Is anarchism a viable alternative to the state?

Essay by katywattsUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, December 2003

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Wolff, in his 'In Defence of Anarchism' argues that anarchism in the only moral choice, and that all states are fundamentally illegitimate. Nozick also believes that, in political philosophy, before considering how a state should be organized, we must question whether the state should exist at all. It seems necessary therefore to consider whether anarchism is a viable option, given that there are convincing arguments that it is the only moral one. Forms of anarchy as an alternative to the state have been proposed. In 'Anarchy, Community and Liberty' Taylor argues that community could solve the problem of social order in an anarchic state. Nozick has argued that a market system could be the answer. However, before discussing the various forms of anarchy which might be viable alternatives to the state, it is necessary to consider various ideas of the state and anarchy. Anarchy is generally considered to be a state of disorder, Taylor, however, is quick to point out that anarchism as statelessness does not necessarily entail disorder.