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Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary institutions. Anarchism promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. It seeks to diminish or even abolish order, law and all rules and replace them with human relations[1].

Different types of anarchism

Anarchists sometimes disagree on what some kinds criteria are required in anarchism. There is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance[2].

There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive[3]. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social self aware anarchism and anarchism or similar dual classifications[4].Anarchism is often considered to be a communist- related ideology, which it is in a sense, given the phrase "There is no freedom while the state exists". However, anarchism has always included an individualist strain[5] supporting a market economy and private property[6]

Anarchist communism

Anarchist communism stresses egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth by means of voluntary associations. In anarchist communism, the state and property would no longer exist. Each individual and group would be free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice. Systems of production and distribution would be managed by their participants. The abolition of wage labor is central to anarchist communism. With distribution of wealth being based on self-determined needs, people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling and would no longer have to engage in work for which they have neither the temperament nor the aptitude. Anarchist communists argue that there is no valid way of measuring the value of any one person's economic contributions because all wealth is a collective product of current and preceding generations. For instance, one could not measure the value of a factory worker's daily production without taking into account how transportation, food, water, shelter, relaxation, machine efficiency, emotional mood etc. contributed to their production. To truly give numerical economic value to anything, an infinite amount of externalities and contributing factors would need to be taken into account. Especially current or past labor that contributes to the ability to utilize future labor[7].

Criticism

The most common criticism, shared by the entire range of critics, is basically that anarchism would swiftly degenerate into a chaotic Hobbesian war of all-against-all. Thus the communist Friedrich Engels wonders How these people propose to run a factory, operate a railway or steer a ship without having in the last resort one deciding will, without single management, they of course do not tell us. He continues: The authority of the majority over the minority also ceases. Every individual and every community is autonomous; but as to how society, even of only two people, is possible unless each gives up some of his autonomy, Bakunin again maintains silence. And similarly, the classical liberal Ludwig von Mises states that "An anarchistic society would be exposed to the mercy of every individual. Society cannot exist if the majority is not ready to hinder, by the application or threat of violent action, minorities from destroying the social order. This power is vested in the state or government.[8]

See also

References

  1. Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  2. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
  3. Sylvan, Richard (1995). "Anarchism". In Goodwin, Robert E. and Pettit. A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy. Philip. Blackwell Publishing. p. 231.
  4. Kropotkin, Peter (2002). Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings. Courier Dover Publications. p. 5. ISBN 0-486-41955-X.R.B. Fowler (1972). "{http://jstor.org/stable/446800 The Anarchist Tradition of Political Thought]". Western Political Quarterly (University of Utah) 25 (4): 738–752.
  5. Stringham, Edward (2007). Stringham, Edward. ed. Anarchy and the Law. The Political Economy of Choice.. Transaction Publishers. p. 720.
  6. Narveson, Jan (2002). Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice. Chapter 11: Anarchist's Case.
  7. Anarcho- communism
  8. "An anarchist society, lacking any central coercive authority, would quickly degenerate into violent chaos."

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