Talk:Anarchism/Archive 16

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Survey : Scope and Purpose

As suggested by the Wikipedia guides for conflict resolution, this is a survey. Please answer these three questions and only post once -- do not respond to others in this thread. Once a signficant amount of people have responded (let's say 10) we should discuss synthesis, compromise, or whatnot. Please post less than 500 words (post something simple). I will enter my opinion after at least two others post. --albamuth 09:23, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What are the distinguishing characteristics of anarchist philosophies?

* Since the split from nihisit movement, it was always a fight against all forms of discrimination. Definitions of "fight" and "discrimination" vary significantly, but always include working towards a non-hierarchical society. Beta m (talk)
* A movement against hierarchy in all its forms, most importantly the state, Capitalism, sexism, reacism, heterosexism, etc...--Che y Marijuana 00:36, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)
* Distinguishing characteristics of anarchist philosophies are that they are anti-state, anti-capitalist, for equality, decentralization, autonomy of the individual. Individualism should not be confused with an opposition to organization, nearly all anarchist philosophies are for organization. Opposition to hierarchy/authority is universal and that includes all institution, ideologies, organizations, and pracices that are coercive, forced, oppressive, or is otherwise hierarchal. To protect the rights of the individual, anarchism has always been for voluntary cooperation. --Fatal 04:24, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* Anarchism, which was once referred to as "libertarian socialism", originates in a critique of the State and Capitalism. The philosophies expoused by anarchist writers have varied in degree but have always reflected those twin critiques, whether the writers saw them as inextricably linked or merely related via fundamental principles; abuses of power, unfair distribution of wealth, exploitation of the common person, alienation, classcism, division of races, and so forth. --albamuth 20:13, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* Anarchism has two distinct varieties. The first is includes syndicalism, extreme liberalism, and communism, along with all the varieties contained within communism (especially revolutionary communism), from state communism to primitivism. This form is a type of idealism. The second type contains those who pursue real anarchy. The first group includes most people who choose to call themselves anarchists, while the second, likely vastly more numerous, includes much of the prison populations of most nations, and an enormous % of criminals and practitioners of warlordism generally. Alignment (role-playing games) is an interesting way to discuss the moral distinctions amongst the Chaotic Alignments. Within this paradigm, most of the first sort of anarchist would be Chaotic Good, whilst the second would consist mainly of Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil persons. Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 21:51, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* Anarchism is the opposition to any individual, group, or organization governing or ruling over any individual. I think it's as simple as that. If any person is prevented from voluntarily exercising his will in regard to all that is his (meaning that coercive influence is being directed upon him by another) then anarchy lacks existence. What is "his" (a person's rightful property) is one area where debate comes in. I think everyone would agree a person's body is "his." Determing what else is the rightful property of a person is an issue of dispute among anarchists --most particularly between "traditional anarchists" and anarcho-capitalists (or "free-market anarchists"). Of course another area of dispute is which particular actions are "voluntary" and which are not. But I don't think any of these disputes should matter in regard to defining anarchism (which should only take a sentence or two.) RJII 16:28, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* "Anarchism" is a word used to describe a number of related philosophies which critique hierarchy, coercion, and domination in all forms. They also advocate mutual aid, voluntary association, decentralized organizing, etc. [Getting any more specific wouldn't be a broad description of anarchist philosophies, but even in that short form anarcho-capitalism and nationalist anarchism don't qualify]
* Anarchism, first and foremost, is not to be confused with anarchy (when used in the sense of chaos and disorder). Thus any and all referance to anarchy as a state of disorder or chaos is inappropriate for this page save for a single sentence disabugating the two terms and linking to the anarchy article. Beyond that, anarchism refers to a broad ideology first concieved as a self-description by those who sought to end all forms of institutional human dominance, both political and economic. This theory does not seek to create perfect humans who live in total harmony, but rather to ever strive toward the goal of elminating human coercion wherever it is found. In this, it is distinct from any philosophy that seeks to compromise in accepting certain forms of human domination as "inevitable" or "justifiable." Such ideologies are not "new and improved" forms of anarchism, but rather rejection thereof. Thus, while it is a form of libertarianism, it is distinguished from all other political movements which seek to retain coercive political structure, including the property entitlement of capitalism, the panarchic advocacy in nationalism, and the pseudo-representative states of liberalism. Kev 00:31, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* It's impossible to completely separate anarchy and anarchism, as they clearly share a common root, and anarchy, in some sense of the word, is the state of affairs that anarchists seek to achieve. But it's ironic that one of the meanings of "anarchy" in the dictionary (American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd edition) is "Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose." If this were true of the anarchist movement, then there would be no basis for the loudly-asserted insistence that some people, groups, and philosophies were "not really anarchist" because they violated some alleged principle of anarchism. So, clearly, the words "anarchy" and "anarchism" have a number of meanings, some of them contradictory. Anarchism has as its first definition in the dictionary, "The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished." This definition clearly includes anarcho-capitalists, as it says nothing about what opinions anarchists should or must have on the subject of capitalism vs. socialism, just that whatever view they may have, they don't favor having it forcibly imposed by a government. Thus, voluntary socialism and voluntary capitalism are equally compatible with an anarchist society under this definition. It also, incidentally, says nothing about racism (something else that has been brought up here as incompatible with anarchism); it's perfectly possible for somebody to think that other races are inferior, but still favor the abolition of all government. They wouldn't likely have much luck in convincing the races they oppose to march voluntarily into anarchist concentration camps, though. "Nationalist anarchism" seems dubious, however, as "national" implies the existence of a "nation", which is usually considered synonymous with a government. Another dictionary definition of anarchism is "Rejection of all forms of coercive control and authority", which is more like what many of the participants here are using as their definition, as it's broader than just being anti-government. This is the definition that some claim excludes anarcho-capitalism. But this depends on a belief that capitalism is inherently coercive, which is, of course, a point on which anarcho-capitalists (as well as minarchist libertarians) disagree. Dtobias 13:27, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Opposition to all forms of hiearchy, for example the state, capitalism, nacism racism fascism, simply All forms of rule, wheter done by laws or economic pressure/power. Foant
  • The main distinguishing characteristic of anarchist philosophy is: opposition of rulers, hierarchy, and oppression of any kind. This includes, capitalism (which is naturally hierarchical), racism, sexism, ageism, etc. --Jazz Remington 02:05, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • There is no one received definition of the word "anarchism", so there can be no exclusive set of criteria to determine what anarchism is. That's not necessarily the most important question with regard to what should be in this article, though. - Nat Krause 19:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What purpose should this article serve?

* To show to the reader what "Anarchist Movement" is. As it is not a homogenous movement, it is important to give different examples, with understanding that the reader might wish to read up more on the particular idea. But that would not be the purpose of the article. Beta m (talk)
* To show the Anarchist movement, link to its history, and summarize some of iots main ideas. Though it isn't a homogenous movement, it does share certain characteristics that are not negociable.--Che y Marijuana 00:36, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)
* The purpose of this article should be to clearly explain to a user who knows nothing about anarchism what it is, its history, etc. It should also outline things that are anarchist as well as things confused with anarchism that are false. It should be as unbiased as possible, decisions for edits based only on anarchist philosophy, ideology and facts. To clarify, it is not a POV to cite anarchist definition and ideology as a clear indication that something is not anarchist when it is a true explanation. --Fatal 04:27, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* The article should explain the concept of anarchism as distinct from other ideologies. Therefore it needs to establish necessary stipulations for what ideological schools, social movements, historical events, literature, and cultural memes qualify as the article's own definition of anarchism. The purpose of the article is to describe a clear idea with examples to the reader without confusing or conflicting information. --albamuth 20:20, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* The article must, overcoming the demographics of its editors, succeed in presenting the reader a NPOV overview of the expert POV's regarding what the term "anarchism" is today, and what the history of the idea has been. Original research must be countered at every turn. Gaining featured article status and achieving the intellectual honesty and rigor necessary to satisfy both reasonable adherents and critics must be fundamental goals. Things should be explained in such a manner as to comprehensively inform someone with no knowledge of the concept whatsoever. Only thus can we provide the very highest standard of quality to our fearless readers. Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 22:05, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* This article should describe the mainstream, no-qualifiers form of Anarchism, while also taking the time to briefly introduce readers to not only its subsets, but also hybrid political philosophies such as "anarcho"-capitalism, which are of interest if for no other reason than to illustrate that the word "anarchism" itself seems to be taking on more positive cannotations (else other groups wouldn't be so eager to adopt the word), indicating at least some success in the movement itself. Still, the main focus of the page needs to be Anarchism without qualifiers, and its purpose should be to educate readers about the unalloyed to give readers a more solid basis of comparison when they inevitably decide to delve deeper into the subject. --Corvun 09:11, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
*It should serve to give a succinct definition of anarchism that encapsulates all forms of anarchism; how diverse the different forms of anarchism are is going to determine how broad (or even vague) the definition needs to be. Then it should go on to describe the matters of dispute in regard to what constitutes "voluntary," "property," etc, and list and describe each of the various forms. The most important part, in my opinion, is the intro. If it's good, it should naturally guide everything else in the article. RJII 16:38, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
*This article should inform the reader of the meaning and history behind the word anarchism and its various political ideologies, including various sub-movements, notable figures and events, and some detail of the basic philosophy behind the ideology itself that unites the extremely diverse movements within. It should also serve as a link-page to all the various forms of anarchism, and to those claiming to be a part of the tradition but whose claims are controversial or generally rejected by anarchists with more substantive links to the tradition. However, proper emphasis is to ignore non-notable claimants (including purely internet based phenomena, secret societies for which there is no evidence, and single-person "movements"), and give minimal space to controversial or minor claimants in the form of a brief description detailing their status in relation to the movement as a whole and perhaps some explaination of why their ideology is not generally considered a part of traditional or modern anarchism (this would include various disagreements over the definitions of terms and rejection/ignorance/subversion of core tenets to anarchism). However, links to such notable but controversial claimants are essential to the overall informative nature of the article and should not be removed under any condition. Kev 00:43, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* It should give any reader sufficient information on what anarchism is, its ideas and history.
* To give information about anarchism, in all of its meanings and usages, not a slanted subset "anointed" by some group that acts like they own the word in a proprietary way (ironic given that those people claim to oppose private property). Dtobias 00:47, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* This article should give a generalized overview of anarchism that is easily accessable to everyone. Meaning, it should be more simpilar than the Anarchist FAQ. --Jazz Remington 02:07, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* I feel that there should be two pages: one to disambiguate different senses of the word "anarchism", and the other to discuss the socialist-anarchist movement associated with Proudhon, Emma Goldman, Malatesta, etc. It doesn't really matter very much which one is where. - Nat Krause 19:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What criteria should be used for inclusion in this article?

* The submovement, must be linked to other parts of the larger movement, even if it not linked to all (syndicalism and primitivism don't really link for example, but there is a link between syndicalism and anarcho-communism and primitivism and ecoanarchism). When the particular trend of anarchism existed (or began) should make no difference, neither should the number of "followers" (term is used loosely). Beta m (talk)
* The faction must be linked intrinsically, even if on a shaky relationship, to the entire movement. There are disagreements between different factions in Anarchism, but generally they are still considered disagreements between Anarchists. The same cannot be said about "Anarcho"-Capitalism or National-"Anarchism". Which are trends that consider themselves Anarchists, but are universally rejected within the movement. It is also important to look at where these trends come from and what kind of support they have, a "movement" that consists of one site and a dozen members is simply not noteworthy.--Che y Marijuana 00:36, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)
* If the criteria to be included is in question as to whether it is anarchist or not, it should be known that it must be non-hierarchal and meet the other basic requirements already outlined in the article. If something is to be decided as to whether it is relevant or part of the larger movement, population does actually matter. For example, there are an extremely small number of people (possibly only the guy that made one small website on it) that believe anarchism should be melded with monarchism. If we pretend for a moment that this actually was non-hierarchal, then it would still not be relevant to include in the article because the number of followers is so rediculously small. For the sake of space, since this is wikipedia, all that should be included in the article are things, people, and movements which had something significantly to do with anarchism in the past or does in the present. --Fatal 04:35, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* The bounds of the article should start out as historical, not ideological. Anarchism consists of a history that started somewhere around Proudhon and Bakunin, and included diverse movements and individual activists and writers, associated in various ways, cooperating and competing in various ways, but all claiming parts of the same shared history and all calling themselves anarchists. The various movements and ideologies included in this history (up to present times) should be represented in proportion to their historical weight---whether that is measured in terms simply of number, of historical impact, of success in promulgating their ideas, whatever. This doesn't answer all questions, but give us the framework that should be argued within---there is no need to decide what is The Correct Anarchist Line. There is only need to figure out how 'popular' or how high an impact various ideologies or movements have had. If the answer is 'a tiny one', then they should get only a tiny mention. --Nil 07:53, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* This is an encyclopedia. To best attempt an "objective" stance, there needs to be a clear guideline or model for inclusion. The criteria must be universal (can apply for all cases), independantly testable(anyone can research and apply them--no secret knowledge), and have fecundity (the criteria can apply now and in the future, plus leave room for more questions/distinctions). This is no different than whan makes for a good scientific theory. String Theory and quantum gravity are completely different, competing theories but to the average reader, many nuances must be explained. To make the difference between an anarchist ideological/historical event and other social movements clear to the average reader, the article should provide explicit criteria. --albamuth 20:32, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* The only criteria for inclusion is quality, (think featured article) verifiability, Citability, and the 32k size concern. The definition of anarchism is not the single organic movement beginning with Proudhon and Bakunin (which should be discussed), nor is it syndicalism alone, nor any one thing. Rather anarchism is a natural concept based on anarchy (the temporary absence of governmental authority), rather than any one of the movements, incidents, uprisings or states (like say Somalia) that represent it. Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 22:26, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* Anything that's closely relevant to the concept of anarchism. I would't worry about it too much. If something strays too far off topic, someone will delete it. Or if it's not mentioned or elaborated on enough, someone will put it in. All these arguments will be rehashed over and over. Anything we write will be erased many times over through the course of time anyway. I don't think Wikipedia is designed to allow for finality but incessant "warfare." RJII 16:48, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* Anything notable should be mentioned. Nationalist anarchism, for example, is non-notable, with no historical or political significance other than disrupting this article. Anarcho-capitalism is more notable. But, we should make it clear that these contrived submovements do not come out of the same historical trajectory that produced the others and are not linked movements. I mean, if you go to an anarchist bookshop you could probably find syndicalist and primitivist stuff (depending on the scope of their inventory) but anarcho-capitalism is an independent, unrelated movement that happens to have a related prefix and is generally not even taken seriously by any other anarchist "submovement"(as for nationalist anarchism, few have ever even heard of it as is seen by the confused reaction by regular editors of this article). Such subcategories should not be treated as equal in importance, nor should they be contrasted throughout the article as if they have equal merit or that such debates occur often (anarchists generally ignore or brush off anarcho-capitalists, anarcho-capitalists do the same to anarchists. Or wait. "Left" anarchists.) To present these subcategories in any other way is to distort the landscape of the anarchist movement and ignore trends in the history of anarchist thought. I support a seperate section for any of these questionable schools of thought, where their ideas are surveyed and compared to the rest of the article, so that their views do not distort the rest of the article and create misunderstandings about their role in the greater anarchist movement. [Sorry, that was a jumble of only partially coherent thought, I have a headache and I'm tired :P] 20:33, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* As above, anything notable (to be specific, that which is beyond the internet, beyond single-person advocacy, beyond secret societies with no evidence) should be mentioned in some form, but proper emphasis placed on controversial and minor movements (i.e. their mention should be brief and include links to their own articles if such exist). Anarchism, as a political ideology, is distinct from anarchy, mere anti-state ideology, mere isolationism, or mere anti-capitalism. As such, inclusion on this page should be based on loose adherence to the most basic of anarchist values, including total abolition of the state, and a never-ending push to eliminate human domination in whatever forms it arises including: prisons, judiciary, politicians, human bondage in contractual or physical form, etc. Ideologies which advocate such institutions as compatible with human freedom are subverting the very definitions of the words used by anarchists to promote their ideology. Thus, the determination of what is and is not part of anarchism is not formulaic, it is subjective and organic in accordance with the values of those following in the tradition of anarchism. As such, there is no simple rule to follow, and judgements based on inclusion and extent of coverage in this article should include its significance (in numbers of subscribers and real-world events), its degree of adherence to past anarchist values, its continuing rejection of institutional status-quo (regardless of what the status-quo happens to be), its acceptance by other anarchist movements involved in the tradition, its compatibility with the underlying theory, its coherence with the basic meaning(s) of the word itself. Kev 00:58, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* Anything notable, yes... and don't let one slanted group define in a monopolistic way what's "notable". Dtobias 00:49, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* The criteria for inclusion into this article is simple: if said inclusion is anti-hierarchy, anti-capitalism, anti-oppression, and anti-authority, then it should be considered to be included. Or, if it is related to anarchist history or information about the movements, collectives, communes, etc. that are anarchistic in nature. --Jazz Remington 02:08, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
* The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes that anarcho-capitalists and sui dissant traditional anarchists are simply using the same word in different senses. When a (pro-capitalist) libertarian asks another libertarian "Are you an anarchist?", he would never give a reply like "Yes, because I agree with Bryan Caplan that Spooner and Tucker were fundamentally on our side," or "No, Bakunin was way off." That would be irrelevant from their perspective. He would simply answer based on whether he favored abolishing the state. For left-wing anarchists, on the other hand, location within the historical anarchist movement is crucial. This is why we need to have a disambiguation page. Personally, as I have said before, I think it would be clearer to have the disambiguation page here, under anarchism, because the anarchism of the anarchist movement is far from the most common usage, and then put the contents of this article somewhere else (maybe under anarchist movement); but it works either way, so long as we have a note at the top of the article saying This article is about the philosophy of anarchism associated with thinkers such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Mikhail Bakunin. For other senses of the word anarchism, see anarchism (word). - Nat Krause 19:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Survey Results

This is my summary of the survey results. What are the distinguishing characteristics of anarchist philosophies?

  • A movement against hierarchy, which requires opposition to capitalism, statism, racism, etc. (8 responses)
  • An extension of the word "anarchy" (1 response)
  • Opposition to any individual, group, or organization governing or ruling over any individual without any other implications. (1 response)
  • There are too many interpretations of anarchism for it to be defined by strict criteria. (1 response)

What purpose should this article serve?

  • It should give a very certain definition (mostly traditional) of anarchism and show examples in strict accordance to that definition. (4 responses)
  • It should do the above, but also include controversial claimants to which there is a good account of. (5 responses)
  • It should supply the reader with sufficient information on what anarchism is. (1 response)
  • It should comply with wikipedia policy. (1 response)

What criteria should be used for inclusion in this article?

  • Should only include notable flavors of anarchism that don't contradict "mainstream" anarchist values. (5 responses)
  • Should include mainstream, historical information but also include notable, semi-related movements. (5 responses)
  • Only criteria should be quality of source reference. (1 response)
  • The article needs disambiguation. (1 response)

So, looks like people largely agree on what anarchism is and dispute a little on what should be included in the article, except that the source material should be reliable. From this, my recommendation is that the article needs to revise the introductory paragraphs to correctly define the article's stipulation of what qualifies as anarchism and also include "controversial claimants" that don't quite fit that definition but are historically notable. I recommend that the controversial topics be put a separate section but not the "Schools of anarchist thought" section, where Anarcho-Capitalism is listed now. --albamuth 00:04, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I very much disagree w your conclusion, and would suggest it is majoritarian rather than concensus based. Since its extremely obvious the demographics here are almost entirely left-anarchist, taking a majoritarian approach to determining article content is extremely biased. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 13:33, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That is not the poinst of the survey. I suggest you familiarize yourself with Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution. Though it is not a straight poll, the point was that people are often saying the same things or unrelated things in ways that simply sound different. --albamuth 20:37, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
And since when does majoritarianism fit in with any brand of anarchism, left or right? Dtobias 16:04, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Majoritarianism does not. Building consensus is a very old anarchist tradition, still practiced to this day. Of course, you may not be familiar with it if your only knowledge of anarchism comes from Rothbard. --albamuth 20:37, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It seems to me that an article on anarchism should practise the lack of restraints it seeks to discuss. Why limit the article to a heirarchy or definition IMPOSED by authority figures? Let the anarchism article be anarchistic. All pro-anarchism people who are trying to IMPOSE your will raise your hand. Yeah, I thought so...

(signed - always_anonymous)

Invalid point. Like Sam_Spade said, this article must follow wikipedia policy, not anarchist principles as its guiding "invisible hand". That being said, non-sequitors like quantum mechanics and national-anarchism do not belong in the article for the sake of encyclopedic integrity. --albamuth 20:37, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Quantum mechanics likely has no place in this article, but national-anarchism most certainly does. You seem completely unfamiliar w the third way, and the various sythesis organizations which have sprung out of it, like National Bolshevism. National-anarchism is simply an anti-authoritarian result of such mixings. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 13:27, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Please read Corvun's response below. I have to side with him that movements and ideologies are defined by the writers and proponents of them, not by public perception. The writers and proponents of what is historically (and contemporarily) considered anarchism are neither for capitalism in any form or grouping people by nationality. Scientology may have "science" in the name but despite all of scientology's claim to be a "scientific" religion, no mention of it is warranted in the science article and I'm pleased to see that it isn't included whatsoever. We should really get down to the business of cleaning up the article to be more rigorous and concise. --albamuth 06:48, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Responses to Survey Answers

I moved these responses to respondants of the survey here. Sorry! I want the survey to be nicely formatted. --albamuth 18:07, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(1)Beta has given a very narrow and factional definition. It excludes important anarchist traditions such as anarcho-capitalism and primitivism. It also excludes smaller, newer movements such as national-anarchism. Both etymologically and historically, the defining feature of 'anarchism' (unqualified) has been opposition to 'the state'. See Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, etc.
Anarchism is not etymologically defined as opposition to the state, but absence of rulers. ALL of the anarchists you cited took that to mean absence of capitalist coercion along with state domination, and all of them took it to mean absence of the mini-states that your site specifically advocates. Kev 18:28, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is in response to people saying that the core of Anarchism is the fight against Capitalism. I will agree with that, but there were many movements that didn't. For example many anarchists in USSR have welcomed privatisation in the same way some anarks in the Western Europe argue for some level of nationalisation (for example of utilities) as the short term goal. It all depends on where you stand and from which direction you approach the oppressive regime. Beta m (talk)
(2)Agreed, in principle, but there is so much disagreement about what the 'anarchist movement' is (probably because it is very different things to different people) that the 'examples' will probably be under continued dispute. If the object is to attain agreement you probably need to adopt a minimalist approach and just give a few dictionary definitions, skipping the examples.
Dictionary definitions alone will not work. People often use highly selective dictionary definitions, and several of the most common definitions contradict one another. Kev 18:28, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(3)Enormous scope for disagreement here because the concept of 'linked' is (a) vague, and (b) highly politically charged. If this criterion is adopted there will be a variety of edit wars between those who wish to filter out movements that they consider 'not linked' and the advocates of movements that consider themselves to be 'linked'. Some of the disputed movements, such as the anarcho-capitalists, are pretty big (and old). Again, a minimalist approach might be the fairest and most sustainable solution.
The kind of 'minimalist' approach that you are advocating will allow anyone with an internet connection and an imagination to pretend that they have a "new and improved" offshoot of anarchism to lobby for. Anarcho-monarchism? No problem, just throw up a webpage like anon here and the next thing you know you are a legitimate movement being "censored" for saying perfectly acceptable things like, "we believe in the right of everyone to be ruled by a sovereign." Whether or not the criteria should open the door for people like the capitalists is a seperate issue, one that you are only commenting on because it turns out that anarcho-capitalism is a whole heck of a lot closer to nationalist anarchism than and of the traditional movements are. It is very obvious it should not leave things open for people who explicitly say in multiple articles, "we are not anarchists," as your site does. Kev 18:28, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure what deluded planet you're coming from, but please point out the organizations that consider themselves National-"Anarchist" or "Anarcho"-Capitalists, and those "big" influential numbers they have or have had at critical points in history. Not only are these movements not accepted by Anarchism, and therefore not Anarchist, but they are also insignificant and simply not noteworthy on the main Anarchism page.--Che y Marijuana 00:41, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)

I think it's POV to say that anarchism is anti-capitalism since there is such a thing as anarcho-capitalism (free-market anarchism). I think to be honest you would have to say, rather, that "most anarchists" are anti-capitalism, that is, most anarchists are socialist anarchists or whatever. Advocates of governmentless pure capitalism would not agree that their is an authoritarian "heirarchy" or any kind of coercion in such a system. I think when you start making judgements as to whether anarcho-capitalism is "hierarchical," as I understand how you mean it, you start putting "POV" in the article. I think the only way you could get away with it and be truly neutral is to have an article exclusively devoted to "traditional anarchism" or something like that. Besides, the anti-capitalism anarchists insisting on a monopoly of the word "anarchism" is a little un-anarchistic isn't it? RJII 04:37, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Saying that "most anarchists" are against capitalism implies that it is possible to be an anarchist and be for capitalism. In other words, it gives away the capitalist position at the outset, rather than keeping the language neutral. Great care has been taken in many of these articles to avoid such language.
Describing the anarchist POV is not the same as violating NPOV wikipedia policy. In fact, describing anarchist POV is one of the purposes of this article. Finally, explaining that anarchism has always been, both historically and philosophically, anti-capitalist, is not creating a "monopoly" on the word anarchism. It is supporting meaning for the word anarchism. If we remove the meaning anarchism has always had since the first individuals began to self-describe as such in order to placate the desires of every possible group claiming the title, then the word will lose all meaning in the process. Kev 08:37, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
RJ, you've already stated that you thought anarchism was just "not governing" anyone else, which by that I assume you mean official government. By this, you have said that anarchism is exactly the same as anti-statism, which it is not. However, if you expand the defintion of "state" and rightfully argue that the term state can also cover other hierarchal institutions like the workplace and capitalism, then anti-statism does mean anarchism. However, in general, anti-statism is used to refer to JUST government in its strict literal official sense. It is this definition which I believe you're under the assumption that anarchism is. Anarchism is much more than that, anarchism is against all hierarchy, all irrational authority, everywhere, in every area of society. I'm not trying to insult you at all, but from this I gather you have a limited understanding of anarchism, and your POV might lead one to believe that anti-capitalism isn't a priority for anarchists, but it is. --Fatal 23:01, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That's not my understanding of anarchism. When I said that anarchism was the "lack of anyone governing anyone else" that's what I meant. I wasn't referring to "official government" but any form of someone ruling over someone else. Anarcho-capitalists think that capitalism, in its pure form, is just that ..the lack of anyone governing or ruling over anyone. They don't think that employers, for example, or ruling or governing anyone, and that's precisely the reason that they favor capitalism or free trade. Both traditional anarchists and anarcho-capitalists are against the same thing. It's just that they disagree on what constitutes governing, coercive hierarchy, or whatever you want to call it. Free-market anarchism (anarcho-capitalism) clearly falls under the title "anarchism." At a previous time in history all anarchists apparently were against capitalism, but that's no longer the case. Some of you guys are trying to hold on to the past, but this is a new day. Not all anarchists are against capitalism. By the way, "anti-statism" isn't the same as "anti-state." Capitalists who are in favor of the existence of government are also anti-statism, as statism means centralized control over an economy by a government rather than being against government itself. I suggest you use "anti-state" to avoid confusion. RJII 23:59, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Using your definition of statism, anti-statist capitalists are for anti-statism and that's it. Anarchism has never been and is not purely anti-statism, it's much more than that. We are not trying to "hold on to the past", we're not dinosaur leninists for christ's sake. The hierarchy of boss over workplace, capitalist over company, and such is one of the oldest struggles. It is simply foolish to think that capitalists are not building a class system over the lower class and exerting power over their labor. When a construction worker is employed to build a luxury apartment complex that he could never afford to live in, that's arbitrarily serving the upper class and what does he get in return? A wage, a meager response for his labor when his labor is something he could be enjoying. And the monetary system! For that under capitalism can only be hierarchal and only deny things to those who don't have it. I could go on forever. Capitalism has wayyyy to many counts of hierarchy against it to ever be anything close to non-hierarchal.
Well, anarcho-capitalists disagree, and that's my point. If they thought there was anything un-anarchistic, or coercively hierarchical, or any "governing" going on then they wouldn't be pro-capitalism (or free-market). Whether it is a not is a matter for debate but not a matter of deciding peremptorily in the very definition of "anarchism." Anarcho-capitalists think that the world that "traditional anarchists" want is not a truly anarchistic or based in voluntary human interaction. And, I know they object to your ideas as being inconsistent with "true anarchism" as well. But there is common ground in that both advocate what they believe to be the ideal of human freedom and the lack of external "authority" over the individual. So, in the most basic sense "traditional anarchists" and free-market anarchists (anarcho-capitalists) are both anarchists. RJII 12:29, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, they can disagree all they want, but the reality is, the lack of any recognition as a form of Anarchism from any Anarchists makes their claim dubious enough not to be taken seriously. Which to me means, if they are to be included on this page, it will be in the "what Anarchism is not" section, with a link to its own page. And yet again, its lack of any major movements, its lack of mass membership, historical battles, etc... just makes its mention here unjustified.--Che y Marijuana 20:21, Feb 7, 2005 (UTC)
If we were all simply trying to edit this to our own points of view, I'd put communism and socialism in the "what Anarchism is not" section, as I see such hyper-statist systems as completely antithetical to any rational conception of anarchism. However, we're supposed to be trying for a NPOV here. Dtobias 12:07, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This strange bit of logic would end with the unavoidable conclusion that the very people who originally called themselves anarchists, those who took part in forming the meaning of the word as it is used today as a self-description, were not anarchists. Further, that the very people those anarchists opposed most vociferously are in fact anarchists. In other words, it would be to strip all meaning from the word by reversing it. Actually, I suppose that would be easy to do if one existed in a vacuum, carefully removed from history in a nice bubble of neo-classical liberal rhetoric designed to ensure that the average anarcho-capitalist has no clue what they are talking about but insist on voicing their opinion as often as possible. Ah, Rothbard was such a genius. Kev 18:34, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Problem with Anarchism

I think the problem lies in what people believe anarchism and the definition of anarchism is. An ararchist may claim he is practicing anarchism, but not necessarily in the true sense of the actual definition. I think the inclusion of the different view points of what people believe is anarchism should be included, however the basic definition should not be changed. -- AllyUnion (talk) 10:39, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Lingusitics is the cause of many a problem, because people redefine words for themselves or use words in different senses or use words to gain attention when it fact they are not associating at all with the defintion of that word. People in the media use "anarchy" to get attention, brainless pop punks falsely claim to be anarchists just because they like using a stylized version of the circumscribed A. What we have here in this talk page are fascists and power mongers that have mislabeled themselves to put accross a more "positive" image that is false. --Fatal 23:07, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)


What good is done by keeping this page protected? Two people are prevented from making a clearly bad edit that portrays fascist nationalism as anarchism? This is what page history and rollback are for.

There are several changes that I would like to make, but these "national-anarchists" are getting what they want, our attention. Guanaco 03:12, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

One person, actually... But there seem to be other issues in the air. Kev 05:10, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I think until we figure out if we want to include "Anarcho"-Capitalism, this page remaining protected is best for all. I know the things I would like to change about this article (making it crystal clear that "Anarcho"-Capitalism is not a form of Anarchism, period) need discussing, and those who would like to take this article in the other direction (including Neo-Nazis under the definition of Anarchism) also need to be subjected to this discussion. So yeah, for the good of all sides, this article should remain protected till we can decide whether Anarchism is compatible with Capitalism, or its lesser forms, Nazism included.--Che y Marijuana 05:55, Feb 9, 2005 (UTC)
People aren't going to hesitate to put "anarcho-capitalism" in as a form of anarchism regardless of what is "decided." So does what is "decided" really matter? I doubt it. Might as well keep it protected eternally. To expect finality and unanimity on Wikipedia is ludicrous. Just battle it out eternally without resolution is my recommendation. RJII 06:08, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Sure, but unanimity is not what we're working towards. If this process fails (we should at least try), then the article will be unprotected anyway and there will be simply anarchy. (haha) --albamuth 06:16, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think everyone knows that the article will never be "finalized". It wouldn't be wikipedia if that were the case. But social procedures tend to generate a legitimacy that will help better represent everyone's view rather than those of one or two eager editors. It is the process, rather than any particular goal, which is being tested. Kev 06:30, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Doesn't nazism promote racial hatred or programs? Anarchism, from what I've understood, is against racism, and nazism is practically nothing but racism. As for "Anarcho"-Capitalism," capitalism naturally rests of private property and hierarchy, which is two things that anarchism is against. So I guess, in my sense anyway, nazism and capitalism are against what anarchism promotes. --Jazz Remington 06:00, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The best way to express this is to post answers to the survey. --albamuth 06:03, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry, what survey? --Jazz Remington 20:46, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This one. --albamuth 22:47, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This is my proposed program for unprotection:

  •  :: We get 10 responses to each of the survey questions.
  •  :: People start drawing conclusions to to the survey.
  •  :: Discussion.
  •  :: Guidelines for the article are drafted.
  •  :: Discussion / Revision / Approval by majority
  •  :: Unprotection of page
  •  :: Neccessary changes made and guidelines posted as "sticky" in the talk pages.

That's roughly what I'd like to see happen. I know it sounds rather involved, but since this topic is so damned controversial, it should be done in an orderly fashion. --albamuth 06:03, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)


"it's ironic that one of the meanings of "anarchy" in the dictionary (American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd edition) is "Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose." If this were true of the anarchist movement, then there would be no basis for the loudly-asserted insistence that some people, groups, and philosophies were "not really anarchist" because they violated some alleged principle of anarchism."

Hear hear. Its more than ironic, it is true, and insightful. There is no such basis for complaint, and besides, exclusionism is hierarchical. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 15:55, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You are a troll Sam. How many times have you been reminded of the distinction between anarchy and anarchism, how many times have you ignored this and pressed on with the same claim that there is no difference between the meanings of the two words? Kev 16:20, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Amen to that! (in a non-religious sense, heh). --Fatal 03:08, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The problem is that "anarchy" is commonly used in a way that is markedly different than its actual etymological meaning. Dictionaries don't decide how words are used, they record usage. When an improper use of a term becomes common enough, it is recorded in a dictionary. A good example is the ironic use of "fulsome", which has absolutely no linguistic basis, getting its own definition in the dictionary alongside its more proper meaning.
One finds similar biases in language everywhere. If you look up "anarchy" in Roget's Thesaurus, you get synonyms like "chaos" or "disorder". I was quite surprised when I expected to find synonyms like "freedom", "liberty", and the like, but couldn't find anything of the sort. Right here on Wikipedia, one can see how the word "villain" was originally derived from a word meaning "poor" or "impoverished". This boils down to the fact that the use accepted by the majority often results in a definition heavily tainted by a MPOV (Majority Point Of View), rather than a definition based in actual etymology (which is NPOV).
In this case, the NPOV meaning of the word "anarchy" is that which corresponds to its etymological construction. An- meaning "no" and -archy, referring to social structure (as in hierarchy, matriarchy, etc.). In a world ruled by people hopelessly devoted to kings and presidents, who cry for more cops on the streets and more powerful militaries -- in such a word, the idea of having "no social structure" is a frightening thing, equated with disorder and chaos. When, in fact, it is the position of Anarchists that it is possible for people to act in an orderly and civilized manner without having a social structure imposed on us; that "no social order" does not lead to chaos and disorder.
Essentially, then, Anarchists define "anarchy", and hence Anarchism, by its literal, NPOV meaning, whilst the dictionary records its most commonly used (yet incorrect) form, complete with subjective POV cannotations and all. --Corvun 22:58, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If a word is used in a certain way "commonly" then it's automatically the correct usage regardless of how it was used before. The correct use of a term isn't a constant thing. "Original meaning" and "proper usage" aren't necessarily the same thing to anyone but the most extreme pedant who is going to find it difficult to communicate with modern civilization. RJII 23:14, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If you disregard etymology and determine a word's "correct" use by how it is commonly used, then all bets are off. "Irregardless" becomes a standard word. Slang terms are taught in English classes along with "the", "and", or "but". Technical definitions are thrown out the window. Next thing you know, you're telling your volkswagon to stair taller monkey cup.
The correct use of a word is determined by etymology and etymology alone, or at the least must be etymologically justifiable (as in the case of "ain't" as a contraction for "am not"). All else is just slang. Not that I have a problem with slang -- I use it frequently -- but slang definitions are not the same as the real thing. You cannot etymologically justify using the word "anarchy" to mean "chaos". That simply isn't accurate.
And as far as communicating with modern civilization: "modern civilization" is a contradiction. There is nothing civilized about the modern world, as is evidenced by these deplorable misuses of the English language. --Corvun 23:37, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I would tend to think that regardless of where one comes down on what the "correct" use of a term is, it would still be somewhat silly to base political theories on something as simplistic as a dictionary definition. In fact, doing so would require the complete rehauling of almost every political topic on wikipedia. Kev 01:24, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That is an extremely good point! I wish I'd thought of it. --Corvun 02:02, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I find it ironic, or perhaps telling, to find anarchists here arguing for an essentialist right/wrong definition of a word, deriving from etymology, when anarchist economists also tend to be among the relatively few defenders of the Labor Theory of Value, which argues for an essentialist, objective measure of value, deriving from labor. As a subjectivist on denotation as well as value, I would say that the definition of a word derives from long and sustained use, and etymology has very little to do with it. An incorrect but common use of a word doesn't become correct immediately, but it does eventually if it is widely used and understood. "Irregardless" will probably be acceptable some day. - Nat Krause 19:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(See Etymology vs. Usage below. --Corvun 02:01, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"He uses 'anarchism' indifferently with 'anarchy', which is a hardly more correct use of words than saying that a Conservative is one who makes jam." - George Orwell. The dictionary definition of the word is unimportant. My definition of anarchy is a positive one because I am an anarchist. However, most dictionary writers are not, and the dictionary definition for "anarchy" is not in line with anarchist thought (reflecting common usage, which means nothing - "bad" is commonly used to mean "good", for example, which is even more confusing). I am quite tired of this debate showing up, personally. :P 19:17, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Then it would seem you'd be more suited to contributing towards an anarchist site, rather than one where references trump editer bias, and rigour is to be expected. In summary, uncited anarchist POV is worth nothing here, common / expert usage is what we are here to record. I am sick of editorial demographics trumping factual accuracy and M:Foundation issues. The wikipedia is not ment to be a Majoritocracy, nor is it ment to be an opportunity to lobby your favorite POV (altho thats exactly what it has become). (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 19:30, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
And that is exactly what you have been doing ever since you arrived on the anarchism pages Jack. Kev 19:35, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely, indeed insisting upon accordance with wiki policy and intellectual rigour is what I have been doing on every page since I got here. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 19:59, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The word "anarchy" is discussed in the intro. The dictionary definition is irrelevant to anarchism, and equating them is hardly intellectual rigorous, but a dismissive and silly way to attack beliefs you oppose. You could discuss how some people think the proposals of anarchists will lead to your definition of "anarchy", which I'm sure you believe. That is a rational way of going about this. Otherwise, I don't see the objective of your comments here. 21:18, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Etymology vs. Usage

Personally, I think it would be nice if there were a "High English" and "Low English". The language has a well-enough established place in the world that there isn't any reason why it couldn't be done, as it has been in many other languages. Or perhaps "Formal English" and "Colloquial English" (so as not to imply a value judgement, as both forms would be held in equal esteem -- such that it would be considered "vulgar" to speak Formal English in a casual setting, for instance).

In Colloquial English, "irregardless" would be a legitimate term. Slang and non-standard definitions would be as valid as standard. "Anarchy" could be used to refer either to anti-authoritarianism or to chaos and confusion. The ironic use of "fulsome" would remain standard. "Ain't" and "altright" could still be non-standard. Et cetera.

In Formal English, "fulsome" would never be synonymous with "insincere", "anarchy" would only refer to anti-authoritarianism or the lack of rulership, and "irregardless" would not be a word. "Ain't" and "altright", being as etymologically defensible as similar words (isn't, aren't, almighty, almost, already, altogether), would be considered perfectly standard in Formal English -- or, alternately, if we reject "alright" in favor of "all right", then we'd have to use "all together", "all mighty", "all most", and "an other", rather than "altogether", "almighty", "almost", or "another". Basically, Formal English would require consistency, rather than what we have now: a completely arbitrary system of accepting or rejecting words based on the whims of English "authorities" deciding how the rest of us should speak based solely on what sounds best to their own ears.

In such a system, Formal English would be based in etymology, whilst Colloquial English would be based on cannotations. "Epithet", for example, would refer to descriptive bynames or ekenames in Formal English, but in Colloquial English could still mean "a derogatory name". Likewise, "orange" in Colloquial English would refer to the whole spectrum between red and yellow just as it does now, but in Formal English could only refer to a specific shade of yellowred (from Old English geoluhread), just as "violet" is a specific shade of purple, or "lime" a specific shade of green. Also, the singular they, as in "I saw someone, and they were pushing a shopping cart" might be acceptable in Colloquial English, whereas in Formal English, you'd have to say "I saw someone, and it was pushing a shopping cart", which is grammatically correct but considered extremely impolite (Formal English would not concern itself with what is "polite", only with what is technically and grammatically proper). Formal English would also retain all four second person pronouns, thou, thee, ye, and you, instead of simply (and confusingly) using you in all four cases.

Of course, this isn't likely to happen any time soon, but a guy can dream. --Corvun 01:28, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

P.S. Sorry for going off-topic.

CrimethInc.... not a "school of anarchist thought" any more than, say, NEFAC is. Actually, they've written essays basically saying, there is no crimethincism, we are not an organization or an ideology, etc. They espouse a fairly new brand of anarchism which is often called Post-left anarchy, and is evident in the writings of others. Anyway, I propose changing this entire section to "Post-left anarchy" (post-leftists often use anarchy instead of the dogmatic sounding "anarchism") and expanding it discuss the ideas of people like Bob Black, writers associated with Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed, etc. This whole trend is actually very mainstream in the modern anarchist movement, so it deserves attention. 19:00, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Haven't some of you guys been making a big deal of how "anarchy" and "anarchism" are totally different concepts in the sections above? Dtobias 20:14, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I haven't seen anyone say they are totally different concepts. I have seen several people say that they are distinct. Meaning they are not exactly one and the same. Meaning some of the meaning behind each word carries over to the other but not all of the meaning. Kev 20:24, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, it depends on who's defining it, as I said. When an anarchist says anarchy, it obviously has different connotations than when a conservative or a dictionary says it. But please, not this discussion again! haha 21:07, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree that crimethinc. should not be included in the "Schools..." section. I also forsee a major reformatting of the section titles. Hmm...
  • Definition of anarchism
  • History of anarchism
  • Schools of anarchism
  • Contemporary anarchist phenomena (here's where Crimethinc. belongs)
  • Controversies in anarchism (here's where Anarcho-Capitalism is mentioned)
  • Links, etc.
--albamuth 00:10, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Crimethinc should be included but not in the section its in. Crimethinc isn't an ideology, it's an organization of many people that promotes certain ideologies, lifestyles, and tactics. It is arguably the most active distributer of anarchist ideas today, especially among youth, but as was already said there is no "crimethincism". Crimethinc says this in another, quite artistic way, on one of their trailers for the book "Days of War, Nights of Love" which which they more or less say "What is crimethink? Anything that can't be bought, sold, or faked. What is Crimethinc? Crimethinc is the black market where love, beauty (etc.) are traded for lives..." In other words, Crimethinc sees itself as a means to promote widespread crimethink, which isn't far from its original definition from Orwell's 1984, that is, humanism and rebellion against hierarchy. --Fatal 00:56, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think the section should not be called "controversies in anarchism". Controvorsies of anarchism perhaps? Or "misnomers of anarchism"?--Che y Marijuana 00:11, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)

Ok, here is the removed crimethinc section in case it is needed for some reason:


CrimethInc. is the name of a broad and varied section of the anarchist movement that is largely styled after the situationists and generally concerns itself with personal liberation and support of various resistance movements. Crimethinc has no central core group or hub, although many of the posters, position statements, and other propaganda are produced by one core group. Associated collectives, websites, and groups can at will take up the crimethInc. name and thus add their works to the network.

CrimethInc. has been criticized by many anarchists as promoting lifestylism, and thus pushing many people away from anarchism. Dumpster diving, squatting, scamming, and shoplifting are often talked about in crimethInc. circles and was popularized by the crimethInc. book "Evasion" in which the lead character drops out of "wage-slave" society, and lives by such means. CrimethInc. has countered this perception by organizing several speaking and activist tours and organizing around events such as the Republican National Convention in 2004.

CrimethInc. is cited by some as the best propagandist group in the anarchist movement at this point, due largely to the 2002 creation of "Fighting For Our Lives", a small booklet dealing with various anarchist ideas and concepts. CrimethInc. has also managed to foster activism for people unable to work with larger anarchists groups by promoting wheatpasting, stencils with spray paint, and community groups like Food Not Bombs which do not require many or any collaborators.

In 2004, various people and groups within crimethInc. created the Don't (Just) Vote campaign, to stress direct action and direct democracy, as opposed to representative 'democratic' capitalist states. The group also released it's largest book yet, Recipes For Disaster, which gives advice on how to conduct various anarchist projects and actions.

I also added the post-left section and reorganized the schools of thought in alphabetical order to avoid perceptions of bias. (And I haven't even had any coffee recently!) 02:09, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The See-also section

Do we really need this to be so long, considering the inclusion of most of it in Template:Anarchism sidebar? 19:34, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

A question that is definitely at issue. But one also has to consider that if one wants to bring extra attention to something, it should be out in the open and easily accessed rather than buried in a sea of links. More organized, yes, but less attention to aspects of interest, also yes. As it is, many of the things in the article could probably be further reduced and referred to on other pages from the template, but this will also mean less users will further pursue more keystroking and clicking to reach what it is they're interested in. --Fatal 01:00, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Comparison to Communism

Reading this talk page reminds me of communism. Confused thinking. Pie in the sky neverland utopia. Communism : No property, so I'll be in charge of it since it belongs to no one. Anarchism : No authority, so I'll be in charge of enforcing "no authority". Fools who buy it and Liars who sell it. Excuses for dictatorship. My opinion, by Always_Anonymous.

Your right of course, but just like your opposition, this shouldn't be about our POV's, it should be about references. Cite someone saying that and it can go in the article :D (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 17:08, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree completely Sam (we met on far-right as I found quotes that a basic belief in anarchism is that freedom requires there be no private property, and in my book that form of anarchism is by definition a form of communism. I also found anti-anarchism quotes that I thought useless for the purpose of informing or convincing. So I have not contributed to the anarchism article itself (yet?). signed Always_Anonymous

You want to clutter the article with references? Here you go:

The basic tenet of anarchism is that hierarchical authority -- be it state, church, patriarchy or economic elite -- is not only unnecessary, but is inherently detrimental to the maximization of human potential. Anarchists generally believe that human beings are capable of managing their own affairs on the basis of creativity, cooperation, and mutual respect. It is believed that power is inherently corrupting, and that authorities are inevitably more concerned with self-perpetuation and increasing their own power than they are with doing what is best for their constituents. from Liz A. Highleyman, "An Introduction to Anarchism"

How can any human society have NO "hierarchical authority". No parents? No elected leaders? No authority by virtue of physical force? or ability to lie well? If at midnight we are all equal, by morning some will have spent it all and others will have formed extortion gangs. signed Always_Anonymous

I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will not rule, and also ruled I will not be! from John Henry Mackay, "Anarchy"

Good for you John, be my friend. But what do we do about the ruffians ouside who seek to rape our daughters? How about we get together with our like minded neighbors, contribute to a general fund, elect a leader, and thus form a government to protect us from those who would do us evil? signed Always_Anonymous

A common description of anarchism is that it has as its aim the abolition of the state. Now, while this is certainly correct -- it would indeed be hard to find an anarchist who is positively enamored of any government apparatus, be it located in Chicago, Washington, Moscow, or Baghdad -- it is not (to my mind) the best way of describing the anarchist goal. Rather, anarchism should be understood as aiming at the abolition of all forms of domination. That is, anarchism is resolutely opposed to any relations between humans in which one decides for another, without the other's consent, how that other is to live and coerces that other into living that way. So anarchism is opposed not only to government, to the police and military and legislature and judiciary. It is also opposed to capitalism, in which a few possessing the means of production compel the rest, on pain of starvation, to produce for the profit of those few in return for a wage; and to racism of any form; and to any sort of oppression on the basis of one's sexuality. In place of all this, which is inherently reprehensible (and if you want a justification of this claim, try living in an explicit state of being dominated and see what you think of it!), anarchists seek to bring about a situation in which everybody determines for oneself as much as possible, as free and cooperative as can be devised, how one is to live one's life. from Ron Carrier, "Anarchism and Power"

Getting rid of private property has been tried. It failed. Ask a Russian if he wants to try it again. "Trust us! No really! We'll do it right this time!" signed Always_Anonymous

[To illustrate anarchy] J. A. Andrews used the example of a group of friends going on a camping trip. They plan their trip, and each person brings useful skills and tools to share. They work together to set up tents, fish, cook, clean up, with no one in a position of authority over anyone else. The group organizes itself, chores are done, and everyone passes the time as they please, alone or in groups with others. People discuss their concerns and possible solutions are proposed. No one is bound to go along with the group, but choosing to spend time together implies a willingness to at least try to work out constructive solutions to the problems and frictions that will inevitably arise. If no resolution is possible, the dissenting individuals can form another grouping or leave without fear of persecution by the rest of the group. from Affinity Group of Evolutionary Anarchists, "Consent or Coercion"

Anarchy as a fictional ideal, or end point off at the infinite horizon, or as an agreement between a few adults if fine and no problem. FORCING it on the rest of us it just confused thinking. "Let's force the use of non-force." signed Always_Anonymous

Anarchism (from the Greek, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government -- harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. from Peter Kropotkin, "Anarchism," The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910

And this differs from democracy in what good way? signed Always_Anonymous

In the evolution of political ideas, anarchism can be seen as an ultimate projection of both liberalism and socialism, and the differing strands of anarchist thought can be related to their emphasis on one or the other of these aims. Historically, anarchism was a radical answer to the question "What went wrong?" that followed the outcome of the French Revolution. Conservatives like Edmund Burke, liberals like Alexis de Tocqueville, had their own responses. Anarchist thinkers were unique on the political left in affirming that workers and peasants, grasping the chance to overturn the result of centuries of exploitation and tyranny, were betrayed by the seizure of centralised state power by a new class of politicians who had no hesitation in applying violence and terror, a secret police and a professional army to maintain themselves in power. The institution of the state was itself the enemy. They applied the same criticism to every revolution of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. from Colin Ward, "Anarchism," in Paul A. B. Clarke and Andrew Linzey, Dictionary of Theology and Society

Less state power is good. No state power is a fantasy. My ONLY problem with the above is insisting on going from less to none. "Drowning is bad" doesn't prove "water is poison". signed Always_Anonymous
But, on the "less government" vs. "no government" issue, it's interesting to note that the Wikipedia article on minarchism is almost entirely from a capitalist, classical liberal perspective. The anarchism that minarchism is contrasted with is pretty much always anarcho-capitalism. Is there any such thing as left-socialist minarchism? It's a pretty weird political spectrum if, when you plot positions from big-government to small-government to no-government, you find they're mostly associated with capitalism except that when you finally hit the far-left point of no government at all, you suddenly discover that you must become anti-capitalist. Dtobias 11:21, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"Plot positions from big-government to small-government." One dimensional analysis of politics yields NONSENSE outside centrist positions. Try a second dimension like the Nolan chart. Then add ANOTHER dimension (thereby using 3 variables to distinguish between methods of organizing societies; see political spectrum). The rich want the poor to not organize LIKE THEY DO. The rich want the workers to not get special deals from the government LIKE THEY DO. And those who DO serve the poor don't want the poor to STOP NEEDING THEM. Capitalism (letting creators of capital keep it to make more of it) turns greed into wealth, improving a nation's material resources. Socialism turns compassion of the rich and self intrest of the nonrich into improvements in a nation's human resources. signed Always_Anonymous

Note: For a longer definition of anarchism and a debunking of some common myths about it, read "Defining Anarchism" by Jason Justice.

One can debate the meaning of the term "socialism," but if it means anything, it means control of production by the workers themselves, not owners and managers who rule them and control all decisions, whether in capitalist enterprises or an absolutist state. To refer to the Soviet Union as socialist is an interesting case of doctrinal doublespeak. The Bolshevik coup of October 1917 placed state power in the hands of Lenin and Trotsky, who moved quickly to dismantle the incipient socialist institutions that had grown up during the popular revolution of the preceding months -- the factory councils, the Soviets, in fact any organ of popular control -- and to convert the workforce into what they called a "labor army" under the command of the leader. In any meaningful sense of the term "socialism," the Bolsheviks moved at once to destroy its existing elements. No socialist deviation has been permitted since. from Noam Chomsky, "Socialism, Real and Fake," What Uncle Sam Really Wants

Libraries are socialism. Free universal schooling is socialism. Free soup kitchens are socialism. Social Security is socialism. America has a mixed system. Using a hammer for everything is just stupid. signed Always_Anonymous

The world's two major propaganda systems did not agree on much, but they did agree on using the term socialism to refer to the immediate destruction of every element of socialism by the Bolsheviks. That's not too surprising. The Bolsheviks called their system socialist so as to exploit the moral prestige of socialism. The West adopted the same usage for the opposite reason: to defame the feared libertarian* ideals by associating them with the Bolshevik dungeon, to undermine the popular belief that there really might be progress towards a more just society with democratic control over its basic institutions and concern for human needs and rights. If socialism is the tyranny of Lenin and Stalin, then sane people will say: not for me. And if that's the only alternative to corporate state capitalism, then many will submit to its authoritarian structures as the only reasonable choice. from Noam Chomsky, "Socialism, Real and Fake," What Uncle Sam Really Wants

I AGREE COMPLETELY with that quote (for whatever that's worth). signed Always_Anonymous
Just to clue you in, Anonymous Coward (a joke for all you /.'ers) those quotes were not posted to try an prove the points that they are making -- Sam Spade asked for expert references. Theses are all quotes from anarchist authors (though Chomsky no longer describes himself as an anarchist, he is still an expert on the subject). I really don't understand what you're trying to accomplish by responding to all of those references, because whatever ideological platform you're pushing has absolutely no relevance. This being a encyclopedia, we rely on source references, not on our own opinions. Sam Spade, it's also about time you start pulling out some reliable source material for your allegations of anarchism to be a philosophy that simply advocates chaos (haha, that makes me think of the bad guys in "Get Smart"). Are you sure you aren't getting it confused with nihilism? --albamuth 07:03, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
When I post on Slashdot it is indeed as "Anonymous Coward" (along with everyone who posts there anonymously). As I agree with you and Sam about "source references, not our own opinions" I THEREFORE can ONLY post my opinions to you all here and NOT on the article page (without a reference, anyway). And as for references, I believe anarchism and communism (society without private property and society without heirarchy) are like a socity without gravity and all the variations are similar to "Shall we have a society without gravity with a mountain or without a mountain"; "Shall we have a society without gravity with a river or without a river." And to contribute to an article on this society without gravity I must find a source that bothers to discuss a society without gravity and no unconfused writers do. As for what I'm trying to push; Hey, I'm just having an enjoyable conversation. I find no evidence the societies you all discuss could exist. How about limiting the discussion to references of actually existing societies or at least clearly possible ones? No heirarchy indeed! (Less heirarchy YES YES YES) by Always_Anonymous

External Links

My attempts to add a link to the Anarchist Theory FAQ keep getting reverted because that site doesn't meet the political-correctness litmus test of the dominant leftists here; that site presents a balanced account of "left" (socialist) and "right" (capitalist) anarchists, which is considered to be "right-wing bias" by the left. The highly left-wing-biased Anarchist FAQ that's linked to now, of course, is "fair and balanced" as far as the socialists are concerned. Dtobias 03:20, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It is most certainly -not- a balanced view that is being presented. The individual who made it is an anarcho-capitalist who bends over backwards and blatantly distorts several facts in order to give the impression that anarcho-capitalism is a legitimate theory arising from anarcho-individualism, when in fact the individualists rejected capitalism as contrary to the free-market. Further, as anarcho-capitalist claims to this page are at best a tangential side movement and at worst actively subversive of the anarchist message I see nothing wrong with keeping the link on the anarcho-capitalism page where it belongs. At the very least, it if has to be here, a description of its bias should be added to the link. Kev 04:36, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Let's keep it and add a description of its angle. - Nat Krause 04:52, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't see why it should be on the Anarchism page. Why not put it where it fits more, on the anarcho-capitalism page which is already linked to? --Fatal 21:51, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It discusses anarchism of all varieties, and is more favorable to left-anarchism than the other "Anarchist FAQ" is to anarcho-capitalism. Dtobias 22:54, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There are several varieties of anarchism it does not describe, and it focuses on anarcho-capitalism far beyond its merit. In fact, it gives the impression that anarcho-capitalism is a huge part of anarchism when it is at best a small side-movement. Again, this makes it far more appropriate for the anarcho-capitalist page than for this one. As to its being "more favorable to left-anarchism", that is simply not true. It comes up with every argument it can, several of them straw-men, to critique "left-anarchism". It is simply a lot more difficult to claim that the very people who first described themselves as anarchists are not, than it is to claim that a minor movement with an entirely different definition of what it is to be an anarchist are not anarchists. Kev 02:14, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Kev; an even balance between "right" and "left" anarchism is false neutrality, since anti-capitalist anarchism strecthes back centuries and has had far more influence and proponents. As for the actual link, whatever. I don't think the thing's TOO atrocious but there are better FAQs out there. 05:23, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Anarchist FAQ has a section that critiques the other (capitalist-centric) FAQ. Perhaps we could use that in some way. --Jazz Remington 05:39, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Nationalist anarchism

[1]. Not all anarchism is internationalist. See also Third way, International Third Position, etc... (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 13:28, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely hilarious that you would use an article by Bill White as evidence Sam. Kev 15:38, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The next person to bring National "Anarchism" into this is getting my foot up their ass. No platform for Nazism.--Che y Marijuana 23:59, Feb 14, 2005 (UTC)

I whole-eartedly agree. Wikipedia seems to have some very persistant Nazi-sympathisers on the boat. 'National Anarchism' as they call it (as much a contridiction in terms as u could get) is a non-notable venture by far-right individuals attracted by old Bakunin's periodical/vacillating anti-semitism (he was good buddies with Karl Marx and a product of his time anyhow). In the UK it has been of interest to ex-members of the National Front (people around Derek Holland's political soldier faction) and those disaffected with the electioneering BNP. It is nothing more than a minute psuedo-philosophy and is based around the idea of some sort of indo-european reich from here to the Khyber Pass. Its strange that folk can't get off this RACE thing.... most geneticists, anthropologists etc etc pour scorn (for want of better phrase right now) at the idea of racial coalescence or delineation. max rspct 04:21, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
:::Addendum: One of the reasons this 'National Anarchism' rubbish is being put around the internet is that Nazis (there's nothing NEO about them.. same type as the 20cent ones) want to attract radicalized young people/students etc into their fold. The sites I have seen on it laud Bakunin but not Kropotkin or of course Karl Marx (Jewish by birth) IE IT'S A FRONT ORGANISATION VENTURE

Absolutely, it's something we should keep our eyes peeled for, and I'm sure the NBP (National Bolshevik Party) will be attempting similar changes to the Communism or Bolshevism articles.--Che y Marijuana 20:44, Feb 17, 2005 (UTC)


I'm thinking about deleting or modifying the mention of "hierarcy" in the definition of anarchism given in the intro. I think it is so vague to be meaningless. For example, is an anarchist against football teams because there's a coach? I don't think so and that's certainly hierarchical. An anarchist would only be against the idea of a coach forcing someone to join the team. The opposition is not to hierachy but opposition to someone coercing them into entering the hierarchical structure. It's not inconsistent with anarchism to join a football team. So, that just resolves down to an opposition to being coerced by someone --into a hierarchical situation or any other kind of situation. There is no opposition to hierarchy itself. The statement in the article that that says there is, is bogus. RJII 20:11, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Depending on which particular trend of anarchism you are talking about. National Anarchists, Platformists, some Syndicalists will agree with you. While many others will disagree. Beta m (talk)

I agree w both of you. Lots of lefty anarchists would never join a football team, and would find the self-discipline and physical aggression antithetical to their beliefs. Some other variations may or may not enjoy football, but wouldn't have an iodeological problem with it. Military service is a similar, albeit more extreme example. I assume all forms of anarchism oppose the draft? (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 21:03, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't have to be a football team. How about an orchestra? That's surely hierarchical. RJII 21:19, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It just so happens that there IS an Anarchist Football League and they DO play without coaches :D. The closest thing to an anarchist orchestra I can think of is Godspeed You! Black Emperor which acts as a collective and makes decisions on their music collectively. Bottom line is: anarchists strive for the complete absence of hierarchy. You could probably find exceptions, but that's all they 21:55, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Is there confusion here between the concepts of 'hierachy' and 'structure'? I don't think anarchists have any problem with the concept of structure or organisation. quercus robur 22:18, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The term "non-hierarchal society" as long been used by anarchists. You are using hierarchy in a different manner. The word hierarchy has several meanings look it up, what you're doing is lumping them all together into one word. Social hierarchy is not the same has the hierarchy(different sense) in an orchestra and so on, etc. Government, likewise, also has several different definitions and can be used in different senses. Anarchists have said before that people should "govern only themselves." Are you going to look at that and say "You can't govern yourself! I thought you were against government!" Hierarchy is one of the best words to use to describe what anarchists are against because it's much farther reaching than just, say, "government." Hierarchy includes the state, social classes, economic classes, exploitation, social oppression (like racism, sexism), and so on. Hierarchy isn't broad by a fault, it's used because it's broad to describe as best as possible the broad back of anarchism. I've said it many times and I still think that if you wanted to sum up anarchism in one sentence, it would be "The abolition of hierarchy" or maybe coercive hierarchy or whatever floats your boat but I don't think it's a good idea to eliminate the word, hierarchy is a good descriptive broad meaningful word that is very clearly explained further down in the article. On this note of rediculousness, there are other terms and these are "rational" and "irrational" authority. Many anarchist have made this distinction and then said that anarchy is lack of irrational authority. For example, irrational authority is the state, while rational authority is pulling a kid out of the street before he gets hit by a car. Many if not the majority of english words have multiple meanings no matter how subtle they are from definition to definition. Here's a biology lesson: Humans have a thing called a brain, and in that brain is more intelligence than the brains of any other animal on earth. It's this intelligence that gives humans reason. Through reason, one can do many things, one of which is the ability to judge by a situation what sense a word is being used in. Believe it or not, all humans have this ability, quite amazing isn't it? Go tell a communist that he can't be "red" and dislike the color red, he will look at you like you volunteered for a frontal lobotomy. --Fatal 23:19, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Which is why we're trying to reason through this. RJII 14:44, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It would be very convenient for people who want to falsify the definition of Anarchism to get rid of its most defining ideas. Opposition to hierarchy implies more than just opposition to the state, so of course those who would twist the ideas of this movement would set their sights on it. No.--Che y Marijuana 00:03, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)

Comments like that clarify why advocates should never be allowed to dominate an article. Have you for a moment considered the ramifications of your "No" philosophically? They certainly arn't anarchist in nature. People can use words however they do, just as they can behave as they like, your protests notwithstanding. Terms are determined by expert sources and common usage, not by those who desire to be described by them. Egocentrism is not reality. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 08:02, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Wait, so if I were an "expert source", and I decided that anyone who eats at Taco Bell is a freemason, and that anyone who obstains from eating at Taco Bell is not, and I get 51% of the population to agree with me, then that makes the freemasons automatically wrong if they try to say that "masonry" is something other than what I say it is?
Only masons get to decide what masonry is, and only anarchists get to decide what anarchism is. "Anarchy" might be another story (that's a separate issue), but this isn't the anarchy page, it's the anarchism page. --Corvun 11:15, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
people say the Pope is a freemason, fer crissakes. Have a look at / [Unreliable fringe source?] or read a Chick tract sometime. When they use the term "freemason" that way, it takes on a different definition from how a mason and his family might use the term, to be sure. Average people use the term "freemason" to refer to all sorts of ideas, concepts, and symbols. The same is especially true of Anarchism, where the public usage of Anarchist, as well as the vast majority of expert use (such as dictionaries and encyclopedias) is rather different from you own, I should suspect. See [2], or consult any non-anarchist source of your choosing. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 12:23, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yet the Pope is not a freemason. He's the head of the Roman Catholic Church. It doesn't matter how many people think he's a freemason, because public perception is not a measure of objective reality. The freemasons are a social club, defined by its founders and (to a lesser extent) its members. Jack Chick is in no place to stand outside the arena and determine who is a mason and who is not as though he were the holder of some objective set of criteria. Let's also not forget that Jack Chick is a raving looney.
The problem here is that there are no "objective criteria". As a political theory, anarchism is defined by the political theorists who founded the movement and (to a lesser extent) the proponents who keep the movement flourishing. In politics, the rule of thumb is that political theories are defined by their proponents, and misrepresented by their opponents (as is the case with the example of freemasonry, though it isn't a political theory). Even if we were to try and look at this from a linguistic POV, "anarchism", as a separate and distinct word from "anarchy" -- defined by its founders and adherents -- need not be directly related to the definition of "anarchy" found in modern dictionaries (as modern definitions of words as ancient as "anarchy" are also the result of hundreds of years of public perception and common usage), it need only be related etymologically. And as I've pointed out, the original meaning of the term "anarchy" is nearer "anarchism", as those involved in the anarchist movement define it, than its modern context. (This is not to say that the public perceptions and critical misrepresentations should not be discussed or considered, only that they do not define the movement.)
This relates to "anarcho-capitalism" and other oxymorons that attempt to attatch themselves to the movement. No-qualifiers-anarchism can only be defined by no-qualifiers-anarchists. No one is stopping anarcho-capitalists from calling themselves anarcho-capitalists, nor would we attempt to. They can call themselves whatever they want. We simply don't wish to have no-qualifiers-anarchism misrepresented by a fringe group whose goals and motivations are counterproductive to the goals of the no-qualifiers-anarchism movement, and we see no reason for anything more than the most passing mention of said fringe group. On the other hand, "anarcho-capitalism" I think should be thoroughly discussed on the capitalism page, as this extreme form of capitalism which tries to remove all state regulation so that the capitalists might terrorize and dominate the public as they wish, represents what many percieve to be the ultimate goal of capitalism. --Corvun 23:15, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Also, if anarchists oppose hierarchy, does that mean they also oppose allowing other people to join heirarchical structures that wish to? Are they going protest or firebomb football teams and orchestras because they're hierarchical? This is another problem with the definition stating that they oppose hierarchy. It needs to be more specific. RJII 14:49, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

First, you ARE an advocate Sam, don't kid yourself. Second, Dictionaries are not expert sources. Third, people may call someone a freemason, but an encyclopedia article wouldn't call the Pope a freemason, it would allow freemasons to define themselves.--Che y Marijuana 17:05, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'm an AMA advocate anyhow ;) I suppose I agree w you, outside of the part about dictionaries. Whats that about? How are dictionaries not expert? (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 17:33, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
When someone in court wants to call up an expert witness to explain how psychology work, does he call up the people who wrote the dictionary, or the psychologists? You know damn well that dictionaries are not expert sources in any way.--Che y Marijuana 17:45, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)
Well thats an unconvincing argument if I ever heard one. perhaps a bit more foul language would give the proper emphasis? ;) (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 20:58, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Damn is now foul language? My point Sam, is only the most anal person could call a dictionary an expert source on a political issue. Want an expert source on Anarchism, you look to Bakunin, or Emma Goldman, or Nestor Makhno, or Even any of the Anarcho-Individualists, all of whom reject Capitalism, and all of whom put it as a rejection of hierarchy. That is the definition of Anarchism. Those who wish to blur it, are those who wish to graft their own forms of exploitation onto the popularity and mass appeal of Anarchism. I ain't buying that shit, and it's not gonna fly.--Che y Marijuana 22:08, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)
Not only are dictionaries beacons of truth but all wikipedians should know for future reference that everything on TV is true, so there's no need to further research any program you see on it. --Fatal 22:59, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Just "reality shows"... all the others are by definition "unreal". Dtobias 23:09, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)