from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anarchy ( ancient Greek ἀναρχία anarchíalack of domination”, from ἀρχία archía “domination” with negative alpha privativum ) denotes a state of absence of domination . It is mainly used in political philosophy , where anarchism promotes such a social order .

Anarchists want society to be regulated by itself, for example through councils, free agreement or purely functional decisions, in the words of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon : "Anarchy is order without rule." A central figure of modern anarchism in German-speaking countries, Horst Stowasser , also referred to Proudhon's programmatic definition.

Anarchy is commonly accepted as a state of social disorder, tyranny and lawlessness caused by the absence of the state and institutional violence and, above all, the actual meaning of the catchphrase “chaos and anarchy” is often misused in many media. However, the actual term for such a condition is anomie .


The writer William Godwin

The original meaning of the term in antiquity has been reshaped in the course of the last centuries in various philosophical and human-scientific schools of thought, which name diverse social systems with the word "anarchy". Above all, the schools of thought of anarchism, in which anarchy is developed and tried to implement as a political utopia , as well as representatives of social anthropology and political anthropology, which characterize the social systems of certain indigenous peoples as anarchies, should be mentioned here. Corresponding cultures of indigenous peoples are viewed by ethnologists like Marshall Sahlins as being equivalent to Western culture.

What all of the above anarchies have in common, by definition, is the absence of domination, which can be understood as a repressive mode of power . According to this, certain power relations such as the influence of voluntarily accepted authorities ( mentors , trainers, consultants, etc.) are compatible with anarchy, but are not enforced by repression. In particular, in anarchies there is no steering central power, i.e. no state . Well-known anarchies are nevertheless shaped by social norms and rules, among other things for institutionalized defense against the emergence of domination.

In addition to political theory , the concept of anarchy has entered international relations as a description . All meta theories of this discipline assume to varying degrees that anarchy exists in international relations , since there is no global regulatory body.

Concept history

The politician Niccolò Machiavelli

In the course of time, the word “anarchy” was used neutrally to describe a state of affairs and sometimes disparagingly to describe an undesirable situation, before it finally served to describe a desired model of society.

The train of thought about anarchy originated in ancient times. The actual term “anarchy” only emerged in the 19th century as a counter-movement and political counter-concept to monarchy and democracy . Originally, anarchy in ancient Greece meant the absence of the sole ruler ( archon ).

The poets Homer (8th century BC) and Herodotus (490 to about 420/25 BC) call Anarchia a group of people or soldiers "without a leader". In Xenophon (.. To 580-480 BC), the term was first used for Herrscherlosigkeit: the "Anarchia" is a period without top state officials, the Archon . Euripides (480–407 BC) used it to designate sailors without a ladder. Aristotle (384 to 322 BC) described anarchy as "the situation of slaves without masters". Max Nettlau , on the other hand, sees the mere existence of the word “An-Archia” as evidence “that there were people who consciously rejected the rule, the state,” and “only when they were fought and persecuted did this designation stick to them in the sense the most dangerous rebels of the existing order ”.

The Latin loan word "anarchia" , which was not known to ancient Rome, appears for the first time in the Middle Ages and is used in its negative meaning: Niccolò Machiavelli uses the term anarchy to describe the degenerative phenomena of democracy. Machiavelli's theory of the state, based on Aristotle, distinguishes between three positive (monarchy, aristocracy and democracy) and three negative forms of rule (tyranny, oligarchy and anarchy).

In the German-speaking world, anarchy was probably first used in a Lexicon Philosophicum with the following definition:

“ANARCHIA est, quando in civitate nullus senatus, judicia, leges. Majus est malum, quam tyrannis ”

“ANARCHY exists when there is no Senate, no law, and no law. It is more evil than tyranny. "

- Lexicon Philosophicum Terminorum Philosophis Usitatorum

As early as the 18th century, anarchy was used in lexicons to describe an original form of pre-state community and society that was not clearly viewed as negative. Immanuel Kant defined anarchy as " law and freedom without violence ". During the French Revolution , the personal designation "anarchist" was given a negative connotation again : apparently it was the Girondist Jacques Pierre Brissot who used it in an election speech of May 23, 1793 to discredit his political opponent. In the same year William Godwin formulated in his work "Inquiry concerning political justice" that any form of authority should be viewed as an interference with private judgment. His ideas are not taken up for a long time. Only Pierre-Joseph Proudhon refers to himself as an anarchist in a positive sense and provides the essential elements of anarchism in his book "Qu'est-ce que la propriété?" Together. He puts it: “ Property is theft. "

In German-speaking countries, Ludwig Börne was the first to speak out in favor of anarchy in society:

“It does not matter that power is in this or that hand: power itself must be diminished, regardless of which hand it is in. But no ruler yet has the power that he possessed, and no matter how nobly he used it, he willingly let it weaken. Rule can only be limited if it is ownerless - freedom only arises from anarchy. We must not turn our faces away from the necessity of the revolution because it is so sad. As men of danger, we have to look straight in the eye and not tremble at the surgeon's knife. Freedom only emerges from anarchy - that is our opinion, that is how we have understood the lessons of history. "

- after Gustav Landauer : "Börne and the anarchism"

Social systems of indigenous cultures

The social systems of archaeological and indigenous cultures are sometimes referred to as “regulated anarchy”. More often, however, is the reference to acephaly and the segmentary society associated with it .

Social model in anarchism

In anarchism , anarchy is the desired economic and social form of free and equal people.

The author David Edelstadt put it in a poem:

"A world in which no one should rule, over the work and toil of another, [...] That is anarchy. A world in freedom makes everyone happy, the weak and the strong 'him' and 'she' where 'yours' and 'mine' will not suppress anyone - that is anarchy. "

Erich Mühsam defined:

“Anarchy, in German: without rule, without authority, without state, thus describes the state of social order striven for by the anarchists, namely the freedom of each individual through general freedom. In this objective, in nothing else, there is the bond between all anarchists; there is the fundamental differentiation of anarchism from all other social doctrines and human creeds. (...) The denial of power in the social organization is the essential characteristic of anarchy. "

- Erich Mühsam : The liberation of society from the state

For anarchists, anarchy means that every human being can develop without suppressive authority and in free association with other people. Such an organizational structure is thought to be free of hierarchy , coercion and violence and should not be confused with conventional administration. An anarchist society is a society in which each person takes responsibility for his or her own living conditions, or in cooperation with others. There is no directing central power. Sanctions do not come from a management layer, but are only possible if previously agreed rules have been violated. The exclusion from the communal community is cited as the most extensive consequence.

20th and 21st centuries

Rainbow Gathering 2004
Fighters of the "International Revolutionary People's Guerilla Units" (IRPGF) 2017 in the Syrian Civil War at the Tabqa Dam

During the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939, large parts of the north were organized anarchistically. The anarchist administered areas were operated according to the basic principle of “everyone according to their abilities, everyone according to their needs”. In some places, money was completely eliminated or replaced with vouchers. Under this system, goods were often only a quarter of their previous cost. Despite criticism of maximum efficiency, anarchist communities often produced more than they did before collectivization. The work in the recently liberated zones was carried out according to completely liberal principles; Councils and assemblies made decisions without any kind of bureaucracy. In addition to the economic revolution, there was a spirit of cultural revolution. The traditions that were perceived as oppressive had disappeared. Women were allowed abortions and the idea of free love became popular.

The anarchist peasant and partisan movement Makhnovshchina , named after the free army leader Nestor Machno , which was active in Ukraine between 1917 and 1922 during the Russian civil war, is considered an anarchist organization. At the time of its greatest expansion, Makhnovshchina belonged to up to 30,000 volunteer partisans in an area of ​​around 10,000 km² with seven million inhabitants. The decisions were voted on for the entire free rayon in a rayon congress, a full assembly of council delegates.

The free city of Christiania in Copenhagen and many objects of the squatter movement are organized according to anarchist principles. The plenary deals with matters that affect the whole community as a decision-making body. The rainbow meetings are also seen as practically lived anarchy.

In the Venezuelan state of Lara, numerous cooperatives come together under the umbrella organization Cecosesola (abbreviation for Central Coperativa de Servicios Sociales del Estado Lara ), which has been growing steadily since 1967 and to which around 20,000 members belong in 50 grassroots organizations. The focus of this association, the members of which are completely free of hierarchies, is the provision of high-quality food and health care.

In the Syrian civil war , units with an anarchist agenda formed, such as the "International Revolutionary People's Guerilla Units" (IRPGF), who declared their solidarity with the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) in order to fight with them against religious zealots of the Islamic State .

See also

Portal: Anarchism  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of anarchism



Web links

Wiktionary: Anarchy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Anarchism  - Collection of Images
Commons : Anarchists  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Chaos or order without rule? Horst Stowasser on anarchy , book review by Florian Felix Weyh , Deutschlandfunk July 9, 2007
  2. ^ Another example with the dictum writings on magazines: Order without rule , taz July 4, 2012
  3. ^ Haude / Wagner: institutions free of domination , p. 58.
  4. a b Jochen Schmück: "Anarchy - On the history of a stimulus and catchphrase" in the Lexicon of Anarchy , accessed April 30, 2008
  5. Jochen Schmück: Anarchy - On the history of a stimulus and catchphrase, quoted by Max Nettlau: "History of Anarchy", Vol. I: "The early spring of anarchy. Your historical development from the beginning up to the year 1864 “Berlin 1925 [exp. Reprint o. O .: Library Thélème 1993], p. 17. Christian Meier is of the opinion that the negative meaning that the term “anarchy” acquired in ancient Greece can be traced back to the existence of “concrete anarchist groups” . In his opinion, however, these groups did not represent any declared anti-statistical views, rather they were concerned with the “wildly roaring abandonment of a crowd” or the “cheeky uncontrollability of a sailor camp”. See Ludz / Meier: “Anarchie, Anarchismus, Anarchist”, p. 50.
  6. ^ Digitized copy , p. 69 | Joh. Micraelii Lexicon Philosophicum Terminorum Philosophis Usitatorum (...) Stetini 1661, Sp. 113
  7. ^ Translation after Jochen Schmück: Anarchy .
  8. Pierre Joseph Proudhon: What is property. First memorandum. Studies on the origin and foundations of law and rule, from d. French v. Alfons Feder Cohn, German first published. Berlin 1896 New publication Monte Verita (1992), ISBN 978-3-900434-30-4 , p. 219.
  9. Jochen Schmück: Anarchy- On the history of a stimulus and catchphrase quoted from Gustav Landauer: “Börne und der Anarchismus” (first published in: Sozialistische Monatshefte, No. 2, 1900), in: ders .: Knowledge and Liberation . Selected speeches and essays, Frankfurt a. M. 1976, p. 20)
  10. Hannah Illgner: Dominion- Free Societies: Do They Really Exist? GRIN Verlag, 2011.
  11. ^ Anarchist Federation of the French Language (FAF) : Anarchy. I-AFD , 1993, accessed August 17, 2018 .
  12. Erich Mühsam: "The Liberation of Society from the State"
  13. a b Errico Malatesta : "Anarchy". Karin Kramer Verlag, 1984, ISBN 3-87956-055-2 .
  14. Alexander Berkman: "ABC of Anarchism" "Does anarchism really mean turmoil and violence?" You ask. "No, my friend. It is capitalism and government that create unrest and violence: anarchism is the exact opposite - it is for order without government and for peace without violence ”, accessed June 18, 2008
  15. Cf. Stefan Blankertz in ( page no longer available , search in web archives: Courts, Judges, And The Law In The Free City ).@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  16. Sirus Kashefi: Legal Anarchism: Does Existence Need to Be Regulated by the State? PhD Thesis in Law, submitted to Osgoode Law School, York University, 2015, pp. 305 ff.
  17. Die Buchmacherei (ed.): Cecosesola- On the way - Lived utopia of a cooperative in Venezuela. In: February 2012, accessed November 22, 2016 .
  18. Edith Fernandez-Baca, Mar´ıa Paz Montoya, Natalia Ya˜nez: Innovation for Poverty Reduction with Inclusion in the Andean Region. Panorama Andino - Learning from case studies on locally promoted innovation experiences. Emilie Coudel, Hubert Devautour, Christophe-Toussaint Soulard, Bernard Hubert. ISDA 2010, June 2010, Montpellier, France. Cirad-Inra-SupAgro, 11 pages. hal-00523493, p. 6
  19. ^ "Meet the LGBT anarchists who've gone to Syria to fight Isis" The Independent from July 2017
  20. "Anarchist guerrilla“ IRPFG ”is born in Rojava to fight for the revolution in Kurdistan and the world" IRPFG Manifesto (English) 2017
  21. On the Gamero film ( Memento from August 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive )