Political Ideologies: Introduction To Anarchy

A list of different forms and beliefs of anarchism, including anarcho-capitalism and anarcho-syndicalism. Information on the history of anarchists.

Anarchism is the belief that society can function without rulers, that society and decision making should be made from the ground up, not from the top down. In this sense anarchism is against all forms of heirarchy. Anarchism is also the belief in individual freedom and voluntary co-operation, that all people should be free to associate with and dissassociate themselves from any grouping. Coersion, whether legal or illegal, is anathema to anarchism.

Modern day anarchism is made up of two distinct groupings, anarcho-capitalism and anarcho-syndicalism. The difference in the two groupings lie in their attitudes towards ownership and profit. Anarcho-capitalism is also known as libertarianism, anarcho-syndicalism as socialism.

Anarcho-capitalism is the belief that opening all aspects of society up to market forces, including the police and courts, will make for a more efficient and effective society. The cornerstone of anarcho-capitalism is the contract. Anarcho-capitalism is the belief that there is no need for government to oversee and arbitrate the actions of individuals, individuals can enter into contracts with other individuals, enterprises and communities which outline the relationship between parties and methods by which disputes will be handled. By extension of the above anarcho-capitalism is also the belief in the right of individuals to sell their labour and others to profit from that labour. Anarcho-capitalists also believe that communities would find it uneconomic to fight wars, thus ending them.

Anarcho-syndicalism on the other hand is the belief that all production should be owned co-operatively by those who do the work. Anarcho-syndicalism favours labour exchange as opposed to the anarcho-capitalism belief in value exchange. Anarcho-syndicalsim sees the structure of society as a federation of co-operatives. Each co-operative would decide amongst themselves what it is they require and how they will acquire it. Distribution of the wealth will be decided primarily by the amount of labour contributed, each product would have a value associated with it equivalent to the time it took to produce it, each worker would have access to produce equivalent to the amount of time worked. Production which needed co-operation between two or more co-operatives would be co-ordinated and then the end product distributed between co-operatives according to the amount of labour contributed. Needless to say, anarcho-syndicalism has no room for profit.

Both the above anarchisms have a common enemy: the centralised government, which they perceive as using force to ensure adherence to laws. Both sides agree that individuals that are free to associate and disassociate and have no need for enforcement as it is inherent in the anarchist system that the individual agrees with the laws or lives alone. They also believe that the constant state of flux that anarchism produces in society is far more stable and secure than the present system that is constantly using force to control the actions of its citizens.

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