Anarchism is a kind of politics that says no one should be forced into any kind of hierarchy. For example, anarchism says that the government is harmful and not needed. It also says that people's actions should never be forced by other people. Anarchism is also a philosophical movement and is called a libertarian type of socialism.
The word "anarchism" is from the Greek word "αναρχία", which means "no rulers" or "no government". But that doesn't have to mean no rules at all. People often use the word "anarchy" to mean chaos and crime. But anarchists usually do not want this. They say anarchy is just a way of relations between people. They believe that, once put into place, these relations work on their own. Anarchists are usually opposed by the systems they wish to remove.
Individual freedom, voluntary association, and being against the state are important beliefs of anarchism. There are also big differences between anarchist philosophies on things like whether violence can be used to bring about anarchy; the best type of economy; the relationship between technology and hierarchy; the idea of equality; and the usefulness of some organization. The word "authority" is not clear, but anarchists are not against some types of authority (e.g. the authority of someone skilled in self-defence over someone that wants to learn self-defence), they are only against control by force.
Anarchists were part of the George Floyd protests in 2020 and 2021.
- Anarchism. The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2005. P. 14 "Anarchism is the view that a society without the state, or government, is both possible and desirable."
- Carl Slevin "anarchism" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.
- Miller, Scott (2011). The President and the Assassin. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6752-7.