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THE Anarchic a-white.svgNARCHISM PORTAL

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Anarchism (from Greek ἀν (without) + ἄρχειν (to rule) + ισμός (from stem -ιζειν), "without archons", "without rulers") is often defined as a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. Some anarchists have argued that while anti-statism is central, it is inadequate to define anarchism. While opposition to the state is central, anarchism specifically entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of all human relations. Anarchism is usually considered a far-left ideology and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflects anti-authoritarian interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism, mutualism or participatory economics. In particular, it includes opposition to religion and capital, resulting in the famous anarchist proclamations "Property is theft!" and "No gods, no masters!" Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical free associations.

Anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular world view, instead fluxing and flowing as a philosophy. Many types and traditions of anarchism exist, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchism as a mass social movement has regularly endured fluctuations in popularity. The central tendency of anarchism as a social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, with individualist anarchism being primarily a literary phenomenon (which nevertheless did have an impact on the bigger currents, including the participation of individualists in large anarchist organizations). Many anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism), while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society.

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Pável Dimítrievich Turchanínov (died September 21, 1921), known by the pseudonym Lev Chernyi, was a Russian anarchist theorist, activist and poet, and a leading figure of the Third Russian Revolution. His early thought was individualist, rejecting anarcho-communism as a threat to individual liberty. In 1917, Chernyi was released from his political imprisonment by the Imperial Russian regime, and swiftly became one of the leading figures in Russian anarchism. After strongly denouncing the new Bolshevik government in various anarchist publications and joining several underground resistance movements, Chernyi was arrested by the Cheka on a charge of counterfeiting and in 1921 was executed without trial. (read more...)

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Radicals in Ellis Island awaiting deportation
Credit: Corbis Images for Education database

Anarchists and other radicals awaiting deportation from Ellis Island on January 3, 1920, after being rounded up in raids the previous night in New York City. The passage of Anarchist Exclusion Acts by the United States Congress resulted in the deportation of dozens of illegal immigrants from the United States as a result of their political beliefs.

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Anselme Bellegarrigue, Anarchy is Order (1850) 58

Anniversaries for August 20

  • 1886 - Sentences are handed down against The Haymarket Trial defendants. Found guilty despite the obvious innocence of some, seven anarchists are condemned to death: George Engel, Samuel Fielden, Adolph Fischer, Louis Lingg, Albert Parsons, Michael Schwab & August Spies (pictured). Oscar Neebe is sent to prison for 15 years. A small measure of grace intervenes for Schwab & Fielden, their sentences reduced to life imprisonment on November 10, 1887. The hangings take place on November 11, 1887.
  • 1913 - The Chinese anarchist journal, Hui-ming-lu ("The Voice of the Cock Crowing in the Dark"), begins publication (ceases in 1916).
  • 1934 - Fredy Perlman born in Brno, Czechoslovakia.
  • 1937 - Founding National Congress of the anarchist women's group, Mujeres Libres, in Valencia, Spain.
  • 1975 - Beginning date of Lluis Fernandez The Naked Anarchist, a Catalonian gay novel, a heady mix of literature & scandal in post-Franco Spain.
  • 1989 - José Peirats (b. 1908) dies.
  • 1996 - Maria Occhipinti (b. 1921) dies, in Rome, Italy.
  • 1999 - Jesús Guillen Bertolin (aka Guillembert) dies, Béziers.

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