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Anarchism: Arguments For and Against

by Albert Meltzer

1996, AK Press

Written by Darrell Anderson.

For more than 60 years Albert Meltzer was involved in political rebellions and spreading the philosophy of anarchism. He died in 1996 at the age of 76. In this short treatise Meltzer tried to offer readers his philosophy of anarchism, but his book fails miserably. This is a terrible book for any student of political theory who wants to learn more about the philosophy of anarchy.

The singular problem with Meltzer’s book is he failed repeatedly to define his terms. Meltzer uses many emotionally packed and potentially confusing words, such as socialism, communism, Marxism, Marxist-Leninism, bourgeoisie, proletariat, fascism, capitalism, property, authoritarianism, collectivism, statism, and syndicalism. Most surprisingly, Meltzer never explicitly defined anarchism, although he described how he thought anarchism worked.

Throughout his short book Meltzer presumed all people define in the same manner the words he used. For that reason, Meltzer’s book will only confuse novices and new students. This book should not be used to teach the uninitiated to the philosophy of anarchy. Even for those people who are better read and informed about political theory will find this book confusing because of Meltzer’s failure to define his terms.

Finis.

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