Against the State: An Introduction to Anarchist Political Theory

Front Cover
SUNY Press, May 22, 2008 - Political Science - 136 pages
0 Reviews
In Against the State, Crispin Sartwell unleashes a quick and brutal rejection of the traditional arguments for state legitimacy. Sartwell considers the classics of Western political philosophy—Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, Hume, Bentham, Rawls, and Habermas, among others—and argues that their positions are not only wrong but also embarrassingly bad. He separates the traditional pro-state arguments into three classes: social contract theories, utilitarian justifications, and justicial views, all while attacking both general strategies and particular formulations. Sartwell argues that the state rests on nothing but deadly force and its accompanying coercion, and that no one is under any obligation to obey the law merely because it is the law. He concludes by articulating a positive vision of an anarchist future, based on the “individualism” of such figures as Emerson and Thoreau. Against the State provides a rigorous and provocative foil to the classic texts, and also serves as a concise statement of the anarchist challenge.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

part II the legitimacy of the state
35
part III toward something else
97
notes
117

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 4 - For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other law-giver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest...

About the author (2008)

Crispin Sartwell is Associate Professor of Political Science at Dickinson College and the author of several books, including Obscenity, Anarchy, Reality and Extreme Virtue: Truth and Leadership in Five Great American Lives, both also published by SUNY Press.

Bibliographic information