A person who professes a belief in anarchy or Anarchism. Because anyone can claim to be an anarchist, there is no central authority on what it means to be an anarchist. Although the term anarchist generally means an opposition to all forms of governments, anarchists extend this concept to include quite a number of institutions.
- The most well-known kind of anarchists, which is often what is referred to by the name "anarchist", is socialist anarchists, who claim that private property and anarchism are incompatible and that capitalism is inherently dependent upon the existence of a state.
- A lesser-known kind of anarchists is the anarcho-capitalists who favor capitalism; they are part of the classical liberal tradition (see libertarianism) instead of socialist anarchist tradition, and are not considered as anarchists by socialist anarchists.
- individualist anarchists are a brand of their own, more involved in personal freedom than on social organization.
See Anarchism for more details on the different flavors of anarchists and the sometimes hostile relationship between them.
Calling someone an "anarchist" has been a popular way for TV commentators and newspaper writers to demonize and de-legitimize non-mainstream viewpoints.
Historical Anarchist movements:
- Spanish Civil War - During the Spanish civil war the anti-fascists forces were comprised of various factions including at least the communists and anarchists. Anarchist groups did in fact control terrirtory and factories for a time during that war. Fights broke out between the communists and anarchist in some cities. One of the Anarchist groups from that time, the CNT (Confederation National de Trabajos) still exists in Spain and has a website.
Well-known Anarchists of each different flavor:
- Michael Bakunin (1814 - 1876), well-known early socialist anarchist
- Gustave de Molinari (1819 - 1912), first theorist of anarcho-capitalism
- Benjamin Tucker (1854 - 1939), great defender of individualist anarchism
See also the Anarchist Encyclopedia, (several hundred anarchists, with links) http://recollectionbooks.com/bleed/gallery/galleryindex.htm
The Anarchist Timeline (1500+ Dates & Events with thousands of links), http://recollectionbooks.com/bleed/indexTimeline.htm
- "When compared with the suppression of anarchy every other question sinks into insignificance. The anarchist is the enemy of humanity, the enemy of all mankind, and his is a deeper degree of criminality than any other. No immigrant is allowed to come to our shores if he is an anarchist; and no paper published here or abroad should be permitted circulation in this country if it propagates anarchist opinions." -President Theodore Roosevelt
- I was attracted to anarchism as a young teenager, as soon as I began to think about the world beyond a pretty narrow range, and haven't seen much reason to revise those early attitudes since. I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom. Noam Chomsky, May 1995