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Title: Anarchism as a form of government
Author: Spaan, Cassandra Maria
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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Within this thesis, the argument will be presented that anarchism, which is defined through liberty and liberty in turn is defined as autonomy constitutes a form of government, through the liberty it depends upon. The thesis begins with a textual analysis of Godwin's (who is arguably the first anarchist thinker - in chronological terms) Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (his most prominent work on political thought) in an attempt to identify the key factors that determine Political Justice within his theory (within his theory justice is understood and defined on an individual basis, which has to be considered in an attempt to define and achieve it). The analysis presented shows that Political Justice is achieved through creating and maintaining a Balance of Power (power is understood to be the means to enforce a decision), which exists when there is no entity to hold decision-making power over another entity. The two paths considered ( remain ing consistent with Godwin'S argument) towards achieving a Balance of Power are liberty and equality. It is argued that equality is maintained through an external authority and liberty is mai ntained through autonomy and deduced that such a Balance of Power is achievable only through liberty, because autonomy (liberty) allows for individual decisionmaking, which an external authority (equality) do not and individual decision-making is the decisive factor of a Balance of Power. The theories of Stirner, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin and Goldman are analysed to determine if and to what extent autonomy (liberty) is the foundation of the ir respective theories. It is concluded that all the anarchist theories considered are based and dependent upon autonomy (l iberty). It is finally considered whether autonomy (liberty) and the anarchist theories considered are compatible with the concept of government. It is concluded that anarchism is the framework within which anarchy is sustainable, because anarchism provides the frame\vork for autonomy (liberty) to operate within (anarchy) and as such, anarchism is a form of government.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available