Anarchism/Anti-State

Contemporary Anarchist and Anarchistic Movements

By Dana Williams

Although the period of highest activity for anarchist movements peaked in the early 1900s, such movement continues in the present. Contemporary antiauthoritarian movements are a product of the 1960s and New Left, as well as the USSR’s demise. Antiauthoritarian movements are either explicitly anarchist or implicitly anarchist (thus, simply “anti-authoritarian,” “autonomist,” or “libertarian‐socialist”). Anarchist identity is diverse, although anchored around an opposition to dominant culture, institutions, and hierarchical norms. The values and goals pursued revolve around a principled adoption of horizontalism, direct action, antiauthoritarianism, decentralization, anticapitalism, and mutual aid. These anarchist movements are unique movements, yet they also run parallel to certain movements—in both the adoption of anarchist strategies and membership overlap—such as antifascist, global justice, and squatter movements. Confrontational and playful street tactics combine with strategies of reclamation of radically egalitarian space, in opposition to hierarchical society. Despite their association with violence, contemporary anarchist movements are fairly nonviolent; however, many anarchists do not disavow the selective use of violence. Thus, massive efforts of social control through police and mass media attempt to moderate, disrupt, and suppress anarchist movements.

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Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State

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