anyone doing political ideologies unit 3b on tuesday? can somebody help with a plan for this question?
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to what extent is anarchism a utopian creed? watch
- Thread Starter
- 01-06-2013 11:36
- 01-06-2013 12:48
Firstly we must establish the meaning of "utopian". If something is utopian, then that is a criticism to state that a particular view or outlook is simply unrealistic and unachievable.
I'm guessing this was a 45 marker and if so they wanted a variety of points to explain how anarchism is utopian and others arguing how it is not. I'll list out a few various ideas:
- Conservatives who hold a very pessimistic view of human nature would argue that a society without a state would never work. Due to individuals being egoistical and self interested, they will always aim to further enhance their own interests. Thus power is always going to be a natural characteristic which individuals strive to acquire. Hence to say society will happily operate without a sense of authority is merely a utopian creed.
- Additionally, many liberals would agree with conservatives that due to individuals being self in
terested, a state is essential to place restrictions into place to prevent individuals from infringing on the freedom of others through acting on other regarding actions which are unjust as John Stuart Mill stated. Conservatives and Liberals would therefore agree that a state is a "necessary evil" as expressed by Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, albeit to differing extents.
- Marxist would argue that despite human nature is sociable and wishes to live in social harmony and social solidarity among one another, a state is still an essential institution required in order for the ideal society to be reached. The likes of Karl Marx would agree with Mikhail Bakunin that there is a bourgeoisie state which only acts to further enhance the interests of the bourgeoisie in society. However, anarchists would argue that the state must be taken down at once for it is a coercive and compulsory body and power corrupts absolutely thus it must be abolished. Communists would argue that this is utopian for in order for communism to be successful and for society to operate under common ownership and collectivisation, the state is essential as acting as the dictatorship of the proletariat; a working class state which can prevent counter revolution of the bourgeoisie and ensure the transition to communism is successful.
- I'm not sure how you would argue much against it being a realistic creed though. Maybe, you could push forward with Murray Rothbard's idea of anarcho-capitalism and use that to explain that with the ever advancing rise of capitalism throughout the world, it is seen a more acceptable idea to believe that society could operate around a purely free market of laissez faire economics, where market fundamentalism would be at the heart of society.
- You can then look at previous history and explain how anarchism has arguably not been very successful and has gained a bad reputation. Anarcho-syndicalists such as Georges Sorel and has violent ideas have potentially resulted in anarchism been seen as a barbaric movement which cannot be taken seriously in contention with other ideologies such as Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism. In recent years, acts such as the London Riots have been referred to as anarchic acts which simply go to show how human nature can be violent and dangerous, hence to live in a society with absence of a state is seen by most as a ludicrous proposal. Hence you can come to a logical conclusion that anarchism is a utopian creed