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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which focuses on nineteenth-century American Anarchism, and sketches some possible arguments for the existence of a widespread lack of confidence in the current system of government of the United States. Much of the book will appeal to those who consider themselves libertarians rather than anarchists. Nineteenth century American Anarchism with its acceptance of the efficiency of free enterprise is close in its philosophy to the ideals of contemporary individualistic "market anarchists" who wish to preserve the marketplace while jettisoning the exploitative system of capitalism. Left-libertarians seek a guarantee of "basic income" for all citizens so that they can continuously attend to their families' needs. Right-libertarians also subscribe to many of the values of anarchists, including uneasiness about the pervasive loss of individual liberty. The chapter also presents an overview of how the other chapters in the book are organized.

Keywords: libertarians; market anarchists; nineteenth-century American Anarchism

10.1163/9789004251953_002
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