AGAINST THE STATE CRISPIN SARTWELL PDF

National Library of Australia. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia. Read more Sartwell, Crispin. Against the state : an introduction to anarchist political theory.

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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? 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. Read more Read less. Amazon International Store International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions. Manufacturer warranty may not apply. Learn more about Amazon International Store.

Review "Sartwell's work stands in the Thoreauvian tradition he admires--simultaneously lyrical and plainspoken, intensely personal yet theoretically compelling.

Transcending the hackneyed opposition between individualist and communitarian approaches to politics, Sartwell's spirited, engaging, and insightful critique of the state reminds us of the essentially barbarous nature of that institution, forcefully engages the classic arguments on its behalf, and makes a vigorous and inspiring case for a humane anarchist alternative.

Long, Auburn University "Sartwell is unabashed and unrelenting in pointing out the unquestioned absurdities at the foundation of the state's legitimacy. His refusal to accept any assumption on faith or to turn away from logical conclusions is the book's greatest strength. No customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases.

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This book is only pages long, but it does a good job destroying the standard philosophical justifications for the state. As the author notes that is not difficult because the arguments for it are so bad. I particularly love the author's rather sharp style when discussing these ideas. He throws in a lot of what I find to be humorous descriptions of statists in the state. He certainly doesn't pull any punches and I loved it. This book is purely negative in that it doesn't really argue positively for anarchism, but gets to that conclusion by destroying any justification for the state.

This isn't a comprehensive work, but for what it does it's well done. In asserting this, he intends at least three things: to deflate the canard that anarchism is merely wanton destruction; to distinguish anarchism from ideologies which prescribe detailed blueprints for human behavior; and to gesture, in a typical bit of wit, at the irony of writing a book on anarchist "political theory," since the latter term typically suggests a systemization that seems incompatible with the free spiritedness of anarchism.

Sartwell promises a future book on his positive anarchist vision. Here, his concern is to argue against conventional legitimations of the state. He goes after the three strongest defenses of what he takes to be the most legitimate kind of government, democracy: social contract, utilitarianism, and justicial the position that the state is legitimated as the guarantor of social justice. Sartwell's "mindful destruction" of state-legitimations is sandwiched between an opening chapter in which he clarifies what he means by terms like "coercion," "force," "government," and "state," and a concluding one in which he provides an outline of the positive anarchism he embraces.

One of the strong features of the preliminary chapter is Sartwell's recognition that the terms are a bit boggy, and allow for gradations in practice--for example, democracies are surely less coercive than tyrannies.

This of course raises questions of trade-off: even if democratic states are coercive in certain ways, is the coercion, if monitored and kept in check, a reasonable price for certain benefits conferred by the state? Obviously, Sartwell thinks not. But it seems to me that strong cases can be made otherwise. The concluding chapter, which I presume is a preview of a future book, is especially intriguing. Sartwell avoids collectivist anarchism on the one hand and the to my mind pseudo anarchism of capitalism cheerleaders such as Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard.

Instead, he locates himself within the tradition of Emerson, Thoreau, and Josiah Warren. One of the consequences of this is that he must try to juggle a rugged individualism "each person is the owner of herself, or is self-sovereign," p. Emerson made the connection by positing the Oversoul. Sartwell has no such convenient deus ex machina, and argues that radical individuality is enhanced by relatedness and therefore isn't incompatible with it.

I find his argument unpersuasive. But in all fairness to him, the defense is presented more as a sketch than a fullblown argument, and he refers readers to his previous books for a fuller account p.

Anarchism, if nothing else, is a valuable gadfly whose sting reminds the rest of us that the political institutions we take as part of the natural landscape in fact can be called into question. It's good to have Sartwell's book buzzing in our ears. There's a lot of nonsense used to support social-systems of slavery, Crispin Sartwell does an excellent job of pointing it out.

And the nonsense just keeps on coming, like the 1 star comment on this book that makes the irrational conclusion that anarchy can't work because we can't have universal consensus. For those not so deluded, give this book a read with an open mind. If you have any interest in Anarchist theory, or for that matter any political theories justifying the existence of States this is close to perfect.

Bottom line, I recommend this to friends. Best single volume introduction to anarchism around. Sartwell makes compelling and convincing arguments.

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Against the State: An Introduction to Anarchist Political Theory

Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? 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.

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