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The word ‘anarchy’ comes from the Greek anarkhia meaning contrary |
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The question below is from previous year CAT question from CAT 2020 exam comes from CAT Reading Comprehension: The word ‘anarchy’ comes from the Greek anarkhia meaning contrary . Find out by answering this question which tests an aspirant’s CAT VARC skills:

CAT 2020 – Slot -1 - Question 1 - The word ‘anarchy’ comes from the Greek anarkhia meaning contrary

Set 1- The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question for RC about "The word ‘anarchy’ comes from the Greek anarkhia meaning contrary" ;

The word ‘anarchy’ comes from the Greek anarkhia meaning contrary to authority or without a ruler, and was used in a derogatory sense until 1840, when it was adopted by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to describe his political and social ideology. Proudhon argued that organization without government was both possible and desirable. In the evolution of political ideas, anarchism can be seen as an ultimate projection of both liberalism and socialism, and the differing strands of anarchist thought can be related to their emphasis on one or the other of these.

Historically, anarchism arose not only as an explanation of the gulf between the rich and the poor in any community, and of the reason why the poor have been obliged to fight for their share of a common inheritance, but as a radical answer to the question ‘What went wrong?’ that followed the ultimate outcome of the French Revolution. It had ended not only with a reign of terror and the emergence of a newly rich ruling caste, but with a new adored emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, strutting through his conquered territories.

The anarchists and their precursors were unique on the political Left in affirming that workers and peasants, grasping the chance that arose to bring an end to centuries of exploitation and tyranny, were inevitably betrayed by the new class of politicians, whose first priority was to re-establish a centralized state power. After every revolutionary uprising, usually won at a heavy cost for ordinary populations, the new rulers had no hesitation in applying violence and terror, a secret police, and a professional army to maintain their control.

For anarchists the state itself is the enemy, and they have applied the same interpretation to the outcome of every revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries. This is not merely because every state keeps a watchful and sometimes punitive eye on its dissidents, but because every state protects the privileges of the powerful.

The mainstream of anarchist propaganda for more than a century has been anarchist-communism, which argues that property in land, natural resources, and the means of production should be held in mutual control by local communities, federating for innumerable joint purposes with other communes. It differs from state socialism in opposing the concept of any central authority. Some anarchists prefer to distinguish between anarchist-communism and collectivist anarchism in order to stress the obviously desirable freedom of an individual or family to possess the resources needed for living, while not implying the right to own the resources needed by others. . . .

There are, unsurprisingly, several traditions of individualist anarchism, one of them deriving from the ‘conscious egoism’ of the German writer Max Stirner (1806–56), and another from a remarkable series of 19th-century American figures who argued that in protecting our own autonomy and associating with others for common advantages, we are promoting the good of all. These thinkers differed from free-market liberals in their absolute mistrust of American capitalism, and in their emphasis on mutualism.

Q. 1: Which one of the following best expresses the similarity between American individualist anarchists and free-market liberals as well as the difference between the former and the latter? 

A. Both reject the regulatory power of the state; but the former favour a people’s state, while the latter favour state intervention in markets.
B. Both prioritise individual autonomy; but the former also emphasise mutual dependence, while the latter do not do so.
C. Both are sophisticated arguments for capitalism; but the former argue for a morally upright capitalism, while the latter argue that the market is the only morality.
D. Both are founded on the moral principles of altruism; but the latter conceive of the market as a force too mystical for the former to comprehend.

Correct Answer B

Individualist anarchism, according to the last paragraph, involves “protecting our own

autonomy and associating with others for common advantages”. The last line of the passage states that these thinkers “differed from free-market liberals in their absolute mistrust of American

capitalism, and in their emphasis on mutualism.”In other words, while both individualist anarchists and free-market thinkers agreed on the importance of individual autonomy, individualist anarchists distrusted capitalism and put emphasis on mutualism while free-market thinkers did not.

All other options mention ideas like state intervention in markets, morally upright capitalism and altrusim which are not discussed in the passage.

Q. 2: The author makes all of the following arguments in the passage, EXCEPT: 

A. Individualist anarchism is actually constituted of many streams, all of which focus on the autonomy of the individual.
B. The popular perception of anarchism as espousing lawlessness and violence comes from a mainstream mistrust of collectivism.
C. For anarchists, the state is the enemy because all states apply violence and terror to maintain their control.
D. The failure of the French Revolution was because of its betrayal by the new class of politicians who emerged from it.

Correct Answer B.

The passage makes no mention of the mainstream mistrust of collectivism.

In the last paragraph, the passage states that “there are, unsurprisingly, several traditions of individualist anarchism..”. So, option A is true.

Option C is true, based on paragraphs 3 and 4: “For anarchists the state itself is the enemy….because

every state keeps a watchful and sometimes punitive eye on its dissidents..”. Paragraph 3 talks about the “violence and terror” applied by centralised state power.

Option D is also true, based on paragraphs 2 and 3: French Revolution “had ended not only with a

reign of terror and the emergence of a newly rich ruling caste” and “workers and peasants, grasping the chance that arose to bring an end to centuries of exploitation and tyranny, were inevitably betrayed by the new class of politicians…”

Q. 3: According to the passage, what is the one idea that is common to all forms of anarchism?

A. There is no idea common to all forms of anarchism; that is why it is anarchic.
B. They all focus on the primacy of the power of the individual.
C. They all derive from the work of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.
D. They are all opposed to the centralisation of power in the state.

Correct Answer D.

The passage clearly states that “for anarchists the state itself is the enemy and they have applied the same interpretation to the outcome of every revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries.”.

Note that option B is incorrect because it talks of the ‘primacy’ of the individual while anarchism puts emphasis on mutualism.\

Q. 4: The author believes that the new ruling class of politicians betrayed the principles of the French Revolution, but does not specify in what way. In the context of the passage, which statement below is the likeliest explanation of that betrayal?

A. The new ruling class rode to power on the strength of the workers’ revolutionary anger, but then turned to oppress that very class.
B. The anarchists did not want a new ruling class, but were not politically strong enough to stop them.
C. The new ruling class was constituted mainly of anarchists who were against the destructive impact of the Revolution on the market.
D. The new ruling class struck a deal with the old ruling class to share power between them.

Correct Answer  A.

The passage discusses the French Revolution and goes on to state in paragraph 3 that “after every revolutionary uprising, usually won at a heavy cost for ordinary populations, the new rulers had no hesitation in applying violence and terror, a secret police, and a professional army to maintain their control.”So, option A is the correct choice.

Q. 5: Of the following sets of concepts, identify the set that is conceptually closest to the concerns of the passage. 

A. Anarchism, Betrayal, Power, State.
B. Revolution, State, Strike, Egoism.
C. Revolution, State, Protection, Liberals.
D. Anarchism, State, Individual, Freedom.

Correct Answer  D.

Only options A and D mention anarchism, which is the main idea of the passage. Option A does not mention ‘freedom’ and individual’, which are discussed in the last two paragraphs. So, D is the best choice.

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