Anarchism is a political philosophy and movement that is skeptical of all justifications for authority and seeks to abolish the institutions it claims maintain unnecessary coercion and hierarchy, typically including, though not necessarily limited to, governments, nation states, and capitalism. Anarchism advocates for the replacement of the state with stateless societies or other forms of free associations. As a historically left-wing movement, usually placed on the farthest left of the political spectrum, it is usually described alongside communalism and libertarian Marxism as the libertarian wing (libertarian socialism) of the socialist movement.
Humans lived in societies without formal hierarchies long before the establishment of formal states, realms, or empires. With the rise of organised hierarchical bodies, scepticism toward authority also rose. Although traces of anarchist thought are found throughout history, modern anarchism emerged from the Enlightenment. During the latter half of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th century, the anarchist movement flourished in most parts of the world and had a significant role in workers' struggles for emancipation. Various anarchist schools of thought formed during this period. Anarchists have taken part in several revolutions, most notably in the Paris Commune, the Russian Civil War and the Spanish Civil War, whose end marked the end of the classical era of anarchism. In the last decades of the 20th and into the 21st century, the anarchist movement has been resurgent once more, growing in popularity and influence within anti-capitalist, anti-war and anti-globalisation movements. (Full article...)
Anarchism as a social movement in Cuba held great influence with the working classes during the 19th and early 20th century. The movement was particularly strong following the abolition of slavery in 1886, until it was disected first in 1925 by President Gerardo Machado, and finally by Fidel Castro's Marxist government following the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s. Cuban anarchism mainly took the form of Bakuninist anarcho-collectivism and, later, anarcho-syndicalism. The Latin American labor and by extension the Cuban labor movement itself was at first more influenced by anarchism than Marxism. (read more...)
Interior of Left Bank Books, a Seattle-based worker-owned co-operative bookstore. Infoshops such as Left Bank Books are social centers that serve as a node for the distribution of anarchist information and as meeting spaces and resource hubs for local activist groups.
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“ Direct action, having proven effective along economic lines, is equally potent in the environment of the individual. There a hundred forces encroach upon his being, and only persistent resistance to them will finally set him free. Direct action against the authority in the shop, direct action against the authority of the law, direct action against the invasive, meddlesome authority of our moral code, is the logical, consistent method of Anarchism. Will it not lead to a revolution? Indeed, it will. No real social change has ever come about without a revolution. People are either not familiar with their history, or they have not yet learned that revolution is but thought carried into action. Anarchism, the great leaven of thought, is today permeating every phase of human endeavor. Science, art, literature, the drama, the effort for economic betterment, in fact every individual and social opposition to the existing disorder of things, is illumined by the spiritual light of Anarchism. It is the philosophy of the sovereignty of the individual. It is the theory of social harmony. It is the great, surging, living truth that is reconstructing the world, and that will usher in the Dawn. ” —Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, 1917
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