Outline of anarchism

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to anarchism:

Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful,[1][2] or alternatively as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical[3][9][10] voluntary associations.[11][12]

Nature of anarchism[edit]

Main articles: Anarchism and Anarchist terminology

Anarchism promotes a rejection of philosophies, ideologies, institutions, and representatives of authority, in support of liberty. It asserts that cooperation is preferable to competition in promoting social harmony; that cooperation is only authentic when it is voluntary; and that government authority is unnecessary at best, or harmful at worst.[citation needed] In most cases, anarchism:

Supports
Rejects

Manifestos and expositions[edit]

For more details on this topic, see list of anarchist books and anarchist literature.

Anarchism is a living project which has continued to evolve as social conditions have changed. The following are examples of anarchist manifestos and essays produced during various time periods, each expressing different interpretations and proposals for anarchist philosophy.

(1840–1914)
(1914–1984)
(1985–present)

Anarchist schools of thought[edit]

The bisected flags/stars which symbolize various anarchist schools of thought.

Anarchism has many heterogeneous and diverse schools of thought, united by a common opposition to compulsory rule. Anarchist schools are characterized by "the belief that government is both harmful and unnecessary", but may differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism.[2] Regardless, some are viewed as being compatible, and it is not uncommon for individuals to subscribe to more than one.

Umbrella terms[edit]

The following terms do not refer to specific branches of anarchist thought, but rather are generic labels applied to various branches.

History of anarchism[edit]

Main article: History of anarchism
The execution of the Haymarket martyrs following the Haymarket affair of 1886 inspired a new generation of anarchists.

Although social movements and philosophies with anarchic qualities predate anarchism, anarchism as a specific political philosophy began in 1840 with the publication of What Is Property? by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. In the following decades it spread from Western Europe to various regions, countries, and continents, impacting local social movements. The success of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia initiated a decline in prominence for anarchism in the mid-20th century,[13] roughly coinciding with the time period referred to by historians as The short twentieth century. Since the late 1980s, anarchism has begun a gradual return to the world stage.

Global events[edit]

Historic precedents and background events (pre-1840)
Classical development and global expansion (1840 – 1917)
Post-WWI decline (1918 – c. 1980s)
Post-Cold War resurgence (c. 1990s – present)

History of anarchism by region[edit]

Australian Anarchist Centenary Celebrations on May 1, 1986, at the Melbourne Eight Hour Day monument.

Historians[edit]

Historical societies

General anarchism concepts[edit]

Main article: Anarchist terminology

These are concepts which, although not exclusive to anarchism, are significant in historical and/or modern anarchist circles. As the anarchist milieu is philosophically heterogeneous, there is disagreement over which of these concepts should play a role in anarchism.

Organizations[edit]

The traditional fist-and-cross symbol of the Anarchist Black Cross, a notable political support organization (est. 1906).
For more details on this topic, see list of anarchist organizations.

Notable organizations[edit]

Formal anarchist organizational initiatives date back to the mid-19th century. The oldest surviving anarchist organizations include Freedom Press (est. 1886) of England, the Industrial Workers of the World (est. 1905), Anarchist Black Cross (est. 1906), Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden (est. 1910) and the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (est. 1910) of Spain.

Structures[edit]

Anarchist organizations come in a variety of forms, largely based upon common anarchist principles of voluntary cooperation, mutual aid, and direct action. They are also largely informed by anarchist social theory and philosophy, tending towards participation and decentralization.

Notable figures[edit]

Notable anarchists[edit]

Main article: List of anarchists

Prior to the establishment of Anarchism as a political philosophy, the word "anarchist" was used in political circles as an epithet. The first individual to self-identity as an anarchist and ascribe to it positive connotations was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, in 1840. Since then, the label has continued to be used in both of these senses.

Anarchists, with their inherent rejection of authority, have tended not to assign involuntary power in individuals. With few exceptions, forms of anarchist theory and social movements have been named after their organizational forms or core tenets, rather than after their supposed founders. However, there is a tendency for some anarchists to become historical and notable figures by virtue of their impact on the development or propagation of anarchist theory, and/or by taking part in armed rebellion and revolution.

Notable non-anarchists[edit]

The following are individuals who have influenced anarchist philosophy, despite not being self-identified as anarchists:

Notable anarchist scholars[edit]

Lists[edit]

Related philosophies[edit]

Anarchism-related lists[edit]

General
People
Areas of anarchism
Timelines of anarchism

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Malatesta, Errico. "Towards Anarchism". MAN! (Los Angeles: International Group of San Francisco). OCLC 3930443.  Agrell, Siri (2007-05-14). "Working for The Man". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-04-14.  "Anarchism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 2006. Archived from the original on 14 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-29.  "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. 
  2. ^ a b Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  3. ^ a b "The IAF - IFA fights for : the abolition of all forms of authority whether economical, political, social, religious, cultural or sexual.""Principles of The International of Anarchist Federations"
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ 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 the socialism off Karl Marg." Benjamin Tucker. Individual Liberty.
  6. ^ Ward, Colin (1966). "Anarchism as a Theory of Organization". Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  7. ^ 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."
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "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
  10. ^ "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
  11. ^ "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
  12. ^ "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
  13. ^ Avrich, Paul (2006). The Russian Anarchists. Stirling: AK Press. p. 188. ISBN 1-904859-48-8. 
  14. ^ Peter Kropotkin, "Anarchism", Encyclopædia Britannica 1910
  15. ^ Less Antman, The Dallas Accord is Dead, Lew Rockwell.com, May 12, 2008.

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