Wednesday, 8 August 2018

'Anarchy' by E. Malatesta. (Part One)

I've just read the first two pages of the above today, which is only 43 pages long, that was written by Errico Malatesta (1853-1932) who was an Italian anarchist.

Of the two definitions, taken off Google, below I only thought it meant the first (1.1) where as in fact its original meaning, Malatesta points out, was the second definition (2.2).

noun: anarchy
  1. 1.
    a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems.

    "he must ensure public order in a country threatened with anarchy"

    synonyms:lawlessness, absence of government, nihilism, mobocracy, revolution, insurrection, riot, rebellion, mutiny, disorder, disorganization, misrule, chaos, tumult, turmoil, mayhem, pandemonium

    "the country is threatened with anarchy"
    antonyms:government, order
  2. 2.
    absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.
The point is that today there is a presumption that we need governments to function from day to day but I seem to recall recently that  Belgium survived 589 days without an elected government between 2010-11 and they seemed to manage just fine.

I'll have more to say when I've finished the book next week but suffice to say for now I for one think that the presumption that we cannot survive without the level of governance we currently have is wrong.

My main belief however is that what we need is not no governance but a different kind.


  1. Given your apparent interest in and commitment to the development of political theory I am astonished that you were not aware of definition 2. Note that although Belgium lacked one element of it's socio-political structures, most of its machinery of government continued effectively on auto-pilot.

  2. After school I joined the Army and political theory was the last thing on my mind for many years. So I'm a relative late comer to PT with many gaps in my knowledge.

    What's your background?