By Robert Graham
This article discusses the different forms of organization utilized by anarchists within various anarchist movements from their beginnings in the 1860s until the present day. Despite the claims of some contemporary anarchists that horizontal network forms of organization are a recent development that distinguish contemporary anarchist organizing from the anarchism of the past, anarchists have used informal and formal networks to coordinate their activities and spread their ideas since the beginning. Contrary to popular stereotypes, anarchists have also used more formal organizational structures, particularly within the context of anarcho-syndicalist movements, such as federations of anarchist oriented trade unions on regional, national and international levels. While some anarchists continue to advocate the creation of anarchist organizations which then form larger federations to coordinate their activities in order to achieve a common aim, a free society without coercive state institutions, many contemporary anarchists emphasize instead the need for people to create their own organizations through which they can take control of their daily lives.