Against the State and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $1.00 (5%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Friday, April 18? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Wear to the cover and/or dust jacket and some pages no writing or highlighting inside. ITEM SHIPS FBA FROM AMAZON!!! GET IT FAST!!!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Against the State: An Introduction to Anarchist Political Theory Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0791474488 ISBN-10: 0791474488

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$60.56 $25.92
Paperback
"Please retry"
$18.95
$18.92 $7.02

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Against the State: An Introduction to Anarchist Political Theory + Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice (Independent Studies in Political Economy) + Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction
Price for all three: $67.69

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (May 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791474488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791474488
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In Against the State, Crispin Sartwell unleashes a quick and brutal rejection of the traditional arguments for state legitimacy. Sartwell considers the classics of Western political philosophy--Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, Hume, Bentham, Rawls, and Habermas, among others--and argues that their positions are not only wrong but also embarrassingly bad. He separates the traditional pro-state arguments into three classes: social contract theories, utilitarian justifications, and justicial views, all while attacking both general strategies and particular formulations. Sartwell argues that the state rests on nothing but deadly force and its accompanying coercion, and that no one is under any obligation to obey the law merely because it is the law. He concludes by articulating a positive vision of an anarchist future, based on the "individualism" of such figures as Emerson and Thoreau. Against the State provides a rigorous and provocative foil to the classic texts, and also serves as a concise statement of the anarchist challenge.

"Sartwell's work stands in the Thoreauvian tradition he admires--simultaneously lyrical and plainspoken, intensely personal yet theoretically compelling. Transcending the hackneyed opposition between individualist and communitarian approaches to politics, Sartwell's spirited, engaging, and insightful critique of the state reminds us of the essentially barbarous nature of that institution, forcefully engages the classic arguments on its behalf, and makes a vigorous and inspiring case for a humane anarchist alternative." -- Roderick T. Long, Auburn University

"Sartwell is unabashed and unrelenting in pointing out the unquestioned absurdities at the foundation of the state's legitimacy. His refusal to accept any assumption on faith or to turn away from logical conclusions is the book's greatest strength." -- Dana Ward, coauthor of Political Reasoning and Cognition: A Piagetian View --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Crispin Sartwell is Associate Professor of Political Science at Dickinson College and the author of several books, including Obscenity, Anarchy, Reality and Extreme Virtue: Truth and Leadership in Five Great American Lives, both also published by SUNY Press. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on July 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So says author Crispin Sartwell in the Introduction to his Against the State: An Introduction to Anarchist Political Theory. In asserting this, he intends at least three things: to deflate the canard that anarchism is merely wanton destruction; to distinguish anarchism from ideologies which prescribe detailed blueprints for human behavior; and to gesture, in a typical bit of wit, at the irony of writing a book on anarchist "political theory," since the latter term typically suggests a systemization that seems incompatible with the free spiritedness of anarchism.

"Mindful destruction" is also primarily what Against the State indulges in. Sartwell promises a future book on his positive anarchist vision. Here, his concern is to argue against conventional legitimations of the state. He goes after the three strongest defenses of what he takes to be the most legitimate kind of government, democracy: social contract, utilitarianism, and justicial (the position that the state is legitimated as the guarantor of social justice). Sartwell ultimately concludes that social contract models (Hobbes & Locke, primarily) rest on submission rather than consent, utilitarian models (Hume & Bentham) have no basis for claiming that the state produces more good than harm, and justicial models (Rawls, communitarianism, Habermas, with a side order of Randy Barnett), which frequently embrace elements of social contract, are legalisms that are perfectly compatible with repressive states.

Sartwell's "mindful destruction" of state-legitimations is sandwiched between an opening chapter in which he clarifies what he means by terms like "coercion," "force," "government," and "state," and a concluding one in which he provides an outline of the positive anarchism he embraces.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Crispin Sartwell gives a excellent overview why government is contigent on force and coercion. However he does not give reason why force and coercion are not necessary for an orderly society. Like most anarchists, he does not give the ways an anarchist society could come about and be maintained.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have any interest in Anarchist theory, or for that matter any political theories justifying the existence of States this is close to perfect.
Bottom line, I recommend this to friends.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CB on February 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book served as a great introduction to anarchist theory and offered insightful analysis into the monotony of political theories we are all brainwashed into accepting as divine gospel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Barbara And Byron Skinner on July 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I guess one star is as low as I can rate this "pamphlet" at only 115 pages of text it's hard to call it a book. In short this text is little more then a High School exercise in dicing 18th. and 19th. Century Political Philosophers like: Locke, Hobbes, Hume, Rousseau etc. Marx is dismissed out of hand as being a "...dictatorship of the party."

All the argurments are circular in nature and get back to the same conclusion that anarchy is anything that is not of an individual personal concent, which is fair to say, but also ends any consideration of any relationships then being alone without any contacts with another human being because a relationship that would be 100% consenual to two or more parties would be impossable because it would be coercion on at least one of the parties. Ok, so a state of anarchy can't possably exist, wow big news.

This book adds nothing to the dicussion of anarchy, in fact after reading it one has empithy for the lower divisional poly sci. students at Dickerson College who have to suffer Assoc. Professor Sartwell as an instructor.
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0xa60c44c8)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?