State & Anarchy


By: Parveen Kaswan (Follow for more updates)

The term ‘State’, as it is used today, is coined by an Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli who was based in Florence during the Renaissance period. Though there were such terms utilised by numerous philosophers in previous time span also, like City Sate by Plato and Aristotle and Indian version of state by Kautilya. Machiavelli propounded hypothesis of a powerful state which is ruled by King, through his book ‘The Prince’, who is controlling everything. Then in subsequent years many philosophers came and gave their Ideas about state and governance. In this series Thomas Hobbes is also a big name, he proposed ‘Leviathan’ – an all-powerful state. He also gave a theory of ‘State of Nature’, according to him before the modern society and state there was something which was not so arranged and lawful. As per Hobbes everyone in state of nature was common in power and there was aggregate liberty. Because of the conditions prevailing in that time everyone was fighting with another for preserving their life and property. There was not any central authority and life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. From this point all people formulated a political society and government by mutual contracts by which they submitted their unlimited liberty and began emulating law. This surrender of liberty and rights provided legitimacy to the authority to govern but only according to rules.

Somewhat similar theory of mutual contract is proposed by John Locke, who is also considered as father of classical liberalism, aside from the condition of individuals in State of Nature.

So a state is made by backing of all individuals and a democratic government is structured by backing of majority part. Now everything is done according to set laws and standards. The American independence gave world the first form of modern constitution and French revolution gave the idea of liberty, equality and fraternity. Unification of Italy and Germany also put weight behind the terms like Nation-State.

The most ideal approach to spare freedom or to furnish opportunity is to make this emancipation/liberty constrained in nature. As might be seen Indian constitution gives crucial fundamental rights however they are not absolute in nature, each one right has their characteristic farthest point and as an exchange individuals have a few obligations. As per this tenet you are allowed to turn your hands until you don’t hit somebody with that. Any work of state can’t be self-assertive however it ought to be dependent upon the standards of the constitution – which is a structure consistent with which a sovereign state should function.

Without working according to fixed framework there cannot be liberty and there will be chaos all around. That is the reason each chosen functionary will take vow while pledges to maintain the law and constitution. The onus of maintaining the law is all the more on delegates in light of the fact that they are the person who are speaking for the civilized social order. They have to work according to the laws and fair means to achieve the intended ends. As Mahatma Gandhi and Emanuel Kant has said ‘means are more paramount than ends’, which is likewise propounded by deontology.

The oxford dictionary defines Anarchy as “a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems”. So in short it is a circumstance where there is no power of state or individuals don’t distinguish the law and legitimate instrument.

It is not true that all anarchists oppose all rules or organizations but there are many versions of them. Some believe in voluntary, non-hierarchical and self-organization also. Gandhi favored anarchy over other means many times, but at the same time he considered it as a last resort and was ardent follower of rules (even rules of Britishers). Gandhi was against the present political party system as he favored party-less politics and decentralization of power. Same views of political framework were proposed by M.N Roy. Once Gandhi said “It is better to be an ANARCHIST then the one who observes the UNJUST LAWS”, though matter can be debated in what circumstances he conveyed this. Legitimacy or justness of laws should not be tested according to perceptions because then it will lose its very purpose. In modern times all kind of separatists are by default anarchists and they justify it by their own version of justice.

Of late their is a tendency to justify the acts of Anarchism by calling it ‘Revolution’ also. People started quoting Gandhi to justify these acts, like one quote mentioned above. Though quote is perfect and words are real but people don’t follow the context, in what circumstances he used these words. They are quoting a person fighting with the hegemony of foreign power who wants his country to be free from Britishers, but now people are using it in a system which is ruled by a democratic frameowrk and laws are established by people of the country. But they don’t quote other people who have shown this tendency in free country like Lenin during October revolution and Hitler during his uprising. They don’t quote Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China, who famously said “Power flows from the barrel of the Gun”. Mao considered power as a mean and power as an end, and an ardent follower of Marxist-Leninist theories for which we can give him credit for the term ‘Maoists’. These all defied the laws, all were part of bloody uprisings, but nobody will quote them knowingly.

Being son of a farmer and who is much disappointed by the dismal conditions of farmers and farm sector, where thousands are dying because of hunger and suicides, I should be follower of Mao. The sector which is highly neglected, and people involved are not even considered as the part of the ‘Great Indian Medium class’. I should follow ideologies which see the agrarian peasantry, rather than the working class and democratic institution, as the key revolutionary force which can fundamentally transform society towards socialism or towards inclusive development. The current format of democracy by default provides the elites of system a channel for propaganda and media in this system is controlled by well-off city based people who doesn’t show the rural agrarian problems, as it should. I am just imagining how these intellectuals (who justify revolution) will react when these millions of farmers will jump on anarchism to achieve their ends which is to take power for equitable society and to fulfill their natural rights.

The people who justify anarchism can not give a single example of any free country in world where the elected government have justified these acts.


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