Anarchism has its roots in the Diggers and Levellers of England in the 1600’s. They
advocated for equality, reclaiming freedom, and creating a classless society. The main thinkers
in Anarchism consisted of William Godwin, Mikhail Bakanun, Emma Goldman and Paul
Goodman. The main focus of all of their ideas was around freedom from the state, and the idea
that human nature is generally good, but easily corruptible. Anarchism advocates for a stateless
society, where individuals come together freely without coercion, and generally reject the idea of
private property, with some exceptions.
William Godwin (17561836) was one of the original founders of anarchism. He
believed the state was an institution that by its very nature, oppressed individual freedom, and
advocated for a free society, that was egalitarian by nature instead, leaving the state unnecessary.
At a core a utilitarian, he believed in human nature being generally good if left uncorrupted(by
the state) and that an individual should produce as much happiness in the world as they are
capable. The idea of the state for him was in essence taking the power of the many, and putting
it in the hands of the few, and that this kind of power was corrupting. He believed that our nature
is formed by social constructs and experience, namely the education we receive. Our education
then had the greatest influence over our actions and opinions in the world. As far as the
institution of property, he believed this was the main function of the state, and that this was
unnecessary, caused great inequity, and should not be used as a way of controlling labour power.
Additionally he didn’t believe in the institution of marriage, as it was a way of oppre