List of fictional anarchists
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This is a list of fictional anarchists, including the source material in which they are found, their creator(s), the individual(s) who interpreted them as anarchists during development (if not originally created as such), and short descriptions of each.
An anarchist is a person who rejects any form of compulsory government (cf. "state") and supports its elimination. Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which reject compulsory government (the state) and support its elimination, often due to a wider rejection of involuntary or permanent authority. Anarchism is defined by The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics as "the view that society can and should be organized without a coercive state."
However, fictional anarchists are subject to the personal interpretations and opinions of Anarchism held by the creator, and as such may imbue negative anarchist stereotypes. Further, characters may be interpreted as anarchists by second parties involved in their development. The inclusion of these characters may be controversial, but is necessary for purposes of objectivity. This provides a means by which social attitudes regarding anarchism and anarchists may be studied and compared to those of other eras and cultures.
Characters who are popularly considered "anarchic", but who are not specifically identified as anarchists by their source material, are excluded.
- A parody of the "bomb wielding, bearded anarchist" stereotype. He appeared in Rivista Anarchica, by Roberto Ambrosoli, ca 1970, and is often reprinted in contemporary anarchist pamphlets.
- A comic book character appearing in various DC Comics publications as an antagonist of Batman. He was created and co-developed by Alan Grant & Norm Breyfogle in 1989.
- A martial artist, former NYPD officer, and member of an anarchist secret society in The Invisibles (1994) by Grant Morrison.
- Evey Hammond
- A protégé of V, an anarchist terrorist in V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore & David Lloyd in 1982. Evey eventually adopts V's role.
- Green Arrow
- A superhero known for his liberal progressive characterization. Appearing in Green Arrow and various other comic books published by DC Comics, he was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp in 1941. He was revamped in 1969 by Dennis O'Neil, who characterized him as a political progressive and dubbed him an "anarchist".
- Jack Frost
- A young hooligan, possibly a future Buddha, and member of an anarchic secret society in The Invisibles (1994) by Grant Morrison.
- King Mob
- A magician, assassin, terrorist, and member of an anarchist secret society in The Invisibles (1994) by Grant Morrison.
- Lord Fanny
- A Brazilian, transgender shaman, and member of an anarchist secret society in The Invisibles (1994) by Grant Morrison.
- An intellectual pelican, in Donald Rooum's Wildcat (1985). Pillock is often used to present complex social ideas and anarchist philosophy.
- Ragged Robin
- A time traveling, cybernetically enhanced telepath, and member of an anarchist secret society in The Invisibles (1994) by Grant Morrison.
- Tank Girl
- A violent punk, wanted criminal, and tank commander. She was created in 1988 by Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin for their independent comic series, Tank Girl.
- An anonymous, English terrorist with enhanced strength, reflexes, and mental capacity. He is perhaps a genius or merely insane, and acts as an allegorical force for anarchy. He was created by Alan Moore & David Lloyd for their 1982 comic series, V for Vendetta.
- Wild Cat
- An anarcho-punk cat created by Donald Rooum in 1985 as the lead character in his comic strip, Wildcat.
- Captain Raymond
- A secondary character, and anarchistic leader of a band of thieves in Things as They Are; or The Adventures of Caleb Williams, by William Godwin.
- A main character encountered by the protagonists of The Oregon Experiment, by Keith Scribner. The character was based on anarchists the author met.
- Professor Bernardo de la Paz
- An intellectual subversive, who self-identifies as a "Rational Anarchist", in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966), by Robert A. Heinlein
- Edward Tolby
- An agent of the Anarchist League, in The Last of the Masters (1954), by Philip K. Dick. Edward Tolby is among a trio of anarchists tasked with investigating rumors of a government in hiding near a remote mountain valley. His daughter and comrade, Silvia Tolby, is kidnapped by a military scouts. After infiltrating the state, Edward assassinates the head of state, the last "government robot", and rescues his daughter.
An avowed anarchist who sows chaos in various ways in The Face by Dean Koontz.
- Valentin Michael Karstev
- A Russian revolutionary, terrorist, and author of an anarchist treatise, The Laws of Human History, in Protect and Defend (1999), by Eric L. Harry.
- Hagbard Celine
- A discordian genius, computer engineer, and captain of a submarine, in The Illuminatus! Trilogy (1969), by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson.
- A mysterious man who believes in anarchic individualism, in The Survivors of the 'Jonathan' (1897), by Jules Verne. Possibly based on Peter Kropotkin.
- Leo Gold
- A pessimistic, aging author and former labor organizer, in At the Anarchists' Convention (1979), by John Sayles.
- Lucian Gregory
- A militant terrorist who promotes chaos as the epitome of beauty and anarchy, in The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), by G. K. Chesterton. He is an allegorical figure, representing Lucifer.
- The Mechanic (a.k.a. Crocodile & Anarchisto de Barcelona)
- An anonymous escaped convict, driven mad by his association with anarchists, and who never reveals his true name, in An Anarchist (1905), by Joseph Conrad. He denies being an anarchist, but is still labeled one by the narrator at the end of the story.
- Paula Mendoza
- An anarchist who uses unconventional methods as a diplomat to maintain peace between antagonistic political factions, in Floating Worlds 1975, by Cecelia Holland.
- Merlyn (as portrayed by the author)
- The Arthurian wizard, portrayed as an anarchist, anti-communist, anti-fascist, and antimilitarist, in The Book of Merlyn 1941, by T. H. White.
- Robert Penn
- An agent of the Anarchist League, in The Last of the Masters (1954), by Philip K. Dick. Robert Penn is among a trio of anarchists tasked with investigating rumors of a government in hiding near a remote mountain valley. En route his group is intercepted by spies of the state, who are ordered to kill the agents. Of the three, Penn does not survive, though the spies die with him.
- An experimental physicist and theoretician, attempting to develop a General Temporal Theory, in The Dispossessed (1974), by Ursula K. Le Guin.
- Silvia Tolby
- An agent of the Anarchist League, in The Last of the Masters (1954), by Philip K. Dick. Silvia Tolby is among a trio of anarchists tasked with investigating rumors of a government in hiding near a remote mountain valley. She is kidnapped by military scouts after falling unconscious in a car wreck. She is taken to the government center and questioned by the head of state, the last "government robot". Her father, Edward Tolby, assassinates the robot and rescues her.
- A former '60s radical and hacker, performed by Ben Kingsley in Sneakers (1992). Cosmo, who finances his anarchist activities with a day job as a money launderer for organized crime, schemes to steal an experimental "universal decryptor", which will allow him to hack into and destroy all computerized financial records, effectively toppling the capitalist system and (he hopes) laying the groundwork for a horizontalist society.
- A peasant member of an anarcho-syndicalist commune, performed by Michael Palin in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).
- A knife fighter and assassin, and member of an underground terrorist cell, in Anarchists (Anakiseuteu) (2000). The role of Dol-Suk is played by Lee Bum-Soo.
- Double D
- A slacker and squatter. He is played by Steve Van Wormer in The Anarchist Cookbook (2002).
- A violently independent and anti-social alien. Star Trek: TNG, episode No. 66, Allegiance (1990). Reiner Schöne performed the role.
- An anarcha-feminist, Mujeres Libres member, spirit medium, and militia soldier during the Spanish Civil War, inLibertarian Women (Libertarias) (1996). The role of Floren is performed by Ana Belén.
- Johnny Red
- A 60's radical who idealizes Sweden. He is played by John Savage, in The Anarchist Cookbook (2002).
- Han Myung-Gon
- A disguise artist and leader of an underground terrorist cell, in Anarchists (Anakiseuteu) (2000). Han Myung-Gon is played by Kim Sang-Joong.
- A bisexual squatter with issues of misandry, in The Anarchist Cookbook (2002). She is played by Gina Philips.
- An exiled hero of the Spanish Civil War. He is played by Antonio Resines, in The Shanghai Spell (El Embrujo de Shanghai) (2002).
- Lee Geun
- A martial artist, and member of an underground terrorist cell, in Anarchists. Lee Geun is portrayed by Jeong Jun-ho. (Anakiseuteu) (2000).
- Lily Cruz/Ivy Aguas
- A strong woman vowing revenge against the corrupt and terroristic/fascistic Ardiente political clan responsible for her family's loss,in Wildflower She is portrayed by Maja Salvador In this 2017-2018 Philippine political action-crime-suspense epic
- Nandu Forcat
- A former soldier in the Spanish Civil War. He is played by Eduard Fernández, in The Shanghai Spell (El Embrujo de Shanghai) (2002).
- An inmate in a World War II era German prison camp, captured while trying to assassinate fascists. He is played by Fernando Rey, in Seven Beauties (Pasqualino Settebellezze) (1975).
- An anarcha-feminist, Mujeres Libres member, and militia leader during the Spanish Civil War, inLibertarian Women (Libertarias) (1996). The role of Pilar is performed by Ana Belén.
- A college dropout, slacker, and squatter, in The Anarchist Cookbook (2002). He is played by Devon Gummersall.
- Rick Pratt
- A college student, activist, and self-proclaimed "people's poet" in the 1982 BBC television series, The Young Ones, created and performed by Rik Mayall. Rick is a hypocritical, tantrum-throwing attention-seeker, and fan of Cliff Richard. It is implied in the final episode that contrary to his proletarian pretensions, he is from an upper class, Conservative background. He and his co-stars die in the final episode of the series when, having robbed a bank, the bus they are escaping in falls over a cliff and explodes. Mayall created "Rick" as one of several characters he portrayed during his solo act at The Comedy Store, during the early 80s. Mayall co-created The Young Ones with then girlfriend Lise Mayer during the same period. Injecting the character into the series, it was pitched to the BBC and subsequently picked up for production.
- A promiscuous squatter, and DJ who works at a record store in The Anarchist Cookbook (2002). Sweeney (Johnny Whitworth) is one of the squatters who falls under the control of the nihilist, Johnny Black, through an addiction to cocaine.
- A member-in-training of an underground terrorist cell in Anarchists (Anakiseuteu) (2000). Sang-Gu (Kim In-Kwon) is adopted into the terror cell after they rescue him from a public execution. Orphaned after his family was killed during a village massacre, he traveled to Shanghai to take part in revenge killings against Japanese politicians. He becomes an apprentice to each of the senor cell members, but gravitates to Seregay, and is the only witness to Seregay's death. As the only surviving member of the cell, the narration of the film is told from his perspective decades later.
- An expert marksman and assassin, and member of an underground terrorist cell in the Korean film, Anarchists (Anakiseuteu) (2000). Seregay (Jang Dong-gun), is an old comrade of Lee Geun, and a victim of torture at the hands of Japanese interrogators, leading to a self-destructive opium addiction. After failing a mission, he is ordered by his leftist leaders to redeem himself by taking part in an impossible assassination mission. Surprisingly, he succeeds, but is betrayed by another assassin sent to be sure he is killed.
- Tina Santiago
- A young mother and widow of an Iraq War veteran, turned militant Black bloc protester in This Revolution (2004). Actress Rosario Dawson was arrested during filming for breaking an anti-mask ordinance at the Republican National Convention protest march. The script of the film was quickly rewritten to account for her absence, and live footage of the arrest was included in the movie, portrayed instead as the arrest of the character, Santiago.
- Jerome Valeska
- An anarchist, terrorist, and criminal gang lord, created by producer and screenwriter Bruno Heller for the television series Gotham, and played by actor Cameron Monaghan. The character acts as a tribute and forerunner to the Batman supervillain Joker, as well as exploring the mythology of the character.
- An anarchist, terrorist, and criminal gang lord, in the film xXx (2002). Yogi (Marton Csokas) was an officer in the Russian army during the Second Chechen War, until he and his subordinates grew disgusted by the corruption of the government and the deaths of their own comrades. They mutinied, and reorganized as a criminal organization, Anarchy 99, named for the year their rebellion. In an effort to eliminate government on a global scale, he builds an automated submarine, Ahab, that will anonymously launch deadly gas at several cities worldwide, in the hope that the resulting social turmoil will initiate a breakdown in global order, leaving only a condition of "anarchy". He is killed by Xander Cage, who then successfully neutralizes the poison aboard the Ahab.
- Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan
- A Delvian priestess and political prisoner in the Sci-Fi Channel original series, Farscape (1999). She is of an empathic and telepathic alien species, and has skills in drug and explosive manufacture.
- She dies early in season three of the series, sacrificing herself to save the lives of her shipmates. In reality, actress Virginia Hey was unable to continue playing the character, as the makeup effects were harming her kidneys.
- Antagonist of the third season of Nickolodeon TV series Legend of Korra. Zaheer is a self-described Anarchist and leader of the terrorist organization Order of the Red Lotus. Zaheer's goal throughout the series is to create a worldwide society based on the principles of freedom and chaos by overthrowing all world governments and killing The Avatar. Though born a non-bender, Zaheer gains the ability of Air-bending after Harmonic Convergence, which he becomes greatly adept gaining the ability of flight, a technique that no other airbender in the show has been shown to have.
- Tom Collins
- A philosophy professor with AIDS, Tom Collins is a major character in the American Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical, Rent (1996), by Jonathan Larson. He is the friend and former roommate of several characters, including Roger, Mark, Benny, and Maureen, and is Angel's lover. During musical numbers, the performer playing Tom sings bass. The character is inspired by "Colline", a character in La bohème, by Giacomo Puccini.
Footnotes and citations
- Malatesta, Errico, Towards Anarchism.
- "Anarchism". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 29 August 2006
- "Anarchism". The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2005. P. 14 "Anarchism is the view that a society without the state, or government, is both possible and desirable."
- Bakunin, Mikhail, God and the State, pt. 2.; Tucker, Benjamin, State Socialism and Anarchism.; Kropotkin, Piotr, Anarchism: its Philosophy and Ideal; Malatesta, Errico, Towards Anarchism; Bookchin, Murray, Anarchism: Past and Present, pt. 4; An Introduction to Anarchism by Liz A. Highleyman
- Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.
- "Anarchik". A Rivista Anarchica Online (in Italian). anarca-bolo. February 2005. Retrieved 19 October 2007.
- Grant, Alan (1999). "Intro by Alan Grant". Batman: Anarky. New York: DC Comics. pp. 3–4. ISBN 1-56389-437-8.
- As early as the first issue, references to anarchism, including the circle-A and Kropotkin, are made, however the members of The Invisibles are not identified within the text until the second volume. "American Death Camp" The Invisibles, volume 2 #11 December 1997 DC Comics; "The Tower" The Invisibles, volume 2 #22 February 1999 DC Comics. Within the comic The Invisibles are generally represented as an organization against all forms of oppression and for total liberation. As such, anarchism is only one facet of their larger world view.
- Moore, Alan; Loyd, David (2005). V for Vendetta. United States: Vertigo. p. 296. ISBN 1-4012-0792-8. A FOR ALAN, Pt. 1 Archived 5 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine, an interview by Heidi MacDonald, in which Alan outlines the core theme of the story being that of an ethical and political battle between Anarchy and fascism, and that V is an anarchist. In A FOR ALAN Pt. 2 Archived 21 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Alan explains that V is neither hero nor villain, but an allegorical force for Anarchy. Evey later assumes the same role in the story. Comicon.com/thebeat/ Accessed 24 January 2007
- When Dennis O'Neil recreated the character in 1970, he envisioned him as "a hot-tempered anarchist to contrast with the cerebral, sedate model citizen who was the Green Lantern." BulletPoints Reviews of Green Lantern/Green Arrow v.1, Raging Bullets.com. Accessed 18 January 2007
- Rooum, Donald (1 July 1985). Wildcat Anarchist Comics. United Kingdom: Freedom Press. p. 48. ISBN 0-900384-30-1.
- The character, Tank Girl, self-identifies as an anarchist in Tank Girl: Apocalypse #3 (January 1996), by Alan Grant and Andy Pritchett.
- Chelsea Emery (3 November 2011). "Book Talk: Inside the angry mind of an anarchist". Reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Heinlein, Robert A. (1966). The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. United States: G. P. Putnam's Sons. p. 382. ISBN 0-312-86355-1.
- Edward Tolby, Silvia Tolby, and Robert Penn self-identify, and are identified by other characters, as anarchists repeatedly. Anarchism is also the explicit theme of the story. Dick, Philip K. (1987). The Philip K. Dick Reader. United States: Citadel. p. 422. ISBN 0-8065-1856-1.
- The character, Stubby, self-identifies as an anarchist within the text of the story, The Anarchist: His Dog, by Susan Glaspell. The e-text of Lifted Masks: Stories is made available online by Project Gutenberg. Gutenberg.org. Accessed 22 February 2007.
- Flynn, Vince (2007). Protect and Defend. United States: Simon & Schuster, Inc. p. 416. ISBN 978-0-7432-7041-0. Karstev is clearly identified as an anarchist in the novel, and leads a successful anarchist revolution in Russia and subsequent terrorist campaigns internationally. He writes an anarchist treatise, The Laws of Human History.
- Shea, Robert; Wilson, Robert Anton (1975). The Illuminatus! Trilogy. United Kingdom: Dell Publishing. p. 805. ISBN 1-56731-237-3.
- Verne, Jules; Michel Verne (1909). The Survivors of the "Jonathan". United Kingdom. Anarchism and science fiction
- The narrator, Leo Gold, identifies himself and others as anarchists at a fictional anarchist convention within the text of the story, part of The Anarchists Convention (1979) short story anthology.
- Chesterton, G.K. (1908). The Man Who Was Thursday. United Kingdom: J.W. Arrowsmith. p. 330.
- Conrad, Joseph (2000). A Set of Six. United Kingdom: Classic Publishing. p. 805. ISBN 0-7426-2662-8. The unnamed mechanic, referred to as "Crocodile" and "Anarchisto de Barcelona" denies being an anarchist, but is labeled one by the narrator at the end of the story. However, two other characters, Simon and Mafile, are more clearly identified as anarchists within the text. The e-text of A Set of Six is available online through Project Gutenberg. Gutenberg.org. 22 February 2007
- Holland, Cecelia (2000). Floating Worlds. United States: IUniverse, Inc. p. 548. ISBN 0-595-08882-1.
- White, T.H. (1987). The Book of Merlyn. United Kingdom: Ace Books. p. 193. ISBN 0-441-00663-9. Merlyn self-identifies as an anarchist with the line "I am an anarchist, like any other sensible person." The character further elaborates upon his philosophy, railing against collectivist ideologies such as communism and fascism. The character also rebukes the notion that a communist state can "wither away" to lead to a condition of anarchy, and takes a firm antimiliterist stance. The Book of Merlyn is the final part of The Once and Future King series.
- Conrad, Joseph; Wilson, Robert Anton (1907). The Secret Agent. United Kingdom: Methuen Publishing Ltd. p. 442.
- Le Guin, Ursula K. (1974). The Dispossessed. United States: Harper & Row. p. 341. ISBN 0-06-012563-2.
- Williams, John (1991). Into the badlands. Paladin. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-586-09075-6.
- The character, Dennis, identifies himself and other characters around him as anarchists within the film with the quote: "We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune."
- The main characters repeatedly self-identify as anarchists throughout the script of the film, in Anarchists (Anakiseuteu) (2000).
- Puck, Johnny Red, and Karla, repeatedly identify themselves and several other characters as anarchists throughout the script of the film.
- Manning, Richard; Beimler, Hans; Kolbe, Winrich (8 April 1990). "Allegiance". Star Trek: The Next Generation. Episode 66. Syndication. Jean-Luc Picard refers to Esoqq as an anarchist, "You, the anarchist, reject authority in any form..." Another character, Tholl, engages Esoqq in discussion:
Tholl: ...I've heard about your race. You're uncivilized– you have no laws, no system of government–
Esoqq: The Chalnoth have no use for laws or governments! We are strong– we obey no one.
Tholl: You live in anarchy, murdering one another...
- The main characters repeatedly self-identify as anarchists throughout the script of the film.
- "By then he'd befriended the libertarians." 22:02 "He'd sell books on anarchy and revolutionary pamphlets to the customers. 27:16
- The character, Pedro, self identifies as an anarchist with the line: "I'm a death expert; an old anarchist whose bombs didn't work..." The character describes his failed attempts to assassinate fascist leaders which led to his capture, and laments that amidst the "order" of the Germans, a "new man in disorder" must emerge to save the world.
- Neil identifies Rik as an anarchist with the line, "But you haven't got an MP Rik, you're an anarchist."Elton, Ben; Mayall, Rik; Mayer, Lise (12 June 1984). "Sick". The Young Ones. Season 2. Episode 11. 2:22 minutes in. BBC. BBC Two.. Moments later, Rik quotes Proudhon: "Oh, stop being so blinking bourgeoisie! All property is theft, Vyvyan."Elton, Ben; Mayall, Rik; Mayer, Lise (12 June 1984). "Sick". The Young Ones. Season 2. Episode 11. 2:53 minutes in. BBC. BBC Two. Further references are made to anarchist quotes or symbolism. A standard part of the costume of Rik consists of a black jacket with a circle-A written on its back. The character also associates with a fictional organization known as "the Anarchist Society." Elton, Ben; Mayall, Rik; Mayer, Lise (30 November 1982). "Bomb". The Young Ones. Season 1. Episode 4. 10:10 minutes in. BBC. BBC Two.
- Tina Santiago (Rosario Dawson) is identified and categorized as an anarchist by the Department of Homeland Security near the end of the film.
- Director Rob Cohen identifies Yorgi and the members of Anarchy 99 as anarchists during a commentary track included in the DVD release of the film.
- Zhaan identifies herself as an anarchist in the first episode after being asked why she was imprisoned: "Because on my home world, even among my kind, I was... something of an anarchist. Actually, I was the leading anarchist."– "Premiere". Prowse, Andrew; O'Bannon, Rockne. Farscape. Sci Fi Channel. 19 March 1999. No. 1, season 1.
- Hey, Virginia (11 August 2004). "Why did I leave Farscape?". VirginiaHey.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2007.
- The character, Tom Collins, is identified twice within the script of the musical as an anarchist. Once by the character Mark, "Enter Tom Collins, computer genius, teacher, vagabond anarchist, who ran naked through the Parthenon," and again later by the character Angel, "And Collins will recount his exploits as an anarchist..."
- Larson, Jonathan (1997). Rent ("Leap of Faith"). Interviews and text: McDonnell, Evelyn, with Silberger, Katherine. New York, New York: HarperEntertainment HarperCollins. pp. 18–37. ISBN 0-688-15437-9.