Anarchism: A Theoretical Analysis by Alan Ritter
The central claim of anarchism is that government, being the chief cause of human misery, must be replaced by a stateless society of strongly independent persons who are strongly bound together in a group. In an anarchist social order, individual and communal tendencies, now often contradictory, become mutually reinforcing so as to create a nurturing environment. The main purpose of this 1980 book is to vindicate this argument as presented by leading anarchists: William Godwin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Michael Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin. Early chapters are devoted to proving the anarchists consistent in seeking to combine the greatest individual development with the greatest communal unity. Later chapters show the plausibility of the various anarchists' models of the good society, of their criticisms of established institutions and of their strategies for creating an anarchist social order. The analysis presented accords the anarchists a leading voice in the debate among political theorists over how to create and organize a just society.