Key Term Three – Anarchy

Anarchy – A state of society without government or law. This can be the cause of political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control.

Anarchism is a political philosophy. It holds the state, the government, the authority in charge to be immoral. Anarchists advocate societies with no government, with “organizations” (as to not use the word government) as either non-hierarchical, or voluntary associations. The philosophy can differ in many ways, from extreme individualism, to very emphasized, complete collectivism. It is considered to be a radical, left-wing ideology, that reflect anti-statism, or opposition to state intervention, interpretations to communism and other participatory economics. It is a social movement and should be treated as such. Many anarchists oppose aggression, advocating for non-violence and self defense, while others support revolutions, propaganda, and the use of militant measures.

Often, the French Revolution is considered a war against aristocracy and anarchy. The French Revolution marked the demise of feudal power in France, and its replacement by middle-class democracy. It paved the way for the transformation in French government to go from Feudalism to Capitalism. After the Revolution, French society was no longer controlled by king and his court. Instead, the middle classes and their parliament held the reigns of state. Even so, the French Revolution does not demonstrate true anarchy, where the wealthy are overthrown by the people, with the people’s resources. This is because in the early stages of the French Revolution, it became very apparent to people that the anarchy and terror in the streets were being financed and directed from above, by extremely powerful and wealthy individuals within the aristocracy itself. Anarchy represents a state of society without government or law, but more than that, it is a hopeful philosophy, that the power will belong to the people and that the state will fall.


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