Title page from An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Vol. II.

Part of: An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, in 2 vols. An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Vol. II.

Godwin’s best known work of political theory. Written in the early years of the French Revolution before the Terror had begun, Godwin provides a devastating critique of unjust government institutions and optimistically proposes that individuals not the state can best provide for their needs. He believed that political change could best be brought about gradually and as a result of free discussion in small communities. This work has inspired many generations of radical thinkers.

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Key Quotes

The State

But this necessity (to resort to violence) does not arise out of the nature of man, but out of the institutions by which he has already been corrupted. Man is not originally vicious. He would not refuse to listen, or to be convinced by the expostulations that are addressed to him, had he not been…

Critical Responses

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