Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An Introduction to Anarchy?

I was responding to a request about some places to start if one were interested in learning about anarchy. When I started writing a reply, it got much larger than any reply has a right to so I figured I would turn it into its own post. 

I think it would be useful in the future for me to make an ‘Intro to Anarchism’ post, but for now, I’ll have to link to what other people have done, and probably done a much better job than I could.

The anarchy wiki is actually a pretty solid place to start. They are relatively unbiased and have incalculable numbers of links to many intelligent anarchist philosophers of all stripes. You can find links to anarchism’s philosophers and their books, including ones that created new schools of thought. It also lays out some of the basic themes in the different schools of anarchist thought in a mostly unbiased manner. [Disclaimer: I lean towards agorism and anarcho-capitalism, where I see it as the label for a free, voluntary human society to form following the ideas of self-ownership and homesteading/usage based rights of property ownership. Take my links and statements with a grain of salt.]


Give the schools of thought page a whirl and see what resonates with you.
The most common schools that I’ve seen are these four sub groups, based on their economic view. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism
Social views on things like technology, gender, race, nationality, religion, etc vary all over the place but there are also anarchist schools of thought in relation to some of those as well.

For some general info, http://agorism.info/, has links to longer texts that discuss agorist philosophy that shares its fundamentals with anarchism, but differs in the methods of achieving and maintaining it. Agorism is what I currently identify the most with, and I see it as the most viable for bringing about the most anarchy within my own life.

Anarchist FAQ is very thorough, even though I disagree with its premises of being against hierarchy rather than being against rulers. I forced myself to read through it, it did make me re-argue my position, and for that I found it useful.   http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/index.html

Peace and Markets wrote a very nice post for intro reading from the libertarian/voluntarism/ancap prospective. http://peaceandmarkets.com/2014/10/03/what-is-libertarianism-what-should-i-read-first/.

If you are looking for the social/collectivist leaning side of anarchy, I find http://dbzer0.com/blog/a-right-libertarian-primer-to-libertarian-socialism/ to be fairly thorough. This one actually moved me more towards agorism and got me to really dig into my beliefs about property rights and self-ownership.

Sorry if this all seems a little scatter-brained, but I’m trying to condense down the last year or so of anarchist philosophy from the patchwork of places I got it from in a way that isn't totally intimidating or unhelpful. My personal favorite, although it is quite dry at times, is a piece about the philosophical basis for justice and punishment without a central authority. http://data.mises.org/journals/jls/12_1/12_1_3.pdf

Let me know if you found any of those to be helpful, if you found one of them to be terribly useless or biased, and if you have another link to add.


  1. Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to do this. I'll be spending the next few days sifting through all the info. I'll get back to you and let you know what I think.


  2. Thanks very much for linking to my post!

    1. No, thank you for putting together a really nice introduction post and for writing your blog in general.