Why not anarchism?

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 21 (4):415-436 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Volume 21, Issue 4, Page 415-436, November 2022. Recent debates over ideal theory have reinvigorated interest in the question of anarchy. Would a perfectly just society need—or even permit—a state? Ideal anarchists such as Jason Brennan, G.A. Cohen, Christopher Freiman, and Jacob Levy argue that strict compliance with justice obviates the need for a state. Ideal statists such as David Estlund, Gregory Kavka, and John Rawls think that coercive political institutions serve indispensable functions even in ideal conditions. This paper defends ideal anarchism. Our argument begins by describing a camping trip inspired by Cohen that illustrates why an anarchist form of cooperation is more intrinsically desirable than the statist alternative. After detailing Rawls's ideal theory and Estlund's “nonconcessive” moral theory, we argue—contrary to Rawls, Estlund, and Kavka—that large-scale societies without moral imperfection do not need a state.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,528

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Chapter 1 Crowned Anarchy-Anarchy-Anarchism – Countereffectuating Deleuze and Guattari’s Politics.Aragorn Eloff - 2019 - In Chantelle Gray Van Heerden & Aragorn Eloff (eds.), Deleuze and Anarchism. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 9-30.
Anarchism: A Theoretical Analysis.Robert Graham - 1985 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1985 (64):197-202.
Could Walden two be an anarchist society?Carlos Eduardo Lopes - 2020 - Behavior and Social Issues 29:195–217.
Against Philosophical Anarchism.Fabian Wendt - 2020 - Law and Philosophy 39 (5):527-544.
Karl Marx and the Anarchists.Eugene Lunn - 1984 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1984 (59):212-216.
Karl Marx and the Anarchists.Graham Baugh - 1984 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1984 (59):216-224.


Added to PP

121 (#135,058)

6 months
27 (#93,964)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Christopher Freiman
College of William and Mary
Jason Brennan
Georgetown University

Citations of this work

The moral benefits of coercion: A defense of ideal statism.Naima Chahboun - 2024 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 23 (1):47-66.

Add more citations

References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Justice as fairness: a restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.

View all 20 references / Add more references