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TraditionalAnarchism

This is the place for an encyclopedic, not polemic, discussion of what Traditional Anarchism is all about.
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''Anarchism,'' in its socialist variety (see AnarchisM), is a movement dedicated to the abolition of illegitimate authority and the establishment of a social order without hierarchy.

Anarchy is frequently portrayed as chaos and anarchists as terrorists.  Proponents of any extant (i.e., non-anarchist) system equate its abolition with the abolition of all social order.  For example, in their time, Monarchists accused Republicans of seeking the destruction of all social order.  Very few anarchists are nihilists, however (see NihilisM).

Anarchism has a long and rich tradition.  Its philosophy and history begin with rejection of aristocracy and of capitalism and their hierarchical structures.  Anarchists reject the claims of the property owner and the landlord.  Having rejected private property, they reject the political machinery (the StatE) which defends and supports private property.  In place of private property, anarchism is based on personal possessions and democratically controlled communal property.

A simple and common objection to anarchism is that any notion of communal control implies something akin to a StatE.  Anarchists reply

The rejection of government is not essential to traditional anarchism, but derives from the desire to eliminate the political machinery which supports private property.  In any event, the rejection of the state entails the rejection of electioneering (see DemocracY).  Insofar as politics refers to the actions of power structures then anarchism seeks the abolition of politics itself.  Hence, it is helpful to regard anarchism as a social and economic movement with ramifications in the political sphere.  To regard anarchism as a political ideology, anarchists hold, is an error.  In place of political maneuvering, anarchists champion the use of direct action of which the general strike, occupation of workplaces and sabotage are prime examples.  Anarchists who engage in sabotage do to impair or destroy the machinery of capitalism and not to terrorize otherwise innocent people.

Before the twentieth century, "anarchism" strictly meant traditional, socialist anarchism.  By the mid-twentieth century, however, some radical proponents of CapitalisM began calling their view "anarchism" and in particular, ''AnarchoCapitalism.''  This usage is geographically limited to Austria and the Anglo-American countries.  Since the beliefs and actions of AnarchoCapitalists are rarely compatible with those of traditional anarchists, traditional anarchists do not regard the AnarchoCapitalists as anarchists.

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