Archive | June 2013

Explain and critically assess the anarchist challenge to the existence of the state

Alexander Berkman in his writings of what Communist Anarchism is, identifies the problems with the capitalist system that existed during his time, the early twentieth century. The problems he outlined of social stratification, class antagonisms, monopolies and opportunity as freedom are still relevant in today’s hyper neo-liberal society. “Our present system of civilisation has by disinheriting millions, made the belly the centre of the universe,” (Berkman 1972:191).
His central notion of society’s structure “Capitalism robs you, makes a wage slave of you. The law upholds and protects that robbery. The government fools you into believing that you are independent and free.” (Berkman 1972:16) clearly shows a strong antagonism toward government and its institutions. Berkman holds that the sole purpose of the government is to uphold the market based economy that suits the capitalist/bourgeoisie class through pedagogy and legislation.
I will argue in favour of the state by first exploring how the state can be an antagonist toward market based interests and secondly by exploring how the state can successfully increase opportunity for its citizens and thus increase the freedom of individuals.
Read More…