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Anarchism is a political system that advocates anarchy and seeks the end of the state and its authority. Anarchism intends to extinguish the structures of hierarchy present in today's society.

The term anarchism originates from the Greek word anarkhia, which means "absence of government". It represents a society centered on the collective good as a result of free association between people.

An anarchist person is understood as someone who fights against all forms of oppression and, consequently, refuses and does not recognize the power exercised by the State as legitimate.

In this system, the constitution, the law and the laws no longer have a reason to exist, since relations are based on the autonomy of individuals and groups and on mutualism.

Anarchism rejects progressive reform as a means of developing the state. For anarchists, the transformation of society must be the result of the radical destruction of the state order through direct action, struggle and resistance as a revolutionary principle.

Anarchism was developed by the dissident English cleric William Goldwin and the young Proudhon and given a philosophical underpinning by Max Stirner.

It found its most important followers among the first Social Revolutionary Russians. Its main representatives were Bakunin and Prince Kropotkin, with Tolstoy in its religious branch.

Faced with the problem of ownership of the means of production, there are two currents: the individualist and the collectivist. Regarding its organization, there is an anarcho-collectivist current (Bakuninist) and another anarcho-communist (Kropotkian).

Characteristics of Anarchism

1. Seeks the end of the State;

2. Rejects state power;

3. Rejects authoritarianism;

4. Free association between people;

5. Criticism of capitalism;

6. Criticism of all forms of oppression;

7. Criticism of differences between social and economic classes;

8. It does not deny social order or development, but without the influence of a government;

9. Valuing economic and social institutions formed by voluntary members;

10. Against the monopolization of property (private and public);

11. Requiring people to have a great sense of ethics in order to function.

Types of Anarchism

Although the central idea is the same, anarchism is divided into two different streams. This happens because some anarchists have different opinions regarding the same topic.

The main anarchist currents are individualist anarchism and collectivist anarchism.Individualist anarchism is opposed to collectivist anarchism, as it believes that collectivity can eventually result in authoritarianism. He considers that, when a group of individuals comes together, this group may end up exercising some authority over the others.

On the other hand, collectivist anarchism is opposed to individualist anarchism, as it believes that individualism can result in the same logic as capitalism. In this case, power would be centralized, for example, if an individual ended up standing out more than the others in a certain activity.

Differences between Anarchism, Socialism and Communism

Anarchism differs from socialism and communism in that it is the only movement that is an absolute enemy of the state. However, anarchism shares with socialism and communism many of their assumptions and goals. Despite this, anarchism has matured much less than socialism and communism, and does not act unitedly on important points.

The three movements are opposed to the capitalist mentality and economy, but they have quite different forms of opposition.

While socialism and communism intend to alter the state, giving power to the proletariat and making property collective, anarchism argues that the state must be completely abolished.

For anarchism, any form of State, sooner or later, would turn into an authoritarian, oppressive and exclusionary regime. 


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