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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
Quotes talked about in this paper
- Proudhon describes anarchism as "the absence of a master, of a sovereign."
- Proudhon suggests that anarchism is to do what he calls "propaganda by the deed."
- Emma Goldman comments on this same paradox by saying, "It is the philosophy of the sovereignty of the individual. It is the theory of social harmony."
- Goldman says, "Order derived through submission and maintained by terror is not much of a safe guarantee; yet that is the only 'order' that governments have ever maintained."
Names referenced in this essay
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Emma Goldman, Henry David Thoreau, Webster, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson,
Locations talked about in this research material
England, New York State, United States, America,
Companies included in this research material
Keywords talked about in this research material
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