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I have always thought of anarchy as a bad thing. I had the image of some English punk dressed in leather with a copious amount of metal piercings adorning his body. How deluded that image is. If you have that same visual image, then you are the person I am talking to. Throughout this paper I am going to erase that negative image of anarchism and replace it with the meaning and intent that anarchism truly represents.
Let us start by deconstructing the meaning of the word. Anarchism is not the belief in a society without rules, nor does it advocate violence. What it is, according to Webster's dictionary, is a "doctrine advocating the abolishment of government or governmental restraint...while achieving political liberty." Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was the first to use the term, which is derived from the Greek word anarchos, meaning "without rule." Proudhon describes anarchism as "the absence of a master, of a sovereign." (Love, p. 95) Knowing this, one might wonder why so many people have a negative perception of anarchic philosophy when we so clearly strive to not be owned by any one person or government. Too many times anarchy is coupled with terrorist acts against the establishment. Terrorism is not necessarily true anarchism. Proudhon suggests that anarchism is to do what he calls "propaganda by the deed." With this new definition of anarchism in hand, we can move on to discussing why we need to seriously reconsider it as a viable option in a time of political mediocrity.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, whose thoughts were introduced in the previous paragraph, says that there is a visible paradox of order in anarchy, meaning that anarchists must have revolution to restore peaceful order. Essentially, they must destroy to create, and by doing this, they give freedom to the individual. Isn't that what happened when our forefathers broke away from England? Did they not come to
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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Emma Goldman, Henry David Thoreau, Webster, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson,
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England, New York State, United States, America,
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