Talk:Anarchism

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Semi-protected edit request on 7 November 2014 - REMOVAL OF SEMI-DUPLICATE SENTENCE[edit]

PLEASE CHANGE: Many anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism),[1][2] 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.[3] Many anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism),[1][2] while others have supported revolution and propaganda of the deed as means to achieve anarchist ends.[3]

TO: Many anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism),[1][2] while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and propaganda of the deed as means to achieve anarchist ends.[3]

BECAUSE OF SEMI-DUPLICATE SENTENCE 99.130.166.85 (talk) 07:19, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Stickee (talk) 08:31, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 20 November 2014[edit]

the link [[Category:Anarchism| ]] should be changed to [[Category:Anarchism]] Sleepyteddybear (talk) 13:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Done. Thanks! — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 15:28, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I undid the edit. The use of a blank space as a sort key makes this article appear first in Category:Anarchism, which is where it should be. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 17:59, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Individualist anarchism and the anarchist movement as a whole[edit]

This mainly to respond to user Zosz and i will be glad to have an exchange with him here on this issue. In the first source it is described how CNT workers and FAI members read individualist anarchist publications in 1920s and 1930s Spain. We are speaking mainly of publications such as Iniciales, La Revista Blanca, Nosotros and others which are dealt in the work by catalan historian titled El anarquismo individualista en España: 1923–1938. (Individualist anarchism in Spain). I understand if he does not speak spanish but anyone can check this book which is on a copyleft license on the internet. So the individualist anarchist publications were read by people from those two organizations and if one read more this work one will see that the eclectic nature of those publications included treatment of issues beyond workerist matters and so they dealt with sexuality and birth control, religion and freethought, as well as with literature and the arts and more specific themes within spanish anarchism such as anarcho-naturism, among other themes. That is clearly an inpact on the wider spanish anarchist movement. This historical work also mentions how individualist also established infoshops-or as they call them there "Ateneos libertarios"-and the fact that J. Elizalde was even a secretary general of the Iberian Anarchist Federation. In the case of the postwar Italian Anarchist Federation, the individualist anarchist Cesare Zaccaria was one of the main personalities in its establishment. All of this shows that individualist anarchist have not just participated in the big anarchist organizations but also could have important roles in them. An individualist anarchists like Emile Armand was also an important name beyond the french anarchist movement and his influence and notoriety could go as fas as Argentina such as when the lover of italian-argentinian anarchist Severino Di Giovanni, America Scarfó, actually wrote a letter to Armand asking for his advice as far as his relationship with Di Giovanni. This shows Armand was considered a sort of authority on matters of love and sex within the anarchist movement of his time. In general individualist anarchists have not just voiced their opinions in forums but also published maganizes, newspapers and books and gave conferences and all of these were not only listened by individualist anarchists but by a big part of the wider anarchist movements of their time. This since Max Stirner published his main work The ego and his own until more recent times when a big name in anarchism like Murray Bookchin had to go as far as to write the book Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism in order to criticize a self described individualist anarchist like Hakim Bey along others anarchists belonging to the post-left anarchy tendency incluiding the stirnerist author Bob Black. As such, clearly individualist anarchism is having an impact on the wider anarchist movement through all of these activities and interventions. As far as the second affirmation i already mentioned how individualist anarchists could also join the bigger important anarchist organizations of their time. I can also add how the spanish individualist anarchist Miguel Giménez Igualada was also a member of the CNT trade union and the source which supports these affirmations mention how the french individualists Charles-Auguste Bontemps, Georges Vincey and André Arru also belonged to the post war Fédération Anarchiste. In the end the mere acknoledgement of the fact of the existence of individualist anarchism as a tendency is already a fact of impact in the anarchist movement as a whole. This so much so as to motivate a sector of the anarchist movement to come up with the label "social anarchism" in order to distinguish itself from individualist anarchism. But in general its existence caused an important debate over it in which anarchists as prominent as Errico Malatesta and Emma Goldman intervened, and in the case of Goldman in defense of individualism and of individualist authors like Stirner and Nietzsche.

To user Zosz i can say that i can very well respond to any of his doubts and i invite him to express his criticisms to these contents in this space where they should be dealt with and not just in edit summaries of editions. This is the second time that same user deletes these contents from the introduction and so i think we can ask him to support and to debate his views here, and this especially since his edits are in the introduction. I also advise that user to check the wikipedia article on individualist anarchism in order to assess the place and influence of individualist anarchism within the wider anarchist movement.--Eduen (talk) 08:52, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

(1) The reference used to cite "which nevertheless did have an impact on the bigger currents" is obviously original research, which in any case is invalid. There needs to be a reliable, non-primary source which specifically says exactly that "anarchist individualism had an impact on the bigger currents". Even in the case that this source existed, the rules on undue weight must be applied, and the "impact", a word which could mean anything, must be quantified. (2) The fact that individualist anarchists have participated in anarchist organizations is self-evident, redundant and does not belong in the lead. (3) Saying that revolution is 'coercive', 'a form of aggression', or not a form of 'self-defense', is POV. (4) Pacifist anarchism has been historically irrelevant, and only exists as a lifestylist tendency disassociated from actual anarchism. The rules on undue weight must be applied. (5) In my opinion, any mention of non-left anarchism simply does not belong in the lead, because despite existing, it does not have enough weight by any reasonable measure. Zozs (talk) 17:28, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
The affirmation "which nevertheless did have an impact on the bigger currents" is just a logical inference from the data provided. So if individualist anarchism was able to motivate a large scale debate within anarchism and even some anarchists of coming up with a term such as "social anarchism", it is obviously having an impact. It also motivated the proposals of "anarchism without adjectives" and "synthesis anarchism". Afterwards synthesist national federations such as Fédération Anarchiste, Iberian Anarchist Federation, Italian Anarchist Federation, and Nabat were created and so synthesism grew to constitute itself as the largest current within anarchism from an organizational point, after perhaps only anarchosyndicalism while platformism and insurrectionist currents have not been as large or as influential socially and historically. I will even argue that insurrectionism has been more influential than platformism for example since after all the likes of Luigi Galleani assasinated many heads of state and even bombed the building of Wall St which are clearly events with nationwide impact in the countries in which they happened and so they are mentioned in historical books not dedicated to anarchism. As far as the affirmations on revolution i really have not touched or edited them so i could be open to a change on that affirmation if user Zosz proposes something different. As far as the affirmation on anarcho-pacifism, it clearly has to come up in a discussion over tactics. Anarcho-pacifism became an important tendecy within anarchism after World War I but i will have to ask user Zozs to tell us what is he comparing anarcho-pacifism to so as to say it has had "no historical relevancy". Anyway, anarcho-pacifism is not that much mentioned and occupies less space in the whole article than the main classical currents so it clearly is given its due place within anarchism. Nevertheless anarcho-pacifism will tend to be mentioned in all the general works on anarchism listed in the bibliography. Now as far as "non-left anarchism" i seriously do not know what user Zozs is talking about here and i will be grateful if he could tell us which "right wing tendency" of anarchism is being mentioned in the introduction.--Eduen (talk) 22:04, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
is just a logical inference from the data provided - that's THE definition of a violation of WP:OR, so yeah, that sentence quite obviously violates the policy on original research. You need to cite a source which has made that inference for you. We're not here to discuss our views, we're here to discuss which reliable sources to use to give which information. individualists have also participated in large anarchist organisations - why should this be mentioned at all in the lead? Tendencies of a certain ideology always have some representation in parties of that ideology, and this is nothing special. Note the word 'primarily' in the sentence "individualist anarchism being primarily a literary phenomenon", which eliminates the necessity of these two latter sentences. Pacifist anarchism should not be mentioned in the lead (no weight at all), and lifestylist anarchism (though it is not being called by this term) should not be talked about in an article about anarchism. Zozs (talk) 22:43, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I don´t think you can deny the reliability of the works which show individualist anarchism has influenced the bigger currents of it. You can discuss with us that if you want anyway. A more crucial point in all of this is that both affirmations that "The central tendency within anarchism has been ...." and "individualist anarchism has been primarely a literary phenomenon" are supported by the same single source. I happen to have a copy of the book by Skirda which supports both this affirmations. I have come to the fact that this particular affirmation is not something written by Skirda himself but that relies from what is said in a manifesto by "The Group of Russian Anarchists Abroad...(from) March 1926)." If there are any doubts check a version of this book which is freely avalilable at [[1]]. The page which the reference provides for both affirmations appear in the same page 191. This manifesto, by a "Group of Russian Anarchists Abroad" is just being reprinted in this text by Skirda as a sort of addendum titled "Text and documents". As such this does not count as a reliable source since it is not something coming from the body of an academic general work on anarchism but from a manifesto by a particular group of anarchists at a particular time. I will then proceed to delete both affirmations which says that "the central tendency of anarchism..." and "individualist anarchism is primarely a literary phenomenon" since both come from this single bad source.--Eduen (talk) 07:31, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Now as to the issue which you point to about "lifestylist anarchism" i frankly don´t know what you are talking about. If you seriously want to raise this issue please point us to reliable general works on anarchism as a whole where the issue of "lifestylism" is dealt. From my knowledge, the problematic of "lifestylism" within anarchism has only taken some importance mostly within the US anarchist milieu after the publication by Murray Bookchin of the book Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism. That book was written in the 1990s and as such it cannot be taken as an important general historical problematic to be taken into account within the introduction of anarchism, a political position which exists at least from the mid 19th century. Anyway i invite you to argue otherwise and so that will mean that you will show us how "lifestylism" was a concept of discussion and importance before the 1990s within anarchism. Still, what a single anarchist author thinks about anarchism in aclearly polemical political intervention is not good enough to show us this has been an important problematic within the whole history of anarchism and so counter arguments to the "lifestylism" thesis can be brought here also. Frankly that whole discussion seems to me only belongs in the Lifestyle anarchism article and not in the english wikipedia "anarchism" article.--Eduen (talk) 08:16, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Eduen, I'm fairly certain I have comprehensive secondary sources on anarchism that will support the claim that "the central tendency within anarchism" is communism and syndicalism. I will research this and reinstate the material if I am correct about the reliable sources. I will agree with you about lifestyle anarchism though: it is a recent critique that doesn't appear except through the writings of Murray Bookchin and therefore should not receive much, if any, attention, due to Wikipedia's policy on WP:DUE WEIGHT. (And I'm a social ecologist!) — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:37, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, I can't seem to recall which source it was that stated almost exactly what was recently removed, i.e., that the dominant currents were communism and syndicalism, despite a strong individualism in America (and other places, though to a lesser degree). I did find these quotes though:
Of the two, social anarchists (communist-anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists and so on) have always been the vast majority, with individualist anarchism being restricted mostly to the United States.
— McKay, Iain (2011). The Anarchist FAQ. The Anarchist Library. p. 138.
Although anarchist communism was perhaps the most influential anarchist doctrine, soon spreading throughout Europe, Latin America and later Asia, the First International had bequeathed to the anarchist movement another doctrine of comparable significance, anarcho-syndicalism (Chapter 1 2), a combination of anarchism and revolutionary trade unionism based on direct action (Chapter 1 0) and anti-parliamentarianism.
Of lesser significance were anarchist collectivism (Selections 36 and 55), where distribution of wealth was to be based on labour, and individualist anarchism (Selections 42 and 6 1 ), which for the most part was but a footnote to Max Stirner (Selection 1 1 ).
— Graham, Robert (2005). "Preface". In Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, Volume One: From Anarchy to Anarchism (300CE to 1939). Montréal, CA: Black Rose Books. p. xiii.
I'm not sure if these would support a restoration of the deleted material as is, or if some modification is appropriate. I will think on this and return. — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 22:10, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
What has to replace that is a good paragraph summarizing anarchist history. Not discussions on what currents of thought have been bigger or smaller. I suggest checking the other articles on major political ideologies in wikipedia such as socialism, conservatism, fascism or liberalism. They all tend to have a historical summary at the last paragraph of the intro.--Eduen (talk) 08:15, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

User Leosylvester[edit]

I will have to ask user Leosylvester mainly this question. ¿Why does he think green anarchism deserves more, and even preferential space, over other non classical currents? As a secondary question i will have to ask him ¿why would he think green anarchism has been more influential or important than the other currents mentioned in "post classical currents"? Frankly i don´t see how green anarchism is more influential or important than, say insurrectionist anarchism, anarcha-feminism, synthesis anarchism or platformism. I cannot think that also while thinking in the main general sources on anarchism, or mentions or entries of anarchism in political or general encyclopedias. There more or less i have given user Leosylvester places where to look for support for his proposal. Clearly he has to answer these questions here with that kind of support, otherwise his proposals just cannot go.--Eduen (talk) 22:17, 14 January 2015 (UTC)


Hi there. I think you are right, I am unaware of a basis for arguing that green anarchism should be given particular credit as a post-classical anarchist school of thought.
My latest edit proposed that individual subsections be added for some of the different post-classical schools of thought . This article has failed to give proper attention to these schools of thought, which are hugely influential in contemporary anarchism. In particular, the individual subsections that have so far been created have been primarily dedicated to explaining economics-focused schools of thought, whilst neglecting non-economic ones.
I propose adding individual subsections to: green anarchism, anarcha-feminism, anarcho-pacifism, and anarcho-capitalism, whilst explaining all others in a single subsection, and revising this based on the justified merit of each school of thought. However, my opinion is not strong on which of the post-classical schools of thought should have their own subsections. Where my opinion is strong, however, is that we should add some of these subsections.
- Leosylvester / 14:59 15 January 2015 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.158.139.174 (talk) 14:59, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The fact is that this article is already too big in weight. This has been pointed out by other users before and so this limits any significant addition to this article. As such this article cannot support adding what you propose since it will just make us get calls to reduce article size. Anyway the article "anarchist schools of thought" already exist so users can go look at that big article which is more detailed in recent post classical currents as tendencies of thought. But also i will have to remind you that a political position is not only composed of thought but, as anything political, it will have attempts to influence society and to organize towards that goal. As such this article also has to deal with history at a significant lenght. Post classical currents happen to be currents which mostly appeared within the mid to late 20th century while anarchism exists since the mid 19th century. As such also Wikipedia:WEIGHT tells us to give aspects of a subject their weight on the article according to their importance to the whole history of the subject. That is why the classical currents (anarcho-communism, mutualism, anarcho syndicalism, collectivist anarchism and individualist anarchism) will have to get more space than post classical currents since these classical currents have existed continously since the mid 19th century while post classical ones only from the mid to late 20th century and only recently they have gained some importance within anarchism as a whole. Any major general work on anarchism will tell you that and will give them that bigger weight while dealing with post classical currents with less space as more recent phenomena, if they are dealt at all. I advise you to bring general sources on anarchism which point to the contrary that i have argued here so as to support your proposal.--Eduen (talk) 07:58, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Revert by User:Helpsome of my insertion of dictionary definition[edit]

There is a difference between the generally-accepted, standard dictionary definitions and the apparently largely personal definitions by some academics given here, so I made this change:

1st edit: addition of the dictionary definition of “anarchism” with a reference listing six dictionary definitions to that effect:

Anarchism is a doctrine advocating the abolition of government.[4] Some use the term to mean...[resumes from previous material].

2nd edit: addition of connecting material to an already-given individual academic definition:

In that definition, ...[resumes from previous material].

This was a straightforward addition of one reliable source reference (and minimal connecting material) totalling only 486 characters (most of which were taken up by the reference), without removing any previous material, but was reverted by User:Helpsome on the grounds that “a change this large needs discussion”. Do many others share Helpsome’s objection before I re-insert it? FivePillarPurist (talk) 20:20, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Your change was larger than adding a dictionary definition.
Original text.

Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates stateless societies often defined as self-governed voluntary institutions, but that several authors have defined as more specific institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.

Your changes with relevant alterations in bold.

Anarchism is a doctrine advocating the abolition of government. Some use the term to mean a political philosophy that advocates stateless societies often defined as self-governed voluntary institutions, but that several authors have defined as more specific institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. In that definition, anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system

By putting all those qualifiers in, you are making it sound like the dictionary definition is the "accepted" definition and the wider definition is simply what "some" people think. It is disingenuous and it takes more than a sentence from a dictionary definition to describe a political philosophy. Helpsome (talk) 21:59, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Hopefully we will rely also on encyclopedic and general work definitions and not just in dictionary definitions. Anarchism has never reduced itself to "anti-statism". In that form even the word "government" has been used. Dictionary.com defines "government" as "6.; control; management; rule: the government of one's conduct." [2] Merriam Webster says that "2. obsolete : moral conduct or behavior : discretion". In that way an individual can "govern" himself or can excercise "self-government". This is clearly linked with the idea of autonomy while heteronomy will allude to being "governed". So George Woodcock points to anarchism saying that "All anarchists deny authority; many of them fight against it."[5] In that way anarchism opposes "authority" and authority is not only present in the state system but in other spheres of life as pointed out by the encyclopedic and general works on anarchism provided in this introduction. An encyclopedia intends to provide more profound and extensive analysis of the objects dealt within it and so we cannot rely here on dictionary definitions only who tend to provide only one sentence definitions anyway. But we also must consider that "anarchy" itself is not defined only as "absence of state". As such Dictionary.com says "4. lack of obedience to an authority; insubordination: the anarchy of his rebellious teenage years."[3]. The Free dictionary says "3. Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose" which is something which can occur in any type of grouping besides the existence or not of the state form.[4] Merriam Webster says that " a : absence or denial of any authority or established order b : absence of order : disorder <not manicured plots but a wild anarchy of nature — Israel Shenker>"[5]. As such also in dictionary definitions the rejection of authority appear linked to "anarchy" just as Woodcock links anarchism to rejection of authority.--Eduen (talk) 03:25, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
After a few days, it seems most are largely indifferent to my change. Leaving aside my alleged disingenuousness, the policy on dictionaries is that we don’t attempt to limit articles to a dictionary definition - which is why I didn’t - but that nevertheless an article is supposed to begin with a good definition, (as is made clear here, here, and here). A “good definition” is one that reflects the majority definition, as per all these Neutral point of view policy stipulations:
As for what constitutes the majority definition, it’s probably the one that’s found in the world’s dictionaries. FivePillarPurist (talk) 15:31, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The current version incorporates both rejection of the state and of social hierarchies in general in a balanced form. Anyway the word "government" cannot be seen as synonymous with the state form. My previous intervention here shows how even dictionary definitions, which usually present a list of short sentences, go beyond a definition of "anarchism" and "anarchy" as mere anti-statism. This version presents a definition which not only includes what one sentence dictionary definitions state but also what encyclopedias and general works on anarchism say.--Eduen (talk) 04:05, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Very Small Change to Introduction[edit]

Surely describing anarchism as subtle goes against a NPOV? My shorter OED 5th edition defines subtle as "(of a thing) ingenious, cleverly designed, skilfully contrived". I very slightly modified the wording to remove subtle from the introduction but this change has been reverted twice. I would be interested to hear what descriptive power you think subtle adds. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Enlightened editor (talkcontribs) 14:25, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b c ""Resisting the Nation State, the pacifist and anarchist tradition" by Geoffrey Ostergaard". Ppu.org.uk. 6 August 1945. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c George Woodcock. Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements (1962)
  3. ^ a b c Fowler, R.B. "The Anarchist Tradition of Political Thought." The Western Political Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 4. (December 1972), pp. 743–44.
  4. ^ [6] Anarchism - definitions by:
    • American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition
    • Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged
    • Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary
    • Gale Group “-Ologies & -Isms”
    • Diagram Group Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words
    • WordNet
    collated by the Free Dictionary
  5. ^ Woodcock, George. Anarchism: a history of libertarian ideas and movements. Meridian Books. p. 9.