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Examine the history of and different types of Anarchism

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Anarchism Introduction The word ?anarchy? comes from Greek and literally means ?without rule?. The term has been in use since the French Revolution. It was used to describe a breakdown of order. This remains the case today. The word only acquired positive associations when Pierre-Joseph Proudhon declared in his book What is Property?, published in 1840: ?I am an anarchist?. Anarchists advocate the abolition of law and government in the belief that a more natural social order will develop. Some anarchists have supported violence to bring an end to the existing social order but most reject this. The first thinker associated with anarchism is William Godwin, author of An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, published in 1793. Godwin himself would have rejected the label ?anarchist?. During the 19th Century, anarchism came to constitute a key element of the emerging socialist movement. In 1864, the followers of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon joined with the followers of Karl Marx to set up the International Working Men?s Association or First International. The International collapsed in 1871 on account of growing antagonism between Marxists and anarchists, led by Michael Bakunin. In the late 19th Century, anarchists sought support from the landless peasants of Russia and southern Europe. Through the anarcho-syndicalist movement, they made a bid for support among the urban proletariat. Syndicalism was a form of revolutionary trade unionism. ...read more.


Both collectivist and individualist anarchists were strongly opposed to the mixed economies of the post-1945 era. Collectivist anarchists saw state intervention in the economy as an attempt to give capitalism a human face. Individualist anarchists saw it as distorting the market by creating monopolies. Both collectivist and individualist anarchists were equally opposed to Soviet-style state socialism. For individualist anarchists, this was an offence against property rights and individual freedom. For collectivist anarchists, the state simply replaced the capitalist class as the source of exploitation. Collectivist anarchism The philosophical roots of collectivist anarchism lie in socialism. Collectivism is the belief that human beings are sociable ? better suited to working together for the common good than striving for individual self-interest. People have no need to be regulated by government. In the words of Michael Bakunin: ?social solidarity is the first human law; freedom is the second law?. There is a clear overlap between collectivist anarchism and Marxism in terms of the rejection of capitalism and the need for revolution to bring about change. Both collectivist anarchists and Marxists believe that a fully communist society will be anarchic. Marx referred to the ?withering away? of the state. There are nevertheless fundamental differences between the two systems of thought. They centre on differing conceptions of the transition from capitalism to communism. Marx called for a ?dictatorship of the proletariat? to guard against the danger of bourgeois counter-revolution following a proletarian revolution and prior to the establishment of full communism. ...read more.


The same might be said for the Populists in Tsarist Russia, and for Zapata in Mexico. At this time, anarchists carried out assassinations. Prominent victims were Tsar Alexander II, assassinated in 1881 by a group known as ?The People?s Will?. King Humbert of Italy and Empress Elizabeth of Austria were also assassinated, as was President Carnot of France and President McKinley of the United States. Anarchist violence resurfaced in the 1970s with the activities of Baader-Meinhof in West Germany, the Red Brigades in Italy, the Red Army in Japan and the Angry Brigade in Britain. Anarchists see violence as an acceptable form of retaliation against political oppression. In Italy, the Red Brigades set up ?people?s courts? and held ?proletarian trials? before assassinating their victims. Violence is also seen as a way of demoralising the ruling classes and raising the political consciousness of the masses. In practice, political violence has tended to provoke public horror and outrage and states have responded by extending their repressive machinery, usually with public support. Direct action This is employed by the modern anti-globalisation or anti-corporate movement. An example of direct action is the protest camp outside St. Paul?s Cathedral in London in 2011 and 2012. Anarchism in the 21st Century Anarchism has had a powerful influence on both the Right and the Left in recent decades and has made a powerful stand in its own right on such contemporary issues as pollution, environmental destruction, consumerism, urban development, gender relations and global poverty, which largely cut across the conventional political divide. ...read more.

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