Parution : 09/2023
Editeur : Black Rose Books
ISBN : 978-1-5516-4783-8
Site de l'éditeur

Prometheus Against the Leviathan

Costas Despiniadis

Présentation de l’éditeur

An examination of the emergence of the modern state and anarchist critiques of it.

The emergence of the modern nation-state created institutions of political and economic power unrivalled in human history. This volume argues that, nonetheless, the existence of the state is not an inevitable “end of history,” provided an informed citizenry remembers that all institutions are fleeting and can change in the face of popular resistance. After all, Costas Despiniadis argues, the state is the exception in human history, a deviation from millennia of stateless societies. Perhaps the most thorough contemporary review of theories of the state and its formation, this book considers the work of Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Hegel, and Marx before turning to examine anarchist readings of the state by Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Striner, Landauer, and Nietzsche, finding that anarchist criticisms of the state are borne out by history, and that their theories more closely resemble the anthropological records of communities that were clearly more egalitarian and less violent.

Costas Despiniadis is a writer, publisher, translator, and editor. He is the author of six books, including The Anatomist of Power: Franz Kafka and the Critique of Authority.




1. On the rock of Prometheus: cases of practical criticism of the justice and power in the ancient greek literature

2. Between Leviathan and Behemoth: Thomas Hobbes’ politology

3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: the legislator illustrated as the expression of the State

4. John Locke: status and ownership

5. Hegel and Marx: the State as an idea and as a social class mechanism

6. Pierre-Joseph Prudon: property, mutualism, federalism

7. Michael Bakunin: the red devil of the barricades

8. Piotr Kropotkin: the wise anarchist prince against the State

9. Max Stirner: the peaceful enemy of all coercion

10. Gustav Landauer: he community/ society against the State

11. Nietzsche’s case: "where the state ends, man begins"

12. Other anarchists on the State

13. Anthropology, State and anarchism


 24,95 €