Ian Mayes recently offered the following comments:
I have a theory that in about 20 years, if not sooner, the word “anarchist” will primarily be associated with the anarcho-capitalists. This is because the anarcho-capitalists are very vocal and persistent in claiming to be anarchists, especially on the internet. Whereas I noticed that the regular anticapitalist anarchists have gradually been using the word “anarchist” less and less, and instead have been using other labels more, such as “radical”, “anti-oppressive”, ” queer”, “nihilist”, “insurrectionary”, even “communist”.
For years many rhetorical battles have been fought over the label ” anarchist “, and it could very well be that the anarcho-capitalists will win the term simply because the anticapitalist anarchists became interested in other things.
I suspect what will happen is that the range of anarchist thought will continue to become more diverse. I see new hyphenated forms of anarchism emerging all the time like analytic anarchism, crypto-anarchism, or Green anarchism (along with derivative or overlapping philosophies like geo-mutualism, left-libertarianism, agorism, situationism, bioregionalism, council communism, not that all of these are recent but you get my point). The question is what will be the main thrust of anarchist thought and activism in the future, and I think you may be right that anarcho-capitalism or market anarchism of some kind might come to be the standard in terms of sheer numbers. I don’t really see the left-anarchists necessarily going away, however, as much as splintering into more and more hyphenated tendencies of their own (queer anarchism, anti-fascist anarchism, nihilist anarchism). Also, anarcho-capitalism is mostly prevalent in North America. It barely exists anywhere else. Even in England, my friends in the UK Libertarian Alliance tell me libertarianism there is very marginal. The anarchist movement in Greece, for example, is very much in the black and red mode. Also, it will be interesting to see what kind of lasting influence the Bookchinites of Rojava or the Zapatistas have.
Another respondent says:
I doubt it mostly because they themselves will more than likely end up abandoning it. (Anarcho-capitalism) is definitely a phase that seems to actually be waning. Also, they don’t exist anywhere else in the world. If the anarchist movement wasn’t growing despite the poor performance of USA based anarchist within this period of growth I could consider it a possibility.
What do our anarchist (or non-anarchist) readers think?