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This should include both types of anarchism[edit]

'Cryptoanarchism' is composed of both capitalist and traditional anarchists, since despite their economic disagreements, both sides value freedom of speech. The article should reflect this. There are unfortunatly some people on both sides who like to demean eachother and call eachother "not real anarchists". But both use valid definitions of the word. So I would like to see a link to either both, or a link to neither. J1812 (talk) 03:04, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Well, the article only seems to mention anarcho-capitalists, namely Vernor Vinge and Timothy C. May (although I'm not really sure if they identify as such), as having coined or expounded on crypto-anarchism. That said, I don't think that it qualifies as necessarily capitalist. Vinge and May may have envisioned crypto-anarchism as the use of cryptographic techniques to subvert governmental authority and thereby avoid restrictions on capitalistic activity, but anarchist workers, like those of the IWW for example, could use the same techniques to subvert their employers′ authority and thereby inhibit such activity. Unless Vinge and May also defined crypto-anarchism as an idea that would obviate the labor movement (which I doubt because May includes Infoshop's URL in his manifesto), this article shouldn't define it as strictly capitalist or anti-government. In fact, if the article attempted to so, it might overstep its bounds and apply a definition to anarchism, a responsibility that belongs to the anarchism article. Rather, this article should define crypto-anarchism as simply anti-authoritarian. The article should also avoid references to capitalism and anarcho-capitalism as these terms have too much baggage. Doing so should accommodate anyone who subscribes to crypto-anarchism whether they identify as anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, or whatever. KLP (talk) 14:43, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Actually, it looks like the only mention of anarcho-capitalism comes from the May quote at the beginning of the article. This quote seems out of place and doesn't appear to offer much utility. KLP (talk) 14:55, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
It seems a bit out of place to me too. However there's also the sentence - "It was described by Vernor Vinge as a cyberspatial realization of anarchism." The link to anarchism contains almost entirely traditional anarchism. So without including the quote or some kind of replacement, it wouldn't be clear that many, probably most, proclaimed "cryptoanarchists" are actually market libertarians rather then the common form of anarchism.
I'm having a look through the cyphernomicom by May, some extra relevent parts are pasted below:
  • The list has a lot of radical libertarians, some anarcho-capitalists, and even a few socialists
  • don't lose sight of the core values: privacy, technological solutions over legal solutions, avoiding taxation, bypassing laws, etc.
  • "What is Crypto Anarchy?" Some of us believe various forms of strong cryptography will cause the power of the state to decline, perhaps even collapse fairly abruptly.
  • Governments will have a hard time collecting taxes, regulating the behavior of individuals and corporations, (small ones at least), and generally coercing folks when it can't even tell what _continent_ folks are on!
  • I call this set of ideas "crypto anarchy" (or "crypto-anarchy," as you wish)
  • The second major is personal liberty through reducing the power of governments to coerce and tax. Sort of a digital Galt's Gulch, as it were. Libertarians and anarchocapitalists are especially drawn to this vision, a vision which may bother conventional liberals (when they realize strong crypto means things counter to welfare, AFDC, antidiscrimination laws....).
  • This second view is more controversial, but is, in my opinion, what really powers the list.
  • But the libertarian streak is undeniably strong. And libertarians who think about the failure of politics and the implications of cryptgraphy generally come to the anarcho-capitalist or crypto-anarchist point of view.
So it seems that my own belief that most 'cryptoanarchists' being market-libertarians isn't just contemporary. That the movement has been following this pattern since it was created in the late 80s/early 90's. That the term 'anarchist' in this context was (at least originally) more anarcho-capitalist then traditional-anarchist. Which is once against why I think the quote/link "cyberspatial realization of anarchism." is a bit misleading. Though it could work by being specific about the type of anarchism that Vinge is referring to.
Perhaps the article should view cryptoanarchism as mostly anarcho-capitalist/libertarian in origin, but should also mention that many traditional anarchists support it aswell and call themselves cryptoanarchists. That supporters of both forms may see advantages in strong encryption. J1812 (talk) 01:38, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
I now have a greater appreciation for the linguistics section. Anyway, I guess crypto-anarchism really does have strong ties to anarcho-capitalism. After all, May does define crypto-anarchy as an “anarcho-capitalist market system”. Perhaps the article ought to give more recognition to this relationship while disclaiming that many anarchists might not think of crypto-anarchism as a proper form of anarchism. KLP (talk) 17:21, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
...or at least not necessarily anarchistic. KLP (talk) 17:22, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
I see the article now says "is a cyber-spatial realization of anarcho-capitalism". I'm certain that is more accurate. Especially considering the evidence in the primary sources (some of it quoted above). J1812 (talk) 08:23, 29 September 2012 (UTC)


While there is a quote in this article, I don't think all crypto-anarchists are anarcho-capitalists. I guess there are also enough anti-capitalist anarchists. I think the article should make clear that this is only a quote of one single crypto-anarchist and it's not true in every case. (no signature, because of dynamic IP and no account) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

a person who describes himself as an anarchist doesn't believe in a centralized governmental authority. lacking such an authority, i think the economic system will naturally be free-market. can that be called capitalism? it used to be that was the case, but much of what we call capitalism today is simply state-controlled market, not free market. Bob Emmett (talk) 07:08, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
A free-market anarchist may use the word to describe a lack of state. But many traditional anarchists extend the definition to mean a lack of hierarchy, which includes abolishing the power structure of a capitalist firm. J1812 (talk) 01:45, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
It seems you have a poor understanding of what anarchism is about, you should refrain from editing pages about anarchism. This is shown by your claim about anti-capitalism requiring a centralized governmental authority, completely ignoring the fact that all anarchist ideologies are anti-capitalist and have existed in history, whereas your so called stateless capitalism has never existed. A person who describes themselves as an anarchist does not believe in hierarchical property relationships and rejects free markets because they include such horrific acts as child labor. --Voidkom (talk) 05:34, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
I have changed the opening to be more general. This is an example of a crypto-anarchist who's "just" an anarchist. Beao 19:32, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Telecomix is an example of non-capitalist digital movement based on anarchism, clearly expressing its connection to communism. If you mix it with technological communism enabled by technological singularity preached by Ray Kurzweil, you have a paradigm for technological communism in cyberspace: This has also been discussed in Technological utopianism. I really believe the definition needs to be changed, it's not neutral enough. (talk) 08:18, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Say What???[edit]

In the Plausible Deniability section, it says

  "Because summary punishment for crimes are illegal"

Where? I'll bet there are any number of countries where it's not only legal, but the norm.

The norm is always wrong.

*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 05:01, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Anarchists and copyrights, terrorism, child pornography[edit]

Crypto-anarchism is often criticized for making it easy and safe to illegally share files such as copyrighted movies and music. Depending on the software used, these types of systems facilitate easy access to large quantities of child pornography.

It is also very easy for criminals to make use of the networks to coordinate sabotage and terrorism. Assassination markets is a good example of the way in which crypto-anarchism could be used to these ends.[3] Crypto-anarchists acknowledge that such freedom could be abused by criminals, but claim that criminals are already communicating anonymously, so that the networks will just bring the benefits of privacy and freedom of anonymity to ordinary people., presumably anarchists would care about breaking the law merely because it is breaking the law, and consider such 'criminals' to be abusing the system? This is pretty inconcievable, given that anarchists generally consider states and repressive organs illegitimate and opressive. Surely a consistently anarchist doctrine would respond saying how it was a good thing to allow people to break copyrights - far less radical ppl, like Richard Stallman would consider such sharing a good thing, a substantial number of anarchists are communists, and depending on definition all or most are socialist - and this has certainly been so historically, so theyd not care of protecting fictitous new forms of property, but moreover destroying even existing forms; and also like, for instance, the FreeNet project, would defend child pornography and terrorist coordination on the grounds of freedom of speech ("The true test of someone who claims to believe in Freedom of Speech is whether they tolerate speech which they disagree with, or even find disgusting. " and "This is important, most people fail to see or address this point when debating the issue of copyright, so let me make it clear: You cannot guarantee freedom of speech and enforce copyright law. It is for this reason that Freenet, a system designed to protect Freedom of Speech, must prevent enforcement of copyright" And these dont even proclaim to be anarchists. Heres an individualist anarchist critique of the concept of 'intellectual property'

As far as terrorism goes, well, though having a critique of common terrorism (i.e. targeting of or not caring if one kills innocent people), anarchism has historically not accepted the state monopoly on violence either. Anarchist have done 'propaganda of deed', frequently involving illegal acts like property destructions, and in some cases, political assasinations , and Bakunin called for creation of 'sectet societies' in certain situations to carry on the political program. Eg, see on

Anarchism does have some history of political terrorism, but this has always been a small part of anarchist history. In fact, most of what has been called anarchist "terrorism" can be seen more accurately as political violence against political targets (cops, capitalists, and politicians)...There is no such thing as eco-terrorism. The actions that are given this label are nonviolent actions against property. There is no intent to hurt or kill people.

So, while they might regret that terrorists would use such means of collaboration for their ends, i wouldnt think theyd mind there existing the potential for such covert collaboration in doing illegal violent acts, for they actually advocate such tactics, in certain cases.

Similarly they wouldnt necessarely even wish to defend from accusations of enabeling the spread of child pornography; even ignoring the abovementioned scruples about freedom of speech, they would not necessarely even mind there being child pornography. Age of consent laws have been often criticised by radical thinkers - for instance, Michel Foucault (, and in the list of names signing this petition, Deleuze, Derrida, Althusser, Barthes, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Lyotard, .. - i.e. pretty much all contemporary french philosophers. From the converstation on these topics (

It could be that the child, with his own sexuality, may have desired that adult, he may even have consented, he may even have made the first moves. We may even agree that it was he who seduced the adult. But we specialists with our psychological knowledge know perfectly well that even the seducing child runs a risk, of being damaged and traumatized. (…) Consequently, the child must be ‘protected from his own desires’, even when his desires turn him towards an adult ... In the case of "attentat sans violence" [attack without violence], the offence in which the police have been unable to find anything, nothing at all, in that case, the criminal is simply a criminal because he is a criminal, because he has those tastes. It is what used to be called a crime of opinion. (…) The crime vanishes, nobody is concerned any longer to know whether in fact a crime was committed or not, whether someone has been hurt or not. No one is even concerned any more whether there actually was a victim.

I see in the US libertarian party, similar ideas exist (and though I dont know US politics enough to say this, given the name and the fact its a party, one could expect these guys would, again, be rather less radical than anarchists - and the inter-party criticism of the here quoted paragraph that makes up the rest of the linked text would seem to show this) - from ( ,apparently , Mary Ruwart said

Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. [Who are you to judge? Fascist!]


Point is - such response to criticism as the current section describes sounds like coming from a socialdemocrat or liberal not from an anarchist in advocating such technologies, and perhaps some summary of the stuff I dumped here could be worked into the response section of that article to give a more appropriately radical response expected if this is considered to be an anarchist position? -- (talk) 20:50, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


All other crypto-something pages are about adherence to one philosophy yet pretending to be of another (i.e Crypto-judaism, crypto-fascism) yet this one is about computing. This should be completely rewritten or at least another page should be created for being an anarchist and pretending to be something else, such as Anarchist hypocrisy or the like. --Dicttrshp (talk) 10:39, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

It's a completely separate subject so it doesn't belong here. You're welcome to start a new article and linking to it from here. -- intgr [talk] 13:27, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

How strange[edit]

Isn't odd that an article should have an equal number of topical headings and references? Awg1010 (talk) 21:37, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

No, you idiot! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 15 October 2011 (UTC)


The section makes no mention of cryptography, which is what seems to me logically where the word came from, as opposed to "crypto-" as in having a secret agenda or a pun, as the section says. Just like "anarcho-" is a shortening of "anarchy/anarchist," "crypto-" is a shortening of "cryptography."

--Coching (talk) 23:52, 19 August 2014 (UTC)