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|Part of the Politics series on|
| Anarchism Portal
Anti-statism is opposition to state intervention into personal, social or economic affairs. Anti-statist views may reject the state completely as well as rulership in general (e.g. anarchism), they may wish to reduce the size and scope of the state to a minimum (e.g. minarchism), or they may advocate a stateless society as a distant goal (e.g. autonomism). Henry David Thoreau expressed this evolutionary anti-statist view in his essay Civil Disobedience:
Radical anti-statists differ greatly according to the beliefs they hold in addition to anti-statism. Thus the categories of anti-statist thought are sometimes classified as collectivist or individualist.
A significant difficulty in determining whether a thinker or philosophy is anti-statist is the problem of defining the state itself. Terminology has changed over time, and past writers often used the word, "state" in a different sense than we use it today. Thus, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin used the term simply to mean a governing organization. Other writers used the term "state" to mean any law-making or law-enforcement agency. Karl Marx defined the state as the institution used by the ruling class of a country to maintain the conditions of its rule. According to Max Weber, the state is an organization with an effective legal monopoly on the use of force in a particular geographic area.
[The editor of Proudhon and Tucker's link has fixed it but advises that someone match those links up with the rest so they don't mess up the symmetry]
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