A non-hierarchical society in which private property and the division of classes is abolished and the world is comprised of autonomous collectives containing no authority.
Anarchism differs from other ideologies on the left such as socialism, specifically in terms of how the social transformation from capitalism - which in Marxism theory is the last stage of class society - to a communistic society will actually occur.
Proponents of the anarchist doctrine look to the immediate abolition of the state as essential towards the transformation from class society to anarchist society, in which only then can true human liberation and democracy flourish. This often comes in the form of abstention from mainstream political engagement altogether. This usually leads to the rejection of electoralism or parliamentarianism as a means of achieving change. Most anarchists seek to create an immediate version of what human society is supposed to look like in the future. This often comes in the form of non-hierarchical organizations, communes, affinity groups, and so on. Socialists on the other hand see the existence of a revolutionary workers party as indispensible towards building a new society. Socialists also favor parliamentarianism as a tool towards heightening the consciousness of the worker.
There are different versions to the anarchist doctrine such as anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-libertarianism, anarcho-communism, etc.
Anarchism as an ideology is said to have gone back to as far as the early 18th century with thinkers such as William Godwin. Other following theorists such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Emma Goldman and most recently Murray Bookchin have all added a substantial amount of knowledge to the anarchist tradition.
There are hardly any mass anarchist organizations in the US currently, although there has been a recent revival in anarchist ideas, predominantly among student activists. Groups such as Students For A Democratic Society, and the recent creation of the NYMAA (New York Metro Anarchist Alliance) are all signs of a new wave of anarchist activity to come.
Anarchism in times of dormancy, can become confined to its lifestyle variations. Vegans, vegetarians, consumer boycotters, and individuals comprising the animal liberation and anti-globalization movements tend to look to anarchist ideas as a way to shape society.
Throughout history, the anarchist doctrine has always been a idea espoused by people who were generally outside of the realms of mass industrial production such as doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, artisans, etc. These days, anarchism has seen its revival in the punk rock movement, which contains mostly white middle class surburban teens and young adults. It has never really deterred from that particular socio-economic level, at least not in the advanced capitalist countries.
Anarchism reflects the politics of impatience.
by Damien E November 03, 2007
An idealistic form of government that most mistake as communism. It's mainly about free will and no authority. Basically the law of the streets. People who dislike the idea and associate it only with punks are usually the ones who've never been discriminated against in any way so don't see any reason to want to get rid of the people that kiss their asses and look down on everybody else.
Exon executives: Anarchism is for loonies and murderers
Anarchist: El fucko de you-o
by ~Summer~ January 06, 2004
A good idea, but will never work in practice. Unfortunately, people need to be told what to do, need to be controlled, need to have someone in charge to tell them "everything’s okay". People are just to comfortable. It's the fucked up way humans have evolved. Get used to it.
Anarchism will not work.
by Bob2478 September 25, 2008
The belief that all governments are evil, corrupt, self-serving, blah blah blah, and should be abolished.

Anarchism is founded on the ideal that humans will cooperate peacefully without government or any authority whatsoever, and won't be tempted to, oh, I don't know, say...take whatever they want or kill whoever they want without repercussion, as there would be no codes in place to stop them other than "Killing is mean, we should work together blah blah blah".

Simply put, it won't work. It's an extremely naive form of idealism (but hey, aren't ALL forms of idealism pretty much naive?) Anyone with a decent education or understanding of life will see the glaring flaw: People for the most part will NOT work together in some great harmonious being filled with sunshine and puppy dogs and flowers. When order is removed, it's natural human instinct to revert back to the "Look out for number one" line of thought. After all, in a lawless, government-less world, you look out for yourself and your family only to survive. Anyone else is a liability, a threat, and a drain on your resources that keep you and your family going.

There can be no society without rules. Any person who has common sense will form rules and codes to ensure the survival of the group, if there is a group. These groups become settlements/towns, and these rules become laws. Thus government is born anew.

If it were a perfect world, anarchism might work. But then again, if it were a perfect world, most other governments and religions would work just as well. As we all know, it's not a perfect world, and won't ever BE a perfect world. Anarchism is naiveity, I don't care HOW many "thumbs down" I get for saying it.
Anarchism is a game at which the police can beat you. (George Bernard Shaw)

When they come downstairs from their Ivory Towers, Idealists are very apt to walk straight into the gutter.
(Logan Pearsall Smith)
by Atticus January 04, 2006
Most people who think "anarchy" is cool don't even know that it is, in fact, a sociopolitical philosophy. They think it just means they get to do whatever they want.

Anarchism at its core is based on the presumption that all human beings, when left with no ruler, will peaceful naturally live in peace and harmony. This philosophy is entirely naive.
The lions lay down with the lambs
It might be cool if it worked, but there is no chance in hell that it would.
Chris S: Ima make my own anarchist country
Chris R: It wouldnt be a country if it was anarchist dumbass.
by Pschitt! March 02, 2005
means one have all powers of doing whatever one pleases, without the government interrogating.
not paying for your tv licence,whereas you wanna watch every episode of madam & eve,how about that uh?
by jdm August 02, 2003
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