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  • Anarchy. The heart of the punk movement in the ‘70s and ‘80s. A driving force for

  • civil wars and violent revolutions. A concept held in esteem by activists like Leo Tolstoy,

  • Noam Chomsky, and Mahatma Gandhi. So, what is it?

  • Anarchy, very simply, is a state of being without any government or authority. The original

  • concept of anarchy was born alongside, and in response to, the concepts of democracy

  • and other political systems.

  • But it wasn’t until later, around the 18th and 19th centuries that modern anarchist philosophy

  • was fully developed in Western countries. Following the French Revolution, anarchism

  • gained prominence as a political alternative to theocracies or monarchies, and as an attempt

  • to achieve total equality by eliminating authoritarian roles. However, as Noam Chomsky and other

  • academics have admitted, it is somewhat of an unrealistic utopian theory.

  • Many forms of modern anarchy are political ideologies that hold the government responsible

  • for the world’s problems. Because there are many forms of state control, there are

  • many different forms of anarchy. For example - Anarcha-feminism says that the hierarchies

  • of the state lead to patriarchy, which leads to oppression. Green-Anarchism states that

  • environmental exploitation is a result of capitalist government policy. And despite

  • the violence commonly associated with anarchy, Anarcho-Pacifism holds that it is the state

  • that creates unnecessary political violence, and should therefore be abolished.

  • In fact, violence is not an intrinsic part of modern anarchism, as many believe. Tolstoy

  • and Gandhi specifically petitioned against all forms of violence. And Chomsky has said

  • that, quote, “[anarchy] is notpeople running around the streetsbreaking store

  • windows, [it’s] a conception of a very organized societywith as little control as is feasible”,

  • end quote. While violence is still controversially used by some groups of anarchists, in order

  • to destroy systems of government, many anarchists renounce it.

  • A lot people would agree that anarchism is a good idea, in theory, because it promotes

  • both freedom and egalitarianism. However, in practice, it would be difficult to perfect.

  • As Chomsky explains, anarchy is a response to oppressive political movements rather than

  • as a stand-alone system of government.

  • Democracy is another political theory that is often more hard to understand than you

  • might think. To learn more about what democracy really looks like, check out our video here.

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Anarchy. The heart of the punk movement in the ‘70s and ‘80s. A driving force for

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