Daoism and Anarchism: Critiques of State Autonomy in Ancient by John A. Rapp

By John A. Rapp

This quantity within the modern Anarchist reports sequence specializes in anti-statist reviews in historic and glossy China and demonstrates that China doesn't have an unchallenged authoritarian political culture.

Treating anarchism as a critique of centralized country strength, the paintings first examines radical Daoist notion from the 4th century BCE to the ninth century CE and compares Daoist philosophers and poets to Western anarchist and utopian thinkers. this can be by way of a survey of anarchist topics in dissident inspiration within the People's Republic of China from 1949 to the current. A concluding bankruptcy discusses how Daoist anarchism should be utilized to any anarchist-inspired radical critique at the present time.

This paintings not just demanding situations the standard principles of the scope and nature of dissent in China, it additionally presents a different comparability of historic chinese language Daoist anarchism to Western anarchist. that includes formerly untranslated texts, comparable to the ninth century Buddhist anarchist tract, the Wunengzi, and essays from the PRC press, it is going to be a necessary source to an individual learning anarchism, chinese language political inspiration, political dissent, and political heritage.

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Additional info for Daoism and Anarchism: Critiques of State Autonomy in Ancient and Modern China (Contemporary Anarchist Studies)

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30 This is essentially the same point that Peter Kropotkin made using the language of nineteenth-century science in his famous pamphlet, “Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal,” where he claimed that the discoveries of modern astronomy and other natural sciences have led to a new realization that there is no purposive center or natural hierarchy in nature. As Kropotkin put it about the universe, “thus the center, the origin of force, formerly transferred from the earth to the sun, now turns out to be scattered and disseminated.

92 But of course one could argue that Western anarchists, given their positive view of human nature, also failed to give this explanation. Perhaps one could augment both anarchisms by taking the idea from modern anthropology that it was an increase in the social surplus created by accidental discoveries and improvements in agriculture that gave rise to a fight for control over this surplus, with government as the final justification and protection of the wealth of the winners. Even without such an argument, and while clearly not endorsing violent revolution, as opposed to Bakunin and his followers among Western anarchists, Bao Jingyan still has no sympathy with rulers and clearly presents an anarchist ideal in the place of state rule.

Hence the political method of letting alone did not demand “popular knowledge” and did not demand social equality . . 46 Thus, far from justifying a “ministerial bureaucracy” of an autocratic and centralized state, as Feldt somewhat anachronistically argues47 (since the imperial state had not formed yet), the classical Daoists may in fact have been opposing such tendencies as may have been growing but were far from universal during the Warring States period. indd 28 6/22/2012 4:00:44 PM DAOISM AND ANARCHISM RECONSIDERED 29 collective.

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