Political Theory

Download Daoism and Anarchism: Critiques of State Autonomy in Ancient by John A. Rapp PDF

By John A. Rapp

This quantity within the modern Anarchist stories sequence makes a speciality of anti-statist evaluations in historic and sleek China and demonstrates that China doesn't have an unchallenged authoritarian political culture.

Treating anarchism as a critique of centralized kingdom strength, the paintings first examines radical Daoist suggestion from the 4th century BCE to the ninth century CE and compares Daoist philosophers and poets to Western anarchist and utopian thinkers. this is often by means of a survey of anarchist issues in dissident proposal within the People's Republic of China from 1949 to the current. A concluding bankruptcy discusses how Daoist anarchism may be utilized to any anarchist-inspired radical critique this present day.

This paintings not just demanding situations the standard rules of the scope and nature of dissent in China, it additionally offers a different comparability of old chinese language Daoist anarchism to Western anarchist. that includes formerly untranslated texts, similar to the ninth century Buddhist anarchist tract, the Wunengzi, and essays from the PRC press, will probably be a necessary source to a person learning anarchism, chinese language political inspiration, political dissent, and political background.

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Extra resources for Daoism and Anarchism: Critiques of State Autonomy in Ancient and Modern China (Contemporary Anarchist Studies)

Sample text

78 Finally, though justifying rebellion as inevitable once government is established, Ruan Ji still paints a picture of this as an unfortunate occurrence—in other words, he is not openly advocating violent revolution as would, say, Bakunin. Nevertheless, within the thesis of this book, Ruan’s poem clearly contains an anarchist theory of the state. It should be noted that the Daoist anarchist critique occurs only in the first third of Ruan’s poem; in the latter two-thirds of the essay, the Great Man soars through the universe to attain harmony with the dao.

To sum up, then, this chapter starts from the position that the later WeiJin Daoist anarchists were firmly within the vision of the received DDJ and the Zhuangzi, that is, a positive vision of the freedom and human creativity that could be unleashed once the terrible authority of the state was removed. This vision could be achieved by a program of combining individual transformation with the need to realize our essential communal nature. Far from being a corrupt, less artistic vision, the explicitly anarchist side of Daoism in the hands of talented writers and poets such as Ruan Ji and Tao Qian (see sections on these poets in this chapter below) could demonstrate the powers of ziran in action.

In his ideal society, as in that of most Western anarchists, no crime occurs and no law and punishments are even dreamed of. Since the social environment of excess wealth and the coercion and oppression of government are the main causes of crime, at the same time, in the anarchist ideal of both Bao and Bakunin, crime will largely disappear. indd 39 6/22/2012 4:00:46 PM 40 DAOISM AND ANARCHISM only exacerbates the problem, according to both Bao and Western anarchists such as Bakunin, since it is the principle of rule that allows rulers to do harm and leads to the people’s violent reaction.

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