On Anarchism, by Noam Chomsky
“The essence of anarchism [is] the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.” —Noam Chomsky
With the specter of anarchy being invoked by the Right to sow fear, a cogent explanation of the political philosophy known as anarchism has never been more urgently needed. In On Anarchism, radical linguist, philosopher, and activist Noam Chomsky provides it. Known for his brilliant evisceration of American foreign policy, state capitalism, and the mainstream media, Chomsky remains a formidable and unapologetic critic of established authority and perhaps the world’s most famous anarchist.
On Anarchism sheds a much-needed light on the foundations of Chomsky’s thought, specifically his constant questioning of the legitimacy of entrenched power. The book gathers his essays and interviews to provide a short, accessible introduction to his distinctively optimistic brand of anarchism. Chomsky eloquently refutes the notion of anarchism as a fixed idea, suggesting that it is part of a living, evolving tradition, and he disputes the traditional fault lines between anarchism and socialism, emphasizing the power of collective, rather than individualist, action.
Including a retrospective interview with Chomsky where the author assesses his writings on anarchism to date, this is a book that is sure to challenge, provoke, and inspire. Profoundly relevant to our times, On Anarchism is a touchstone for political activists and anyone interested in deepening their understanding of anarchism and the power of collective action.