The State as a Cause of War: Anarchist and Autonomist Critiques of War

Authored by: Andrew Robinson

The Ashgate Research Companion to War

Print publication date:  January  2012
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754678267
eBook ISBN: 9781315613741
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041115

10.4324/9781315613741.ch5

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Abstract

States are major agents in most wars, and yet in the popular imagination and mainstream theory, anarchy – the absence of the state – is associated indissolubly with war. The state is generally viewed as a source of social peace and, therefore, its destruction is taken to be extremely threatening. The irony is that, while anarchists are stereotyped as archetypally violent bomb-throwers, anarchists are among the most consistent critics of dominant forms of war. The stereotype of the anarchist bomb-thrower contrasts with the reality of state violence and anarchist involvement in anti-militarism.

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