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Oxford University Press, USA
calls for a more anarchic, more courageous democracy. This is an ethic for people who know the rights they hold, and who struggle to rule themselves. This is an ethic for unfinished revolutions; an ethic for those who will not be mastered. This is an ethic for those who hold fast to the rights they have by nature. This is an ethic that requires courage.
Democracy is always a risky business; full of promise and danger. The promise is the freedom to rule ourselves. The danger is fear: fear of the unknown, fear of the unruly, fear of one another, fear of anarchy. Fear leads to authoritarianism. The fearful look for a strong hand, a powerful leader, a protector, a gun. Anarchy leads to courage, to self-reliance, self-discipline, self-rule, and solidarity. Anarchy is the nursery of democracy. It is not anarchy we have to fear, it is authoritarianism.
We have been taught to see the people as a problem to be managed. Anne Norton sees them as a source of strength. Anarchic democracy grows wild: springing from the everyday actions of ordinary human beings.
Liberalism and conservatism alike have turned away from the democratic, to institutions, rules, and regulations. Anne Norton turns to anarchic people who practice democratic ethics.
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