chapter  6
22 Pages

The Anarchist Challenge

Anarchism has deep roots in the United States. “I heartily accept the motto — ‘That government is best which governs the least’: and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically,” declared Henry David Thoreau in 1849 (quoting Thomas Jefferson). He was disgusted by the role of the U.S. government in perpetuating slavery and in waging a dirty war against Mexico to seize much of its territory. “Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe — ‘That government is best which governs not at all’; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”1 This stakes out a political stance far to the left of all others.