Talk:History of anarchism

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Merger Proposal[edit]

Not much here yet. Libertatia proposed merging the History of anarchism and Origins of anarchism articles, adding relevent information from the more-heavily-researched Anarchism article. I will examine all three articles this evening. Jacob Haller 23:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I think we will need the following subsections: 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

(1) one covering the precursors to anarchism (up through Godwin). 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

(2) one covering the early development of classical anarchism (Warren, Proudhon & Stirner). 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

(3) one covering the emergence of the major traditions. Although later mutualism and collectivism are both closely tied to earlier mutualism, aligning Tucker with Spooner and Bakunin with various communists makes good sense for that time. (However syndicalist-agorist ties screw with any two-way split for our time). 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

(4) one covering anarchist participation in workers' struggles. Subsections could cover the first international, syndicalism, the Mexican revolution, the Russian revolution, and the Spanish Civil War. 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

(5) one covering anarchism and its relationship with state-socialism, as well as autonomous Marxism, council communism, situationism, etc. (anarchism and other socialist traditions). 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

(6) one covering anarchism and its relationship with geoism, distributivism, and radical liberalism, as well as agorism and [so-called] anarcho-capitalism. (anarchism and other libertarian traditions). 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

(7) various recent phenomena. 00:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I still agree with Libertatia's merger proposal. I also suggest porting the origins and schools sections from Anarchism and reorganizing the history article around these. Jacob Haller 03:20, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


I visited the place recently. In fact they have very strict rules about no hard drugs and no motorcycle club colours. I don't want to start a discussion about whether they are really anarchist if they have what amount to laws, but the reference to herbs used for medicinal and recreational purposes - which fall outside the tobacco and alcohol monopolies exploited by the state and their business allies - seems particularly incoherent, unless the piece was included to show how anarchism is compatabile with the market.Harrypotter 21:40, 5 April 2007 (UTC)


"Most contemporary anthropologists, as well as anarcho-primitivists agree that, for the longest period before recorded history, human society was without established authority or formal political institutions."

The only source for this statement is one single book about anarchism. (Which might be biased in favour of anarchism) It would be nice to reference the anthropologists who support this statement one by one.

-- (talk) 16:53, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

<"there is a lot of unsourced material in this article, especially in the part about the CNT.">

I'm a little new at this and will make mistakes in protocol and format, so please bear with me.

I think there are more problems than lack of sourcing. I ran into a big objection in the first couple of sentences. In Attic Greek, arXe is never translated as "sovereignty." It is almost always given as "rule" though it can sometimes be rendered as "order" in the sense of an ordered or structured society, and in some cases as "command." But it is commonly taken as roughly synonymous with "state" (government) as seen by its citizens (i.e., a subordinate member of the hierarchy). Considering the importance of the term "sovereignty" in anarchist thought, this really needs to be rendered differently.

Proudhon on property and possession[edit]

I made a small edit, so that the article did not misrepresent the source given. On page 33 of the Selected Writings of P.-J. Proudhon, Edwards suggests that, in Theory of Property, Proudhon "reverses his earlier preference for 'possession' over 'property'..." This directly contradicts the notion that "property is liberty" refers to 'possession.' Edwards' statement is careless, and to some extent unsupported by the primary sources, even by his own selections from them. It is likely that opening the can of worms regarding what Proudhon really said about property is too much to tackle, given Wikipedia's limitations, but this statement from Theory of Property would be a key puzzle piece, if anyone wanted to tackle it: "Thus, on this great question, our critique remains at base the same, and our conclusions are always the same: we want equality, more and more fully approximated, of conditions and fortunes, as we want, more and more, the equalization of responsibilities. We reject, along with governmentalism, communism in all its forms; we want the definition of official functions and individual functions; of public services and of free services. There is only one thing new for us in our thesis: it is that that same property, the contradictory and abusive principle of which has raised our disapproval, we today accept entirely, along with its equally contradictory qualification: Dominium est just utendi et abutendi re suâ, quatenus juris ratio patur. We have understood finally that the opposition of two absolutes—one of which, alone, would be unpardonably reprehensive, and both of which, together, would be rejected, if they worked separately—is the very cornerstone of social economy and public right: but it falls to us to govern it and to make it act according to the laws of logic." Libertatia (talk) 19:03, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

See if this helps. -- Vision Thing -- 19:24, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

We have two sections on the origins of anarchism[edit]

'Pre-anarchism' and 'precursors to anarchism', ought to be merged. Zazaban (talk) 23:21, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Ugh, yes, they should. That is a chore.  Skomorokh  23:28, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Done, and done. Wasn't actually very difficult, most of the stuff from each section did not overlap with the other, thank god. One wonders how in the world that even happened in the first place. Zazaban (talk) 23:31, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Fantastic, that's a great start to reform. These major-topic anarchism article have shit merged into them from everywhere.  Skomorokh  23:56, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Expansion is needed, especially in the 19th century section. I'm pretty sure the main anarchism article has more information on that period than here, which is a problem. I think the 19th and 20th century sections could be subdivided down into periods. Off hand, I can suggest, maybe, 1793(or 1800 if we keep the 18th century section)-1840, 1840-1872, 1872-1895, 1895-1921, 1921-1945, 1945-1978, and 1978-present. But we can't do that until we add a lot more information. Perhaps the early history could also be subdivided into ancient, middle ages, and early modern, but again, it's too soon for that. Zazaban (talk) 01:18, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
My eventual goal is to have this article detailed enough to have articles split off from here, like 'Anarchism in the 19th' century, etc. Zazaban (talk) 01:36, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
How about this: Under 19th century, 1800-1840, 1840-1860, 1860-1880, 1880-1900, and under 20th century, 1900-1920, 1920-1940, 1940-1960 (not sure about this one, nothing happened during this time), 1960-1980, and 1980-2000. Zazaban (talk) 18:53, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
What is the significance of the divisions? I'd be more inclined use fewer top-level sections (as now) and have subsections within them more topically-orientated. It also might be worth considering moving the "Historical examples of societies successfully organized according to anarchist principles" and "Examples of organizations with anarchist qualities" sections elsewhere (or doing away with them entirely on WP:NOR grounds), so as to keep this as a chronological history.  Skomorokh  19:05, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Kill those sections, they already have their own article over at List of anarchist communities, there's no reason to have them here too. Zazaban (talk) 19:24, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Anarchism in the 19th century.[edit]

This section is just terrible. There is a series of crappy, two sentence paragraphs that need to be expanded. The bit on Stirner is alarmingly brief, for example. I'm going out for dinner, but I'll work on it when I come back. Zazaban (talk) 23:46, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Anarchism in the 20th century isn't much better, in fact it may be worse. More a third of the whole thing is just on the spanish civil war, more than the entire last sixty years of the century is given. Zazaban (talk) 01:31, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Cut out the oversized section on the civil war. It's not important enough to be given that huge a section in a general history, especially when all of individualist anarchism is given a sentence. My god, individualist anarchism has one measly sentence, and it only mentions Stirner, I will work on that. Wow. Zazaban (talk) 01:35, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
The section certainly needs expansion, particularly in dealing with late 19th century activities and related violence in Europe including the deaths of several state monarchs and leaders. I have a couple of sources ---- around here somewhere.............. (talk) 01:22, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Early history[edit]

The section makes a couple of claims I noticed right off the bat that I felt strongly enough about to stop and discuss reall quick before I take any action. There are a lot of claims with no references. The classic introduction about the Illiad and Herodotus's Histories are not referenced but cite the primary works. There seems to be some academic sources missing here and they are of great value. Ithink there is a n entire section of history missing on the early Greek and Roman portion. Could use some eyes.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:12, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in History of anarchism[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of History of anarchism's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 08:50, 13 November 2012 (UTC)


anarchism as a political philosophy may express the viewpoint not of the -desirability- of the state, but its legitimacy-- as from such a viewpoint:

that moral and ethical systems, and ultimately the power relations that govern human society are such, that the existence or non-existence of government is at best a secondary issue.

to re-phrase, anarchist philosophy may recognize that the human condition, that human reasoning and behavior, is not determined by government -- that government derives its existence as a consequence of the social contract by which "people" confer on to government legitimacy -- and furthermore, that if the conditions of this "contract" are not met, that no legitmate government may exist.

though, in practical and contemporary usage, and in this sense, not as a -political philosophy- but as a social and cultural movement, anarchism is the result/or expresses the undesirability of rules, the illegitimacy of formal institutions, and the corruption of ostensibly objective moral systems, such as the legal code. -- anaceus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

anarchism II[edit]

i believe, as the preceding is a more accurate definition for "anarchism", and appropriate for anarchism stub -- it may be necessary to re-write the introduction to this article. i will attempt to do this. -- anaceus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

The current version of the definition of anarchism in this article is in accordance with the main article on anarchism. It is almost extremely well sourced and any change of it will have to be consulted at the main anarchism article. But by reading your proposal i can tell you that it is centered on a definition of anarchism as anti-statism and anarchism has always been defined as much more than anti-statism.--Eduen (talk) 20:06, 3 June 2013 (UTC)