Shouldn’t citizens have a say in how they are governed? Or is that just a recipe for extremism, division, and war? Do we need a ruler with absolute power to maintain peace? This week we’re thinking about Thomas Hobbes and his views about citizenship and the state.
Before we can say whether an anarchist future is possible, we should start by saying what exactly anarchism is. Emma Goldman, the great American anarchist, defined it in 1910 as “the philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law.” Anarchists believe that all forms of government—be it a liberal democracy or a socialist state—are based on violence and coercion. To sum it up: government equals tyranny.