Anti-statism refers to opposition to state intervention into personal, social or economic affairs. Anti-statist views may reject the state completely as well as rulership in general (e.g. anarchism), they may wish to reduce the size and scope of the state to a minimum (e.g. minarchism), or they may advocate a stateless society as a distant goal (e.g. autonomism). Henry David Thoreau expressed this evolutionary anti-statist view in his essay "Civil Disobedience:"

:"I heartily accept the motto,—"That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,—"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men and women are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." []

General categories

Radical anti-statists differ greatly according to the beliefs they hold "in addition" to anti-statism. Thus the categories of anti-statist thought are sometimes classified as collectivist or individualist. Interpretations of the principles of anarchism are often contested between adherents of anarchism. There are social anarchists who are opposed to private property (such as anarcho-syndicalism, anarchist communism, anarcho-primitivism as well as some individualist anarchists) and other individualist anarchists who embrace private property (such as mutualism. agorism or anarcho-capitalism).

Anti-statist philosophies that seek to minimize the role or influence of the state are difficult to delimit. They range from panarchy (states competing in the same territory for patronage, an arrangement hard to distinguish from statelessness) to Marxism and Christian postmillennialism, which envision statelessness in the remote future, to liberalism (or more precisely classical liberalism), which seeks only to reduce, not abolish, the role of the state.

A significant difficulty in determining whether a thinker or philosophy is anti-statist is the problem of defining the state itself. Terminology has changed over time, and past writers often used the word, "state" in a different sense than we use it today. Thus, the anarchist Michael Bakunin used the term simply to mean a governing organization. Other writers used the term "state" to mean any law-making or law-enforcement agency. Karl Marx defined the state as the institution used by the ruling class of a country to maintain the conditions of its rule. According to Max Weber, the state is an organization with an effective monopoly on the use of force in a particular geographic area.

Anti-statist philosophies

Completely anti-statist

* General:
**Libertarian socialism
**Collectivist anarchism
**Individualist anarchism
**Christian anarchism
**Philosophical anarchism
**Green anarchism
**National anarchism
**Black anarchism
**Post-left anarchy
**Utopian anarchism
**Nihilist anarchism

Partially anti-statist, or anti-statism as an ideal or deferred programmatic goal

*Political philosophies related to liberalism:
**Classical liberalism

*Political philosophies related to Marxism:
**Left Communism and Council Communism

Chronology of anti-statist writing

::1548 ndash Étienne de la Boétie, ""::1793ndash William Godwin, " [ An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice] "::1825ndash Thomas Hodgskin, " [ Labour Defended against the Claims of Capital] "::1840ndash Pierre Proudhon, " [ What is Property?] "::1844ndash Max Stirner, " [ The Ego and Its Own] "::1848ndash Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, " [ The Communist Manifesto] "::1849ndash Henry David Thoreau, " [ Civil Disobedience] "::1849ndash Frédéric Bastiat, " [ The Law] "::1849ndash Gustave de Molinari, " [ The Production of Security] "::1851ndash Herbert Spencer, " [ The Right to Ignore the State] "::1866ndash Michael Bakunin, " [ Revolutionary Catechism] "::1867ndash Lysander Spooner, " [ No Treason] "::1886ndash Benjamin Tucker, " [ State Socialism and Anarchism: How far they agree, & wherein they differ] "::1902ndash Peter Kropotkin, " [ Mutual Aid] "::1917ndash Vladimir Lenin, " [ The State and Revolution] "::1935ndash Albert Jay Nock, " [ Our Enemy, the State] "::1962ndash Murray Rothbard, " [ Man, Economy & State with Power and Market] "::2001ndash Kevin A. Carson, " [ The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand]

ee also

*List of basic anarchism topics
*Anarchist communities

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