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Anarchism (from Greek ἀν (without) + ἄρχειν (to rule) + ισμός (from stem -ιζειν), "without archons," "without rulers") 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. 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 anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical free associations.

Anarchism as a mass social movement has regularly endured fluctuations in popularity. The central tendency of anarchism as a social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, with individualist anarchism being primarily a literary phenomenon which nevertheless did have an impact on the bigger currents and individualists have also participated in large anarchist organizations. Many anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism), while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society.

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Murray Rothbard
Murray Newton Rothbard (1926–1995) was an influential American economist and political philosopher who helped define modern libertarianism and founded a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism". An individualist anarchist of the Austrian School of economics, Rothbard associated with the Objectivists in his early thirties before allying with the New Left in the 1960s and eventually joining the radical caucus of the Libertarian Party. His books Man, Economy, and State (1962) and For a New Liberty (1973) and The Ethics of Liberty (1982) are classics of anarcho-capitalist literature, providing the foundation for natural rights libertarianism. (read more...)

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Exterior of DIRA infoshop, Montreal, Canada
Credit: Zach Alexander

Documentations, Informations, Références et Archives (DIRA)/L'Insoumise, Montreal's anarchist infoshop/bookstore, boulevard St Laurent, March 2007. DIRA serves as a free community lending library and archive of material relevant to anarchism.

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Anselme Bellegarrigue, Anarchy is Order (1850) 58

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