What is Anarchism? - Part 3 - Types of Anarchism

in anarchy •  2 years ago  (edited)

The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism and Decentralism

What is Anarchism? - Part 3 - Types of Anarchism

"Ideology controls our brain and Politics possess our will". - charlie777pt


It seems that there is an increasiing reanimation of the theories and practices of anarchism, and this renewal of interest, seems to me that is being ressussitated in the first Anarchic Reign of the Internet.
Besides their apparent contradictions anarchism presents a big and congruent body of ideas and tips for individualistic and collectivist practices that we need to get reunite today. The doctrinal disputes of all the factions of anarchism can be solved by finding the common points and dissolve the differences with dialogue and synergetic actions.

We are all natural born anarchists but society shapes our visions of the world with education, and we must look inside ourselves to find that primarily being again.

“Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man's lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one's self.” - Max Stirner

The anarchist terrorism of the end of the 19th century emerged in the Russian Revolution, with a novel-like romanticized heroism for the masses, with visions of blood baths and bombings, as a way to overthrow monarchic regim, as well as, to call the attention of the radically dissatisfied masses and social unrest.

The terrorist Emile Henry wrote in aletter before being executed : “Beware of believing anarchy to be a dogma, a doctrine above question or debate, to be venerated by its adepts".

1 - Philosophical Anarchism

William Godwin (1756 - 1836) is considered to be the founder of Philosophical Anarchism, an utilitarianist and maybe the first theorist of anarchism, advocating an extreme individualism and the elimination of labor cooperation.

"Above all, we should not forget that government is an evil, a usurpation upon the private judgment and individual conscience of mankind". - William Godwin

Philosophical Anarchism decline State's moral legitimacy, to impose laws and social barriers and wanted to reduce or eliminate the government influence.

2 - Individualist Anarchism

Max Stirner (1806 - 1856), following William Godwin, proposed a supreme egotistical form of individualist anarchism, centered in total individual freedom, to do want he/she wants, with no respect to transcendent gods, state domination, and moral rules.

“All things are Nothing to Me” - Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own

Individualist Anarchism opposes Social Anarchism, defending the right of property being held privately, in an open market economy.

Individualist Anarchism opened many new branches like the US faction of Josiah Warren Thoreau (1798 - 1874) and Benjamin Tucker (1854 - 1939),

"Murder is an offensive act. The term cannot be applied legitimately to any defensive act." - Benjamin Tucker

They saw themselves as socialist and anti-capitalism, and they had a peaceful principle of non-aggression, the primacy of individual will, advocating private property in a market economy with goods being valued at the cost price of production looking like anarcho-capitalism in the aspect of being pro-free-capitalism.

2.1 - Mutualism

Social Anarchism or Mutualism was proposed by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) and this movement was strengthened by his follower Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) under the collectivist tag and named themselves communists and later libertarian communists with Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) an optimistic utopian.

"Mutualism has unlimited individualism as the essential and necessary prior condition of its own existence, and co-ordinates individuals without any sacrifice of individuality, into one collective whole, by spontaneous confederation, or solidarity". William B. Greene from Communism Versus Mutualism

2.2 - Anarcho-Capitalism

Anarcho-Capitalism or Free-Market Anarchism is an extreme faction of individualist anarchism trying to marry anarchism and capitalism and may be considered a part of the libertarian movement, that wants the State out of the equation in the business of Laws, police, defense, and compulsory taxation, for a free self-regulated market and total personal freedom.

Besides that Anarcho-Capitalism being attributed to Gustave de Molinari (1819 - 1912), but Murray Rothbard (1926 - 1995) was one of its big promoters in the US.

"Anarchy is no guarantee that some people won't kill, injure, kidnap, defraud, or steal from others. Government is a guarantee that some will". - Gustave de Molinari

Freedom dynamics is the possibility of constant developing of our thinking and forms of action to open new horizons for self-regulation without the constraints of the moral rules and regulations.

2.3 - Agorism

Agorism is about extreme individualism and is a total amplification of anarcho-capitalism, that was born with the conception of Samuel Edward Konkin III (1947 - 2003), and it is based in the thoughts of Murray Rothbard of voluntary mutual exchanges in a global free market to make the State obsolete.

"Large, cartelized industries can buy politicians and gain their advantages from the State directly" - Samuel Edward Konkin

Agorism do not believe in voting as an act contrary to libertarian ethics, and Konkin refused to join the US Libertarian Party that is infecting libertarianism with statism.

“A libertarian is someone who believes in the non-aggression principle. An anarchist is someone who understands it. An agorist is someone who practices it.” - Mike Zentz

3 - Social Anarchism

Social Anarchism is always seen as the opposite of Individualist Anarchism of Stirner , stressing the absence of authority in each individual judgment by keeping the anti-dogmatic view of libertarians.

Social Anarchism seems to be the best example to congregate actual peace activists and environmental movements that have an anarchist latent state waiting to be awaken and reused.

"We are here, on earth. Not one of us has any right to the earth." - Benjamin Tucker

The Individualist Anarchist faction of total freedom and the people collectivist faction of social anarchism organization maybe also may agree that they have the same spiritual desire for personal liberty.

3.1 - Anarcho-Communism

Anarcho-Communism or Communist Anarchism was primarily manifested in the French Revolution and was later popularized by Peter Kropotkin (1842 - 1921) and Emma Goldman (1869 - 1940) but was proposed by Joseph Déjacque (1821 - 1864) an early anarcho-communist poet and writer.

They proposed a federative cooperation of consensual self-governed communes, organized in a direct democracy as an alternative model for democracy, based in birth egalitarianism with no hierarchies and classes.

Economically, it would be a collectivist collaborative production that would be based on the use value of goods than its exchange value, paid in free access to communal resources and oversupply.

3.2 - Anarcho-Syndicalism

Anarcho-Syndicalism emerged in the 20th Century with Rudolf Rocker (1873 - 1958), and it is based on the Labor movements and strong unions as a revolutionary change in society, replacing the State and capitalist system with a worker's democracy.
To me, this is just replacing the same constraints of a hegemonic organizational structure with pyramidal power by another because the concentration of power is always a blockade in social evolution.

3.2 - Anarcho-Collectivism

Anarcho-Collectivism is a Collectivist Anarchism that was formulated by anarchist Mikhail Bakunin (1814 - 1876) under the concept of the elimination of the State and the collectivization of the means of production organized by the producers, and people was paid in time dedicated to making the commodities.

Anarcho-Collectivism mainly wanted to inspire acts of aggression and violence towards power, by an elite group that would drag the masses to revolt to achieve its goals, and they had a big opposition to the centralization of communism and socialism.

"The passion for destruction is also a creative passion." - Mikhail Bakunin

4 - Other "Anarchisms"

  • Anarchism Without Adjectives - The movement that should be reenergized because it wants to agglutinate and create a dialogue with the various anarchist militants and factions to create unity under the common anti-authoritarian goals and personal beliefs of freedom.

"I do not have any prefix or adjective for my anarchism. I think unionism can work, as can free-market anarcho-capitalism, anarcho-communism, inclusive anarcho-hermitans, depending on the situation." - Fred Woodworth, from the book Anarchist Voices by Paul Avrich

  • Epistemological Anarchism - A theory of Paul Feyerabend (1924 - 1994), stressing that there are no methodic rules governing the progress of science and the evolution of knowledge in his book Against Method and Science in a Free Society.
  • Green Anarchism - It is a movement of Anarchists and activists dedicated to the protection of the environment.
  • Eco-Anarchism - Green Anarchists organize themselves in society according to Dunbar's numbers of small groups eco-villages with no more than 150 members.
  • Anarcho-Pacifism - Anarchism against any forms of use of violence or aggression.
  • Anarcho-Primitivism - Green Anarchists fighting for the abolition of technology as an inequality generator.
  • National-Anarchism - A possible failed marriage to reconcile Anarchism with nationalism.
  • Religious Anarchism - An irreconcilable marriage of religions like Christianity and Buddhism, and Neopaganists with Anarchism.
    I'm mentioning the Religious anarchism, but in my personal point of view, we can't glue a transcendent philosophy moving our destiny, with an earthly philosophy to change the world we live in.
    I hope transcendence will implement anarchy in heaven or any other cosmological sanctuary and then we have anarchy on Earth.
  • Anarcha-Feminism - Radical Feminism joins Anarchism, to fight paternalism and hierarchies.
  • Insurrectionary Anarchism - Organized informally for revolution action

There are much more factions of anarchism, that we will mention whenever it is necessary.

In the next post, we will start a more detailed analysis of the history and evolution of anarchism to finish by finding the common benefits that can reunite anarchist movements under the shared goal of Liberty towards the dissolution of statism and authority.

The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism and Decentralism.
Published Posts:

Introduction to the Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism and Decentralism

I - Anarchism

Next posts on the Series:
I - Anarchism

  • What is Anarchism?
    • Part 3 - Types of Anarchism - this post
  • The History of Anarchism
    • Part 1 - Pre-Anarchy - Social Revolution
      • 1- Insurrection
      • 2 - Intelectual Action
      • 3 - Political Action
    • Part 2 - Anarchy: Revolution Against The State
      • 1 - Anarcho Federalism
      • 2 - Libertarian Anarchism
      • 3 - Anarcho-Syndicalism
  • Anarchy Today

II - Existentialism

  • What is Existentialism?
  • The "Existentialisms"
  • Humanism and Existentialism
  • Existentialism and Anarchism

III - Decentralism

  • What is Decentralism?
  • The Philosophy of decentralism
  • Blockchain and Decentralization
  • Anarchism, Existentialism,and Decentralism

IV - Dialectic for Self-Liberation

  • The Dialectics of Liberation Congress
  • Psychoanalysis and existentialism
  • The Anti-psychiatry movement

Further Reading:

Anarchism-- Wkipedia
Anarchist schools of thought - Wikipedia
Existentialist anarchism - wikipedia


Bey, Hakim (1991) 7:A.Z.: the Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia.
Byas, Jason Lee, Toward an Anarchy of Production - Parts I and II
Marshall, Peter, Demanding the Impossible A History of Anarchism, Fontana Press (1992 )
Oizerman, Teodor.O Existentialismo e a Sociedade. Em: Oizerman, Teodor; Sève, Lucien; Gedoe, Andreas, Problemas Filosóficos.2a edição, Lisboa, Prelo, 1974.
Rothbard, Murray N., The Ethics of Liberty (1982)
Rothbard, Murray N., For a New Liberty The Libertarian Manifesto, Revised Edition
Tucker, Benjamin, Individual Liberty, Selections From the Writings
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I like your 'we are all natural born anarchists', for we are in its deepest sense! As the dream projector, our best leader is always within, never without. It is only when we declare somebody else as our leader that we will eventually engage in the blame and victim cycle. When we realize that we can take our power back by going inward, we also see that it was us who formerly decided to give it away, for whatever reason, may it be our craving for experiencing a bizar idea or simply our gullibility.

Also interesting is your list of different types of Anarchism. For me, it shows that even within one specific frame - here Anarchism - the many "subtypes" might eventually grow further apart from each other owing to the specific differences in detail, hence those details might bedome bigger and bigger, creating a new duality of its own.

Who knows? All is possible :)

It's good to get rid of identification with "heroic" people in the late youth because this is a dangerous position in analytical terms.
We must be more oriented by people's actions and use the examples we think that contribute to self-growth.
I think today all these ideas make a lot of sense to any person that wasn't controlled by its own education, or the ones that could swim out of it.
The internet is the future platform that can congregate all anarchist ideas and respond to the real need for people's liberation today.
Discussion and test of social experiments in the blockchain, like our Steemit, are a part of the desire to be free to contribute with fewer constraints of the centralized states and institutions.

Josiah Warren Thoreau


Looking forward to the rest.

Hehe, Thanks a lot.
It's in my next post, just in one chapter, because I'm fighting to put all the ones I know, but it's revealing an impossible mission.
But any suggestions are welcome because one more time my little-imagined series is becoming a big saga.

We get alot of history, anything you could do to document what is happening today would be interesting.
Crimethinc.com and sub.media are doing good things advancing the cause.

Thanks a lot for the references, I didn't know it
Yes, the last chapter of the series on anarchism will be "Anarchy Today".
It is still floating in my mind with the size of 10 posts, and I'm compressing it before I start writing.:(
And thanks for helping to open doors for discussion and suggestions, and I would like to see this from more Steemians.
Anarchy(maybe music was first) was my first passion in youth, and still is my companion on the road of life.
The "Blocknet" is the second technological Reign after the Internet, where anarchy is already being applied to reality, and discussed by many factions.
Like the beat generation, the hippy, the freaks, and punk where anarchists movements, because it was a spontaneous non-organized and leaderless revolt against institutions, moral and bourgeois living standards, and while they were alive there were several communal experiences.
The problem is that anarchy by nature tends to dilute because there is no leaders and centralized structures to hold it in time.
We must combine and discuss, the main manifesto that could include all the factions fighting with common goals, like decentralization.

The interwebz are making knowledge spread in a way not possible without them.
There are more interactions between anarchists worldwide than could be made in '85 when i joined the struggle.
Glad to make your acquaintence.
You have chosen a large task, i hope you get r done!
In case you havent had these, either.
http://theanarchistlibrary.org and http://infoshop.org are long standing web resources.

Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and info and motivation.
Always glad to meet anarchist voices.:)
In this part I'm relying more on the 100 books lying on my desk I had to dig up in my library, and your references have been enriching the posts floating in my mind about "Anarchy Today".
The task is impossible but I'll try to compact the most important ideas and idealist of anarchy.
They will be referenced in my next posts.
Thanks a lot.

Thank you for being in the struggle and working to get the message out to a wider audience.

Dear sir,

Having just arrived on this platform and discovered your article, I'd like to share this here image with you to hopefully help dispel some misconceptions regarding the meaning of the word 'national' within 'national-anarchism' - something easily done.


N-A proclaims self-determination for self-determined 'nations' as the first step to creating local, place-specific solutions to the cultural, social, and ecological catastrophes brought on by globalism.

Landauer's position on the subject of 'nations' is likely the most closely aligned; Peter Lambor Wilson has written insightfully on the subject. I intend to share relevant extracts from both once I get around to posting something of my own on here.