Anarchism is a political philosophy that is incredibly suspicious of organized political authority and power. In Encyclopedia Brittanica, Peter Kropotkin defines anarchism as a “theory of life and conduct under which society forms without government” and “harmony in such a society being obtained not by the submission to law, or by obedience to any authority. But, by free agreements concluded between the various groups”. Therefore, anarchists stress the importance of individual liberty rather than government control to define a culture’s standards. 

There are two different types of anarchy: social anarchism and libertarian anarchism. Social anarchists ask to dissolve hierarchical power. Therefore, people can govern themselves as free equals. Contrary to electing a centralized government that will control individuals. Social anarchists stress that they do not wish for chaos or disorder. Shortly, they want the decentralization of power. On the other hand, libertarian anarchism values the rights of individuals over all else. People who support this ideology would preferably protect their freedoms than live in a harmonious society. 

Typical logo of anarchists

Critics of anarchism often focus on the opinion that anarchy will cause toleration of horrific crimes. However, anarchists argue that this is misguided. In their words, a functioning society would never tolerate these crimes regardless of government involvement. Furthermore, critics believe that it would be tough for individuals to resist the temptations of power. That threatens the sustainability of anarchy to thrive in any society, especially a larger one. 

Anarchism in practice

In the past 30 years, anarchist movements have experienced a revival. The Zapatista movement in 1994 established the indigenous people of Chiapas in Mexico self-governing. Additionally, they allowed these people to adopt an anarchist government. This government continues to operate. Hence, it proves that anarchist policies can work on a smaller scale. However, many people still doubt the chance of realizing anarchism on a national or global scale. 

More about anarchy in practice here!