Political thinkers

It is customary to relate the development of anarchism as a recognized political idealogy to four pioneering political philophers. William Godwin (1756-1836), an English political philosopher of middle class heritage wrote a treatise that set forth an anarchist argument against a central government, private property, the law and all institutions of the state (Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, 1793). Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), was one of the first to declare himself 'an anarchist' and wrote 'Property is Theft' referring to ownership as derived from capitalist exploitation enforced by property laws and the police (What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government 1840). He also declared that 'Anarchy is Order without Power'. Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876), a Russian noble by birth was a revolutionary and political philosopher who theorized 'collective anarchism'. Finally, Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921), another Russian aristocrat, political thinker is the most commonly read globally and linked anarchism both to everyday experience and to social ecology. He authored several essays, including The Conquest of Bread (1892) about a post-revolutionary society that was self-organized and Mutual Aid (1902), which argued that cooperation amongst humans and other animal species is a more significant contribution to survival than is competition.

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