Anarchism is a living project which has continued to evolve as social conditions have changed. The following are examples of anarchist manifestos and essays produced during various time periods, each expressing different interpretations and proposals for anarchist philosophy.
The bisected flags/stars which symbolize various anarchist schools of thought (note that these are not necessarily mutually exclusive; for example, a pacifist can be a communist, and that this does not display all anarchist schools.)
Anarchism has many heterogeneous and diverse schools of thought, united by a common opposition to compulsory rule. Anarchist schools are characterized by "the belief that government is both harmful and unnecessary", but may differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Regardless, some are viewed as being compatible, and it is not uncommon for individuals to subscribe to more than one. Some of the following terms do not refer to specific branches of anarchist thought, but rather are generic labels applied to various branches, they are marked as umbrella terms.
Individualist anarchism (umbrella term) – several traditions of thought that emphasize the individual and their will over any kinds of external determinants such as groups, society, traditions and ideological systems.
Philosophical anarchism – according to The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought, philosophical anarchism "is a component especially of individualist anarchism". This tendency contends that the state lacks moral legitimacy and there is no individual obligation or duty to obey the state, which conversely, has no right to command individuals, but does not advocates revolution to eliminate the state.
Egoist anarchism – a tendency originated in the philosophy of Max Stirner which is usually called "egoism". It rejects devotion to "a great idea, a cause, a doctrine, a system, a lofty calling", saying that the egoist has no political calling but rather "lives themselves out" without regard to "how well or ill humanity may fare thereby".
Social anarchism (umbrella term) – several traditions of thought that emphasize the social life and relations. While individualists focus on personal autonomy and the rational nature of human beings, social anarchism sees "individual freedom as conceptually connected with social equality and emphasize community and mutual aid", aggregating tendencies that advocates the communitarian and cooperative aspects of anarchist theory and practice.
Collectivist anarchism – a revolutionary tendency most commonly associated with Mikhail Bakunin, Johann Most and the anti-authoritarian section of the First International. It opposes all private ownership of the means of production, instead advocating that ownership be collectivized. Some collectivists do not oppose the use of currency, supporting workers being paid based on the amount of time they contributed to production and purchasing commodities in a communal market. This contrasts with anarcho-communism where wages and currency would be abolished and where individuals would take freely from a storehouse of goods.
Anarcho-communism – tendency that advocates the abolition of the state, capitalism, currency, wages and private property (while retaining respect for personal property), in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy, and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need".
Magonism – magonistas were how Mexican government and the press of the early 20th century called people and groups who shared the ideas of Ricardo Flores Magón, an anarcho-communist who inspired the overthrow of the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and performed an economic and political revolution.
Anarcha-feminism – a tendency that combines anarchism with feminism. It views patriarchy as a manifestation of involuntary coercive hierarchy that should be replaced by decentralized free association. It states that the struggle against patriarchy is an essential part of class struggle, and the anarchist struggle against the state.
Green anarchism – a tendency that puts a particular emphasis on environmental issues. It extends anarchist ideology beyond a critique of human interactions, including a critique of the interactions between humans and non-humans, which culminates in a revolutionary praxis that is not merely dedicated to human liberation, but also to interspecies liberation, aiming to bring about an environmentally sustainable anarchist society.
Anarcho-primitivism – tendency that critiques the origins and progress of civilization, which states that the shift from hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence gave rise to social stratification, coercion, alienation, and population growth.
Social ecology – a theory associated with Murray Bookchin through his work. It is a utopian philosophy of human evolution that combines the nature of biology and society into a third "thinking nature" beyond biochemistry and physiology, which is argued as a more complete, conscious, ethical, and rational nature, that view humanity as the latest development from the long history of organic development on Earth. It proposes ethical principles for replacing a society's propensity for hierarchy and domination with that of democracy and freedom.
Anarcho-pacifism – tendency within the anarchist movement that rejects the use of violence in the struggle for social change and the abolition of the state.
Christian anarchism – tendency that avocates that there is only one source of authority to which Christians are ultimately answerable, the authority of God as embodied in the teachings of Jesus. It states that freedom from government or Church is justified spiritually and will only be guided by the grace of God if Man shows compassion to others and turns the other cheek when confronted with violence.
Anarchism without adjectives – in the words of historian George Esenwein, "referred to an unhyphenated form of anarchism, that is, a doctrine without any qualifying labels such as communist, collectivist, mutualist, or individualist. For others, ... [it] was simply understood as an attitude that tolerated the coexistence of different anarchist schools." It served as basis for the synthesis anarchism federation.
Black anarchism – a loose term sometimes applied to group together a number of people of African descent who identify with anarchism opposing the existence of the state, the subjugation and domination of black people, and other groups, and favor a non-hierarchical organization of society. It argues for class struggle while stressing the importance of ending racial and national oppression, opposing white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism, rejecting narrow or vulgar forms of "anarchism" that ignore issues of race and national oppression.
Anarcho-capitalism – political philosophy which advocates the elimination of the state in favor of individual sovereignty, private property, and open markets. Anarcho-capitalists believe that in the absence of statute (law by decree or legislation), society would improve itself through the discipline of the free market (or what its proponents describe as a "voluntary society"). See anarchism and capitalism. A strong current within anarchism does not consider anarcho-capitalism to be part of the anarchist movement because anarchism has historically been an anti-capitalist movement and for definitional reasons which see anarchism as incompatible with capitalist forms.
Anarcho-transhumanism – the philosophy that social liberty is inherently bound up with material liberty, and that freedom is ultimately a matter of expanding people's capacity and opportunities to engage with the world around them through technology. It is the realization that one's resistance against those social forces that would subjugate and limit us is but part of a spectrum of efforts to expand human agency, to facilitate our inquiry and creativity.
Anarchists creates different forms of organizations, structured around the principles of anarchism, to meet each other, share information, organize struggles and trace ways to spread the anarchist ideas through the world, since they understand that the only way to achieve a free and egalitarian society in the end is through equally free and egalitarian means.
Platformist federation – a form of anarchist organization that seeks unity upon its participants, having as a defining characteristic the idea that each platformist organization should include only members that are which are fully aligned with the group ideas, rejecting people with any level of conflicting ideas, or different tendencies or schools of anarchist thought.
The execution of the Haymarket martyrs following the Haymarket affair of 1886 inspired a new generation of anarchists
Although social movements and philosophies with anarchic qualities predate anarchism, anarchism as a specific political philosophy began in 1840 with the publication of What Is Property? by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. In the following decades it spread from Western Europe to various regions, countries, and continents, impacting local social movements. The success of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia initiated a decline in prominence for anarchism in the mid-20th century, roughly coinciding with the time period referred to by historians as The short twentieth century. Since the late 1980s, anarchism has begun a gradual return to the world stage.
These are concepts which, although not exclusive to anarchism, are significant in historical and/or modern anarchist circles. As the anarchist milieu is philosophically heterogeneous, there is disagreement over which of these concepts should play a role in anarchism.
Anarchist organizations come in a variety of forms, largely based upon common anarchist principles of voluntary cooperation, mutual aid, and direct action. They are also largely informed by anarchist social theory and philosophy, tending towards participation and decentralization.
^Malatesta, Errico. "Towards Anarchism". Man!. Los Angeles: International Group of San Francisco. OCLC3930443.
Agrell, Siri (2007-05-14). "Working for The Man". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
"Anarchism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 2006. Archived from the original on 14 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-29.
"Anarchism". The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: 14. 2005. Anarchism is the view that a society without the state, or government, is both possible and desirable.
The following sources cite anarchism as a political philosophy:
Mclaughlin, Paul (2007). Anarchism and Authority. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 59. ISBN978-0-7546-6196-2.
Johnston, R. (2000). The Dictionary of Human Geography. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers. p. 24. ISBN0-631-20561-6.
^Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.
^"Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations." Emma Goldman. "What it Really Stands for Anarchy" in Anarchism and Other Essays.
^Individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker defined anarchism as opposition to authority as follows "They found that they must turn either to the right or to the left, — follow either the path of Authority or the path of Liberty. Marx went one way; Warren and Proudhon the other. Thus were born State Socialism and Anarchism...Authority, takes many shapes, but, broadly speaking, her enemies divide themselves into three classes: first, those who abhor her both as a means and as an end of progress, opposing her openly, avowedly, sincerely, consistently, universally; second, those who profess to believe in her as a means of progress, but who accept her only so far as they think she will subserve their own selfish interests, denying her and her blessings to the rest of the world; third, those who distrust her as a means of progress, believing in her only as an end to be obtained by first trampling upon, violating, and outraging her. These three phases of opposition to Liberty are met in almost every sphere of thought and human activity. Good representatives of the first are seen in the Catholic Church and the Russian autocracy; of the second, in the Protestant Church and the Manchester school of politics and political economy; of the third, in the atheism of Gambetta and the socialism of the socialism off Karl Marg." Benjamin Tucker. Individual Liberty.
^Anarchist historian George Woodcock report of Mikhail Bakunin's anti-authoritarianism and shows opposition to both state and non-state forms of authority as follows: "All anarchists deny authority; many of them fight against it." (pg. 9)...Bakunin did not convert the League's central committee to his full program, but he did persuade them to accept a remarkably radical recommendation to the Berne Congress of September 1868, demanding economic equality and implicitly attacking authority in both Church and State."
^Brown, L. Susan (2002). "Anarchism as a Political Philosophy of Existential Individualism: Implications for Feminism". The Politics of Individualism: Liberalism, Liberal Feminism and Anarchism. Black Rose Books Ltd. Publishing. p. 106.
^"That is why Anarchy, when it works to destroy authority in all its aspects, when it demands the abrogation of laws and the abolition of the mechanism that serves to impose them, when it refuses all hierarchical organization and preaches free agreement — at the same time strives to maintain and enlarge the precious kernel of social customs without which no human or animal society can exist." Peter Kropotkin. Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal
^"ANARCHISM, a social philosophy that rejects authoritarian government and maintains that voluntary institutions are best suited to express man's natural social tendencies." George Woodcock. "Anarchism" at The Encyclopedia of Philosophy
^"In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions." [[Peter Kropotkin. "Anarchism" from the Encyclopædia Britannica]
^Slevin, Carl. "Anarchism". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan. Oxford University Press, 2003.
^"What do I mean by individualism? I mean by individualism the moral doctrine which, relying on no dogma, no tradition, no external determination, appeals only to the individual conscience."Mini-Manual of Individualism by Han Ryner
^"I do not admit anything except the existence of the individual, as a condition of his sovereignty. To say that the sovereignty of the individual is conditioned by Liberty is simply another way of saying that it is conditioned by itself.""Anarchism and the State" in Individual Liberty
^Outhwaite, William & Tourain, Alain (Eds.). (2003). Anarchism. The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought (2nd Edition, p. 12). Blackwell Publishing
^Moggach, Douglas. The New Hegelians. Cambridge University Press, 2006 p. 183
^"The illegalisis in this study,...As anarchist individualists, they came from a milieu whose most important theoretical inspiration was undoubtedly Max Stimer—whose work The Ego and Its Own remains the most powerful negation of the State, and affirniation of the individual, to date."—Richard Parry, The Bonnot Gang: the history of the French illegalists], 1987, p. 5.
^"Parallel to the social, collectivist anarchist current there was an individualist one whose partisans emphasized their individual freedom and advised other individuals to do the same...Some individualists rebelled by withdrawing from the economy and forming voluntary associations to achieve self-sufficiency. Others took the route of illegalism, attacking the economy through the direct individual reappropriation of wealth. Thus theft, counterfeiting, swindling and robbery became a way of life for hundreds of individualists, as it was already for countless thousands of proletarians.—"The "Illegalists"" by Doug Imrie (from Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed, Fall-Winter, 1994–95)
^Avrich, Paul. Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America, Princeton University Press 1996 ISBN0-691-04494-5, p. 6
Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought, Blackwell Publishing 1991 ISBN0-631-17944-5, p. 11
^"Under the mutual system, each individual will receive the just and exact pay for his work; services equivalent in cost being exchangeable for services equivalent in cost, without profit or discount; and so much as the individual laborer will then get over and above what he has earned will come to him as his share in the general prosperity of the community of which he is an individual member." From "Communism versus Mutualism", Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic and Financial Fragments. (Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1875) by William Batchelder Greene
^Suissa, Judith(2001) "Anarchism, Utopias and Philosophy of Education", Journal of Philosophy of Education 35 (4), 627–46. doi:10.1111/1467-9752.00249
^Patsouras, Louis. 2005. Marx in Context. iUniverse. p. 54
^Avrich, Paul. 2006. Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America. AK Press. p. 5
^Bakunin, Mikhail. Bakunin on Anarchism. Black Rose Books. 1980. p. 369
^"The revolution abolishes private ownership of the means of production and distribution, and with it goes capitalistic business. Personal possession remains only in the things you use. Thus, your watch is your own, but the watch factory belongs to the people." Alexander Berkman. "What Is Communist Anarchism?" 
^"In many of the alternative communities established in Britain in the early 1900s nudism, anarchism, vegetarianism and free love were accepted as part of a politically radical way of life. In the 1920s the inhabitants of the anarchist community at Whiteway, near Stroud in Gloucestershire, shocked the conservative residents of the area with their shameless nudity.""Nudism the radical tradition" by Terry PhillipsArchived 2012-09-11 at archive.today
^Marshall, Peter (1992). Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism. London: HarperCollins. pp. 564–565. ISBN978-0-00-217855-6. "Anarcho-capitalists are against the State simply because they are capitalists first and foremost. [...] They are not concerned with the social consequences of capitalism for the weak, powerless and ignorant. [...] As such, anarcho-capitalism overlooks the egalitarian implications of traditional individualist anarchists like Spooner and Tucker. In fact, few anarchists would accept the 'anarcho-capitalists' into the anarchist camp since they do not share a concern for economic equality and social justice. Their self-interested, calculating market men would be incapable of practising voluntary cooperation and mutual aid. Anarcho-capitalists, even if they do reject the state, might therefore best be called right-wing libertarians rather than anarchists."
^Goodway, David (2006). Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. p. 4. "'Libertarian' and 'libertarianism' are frequently employed by anarchists as synonyms for 'anarchist' and 'anarchism', largely as an attempt to distance themselves from the negative connotations of 'anarchy' and its derivatives. The situation has been vastly complicated in recent decades with the rise of anarcho-capitalism, 'minimal statism' and an extreme right-wing laissez-faire philosophy advocated by such theorists as Rothbard and Nozick and their adoption of the words 'libertarian' and 'libertarianism'. It has therefore now become necessary to distinguish between their right libertarianism and the left libertarianism of the anarchist tradition."
^Newman, Saul (2010). The Politics of Postanarchism. Edinburgh University Press. p. 43. "It is important to distinguish between anarchism and certain strands of right-wing libertarianism which at times go by the same name (for example, Rothbard's anarcho-capitalism)." ISBN0748634959.
^Editor's note in "Taxation: Voluntary or Compulsory". Formulations. Free Nation Foundation. Summer 1995 "Heritage". Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
^Gerald F. Gaus, Chandran Kukathas. 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. Sage Publications. pp. 118–119. Source refers to David D. Friedman's philosophy as "market anarchism."
^"In fact, few anarchists would accept the 'anarcho-capitalists' into the anarchist camp since they do not share a concern for economic equality and social justice, Their self-interested, calculating market men would be incapable of practising voluntary co-operation and mutual aid. Anarcho-capitalists, even if they do reject the State, might therefore best be called right-wing libertarians rather than anarchists." Peter Marshall. Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism. Harper Perennial. London. 2008. p. 565
^"‘Libertarian’ and ‘libertarianism’ are frequently employed by anarchists as synonyms for ‘anarchist’ and ‘anarchism’, largely as an attempt to distance themselves from the negative connotations of ‘anarchy’ and its derivatives. The situation has been vastly complicated in recent decades with the rise of anarcho-capitalism, ‘minimal statism’ and an extreme right-wing laissez-faire philosophy advocated by such theorists as Murray Rothbard and Robert Nozick and their adoption of the words ‘libertarian’ and ‘libertarianism’. It has therefore now become necessary to distinguish between their right libertarianism and the left libertarianism of the anarchist tradition." Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward by David Goodway. Liverpool University Press. Liverpool. 2006. p. 4
^"Within Libertarianism, Rothbard represents a minority perspective that actually argues for the total elimination of the state. However Rothbard’s claim as an anarchist is quickly voided when it is shown that he only wants an end to the public state. In its place he allows countless private states, with each person supplying their own police force, army, and law, or else purchasing these services from capitalist venders...so what remains is shrill anti-statism conjoined to a vacuous freedom in hackneyed defense of capitalism. In sum, the "anarchy" of Libertarianism reduces to a liberal fraud."Libertarianism: Bogus Anarchy" by Peter Sabatini in issue #41 (Fall/Winter 1994–95) of Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed
^Chartier, Gary; Johnson, Charles W. (2011). Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty. Brooklyn, NY:Minor Compositions/Autonomedia
^Gillis, William (2011). "The Freed Market." In Chartier, Gary and Johnson, Charles. Markets Not Capitalism. Brooklyn, NY: Minor Compositions/Autonomedia. pp. 19–20.
^Gary Chartier and Charles W. Johnson (eds). Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty. Minor Compositions; 1st edition (November 5, 2011
^"Although by 1968 he could be seen as the “grandfather of the French homosexual movement”, Daniel Guérin has always been better known outside gay circles for his rôle in the revolutionary movement. On the revolutionary left of the Socialist Party in the 1930s, he was later heavily influenced by Trotsky, before becoming attracted to the libertarian communist wing of the anarchist movement." David Berry. "For a dialectic of homosexuality and revolution"
^Karl Heinrich Ulrichs had begun a journal called Prometheus in 1870, but only one issue was published. (Kennedy, Hubert, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs: First Theorist of Homosexuality, In: 'Science and Homosexualities', ed. Vernon Rosario (pp. 26–45). New York: Routledge, 1997.