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  The origin of the word anarchy is Greek: it means rule by nobody. Anarchists believe that governments and states are both unnecessary and exploitative: far from being an undesirable social condition of perpetual violence, anarchy offers the best hope of human emancipation. The most famous modern anarchist thinkers have been Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809 - 1865), , Mikhail Bakunin (1814 - 1876) and , Pyotr Kropotkin (1842 - 1921).

Anarchists can be either individualists or collectivists. Anarcho-capitalists are individualists, believing that societies can emerge spontaneously and be sustained solely through voluntary exchange and agreements between consenting individuals. Anarcho-syndicalists, by contrast, are collectivists, believing that collectively owned and managed enterprises could co-ordinate their activities in a decentralized and voluntary manner.

Critics of anarchism maintain that social co-ordination necessarily requires coercive organization (authority or the state) and that anarchists are naive to blame all or most evils in history upon the existence of states. The political naivety of anarchists has often taken the form of terrorist action against state authority, although anarchists would reply that large-scale terrorism has been the practice of states since their inception. BO\'L

Further reading David Miller, Anarchism.



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