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Prometheus Against the Leviathan
Costas Despiniadis

Black Rose Books

Regular price $25.00

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Prometheus Against the Leviathan: Theories About the State

Costas Despiniadis

 

"An essential introduction to the state's dominant justifying myths, Prometheus Against the Leviathan matches its insightful critiques of Western political thought with sustained attention to anarchist voices. This book is both impressively well-studied and a pleasure to read."

– Uri Gordon, author of Anarchy Alive

"An essential work to know the philosophical and anthropological origins of anarchism born naturally as a critique of the political theories of the State indebted to the bourgeois conception of the citizen as owner and of the State as guarantor of capital."

–Juan Merino, CNT-FAL Aranjuez!

 

An examination of the emergence of the modern state and anarchist critiques of it.

The emergence of the modern nation-state created institutions of political and economic power unrivalled in human history. This volume argues that, nonetheless, the existence of the state is not an inevitable “end of history,” provided an informed citizenry remembers that all institutions are fleeting and can change in the face of popular resistance. After all, Costas Despiniadis argues, the state is the exception in human history, a deviation from millennia of stateless societies. Perhaps the most thorough contemporary review of theories of the state and its formation, this book considers the work of Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Hegel, and Marx before turning to examine anarchist readings of the state by Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Striner, Landauer, and Nietzsche, finding that anarchist criticisms of the state are borne out by history, and that their theories more closely resemble the anthropological records of communities that were clearly more egalitarian and less violent.

Costas Despiniadis is a writer, publisher, translator, and editor. He is the author of six books, including The Anatomist of Power: Franz Kafka and the Critique of Authority.

Table of Contents

  • PROLOGUE
  • 1. ON THE ROCK OF PROMETHEUS: CASES OF PRACTICAL CRITICISM OF THE JUSTICE AND POWER IN THE ANCIENT GREEK LITERATURE
  • 2. BETWEEN LEVIATHAN AND BEHEMOTH: THOMAS HOBBES’ POLITOLOGY
  • 3. JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU: THE LEGISLATOR ILLUSTRATED AS THE EXPRESSION OF THE STATE
  • 4. JOHN LOCKE: STATUS AND OWNERSHIP
  • 5. HEGEL AND MARX: THE STATE AS AN IDEA AND AS A SOCIAL CLASS MECHANISM
  • 6. PIERRE-JOSEPH PRUDON: PROPERTY, MUTUALISM, FEDERALISM
  • 7. MICHAEL BAKUNIN: THE RED DEVIL OF THE BARRICADES
  • 8. PIOTR KROPOTKIN: THE WISE ANARCHIST PRINCE AGAINST THE STATE
  • 9. MAX STIRNER: THE PEACEFUL ENEMY OF ALL COERCION
  • 10. GUSTAV LANDAUER: HE COMMUNITY/ SOCIETY AGAINST THE STATE
  • 11. NIETZSCHE’S CASE: "WHERE THE STATE ENDS, MAN BEGINS"
  • 12. OTHER ANARCHISTS ON THE STATE
  • 13. ANTHROPOLOGY, STATE AND ANARCHISM
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY

Prometheus Against the Leviathan Retail Prices
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