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Anarchism as a political philosophy seeks to dissolve all forms of authority and power, and if possible, wishes their complete abolition. Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism p47, 1992
The measure of the state’s success is that the word anarchy frightens people, while the word state does not. Joseph Sobran
Government and cooperation are in all things the laws of life; anarchy and competition the laws of death. John Ruskin, Unto this Last, 1862
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack of all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. W B Yeats, The Second Coming
There is absolute truth in anarchism and it is to be seen in its attitude to the sovereignty of the state and to every form of state absolutism ... The religious truth of anarchism consists in this, that power over man is bound up with sin and evil, that a state of perfection is a state where there is no power of man over man, that is to say, anarchy. The Kingdom of God is freedom and the absence of such power in the Kingdom of God is anarchy. Nikolai Berdyaev, in Slavery and Freedom p147, 1939
Anarchy: it’s a most attractive political doctrine but I’m afraid it’s too optimistic. Kenneth Clark, Civilisation 12/13: The Fallacies of Hope, BBC 1969
Anarchists or revolutionists can no more be made than musicians. All that can be done is to plant the seeds of thought. Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays ***** audiobook 6.57.08
In meeting the audience is distracted by a thousand inconsequentials. ibid.
Anarchism could not hope to escape the fate of all other ideas of innovation. Indeed, as the most revolutionary and uncompromising innovator, anarchism must needs meet with the combined ignorance and venom of the world it aims to reconstruct. ibid.
Anarchism: the philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law. ibid.
Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness himself which maintains that God, the state and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void since they can be fulfilled only through man’s subordination. ibid.
Poor human nature – what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! ibid.
Anarchism then really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property, liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth. ibid.
Anarchism therefore stands for direct action, the open defiance of, and resistance to, all laws and restrictions, economic, social, and moral. ibid.
That cursed society in which one may see a single man spending uselessly enough to feed thousands of families, an infamous society which permits a few individuals to monopolise all the social wealth while there are hundreds of thousands of unfortunates who have not even enough bread that is not refused to dogs, and while entire families are committing suicide for want of the necessities of life. ibid.
I’m interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activity that appears to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom. Jim Morrison, cited Time magazine 24th January 1968
Anarchy is the only slight glimmer of hope. Mick Jagger
There’s quite a lot of anarchy in every comic. Ken Dodd
Anarchism is a game at which the police can beat you. George Bernard Shaw, Misalliance, 1914
The ultimate ideal to which society should approximate. Bertrand Russell
I suppose you feel that it’s very important your paper should continue. I has some mission to help us all on our way. How do you see that happening? Total anarchy. Oh you’re awfully total, aren’t you? Mind you, I think anarchy in the abstract has a certain drawing power. Yes, then I stop and I think, Who is going to be responsible for the drains? Well, I think you should think about that, Mervin. Plumbing is central to the better life. People who want to get rid of everything never quite see it through, I don’t think. Joyce Grenfell, on stage in armchair 1972
They that are discontented under monarchy, call it tyranny; and they that are displeased with aristocracy, call it oligarchy; so also, they which find themselves grieved under a democracy, call it anarchy, which signifies the want of government; and yet I think no man believes, that want of government, is any new kind of government. Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679, Leviathan
What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice. Ursula K LeGuinn, The Day Before the Revolution
The roots of the word ‘anarchy’ are ‘an archos’, ‘no leaders’, which is not really about the kind of chaos that most people imagine when the word ‘anarchy’ is mentioned. I think that anarchy is, to the contrary, about taking personal responsibility for yourself. Alan Moore
I was the only guy with any bit of anarchy left. Sid Vicious
Undermine their pompous authority, reject their moral standards, make anarchy and disorder your trademarks. Cause as much chaos and disruption as possible but don’t let them take you alive. Sid Vicious
Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart. Jeremy Bentham
There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds. Albert Camus
I don’t believe in anarchy, because it will ultimately amount to the power of the bully, with weapons. Gandhi is my life’s inspiration: passive resistance. I don’t want to live in the Thunderdome with Mad Max. John Lydon
The worst thing in this world, next to anarchy, is government. Henry Ward Beecher
If you hear Anarchy in the UK today your hair stands on end. It gives you the shivers. Vivienne Westwood
That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met. Noam Chomsky
The consistent anarchist ... should be a socialist, but a socialist of a particular sort. He will not only oppose alienated and specialized labor and look forward to the appropriation of capital by the whole body of workers, but he will also insist that this appropriation be direct, not exercised by some elite force acting in the name of the proletariat. Norm Chomsky
Dismantling the state is a core element of almost all left-anarchist thinking ... It’s a relationship that is maintained by obedience, by force, by tradition, by one or another form of sometimes physical, sometimes intellectual or moral coercion. If so, it ought to be dismantled. People ought to become liberated and discover that they are under a form of oppression which is illegitimate, and move to dismantle it. Noam Chomsky, Reluctant Icon interview 1990