Portal:Anarchism

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THE Anarchic a-white.svgNARCHISM PORTAL

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Anarchism is a political philosophy and movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the state, which it holds to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful. It is usually described alongside libertarian Marxism as the libertarian wing (libertarian socialism) of the socialist movement and as having a historical association with anti-capitalism and socialism.

The history of anarchism goes back to prehistory, when humans arguably lived in anarchistic societies long before the establishment of formal states, realms or empires. With the rise of organised hierarchical bodies, scepticism toward authority also rose, but it was not until the 19th century that a self-conscious political movement emerged. During the latter half of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th century, the anarchist movement flourished in most parts of the world and had a significant role in workers' struggles for emancipation. Various anarchist schools of thought formed during this period. Anarchists have taken part in several revolutions, most notably in the Spanish Civil War, whose end marked the end of the classical era of anarchism. In the last decades of the 20th and into the 21st century, the anarchist movement has been resurgent once more. (Full article...)


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Emma Goldman, ca. 1910

Emma Goldman (June 27, 1869 – May 14, 1940) was a Lithuanian-born anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She was lionized as a free-thinking "rebel woman" by admirers, and derided as an advocate of politically-motivated murder and violent revolution by her critics. Goldman played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in the United States and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Although she distanced herself from first-wave feminism and its efforts toward women's suffrage, she developed new ways of incorporating gender politics into anarchism. She spoke and wrote on a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, and free love. After decades of obscurity, Goldman's iconic status was revived in the 1970s, when feminist and anarchist scholars rekindled popular interest about her life.

Born to an Orthodox Jewish family which forbid her from further education, Goldman read voraciously and educated herself about the politics of her time. She moved to New York in the United States at the age of sixteen, married briefly in 1887, and moved to New York City. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket Riot, Goldman was trained by Johann Most in public speaking and became a renowned lecturer, attracting crowds of thousands. She also became the lover of Alexander Berkman, who became her lifelong intimate friend and comrade. Together they planned unsuccessfully to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, as an act of propaganda of the deed. Goldman herself was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. Goldman published an anarchist journal called Mother Earth. Following her deportation to Russia in 1919, Goldman lived in England, Canada, and France, before eventually traveling to Spain to participate in that nation's civil war. She died in Toronto on 14 May 1940. (read more...)

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Members of the anti-fascist Maquis in La Tresorerie, 14 September 1944, Boulogne, France.
Credit: Donald I. Grant

Members of the anti-fascist Maquis in La Tresorerie, 14 September 1944, Boulogne, France. The Maquis resisted Nazi and Francoist rule in Europe in the mid-20th century; In south-west France, some Maqui cells were composed entirely of veterans of the Spanish Civil War, many of whom were anarchists.

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