theory of Anarchism 13
The Leviathan
The Social Contract
Hobbes and Godwin
Primacy of the Individual
Law and Government
Society and the Individual
2 Anarchism and the State 28
State and Government
The Evolution of the State
The Law
Authority and Government
Modern Society
War and the State
Constitutionalist Theory and Anarchism
3 Anarchism and Society 60
The Paris Commune
Federalism and Nationalism
The City versus the Country
Democracy and Egalitarianism
 Class Rule and Elites
 Social Administration without Government
 The Administration of Justice
Utopian Thinking and Historical Progress
The Meaning of Politics
4 Anarchism and the Individual 89
The Egoist
The Artist
The Moralist
The Hero
The Coward
The Pohtical Realm
The Citizen
Suggestions for Further Reading



I am very grateful to Geoffrey Ostergaard, Nigel Young, Margaret Leslie and to my sister Fay for encouragement, criticism and advice on this manuscript at various stages. Their comments have saved me from many errors; those remaining are my own responsibility.

Author's Note

This book was conceived and written as a brief study in political theory, primarily for students of politics. Its main aim is to explore anarchist ideas in relation to a number of important themes in political thought.

The book assumes no prior knowledge of anarchist history and philosophy, and will therefore cover ground familiar to those already versed in the literature on anarchism. On the other hand it does assume some knowledge of general political theory, although the specific connexions between anarchist and other theorists are spelt out as clearly as possible. It also explores the relevance of anarchist ideas to contemporary politics and political discourse.