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Who are the major anarchist thinkers?

by Bryan Caplan

The most famous left-anarchists have probably been Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin. Pierre Proudhon is also often included although his ideas on the desirability of a modified form of private property would lead some to exclude him from the leftist camp altogether. (Some of Proudhon's other heterodoxies include his defence of the right of inheritance and his emphasis on the genuine antagonism between state power and property rights.) More recent left-anarchists include Emma Goldman, Murray Bookchin, and Noam Chomsky.

Anarcho-capitalism has a much more recent origin in the latter half of the twentieth century. The two most famous advocates of anarcho-capitalism are probably Murray Rothbard and David Friedman. There were however some interesting earlier precursors, notably the Belgian economist Gustave de Molinari. Two other nineteenth-century anarchists who have been adopted by modern anarcho-capitalists with a few caveats are Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner. (Some left-anarchists contest the adoption, but overall Tucker and Spooner probably have much more in common with anarcho-capitalists than with left-anarchists.)

Political Spectrum Quiz Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions