On Anarchism

The essential primer to the political theory of the thinker the New York Times deemed “arguably the most important intellectual alive”

“The essence of anarchism [is] the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.” —Noam Chomsky

Radical linguist, philosopher, and activist Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s foremost intellectuals. Known for his brilliant evisceration of American foreign policy, state capitalism, and the mainstream media, he remains a formidable and unapologetic critic of established authority.

On Anarchism sheds a much-needed needed light on the foundations of Chomsky’s thought, specifically his constant questioning of the legitimacy of entrenched power. The book gathers his essays and interviews to provide a short, accessible introduction to his distinctively optimistic brand of anarchism. Chomsky eloquently refutes the notion of anarchism as a fixed idea, suggesting that it is part of a living, evolving tradition, and he disputes the traditional fault lines between anarchism and socialism, emphasizing the power of collective, rather than individualist, action.

Including a revealing new interview with Chomsky by well-known writer and blogger Nathan Schneider that assesses Chomsky’s writings on anarchism to date, this is a book that is sure to challenge, provoke, and inspire. Profoundly relevant to our times, On Anarchism is a touchstone for political activists and anyone interested in deepening their understanding of anarchism and the man dubbed the “nation’s conscience.”

Books by Noam Chomsky

American Power and the New Mandarins
Historical and Political Essays

Noam Chomsky

For Reasons of State

Noam Chomsky

Understanding Power
The Indispensable Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, Peter R. Mitchell, John Schoeffel

The Cold War and the University
Toward an Intellectual History of the Postwar Years

Noam Chomsky, Ira Katznelson, R.C. Lewontin, David Montgomery, Laura Nader, Richard Ohmann, Ray Siever, Immanuel Wallerstein, Howard Zinn