Portal:Anarchism

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Anarchic a-white.svgNARCHISM PORTAL

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Anarchism (from Greek ἀν (without) + ἄρχειν (to rule) + ισμός (from stem -ιζειν), "without archons", "without rulers") is often defined as a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. Historically, anarchists have argued that while anti-statism is central, it is inadequate to define anarchism. This traditional notion of anarchism entails opposition to all authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system. In particular, it includes opposition church[disambiguation needed] and capital, resulting in the famous anarchist proclamations "Property is theft!" and "No gods, no masters!" Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical free associations.

Anarchism as a mass social movement has regularly endured fluctuations in popularity. The central tendency of anarchism as a social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, with individualist anarchism being primarily a literary phenomenon (which nevertheless did have an impact on the bigger currents, including the participation of individualists in large anarchist organizations). Many anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism), while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society.

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From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power is a 2001 book on political philosophy by Saul Newman. It investigated the essentialist elements of anarchist theory, and by utilising concepts from post-structuralist thought sought to move beyond the limitations of classical anarchism. Newman's was a more substantive account of post-anarchism than previous efforts, and influenced later approaches to the philosophy. Released in a climate of an anarchist movement hostile to postmodern philosophy, From Bakunin to Lacan was criticised for its poor understanding of and engagement with contemporary anarchism. (read more...)

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Photograph of the Italian American anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti prior to their execution
Credit: Boston Public Library

Photograph of Italian American anarchists Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in handcuffs shortly before their execution for armed robbery in 1923.

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Outline of anarchism

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Johann Most
Johann Most, The Social Monster, 1890

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Anarchism
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Social and political philosophy

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