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Anarchism is often defined as a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. However, others argue that while anti-statism is central, it is inadequate to define anarchism solely on this basis. Therefore, they argue instead that anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system. Proponents of this form of anarchism advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical free associations.
Since the last third of the 20th century, anarchists have been involved in student protest movements, peace movements, squatter movements, and the anti-globalization movement, among others. Anarchists have participated in violent revolutions (such as in Revolutionary Catalonia and the Free Territory) and anarchist political organizations (such as IWA-AIT or the IWW) exist since the 19th century.
|“||There is no doubt that 60s anarchism was libertarian and linked to the sexual revolution, liberation of the erotic instincts and what Herbert Marcuse called "nonrepressive sublimation". Yet, contemporary anarchism can be seen as a powerful critique of the pseudo-libertarianism of contemporary neo-liberalism, where the sexual revolution has turned the culture industry into the sex industry - ask yourself, is there today anything less transgressive and more normalizing than pornography? One might say that contemporary anarchism is about responsibility, whether sexual, ecological or socio-economic; it flows from an experience of conscience about the manifold ways in which the West ravages the rest; it is an ethical outrage at the yawning inequality, impoverishment and disenfranchisment that is so palpable locally and globally. Infinitely Demanding by Simon Critchley. Verso. 2007. pg. 125||”|
Anarchism was influential in the Counterculture of the 1960s and anarchists actively participated in the late sixties students and workers revolts. In 1968 in Carrara, Italy the International of Anarchist Federations was founded during an international anarchist conference held there in 1968 by the three existing European federations of France (the Fédération Anarchiste), the Federazione Anarchica Italiana of Italy and the Iberian Anarchist Federation as well as the Bulgarian federation in French exile.
In the United Kingdom in the 1970s this was associated with the punk rock movement, as exemplified by bands such as Crass and the Sex Pistols. The housing and employment crisis in most of Western Europe led to the formation of communes and squatter movements like that of Barcelona, Spain. In Denmark, squatters occupied a disused military base and declared the Freetown Christiania, an autonomous haven in central Copenhagen.
Since the revival of anarchism in the mid 20th century, a number of new movements and schools of thought emerged, well documented in Robert Graham's Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, Volume Two, The Emergence of the New Anarchism (1939-1977). Although feminist tendencies have always been a part of the anarchist movement in the form of anarcha-feminism, they returned with vigour during the second wave of feminism in the 1960s. The American Civil Rights Movement and the movement against the war in Vietnam also contributed to the revival of North American anarchism. European anarchism of the late 20th century drew much of its strength from the labour movement, and both have incorporated animal rights activism. Anarchist anthropologist David Graeber and anarchist historian Andrej Grubacic have posited a rupture between generations of anarchism, with those "who often still have not shaken the sectarian habits" of the 19th century contrasted with the younger activists who are "much more informed, among other elements, by indigenous, feminist, ecological and cultural-critical ideas", and who by the turn of the 21st century formed "by far the majority" of anarchists.
Around the turn of the 21st century, anarchism grew in popularity and influence as part of the anti-war, anti-capitalist, and anti-globalisation movements. Anarchists became known for their involvement in protests against the meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Group of Eight, and the World Economic Forum. Some anarchist factions at these protests engaged in rioting, property destruction, and violent confrontations with police. These actions were precipitated by ad hoc, leaderless, anonymous cadres known as black blocs; other organisational tactics pioneered in this time include security culture, affinity groups and the use of decentralised technologies such as the internet. A significant event of this period was the confrontations at WTO conference in Seattle in 1999.
International anarchist federations in existence include the International of Anarchist Federations, the International Workers' Association, and International Libertarian Solidarity. 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 at around 100,000 for 2003. Other active syndicalist movements include in Sweden the Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden and the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist Youth Federation; the CNT-AIT in France; the Union Sindicale Italiana in Italy; in the US Workers Solidarity Alliance and the UK Solidarity Federation. The revolutionary industrial unionist Industrial Workers of the World, claiming 10,000 paying members, and the International Workers Association, an anarcho-syndicalist successor to the First International, also remain active.
Post-classical schools of thought and movements
Anarchism continues to generate many philosophies and movements, at times eclectic, drawing upon various sources, and syncretic, combining disparate concepts to create new philosophical approaches.
- Anarcha-feminism developed as a synthesis of radical feminism and anarchism that views patriarchy (male domination over women) as a fundamental manifestation of compulsory government. It was inspired by the late 19th century 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.
- Green anarchism (or eco-anarchism) is a school of thought within anarchism that emphasizes environmental issues, with an important precedent in anarcho-naturism, and whose main contemporary currents are anarcho-primitivism and social ecology.
- Anarcho-syndicalism is a movement within anarchism that seeks to organize society along economic syndicalism. Among its proponents include Noam Chomsky who said it is "highly relevant to advanced industrial societies."
- Anarcho-pacifism is a tendency that rejects violence in the struggle for social change (see non-violence). It developed "mostly in the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States, before and during the Second World War". Christian anarchism is a movement in political theology that combines anarchism and Christianity. Its main proponents included Leo Tolstoy, Dorothy Day, Ammon Hennacy, and Jacques Ellul.
- Platformism is a tendency within the wider anarchist movement based on the organisational theories in the tradition of Dielo Truda's Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft). The document was based on the experiences of Russian anarchists in the 1917 October Revolution, which led eventually to the victory of the Bolsheviks over the anarchists and other groups. The Platform attempted to address and explain the anarchist movement's failures during the Russian Revolution. Today "Platformism" is an important current in international anarchism. Around thirty platformists and especifistas are linked together in the Anarkismo.net project, including groups from Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe. At least in terms of the number of affiliated organisations, the Anarkismo network is larger than other anarchist international bodies, like the International of Anarchist Federations and the International Workers' Association. It is not, however, a formal "international" and has no intention of competing with these other formations. Today there are organisations inspired by the Platform in many countries, including the Workers Solidarity Movement in Ireland, Common Struggle/Lucha Común in the United States, the Union Communiste Libertaire in Quebec, Common Cause in Ontario, the Federación Comunista Libertaria (FCL) and Organización Comunista Libertaria (OCL) in Chile, the Federación Anarco-Comunista de Argentina (FACA) and Línea Anarco-Comunista (LAC) in Argentina, the Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici (FdCA) in Italy, the Fórum do Anarquismo Organizado in Brazil, Unión Socialista Libertaria in Peru, the Organisation Communiste Libertaire and Alternative Libertaire in France, the Alianza de los Comunistas Libertarios (ACL) in Mexico, the Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group (MACG) and Sydney Anarchist Communist Trajectory (SACT) in Australia, Motmakt in Norway, Libertære Socialister in Denmark, Collective Action in the UK, the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) in South Africa, and the Revolutionary Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists by the name of N. I. Makhno (RKAS), which is an international anarcho-syndicalist, platformist confederation with sections and individual members in Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Bulgaria and Israel. Organisations inspired by the Platform were also among the founders of the now-defunct International Libertarian Solidarity network and its successor, the Anarkismo network; which is run collaboratively by roughly 30 platformist and especifista organisations around the world.
- Synthesis anarchism is a form of anarchist organization that tries to join anarchists of different tendencies under the principles of anarchism without adjectives. In the 1920s, this form found as its main proponents the anarcho-communists Voline and Sébastien Faure. It is the main principle behind the anarchist federations grouped around the contemporary global International of Anarchist Federations. The International of Anarchist Federations (IAF/IFA) was founded during an international anarchist conference in Carrara in 1968 by the three existing European anarchist federations of France (Fédération Anarchiste), Italy(Federazione Anarchica Italiana) and Spain (Federación Anarquista Ibérica) as well as the Bulgarian federation in French exile. These organizations were also inspired on synthesist principles. Currently alongside the previously mentioned federations, the IAF includes the Argentine Libertarian Federation, the Anarchist Federation of Belarus, the Federation of Anarchists in Bulgaria, the Czech-Slovak Anarchist Federation, the Federation of German speaking Anarchists in Germany and Switzerland, and the Anarchist Federation in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
- Post-left anarchy is a recent current in anarchist thought that promotes a critique of anarchism's relationship to traditional Left-wing politics. Some post-leftists seek to escape the confines of ideology in general also presenting a critique of organizations and morality. Influenced by the work of Max Stirner and by the Marxist Situationist International, post-left anarchy is marked by a focus on social insurrection and a rejection of leftist social organisation.
- Insurrectionary anarchism is a revolutionary theory, practice, and tendency within the anarchist movement which emphasizes insurrection within anarchist practice. It is critical of formal organizations such as labor unions and federations that are based on a political programme and periodic congresses. Instead, insurrectionary anarchists advocate informal organization and small affinity group based organization. Insurrectionary anarchists put value in attack, permanent class conflict, and a refusal to negotiate or compromise with class enemies. The Informal Anarchist Federation (not to be confused with the synthesist Italian Anarchist Federation also FAI ) is an Italian insurrectionary anarchist organization. It has been described by Italian intelligence sources as a "horizontal" structure of various anarchist terrorist groups, united in their beliefs in revolutionary armed action. In 2003, the group claimed responsibility for a bomb campaign targeting several European Union institutions. In 2010, Italy’s postal service intercepted a threatening letter containing a bullet addressed to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A large envelope containing a letter addressed to Berlusconi with the threat “you will end up like a rat” was discovered on Friday in a post office in the Libate suburb of the northern city of Milan. On 23 December 2010, credit for exploding parcels delivered to the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome was claimed by the Informal Anarchist Federation,.
- Post-anarchism is a theoretical move towards a synthesis of classical anarchist theory and poststructuralist thought, drawing from diverse ideas including post-modernism, autonomist marxism, post-left anarchy, situationism, and postcolonialism. Analytical anarchism, which partly began as a response to analytical Marxism, is a recent development in academia that uses the methods of analytic philosophy to clarify or defend anarchist theory. Analytical anarchists include Robert Paul Wolff, Alan Carter, and Michael Taylor. Wolff argues that we have no obligation to obey the state, while Carter argues that the state cannot be trusted to liberate the people, and Taylor uses game theory to argue that cooperation is possible without the state.
- Free-market anarchism, usually referring to anarcho-capitalism, is a political philosophy advocating property rights and the non-aggression principle. It is most common in the United States. It 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-capitalists advocate for all services, including law enforcement and security, to be performed by multiple private providers all competing for business, rather than by a monopolist state agency funded by taxation. Anarcho-capitalism's proponents include Murray Rothbard, David D. Friedman, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Walter Block, and Stefan Molyneux.
"New Anarchism" is a term that has been notably used by Andrej Grubacic, amongst others, to describe the most recent reinvention of the anarchist thought and practice. What distinguishes the new anarchism of today from the new anarchism of the 1960s and 1970s, or from the work of US-UK based authors like Murray Bookchin, Paul Goodman, Herbert Read, Colin Ward and Alex Comfort, is its emphasis on the global perspective. Some of essays on new anarchism include David Graeber's "New Anarchists" in A Movement of Movements: is Another World Really possible?, ed. Tom Mertes (London: Verso, 2004) and Grubacic's "Towards Another Anarchism" in World Social Forum: Challenging Empires, ed. Jai Sen and Peter Waterman (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2007).
- Malatesta, Errico. "Towards Anarchism". MAN! (Los Angeles: International Group of San Francisco). OCLC 3930443. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Agrell, Siri (14 May 2007). "Working for The Man". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 16 May 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2008. "Anarchism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 2006. Archived from the original on 14 December 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2006. "Anarchism". The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: 14. 2005. "Anarchism is the view that a society without the state, or government, is both possible and desirable." The following sources cite anarchism as a political philosophy: Mclaughlin, Paul (2007). Anarchism and Authority. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 59. ISBN 0-7546-6196-2. Johnston, R. (2000). The Dictionary of Human Geography. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers. p. 24. ISBN 0-631-20561-6.
- Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.
- "Anarchists do reject the state, as we will see. But to claim that this central aspect of anarchism is definitive is to sell anarchism short."Anarchism and Authority: A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism by Paul McLaughlin. AshGate. 2007. pg. 28
- "Authority is defined in terms of the right to exercise social control (as explored in the "sociology of power") and the correlative duty to obey (as explored in the "philosophy of practical reason"). Anarchism is distinguished, philosophically, by its scepticism towards such moral relations-by its questioning of the claims made for such normative power- and, practically, by its challenge to those "authoritative" powers which cannot justify their claims and which are therefore deemed illegitimate or without moral foundation."Anarchism and Authority: A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism by Paul McLaughlin. AshGate. 2007. pg. 1
- "IAF principles". International of Anarchist Federations. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. "The IAF - IFA fights for : the abolition of all forms of authority whether economical, political, social, religious, cultural or sexual."
- "Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations." Emma Goldman. "What it Really Stands for Anarchy" in Anarchism and Other Essays.
- Individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker defined anarchism as opposition to authority as follows "They found that they must turn either to the right or to the left, — follow either the path of Authority or the path of Liberty. Marx went one way; Warren and Proudhon the other. Thus were born State Socialism and Anarchism ... Authority, takes many shapes, but, broadly speaking, her enemies divide themselves into three classes: first, those who abhor her both as a means and as an end of progress, opposing her openly, avowedly, sincerely, consistently, universally; second, those who profess to believe in her as a means of progress, but who accept her only so far as they think she will subserve their own selfish interests, denying her and her blessings to the rest of the world; third, those who distrust her as a means of progress, believing in her only as an end to be obtained by first trampling upon, violating, and outraging her. These three phases of opposition to Liberty are met in almost every sphere of thought and human activity. Good representatives of the first are seen in the Catholic Church and the Russian autocracy; of the second, in the Protestant Church and the Manchester school of politics and political economy; of the third, in the atheism of Gambetta and the socialism of Karl Marx." Benjamin Tucker. Individual Liberty.
- Ward, Colin (1966). "Anarchism as a Theory of Organization". Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Anarchist historian George Woodcock report of Mikhail Bakunin's anti-authoritarianism and shows opposition to both state and non-state forms of authority as follows: "All anarchists deny authority; many of them fight against it." (pg. 9) ... Bakunin did not convert the League's central committee to his full program, but he did persuade them to accept a remarkably radical recommendation to the Berne Congress of September 1868, demanding economic equality and implicitly attacking authority in both Church and State."
- Brown, L. Susan (2002). "Anarchism as a Political Philosophy of Existential Individualism: Implications for Feminism". The Politics of Individualism: Liberalism, Liberal Feminism and Anarchism. Black Rose Books Ltd. Publishing. p. 106.
- "That is why Anarchy, when it works to destroy authority in all its aspects, when it demands the abrogation of laws and the abolition of the mechanism that serves to impose them, when it refuses all hierarchical organization and preaches free agreement — at the same time strives to maintain and enlarge the precious kernel of social customs without which no human or animal society can exist." Peter Kropotkin. Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal
- "anarchists are opposed to irrational (e.g., illegitimate) authority, in other words, hierarchy — hierarchy being the institutionalisation of authority within a society." "B.1 Why are anarchists against authority and hierarchy?" in An Anarchist FAQ
- "ANARCHISM, a social philosophy that rejects authoritarian government and maintains that voluntary institutions are best suited to express man's natural social tendencies." George Woodcock. "Anarchism" at The Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- "In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions." Peter Kropotkin. "Anarchism" from the Encyclopædia Britannica
- "These groups had their roots in the anarchist resurgence of the nineteen sixties. Young militants finding their way to anarchism, often from the anti-bomb and anti-Vietnam war movements, linked up with an earlier generation of activists, largely outside the ossified structures of ‘official’ anarchism. Anarchist tactics embraced demonstrations, direct action such as industrial militancy and squatting, protest bombings like those of the First of May Group and Angry Brigade – and a spree of publishing activity.""Islands of Anarchy: Simian, Cienfuegos, Refract and their support network" by John Patten
- "Farrell provides a detailed history of the Catholic Workers and their founders Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. He explains that their pacifism, anarchism, and commitment to the downtrodden were one of the important models and inspirations for the 60s. As Farrell puts it, "Catholic Workers identified the issues of the sixties before the Sixties began, and they offered models of protest long before the protest decade.""The Spirit of the Sixties: The Making of Postwar Radicalism" by James J. Farrell
- "While not always formally recognized, much of the protest of the sixties was anarchist. Within the nascent women's movement, anarchist principles became so widespread that a political science professor denounced what she saw as "The Tyranny of Structurelessness." Several groups have called themselves "Amazon Anarchists." After the Stonewall Rebellion, the New York Gay Liberation Front based their organization in part on a reading of Murray Bookchin's anarchist writings." "Anarchism" by Charley Shively in Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. pg. 52
- "Within the movements of the sixties there was much more receptivity to anarchism-in-fact than had existed in the movements of the thirties...But the movements of the sixties were driven by concerns that were more compatible with an expressive style of politics, with hostility to authority in general and state power in particular...By the late sixties, political protest was intertwined with cultural radicalism based on a critique of all authority and all hierarchies of power. Anarchism circulated within the movement along with other radical ideologies. The influence of anarchism was strongest among radical feminists, in the commune movement, and probably in the Weather Underground and elsewhere in the violent fringe of the anti-war movement." "Anarchism and the Anti-Globalization Movement" by Barbara Epstein
- London Federation of Anarchists involvement in Carrara conference, 1968 International Institute of Social History. Retrieved 19 January 2010
- Short history of the IAF-IFA A-infos news project. Retrieved 19 January 2010
- McLaughlin, Paul (2007). Anarchism and Authority. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 10. ISBN 0-7546-6196-2.
- Williams, Leonard (September 2007). "Anarchism Revived". New Political Science 29 (3): 297–312. doi:10.1080/07393140701510160.
- David Graeber and Andrej Grubacic, "Anarchism, Or The Revolutionary Movement Of The Twenty-first Century", ZNet. Retrieved 2007-12-13. or Graeber, David and Grubacic, Andrej(2004)Anarchism, Or The Revolutionary Movement Of The Twenty-first Century Retrieved 26 July 2010
- Rupert, Mark (2006). Globalization and International Political Economy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 66. ISBN 0-7425-2943-6.
- Carley, Mark "Trade union membership 1993–2003" (International:SPIRE Associates 2004).
- http://www.cnt-ait-fr.org/CNT-AIT/ACCUEIL.html Website of the Confédération Nationale du Travail - Association Internationale des Travailleurs
- Perlin, Terry M. Contemporary Anarchism. Transaction Books, New Brunswick, NJ 1979
- David Pepper (1996). Modern Environmentalism p. 44. Routledge.
- Ian Adams (2001). Political Ideology Today p. 130. Manchester University Press.
- Diez, Xavier. "La insumisión voluntaria" (in Spanish). Acracia. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- "Anarchism and the different Naturist views have always been related.""Anarchism - Nudism, Naturism" by Carlos Ortega at Asociacion para el Desarrollo Naturista de la Comunidad de Madrid. Published on Revista ADN. Winter 2003
- EL NATURISMO LIBERTARIO EN LA PENÍNSULA IBÉRICA (1890-1939) by Jose Maria Rosello
- The Relevance of Anarcho-syndicalism
- Ostergaard, Georfrey. "RESISTING THE NATION STATE the pacifist and anarchist tradition". Peace Pledge Union. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- George Woodcock. Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements (1962)
- Christoyannopoulos, Alexandre (2010). Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel. Exeter: Imprint Academic. pp. 2–4. "Locating Christian anarchism...In political theology"
- Dielo Trouda group (2006) . Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft). Italy: FdCA. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2006.
- Anarkismo, 2012, "About Us" |url=http://www.anarkismo.net/about_us |accessdate=5 January 2012|
- Common Cause/Linchpin
- "J.3.2 What are "synthesis" federations?" in An Anarchist FAQ
- "The remedy has been found: libertarian communism."Sébastien Faure. "Libertarian Communism"
- IFA-IAF pagina oficial
- "Post-Left Anarchy: Leaving the Left Behind Prologue to Post-Left Anarchy" by Jason McQuinn
- Macphee, Josh (2007). "Introduction". Realizing the Impossible. Stirling: AK Press. ISBN 1-904859-32-1.
- "Some Notes on Insurrectionary Anarchism" from Venomous Butterfly and Willful Disobedience
- ""Anarchism, insurrections and insurrectionalism" by Joe Black". Ainfos.ca. 19 July 2006. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base
- "Bologna mail blocked after bombs". BBC News. 31 December 2003.
- "Italy acts over EU letter bombs". CNN. 31 December 2003.
- Associated Press. "Rome Embassy Blasts Wound 2; Anarchists Suspected". National Public Radio. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
- Carter, Alan, "Analytical anarchism: some conceptual foundations", Political Theory 28, 2 (2000): 230–53
- Taylor, Michael, Anarchy and Cooperation (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1976)
- Sargent, Lyman Tower. Extremism in American: A Reader, NYU Press, 1995, p. 11; Also, Tormey, Simon, Anti-Capitalism, A Beginner's Guide, Oneworld Publications, 2004, p. 118-119 "Pro-capitalist anarchism, is as one might expect, particularly prevalent in the U.S. where it feeds on the strong individualist and libertarian currents that have always been part of the American political imaginary. To return to the point, however, there are individualist anarchists who are most certainly not anti-capitalist and there are those who may well be."
- "anarcho-capitalism." Oxford English Dictionary. 2004. Oxford University Press
- http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/9258 David Graeber and Andrej Grubacic, "Anarchism or the Revolutionary Movement of the 21st Century,"
- Leonard Williams, "The New Anarchists," paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA, August 31, 2006, online, pdf, 2008-05-07 http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p152623_index.html