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Anarchism describes a diverse range of political and philosophical beliefs, ranging from the individualism of anarcho-capitalism to the communitarianism of anarcho-syndicalism. However, they hold in common a belief in the primacy of freedom: the individual's ability to act according to their conscience, without coercion from or subjugation to an oppressive authority. Often, this authority is identified with the state, along with other hierarchical organisations, both secular and religious. Anarchism has long been derided and dismissed as fanciful and unworkable, even incoherent -- yet throughout history there have been serious attempts to build free societies, organised on the principles of horizontalism, participatory democracy, and mutual aid. Is a free future at all likely for humankind, or are Anarchists just 'demanding the impossible'?

Anarchism is currently possible. Show more Show less

Historical and contemporary attempts to create large-scale Anarchist societies have been largely successful.
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Historical attempts at creating Anarchist societies were successful

Large-scale Anarchist societies existed in the 20th century in Spain, Manchuria, and the Ukraine. Although these eventually fell to the twin totalitarianisms of Fascism and Authoritarian Communism, they were successful and productive societies while they survived.
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There have been three major large-scale attempts to create Anarchist societies. The Free Territory of Ukraine (also known as Makhnovia) was a stateless territory occupied by Nester Makhno's Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army from 1917-1921. Makhno was an anarchist revolutionary who recruited poor Ukrainians into guerrilla bands that fought against General Denitin's White army in the Russian Civil War. Areas under Makhno's control were organized as a federation of so-called Free Labour Councils of Workers and Peasants, with an anarcho-communist economy drawing on the philosophy of Peter Kropotkin. After consolidating power after their victory against White forces, the ruling Bolsheviks liquidated Makhno's Black Army and abolished the Free Territory, with the establishment of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (part of the Soviet Union).

The Argument

Anarchy is a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of or denial of governmental authority.[1] A few examples are the French Revolution, America’s war for independence, and the assassination of Julius Caesar. They worked so well, that it changed the countries for the better. The anarchy even refined their governments. There are even some anarchist societies that continue functioning to this day. Freetown Christiania is a community in Denmark. It started as a place where squatters lived in 1971. Now, it’s its own community that shares its property with all its people and sells cannabis (which is illegal in the rest of Denmark). Anarchy has proven to be successful. Without it, current governments in the world wouldn’t exist. With communities like Freetown Christiania, it proves even more that anarchy can last for a long time. Over time, anarchy has proven possible.

Counter arguments

Anarchist societies did not truly succeed. Anarchy was used to exist outside of a government system. Anarchy was also a way to share property amongst every individual without capitalism. However, that never truly happened. The anarchy that Americans had towards Great Britain wasn’t true anarchy. Instead, America built their own government with a president instead of implementing communal ideas. Capitalism also exploded in the past couple of centuries. Therefore, there’s no communal sharing of property. The uprising against Julius Caesar was also not an example of true anarchy. Instead, it was an assassination attempt that resulted in the killing of assassins, a war between three large military forces, and another emperor. The assignation and act of rebellion failed to free Rome of an emperor-led country. Instead, it encouraged it even more. Anarchy struggles to be possible today. For example, Freetown Christiania struggles to have law enforcement keep their beliefs and land. Other anarchist communities don’t even keep the characteristics of anarchy, like the Rojava community. Anarchy has not thrived over the centuries. Instead, it’s becoming nonexistent.


[P1] Anarchist beliefs created America and liberated Rome. [P2] There are anarchist societies, like Freetown Christiania, that flourish in the future.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] America and Rome created government hierarchies which is not a characteristic of anarchy. [Rejecting P2] Most anarchic communities don’t last or thrive in the future.



This page was last edited on Friday, 10 Jul 2020 at 16:07 UTC

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