Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all compulsory government,*Errico Malatesta, " [ Towards Anarchism] ", "MAN!". Los Angeles: International Group of San Francisco. OCLC|3930443.
*cite journal |url=
title=Working for The Man |journal=The Globe and Mail |accessdate=2008-04-14 |last=Agrell |first=Siri |date=2007-05-14

*" [ Anarchism] ". "Encyclopædia Britannica". 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 29 August 2006
*"Anarchism". "The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy". 2005. P. 14 "Anarchism is the view that a society without the state, or government, is both possible and desirable."] i.e. the state. The term "anarchism" derives from the Greek αναρχω, "anarcho", meaning "without archons" or "without rulers", [ [ Anarchy] ] [Merriam-Webster's Online dictionary] from ἀν ("an", "without") + ἄρχή ("arche", "to rule") + ισμός (from stem -ιζειν). It is defined by "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics" as "the view that society can and should be organized without a coercive state."Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism". "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics". Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.] Specific anarchists may have additional criteria for what constitutes anarchism, and they often disagree with each other on what these criteria are. According to "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy", "there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, beyond their rejection of compulsory government, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance"."Anarchism". "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy", Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 31]

There are many types and traditions of anarchism, [Kropotkin, Peter. "Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings", Courier Dover Publications, 2002, p.5] [cite journal|author=R.B. Fowler|title=The Anarchist Tradition of Political Thought|year=1972|journal=Western Political Quarterly|volume=25|issue=4|pages=738–752|doi=10.2307/446800] not all of which are mutually exclusive. [Sylvan, Richard. "Anarchism". "A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy", editors Goodwin, Robert E. and Pettit, Philip. Blackwell Publishing, 1995, p.231] Anarchism is usually considered to be a radical left-wing ideology,"Usually considered to be an extreme left-wing ideology, anarchism has always included a significant strain of radical individualism, from the hyperrationalism of Godwin, to the egoism of Stirner, to the libertarians and anarcho-capitalists of today." Brooks, Frank H. 1994. "The Individualist Anarchists: An Anthology of Liberty (1881–1908)". Transaction Publishers. p. xi] and as such much of anarchist economics and legal philosophy reflect anti-authoritarian interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics; however, anarchism has always included an individualist strain, including those who support capitalism (e.g. market anarchists: anarcho-capitalism, agorism, etc.) and other non-capitalist market-orientated economic structures (e.g. mutualists, some individualist anarchists) [cite journal|author=Colin Moynihan |title=Book Fair Unites Anarchists. In Spirit, Anyway|year=2007|journal=New York Times|issue=16 April] [cite journal|author=Dennis Roddy|title=Anarchists: Can they get it together?|year=2003|journal=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |issue=02 February] [cite journal|author=Joseph Kahn|title=Anarchism, the Creed That Won’t Stay Dead; The Spread of World Capitalism Resurrects a Long-Dormant Movement |year=2000|journal=The New York Times|issue=5 August] [] . As described by the 21st century anarchist Cindy Milstein, anarchism is a "political tradition that has consistently grappled with the tension between the individual and society." [cite web |url= |title=Anarchism's Promise for Anti-Capitalist Resistance |accessdate=2008-07-09 |last=Milstein |first=Cindy |authorlink=Cindy Milstein |date=2003-10-28 |work= |publisher=Institute for Social Ecology] Others, such as panarchists and anarchists without adjectives neither advocate nor object to any particular form of organization. Anarchist schools of thought differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Some anarchists fundamentally oppose all types of coercion, while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution, on the path to anarchy. [Fowler, R.B. "The Anarchist Tradition of Political Thought". "The Western Political Quarterly", Vol. 25, No. 4. (Dec., 1972), pp. 743–744]


Some claim anarchist themes can be found in the works of Taoist sages LaoziPeter Kropotkin, [ "Anarchism"] , "Encyclopædia Britannica" 1910] and Zhuangzi. The latter has been translated, "There has been such a thing as letting mankind alone; there has never been such a thing as governing mankind [with success] ." and "A petty thief is put in jail. A great brigand becomes a ruler of a State." [cite web|url=|format=pdf|title=Concepts of the role of intellectuals in social change toward laissez faire|author=Murray Rothbard] Diogenes of Sinope and the Cynics and their contemporary, Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, also introduced similar topics. [iep|c/cynics.htm|Cynics|Julie Piering]

Modern anarchism, however, sprang from the secular or religious thought of the Enlightenment, particularly Jean-Jacques Rousseau's arguments for the moral centrality of freedom."Anarchism", "Encarta Online Encyclopedia" 2006 (UK version)] Although by the turn of the 19th century the term "anarchist" had an entirely positive connotation, it first entered the English language in 1642 during the English Civil War as a term of abuse used by Royalists to damn those who were fomenting disorder. By the time of the French Revolution some, such as the "Enragés", began to use the term positively, [Sheehan, Sean. "Anarchism", London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2004. pg. 85] Verify credibility|date=March 2008 in opposition to Jacobin centralisation of power, seeing "revolutionary government" as oxymoronic. From this climate William Godwin developed what many consider the first expression of modern anarchist thought. Godwin was, according to Peter Kropotkin, "the first to formulate the political and economical conceptions of anarchism, even though he did not give that name to the ideas developed in his work." [Godwin himself attributed the first anarchist writing to Edmund Burke's " [ Vindication of Natural Society] ". "Most of the above arguments may be found much more at large in Burke's "Vindication of Natural Society"; a treatise in which the evils of the existing political institutions are displayed with incomparable force of reasoning and lustre of eloquence…" – footnote, Ch. 2 "Political Justice" by William Godwin.] Godwin, a philosophical anarchist, opposed revolutionary action and saw a minimal state as a present "necessary evil" [cite book |title=Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Manners |last=Godwin |first=William |authorlink=William Godwin |year=1796 |publisher=G.G. and J. Robinson |oclc=2340417 |origyear=1793] that would become increasingly irrelevant and powerless by the gradual spread of knowledge.sep entry|godwin|William Godwin|Mark Philip|2006-05-20] Godwin advocated extreme individualism, proposing that all cooperation in labor be eliminated. ["Britannica Concise Encyclopedia". Retrieved 7 December 2006, from [ Encyclopædia Britannica Online] ] Godwin felt discrimination on any grounds besides ability was intolerable.

The first to describe himself as anarchist was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, [ "Anarchism"] , BBC Radio 4 program, In Our Time, Thursday 7 December 2006. Hosted by Melvyn Bragg of the BBC, with John Keane, Professor of Politics at University of Westminster, Ruth Kinna, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Loughborough University, and Peter Marshall, philosopher and historian.] which led some to call him the founder of modern anarchist theory. [Daniel Guerin, "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice" (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970).] Proudhon proposed spontaneous order, whereby organization emerges without central authority, a "positive anarchy" where order arises when everybody does “what he wishes and only what he wishes" [ Proudhon, "Solution to the Social Problem", ed. H. Cohen (New York: Vanguard Press, 1927), p.45. ] and where "business transactions alone produce the social order." [cite book |last=Proudhon |first=Pierre-Joseph |authorlink=Pierre-Joseph Proudhon |title=The Principle of Federation |publisher=University of Toronto Press |location=Toronto |year=1979 |isbn=0802054587 |quote=The notion of "anarchy" in politics is just as rational and positive as any other. It means that once industrial functions have taken over from political functions, then business transactions alone produce the social order.] Like Godwin, Proudhon opposed violent revolutionary action. He saw anarchy as "a form of government or constitution in which public and private consciousness, formed through the development of science and law, is alone sufficient to maintain order and guarantee all liberties. In it, as a consequence, the institutions of the police, preventive and repressive methods, officialdom, taxation, etc., are reduced to a minimum. In it, more especially, the forms of monarchy and intensive centralization disappear, to be replaced by federal institutions and a pattern of life based on the commune." [cite book |last=Proudhon |first=Pierre-Joseph |authorlink=Pierre-Joseph Proudhon |title=Selected Writings |publisher=Anchor Books |location=Garden City, New York |year=1969 | oclc = 221546850 ] By "commune", Proudhon meant local self-government or according to literal translation, "municipality", rather than a communist arrangement. [Bernstein, Samuel. 1984. "French Political and Intellectual". History. Transaction Publishers. p. 174]

chools of thought


Mutualism began in 18th century English and French labor movements before taking an anarchist form associated with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in France and others in the United States. ["A member of a community," "The Mutualist"; this 1826 series criticized Robert Owen's proposals, and has been attributed to a dissident Owenite, possibly from the Friendly Association for Mutual Interests of Valley Forge; Wilbur, Shawn, 2006, "More from the 1826 "Mutualist"?"] Proudhon's ideas were introduced by Charles A. Dana, [Dana, Charles A. " [ Proudhon and his "Bank of the People"] " (1848).] to individualist anarchists in the United States including Benjamin Tucker and William Batchelder Greene. [Tucker, Benjamin R., "On Picket Duty", "Liberty (Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order) (1881–1908)"; 5 January 1889; 6, 10; APS Online pg. 1]

Mutualist anarchism is concerned with reciprocity, free association, voluntary contract, federation, and credit and currency reform. According to Greene, in the mutualist system each worker would receive "just and exact pay for his work; services equivalent in cost being exchangeable for services equivalent in cost, without profit or discount." ["Communism versus Mutualism", "Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic and Financial Fragments". (Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1875) William Batchelder Greene: "Under the mutual system, each individual will receive the just and exact pay for his work; services equivalent in cost being exchangeable for services equivalent in cost, without profit or discount; and so much as the individual laborer will then get over and above what he has earned will come to him as his share in the general prosperity of the community of which he is an individual member."] Mutualism has been retrospectively characterized as being ideologically situated between individualist and collectivist forms of anarchism. [Avrich, Paul. "Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America", Princeton University Press 1996 ISBN 0–691–04494–5, p.6
"Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought", Blackwell Publishing 1991 ISBN 0–631–17944–5, p.11
] Proudhon first characterized his goal as a "third form of society, the synthesis of communism and property." [Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. "What Is Property?" Princeton, MA: Benjamin R. Tucker, 1876. p. 281.]

Individualist anarchism

Individualist anarchism comprises several traditions [Ward, Colin. "Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction". Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 2] which hold that "individual conscience and the pursuit of self-interest should not be constrained by any collective body or public authority." [Heywood, Andrew, "Key Concepts in Politics", Palgrave, ISBN 0–312–23381–7, 2000, p. 46] Individualist anarchism is supportive of property being held privately, unlike the social/socialist/collectivist/communitarian wing which advocates common ownership. [Freeden, Michael. "Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach". Oxford University Press. ISBN 019829414X. pp. 314] Individualist anarchism has been espoused by individuals such as William Godwin,Woodcock, George. 2004. "Anarchism: A History Of Libertarian Ideas And Movements". Broadview Press. p. 20] Henry David Thoreau, [Johnson, Ellwood. "The Goodly Word: The Puritan Influence in America Literature", Clements Publishing, 2005, p. 138.
"Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences", edited by Edwin Robert Anderson Seligman, Alvin Saunders Johnson, 1937, p. 12.
] Josiah Warren, and Murray Rothbard.

One of the earliest and best-known proponents of individualist anarchism was Max Stirner,sep entry|max-stirner|Max Stirner|David Leopold|2006-08-04] who wrote "The Ego and Its Own" (1844), a founding text of the philosophy. Stirner's philosophy was an "egoist" form of individualist anarchism according to which the only limitation on the rights of the individual is his power to obtain what he desires [The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge. Encyclopedia Corporation. p. 176] , taking no notice of God, state, or moral rules. [Miller, David. "Anarchism." 1987. "The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought". Blackwell Publishing. p 11] To Stirner, rights were "spooks" in the mind, and he held that society does not exist but "the individuals are its reality"ndash he supported property by force of might rather than moral right. ["What my might reaches is my property; and let me claim as property everything I feel myself strong enough to attain, and let me extend my actual property as fas as "I" entitle, that is, empower myself to take…" In Ossar, Michael. 1980. "Anarchism in the Dramas of Ernst Toller". SUNY Press. p. 27] Stirner preached self-assertion and foresaw "associations of egoists" where respect for ruthlessness drew people together.

A less radical form of individualist anarchism was advocated by the "Boston anarchists," American individualists who supported private property exchangeable in a free market. ["Anarchism is a word without meaning, unless it includes the liberty of the individual to control his product or whatever his product has brought him through exchange in a free market – that is, private property. Whoever denies private property is of necessity an Archist." "Anarchism and Property", by Benjamin Tucker in "The New Freewoman", 15 November 1913] They advocated the protection of liberty and property by private contractors, [Benjamin Tucker, "defense is a service like any other service; that it is labor both useful and desired, and therefore an economic commodity subject to the law of supply and demand; that in a free market this commodity would be furnished at the cost of production; that, competition prevailing, patronage would go to those who furnished the best article at the lowest price; that the production and sale of this commodity are now monopolized by the State; and that the State, like almost all monopolists, charges exorbitant prices" "Instead of a Book" (1893)
"Anarchism does not exclude prisons, officials, military, or other symbols of force. It merely demands that non-invasive men shall not be made the victims of such force. Anarchism is not the reign of love, but the reign of justice. It does not signify the abolition of force-symbols but the application of force to real invaders." Tucker, Benjamin. "Liberty" 19 October 1891.
] and endorsed exchange of labor for wages, [Tucker, Benjamin. " [ Labor and Its Pay] ", from "Individual Liberty: Selections from the Writings of Benjamin T. Tucker"] . They did not have a problem that "one man employ another" or that "he direct him," in his labor but demanded that "all natural opportunities requisite to the production of wealth be accessible to all on equal terms and that monopolies arising from special privileges created by law be abolished." [Madison, Charles A. "Anarchism in the United States". "Journal of the History of Ideas", Vol 6, No 1, January 1945, p. 53.] They believed state monopoly capitalism (defined as a state-sponsored monopolySchwartzman, Jack. "Ingalls, Hanson, and Tucker: Nineteenth-Century American Anarchists". "American Journal of Economics and Sociology", Vol. 62, No. 5 (November, 2003). p. 325] ) prevented labor from being fully rewarded. Even among the nineteenth century American individualists, there was not a monolithic doctrine, as they disagreed amongst each other on various issues including intellectual property rights and possession versus property in land. [Spooner, Lysander. [ "The Law of Intellectual Property"] ] Watner, Carl (1977). PDFlink| [ Benjamin Tucker and His Periodical, Liberty] |868 KiB . "Journal of Libertarian Studies", Vol. 1, No. 4, p. 308] [Watner, Carl. "PDFlink| [ Spooner Vs. Liberty] "|1.20 MiB in "The Libertarian Forum". March 1975. Volume VII, No 3. ISSN 0047–4517. pp. 5–6.] A major cleft occurred later in the 19th century when Tucker and some others abandoned natural rights and converted to an "egoism" modeled upon Stirner's philosophy. Some "Boston anarchists", like Tucker, identified themselves as "socialist" – a term which at the time denoted a broad concept – by which he meant a commitment to solving "the labor problem" by radical economic reform. [Brooks, Frank H. 1994. "The Individualist Anarchists: An Anthology of Liberty" (1881–1908). Transaction Publishers. p. 75.] ) By the turn of the 20th century, the heyday of individualist anarchism had passed, [Avrich, Paul. 2006. "Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America". AK Press. p. 6] although it was later revived with modifications by Murray Rothbard and the anarcho-capitalists in the mid-twentieth century, as a current of the broader libertarian movement, Levy, Carl. " [ Anarchism] ". Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2007.] [Miller, David. "Anarchism". "The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought" 1987. p. 11] and the anti-capitalist strain by intellectuals such as Kevin Carson.

ocial anarchism

Social anarchism is one of two different broad categories of anarchism, the other category being individualist anarchism. The term social anarchism is often used to identify communitarian forms of anarchism that emphasize cooperation and mutual aid. Social anarchism includes anarcho-collectivism, anarcho-communism, Libertarian socialism, anarcho-syndicalism, social ecology and sometimes mutualism.

Collectivist anarchism

Collectivist anarchism is a revolutionaryPatsouras, Louis. 2005. Marx in Context. iUniverse. p. 54] form of anarchism, commonly associated with Mikhail Bakunin and Johann Most. [Avrich, Paul. 2006. "Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America". AK Press. p. 5] It is a specific tendency, not to be confused with the broad category sometimes called collectivist or communitarian anarchism. [Morris, Christopher W. 1998. "An Essay on the Modern State". Cambridge University Press. p 50. The collectivist "category" is also sometimes known as social, socialist, or communitarian anarchism category.]

Unlike mutualists, collectivist anarchists oppose all private ownership of the means of production, instead advocating that ownership be collectivized. This was to be initiated by small cohesive group through acts of violence, or "propaganda by the deed," which would inspire the workers as a whole to revolt and forcibly collectivize the means of production. However, collectivization was not to be extended to the distribution of income, as workers would be paid according to time worked, rather than receiving goods being distributed "according to need" as in anarcho-communism. Although the collectivist anarchists advocated compensation for labor, some held out the possibility of a post-revolutionary transition to a communist system of distribution according to need. [ Guillaume, James, " [ Ideas on Social Organization] "(1876)] Collectivist anarchism arose contemporaneously with Marxism but opposed the Marxist dictatorship of the proletariat, despite the stated Marxist goal of a collectivist stateless society. [cite book |last=Bakunin |first=Mikhail |title=Statism and Anarchy |publisher=Cambridge University Press |location=Cambridge |year=1990 |isbn=0521361826 |quote=They [the Marxists] maintain that only a dictatorshipndash their dictatorship, of coursendash can create the will of the people, while our answer to this is: No dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it; freedom can be created only by freedom, that is, by a universal rebellion on the part of the people and free organization of the toiling masses from the bottom up.]

Anarchist communism

Anarchist communists propose that the freest form of social organisation would be a society composed of self-governing communes with collective use of the means of production, organized by direct democracy, and related to other communes through federation.Puente, Isaac. [ "Libertarian Communism"] . "The Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review". Issue 6 Orkney 1982 ] However, some anarchist communists oppose the majoritarian nature of direct democracy, feeling that it can impede individual liberty and favor consensus democracy. [Graeber, David and Grubacic, Andrej. "Anarchism, Or The Revolutionary Movement Of The Twenty-first Century"] In anarchist communism, individuals would not receive direct compensation for labour (through sharing of profits or payment), but would have free access to the resources and surplus of the commune. [Miller. "Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought", Blackwell Publishing (1991) ISBN 0–631–17944–5, p. 12] According to anarchist communist Peter Kropotkin and later Murray Bookchin, the members of such a society would spontaneously perform all necessary labour because they would recognize the benefits of communal enterprise and mutual aid. [
* Kropotkin, Peter "", 1998 paperback, London: Freedom Press. ISBN 0–900384–36–0, also at [ Project Gutenberg]
* Kropotkin, Peter "The Conquest of Bread", first published 1892, also at [ Anarchy Archives]
* Kropotkin, Peter "Fields, Factories and Workshops", available at [ Anarchy Archives]
* Bookchin, Murray "Post Scarcity Anarchism" (1971 and 2004) ISBN 1–904859–06–2.
] page number Kropotkin believed that private property was one of the causes of oppression and exploitation and called for its abolition, [Kropotkin, Peter. "Words of a Rebel", p99.] advocating instead common ownership.cite book |title=The Conquest of Bread |last=Kropotkin |first=Peter |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1907 |publisher=Putnam |location=New York |isbn=7195197 |pages=p. 202 ] Except where property-like (means of production) personal possessions are used for oneself. According to Kropotkin, "peasant who is in possession of just the amount of land he can cultivate," and "a family inhabiting a house which affords them just enough space... considered necessary for that number of people" and the artisan "working with their own tools or handloom" would not be interfered with,Kropotkin "Act for yourselves." N.Walter and H. Becker, eds. (London: Freedom Press 1985) [p. 104-5] ] arguing that " [t] he landlord owes his riches to the poverty of the peasants, and the wealth of the capitalist comes from the same source."

Some anarcho-syndicalists, such as the Spanish union "Confederación Nacional del Trabajo" (CNT) see an anarcho-communist society as their objective.

Like most schools of anarchism, anarcho-communism has conflicts with other schools. For instance, most individualist anarchists consider it incompatible with political freedom. [Yarros, Victor S. "A Princely Paradox", "Liberty", Vol 4. No. 19, Saturday, 9 April 1887, Whole Number 97; Tucker, Benjamin. "Labor and Its Pay"; Appleton, Henry. "Anarchism, True and False", "Liberty" 2.24, no. 50, 6 September 1884, p. 4; Swartz, Clarence Lee. "What is Mutualism?"; Rothbard, Murray. " [ The Death Wish of the Anarcho-Communists] "]

Platformism is an anarchist communist tendency in the tradition of Nestor Makhno, who argued for the "vital need of an organization which, having attracted most of the participants in the anarchist movement, would establish a common tactical and political line for anarchism and thereby serve as a guide for the whole movement".cite book |last=Dielo Trouda |authorlink=Dielo Truda |title=Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft) |origyear=1926 |url= |accessdate=2006-10-24 |year=2006 |publisher=FdCA |location=Italy]

Some forms of anarchist communism are strongly Egoist, [Christopher Gray, "Leaving the Twentieth Century", p. 88.] and are strongly influenced by radical individualist philosophy, believing that anarcho-communism does not require a communitarian nature at all. Anarchist communist Emma Goldman blended the philosophies of both Max Stirner and Kropotkin in her own. [Emma Goldman, "Anarchism and Other Essays", p. 50.]


In the early 20th century, anarcho-syndicalism arose as a distinct school of thought within anarchism. [Berry, David, "A History of the French Anarchist Movement", 1917–1945 p.134] With greater focus on the labour movement than previous forms of anarchism, syndicalism posits radical trade unions as a potential force for revolutionary social change, replacing capitalism and the state with a new society, democratically self-managed by the workers.

Anarcho-syndicalists seek to abolish the wage system and private ownership of the means of production, which they believe lead to class divisions. Important principles include workers' solidarity, direct action (such as general strikes and workplace recuperations), and workers' self-management. This is compatible with other branches of anarchism, and anarcho-syndicalists often subscribe to anarchist communist or collectivist anarchist economic systems.cite book |editor=Iain Mckay |title=An Anarchist FAQ |publisher=AK Press |location=Stirling |year=2008 |isbn=1902593901 |oclc=182529204|chapter=Are there different types of social anarchism? |url=] Its advocates propose labour organization as a means to create the foundations of a non-hierarchical anarchist society within the current system and bring about social revolution.

An early leading anarcho-syndicalist thinker was Rudolf Rocker, whose 1938 pamphlet "Anarchosyndicalism" outlined a view of the movement's origin, aims and importance to the future of labour. [ [ "Anarchosyndicalism] " by Rudolf Rocker, retrieved 7 September 2006]

Although more often associated with labor struggles of the early 20th century (particularly in France and Spain), many syndicalist organizations are active today, united across national borders by membership in the International Workers Association, including the Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden (SAC) in Sweden, the "Unione Sindacale Italiana" (USI) in Italy, and the CNT in Spain.

Recent schools of thought

Anarchism continues to generate many eclectic and syncretic philosophies and movements; since the revival of anarchism in the U.S. in the 1960s,cite journal
title=Anarchism Revived
journal=New Political Science
] a number of new movements and schools have emerged. Anarcho-capitalism developed from radical anti-state libertarianism as a rejuvenated form of individualist anarchism, while the burgeoning feminist and environmentalist movements also produced anarchist offshoots.

Post-left anarchy is a tendency which seeks to distance itself from the traditional "Left" and to escape the confines of ideology in general. Post-leftists argue that anarchism has been weakened by its long attachment to contrary "leftist" movements, single issue causes and calls for a synthesis of anarchist thought, and a specifically anti-authoritarian revolutionary movement outside the leftist milieu. Post-anarchism is a theoretical move towards a synthesis of classical anarchist theory and poststructuralist thought developed by Saul Newman and associated with thinkers such as Todd May, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. It draws from a wide range of ideas including autonomism, post-left anarchy, situationism, postcolonialism and Zapatismo.

Another recent form of anarchism critical of formal anarchist movements is insurrectionary anarchism, which advocates informal organization and active resistance to the state; its proponents include Wolfi Landstreicher and Alfredo M. Bonanno.


Anarcho-capitalism (or "free market anarchism" ["This volume honors the foremost contemporary exponent of market anarchism. One contributor describes Murray Rothbard as 'the most ideologically committed zero-State academic economist on earth'." Review by Lawrence H. White of "Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in honor of Murray N. Rothbard", published in "Journal of Economic Literature", Vol XXVIII, June 1990, page 664] ) is "based on a belief in the freedom to own private property, a rejection of any form of governmental authority or intervention, and the upholding of the competitive free market as the main mechanism for social interaction." ["Anarcho-capitalism." "Oxford English Dictionary". 2004. Oxford University Press.] Because of the historically anti-capitalist nature of most anarchist thought, the status of anarcho-capitalism within anarchism is disputed, particularly by communist anarchists. [Jainendra, Jha. 2002. "Anarchism". "Encyclopedia of Teaching of Civics and Political Science". p. 52. Anmol Publications.] Anarcho-capitalists distinguish between free market capitalism – peaceful voluntary exchange [Rothbard, Murray N. "A Future of Peace and Capitalism". "Modern Political Economy". James H. Weaver (ed.). pp 419. Allyn and Bacon.] – from "state capitalism" which Murray Rothbard defined as a collusive partnership between big business and government that uses coercion to subvert the free market. [Murray Rothbard, "A Future of Peace and Capitalism"; Murray Rothbard, "Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty".] Whether in its natural rights-based or utilitarian formulations, anarcho-capitalism has a theory of legitimacy that supports private property as long as it was obtained by labor, trade, or gift.Rothbard, Murray (1969) PDFlink| [ "Confiscation and the Homestead Principle"] |580 KiB "The Libertarian Forum" Vol. I, No. VI (15 June 1969) Retrieved 5 August 2006] In an anarcho-capitalist society, its proponents hold, voluntary market processes would result in the provision of social institutions such as law enforcement, defence and infrastructure by competing for-profit firms, charities or voluntary associations. [Hess, Karl. " [ The Death of Politics] ". "Playboy Magazine", March 1969] rather than the state. In Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism, law (the non-aggression principle) is enforced by the market but not created by it, while according to David D. Friedman's utilitarian version, the law itself is produced by the market.

While the term "anarcho-capitalism" was coined by Rothbard and its origin is attributed to 1960s United States, some historians, including Rothbard himself, trace the school as far back as the mid-19th century to market theorists such as Gustave de Molinari. [Raico, Ralph (2004) [ "Authentic German Liberalism of the 19th Century"] Ecole Polytechnique, [ Centre de Recherce en Epistemologie Appliquee] , Unité associée au CNRS] [Rothbard, Murray. Preface. The Production of Security. By Gustave Molinari. 1849, 1977. [] ] Anarcho-capitalism has drawn influence from pro-market theorists such as Molinari, Frédéric Bastiat, and Robert Nozick, as well as American individualist thinkers such as Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner. [DeLeon, David. The American as Anarchist: Reflections on Indigenous Radicalism. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978, p. 127] ["Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought", 1987, ISBN 0–631–17944–5, p. 290: "A student and disciple of the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, Rothbard combined the laissez-faire economics of his teacher with the absolutist views of human rights and rejection of the state he had absorbed from studying the individualist American anarchists of the 19th century, such as Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker. (Rothbard himself is on the anarchist wing of the movement.)"] Considered a form of individualist anarchism, [Adams, Ian. 2002. "Political Ideology Today". p. 135. Manchester University Press; Ostergaard, Geoffrey. 2003. "Anarchism". "The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought". W. Outwaite ed. Blackwell Publishing. p. 14.] it differs from the individualism of the "Boston anarchists" of the 19th century in its rejection of the labor theory of value (and its normative implications) in favor of the neoclassical or Austrian School marginalist view. Anarcho-capitalist ideas have in turn contributed to the development of agorism,cite book |last=Konkin |first=Samuel Edward |title=New Libertarian Manifesto |publisher=KoPubCo |year=2006 |isbn=9780977764921 |url=|format=pdf ] autarchism, and crypto-anarchism. [Vernor Vinge, James Frankel. "" (2001), Tor Books, p.44]


Anarcha-feminism is a synthesis of radical feminism and anarchism that views patriarchy (male domination over women) as a fundamental manifestation of involuntary hierarchy – to which anarchists are opposed. Anarcha-feminism was inspired in the late 19th century by the writings of early feminist anarchists such as Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman and Voltairine de Cleyre. Anarcha-feminists, like other radical feminists, criticize and advocate the abolition of traditional conceptions of family, education and gender roles.

Many Anarcha-feminists are especially critical of marriage. For instance, Emma Goldman has argued that marriage is a purely economic arrangement and that "... [woman] pays for it with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, her very life." [Goldman, "Marriage and Love", "Red Emma Speaks", p. 205] Anarcha-feminists view patriarchy as a fundamental problem in society and believe that the feminist struggle against sexism and patriarchy is an essential component of the anarchist struggle against the state and capitalism. L. Susan Brown expressed the sentiment that "as anarchism is a political philosophy that opposes all relationships of power, it is inherently feminist". [Brown, Susan. "Beyond Feminism: Anarchism and Human Freedom" "Anarchist Papers 3" Black Rose Books (1990) p. 208] There have been several male anarcha-feminists, such as the Anarcho-communist Joseph Déjacque who opposed Proudhon's anti-feminist views." ["Anarchist-Communism" by Alain Pengam]

Green anarchism

Green anarchism is an anarchist school of thought which places an emphasis on environmental issues. Sometimes, green anarchism is said to be techno-positive or techno-negative to differentiate between those who advocate use of advanced green technology to create and maintain an anarchist society and those who mainly see civilization and modern technology as something negative.

Anarcho-primitivism is a form of green anarchism that believes civilization and technology inevitably lead to inequality and are incompatible with anarchism and in effect must be abolished. Anarcho-primitivists often criticize traditional anarchism for supporting civilization and technology which they believe are inherently based on domination and exploitation. They instead advocate the process of rewilding or reconnecting with the natural environment.

Non-primitivist green anarchists, such as anthropologist Brian Morris, often draw influence from the social ecology of Murray Bookchin.

Anarchism without adjectives

"Anarchism without adjectives", in the words of historian George Richard Esenwein, "referred to an unhyphenated form of anarchism, that is, a doctrine without any qualifying labels such as communist, collectivist, mutualist, or individualist. For others,… [it] was simply understood as an attitude that tolerated the coexistence of different anarchist schools". [Esenwein, George Richard "Anarchist Ideology and the Working Class Movement in Spain, 1868–1898" [p. 135] ] "Anarchism without adjectives" emphasizes harmony among various anarchist factions and attempts to unite them around their shared anti-authoritarian beliefs.The position was first adopted in 1889 by Fernando Tarrida del Mármol as a call for toleration, after being troubled by the "bitter debates" among the different anarchist movements. [Avrich, Paul. "Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America". Princeton University Press, 1996, p. 6] Voltairine de Cleyre, [Voltairine De Cleyre, "Why I Am an Anarchist"] Errico Malatesta, [Nettlau, Max. "A Short History of Anarchism" [p. 198–9] ] and Fred Woodworth are noteworthy exponents of the view. ["", Paul Avrich (2006). p. 475]

As a social movement

Anarchism as a social movement has regularly endured fluctuations in popularity. Its classical period, which scholars demarcate as from 1860 to 1939, is associated with the working-class movements of the nineteenth century and the Spanish Civil War-era struggles against fascism. [Jonathan Purkis and James Bowen, "Introduction: Why Anarchism Still Matters", in Jonathan Purkis and James Bowen (eds), "Changing Anarchism: Anarchist Theory and Practice in a Global Age" (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), p.3.]

The First International

In Europe, harsh reaction followed the revolutions of 1848, wherein ten countries experienced brief or long-term social upheaval as groups carried out nationalist revolutions. After most of these attempts at systematic change ended in failure, conservative elements took advantage of the divided groups of socialists, anarchists, liberals, and nationalists, to prevent further revolt. [cite book |last=Breunig |first=Charles |title=The Age of Revolution and Reaction, 1789 - 1850 |year=1977 |publisher=W. W. Norton & Company |location=New York, N.Y |isbn=0-393-09143-0 ] In 1864 the International Workingmen's Association (sometimes called the "First International") united diverse revolutionary currents including French followers of Proudhon, Blanquists, Philadelphes, English trade unionists, socialists and social democrats.Fact|date=December 2007 Due to its links to active workers' movements, the International became a significant organization. Karl Marx became a leading figure in the International and a member of its General Council. Proudhon's followers, the mutualists, opposed Marx's state socialism, advocating political abstentionism and small property holdings.Fact|date=December 2007 In 1868, following their unsuccessful participation in the League of Peace and Freedom (LPF), Mikhail Bakunin and his associates joined the First International – which had decided not to get involved with the LPF. They allied themselves with the anti-authoritarian socialist sections of the International, who advocated the revolutionary overthrow of the state and the collectivization of property. At first, the collectivists worked with the Marxists to push the First International in a more revolutionary socialist direction. Subsequently, the International became polarized into two camps, with Marx and Bakunin as their respective figureheads.Fact|date=December 2007 Bakunin characterised Marx's ideas as authoritarian and predicted that, if a Marxist party came to power, its leaders would simply take the place of the ruling class they had fought against. [cite book|last=Bakunin|first=Mikhail|authorlink=Mikhail Bakunin|origyear=1873|year=1991|title=Statism and Anarchy |publisher=Cambridge University Press|id=ISBN 0–521–36973–8] In 1872, the conflict climaxed with a final split between the two groups at the Hague Congress, where Bakunin and James Guillaume were expelled from the International and its headquarters were transferred to New York. In response, the anti-authoritarianPOV-statement|date=April 2008 sections formed their own International at the St. Imier Congress, adopting a revolutionary anarchist program.Graham, Robert ' [ 'Anarchism"] (Montreal: Black Rose Books 2005) ISBN 1–55164–251–4]

Organized labor

The anti-authoritarian sections of the First International were the precursors of the anarcho-syndicalists, seeking to "replace the privilege and authority of the State" with the "free and spontaneous organization of labor." [ Resolutions from the St. Imier Congress, in "Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas", Vol. 1, p.100 [] ] In 1886, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (FOTLU) of the United States and Canada unanimously set 1 May 1886, as the date by which the eight-hour work day would become standard.cite web |url= |title=How May Day Became a Workers' Holiday |accessdate=2008-01-19 |date=4 October 2001 |work=The Guide to Life, The Universe and Everything | |quote=(It is) Resolved ... that eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labor from and after 1 May 1886, and that we recommend to labor organizations throughout this district that they so direct their laws so as to conform to this resolution by the time named. ] In response, unions across America prepared a general strike in support of the event.cite web |url= |title=How May Day Became a Workers' Holiday |accessdate=2008-01-19 |date=4 October 2001 |work=The Guide to Life, The Universe and Everything | ] Upon 3 May, in Chicago, a fight broke out when replacement workers attempted to cross the picket line. Police intervention led to the deaths of four men, enraging the workers of the city. The next day, 4 May, anarchists staged a rally at Chicago's Haymarket Square. [cite book |last=Avrich |title=The Haymarket Tragedy |pages=p. 193 ] A bomb was thrown by an unknown party near the conclusion of the rally, killing an officer. [cite web |url= |title=Patrolman Mathias J. Degan |accessdate=2008-01-19 |publisher=The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc ] In the ensuing panic, police opened fire on the crowd and each other. ["Chicago Tribune", 27 June 1886, quoted in cite book |last=Avrich |title=The Haymarket Tragedy |pages=p. 209 ] Seven police officers and at least four workers were killed.cite web |url= |title=Act II: Let Your Tragedy Be Enacted Here |accessdate=2008-01-19 |year=2000 |work=The Dramas of Haymarket |publisher=Chicago Historical Society ] Eight anarchists directly and indirectly related to the organizers of the rally were arrested and charged with the murder of the deceased officer. The men became international political celebrities among the labor movement. Four of the men were executed and a fifth committed suicide prior to his own execution. The incident became known as the Haymarket affair, and was a setback for the labor movement and the struggle for the eight hour day. In 1890 a second attempt, this time international in scope, to organize for the eight hour day was made. The event also had the secondary purpose of memorializing workers killed as a result of the Haymarket affair. [cite book |last=Foner |title=May Day |pages=p. 42 ] The celebration of International Workers' Day on May Day became an annual event the following year.

In 1907, the International Anarchist Congress of Amsterdam gathered delegates from 14 different countries, among which important figures of the anarchist movement, including Errico Malatesta, Pierre Monatte, Luigi Fabbri, Benoît Broutchoux, Emma Goldman, Rudolf Rocker, Christiaan Cornelissen, etc. Various themes were treated during the Congress, in particular concerning the organisation of the anarchist movement, popular education issues, the general strike or antimilitarism. A central debate concerned the relation between anarchism and syndicalism (or trade unionism). Malatesta and Monatte in particular opposed themselves on this issue, as the latter thought that syndicalism was revolutionary and would create the conditions of a social revolution, while Malatesta did not consider syndicalism by itself sufficient. [ [ Extract of Malatesta's declaration] fr icon] Malatesta thought that trade-unions were reformist, and could even be, at times, conservative. Along with Cornelissen, he cited as example US trade-unions, where trade-unions composed of qualified workers sometimes opposed themselves to non-qualified workers in order to defend their relatively privileged position.

The Spanish Workers Federation in 1881 was the first major anarcho-syndicalist movement; anarchist trade union federations were of special importance in Spain. The most successful was the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labour: CNT), founded in 1910. Before the 1940s, the CNT was the major force in Spanish working class politics and played a major role in the Spanish Civil War. The CNT was affiliated with the International Workers Association, a federation of anarcho-syndicalist trade unions founded in 1922, with delegates representing two million workers from 15 countries in Europe and Latin America. The largest organised anarchist movement today is in Spain, in the form of the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) and the CNT. CGT membership was estimated to be around 100,000 for the year 2003. [Carley, Mark "Trade union membership 1993–2003" (International:SPIRE Associates 2004)] Other active syndicalist movements include the US Workers Solidarity Alliance and the UK Solidarity Federation. The revolutionary industrial unionist Industrial Workers of the World, claiming 2,000 paying members, and the International Workers Association, an anarcho-syndicalist successor to the First International, also remain active.

Russian Revolution


thumb|right|Anarchists_Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman opposed Bolshevik consolidation of power following the Russian Revolution (1917).] Anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both February and October revolutions, many anarchists initially supporting the Bolshevik coup. However, the Bolsheviks soon turned against the anarchists and other left-wing opposition, a conflict that culminated in the 1921 Kronstadt rebellion. Anarchists in central Russia were either imprisoned, driven underground or joined the victorious Bolsheviks. In the Ukraine, anarchists fought in the civil war against Whites and then the Bolsheviks as part of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine led by Nestor Makhno, who attempted to establish an anarchist society in the region for a number of months.

Expelled American anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman were amongst those agitating in response to Bolshevik policy and the suppression of the Kronstadt uprising, before they left Russia. Both wrote accounts of their experiences in Russia, criticizing the amount of control the Bolsheviks exercised. For them, Bakunin's predictions about the consequences of Marxist rule that the rulers of the new "socialist” Marxist state would become a new elite" [ On the International Workingmen's Association and Karl Marx] " in "Bakunin on Anarchy", translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971] had proved all too true.

The victory of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution and the resulting Russian Civil War did serious damage to anarchist movements internationally. Many workers and activists saw Bolshevik success as setting an example; Communist parties grew at the expense of anarchism and other socialist movements. In France and the US, for example, certain members of the major syndicalist movements of the CGT and IWW left the organizations and joined the Communist International.

In Paris, the Dielo Truda group of Russian anarchist exiles, which included Nestor Makhno, concluded that anarchists needed to develop new forms of organisation in response to the structures of Bolshevism. Their 1926 manifesto, called the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft),cite book |last=Dielo Trouda group |authorlink=Dielo Trouda |title=Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft) |origyear=1926 |url= |accessdate=2006-10-24 |year=2006 |publisher=FdCA |location=Italy] was supported by some communist anarchists, though opposed by many others.Who|date=April 2008 Platformist groups active today include the Workers Solidarity Movement in Ireland and the North Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists of North America.

Fight against fascism

In the 1920s and 1930s, the rise of fascism in Europe transformed anarchism's conflict with the state. Italy saw the first struggles between anarchists and fascists. Italian anarchists played a key role in the anti-fascist organisation "Arditi del Popolo", which was strongest in areas with anarchist traditions and marked up numerous successful victories, including repelling Blackshirts in the anarchist stronghold of Parma in August 1922. [Holbrow, Marnie, [ "Daring but Divided"] ("Socialist Review" November 2002)] In France, where the far right leagues came close to insurrection in the February 1934 riots, anarchists divided over a united front policy. [Berry, David. "Fascism or Revolution". "Le Libertaire". August 1936)]

In Spain, the CNT initially refused to join a popular front electoral alliance, and abstention by CNT supporters led to a right wing election victory. But in 1936, the CNT changed its policy and anarchist votes helped bring the popular front back to power. Months later, the ruling class responded with an attempted coup causing the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). 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 collectivized the land. But even before the fascist victory in 1939, the anarchists were losing ground in a bitter struggle with the Stalinists, who controlled the distribution of military aid to the Republican cause from the Soviet Union. According to George Orwell and other foreign observers, Stalinist-led troops suppressed the collectives and persecuted both dissident Marxists and anarchists.

Internal issues and debates

Anarchism is a philosophy which embodies many diverse attitudes, tendencies and schools of thought; as such, disagreement over questions of values, ideology and tactics is common. The compatibility of capitalism (which anarchists usually reject, according to the "Oxford Companion to Philosophy"), nationalism and religion with anarchism is widely disputed. Similarly, anarchism enjoys a complex relationship with ideologies such as Marxism, communism and anarcho-capitalism. Anarchists may be motivated by humanism, divine authority, enlightened self-interest or any number of alternative ethical doctrines.

Phenomena such as civilization, technology (e.g. within anarcho-primitivism and insurrectionary anarchism), and the democratic process may be sharply criticized within some anarchist tendencies and simultaneously lauded in others. Anarchist attitudes towards race, gender and the environment have changed significantly since the modern origin of the philosophy in the 18th century.

On a tactical level, while propaganda of the deed was a tactic used by anarchists in the 19th century (e.g. the Nihilist movement), contemporary anarchists espouse alternative methods such as nonviolence, counter-economics and anti-state cryptography to bring about an anarchist society. The diversity in anarchism has led to widely different use of identical terms among different anarchist traditions, which has led to many definitional concerns in anarchist theory.


ee also

* Anarchist symbolism
* List of basic anarchism topics

Further reading

* "Anarchism. A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas." Robert Graham, editor.
** "Volume One: From Anarchy to Anarchism (300CE to 1939)" Black Rose Books, Montréal and London 2005. ISBN 1–55164–250–6.
** "Volume Two: The Anarchist Current (1939–2006)" Black Rose Books, Montréal 2007. ISBN 9781551643113.
* "Anarchism", George Woodcock (Penguin Books, 1962)
* "Anarchy: A Graphic Guide", Clifford Harper (Camden Press, 1987): An overview, updating Woodcock's classic, and illustrated throughout by Harper's woodcut-style artwork.
* "The Anarchist Reader", George Woodcock (Ed.) (Fontana/Collins 1977): An anthology of writings from anarchist thinkers and activists including Proudhon, Kropotkin, Bakunin, Bookchin, Goldman, and many others.
* The Machinery of Freedom, David Friedman, Classic utilitarian defense of anarchism
*"The Ethics of Liberty", Murray Rothbard (1982). Ludwig von Mises Institute

External links

General resources

* [ "An Anarchist FAQ Webpage"] – An Anarchist FAQ
* [ Anarchist Theory FAQ] by Bryan Caplan
* [] – Anarchist news, information, and online library.
* [] – a pluralist resource on anarchism

Biographical and bibliographical

* [ Daily Bleed's Anarchist Encyclopedia] –1,700+ entries, with short bios, links & dedicated pages.
* [ Anarchy Archives] – Anarchy Archives, information relating to famous anarchists including their writings.
* [ Anarchist virtual library] 768 books, booklets and texts about anarchism.
* [] – Spunk Library, extensive archive of anarchist documents
* [ ""] anarchist zines to download, print and distribute
* [ Anarchism Page] - faqs, library, resources


* [ A-infos] "a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists"
* [ Anarchist News] – news reports from an anarchist perspective
* [ Anarkismo] - A multi-lingual, international news and theory site

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