10 characteristics of anarchism

Anarchism is a philosophical and political doctrine born in the 19th century that preaches the abolition of the State and any form of organization that seeks to exercise any form of control and domination over society, since it considers these institutions repressive, unnatural, and unnecessary. Its precursor was the Englishman William Godwin and it was widely defended by authors such as Max Stirner, Mikhail Bakunin, Joseph Proudhon, Leo Tolstoy and Piotr Kropotkin. Let’s get to know some of its characteristics.

It arose within the framework of nineteenth-century socialism

Symbol of anarchism.

Anarchism arose within the framework of 19th century socialism, like communist doctrine, and represents one of the movements of the political left. Although all these doctrines arise from criticism of the capitalist model, anarchism has its own characteristics that greatly differentiate it from communism.

Influenced by Rousseau: “Man is good by nature”

This idea is one of the inspirational Fuentes of anarchism. The idea was exposed and defended for the first time in the 18th century by the Frenchman Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who supported the thesis that man is good by nature, but society, that is, the State or social institutions, corrupts him. .

Believe in individual freedom and autonomy

Anarchist flag circumscribed in a circle.

Anarchism believes in individual freedom and in the autonomy of the subject, capable of self-regulation and of establishing cooperative ties within the community. In this sense, anarchism considers that coexistence is possible by virtue of the rationality of the human being and his will, without the need for an arbitrator. Freedom, according to anarchism, is an exercise of responsibility.

Value education and knowledge

For anarchism, education and knowledge are the weapons and means of the human being in the construction of a free world. These allow you to make proper use of individual freedom, as well as notice the signs of authoritarianism and subordination.

Proposes the abolition of the State and the law

Black cat or wild cat: symbol of syndicalist anarchism.

Anarchy means “without government.” In coherence with the principle of individual freedom, anarchism advocates the immediate abolition of the State, whose control mechanisms are contrary to the exercise of individual freedom. Consequently, anarchism views the law as repressive, unnecessary, and unnatural as well.

Unlike communism, which justifies the State as a figure of transition towards the full autonomy of society, anarchism proposes its immediate elimination.

reject political parties

Anarchists distrust parties and oppose them, since they are perceived as the institutional representation of class and sector interests, and in turn as fundamental pieces of the State, whether it is a multi-party or a single-party model.

advocates social equality

Red and black flag: socialist anarchism or the labor movement.

Anarchism advocates social equality and, therefore, rejects the separation of classes, which deepens and justifies the systems of domination of some groups over others. In this sense, it resembles communism in its end but not in its method.

See also Characteristics of Communism.

Opposition to monopoly property

In search of social equality, anarchism opposes the monopoly of property, be it private or public. This feature distinguishes it from both capitalism and communism.

It’s a different movement

Black-and-gold flag: anarcho-capitalism.

Due to its own discursive characteristics, anarchism is not a unitary movement, but rather there are different types and tendencies. The main ones are: individualism anarchism and collectivist anarchism.

Individualist anarchism emphasizes the principle of individual liberty, which is why it finds the collectivist dangerously close to the temptation of establishing an authoritarian government.

Collectivist anarchism emphasizes the collective association for coexistence and problem solving. This movement is suspicious of an approximation of individualist anarchism to capitalism.

See also Characteristics of Capitalism.

symbols of anarchism

anarchist black cross

Anarchism has many symbols. Among some of the most important we can mention the following:

  • Symbol Ⓐ: it is the letter “A”, initial of anarchism, circumscribed in a circle as an allusion to unity and the natural order that does not need hierarchy.
  • Black flag, a color that is used in reference to the fact that it cannot be stained.
  • Red and black flag, which represents the anarchist trend of a socialist nature.
  • Black and yellow flag (aurinegra): represents individualist anarchism or anarcho-capitalism.
  • anarchist black cross The symbol of a humanitarian organization that defends the abolition of the prison system.
  • Black cat, wild cat or wild cat: symbol of syndicalist anarchism that advocates the right to autonomous strike.

See also:

How to cite: “10 Characteristics of Anarchism.” In: letsupnow.com. : Consulted:

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