Why Anarchism? Why not socialism?

in #philosophy6 months ago

Among the anti-war crowd, there really are only two types: the socialists and the anarchists. All of these people mean well, are educated, and are fed up. The main difference is a belief in government or the need for government.

Anarchists and socialists settle on completely different ends of the political spectrum. Whether you choose socialism or anarchism is a serious foundational philosophical decision that people make. Anarchists believe that government is fundamentally unnecessary and ultimately that the only way to end war is to abolish governments.

Rational, well-meaning, Christian anarchists do not ask for the immediate and sudden destruction of the state. In fact, total non-violence is essential. Otherwise, people will always clamor for the need of the state. A good definition of the state is the entity designated by society to have a monopoly on force.

The state is abundant and in total control of every square mile of Earth. No sane person would suggest sudden demolition. However, an intellectual anarchist can understand that government is in fact unnecessary, that we could simply agree to abolish it, and that it is possible to work toward its eventual end.

A socialist by contrast believes firmly in the state. They believe that this "monopoly of force" must exist in the future utopia. Even Marx and Engels understood this contradiction and talked about a "withering away of the state" that would happen eventually. This may have been a disingenuous way to attract the intellectual anarchists of the time to communism or it may actually represent their secret and deeply held intellectual anarchism.

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