The term "anarchy" is descended from the Greek "anarchos" ("without ruler"). Up until the 19th Century, the term was generally used in a positive manner, to describe a comprehensible political belief, and it was only later that it became used pejoratively (to mean something affiliated with chaos).
Anarchism is a social philosophy which views the state as harmful, unnecessary, and alternatively promotes stateless societies, or anarchy.
What does it mean to be an 'anarchist'?
Anarchists are too often connected with bomb-throwing and violence in the streets, but for centuries, now, anarchists have actually sought a more peaceful society.
Violence, contrary to popular belief, is not part of the anarchist philosophy. After all, anarchists are attempting to stop state-initiated violence, force, and coercion so utilizing those tactics is a bit hypocritical. It is frequently pointed out by anarchist thinkers that the revolution can can't be won, nor can an anarchist society be established or maintained, by armed violence. Speaking from personal first-hand knowledge every self-proclaimed "anarchist" I have ever known actively practice the NAP, or Non-Aggression Principle.
The non-aggression principle is an ethical stance which asserts that "aggression" is inherently illegitimate.
Philosophical Anarchism is the view that the State lacks moral legitimacy, that there is no individual obligation or duty to obey the State, and that the State has no right to force individuals. It calls for change to free individuals from the tyrannical laws and social coercion that the modern state relies on.
ANARCHIST STRATEGY: Influence opinions of the masses
In the long run, rulers require the consent of the ruled. No government, no matter how authoritarian, can keep going if it gets too far out of touch with public attitudes. If enough ordinary people are determined on some specific relief of government, then the government must either surrender or fall apart.
All governments — the U.S. government included — eventually deteriorate into the vastest violators of the exact same life, liberty, and property they had claimed to want to protect.
The only freedom which warrants that as its name is the freedom to pursue our own good in our very own way, as long as we do not deny others of theirs, or hinder their efforts to obtain their freedom. We ARE the proper guardians of our own health physically, mentally, and spiritually!
Victimless "crime" legislation (which aren't even crimes because by definition a crime has a victim) requires a nanny state to enforce it. A nanny state is a police state and therefore hostile to liberty.
There has been no greater threat to life, liberty, and property throughout the ages than government. Even the most violent and brutal private individuals have been able to inflict only a mere fraction of the harm and destruction that have been caused by the use of power by political authorities.
- Richard Ebeling
For dictionary purposes, anarchism is defined as an opposition to the government in all its forms. However, it would be a misconception to think of anarchism as inherently negative. The opposition to government results from a belief about society which is positive.
That they are in fact competent to govern their own lives.
Many people confuse government with organization, which makes them suppose that anarchists are against leaders and being employed. But organizers and leaders are not the same as rulers. Anarchists generally have no objection to people following instructions, provided they do so voluntarily.
A foolish argument for government is that people are not wise or capable enough to make their own decisions, and therefore need a government to make decisions for them. The assumption behind this assertion is, either that the government does not consist of people, or that the people in government are so wise and altruistic that they can not only make their own decisions but also make decisions for millions of others. Anyone can see that getting into power does not require wisdom or altruism.
A subtle indicator of anarchist success is a gradual reduction of respect for authority generally.
An anarchist is someone who opposes the government in all its forms. The term “anarchist” is OFTEN misapplied to people who do not in the least conform to the definition. Sometimes “anarchist” is wrongly used for people who use illegal means for political ends which are not anarchist at all. Guy Fawkes has been described as an anarchist, but he aimed to replace the oppressive English regime with one resembling the Spanish, which was worse. True anarchists do not agree with any type of involuntary hierarchy of humans that uses force, coercion, deception, and
intimidations to enforce its ideas.
Anarchism and religion
“No Gods, No Masters” is a traditional anarchist slogan.
It expresses the belief that God is a myth, concocted, to make slavery bearable, or even a way of enslaving in itself.
Some anarchists found their way to anarchism through atheism, after renouncing divine authority the path was clear for the renouncing of human authority (I was one of these, although I have since adopted the idea that "God" lives WITHIN us - as opposed to an omnipotent being who aims to punish or reward us).
Anarchism and Veganism
Nearly all anarchists are opposed to human suffering, and many are concerned with preventing suffering in non-human animals (sentient beings) as well. There have always been anarchists who were also vegetarians and vegans, and most meat-eating anarchists take an interest in humane slaughter. At the root of anarchism is a - live and let live -mentality. One in which you don't use force to acquire things, or enforce ideas. Instead, interactions happen on a voluntary basis - and animals cannot volunteer, nor would they, to be slaughtered.
The word “anarchy” was universally used in the sense of disorder and confusion; and it is to this day used in that sense by the uninformed as well as by political opponents with an interest in distorting the truth.
Anarchism: The way it's always been
For most of its existence, the human species lived by foraging. Modern-day foraging societies (yes a few still exist - thank goodness) occupy many different environments including Deserts, the Arctic, The Rainforest, and some on Islands. They all actually have similar ways of organizing socially, so it is safe to say that ancient foragers were similarly organized. What's the point, here? Not one of them had a "government".
There are no rulers, bosses, or elected councils. Day-to-day decisions are made by consensus. The rules of good behavior are decided by custom and consensus and enforced by what some anthropologists call “diffuse sanctions” - i.e., spontaneous expressions by members of the group acting as individuals—or they may be organized—i.e., actions that follow inherited, and recognized procedures. Diffuse sanctions are basically expressions of approval or disapproval by members of the community. Diffuse sanctions often involve patterns of behavior that are more or less traditional. These subject the offender to such inconveniences as a mockery of one's neighbors and a loss of honor which act as powerful incentives to proper behavior.
Most anarchists do not advocate returning to a foraging economy (unless they are anarcho-primitive) but they will use the fact that our ancestors lived for a million years without a government as evidence that societies without government are viable.
As long as there are police, who do you think they will harass?
As long as there are prisons, who do you think will fill them?
As long as there is poverty, who do you think will be poor?