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Lists of anarchism topics

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Title: Lists of anarchism topics  
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Subject: Anarchism
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Lists of anarchism topics

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to anarchism:

Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful,[1][2] or alternatively as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical[3][9][10] voluntary associations.[11][12]

Nature of anarchism

Main articles: Anarchism and Anarchist terminology

Anarchism promotes a rejection of philosophies, ideologies, institutions, and representatives of authority, in support of liberty. It asserts that cooperation is preferable to competition in promoting social harmony; that cooperation is only authentic when it is voluntary; and that government authority is unnecessary at best, or harmful at worst. In most cases, anarchism:


Manifestos and expositions

For more details on this topic, see list of anarchist books and anarchist literature.

Anarchism is a living project which has continued to evolve as social conditions have changed. The following are examples of anarchist manifestos and essays produced during various time periods, each expressing different interpretations and proposals for anarchist philosophy.

  • Nestor Makhno.
  • Dielo Truda
  • Hippolyte Havel.
  • Herbert Read.
  • Murray Bookchin.

Anarchist schools of thought

Anarchism has many heterogeneous and diverse schools of thought, united by a common opposition to compulsory rule. Anarchist schools are characterized by "the belief that government is both harmful and unnecessary", but may differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism.[2] Regardless, some are viewed as being compatible, and it is not uncommon for individuals to subscribe to more than one.

Umbrella terms

The following terms do not refer to specific branches of anarchist thought, but rather are generic labels applied to various branches.

History of anarchism

Main article: History of anarchism

Although social movements and philosophies with anarchic qualities predate anarchism, anarchism as a specific political philosophy began in 1840 with the publication of What Is Property? by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. In the following decades it spread from Western Europe to various regions, countries, and continents, impacting local social movements. The success of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia initiated a decline in prominence for anarchism in the mid-20th century,[13] roughly coinciding with the time period referred to by historians as The short twentieth century. Since the late 1980s, anarchism has begun a gradual return to the world stage.

Global events

Historic precedents and background events (pre-1840)
Classical development and global expansion (1840 – 1917)
Post-WWI decline (1918 – c. 1980s)
Post-Cold War resurgence (c. 1990s – present)

History of anarchism by region


Historical societies

General anarchism concepts

Main article: Anarchist terminology

These are concepts which, although not exclusive to anarchism, are significant in historical and/or modern anarchist circles. As the anarchist milieu is philosophically heterogeneous, there is disagreement over which of these concepts should play a role in anarchism.


Notable organizations

Formal anarchist organizational initiatives date back to the mid-19th century. The oldest surviving anarchist organizations include Freedom Press (est. 1886) of England, the Industrial Workers of the World (est. 1905), Anarchist Black Cross (est. 1906), Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden (est. 1910) and the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (est. 1910) of Spain.


Anarchist organizations come in a variety of forms, largely based upon common anarchist principles of voluntary cooperation, mutual aid, and direct action. They are also largely informed by anarchist social theory and philosophy, tending towards participation and decentralization.

Notable figures

Notable anarchists

Main article: List of anarchists

Prior to the establishment of Anarchism as a political philosophy, the word "anarchist" was used in political circles as an epithet. The first individual to self-identity as an anarchist and ascribe to it positive connotations was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, in 1840. Since then, the label has continued to be used in both of these senses.

Anarchists, with their inherent rejection of authority, have tended not to assign involuntary power in individuals. With few exceptions, forms of anarchist theory and social movements have been named after their organizational forms or core tenets, rather than after their supposed founders. However, there is a tendency for some anarchists to become historical and notable figures by virtue of their impact on the development or propagation of anarchist theory, and/or by taking part in armed rebellion and revolution.

Notable non-anarchists

The following are individuals who have influenced anarchist philosophy, despite not being self-identified as anarchists:

Notable anarchist scholars


Related philosophies

Anarchism-related lists

Areas of anarchism
Timelines of anarchism
  • Timeline of anarchists
  • Timeline of anarchist history

See also


External links

  • "Peter Kropotkin.
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