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From the Encyclopedia Britannica
ANARCHISM (from the Gr. , and , 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. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Table of Contents Introduction Inalienable Tenets of Anarchism The Class Struggle Organization and Anarchism The Role of an Anarchist in an Authoritarian Society Bringing About the New Society The Marxist Criticism of Anarchism The Social-Democratic Critique of Anarchism The Liberal-Democratic Objection to Anarchism The Fascist Objection to Anarchism The Average Person's Objection to Anarchism Introduction The Historical Background to Anarchism It is not without interest that what might be called the anarchist approach goes back into antiquity; nor that there is an anarchism of sorts in the peasant movements that struggled against State oppression over the centuries. But the modern anarchist movement could not claim such precursors of revol... (From : Hack.org.)

Introduction by Noam Chomsky "Notes on Anarchism" in For Reasons of State Noam Chomsky, 1970 Transcribed by rael@ll.mit.edu (Bill Lear) A French writer, sympathetic to anarchism, wrote in the 1890s that "anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything"---including, he noted those whose acts are such that "a mortal enemy of anarchism could not have done better." There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as "anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition, as Daniel Gurin does in Anarchism, it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specific and determinate theory of society and social change. The anarchist historian Rudolph Rocker, who presents a systematic conception of the development of anarchist th...


(Where the words "Anarchism" and "Libertarian" come from) From Chapter 1, part 1 of the book "Anarchism", by Daniel Guerin The word anarchy is as old as the world. It is derived from to ancient Greek words, "an", "arkhe^", and means something like the absence of authority or government. However, for millennia the presumption has been accepted that man cannot dispense with one or the other, and anarchy has been understood in a pejorative sense, as a synonym for disorder, chaos, and disorganization. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was famous for his quips (such as "property is theft") and took to himself the word anarchy. As if his purpose were to shock as much as possible, in 1840 he engaged in the following dialogue with the "Philistine". "You are a... (From : University of Utah.)


Note: This piece appeared as Vol. 1, No. 6 of Comment: New Perspectives in Libertarian Thought, edited by Murray Bookchin. Anarchism: Past and Present Note: The following issue of COMMENT was presented as a lecture to the Critical Theory Seminar of the University of California at Los Angeles on May 29, 1980. My remarks are intended to emphasize the extreme importance today of viewing Anarchism in terms of the changing social contexts of our era - - not as an ossified doctrine that belongs to one or another set of European thinkers, valuable as their views may have been in their various times and places. Today, more than ever, the viability of Anarchism in America will depend upon its ability to speak directly -- in the language of the Ameri... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


We have received from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a pamphlet by C. L. James, entitled 'Anarchy, a Tract for the Times,' which contains an able exposition of the principles of Anarchy. We cannot endorse all conclusions of the author, but we admire the concise and excellent manner in which he summarizes the, origins of Government and Capital. 'System of Economical Contradictions,' by P. J. Proudhon, translated from the French by Benjamin Tucker. (Proudhon Library, published monthly at Boston). We earnestly recommend the reading of this work to those who know Proudhon only by the bitter pamphlet of Marx. Those who seek in books matter for independent thought surely will find few more suggestive authors than Proudhon. FROM A PARIS GARRET.-Here, alon... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism by Murray Bookchin One of the most persistent of human frailties is the tendency of individuals and groups to fall back, in times of a terribly fragmented reality, onto obsolete, even archaic ideologies for a sense of continuity and security. Today we find this not only on the right, where people are evoking the ghosts of Nazism and deadly forms of an embattled nationalism, but also on the "left" (whatever that word may mean anymore), where many people evoke ghosts of their own, be they the Neolithic goddess cults that many feminist and ecological sects celebrate or the generally anti-civilizational ambiance that exists among young middle-class ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This work appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of Benedict Read, Executor & Trustee, Herbert Read Estate and Trust William Godwin [Herbert Read MS from University of Victoria] In the history of English poetry, no name is more secure than that of Shelley: he ranks with the greatest -- with Spenser, Shakespear, Milton and Wordsworth, and the years only add to the depth of our appreciation of his genius. But Shelley's name is indisociably linked with another name -- the name of a man to whom he owed not only his philosopy of life, but even his personal happiness, for he ran away with the philosopher's daughter. This philosopher was William Godwin, and in his day no man was more famous. His fame rested on one book, though he wrote ma... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Liberty and Organization Excerpted from the book; Individual Liberty Selections From the Writings of Benjamin R. Tucker Vanguard Press, New York, 1926 Kraus Reprint Co., Millwood, NY, 1973. Thirty-five years ago the Personal Rights Journal of London, at that time edited by J. H. Levy, was a valiant champion of what was then known as Individualism. This latter was practically Anarchism, but that fact was not realized by Levy, Wordsworth Donisthorpe and other contributors to the columns of the Journal, which led to discussions between those gentlemen and the editor of Liberty concerning Anarchism and organization, taxation, etc. Mr. Tucker's remarks are here set forth: Names aside, the thing that Individualism favors is organization to maintain the widest liberty equally for all citizens. Well, that is precisely wh...

A Libertarians Pet Despotisms. [Liberty, January 1, 1887.] There is nothing any better than Liberty and nothing any worse than despotism, be it the theological despotism of the skies, the theocratic despotism of kings, or the democratic despotism of majorities; and the labor reformer who starts out to combat the despotism of capital with other despotism no better lacks the only power to be worse than the foe he encounters. These are the words of my brother Pinney of the Winsted Press, Protectionist and Greenbacker,that is, a man who combats the despotism of capital with that despotism which denies the liberty to buy foreign goods untaxed and that despotism which denies the liberty to issue notes to circulate as currency. Mr. Pinney is driven...

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