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Anarchism is a
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or un ...

political philosophy
and
movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referred to as movement Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Movement (short story), "Movement", a shor ...
that is sceptical of
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empiric ...

authority
and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of
hierarchy A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarch ...

hierarchy
. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, which it holds to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful. It is usually described alongside
libertarian Marxism Libertarian Marxism is a broad scope of and philosophies that emphasize the and aspects of . Early currents of libertarian Marxism such as emerged in opposition to . Libertarian Marxism is often critical of positions such as those held by . ...
as the
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing Freedom of assoc ...

libertarian
wing (
libertarian socialism Libertarian socialism, also referred to as anarcho-socialism, anarchist socialism, free socialism, stateless socialism, socialist anarchism and socialist libertarianism,Carlson, Jennifer D. (2012). "Libertarianism". In Miller, Wilburn R., ed. '' ...
) of the
socialist movement The history of socialism has its origins in the 1789 French Revolution and the changes which it brought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. ''The Communist Manifesto'' was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 ju ...
and as having a historical association with
anti-capitalism Anti-capitalism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use t ...
and
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
. The history of anarchy goes back to
prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, ...
, when humans arguably lived in anarchic societies long before the establishment of formal states,
realm A realm is a community or territory over which a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin ...

realm
s or
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

empire
s. With the rise of organised hierarchical bodies,
scepticism Skepticism (American English, American and Canadian English) or scepticism (British English, British, Hiberno-English, Irish, Australian English, Australian, and New Zealand English) is generally a questioning attitude or doubt towards one or m ...
toward authority also rose, but it was not until the 19th century that a self-conscious political movement emerged. During the latter half of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th century, the anarchist movement flourished in most parts of the world and had a significant role in workers' struggles for
emancipation Emancipation is any effort to procure Economic, social and cultural rights, economic and social rights, civil and political rights, political rights or Egalitarianism, equality, often for a specifically disenfranchised group, or more generally, i ...

emancipation
. Various
anarchist schools of thought Anarchism is the political philosophy which holds ruling classes and the State (polity), state to be undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, The following sources cite anarchism as a political philosophy: Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism." ''The Concise ...
formed during this period. Anarchists have taken part in several revolutions, most notably in the
Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War ( es, Guerra Civil Española)) or The Revolution ( es, La Revolución) among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War ( es, Cuarta Guerra Carlista) among Carlists Carlism ( eu, Karlismo; ca, Carlisme; ; ) is a Traditiona ...

Spanish Civil War
, whose end marked the end of the
classical era of anarchism The history of anarchism is as ambiguous as anarchism Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the a ...
. In the last decades of the 20th and into the 21st century, the anarchist movement has been resurgent once more. Anarchism employs a
diversity of tactics Diversity of tactics is a phenomenon wherein a social movement Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is ...
in order to meet its ideal ends which can be broadly separated into revolutionary and evolutionary tactics. There is significant overlap between the two which are merely descriptive. Revolutionary tactics aim to bring down authority and state, having taken a violent turn in the past. Evolutionary tactics aim to prefigure what an anarchist society would be like. Anarchist thought, criticism and
praxis Praxis may refer to: Philosophy and religion *Praxis (process), the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realized *Praxis model, a way of doing theology * Praxis (Byzantine Rite), the practice of faith, ...
have played a part in diverse areas of human society. Criticisms of anarchism include claims that it is internally inconsistent, violent, or utopian.


Etymology, terminology and definition

The etymological origin of ''anarchism'' is from the Ancient Greek ''anarkhia'', meaning "without a ruler", composed of the prefix ''an-'' (i.e. "without") and the word ''arkhos'' (i.e. "leader" or "ruler"). The suffix ''
-ism ''-ism'' is a suffix in many English words, originally derived from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. I ...
'' denotes the ideological current that favours
anarchy Anarchy is the state of a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – ...
. ''Anarchism'' appears in English from 1642 as ''anarchisme'' and ''anarchy'' from 1539; early English usages emphasised a sense of disorder. Various factions within the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
labelled their opponents as ''anarchists'', although few such accused shared many views with later anarchists. Many revolutionaries of the 19th century such as
William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those abou ...
(1756–1836) and
Wilhelm Weitling Wilhelm Christian Weitling (October 5, 1808 – January 25, 1871) was a German tailor, inventor, radical political activist and one of the first theorists of communism. Weitling gained fame in Europe as a social theorist before he emigrated to the ...
(1808–1871) would contribute to the anarchist doctrines of the next generation, but they did not use ''anarchist'' or ''anarchism'' in describing themselves or their beliefs. The first political philosopher to call himself an ''anarchist'' (french: anarchiste) was
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (, , ; 15 January 1809, Besançon – 19 January 1865, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated popu ...

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
(1809–1865), marking the formal birth of anarchism in the mid-19th century. Since the 1890s and beginning in France, ''
libertarianism Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of p ...
'' has often been used as a synonym for anarchism and its use as a synonym is still common outside the United States. On the other hand, some use ''libertarianism'' to refer to
individualistic Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships betwe ...
free-market In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goo ...
philosophy only, referring to
free-market anarchism Free-market anarchism, or market anarchism, also known as free-market anti-capitalism and free-market socialism, is the branch of anarchism that advocates a free-market economic system based on voluntary interactions without the involvement o ...
as ''libertarian anarchism''. While the term ''libertarian'' has been largely synonymous with anarchism, its meaning has more recently diluted with wider adoption from ideologically disparate groups, including both the
New Left The New Left was a broad political movement mainly in the 1960s and 1970s consisting of activists in the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various s, s and , depending on the context, most often consisti ...
and libertarian Marxists (who do not associate themselves with authoritarian socialists or a
vanguard party In the context of the theory of Leninist revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political act ...
) as well as extreme
liberals Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...

liberals
(primarily concerned with
civil liberties Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution, legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgat ...
). Additionally, some anarchists use ''
libertarian socialist Libertarian socialism, also referred to as anarcho-socialism, anarchist socialism, free socialism, stateless socialism, socialist anarchism and socialist libertarianism,Carlson, Jennifer D. (2012). "Libertarianism". In Miller, Wilburn R., ed. ''T ...
'' to avoid anarchism's negative connotations and emphasise its connections with
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
. Matthew S. Adams and Carl Levy write that ''anarchism'' is used to "describe the
anti-authoritarian Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to , which is defined as "a form of social organisation characterised by submission to authority", "favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to " and to authoritarian government. Anti ...
wing of the
socialist movement The history of socialism has its origins in the 1789 French Revolution and the changes which it brought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. ''The Communist Manifesto'' was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 ju ...
."
Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...

Noam Chomsky
describes anarchism, alongside libertarian Marxism, as "the libertarian wing of socialism."
Daniel Guérin Daniel Guérin (; 19 May 1904, in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in an ...
wrote:
archism is really a synonym for socialism. The anarchist is primarily a socialist whose aim is to abolish the exploitation of man by man. Anarchism is only one of the streams of socialist thought, that stream whose main components are concern for liberty and haste to abolish the State.
While opposition to the state is central to anarchist thought, defining anarchism is not an easy task as there is a lot of discussion among scholars and anarchists on the matter and various currents perceive anarchism slightly differently. Hence, it might be true to say that anarchism is a cluster of political philosophies opposing
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empiric ...

authority
and hierarchical organisation (including
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...
,
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target ...
, the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
and all associated
institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a century at Harvard University Ha ...
s) in the conduct of all
human relations The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. Interpersonal relationships vary in their degree of intimacy or self-disclosure, but also in their duration, in th ...
in favour of a society based on
decentralisation Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group. Concep ...

decentralisation
,
freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and bein ...

freedom
and
voluntary association A voluntary group or union (also sometimes called a voluntary organization, common-interest association, association, or society) is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement, usually as volunteers, to form a body (or organization ...
. However, this definition has the same shortcomings as the definition based on anti-authoritarianism (which is an ''
a posteriori ''A priori'' and ''a posteriori'' ('from the earlier' and 'from the later', respectively) are Latin phrases used in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaph ...
'' conclusion), anti-statism (anarchism is much more than that) and etymology (which is simply a negation of a ruler). Nonetheless, major elements of the definition of anarchism include the will for a non-coercive society, the rejection of the state apparatus, the belief that human nature allows humans to exist in or progress toward such a non-coercive society and a suggestion on how to act to pursue the ideal of anarchy. Herbert L. Osgood claimed that anarchism is "the extreme antithesis" of authoritarian communism and
state socialism State socialism is a Political ideology, political and economic ideology within the socialist movement advocating state ownership of the means of production, either as a temporary measure or as a characteristic of socialism in the transition from ...
. Peter Marshall states that " general anarchism is closer to socialism than liberalism. ..Anarchism finds itself largely in the socialist camp, but it also has outriders in liberalism. It cannot be reduced to socialism, and is best seen as a separate and distinctive doctrine." According to Jeremy Jennings, " is hard not to conclude that these ideas", referring to
anarcho-capitalism Anarcho-capitalism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...
, "are described as anarchist only on the basis of a misunderstanding of what anarchism is." Jennings adds that "anarchism does not stand for the untrammelled freedom of the individual (as the 'anarcho-capitalists' appear to believe) but, as we have already seen, for the extension of individuality and community."
Nicolas Walter Nicolas Hardy Walter (22 November 1934 – 7 March 2000) was a British anarchist and atheist writer, speaker and activist. He was a member of the Committee of 100 and Spies for Peace, and wrote on topics of anarchism and humanism. Backgr ...
wrote that "anarchism does derive from liberalism and socialism both historically and ideologically. ..In a sense, anarchists always remain liberals and socialists, and whenever they reject what is good in either they betray anarchism itself. ..We are liberals but more so, and socialists but more so." Michael Newman includes anarchism as one of many
socialist traditions Types of socialism include a range of economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of in ...
, especially the more socialist-aligned tradition following Proudhon and
Mikhail Bakunin Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (; – 1 July 1876) was a Russian revolutionary A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term ''revolutionary'' refers to somethi ...

Mikhail Bakunin
. Brian Morriss argues that it is "conceptually and historically misleading" to "create a dichotomy between socialism and anarchism."


History


Pre-modern era

During the prehistoric era of mankind, an established authority did not exist. It was after the creation of towns and cities that institutions of authority were established and anarchistic ideas espoused as a reaction. The most notable precursors to anarchism in the ancient world were in China and Greece. In China,
philosophical anarchism Philosophical anarchism is an anarchist school of thought which focuses on intellectual criticism of authority, especially political power, and the legitimacy of governments. American anarchist and socialist Benjamin Tucker Benjamin Ricketson Tu ...
(i.e. the discussion on the legitimacy of the state) was delineated by
Taoist Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical and spiritual tradition of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of c ...
philosophers
Zhuang Zhou Zhuang Zhou (), commonly known as Zhuangzi (; ; literally "Master ZhuangZhuang may refer to: *Zhuang people (or Bouxcuengh people), ethnic group in China *Zhuang languages *Zhuang logogram *Zhuang Zhou, ancient Chinese philosopher *Zhuang (su ...
and
Laozi Lao Tzu (),"Lao Zi"
''
. Alongside
Stoicism Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, s ...
, Taoism has been said to have had "significant anticipations" of anarchism. Anarchic attitudes were also articulated by tragedians and philosophers in Greece.
Aeschylus Aeschylus (, ; grc-gre, Αἰσχύλος ''Aiskhylos'', ; c. 525/524 – c. 456/455 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kin ...
and
Sophocles Sophocles (; grc, Σοφοκλῆς, ; 497/6 – winter 406/5 BC)Sommerstein (2002), p. 41. is one of three ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , ...

Sophocles
used the myth of
Antigone In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A beli ...
to illustrate the conflict between rules set by the state and personal
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...

autonomy
.
Socrates Socrates (; ; –399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens domi ...

Socrates
questioned Athenian authorities constantly and insisted on the right of individual freedom of conscience. Cynics dismissed human law ('' nomos'') and associated authorities while trying to live according to nature (''
physis Physis (; grc, φύσις Physis (; grc, φύσις ) is a Greek philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familia ...
'').
Stoics Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophyHellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the ph ...
were supportive of a society based on unofficial and friendly relations among its citizens without the presence of a state. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, there was no anarchistic activity except some ascetic religious movements in the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodne ...

Muslim world
or in Christian Europe. This kind of tradition later gave birth to religious anarchism. In the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Ērānshahr The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its ...

Sasanian Empire
,
Mazdak Mazdak ( fa, مزدک, : 𐭬𐭦𐭣𐭪, also Mazdak the Younger; died c. 524 or 528) was a ' (priest), ian reformer, prophet and religious reformer who gained influence during the reign of the emperor . He claimed to be a prophet of and inst ...

Mazdak
called for an
egalitarian Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all hu ...
society and the
abolition of monarchy The abolition of monarchy involves the ending of monarchical A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy, political legitimacy a ...
, only to be soon executed by Emperor
Kavad I Kavad I ( pal, 𐭪𐭥𐭠𐭲 ; 473 – 13 September 531) was the Sasanian Empire, Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 488 to 531, with a two or three-year interruption. A son of Peroz I (), he was crowned by the nobles to replace his deposed ...

Kavad I
. In
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Basra
, religious sects preached against the state. In Europe, various sects developed anti-state and libertarian tendencies. Libertarian ideas further emerged during the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
with the spread of
humanism Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the ...

humanism
,
rationalism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, la ...
and
reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
ing through Europe. Novelists fictionalised ideal societies that were based on voluntarism rather than coercion. The
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link= ...
further pushed towards anarchism with the optimism for social progress.


Modern era

During the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, partisan groups such as the
Enragés The ''Enragés'' (French for "enraged ones") were a small number of firebrands known for defending the lower class and expressing the demands of the radical sans-culottes during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to ...
and the saw a turning point in the fermentation of anti-state and federalist sentiments. The first anarchist currents developed throughout the 18th century as
William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those abou ...
espoused
philosophical anarchism Philosophical anarchism is an anarchist school of thought which focuses on intellectual criticism of authority, especially political power, and the legitimacy of governments. American anarchist and socialist Benjamin Tucker Benjamin Ricketson Tu ...
in England, morally delegitimising the state,
Max Stirner Johann Kaspar Schmidt (25 October 1806 – 26 June 1856), known professionally as Max Stirner, was a German post-Hegelian philosopher, dealing mainly with the Hegelian notion of social alienation and self-consciousness. Stirner is often seen as ...

Max Stirner
's thinking paved the way to
individualism Individualism is the Ethics, moral stance, political philosophy, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the intrinsic worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and to value independence and self ...
and
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (, , ; 15 January 1809, Besançon – 19 January 1865, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated popu ...

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
's theory of mutualism found fertile soil in France. By the late 1870s, various anarchist schools of thought had become well-defined and a wave of then unprecedented
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...

globalization
occurred from 1880 to 1914. This era of
classical anarchism The history of anarchism is as ambiguous as anarchism Anarchism is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents an ...
lasted until the end of the
Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War ( es, Guerra Civil Española)) or The Revolution ( es, La Revolución) among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War ( es, Cuarta Guerra Carlista) among Carlists Carlism ( eu, Karlismo; ca, Carlisme; ; ) is a Traditiona ...

Spanish Civil War
and is considered the golden age of anarchism. Drawing from mutualism,
Mikhail Bakunin Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (; – 1 July 1876) was a Russian revolutionary A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term ''revolutionary'' refers to somethi ...

Mikhail Bakunin
founded
collectivist anarchism Collectivist anarchism, also called anarchist collectivism and anarcho-collectivism, is a revolutionary socialistPatsouras, Louis (2005). ''Marx in Context''. iUniverse. p. 54. doctrine and anarchist school of thought that advocates the abolition o ...
and entered the
International Workingmen's Association The International Workingmen's Association (IWA), often called the First International (1864–1876), was an international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field ...
, a class worker union later known as the First International that formed in 1864 to unite diverse revolutionary currents. The International became a significant political force, with
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
being a leading figure and a member of its General Council. Bakunin's faction (the
Jura Federation The Jura Federation represented the anarchist, Bakuninist faction of the First International during the anti-statist split from the organization. Jura, a Swiss area, was known for its watchmaker artisans in La Chaux-de-Fonds, who shared anti-st ...
) and Proudhon's followers (the mutualists) opposed
state socialism State socialism is a Political ideology, political and economic ideology within the socialist movement advocating state ownership of the means of production, either as a temporary measure or as a characteristic of socialism in the transition from ...
, advocating political
abstentionism Abstentionism is standing for election to a deliberative assembly while refusing to take up any seats won or otherwise participate in the assembly's business. Abstentionism differs from an election boycott in that abstentionists participate in ...
and small property holdings. After bitter disputes, the Bakuninists were expelled from the International by the
Marxists Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
at the 1872 Hague Congress. Anarchists were treated similarly in the Second International, being ultimately expelled in 1896. Bakunin famously predicted that if revolutionaries gained power by Marx's terms, they would end up the new tyrants of workers. In response to their expulsion from the First International, anarchists formed the St. Imier International. Under the influence of Peter Kropotkin, a Russian philosopher and scientist, anarcho-communism overlapped with collectivism. Anarcho-communists, who drew inspiration from the 1871 Paris Commune, advocated for free federation and for the distribution of goods according to one's needs. At the turn of the century, anarchism had spread all over the world. It was a notable feature of the international syndicalism movement. In China, small groups of students imported the humanistic pro-science version of anarcho-communism. Tokyo was a hotspot for rebellious youth from countries of the far east, travelling to the Japanese capital to study. In Latin America, Anarchism in Argentina, Argentina was a stronghold for anarcho-syndicalism, where it became the most prominent left-wing ideology. During this time, a minority of anarchists adopted tactics of revolutionary political violence. This strategy became known as propaganda of the deed. The dismemberment of the French socialist movement into many groups and the execution and exile of many Communards to penal colonies following the suppression of the Paris Commune favoured individualist political expression and acts. Even though many anarchists distanced themselves from these terrorist acts, infamy came upon the movement and attempts were made to exclude them from American immigration, including the Immigration Act of 1903, also called the Anarchist Exclusion Act. Illegalism was another strategy which some anarchists adopted during this period. Despite concerns, anarchists enthusiastically participated in the Russian Revolution in opposition to the White movement. However, they met harsh suppression after the Bolshevik government was stabilized. Several anarchists from Petrograd and Moscow fled to Ukraine, notably leading to the Kronstadt rebellion and Nestor Makhno's struggle in the Free Territory. With the anarchists being crushed in Russia, two new antithetical currents emerged, namely platformism and synthesis anarchism. The former sought to create a coherent group that would push for revolution while the latter were against anything that would resemble a political party. Seeing the victories of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution and the resulting Russian Civil War, many workers and activists turned to communist parties which grew at the expense of anarchism and other socialist movements. In France and the United States, members of major syndicalist movements such as the General Confederation of Labour (France), General Confederation of Labour and the Industrial Workers of the World left their organisations and joined the Communist International. In the Spanish Civil War of 1936, anarchists and syndicalists (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, CNT and Federación Anarquista Ibérica, FAI) once again allied themselves with various currents of leftists. A long tradition of Spanish anarchism led to anarchists playing a pivotal role in the war. In response to the army rebellion, an anarchist-inspired movement of peasants and workers, supported by armed militias, took control of Barcelona and of large areas of rural Spain, where they collectivised the land. The Soviet Union provided some limited assistance at the beginning of the war, but the result was a bitter fight among communists and anarchists at a series of events named May Days as Joseph Stalin tried to seize control of the Republican faction (Spanish Civil War), Republicans.


Post-war era

At the end of World War II, the anarchist movement was severely weakened. However, the 1960s witnessed a revival of anarchism, likely caused by a perceived failure of Marxism–Leninism and tensions built by the Cold War. During this time, anarchism found a presence in other movements critical towards both capitalism and the state such as the Anti-nuclear movement, anti-nuclear, Environmental movement, environmental and peace movements, the counterculture of the 1960s and the
New Left The New Left was a broad political movement mainly in the 1960s and 1970s consisting of activists in the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various s, s and , depending on the context, most often consisti ...
. It also saw a transition from its previous revolutionary nature to provocative anti-capitalist reformism. Anarchism became associated with punk subculture as exemplified by bands such as Crass and the Sex Pistols. The established feminist tendencies of anarcha-feminism returned with vigour during the second wave of feminism. Black anarchism began to take form at this time and influenced anarchism's move from a Eurocentric demographic. This coincided with its failure to gain traction in Northern Europe and its unprecedented height in Latin America. Around the turn of the 21st century, anarchism grew in popularity and influence within anti-capitalist, anti-war and anti-globalisation movements. Anarchists became known for their involvement in protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Group of Eight and the World Economic Forum. During the protests, ''ad hoc'' leaderless anonymous cadres known as black blocs engaged in rioting, property destruction and violent confrontations with the police. Other organisational tactics pioneered in this time include affinity groups, security culture and the use of decentralised technologies such as the Internet. A significant event of this period was the confrontations at the 1999 Seattle WTO conference. Anarchist ideas have been influential in the development of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, Zapatistas in Mexico and the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, more commonly known as Rojava, a ''de facto'' Permanent autonomous zone, autonomous region in northern Syria.


Thought

Anarchist schools of thought have been generally grouped into two main historical traditions, social anarchism and individualist anarchism, owing to their different origins, values and evolution. The individualist current emphasises negative liberty in opposing restraints upon the free individual while the social current emphasises positive liberty in aiming to achieve the free potential of society through equality and social ownership. In a chronological sense, anarchism can be segmented by the classical currents of the late 19th century and the post-classical currents (anarcha-feminism, green anarchism and post-anarchism) developed thereafter. Beyond the specific factions of anarchist movements which constitute political anarchism lies
philosophical anarchism Philosophical anarchism is an anarchist school of thought which focuses on intellectual criticism of authority, especially political power, and the legitimacy of governments. American anarchist and socialist Benjamin Tucker Benjamin Ricketson Tu ...
which holds that the state lacks moral legitimacy, without necessarily accepting the imperative of revolution to eliminate it. A component especially of individualist anarchism, philosophical anarchism may tolerate the existence of a minimal state, but it argues that citizens have no moral obligation to obey government when it conflicts with individual autonomy. Anarchism pays significant attention to moral arguments since ethics have a central role in anarchist philosophy. Anarchism's emphasis on
anti-capitalism Anti-capitalism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use t ...
, egalitarianism and for the extension of community and individuality sets it apart from
anarcho-capitalism Anarcho-capitalism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...
and other types of economic libertarianism. Anarchism is usually placed on the far-left of the political spectrum. Much of its Anarchist economics, economics and Anarchist law, legal philosophy reflect
anti-authoritarian Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to , which is defined as "a form of social organisation characterised by submission to authority", "favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to " and to authoritarian government. Anti ...
, anti-statist,
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing Freedom of assoc ...

libertarian
and Radical politics, radical interpretations of left-wing and socialist politics such as Collectivist anarchism, collectivism, Anarcho-communism, communism,
individualism Individualism is the Ethics, moral stance, political philosophy, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the intrinsic worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and to value independence and self ...
, mutualism and Anarcho-syndicalism, syndicalism, among other
libertarian socialist Libertarian socialism, also referred to as anarcho-socialism, anarchist socialism, free socialism, stateless socialism, socialist anarchism and socialist libertarianism,Carlson, Jennifer D. (2012). "Libertarianism". In Miller, Wilburn R., ed. ''T ...
economic theories. As anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular worldview, many anarchist types and traditions exist and varieties of anarchy diverge widely. One reaction against sectarianism within the anarchist milieu was anarchism without adjectives, a call for toleration and unity among anarchists first adopted by Fernando Tarrida del Mármol in 1889 in response to the bitter debates of anarchist theory at the time. Belief in political nihilism has been espoused by anarchists. Despite separation, the various anarchist schools of thought are not seen as distinct entities, but rather as tendencies that intermingle and are connected through a set of uniform principles such as individual and local autonomy, mutual aid, network organisation, communal democracy, justified authority and decentralisation.


Classical

Inceptive currents among classical anarchist currents were mutualism and
individualism Individualism is the Ethics, moral stance, political philosophy, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the intrinsic worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and to value independence and self ...
. They were followed by the major currents of social anarchism (Collectivist anarchism, collectivist, Anarcho-communism, communist and Anarcho-syndicalism, syndicalist). They differ on organisational and economic aspects of their ideal society. Mutualism is an 18th-century economic theory that was developed into anarchist theory by
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (, , ; 15 January 1809, Besançon – 19 January 1865, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated popu ...

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
. Its aims include Reciprocity (cultural anthropology), reciprocity, Free association (Marxism and anarchism), free association, voluntary contract, federation and monetary reform of both credit and currency that would be regulated by a bank of the people. Mutualism has been retrospectively characterised as ideologically situated between individualist and collectivist forms of anarchism. In ''What Is Property?'' (1840), Proudhon first characterised his goal as a "third form of society, the synthesis of communism and property." Collectivist anarchism is a revolutionary socialist form of anarchism commonly associated with
Mikhail Bakunin Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (; – 1 July 1876) was a Russian revolutionary A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term ''revolutionary'' refers to somethi ...

Mikhail Bakunin
. Collectivist anarchists advocate collective ownership of the means of production which is theorised to be achieved through violent revolution and that workers be paid according to time worked, rather than goods being distributed according to need as in communism. Collectivist anarchism arose alongside Marxism, but it rejected the dictatorship of the proletariat despite the stated Marxist goal of a collectivist stateless society. Anarcho-communism is a theory of anarchism that advocates a communist society with common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and a Horizontalidad, horizontal network of
voluntary association A voluntary group or union (also sometimes called a voluntary organization, common-interest association, association, or society) is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement, usually as volunteers, to form a body (or organization ...
s, workers' councils and worker cooperatives, with production and consumption based on the guiding principle "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Anarcho-communism developed from radical socialist currents after the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, but it was first formulated as such in the Italian section of the First International. It was later expanded upon in the theoretical work of Peter Kropotkin, whose specific style would go onto become the dominating view of anarchists by the late 19th century. Anarcho-syndicalism is a branch of anarchism that views labour syndicates as a potential force for revolutionary social change, replacing capitalism and the state with a new society democratically self-managed by workers. The basic principles of anarcho-syndicalism are direct action, workers' solidarity and workers' self-management. Individualist anarchism is a set of several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasise the individual and their Will (philosophy), will over any kinds of external determinants. Early influences on individualist forms of anarchism include
William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those abou ...
,
Max Stirner Johann Kaspar Schmidt (25 October 1806 – 26 June 1856), known professionally as Max Stirner, was a German post-Hegelian philosopher, dealing mainly with the Hegelian notion of social alienation and self-consciousness. Stirner is often seen as ...

Max Stirner
and Henry David Thoreau. Through many countries, individualist anarchism attracted a small yet diverse following of Bohemian artists and intellectuals as well as young anarchist outlaws in what became known as illegalism and individual reclamation.


Post-classical and contemporary

Anarchist principles undergird contemporary radical social movements of the left. Interest in the anarchist movement developed alongside momentum in the anti-globalisation movement, whose leading activist networks were anarchist in orientation. As the movement shaped 21st century radicalism, wider embrace of anarchist principles signaled a revival of interest. Anarchism has continued to generate many philosophies and movements, at times eclectic, drawing upon various sources and syncretic, combining disparate concepts to create new philosophical approaches. The anti-capitalist tradition of classical anarchism has remained prominent within contemporary currents. Contemporary news coverage which emphasizes black bloc demonstrations has reinforced anarchism's historical association with chaos and violence. However, its publicity has also led more scholars in fields such as anthropology and history to engage with the anarchist movement, although contemporary anarchism favours actions over academic theory. Various anarchist groups, tendencies and schools of thought exist today, making it difficult to describe the contemporary anarchist movement. While theorists and activists have established "relatively stable constellations of anarchist principles", there is no consensus on which principles are core and commentators describe multiple "anarchisms" (rather than a singular "anarchism") in which common principles are shared between schools of anarchism while each group prioritizes those principles differently. Gender equality can be a common principle, although it ranks as a higher priority to anarcha-feminists than anarcho-communists. Anarchists are generally committed against coercive authority in all forms, namely "all centralized and hierarchical forms of government (e.g., monarchy, representative democracy, state socialism, etc.), economic class systems (e.g., capitalism, Bolshevism, feudalism, slavery, etc.), autocratic religions (e.g., fundamentalist Islam, Roman Catholicism, etc.), patriarchy, heterosexism, white supremacy, and imperialism." However, anarchist schools disagree on the methods by which these forms should be opposed. The principle of equal liberty is closer to anarchist political ethics in that it transcends both the liberal and socialist traditions. This entails that liberty and equality cannot be implemented within the state, resulting in the questioning of all forms of domination and hierarchy.


Tactics

Anarchists' tactics take various forms, but in general, they serve two major goals, namely to first oppose the Establishment and secondly to promote anarchist ethics and reflect an anarchist vision of society, illustrating the unity of means and ends. A broad categorisation can be made between aims to destroy oppressive states and institutions by revolutionary means on one hand and aims to change society through evolutionary means on the other. Evolutionary tactics embrace nonviolence, reject violence and take a gradual approach to anarchist aims, although there is significant overlap between the two. Anarchist tactics have shifted during the course of the last century. Anarchists during the early 20th century focused more on strikes and militancy while contemporary anarchists use a broader array of approaches.


Classical era tactics

During the classical era, anarchists had a militant tendency. Not only did they confront state armed forces, as in Spain and Ukraine, but some of them also employed terrorism as propaganda of the deed. Assassination attempts were carried out against heads of state, some of which were successful. Anarchists also took part in revolutions. Many anarchists, especially the Galleanists, believed that these attempts would be the impetus for a revolution against capitalism and the state. Many of these attacks were done by individual assailants and the majority took place in the late 1870s, the early 1880s and the 1890s, with some still occurring in the early 1900s. Their decrease in prevalence was the result of further judicial power and targeting and cataloging by state institutions. Anarchist perspectives towards violence have always been perplexing and controversial. On one hand, anarcho-pacifists point out the unity of means and ends. On the other hand, other anarchist groups advocate direct action, a tactic which can include acts of sabotage or even acts of terrorism. This attitude was quite prominent a century ago when seeing the state as a tyrant and some anarchists believing that they had every right to oppose its oppression by any means possible. Emma Goldman and Errico Malatesta, who were proponents of limited use of violence, argued that violence is merely a reaction to state violence as a necessary evil. Anarchists took an active role in strike actions, although they tended to be antipathetic to formal syndicalism, seeing it as Reformism, reformist. They saw it as a part of the movement which sought to overthrow the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
and capitalism. Anarchists also reinforced their propaganda within the arts, some of whom practiced naturism and nudism. Those anarchists also built communities which were based on friendship and were involved in the news media.


Revolutionary tactics

In the current era, Italian anarchist Alfredo Bonanno, a proponent of insurrectionary anarchism, has reinstated the debate on violence by rejecting the nonviolence tactic adopted since the late 19th century by Kropotkin and other prominent anarchists afterwards. Both Bonanno and the French group The Invisible Committee advocate for small, informal affiliation groups, where each member is responsible for their own actions but works together to bring down oppression utilizing sabotage and other violent means against state, capitalism and other enemies. Members of The Invisible Committee were arrested in 2008 on various charges, terrorism included. Overall, contemporary anarchists are much less violent and militant than their ideological ancestors. They mostly engage in confronting the police during demonstrations and riots, especially in countries such as Anarchism in Canada, Canada, Anarchism in Greece, Greece and Anarchism in Mexico, Mexico. Militant black bloc protest groups are known for clashing with the police. However, anarchists not only clash with state operators; they also engage in the struggle against fascists and racists, taking anti-fascist action and mobilizing to prevent hate rallies from happening.


Evolutionary tactics

Anarchists commonly employ direct action. This can take the form of disrupting and protesting against unjust
hierarchy A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarch ...

hierarchy
, or the form of self-managing their lives through the creation of counter-institutions such as communes and non-hierarchical collectives. Decision-making is often handled in an anti-authoritarian way, with everyone having equal say in each decision, an approach known as horizontalism. Contemporary-era anarchists have been engaging with various grassroots movements that are more or less based on horizontalism, although not explicitly anarchist, respecting personal autonomy and participating in mass activism such as strikes and demonstrations. In contrast with the ''big-A anarchism'' of the classical era, the newly coined term ''small-a anarchism'' signals their tendency not to base their thoughts and actions on classical-era anarchism or to refer to classical anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin and
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (, , ; 15 January 1809, Besançon – 19 January 1865, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated popu ...

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
to justify their opinions. Those anarchists would rather base their thought and praxis on their own experience which they will later theorize. The decision-making process of small anarchist affinity groups plays a significant tactical role. Anarchists have employed various methods in order to build a rough consensus among members of their group without the need of a leader or a leading group. One way is for an individual from the group to play the role of facilitator to help achieve a consensus without taking part in the discussion themselves or promoting a specific point. Minorities usually accept rough consensus, except when they feel the proposal contradicts anarchist ethics, goals and values. Anarchists usually form small groups (5–20 individuals) to enhance autonomy and friendships among their members. These kinds of groups more often than not interconnect with each other, forming larger networks. Anarchists still support and participate in strikes, especially Wildcat strike action, wildcat strikes as these are leaderless strikes not organised centrally by a syndicate. As in the past, newspapers and journals are used, but anarchists have gone online in the World Wide Web to spread their message. However, anarchists have found it easier to create websites because of distributional and other difficulties, hosting electronic libraries and other portals. Anarchists were also involved in developing various software that are available for free. The way these hacktivists work to develop and distribute resembles the anarchist ideals, especially when it comes to preserving users' privacy from state surveillance. Anarchists organize themselves to Squatting, squat and reclaim public spaces. During important events such as protests and when spaces are being occupied, they are often called Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ), spaces where art, poetry and surrealism are blended to display the anarchist ideal. As seen by anarchists, squatting is a way to regain urban space from the capitalist market, serving pragmatical needs and also being an exemplary direct action. Acquiring space enables anarchists to experiment with their ideas and build social bonds. Adding up these tactics while having in mind that not all anarchists share the same attitudes towards them, along with various forms of protesting at highly symbolic events, make up a carnivalesque atmosphere that is part of contemporary anarchist vividity.


Key issues

As anarchism is a philosophy that embodies many diverse attitudes, tendencies and schools of thought, disagreement over questions of values, ideology and tactics is common. Its diversity has led to widely different uses of identical terms among different anarchist traditions which has created a number of definitional concerns in anarchist theory. The compatibility of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...
,
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target ...
and Anarchism and religion, religion with anarchism is widely disputed. Similarly, anarchism enjoys complex relationships with ideologies such as Anarchism and communism, communism, collectivism, Anarchism and Marxism, Marxism and trade unionism. Anarchists may be motivated by
humanism Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the ...

humanism
, God, divine authority, enlightened self-interest, Veganarchism, veganism, or any number of alternative ethical doctrines. Phenomena such as civilisation, technology (e.g. within anarcho-primitivism) and the Anarchism and statist democracy, democratic process may be sharply criticised within some anarchist tendencies and simultaneously lauded in others.


Gender, sexuality and free love

As gender and sexuality carry along them dynamics of hierarchy, anarchism is obliged to address, analyse and oppose the suppression of one's autonomy because of the dynamics that gender roles traditionally impose. Sexuality was not often discussed by classical anarchists, but the few that did felt that an anarchist society would lead to sexuality naturally developing. However, sexual violence was a concern for anarchists such as Benjamin Tucker, who opposed age of consent laws, believing they would benefit predatory men. A historical current that arose and flourished during 1890 and 1920 within anarchism was free love. In contemporary anarchism, this current survives as a tendency to support polyamory and queer anarchism. Free love advocates were against marriage, which they saw as a way of men imposing authority over women, largely because marriage law greatly favoured the power of men. The notion of free love was much broader and included a critique of the established order that limited women's sexual freedom and pleasure. Those free love movements contributed to the establishment of communal houses, where large groups of travelers, anarchists and other activists slept in beds together. Free love had roots both in Europe and the United States. However, some anarchists struggled with the jealousy that arose from free love. Anarchist feminists were advocates of free love, against marriage, pro-choice (utilising a contemporary term) and had a similar agenda. Anarchist and non-anarchist feminists differed on suffrage, but they were nonetheless supportive of one another. During the second half of the 20th century, anarchism intermingled with the second wave of feminism, radicalising some currents of the feminist movement and being influenced as well. By the latest decades of the 20th century, anarchists and feminists were advocating for the rights and autonomy of women, gays, queers and other marginalised groups, with some feminist thinkers suggesting a fusion of the two currents. With the third wave of feminism, sexual identity and compulsory heterosexuality became a subject of study for anarchists, yielding a post-structuralist critique of sexual normality. However, some anarchists distanced themselves from this line of thinking, suggesting that it leaned towards an individualism that was dropping the cause of social liberation.


Anarchism and education

The interest of anarchists in education stretches back to the first emergence of classical anarchism. Anarchists consider proper education, one which sets the foundations of the future autonomy of the individual and the society, to be an act of Mutual aid (organization theory), mutual aid. Anarchist writers such as
William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those abou ...
(''Political Justice'') and
Max Stirner Johann Kaspar Schmidt (25 October 1806 – 26 June 1856), known professionally as Max Stirner, was a German post-Hegelian philosopher, dealing mainly with the Hegelian notion of social alienation and self-consciousness. Stirner is often seen as ...

Max Stirner
("The False Principle of Our Education") attacked both state education and private education as another means by which the ruling class replicate their privileges. In 1901, Catalan anarchist and free thinker Francisco Ferrer established the Escuela Moderna in Barcelona as an opposition to the established education system which was dictated largely by the Catholic Church. Ferrer's approach was secular, rejecting both state and church involvement in the educational process whilst giving pupils large amounts of autonomy in planning their work and attendance. Ferrer aimed to educate the working class and explicitly sought to foster class consciousness among students. The school closed after constant harassment by the state and Ferrer was later arrested. Nonetheless, his ideas formed the inspiration for a series of Modern School (United States), modern schools around the world. Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy, who published the essay ''Education and Culture'', also established a similar school with its founding principle being that "for education to be effective it had to be free." In a similar token, A. S. Neill founded what became the Summerhill School in 1921, also declaring being free from coercion. Anarchist education is based largely on the idea that a child's right to develop freely and without manipulation ought to be respected and that rationality will lead children to morally good conclusions. However, there has been little consensus among anarchist figures as to what constitutes manipulation. Ferrer believed that moral indoctrination was necessary and explicitly taught pupils that equality, liberty and social justice were not possible under capitalism, along with other critiques of government and nationalism. Late 20th century and contemporary anarchist writers (Colin Ward, Herbert Read and Paul Goodman) intensified and expanded the anarchist critique of state education, largely focusing on the need for a system that focuses on children's creativity rather than on their ability to attain a career or participate in consumerism as part of a consumer society. Contemporary anarchists such as Ward have further argued that state education serves to perpetuate socioeconomic inequality. While few anarchist education institutions have survived to the modern-day, major tenets of anarchist schools, among them respect for child autonomy and relying on reasoning rather than indoctrination as a teaching method, have spread among mainstream educational institutions. Judith Suissa names three schools as explicitly anarchists schools, namely the Free Skool Santa Cruz in the United States which is part of a wider American-Canadian network of schools, the Self-Managed Learning College in Brighton, England and the Paideia School in Spain.


Anarchism and the state

Objection to the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
and its institutions is a ''sine qua non'' of anarchism. Anarchists consider the state as a tool of domination and believe it to be illegitimate regardless of its political tendencies. Instead of people being able to control the aspects of their life, major decisions are taken by a small elite. Authority ultimately rests solely on power, regardless of whether that power is Open government, open or Transparency (behavior), transparent, as it still has the ability to coerce people. Another anarchist argument against states is that the people constituting a government, even the most altruistic among officials, will unavoidably seek to gain more power, leading to corruption. Anarchists consider the idea that the state is the collective will of the people to be an unachievable fiction due to the fact that the ruling class is distinct from the rest of society. Specific anarchist attitudes towards the state vary. Robert Paul Wolff believed that the tension between authority and autonomy would mean the state could never be legitimate. Bakunin saw the state as meaning "coercion, domination by means of coercion, camouflaged if possible but unceremonious and overt if need be." A. John Simmons and Leslie Green (philosopher), Leslie Green, who leaned toward philosophical anarchism, believed that the state could be legitimate if it is governed by consensus, although they saw this as highly unlikely. Beliefs on how to abolish the state also differ.


Anarchism and the arts

The connection between anarchism and art was quite profound during the classical era of anarchism, especially among artistic currents that were developing during that era such as futurists, surrealists and others. In literature, anarchism was mostly associated with the New Apocalyptics and the neo-romanticism movement. In music, anarchism has been associated with music scenes such as punk. Anarchists such as Leo Tolstoy and Herbert Read argued that the border between the artist and the non-artist, what separates art from a daily act, is a construct produced by the alienation caused by capitalism and it prevents humans from living a joyful life. Other anarchists advocated for or used art as a means to achieve anarchist ends. In his book ''Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas'', Chris Robé claims that "anarchist-inflected practices have increasingly structured movement-based video activism." Throughout the 20th century, many prominent anarchists (Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, Gustav Landauer and Camillo Berneri) and publications such as ''Anarchy (magazine), Anarchy'' wrote about matters pertaining to the arts. Three overlapping properties made art useful to anarchists. It could depict a critique of existing society and hierarchies, serve as a prefigurative tool to reflect the anarchist ideal society and even turn into a means of direct action such as in protests. As it appeals to both emotion and reason, art could appeal to the whole human and have a powerful effect. The 19th-century neo-impressionist movement had an ecological aesthetic and offered an example of an anarchist perception of the road towards socialism. In ''Les chataigniers a Osny'' by anarchist painter Camille Pissarro, the blending of aesthetic and social harmony is prefiguring an ideal anarchistic agrarian community.


Criticism

The most common critique of anarchism is that humans cannot self-govern and so a state is necessary for human survival. Philosopher Bertrand Russell supported this critique, stating that "[p]eace and war, tariffs, regulations of sanitary conditions and the sale of noxious drugs, the preservation of a just system of distribution: these, among others, are functions which could hardly be performed in a community in which there was no central government." Another common criticism of anarchism is that it fits a world of isolation in which only the small enough entities can be self-governing. Colin Ward responds that major anarchist thinkers advocated Anarchist federalism, federalism. Philosophy lecturer Andrew G. Fiala also believed that humans could not self-govern and included it in his list of arguments against anarchism. Fiala's other critiques were that anarchism is innately related to violence and destruction, not only in the pragmatic world, i.e. at protests, but in the world of ethics as well. Secondly, anarchism is evaluated as unfeasible or utopian since the state can not be defeated practically. This line of arguments most often calls for political action within the system to reform it. The third argument is that anarchism is self-contradictory. While it advocates for no-one to ''archiei'', if accepted by the many, then anarchism would turn into the ruling political theory. In this line of criticism also comes the self-contradiction that anarchism calls for collective action whilst endorsing the autonomy of the individual, hence no collective action can be taken. Lastly, Fiala mentions a critique towards philosophical anarchism of being ineffective (all talk and thoughts) and in the meantime capitalism and bourgeois class remains strong. Philosophical anarchism has met the criticism of members of academia following the release of pro-anarchist books such as A. John Simmons' ''Moral Principles and Political Obligations''. Law professor William A. Edmundson authored an essay arguing against three major philosophical anarchist principles which he finds fallacious. Edmundson claims that while the individual does not owe the state a duty of obedience, this does not imply that anarchism is the inevitable conclusion and the state is still morally legitimate. In ''The Problem of Political Authority'', Michael Huemer defends philosophical anarchism, claiming that "political authority is a moral illusion." Another criticism is that anarchism defies and fails to understand the biological inclination to authority as first articulated in an 1886 article for the ''North American Review'' by Frances L. Ferguson. Joseph Raz argues that the acceptance of authority implies the belief that following their instructions will afford more success. Raz believes that this argument is true in following both authorities' successful and mistaken instruction. Anarchists reject this criticism because challenging or disobeying authority does not entail the disappearance of its advantages by acknowledging authority such as doctors or lawyers as reliable, nor does it involve a complete surrender of independent judgment. Anarchist perception of human nature, rejection of the state and commitment to social revolution has been criticised by academics as naive, overly simplistic and unrealistic, respectively. Classical anarchism has been criticized for relying too heavily on the belief that the abolition of the state will lead to human cooperation prospering. Friedrich Engels, considered to be one of the principal founders of Marxism, criticized anti-authoritarianism as inherently counter-revolutionary. Academic John Molyneux (academic), John Molyneux writes in his book ''Anarchism: A Marxist Criticism'' that "anarchism cannot win", believing that it lacks the ability to properly implement its ideas. The Marxist criticism of anarchism is that it has a utopian character because all individuals should have anarchist views and values. According to the Marxist view, that a social idea would follow directly from this human ideal and out of the free will of every individual formed its essence. Marxists argue that this contradiction was responsible for their inability to act. In the anarchist vision, the conflict between liberty and equality was resolved through coexistence and intertwining.


See also

* :Anarchism by country, Anarchism by country * Governance without government * List of anarchist political ideologies * List of books about anarchism


References


Citations


Sources


Primary sources

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Secondary sources

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Tertiary sources

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Further reading

* * Criticism of philosophical anarchism. * * A defence of philosophical anarchism, arguing that "both kinds of 'anarchism' [i.e. philosophical and political anarchism] are philosophical and political claims." (p. 137) * Anarchistic popular fiction novel. * * * * An argument for philosophical anarchism. *


External links


Anarchy Archives
Anarchy Archives is an online research center on the history and theory of anarchism {{authority control Anarchism, Anti-capitalism Anti-fascism Economic ideologies Left-wing politics Libertarian socialism Libertarianism Political culture Political movements Political ideologies Social theories Socialism