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14. Power and Authority
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore the concepts of power and authority as they are understood in anarchism, focusing in particular on: (i) anarchists’ opposition to the concentration of power by particular institutions or individuals, e.g. the state; (ii) anarchists’ support of the power wielded by individuals that can be used to defuse concentrations of power; (iii) anarchists’ opposition to the kind of authority that demands that people act in a certain way, i.e. the power of command and necessary obedience; and (iv) the question of whether the authority that is associated with expertise is legitimate in an anarchist society.
In this course, Professor Ruth Kinna (Loughborough University) explores the idea of anarchism. In the first five modules, we introduce five key figures in anarchist thinking: Max Stirner (1806-65), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-65), Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876), Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921), and Emma Goldman (1869-1940). After that, we spend five modules exploring four key principles in anarchism: rejection of the state, liberty, economic freedom and utopianism. In the eleventh, twelfth and thirteen modules, we think about six different types of anarchism – individualism, collectivism, communism, egoism, social anarchism and syndicalism – before turning in the final four modules to explore seven key concepts in anarchism: power, authority, government, the state, altruism, autonomy and direct action.
Ruth Kinna is Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Loughborough University. She is a political theorist and historian of ideas with research interests in anarchism, nineteenth and early twentieth-century socialist thought, utopianism and contemporary radicalism. Her book William Morris: The Art of Socialism was published in 2000. She has since published The Beginner's Guide to Anarchism (Oneworld, 2005/2009), Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition (University of Edinburgh, 2016) and The Government of No One (Pelican, 2019).
Cite this Lecture
Kinna, R. (2020, February 17). Anarchism - Power and Authority [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/anarchism/power-and-authority
Kinna, Ruth. "Anarchism – Power and Authority." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Feb 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/anarchism/power-and-authority