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I do not understand why I am being censored and oppressed. The libertarian socialists are trying to change every point at which the anarchist page says "anarchist" to "libertarian socialist" apparently they are trying to get everybody to call themselves libertarian socialists.

This is not right.

They are deleting numerous changes I have made to the anarchist website. For instance, I have taken several of the points at which one group or another has said, "anarchism is really libertarian socialism" or "anarchism is really socialism" and I have merged them all together into, "Anarchists tend to agree with socialists".

This is not sufficient for the libertarian socialists who are totally opposed to an actual anarchist trying to create a quality explanation of anarchism. For instance, somebody stated that anarchists are opposed to all forms of authority. This is not true. An anarchist later on did state that anarchists do not oppose all forms of authority but isn't that a little confusing? Should visitors to wikipedia be forced to weed through all of these contradictory statements?

Anarchists are opposed to totalitarian authority. Any authority that is totalitarian they oppose. Furthermore, they view the US political system as totalitarian. [Lir 19:02, 2 Oct 2002]

We need a nice, tight, and easy definition of totalitarianism. The US political system can hardly be described as totalitarian. Oppresive, fixed, stilted, favoured, etc., etc., etc. sure... But totalitarianism as in Stalinism or Nazism. I don't think so. Dobbs 01:33 Oct 3, 2002 (UTC)

But somebody doesn't want me to note that. They want it to say, "anarchists are opposed to all authority" because thatll show the reader that anarchists are fundamentalist and extremists and everybody should hop over to libertarian socialism... [Lir]

This entire argument would go away, if, Lir could write a page - on the talk page for now - as to what he is getting at. Then we could put down the knives and back away from the 'pedia. Dobbs 01:33 Oct 3, 2002 (UTC)

They are not addressing even one point at which my changes were incorrect. For instance, if you read about a political party would you want to know where it has a following. Anarchism doesn't have a big following in Kazhakastan but they do have a large following in Japan.

I added information such as this-but it gets deleted. Why? I suspect the deleters are not even reading my changes but deleting on some immoral principle. They have been calling me a noobie. They are the noobies. They apparently don't want to create an online dictionary where people that know about the subject can show up and point out obvious things like, "If anarchists feel that there is a notable difference between anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists, anarchosocial-communists, anarco-communists, anarcho-socialists, red anarchists, green anarchists, anarcho-feminists, and the like YOU BETTER BELIEVE they don't consider themselves to be libertarian socialists, regardless of what the libertarians think.

Somebody has actually said that Ive changed the text to align itself with libertarian socialism. I have hardly done so! The test originally is worded that way. In continuance of that is a result of the previous wording.

Anybody who says anarchism means, "no government whatsoever" doesn't no what anarchism is. Anarchism believes in self-governance. [Lir 19:07, 2 Oct 2002]

Lir, there are a bunch of different issues here. First off, nobody is trying to oppress or censor you; we are asking that you participate in the community in the same way that everybody else who edits here is asked to participate in the community. Read the comments, have a discussion on the talk page, et cetera; these are the rules that we live by here; otherwise, we could get nothing done.
Secondly, nobody here calls themselves a "libertarian socialist" in ordinary life. Most of the people who edit libertarian socialism in everyday life call themselves "anarchists". However, a lot of other people who disagree with the basic premises of what most people call anarchism also call themselves anarchists. So, for the sake of avoiding confusion (it seems to have done the opposite, unfortunately), we have moved most information on what we know as "anarchism" to "libertarian socialism".
Next issue, does "anarchism" (in the popular conception, what we're calling libertarian socialism) oppose all authority, or just totalitarian authority? Noam Chomsky say he opposes "illegitimate authority"; that's a phrasing I like quite a bit. Why don't you come over to the libertarian socialism page and edit it with us? DanKeshet


The document used to read, "Anarchists oppose all government." It now reads "Anarchists support self-government". If you don't agree with this you DONT UNDERSTAND ANARCHIST THEORY [Lir]

As far as I can tell, the above statement regarding "oppose all government" vs. "support self-government" is wholly false. [anon]

I just moved my more detailed discussion of libertarian socialism & anarcho-capitalism to libertarian socialism and anarcho-capitalism. My proposal is as follows:

  1. The anarchism article will discuss the different understandings of the term anarchism, and the disputes over the proper meaning of the term. Anarchy should I think just be a pointer to this.
  2. Libertarian socialism should discuss libertarian socialism, including arguments for and against, the different varieties of it, and what a libertarian socialist society should look like. Traditional anarchism should be a redirect to this.
  3. Likewise, anarcho-capitalism should discuss the same stuff for anarcho-capitalism.

-- Simon J Kissane

Here here! Dobbs 01:33 Oct 3, 2002 (UTC)

In response to your points,
1. There must be some common ground, or different groups wouldn't lay claim to the same word. And the common ground is the "abolition of civil governments". If you believe that to be incorrect, then find the correct common ground.

Well, yes, both agree that anarchy involves "abolition of civil governments", but they have completely different understandings of what "abolition of civil governments" means. And a lot of anarchists would say it is much more than that, that it involves the abolition of all coercion, though again they disagree on what constitutes coercion. The common ground is more superficial than deep. -- SJK

2. The discussion of anarchy isn't that in-depth, but it doesn't need to be. Everything that is said about the term in your version of the anarchism page is said on the anarchy page. But succinctly. If you feel more needs to be said, then go ahead, and expand the anarchy page.

Finally, my version of the beginning doesn't eliminate any information. It just eliminates verbiage. Please demonstrate what information my version leaves out.

p.s. Is libertarian socialism actually a term libertarian socialists use, or do they call themselves anarchists?

They call themselves both. Historically, some prefered one, others prefered the other; anarchism seemed to be winning out, but then since anarcho-capitalism has come along they've started using libertarian socialism as a term to distinguish themselves from anarcho-capitalism. (They use other terms as well, e.g. left anarchism, or just 'real anarchism') -- SJK

--The Cunctator

I'd just like to say that I think it was a bad idea to merge Anarchy into Anarchism. The separate Anarchy entry made it much clearer what the use of the word was. Also, by merging the two there is now content on the Anarchism page that doesn't really belong there. For example, talking about the use of the word "anarchy" by punk rockers, etc. is ancillary to the "anarchism" entry. In general I advocate more distinct entries, not fewer. If you have two related concepts, and one is wholly subordinate, then I advocate them being under one entry, which would imply subpages--e.g. ethnic nationalism belongs under nationalism (but people like Larry Sanger hate subpages, so that won't happen), or redirects (like "happy" to "happiness"). But most of the time concepts are related but neither is wholly subordinate. And Anarchy is not wholly subordinate to Anarchism. I think redirects should mainly be used for misspellings. --TheCunctator

I don't think the bit about punk rock is at all misplaced on the "anarchism" page; it's simply a philosophy or an ideology like the others. It seems that this is the extent of our disagreement. If I believed that anomy was in a different class of topics than anarcho-capitalism, than I'd think they should have seperate pages. If you agreed that anomy was just like a-c or l-s, then that would make this just like "happy" / "happiness". Am I right? --DanKeshet

Anarchy and anomy are not indistinguishable concepts. "happy" is the adjectival form of "happiness". Punk rock isn't simply a philosophy or an ideology like the others; rather, there's a pretty big difference between political ideologies and music. However, I want you to know that I can also buy to some degree the argument for merging them. I just think that people here have been getting a little too merge/delete happy recently and lean towards separate entries. In other words, the extent of my disagreement lies in the philosophical grounding of wikipedian ontology. --TheCunctator

I didn't mean to say anarchy and anomy are indistinguishable; only that seeing how a bunch of groups are laying claim to the word "anarchy", anomy has as much of a claim as any other. --dk

Libertarian socialists and anarcho-capitalists view each other's ideas with hostility. Proponents of each of these two theories tend to claim that theirs is the only true anarchism, while the other position is not anarchism at all, because it opposes a wrong notion of power ('archos'). On the other hand, libertarian socialists consider themselves as part of the collectivist movement, while anarcho-capitalists consider themselves as classical liberals - this shows that the opposition between collectivism and individualism in matters of political economy is indeed more essential than the question of the existence of government.

Many libertarian socialists argue that anarcho-capitalism should not be called anarchism at all, due to the much older use of the word to refer to libertarian socialism. Anarcho-capitalists argue they have just as much right to the word as libertarian socialists have, and that their anti-statist tradition is actually older and more coherent. Individualist anarchists could arguably claim they are the oldest anarchist tradition, but they care little for such macho "length contests" about the age of traditions, since they don't feel like they are part of a collective they must defend.

I just don't know what to make of this. I've read a considerable amount of libertarian socialist literature and rarely if ever found the term "collectivist". As far as I can tell, collectivist is an adjective used almost exclusively by anarcho-capitalists. I can understand why we should explain the differences between libertarian socialism and anarcho-capitalism, but these paragraphs need to be seriously rewritten for them to be useful at all.

-Which one of these denotes everyone being in charge?-Adrian

The reason I put this distinction in:

" * Anarcho-socialists (Libertarian Socialists) believe that all forms of hierarchy must be eliminated. Anarcho-capitalists believe that all forms of coercive forms of hierarchy must be eliminated, thus employer / employee relationships may be preserved, as they are freely entered into contracts."

is that I reject the idea that anarcho-socialists find "non-coercive" hierarchy acceptible. While all anarcho-capitalists I know reject the church (in this specific sense I am refering to the Catholic church, because all of the older (and primary authors for this *modern* anarchism debate) European anarcho-socialist writers either railed against the Orthodox (the Russians) or the Roman (everybody else, but the Spanish really come to mind) church), they do not deny the ability of someone to join the church if they felt like it. (Presumably because they feel in matters of human purview, coersion is wrong - but still believe in subordinance to a divine creator). Anarcho-socialists are against the church for the same reasons they are against the government, hierarchal control. And this goes for almost all social organizations - syndicatilism (? - need more coffee) notwithstanding.

As to the statement earlier in the thread: "Well, yes, both agree that anarchy involves "abolition of civil governments"" is incorrect. To contrast (from directly above): "this shows that the opposition between collectivism and individualism in matters of political economy is indeed more essential than the question of the existence of government." is much closer to the truth. Anarchists are ALL for civil society. All anarchists believe in spontaneous order, as opposed to coercive imposed order. Particaption of an active civic is essential to have a functioning civil society. This society will create and impose sanction for transgressions of the order agreed upon. To illustrate, neither anarcho-socialists or anarcho-capitalists allow murder to go unpunished. This is "government" (granted not in its traditional sense, if you can't stand the term use something equivalent), no matter how you slice it. Whether these norms be based upon collectivism or individualism is the real issue.

Finally, (whoo hoo!) punk rock adopted symbology from the anarchist movement, but that was where it really ended.

(Apart from Crass (see their website) and the anarcho punk scene I would argue... I intend to cover anarcho punk in more depth than that little stub I've put up so far, but it's a start.... quercus robur )

Punk rock is about disorder. It (as a movement) was concerned with the destruction of 'norms' in society. They rejected such basic ideas as "doing well for yourself" or "be good at what you do". For example, musicianship (based on 'norms') was rejected as being to studied, and therefore false. It was more important to express oneselves, in any way (positive or negative, constructive or destructive, peaceful or violent) desired. The resulting deconstruction and destruction of those norms would presumably result in a better society, or at least a society in constant revolution (and end in and of itself). This concept of constant revolution has been seen in many other, non-anarchist traditions. as for what happened after the destruction of society and its norms, punk rock never concerned itself with. Anarchism, for the most part in literature, deals very little with the "destruction" part, and jumps right into how the new order will be. I feel the reference should be moved, and the references to its anarchist symbology and self-identification contrasted to how more 'doctrinaire' (yikes! THAT came out of my mouth!) types feel about it.

- Dobbs 14:40 Sep 5, 2002 (PDT) hope I did that tag correctly!

I must admit, I know punk more from what it's not (other than an appreciation of the music) than what it is. As you seem to have an interest, please lead. Where do you think the definition (and the differences) need to go from here? Dobbs 05:14 Sep 6, 2002 (UCT)

Re: Anarchist music[edit]

Unless anyone feels that a whole seperate entry would be best -- which I doubt -- I'd like to suggest an expansion of the Anarchist musicians section recently added. Anarchist music or even Anarchism in the arts might be a good way to go.

This could include a discussion of Anarchism as it relates to punk rock -- for example, some argue that punk rock has little to do with "real anarchism" -- that is, anarchist political, social and economic theory. Rather, most punk rock simply uses anarchist symbolism etc...

Also, an Anarchism in the arts title would show the cultural impact of anarchism more clearly, and not only in punk.

Thoughts? -- Tzartzam 11:45 Sep 7, 2002 (UTC)

Yep, I think that's a great idea. Although I have reservations about the title (due to my objections of punk rock only utilizing symbolism and thus bears little relation to the movement), I think the real idea is to allow the majority of people to find information contained within the 'pedia quickly. If this means pandering to popular misconceptions, then so be it. My vote for the scetion title would be "Anarchism in the arts", with subheadings for each type, and a redirect from punk rock and other such related concepts to this page. Does the 'pedia support bookmarking within a page? Then we could jump right to the subsection. What does everybody think?

Dobbs 15:12 Sep 7, 2002 (UTC)

I've made a link from Anarcho-punk to Anarchism in the arts, although there's nothing at the end of it yet... anybody fancy starting an article?

quercus robur

I've started it. Needs more, though; much more. -- Tzartzam 19:50 Sep 7, 2002 (UTC)

Perhaps the A few famouse Anarchists bit should go under Anarchist? -- Tzartzam 19:55 Sep 7, 2002 (UTC)

Hm, if only I'd seen this before I proposed merging the two pages over at Talk:Anarchist... But in any case, the convention seems to be that when a list of "famous Xs" in an article gets too long, it is broken off into "List of famous Xs", so "List of famous anarchists" would result. However, I don't think the list here is really big enough to justify that. That's just my opinion, of course. --Camembert
Okay. I think it will become big enough fairly quickly, so we'll sor that out when it happens. -- Tzartzam

From the old /Todo page:

  • add discussion of relationship between libertarian socialism and Marxism
  • discuss disputes between Bakunin and Marx and the expulsion of anarchists from First International
  • discuss anarchists in Spanish Civil War
How about an Anarchism in history page? -- Tzartzam
  • discuss Makhno and Ukranian anarchists in Russian Civil War
  • discuss libertarian socialist use of Marxist-style class analysis
  • discuss different types of libertarian socialism: individualist, social, anarcho-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, Platformism, anarcha-feminism, mutualism, collectivism, eco-anarchism (social ecology and 'primitivism'), anarcho-pacifism, cultural anarchism, religious anarchism (ala Leo Tolstoy), anarquismo sine adjetives, 'type 3 anarchism'
  • historical origin of both libertarian socialism & anarcho-capitalism
  • relationship between anarcho-capitalism and minarchism (ala Ayn Rand, Libertarian party)
  • events of May 1968

Tzartzam: please see the libertarian socialism page. There's already an "Anarchism (libertarian socialism) in History" section over there. In order to keep the confusion and duplication to a minimum, I think it would be best if we keep as much of the history/thinkers/etc. on the individual philosophies' pages. After all, it would be really weird to have a "Anarchism in Spanish Civil War" section right next to an "Anarchism in Ayn Rand" section. DanKeshet

Ah, right, okay :) -- Tzartzam

Well, Ayn Rand certainly wasn't a libertarian socialist in history. She was a objectivist, much closer to a anarcho-capitalist in history. So moving everybody over there isn't a complete solution, either. Or an I understanding the issue correctly? Dobbs 18:40 Sep 18, 2002 (UTC)

Exactly. You would move the Ayn Rand stuff (or whoever a reasonable example of an anarco-capitalist is) to "Historical anarcho-capitalist movements" on the anarcho-capitalism page. Otherwise, this page will be an odd discussion about very different philosophies as if they represented one cohesive whole. DanKeshet 18:45 Sep 18, 2002 (UTC)

Err, sorry, Lir, but all your edits seem totally daffy to me. You've basically destroyed all the distinctions between the various strains of anarchist thought and equated anarchism with libertarian socialism, which was NOT the intent of this article at all, and was a position we sort of reached after extensive debate over who gets to be called "anarchist". Would you like to defend your edits, or shall we just revert them? Graft 16:42 Oct 2, 2002 (UTC)

Lir seems eager and a newbie as well. I'm going over to his Talk page and try and describe searching before starting new articles, and reading the talk page to get an idea of what everyone before you has done and is trying to achieve. Most anarchists I tend to meet seem to have developed their understanding from more general work and bits and pieces of popular descriptions. Our more doctrinaire and rigorous work describing the distinctions is a bit enlightning and confusing when people are first exposed. Dobbs 17:21 Oct 2, 2002 (UTC)

I think the opening sentence is either simplistic or one-sided:

Anarchism is a name taken by various political theories which advocate the abolition of totalitarian authority?. The word anarchism derives from Greek roots an (no) and archos (ruler). Anarchism involves the replacement of all forms of hierarchy (political, economic, hereditary, etc.) by democratically-controlled and collectively-owned organizations?.

Is this a Marxist view? If so, it should be labeled as such. There are other views of anarchism, such as the idea that there should be no government at all.

I don't really know what you're talking about here....

Also, I don't understand the distinction between democracy and the the replacement of all forms of hierarchy ... by democratically-controlled organization. Surely anarchism and democracy are not synonymous. --Ed Poor

This depends which KIND of anarchist you talk to... most anarcho-communists strongly believe in democracy, although few are content with representative democracy. Most anarcho-capitalists would assert that the free market is essentially democratic. Most individualist anarchists would assert that democracy sucks, and that society should have no hold over the individual. So, no, democracy and anarchism are not synonymous. But, yes, democracy is an important part of some kinds of anarchism. Graft

Great distinction. Okay, let's put that in the article, preferably somewhere near the top. I figure the best way to bring some order to the chaos without some tyrant imposing order from above is for us to work collectively on listing the forms of anarchy advocated by the various adherents:

  • anarcho-communists
  • anarcho-capitalists
  • individualist anarchists
  • libertarian socialists

--Ed Poor

Ed, you are advocating for changing the article to being exactly what it already is. Did you read it? DanKeshet
This is what the spat with Lir was about, because his changes removed that distinction. Incidentally, anarcho-communist and libertarian socialist are generally considered to be synonyms. Graft



Hey, Lir, you don't have to shout. And we can surely find some way to include this info in the article. What do you think is the best place? --Ed Poor


Ed simply because u disagree with the first sentence is not reason to delete all the changes made. It was found necessary to be very clear on the above point as libertarian socialists keep changing the page to reflect libertarian socialist ideas and they have their own page on which to argue for the abolition of all authority-that is NOT an anarchist viewpoint-anarchism is against rulers [Lir 19:32, 2 Oct 2002] ---

Anarchism is synonymous with democracy. Anarchists are very strongly in favour of democracy. Anarchists wish you would understand that America is not a democracy. America is a republic and thus a totalitarian police state. Anarchism is democracy. They are literal synonoms. Anarchism advocates removal of rulers and owners in favor of democracy.

Okay, thanks for clearing that up for me. It might help if you mentioned some of these ideas in the article, carefully labeled as to which anarchists advocate what views of democracy. Surely you are not saying that the only anarchist view is that anarchism is synonymous with democracy? --Ed Poor

Anarchists do not call themselves democrats for a reason. There is an idea of democracy which the democrats do not endorse. This involves democracy as in, "people voting for stuff that affects them". It is unfortunate that the democrats and republicans use propaganda to make people think that they have given us democracy. All anarchists support democracy-but what type of democracy? just democracy. Not republican democracy or democratic republicanism. Democracy is anarchism. Anarchism is no rulers. Democracy is the people voting. The rulers get one vote. The people can over rule them. That is anarchism

WHY ARE PEOPLE CHANGING MY DOCUMENT WHEN THEY DONT EVEN KNOW WHATS IN IT? WHAT IS THIS NPOV? Somebody is upset because the document says, "Anarchists loathe capitalism" just like it said that BEFORE I edited it...

'The NPOV is an important document for the 'pedia. Read it and come back to argue some more. Dobbs 01:33 Oct 3, 2002 (UTC)
Actually at no point in the old version did it say "anarchists loathe capitalism". It DID say that individualist anarchists loathe government-sponsored capitalism, which is VERY VERY different. Graft

The old version also considered anarcho-capitalism to be a form of anarchism. Thus the "government-sponsored" statement. Anarchists loathe the government and capitalism. Anarcho-capitalists loathe the government cuz it really doesn't want to let capitalist take over.

Anarcho-capitalism IS a form of anarchism, simply by the fact that anarcho-capitalists call themselves "anarchists". There is no authoritative body decreeing who is and who is not an anarchist, or what is and what is not an anarchist belief. The ideals that YOU believe to be anarchist may be something else, but if a substantial number of people use the term "anarchist" to mean something different, it MUST be reflected in this encyclopedia. This entry is not "what Lir believes anarchism means", but rather is an attempt to show what the term "anarchism" has meant in general, historically. Graft

They're changing it because they clearly understand the topic better than you do. You are simply wrong to claim that "anarchism" as a whole supports the idea of democracy. As has been pointed out, "anarchism" is a group of related philosophies which are very different. I, as an anarcho-capitaist, find democracy to be morally repugnant, because it's just another way for one group of people to rule another. Individuals have inalienable rights, and no democratic system should be able to vote those away--if I live in a community of 100 people, and 99 of them vote that they should be able to take my property, then those 99 people are thieves. That point of view is very much an "anarchist" point of view, and is adequately expressed in the article on anarcho-capitalism. But it doesn't belong here other than to mention it and point to the anarcho-capitalist article, just as your views in favor of democracy belong in their own article (if, indeed, they represent a view of some significant number of people or have some other historical significance that merits their inclusion in an encyclopedia in the first place). --LDC

You as an anarcho-capitalist are not an anarchist. OF **** COURSE YOU FIND DEMOCRACY TO BE MORALLY REPUGNANT!!!! Why do you think the revision says, "Anarcho-capitalists claim to be anarchists but anarchists say they are not really anarchists but actually "super-capitalists" " Anarchists loathe capitalists. You can say whatever you want, I don't care, we can have a whole website about anarcho-capitalism, but I guarantee you 51% of the population isn't going to decide to give "You Incorporated" control of their lives.

I am not interjecting my opinions. I am interjecting FACT. Anarchism is a movement against capitalism and the government. Every anarchist hates the US Government and the Corporations. That is the very basis of anarchism. That is not negotiable. Anarcho-capitalists just have anarcho in thier political agenda to confuse things. They are either fools or intending to dominate the world economy. People that wish to dominate the world are the enemy of anarchists.

It's now quite clear that you don't know what you're talking about, and are not interested in behaving like a rational adult here. Your contributions will no longer be welcome if you continue to persist in replacing good neutral content with your own invective. You are completely mistaken about the anarcho-capitalist point of view. For one, most anarcho-capitalists don't support the concept of "corporations", which is a government-backed concept. I frankly don't care whether 51% or 99% of the population doesn't want to give me control of their lives--I only demand that they give me complete control of mine, just as I recognize their right to have complete control of theirs. That is an anarchist point of view, because it entirely rejects the idea that anyone should have any kind of control over anyone else's life, either as a "ruler" or as some fictional notion of "society" or "will of the people". Individualists are anarchists, and are recignized as such by academics who study the field. The article here will continue to reflect that understanding, and will continue to remove your childish claims to the contrary. --LDC

Cor this is more fun than usenet ;-)

The definition of anarchism[edit]

Lir, Can you stop, please?

In this article we've had to come to a compromise; "anarchism" has been used to mean various different things, and, despite what you may believe, there is no central authority that dictates them meaning of a word. And you are certainly not that authority.

"Libertarian Socialism," as I understand it, is what I call Anarchism; it's what Kropotkin and Bakunin called anarchim, and they're considered the "fathers of anarchism" by many.

-- Sam

Oh, and by the way, I think you may have confused "libertarian socialism" with "libertarianism". Libertarian socialism is anarchism as Kropotkin, Bakunin, Goldman, Malatesta et al advocated it. Anarchism, in the 19th/early 20th century, grew out of the broad socialist movement. The split between authoritarian communists (today generally known as just "Communists") and libertarian communists (or libertarian socialists; then known as anarchists) came when Bakunin was thrown out of the International by Marx.

Anarcho-capitalists started calling themselves anarchists because they opposed government. The term really only has that negative connotation for certain; what those who call themselves anarchists advocate varies, what they oppose is their common ground.

Anarchy literally means contrary to authority. So there. --Sam

Sooooooo...Im still waiting for any disagreement with my revision... The anarcho-capitalist and the anarchist have established that they don't agree. This is reflected in the revision. The libretarian socialist and the anarchist have agreed that they have slight differences in defining their respective eras...this is also reflected in the revision...
If you have a problem with the revision-try editing it-but there is too much in there that nobody is disagreeing with for it to be tossed [Lir 21:51, 2 Oct 2002]
Seems to be a problem with the server now. : \ Too many edited versions floating around or something... The latest version (which can't be seen due to the error) explains that libretarian-socialism and anarchism are very similar movements with different histories but similar goals. It goes into some depth on the anarchism vs. anarcho-capitalism debate. [Lir 22:28, 2 Oct 2002]

I think that Sam (and others) have summed up the problem nicely - the difficulty lies with your conviction that anarchism can only be of a collectivist kind, and anything else just isn't anarchism at all, and should only be a footnote to this page. So if you want specific disagreements with your revision, hows about this:

  • "Anarchism is a group of political theories which advocate the abolition of totalitarian authority, heirarchy, the aristocracy, capitalism, and militarism"
Once you accept that anarcho-capitalists are a kind of anarchist, you must see that the above is untrue because, as the name suggests, they do not oppose capitalism. And the fact is that anarcho-capitalists are indeed anarchists - what does anarchy mean, after all? Nothing more than "no ruler", a definition you have in your own edit. Beyond that, it doesn't mean anything, and can include both capitalist and socialist views. Trying to impose a more specific definition upon the term is misguided.
What this article ought to be, and was until you decided to make it something else, is a quick definition of anarchism, embracing all political philosophies that use the term, be they capitalist or collectivist, followed by a brief look at each kind of anarchism with links to more in depth articles, and a brief comparison of the different kinds of anarchism. It should not start out by saying "anarchism equal collectivism", and then continue as if this is the only kind of anarchism worthy of the name.
The fact is that "anarchism" is a word that is applied to several different kinds of political philosophy. You or I may not like this, but that's neither here nor there. The job of the wikipedia is to report things as they are. Your revision, with its use of "anarchism" to mean a very specific socialist ideal, is only things how you would like them to be.
And just for the record, I am no great fan of anarcho-capitalism, Lir, but that, also, is neither here nor there, and I only mention it to try and stop your questioning my motives as you have several others. --Camembert
I should add, by the way, that I tend to agree with you that people constantly deleting your edits wholesale is probably not the best way to go about things, but when a rewrite is as thorough and wide-ranging as yours was, it's understandable that this will happen - just as you put a lot of work into your version, others before you put a lot of work into the previous version. And all this said, it's clear you do have a lot of interesting things to say about the subject or related ones, and I look forward to reading them once this initial glitch is sorted out. --Camembert

Regarding the changes I just made. In my experience, I have heard libertarian communism, libertarian socialism, left-anarchism, and red anarchism used to describe the same thing. Which term is used depends mainly on the speaker and what they are comparing it to. (For examle, I've never heard red anarchism except as comparison to green nor left except as comparison to right.) If there are difference between these philosophies, then by all means, seperate the pages and explain the difference. I will be enlightened. Otherwise, don't repeat synonyms. Same goes for green anarchism, anarcho-primitivism, and primitivism.

I still feel much of this page refers to what we're calling "libertarian socialism" as "anarchism". Specifically, the anarchist law part. Anarcho-capitalists here: do you believe that there should be no hierarchy? Perhaps this is because relatively few people who we call libertarian socialists call themselves libertarian socialists, so they find this page and try to change it to the only thing they call anarchism. Maybe we should move "libertarian socialism" to "left-anarchism"? DanKeshet

PS. Thanks to everyone for watching out for this page. I hope that it comes out of this whole thing improved.

I was thinking of suggesting moving libertarian socialism to something like left-anarchism myself - the former term is needlessly confusing I think. It doesn't have the word "anarchism" in it, but it does have the word "libertarian", which suggests "libertarianism" which is often used to mean something very different to left-anarchism these days.
Regarding the article still largely using "anarchism" to mean "left-anarchism": as well as the anarchist law section, does the "anarchism and terrorism" section have any bearing on anarcho-capitalism? The general strike, at least, is a specifically syndicalist tactic, isn't it? --Camembert
It's late, and I'm tired. But I must say Camembert, you are the only person who has raised the syndicalist flag here. Anarcho-unionism is a great topic to write about. I was going to, even though I'm not a believer (though I was in former days). I think that, if we can draw Lir out a bit, that we can get a good democratic, unionist, libertarianist view to make it all make sense. I still think Lir is coming into this correctly, but missing some "educated" doctrinaire lingo.
Well, I wasn't aware I was raising the syndicalist flag, it just seemed odd to me that the general strike should be talked of as a "anarchist" tactic, when when this article is talking about "anarchism" in a much more general way (I mean anarcho-capitalists are hardly likely to find the general strike a very useful tactic). This sort of stuff should, of course, be in the pages in specific flavours of anarchism, but it shouldn't be on the arachism page itself in my view. This page should be limited to a quick description of the flavours, and a comparison of them, and a bibliography. By the way, I think Lir is probably coming into this correctly in a sense, but confusion over terms is leading him/her to come into it on the wrong page. The fact that this has happened indicates something isn't quite right with anarchism as it stands - perhaps it needs to be made clear right from the outset in a disclaimer-type paragraph that this article is not purely about what most people would call "anarchism." --Camembert

As an aside - I think that the best single experiment in applied anarchy (as opposed to usenet, which has an application - but not quite what we are getting at) - Wikipedia - is all in a lather when we, as organized and doctrinaire anarchists, are accosted by someone who has strong, but not quite so well-defined ideas. I was settling into a good description of anarcho-capitalism when, out of the blue, we had a "true believer" in one of our "factions". Best to take it slowly and see what it produces, before we draw lines and start hacking at the limbs..... Dobbs 08:33 Oct 3, 2002 (UTC)

The problem, as I explained elsewhere, is that what is by far the most common form of anarchism is in fact just called "anarchism" by the vast majority not only of its proponents but by the public and by scholars of the field. But the term is clearly an ambiguous one, because it is used just as correctly to describe other forms of anarchism. Language can be ambiguous, because there's always context to sort things out, but encyclopedia titles can't be. So we are unfortunately forced to write an article on the most common form of anarchism under a name other than "anarchism", which must be used to disambiguate the others. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it it. Perhaps "libertarian socialism" isn't the best place for that article, and I'm open to suggestions (perhaps a parenthesized one like "anarchism (traditional)" or something?). But in any case, we still need this one for disambiguating. --LDC

Due to the anti-communist propaganda that is heavily ingrained in the US, and the fact that "libertarian" means something entirely different in the US than elsewhere (where it usually refers to anarchists), the term "libertarian socialism" has brought some confusion, particularly to USians. Also, I think anarcho-capitalism is mainly of US origin, so that's not helped anything. -- Sam

I for one am happy with the current introduction. -- Sam 11:41 Oct 3, 2002 (UTC)

"Anarchists are opposed to totalitarian authority. Any authority that is totalitarian they oppose. Furthermore, they view the US political system as totalitarian."

I am an anarchist, I oppose hierarchal authority. To call the US political system "totalitarian" is really crying wolf -- it's not. There may be more political freedom in Europe, for example, but the US system is more free than US supported regimes in South and Central America, for example.
"Libertarian Socialism" is anarchism, as Europeans (such as myself) tend to understand it. -- Sam

Green anarchists are NOT always primitivists. This is implied both on this page and the green anarchism page. Many Greens are tecnhnologists, but anti- pollution technologists. [ 20:23, 3 Oct 2002]

agreed not all GAs are primitivist- I consider myself a GA but found the writings on primitivism in the UK Green anarchist magazine pretty inpenetrable. I beleive the new 'reinvented' Green anarchist magazine (the version edited by steven Booth) no longer makes a fetish of 'primitivism' quercus robur

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines anarchism as:

a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups

How can we weave this definition into the article? --Ed Poor

Why do we need to weave it into the article? Dictionaries and Encyclopedias have different uses. If people want to look a word up in the dictionary, nothing is stopping them. But if people want to read a more in-depth and nuanced treatment of complex issues, they will turn to an encyclopedia, not to dictionary definitions (however elegant). If you got this from an on-line dictionary I assume it is available to every reader of Wikipedia. [18:32, 4 Oct 2002]

Anarchism is not pre-historic[edit]

Silly statement:

Most anarchists believe that anarchism is part of a movement dating back to pre-history.

Most Freemasons, Christians, Wicca, true believers of all sorts believe the same. Creation myth, golden age, all that stuff.

Some romantic boast like "Anarchists believe that anarchism is the natural state of humanity preceded all other forms of government" could be defended, but it is false to say there was a "movement" from prehistoric times. Ortolan88

Not a movement, but a "historical tendency" as some people describe anarchism. -- Sam

So, while the recent additions on the literal meaning of the neologism "anarchism" are interesting, I'm not sure they really belong in here. Yeah, maybe "anarchos" means something totally opposite what "anarchism" means, but it's a neologism - it wasn't meant to have the original usage. It was made up by some dude (who knows) to represent an idea in the modern day. So, the discussion seems sort of out of place, like "those damn anarchists don't really understand what 'anarchos' is all about!" One could say this for any poorly-rendered neologism, of which there are no doubt hundreds. Distracting, especially in the first fucking paragraph. Graft 00:58 Oct 16, 2002 (UTC)

A Greek-English lexicon by Liddell and Scott gives one of the meanins of anarchos as "without a head or chief," attested in ancient texts like Herodotus, so any discussion based on the idea that it only refers to a things without beginnings or without laws altogether is entirely incorrect. Anarhikos seems poorly attested in general, and I think it would be best to have a reference on it before assuming it's some sort of standard term.

I know better than lidell and scott what 'anarchos' means, because it is my native language. I dont want to start here a discussion about all the mistranslated greek terms that english language is using with another meaning. This is the cause of all confusions of the terms. At least accept what I told you about the word 'anarchos' or ask better a GREEK philologist.

Words' meanings change over time. I would not doubt a native speaker on the modern meaning of the terms, but they could have had other meanings in ancient Greek that have since disappeared. It looks like that's what has happened here: Herodotus uses anarchos to describe a condition where the magistrates are missing. And I am not going to discount modern scholars on the basis of nationality, especially since nobody speaks ancient Greek as a native language nowadays.

You are not right. 'Anarchos' is not a condition, it is a property of a person. Maybe you are talking about 'Anarchia'. Better for you to read Herodotus again, from the original ancien greek scripts, if you know ancien greek. I can read Herodotus, using my native language and I can understand the original ancien scripts, and this prooves that my language has not change very much.

That's fair, I was identifying anarchia and anarchos for purpose of simplicity. The word anarchism, after all, comes from both, since the second comes from the first. Anarchos, though, is still mentioned as applying to leaderless people, with the Iliad 2.703 (talking about the men formerly under Protesilaos) as the cited example. I can't read ancient Greek, only pick out individual words and compare them with the translation, but with a dictionary handy it should be enough. In any case, it isn't that important at the moment; the definition given is good enough.

The Greek meaning isn't particularly relevant; what it is taken to mean in English is. I know there was already a "derived from greek" statement. That should be cleared up. -- Sam

And, btw, I don't think it's fair to call the Athenian Democracy an anarchy, even in the very vague sense of having no rulers. It isn't like the elected strategoi had no authority, and it isn't like the citizen males didn't form a ruling class.

Athenian Democracy was not an anarchy of course. It is a Democracy, but of course there is a mistranlsation in that word too. If you strictly define the word anarchy as a community without rulers, and if you do not consider the fact that only males were able to vote, then yes, you can say that Athenian Democracy is : 99% anarchy, 0.5% not anarchy (due to strategoi temporary and time-limited authority given by the assembly) and an 0.5% of unknown definition. I think you got the point.
I want to ask another question: Imagine Athenian Democracy without the stategoi, and give also voting rights to all persons (include slaves metics and women). How do you call this community? Please dont call it Anarchy, for the sake of Sokrates!
Then imagine the same community but with the stategoi decision allowed to be taken by the assembly. Which community is more free? The one which allows strategoi, or the one which does not allow them?

The word "anarchism" most commonly refers to one specific anarchist theory, a theory which has also been called libertarian socialism, anarcho-syndicalism, green anarchism, red anarchism, anarcha-feminism, individualist anarchism, anarcho-communism, and anarcho-capitalism.

Those theories are not the same, as this paragraph implies. What I've replaced it with needs expanding.

I've moved the "anarchism and terrorism" bit to anarchism and violence -- I think it merits its own section, if only to be able to reference it. But I am, of course, open to discussion. -- Sam

Those who advocate immediate and violent revolution are often termed Red anarchists.

I haven't heard this term used -- is it used in the states? -- Sam

yes-it came out about the same time the green party arose and allied with green anarchism-then there were the red anarchists who said, "damn the man. fuck this trying to get elected crap. lets smash the state for real yo."

Could green anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists be put under libertarian socialists? Anarcho-syndicalists are very definately "left", after all.

In fact, I think it's fair to say the left and right developed seperately. I think we can integrate the left and right parts into two sections (left and right, basically!) which would follow the development of the various theories in relation to each other, and follow that with a discussion of the arguement between the right and left (as already exists). -- Sam

An anonymous user added the following to the anarcho-capitalism vs. libertarian socialism section:

Still others argue that this entire debate is pure postulation, a useless waste of time, and a symptom of the privilege of being able to sit around and theorize. They argue that in anarchies, where humans are free to be humans, there will be no external force to dictate what paradigms humans choose to follow or create. Therefore, they will be free to arrange their relationships as they choose, and not as the privileged philosopher chooses.

I thought this was representing the views of quite a lot of anarchists, but was rather flippant, so I've rewritten it to read as the last point in that section does now. I think it makes sense, but others might want to look at it to see if it could be altered, or if it even needs to be there at all. --Camembert

I've just made anarchist into a redirect to anarchism - I saw no point in having both, as I explained at Talk:Anarchist. The below is stuff from that page that wasn't entirely duplicated here. I don't know if any of it is of any use, I thought I'd put it here just in case. --Camembert


"The Anarchists are simply unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats. They believe that 'the best government is that which governs least,' and that which governs least is no government at all." Benjamin Tucker
"When compared with the suppression of anarchy every other question sinks into insignificance. The anarchist is the enemy of humanity, the enemy of all mankind, and his is a deeper degree of criminality than any other. No immigrant is allowed to come to our shores if he is an anarchist; and no paper published here or abroad should be permitted circulation in this country if it propagates anarchist opinions." -President Theodore Roosevelt
I was attracted to anarchism as a young teenager, as soon as I began to think about the world beyond a pretty narrow range, and haven't seen much reason to revise those early attitudes since. I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom. Noam Chomsky, May 1995

External Links[edit]

  • The Anarchist Encyclopedia, (several hundred anarchists,

with links) http://recollectionbooks.com/bleed/gallery/galleryindex.htm

To the anonymous user who just made massive edits to this page, wiping out the article that was here before - please try to understand that many different people call themselves anarchists, and, whether we like it or not, we have to represent that in the article. The above discussion makes this clear - anarcho-capitalists are people too (no, really ;). There is more to anarchism, as the word is understood now, than Kropotkin. Also, we're not really interested in long extracts from primary sources - these can be obtained elsewhere. We're engaged in writing an encyclopaedia, not a political manifesto. You might be more interested in the libertarian socialism (aka left-anarchsim) or Peter Kropotkin articles than this one, but please try not to stamp over everybody else's work without very good reason.

And to everybody's favourite editor, Lir ;) - yep, maybe some of what was written can be integrated into something, but I think it's more suitable for libertarian socialism than this page. As such, I've removed it from the article page, but am going to add it to User:Camembert/Sandbox, and anybody who wants to try to weave the stuff into any article is welcome to go there and have a go at doing so. --Camembert

This material was copied from [1] anyway: with no expression of permission, and no copyright notice (or otherwise), we shouldn't have it here. It isn't exactly plain English, either! Maybe a section on this page of lib. socialism on "Scientific Anarchism" could be made from it, as could anarchofeminism or anarchafeminism. I might try and integrate some more soon. -- Sam
Well, good luck with it if you do - as you say, a model of clarity it ain't. I suppose I should take it down from my sandbox page as it's probably in copyright, so I shall do so - it'll be in the history of this page though, as you know, at http://www.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Anarchism&oldid=415242 (and I guess it'll be on the website it was taken from, also). --Camembert

In fact, some anarchists assert that anarchism is not so much a movement as an historical tendency; indeed, Bakunin saw thought and rebellion as the principal tenets of human nature as well as of anarchism.

Does everyone understand this sentence as it stands, and in the current context (under "development of anarchism")? Does it make sense? I wrote it, but I just though it might need clarifying somehow, perhaps... -- Sam

Makes sense to me. :) DanKeshet 04:15 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

This page has made much progress since I last checked it.

"they think that government is actually a source of disorder, and that society would be more orderly without any"

Most anarchists I know think that government is wrong and oppressive, not "disorderly", whatever the hell that means. The point we want to make is not that government is "disorderly", but rather that anarchism doesn't necessitate a lack of "order".

"what the opponents of anarchy imagine would result if anarchists of any kind were to take power. "

Whether it's true or not, most anarchists don't consider themselves to want to "take power". They (say they) want to obliterate or distribute power. I think this should be rephrased. DanKeshet

I agree -- I planned on changing this, and perhaps mentioning that one of the reasons Marxists and anarchists don't get on is the anarchists' refusal to "take power". -- Sam

Re: the "true" or "original" meaning of anarchism[edit]

Although the vast majority of historical anarchists have been socialists, we can't say that they're the only "true" anarchists. The term originated during the French Revolution to describe a certain group, who were not necessarily anarchist.

True, Proudhon was the first to call himself an anarchist, and that can be mentioned. But today, anarchism means different things to different people. This must be represented here.

Please justify changes of this manner on this talk page. -- Sam 13:11 Nov 14, 2002 (UTC)

Re: wikipedia as an "anarchy"[edit]

I removed the note that suggested wikipedia isn't an anarchy because of the "list of blocked IP addresses". Wikipedia, I'd say, is anarchistic in many ways. If wikipedia had a monopoly on the wiki software (which it doesn't), then we could say that blocking certain IPs is not anarchistic; however, because the software is free and open source, alternative wikipedias can be created, so there is no monopoly. The only place were the question of monopoly on resources comes in, then, is one external to the wikipedia: the restricted access to servers and other hardware that the current (non-anarchistic) economy gives us.

Also, Wikipedia is, in any case, an anarchy as per the definition in the paragraph preceding that one. -- Sam

Anarchy means "No rulers - not no rules". Banning vandals from Wikipedia is not non-anarchic. I vote it stays removed. That, and it has the sound of a spiteful comment by someone who has had their feelings hurt. Not exactly what we should be aiming for..... Dobbs 16:13 Nov 23, 2002 (UTC)

That's a good point, too: to be encyclopedic, the comment should go, or, if the comment is correct, then the mention of wikipedia should go too. But I think it was incorrect; I noticed it was done by an anonymous user a while ago, the only edit s/he did, I think. -- Sam

Anarchy and anomie in this context are most often not intended situations, and are more an extension of what the opponents of anarchy imagine would result if an anarchist revolution were to succeed.

Can someone reword the bold bit above? It makes sense to me, but I think a rewording would clarify it a bit to those new to the subject. -- Sam

I'm thinking of restructuring this page:

  • Intro
  • Various theories & their interaction
  • History and development of anarchism
  • Anarchies today

What do you think? --Sam

I don't know if it's possible to do this in the way that you've outlined, mostly because this article is, essentially, one big disambiguation page. The fact that it tries to be more is somewhat problematic - for example, the roots of "libertarian socialism" and "anarcho-capitalism" are pretty different, and though they cross a bit where they both touch individualists, I think we'd have a hard time doing the history and development of anarchism when there's no coherent ideology to follow the development of. I'd much rather strip away as much of the discussion of ideology as possible and pare this page down to:
  1. what are the different kinds of anarchism
  2. how do they differ
  3. how are they similar
Anything else belongs on, say libertarian socialism. Graft

Two thoughts - 1) shouldn't diggers be included in the development of Anarchism 2) I always thought that Situatism was an insult, the correct word was Situationist, as in Situationist International - Karl

changed situ link & added diggers link quercus robur

I just made a bunch o' relatively minor changes to the page. I expanded the linguistic roots of 'anarchy' a bit. What do you folks think of it now? Too much, too verbose?

I also made some minor corrections throughout the text. And just so people know, it was I who edited from and in the past. I just created myself an account, as I figure I'll be contributing around here as time goes on.

I'd have to say that the entry for 'anarchism' is one of Wikipedia's best! I'm sure it'll have some historical significance in the future, as it's the first anarchistically created {definition,history} of anarchism. *smile* And the entry just gets better over time, too! My only contention with the entry is how much 'anarcho-this vs. anarcho-that' there is. I realize that when writing an article about anarchism, there has to be some stereotyping. But I also feel that it can have a downside. For myself, as an anarchist, I draw wisdom from all the branches of anarchist thought, and I try to work with and get along with other anarchists, regardless of what syllables they choose to use to define themselves--as an anarchist, I see this as the most anarchistic way of behaving and of coming to my own conclusions. I suppose this perspective fits under "individualist anarchism" as discussed in the article...

Or maybe I've just been too impressed by the saying, "Fragmentation is artificial". -- Jizzbug 01:09 Dec 11, 2002 (UTC)