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Between 75% and 100% socialism and autonomy on the EP-map

Between 50% and 75% socialism & 75% and 100% autonomy

Between 50% and 75% socialism and autonomy

Between 75% and 100% socialism & 50% and 75% autonomy

Authoritarian degree % =


*) The stars indicate the position of the Norwegian economical-political system after the revolutionary change in 1994/95. The authoriatarian degree % = 100% - the libertarian degree %

Fig. 1. Picture of the Anarchist Economical-Political Map

Going clockwise within the Anarchist Quadrant from the top of the map we have the four sections of the main economical-political tendencies of Anarchism, i.e. different sections of the Anarchist International, 1, 2, 3 and 4. (Venstre and esquerda mean left, and høyre and direita mean right). ***


This is the official website of the four general economical-political tendencies of anarchism, i.e. sections of the Anarchist Quadrant on the Economical-Political Map and the Anarchist International. The economical-political systems of the four sectors of the Anarchist Quadrant are practical applications and approximations to the theoretical framework of the respective libertarian factions. The four main tendencies of anarchism and the respective sections of the Anarchist International, have historical roots back to the 19th century, and are briefly presented in their historical context below, i.e. 3, 4, 2 and 1:

3. The International of Social-Individualist Anarchism, ISIA, the libertarian systems between advanced marxian social-democracy and advanced social liberalism on the Economical-Political Map (and a bit above), is mainly rooted back to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's research on an anarchist third social form between communism, in the meaning of state-socialism, and liberalism, in progressive direction medio 1800s. "... we must regard Proudhon as a social individualist", see p. 99, George Woodcock: Anarchism, Penguin Books 1979. The terms third alternative, road, way and social form may sometimes be used as labels on anarchism in general, but are usually referring to the social-individualist sector of the anarchist quadrant of the EP-map. Social-individualist anarchism may also be called just social anarchism, federalist or mutualist anarchism. However the word mutualism may also be used in a more narrow meaning, as a name of the libertarian co-operative movement, and may then sometimes have a more individualist approach. The basic ideas of Proudhon are presented at .

The social-individualist anarchism has between 50% and 75% degree of anarchy. Several libertarian thinkers have worked along the same lines as Proudhon later on, - Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) and Ragnar Frisch (1895 - 1973) are among the most famous. Russel is advocating "a form of Guild Socialism, leaning more, perhaps, towards Anarchism than the official Guildsman would wholly approve. It is in the matters that politicians usually ignore - science and art, human relations, and the joy of life - that Anarchism is strongest...", p 210, and "Guild Socialists ... growing naturally out of the autonomy of industrial guilds, by which they hope to limit the power of the state and help to preserve individual liberty." p. 141, "Roads to Freedom - Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism", (1918, revised 1919)*.

Ragnar Frisch evolves his libertarian third alternative; an economical and political system with the individual's freedom and moral and ethical dignity in the center, i.e. autonomy combined with a rational, planned socialism -- that is not utopian -- in several works; The unenlightened plutarchy, Economic democracy, The three stages, Why objectivity, In the spirit of Henrik Wergeland, The upper class mentality is alive, Socially orientated or high finance orientated economic planning? Planned economy in the community, Hour of destiny, Gloomy May Day - or hope? etc. Most of Ragnar Frisch's works may be seen as a general framework related more or less to his third alternative of economical political systems, i.e. with neither economical plutarchy nor political statism. See also .

Ragnar Frisch's collected works on political econonomy broadly defined are the work of a giant, accounting for several thousand pages, along the lines of Pjotr Kropotkin's methodology of libertarian research, i.e. similar to that of the modern natural sciences, see "Modern Science and Anarchism" (1903-13) . The third alternative may be summarized in the following way: "The real challenge is to develope, more and more, an economical and political system in which freedom and the ethical dignity of the individual hold the center of the stage (not freedom of the few, but for the many - as Henrik Wergeland**** would have it), at the same time as it opens up for utilizing the material resources in a true rational way. This can only be achieved via an advanced form of economical planning -- 'frihetsplanlegging' -- libertarian planning. This form of anarchist economical political system is called the third alternative ... This excludes both a) that one or a few individuals are exploited and/or repressed by others, the many; as well as b) the others or the many are exploited and/or repressed by the few or one."

4. The Anarcho-Collectivist International, ACI, has historical roots to Michael (Mikhail Alexandrovich) Bakunin (1814 - 1876). Bakunin's basic ideas are a development of the Proudhonian ideas leftwards on the economic-political map, building on his libertarian federalist ideas. Bakunin's conversion to anarchism came in 1865, towards the end of his life. The collectivist principle of remuneration, "from each according to ability, to each according to the product of his labor" or similar notions, is connected to this form of anarchism. The collectivists understood that full communism would not be immediately realizable. At the 1868 Congress of the League for Peace and Freedom, Bakunin called himself "collectivist", and stated: "I want society and collective or social property to be organized from the bottom up by way of free association, and not from the top down by means of any authority whatsoever. In this sense I am a collectivist." In 1871 Bakunin proposed the following collectivist working hypothesis for further discussion: "Only collective labor creates wealth. Collective wealth must be collectively owned."

Bakunin also proposed there would be "equal means of subsistence, support, education, and opportunity for every child, boy or girl, until maturity, and equal resources and facilities in adulthood to create his own well-being by his own labor." He thus proposed a collectivist anarchism, in which state and private ownership of the means of production would be abolished, and the means of production would instead be owned collectively and controlled and managed by the producers. Bakunin's political beliefs were based on the interrelated concepts of liberty; socialism; federalism; atheism; and materialism. The libertarian federalist rule "organized from the bottom up by way of free association, and not from the top down by means of any authority whatsoever", in the meaning of both political/administrative and economically broadly defined, ideally or practically, i.e. significant, is basic to anarchism in general.

Bakunin's own original contributions to political economy broadly defined are however limited, unfortunately he was lending an ear to Karl Marx's pseudo-scientific economics. Bakunin however also criticized authoritarian socialism, i.e. marxism, and especially the concept of "dictatorship of the proletariat," which he adamantly rejected. Bakunin was also perhaps the first to theorize a "new class" of intellectuals and administrators who would form the bureaucratic apparatus of the state. Bakunin in 1872 argued that the "State has always been the patrimony of some privileged class: a priestly class, an aristocratic class, a bourgeois class. And finally, when all the other classes have exhausted themselves, the State then becomes the patrimony of the bureaucratic class and then falls — or, if you will, rises — to the position of a machine." This is a small, but important contribution to economic sociology, also relevant today.

Bakunin was first and foremost an excellent organizer. The Anarchist International and its anarcho-syndicalist section the International Workers of The World are rooted back to the in Geneva 1866 founded 1st International's i.e. the IWMA - International Workingmen's Association's conference at Saint-Imier, in The Swiss Confederation, 15-16.09.1872. That is after Marx and his faction had expelled Bakunin's faction in a most likely rigged vote at the Hague Congress of IWMA earlier in 1972. Bakunin's faction was thus the true IWMA. At the IWMA's conference at Saint-Imier it was decided an anarchist resolution denouncing all forms of political power, i.e. political/administrative and economically broadly defined. Also a solidarity and fellowship pact was decided upon by the delegates. The resolution put forward by Michael Bakunin 16.09.1872, under the title "The political action of the proletariate", at the Saint-Imier congress, should not be forgotten. The Anarchist International had meetings several times during the years passing by, first within the framework of the IWMA 1872-77, later related to other international anarchist congresses.

By the way, already in 1868, Bakunin joined the Geneva section of the 1st International. The IWMA was rooted back to a meeting in London at St. Martin's Hall in 1864, deciding on a 'General Council', but its real founding and first congress was in Geneva in 1866. In 1869, Bakunin's Social Democratic Alliance, SDA, was refused entry to the IWMA, on the grounds that it was an international organization in itself, and only national organizations were permitted membership. The SDA, not to be confused with marxist social-democracy, dissolved and the various groups which it comprised joined the IWMA separately.

Anarcho-collectivism had a strong influence on anarcho-syndicalism later on. Well known other works within the anarcho-collectivist tradition are written by James Guillaume and later in the 1930s by Diego Abad de Santillan. Another tendency is Nestor Makhno's council anarchism of the Russian revolution in Ukraine. However the later "platformism" developed by Peter A. Arshinov, an associate of Makhno, who went over the border to marxism on the Economical-Political Map and joined the Bolsheviks, must be rejected as not being anarchism, but in reality being semilibertarian or authoritarian marxism. M. Bakunin's left Hegelian dialectical statements are also principally rejected as pseudo-science by Kropotkin and later anarchists, but several of Bakunin's other ideas are still valid as anarchist working hypothesis.

Bakunin's 1. dialectical style with tendencies of contradictions and bombastic slogans, and 2. that most of Bakunin's works are fragmented, unfinished and disjointed, mean 3. Bakunin should always be interpreted as much as possible in the full context to understand the nomothetic, scientific anarchist content. This is also valid for Bakunin's most well known work, God and the State - Dieu et l'état. Bakunin originally titled the book The Historical Sophisms of the Doctrinaire School of Communism. Bakunin was not a Communist... God and the State was written between February and March 1871. It was originally written as Part II of a greater work that was going to be called The Knouto-Germanic Empire and the Social Revolution.

God and the State is indeed a fragment; the book has paragraphs that drop out and pick up in mid-sentence, footnotes that are four or five paragraphs long, and the book itself stops abruptly in mid-sentence. When Bakunin was criticized on this he said, "My life is a fragment." The anarchists Carlo Cafiero and Élisée Reclus edited and translated the work into French and distributed it as a pamphlet in Geneva in 1882, the first printed edition. They sometimes changed words around to give the French a more literary quality, and often misread Bakunin's handwriting. Several other issues with different editing have appeared later. As an unfinished work, it may not be representative for Bakunin's ideas on collectivist anarchism.

Especially a slogan on socialism (not anarchism) from God and the State, often quoted by marxist provocateurs and out of context to 1. discredit the anarchists and anarchism, 2. create chaos/ochlarchy and put the blame falsely on anarchists, and 3. (later) call for authoritarian rule by a marxist party; must be mentioned: "Destroy all the institutions of Inequality; establish social and economic equality of all, and on this basis will arise freedom, morality, human solidarity around the world... I shall return to this, the most important question of Socialism."

Thus, this slogan should be seen in the context of Bakunin's famous anarchist word of wisdom: "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality", which is still valid.

And thus it is clear that Bakunin by the phrase 'destroy all the institutions of Inequality' means change of the societal organization, i.e. combined with freedom and other anarchist principles: to do away with top heavy social pyramids economically and/or political/adminstrative -- in rank and/or income -- and move toward horizontal organization, and not attacking and destroying persons and things, material resources. And in this context: freedom and liberty will of course not arise automatically in a mysterious marxist dialectical way from equality; freedom is another basic anarchist principle that must be fought for and developed on its own. Marxists don't understand that.

Statism and Anarchy was the last major work by Bakunin. It was written in 1873, in the aftermath of the rise of the German Empire and the clash between Bakunin and Karl Marx in the 1st International. Bakunin assesses the strength of a European state system dominated by Bismarck. Then, in the most remarkable part of the book, he assails the marxist alternative, predicting that a 'dictatorship of the proletariat' will in fact be a dictatorship over the proletariat, and will produce a new class of socialist rulers. Instead, he outlines his vision of an anarchist society and identifies the social forces he believes will achieve an anarchist revolution.

Collectivist anarchism must not be mixed up with marxian collectivism, council communism and similar included, sometimes wrongly called "anarcho-marxism", and often just called collectivism, without adjective. Collectivism is located to the left of collectivist anarchism on the economical-political map, in the marxist quadrant. Some of Bakunin's ideas may have a more social-individualist than collectivist approach, and the earlier non-anarchist, typically dialectical, writings of Bakunin are of little to zero interest in anarchist perspective.

2. The Anarcho-Individualist International, AII, is historically mainly rooted back to Benjamin Tucker (1854-1939) and his essays published in "Liberty" from 1881. His principal publication was "State socialism and Anarchism" (1899). Tucker developed Prodhoun's ideas rightwards on the Economical-Political Map. The general idea is individual, rightful possession within a mutualist and federalist framework, but rejecting economical plutarchy/capitalism. The basic ideas of Tucker are presented at .

Another famous thinker of this anarchist tendency is Henrik Ibsen, developing his "non-State" theory in letters, plays and other works, discussing libertarian alternatives to the State as a societal concept via his social laboratory, experimental style. Max Stirner (Kaspar Schmidt) is a pre-anarchist thinker often mentioned in this connection, however his left Hegelian dialectical ideas are prinicipally rejected as pseudo-science, but some of Stirner's ideas and ironical statements are still valid anarchist individualism. Anarcho-individualism must not be mixed up with liberalist individualism, sometimes wrongly called "anarcho-capitalism", i.e. "anarchy- (economical) plutarchy" - "both without and with ruler", and thus it is a contradictive, non-scientifical concept that must principally be rejected. Liberalistical individualism may also just be called individualism without adjective, and this is not anarchist.

1. The Commune-Anarchist International, CAI, is the section of anarcho-communism, communist anarchism, communalist anarchism and commune related anarchism in general. This anarchist tendency is historically mainly rooted back to Pjotr Kropotkin, and his works on communist anarchism. Kropotkin and other writers developed anarcho-communism mainly from Bakunin's anarchist collectivism, also investigating the anarchist ideal for a future with much higher labor productivity than today, optimal population etc. The communist remuneration principle "from each according to ability, to each according to needs" is a part of this form of anarchism. This principle may be implemented in different ways, and must be seen in connection with the principles of efficiency and fairness and other anarchist principles. The commune-anarchist systems have between 75% and 100% degree of anarchy. Errico Malatesta discussed a less ideal form of anarcho-communism than Kropotkin. The basic ideas of Kropotkin and Malatesta are presented at , and .

Kropotkin's hypothesis of the anarchist ideal, say, presented in his article on Anarchism in The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, is a balanced society, based on standard free contracts with an average workday of 5 hours fixed, to achieve access to necesseties, and another 5 hours to get access to luxuries, thus usually 10 hours workday; - partly distributed according to the communist remuneration principle: "True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery... As regards the substance of anarchism itself, it was Kropotkin's aim to prove that communism at least partial - has more chances of being established than collectivism, especially in communes taking the lead, and that free, or anarchist-communism is the only form of communism that has any chance of being accepted in civilized societies; communism and anarchy are therefore two terms of evolution which complete each other, the one rendering the other possible and acceptable.

He has tried, moreover, to indicate how, during a revolutionary period, a large city - if its inhabitants have accepted the idea could organize itself on the lines of free communism; the city guaranteeing to every inhabitant dwelling, food and clothing to an extent corresponding to the comfort now available to the middle classes only, in exchange for a half-day's, or five-hours' work; and how all those things which would be considered as luxuries might be obtained by everyone if he joins for the other half of the day all sorts of free associations pursuing all possible aims - educational, literary, scientific, artistic, sports and so on. In order to prove the first of these assertions he has analysed the possibilities of agriculture and industrial work, both being combined with brain work.

After his experience with the Russian Revolution he however found out that his hypothesis mentioned above indicating quite high labor-productivity in a revolutionary situation was to optimistic, thus he came to a quite contrary conclusion. He recognized the obstacles to production on a new basis as well as the poverty of the capitalist world and expressed his changed opinion in a postscript to the Russian edition of Words of a Rebel, published in 1919. Thus to achieve middle class level of necesseties and luxury, Kropotkin finally indicated a much longer average workday than 10 hours, or very little luxuries in a revolutionary situation with an average 10 hours workday. Of course people working less, and not working according to a free contract of, say, 10 hours workday, would in general receive less consumer goods. To fulfill the free agreements, i.e. free contracts, etc. Kropotkin in The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910 suggests a federalist system, ideally based on the following:

In a society of this type the state (i.e social organization with statism and/or plutarchy, ed. note) would be useless. The chief relations between citizens would be based on free agreement (i.e. free contracts, not slave-contracts) and regulated by mere account keeping (i.e. ecocirc and other accounting, also used in the free contracts and economic-political planning). The contests might be settled by arbitration (i.e. anarchist tribunals, - non-authoritarian rules/law and court systems in general)...

ANARCHISM (from the Gr. , and , contrary to authority) , the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, (i.e. political/administrative statism and/or economical plutarchy, authority and its authoritarian laws = the State = government in a societal perspective.), but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted (i.e anarchist constitution) for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions (the State in societal perspective, i.e. social organization of political/adminstrative statism and/or economical plutarchy).

They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees (i.e. the degree of "flatness" may variate for different federations dependent of the purpose and aim, - the organization being more or less "flat"), local, regional, national and international temporary or more or less permanent - for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary - as is seen in organic life at large - harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences (i.e. a balance of strength between countries, federations and in general must be achieved to avoid (significant tendencies of) power, in the meaning of domination), and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.

Important keywords here are: 1)
degrees (i.e. variation in the degree of "flatness" of organizations/federations of different purposes and aims may be optimal, say, a police or defence corps organization/federation may have a somewhat less degree of flatness than a study circle.); 2) local, regional, national and international (i.e. the country - the central/federal/confederal area or plan is a main basis for many activities); 3) production, consumption and exchange, communications; accounting (i.e. the production and distribution system in general, ecocirc and other accounting a.o.t. cost benefit analysis, practice, empirical and theoretical); 4) sanitary arrangements (health, medicin and recreation); 5) education; 6) mutual protection, defence of the territory (i.e. private security federations (vaktselskaper) and public services of policing and antimilitarist defence corpses & anarchist tribunals and public sector court-organizations, to achieve real anarchist law and order based on libertarian human rights, and safety, based on balance of strength, against militarist attack, terrorism and ochlarchy (mob rule). Sufficient public service of policing is important.

Man is not like ants who cooperate socially, naturally and voluntarely without coercion/repression automatically by themselves. Thus, doing away with the existing rule or tendencies of authority may easily result in ochlarchy, mob rule, and not anarchy, if not a firm horizontal social organization, ideally or practically is established with a sufficient police corps to create security and libertarian law and order and to do away with tendencies towards ochlarchy. Furthermore it must be mentioned once more that variation in the degree of "flatness" of organizations/federations of different purposes and aims may be optimal, say, a police or defence corps organization/federation may have a somewhat less degree of flatness than a study circle. And the police corps shall of course be well educated in libertarian human rights and policing and be democratically regulated and controlled, and bully types, corrupt and other "brown", ochlarchical elements should be expelled mainly during the education prosess and thus stopped from participating in the police corps. See and and search for the keywords "law" and "corps".) ; 7) an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs (the ecological and environmental -- the green factors in general, are especially important).

Kropotkin and other anarchists of those days discussed several forms of anarchist-communism related to different levels of labor productivity, but an assumption, 1) that there would be sufficiency of goods for each to take what he needed from the communal storehouse and to work as much as he felt able, may of course only be valid for 2) an enormous labor productivity, much higher than indicated above - and unpleasent and dirty work and production gone over to automation, and thus 3) Kropotkin in general must not be wrongly interpreted towards supporting such a naive utopian commie political-economical point of view, basically a marxist idea of communism.

Kropotkin, after taking into account the experiences of the Russian revolution, indicated, say, a ca 7-8 hours workday free contract for the average producer to get normal access to necesseties, and proportionally more work to get access to luxuries, partly adjusted for differences in needs and ability to work. Adding the 5 hours extra work for luxuries indicated above, a 12 -13 hours work per day to achieve ordinary middleclass standard of those days may be the case, perhaps a longer work day, i.e. within the ramifications and an approximation of an anarcho-communist ideal system related to those days. Thus Kropotkin's ideal of communist anarchism is quite far from utopian marxian work-shy council commie dreams of "peace, freedom and everything for free".

Today, at least in the developed industrial countries of OECD, there is at average a somewhat higher labor productivity than in Russia 1917-18 of course, but far from enormous - including automation of all unpleasent and dirty work, i.e. allowing for the assumption 1) mentioned above to be realistic and optimal. Thus, such naive utopian commie political-economical interpretations of anarcho-communism mentioned in 1) related to politics in the 21st century must be totally avoided, and basically rejected as not being valid anarchism.

Communist Anarchism has been seen as an ideal aim for most anarchist political tendencies in long term perspective. Communist Anarchism is of form of Anarchism, not Communism as such, i.e. without adjective. It must not be mixed up with marxism, marxian communism, communism, "libertarian" communism as a council communist or marxian concept, i.e. at best semilibertarian/semidemocratic -- council communism, soviet [Russian, meaning "workers' councils"] union, "one big union" as stated by the Industrial Workers of the World, statecommunism and statesocialism, i.e. the whole or a section of the marxian/marxist quadrant of the Economical-Political Map. Some council commies and neo-/trotskyites have introduced the term "anarcho-marxism", sometimes also wrongly called 'anarchist' or 'libertarian' communism or similar. This is however an extreme form of marxism, often based on ochlarchy, and not anarchism. Marxian policy with a dash of anarchist rhetorics is marxism - not anarchism. "Anarcho-marxism" is "anarchy-statism", "anarchy-archies", i.e. contradictive, and not a scientifical concept, and thus is not anarchist, i.e. scientifical.

Kropotkin discussed these four main tendencies of anarchism in his article on Anarchism in The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910 and in his book "Modern Science and Anarchism", 1903-1913, summarizing the research front of anarchism of those days. The research on the four main tendencies of anarchism continued in the 20th century and is still going on. A brief summary of this research is presented in the Basic Course of Anarchism, at While there were a lot of discussions between the different tendencies of anarchism in the 19th and early 20th century, often based on misunderstandings, a more pluralist framework was developed in the later part of the 20th century. The four main libertarian tendencies were confirmed as sections of the Anarchist International in the Anarchist Manifesto and program of the Northern sections of IFA, ISBN 82-90468-09-1, see Folkebladet No 4 (1983) and IFA-Solidaritet No 8 (1983), declaring:

"Locally, for different branches and workers of different occupations etc. there may be variations among the organizational forms within anarchism. Thus it is a.o.t. possible to practice different forms of anarchism at the same time. Anarchism take for granted respect and tolerance between different anarchist tendencies,... (a.o.t.)... anarcho-mutualists**,... -individualists,... -collectivists,... -communists..., or, i.e. - anarchists pure and simple."

At the founding congress of the world wide AI-network in 1998, i.e. the International Anarchist Congress - the 5th Anarchist Biennial, the following was declared:

"The Anarchist International is a global, undogmatic, free thinking, nonsectarian modern anarchist international, with sections for anarchoindividualist, anarchocollectivist, social individualist and mutualist anarchist and anarchocommunist  as well as green/ecoanarchist, anarchosyndicalist and anarchafeminist anarchists... We are commune or communist anarchists regarding the long term aim, the anarchist ideal. We are individualist anarchists in individual matters and collectivist anarchists in collective matters and social-individualist, including mutualist, anarchists in practical libertarian policy of today. We are anarcho-syndicalists in industrial and work matters, green/eco-anarchists regarding environmental questions, and anarcha-feminists in gender matters."

In addition to the global sections/organizations of the Anarchist International, i.e. the different Internationals, the AI-network is based on regional anarchist confederations, and anarchist federations of countries. When the Anarchist International world wide was confirmed at the International Anarchist Congresses in 1998 and 2000, the four main economical-political sections mentioned above were expanded universally. Some anarchists are in practice mainly supporters of one tendency of anarchism, or see one tendency as the most important, others are more pluralistic, or are anarchists pure and simple. The Anarchist International and its main sections are presented at 'Links'. Via 'Links' you will also find information of what is anarchism and anarchy and what is not...


Contact the Anarchist International for more information - Click here!

*) Russell's and his co-writer Hilderic Cousens however misinterpret Anarchism and Kropotkin's ideas quite a lot, presenting an almost marxian pseudolibertartian, superficial interpretation, a travesty, of Kropotkin's works, say, not accounting for important books as "Modern Science and Anarchism" and related material . Russell's polemical notes against this travesty of 'anarchism' are however quite interesting, as they reject marxian type false interpretations of anarchism that are quite usual among council commies and pseudolibertarian leftists falsely posing as anarchists.These persons are also called "the children of Marx", sometimes wrongly called "anarcho-marxists", this mean in reality. 'anarchy-archies' - a contradictive concept and thus non-scientifical, and must be rejected as not anarchist, that is scientifical. Liberalists often also have similar false interpretations of anarchism. Bertrand Russell however after mainly rejecting of course this travesty of "anarchism" ends up advocating a kind of social-individualist anarchist system, based on a rather anarchistic variant of Guild-socialism with a liberal (not liberalist) libertarian perspective. In his older days Russell turned a bit towards more authoritarian ideas, advocating a world government etc., that is not anarchist. From libertarian perspective some of Russell's writings between ca 1918-50 are the most interesting.

The term "socialism" in this book and its title, is used as a synonym for marxism and state-socialism, although anarchism is also explained as a kind of, or in a way being, a socialist system, as this concept is defined as "advocacy of communal ownership of land and capital", exluding ownership "by any State which is not democratic", but allowing for "ownership of a democratic state" and as "Anarchist Communism understands it." p 23 op.cit. The concepts of common vs private ownership in anarchism are however not the same as in marxian and non-socialist theory, because a) anarchism is allowing for individual rightful possession of land and other capital, i.e. means of production, if shared or distributed on significant equal terms, and b) marxism defines labor as "variable capital", but humans and labor are not capital in anarchism. "Human capital" in anarchism is not labor or humans, but sometimes used as a term for human knowledge, the accumulated scientifical research and what persons have learned about it through schools and other education. Thus there is an unclear, a bit contradictive tendency in the book of Russell related to the definition of socialism, state-socialism (= marxism) and anarchism. First the term socialism is used mainly as a synonym for marxism and state-socialism, later on the content of the concept is implicitely changed towards economical equality, freedom and solidarity etc. without a sufficient, scientifical discussion of the content of the concept of socialism. Thus, this book has several weaknesses from scientifical and anarchist point of view, but nevertheless it has also a lot of interesting thoughts related to libertarian organization and systems. This weakness is also indicated in the preface, declaring: " This book is an attempt to compress into a small compass a discussion which would require many volumes for its adequate treatment ... In the historical parts of the work I was much assisted by my friend Mr. Hilderic Cousens, who supplied me with facts on subjects which I had not time to investigate thoroughly myself. "

The superficial and travesty type interpretation of anarchism is probably mainly due to Hilderic Cousens' historical contributions, as it is a.o.t suggested that: There is something of Anarchism in his (Bakunin's) lack of literary order. ... Kropotkin has devoted much of his writing to technical questions of production. In the "Fields, Factories, and Workshops" and "The Conquest of Bread" he has set himself to prove that if production were more scientific and better organized... etc." These two books are however more of a study of food production and agricultural economics than anarchism as a political economical system and social organization research. "These views as to production have no essential connection with Kropotkin's advocay of Anarchism. They would be equally possible under State Socialism, and under certain circumstances they might even be carried out in a capitalistic regime," Russell correctly declares (p. 104 op.cit.). However "Modern Science and anarchism" and related material presenting and discussing anarchism as a political economical system, based on the method of natural sciences, i.e. the hypothetical deductive method, are as mentioned not quoted in the book.

Instead Russel presents and discusses a more or less non-scientifical travesty of anarchism, based on simple slogans that Kropotkin called "sonourous words", and Russell calls watchwords, say, as "Abolition of the wages system"(p.107), interpreted in a rather non-anarchist way, and not as the usual anarchist working hypothesis about using salaries instead, and not accounting for a.o.t Kropotkin's famous declaration in Modern science and anarchism: "Every time ... the anarchist movement sprang up in response to the lessons of actual life and originated from the practical tendencies of events. And, under the impulse thus given it, Anarchism set to work out its theoretic, scientific basis. ... we had better give up using the sonorous words which only conceal the superficiality of our semi-learning. In their time the use of these words was, perhaps, unavoidable -- their application could never have been useful; but now we are able to approach the study of burning social questions in exactly the same manner as the gardener and the physiologist take up the study of the conditions most favorable for the growth of a plant -- let us do so! Moreover, the whole of political economy appears to us in a different light from that in which it is seen by modern economists of both the middle-class and the social-democratic camps. Thus, the interpretation of Anarchism in Russell's book is mainly based on a few, not very relevant works of Bakunin and Kropotkin, and as mentioned it is biased, superficial and a bit false.

Russel also shows in his writings that he is trapped in the English language's Orwellian "1984" "newspeak. The words anarchy and anarchism are a bit problematic. Sorry to say, anglophone languages are very much twisted in an Orwellian "1984" "newspeak" way, to fool the people via the education to worship authority, compared to Nordic language, say,

A. Rules, rule = regler, regel (relatively fixed ways to settle things in an orderly way, i.e. regulations and regulatory means); but also

B. Rules, rule = hersking, hersker, herske (to be an arch/ruler, act as an arch, bestiality).

Thus in English/American the words 'archein (Greek) = herske (Nordic)' is translated to B. "rule" = to be an arch etc., but "rule" also is used as A. 'regel' = "rule" (i.e. rule(s) in the meaning of relatively fixed way(s) to settle things, disputes and conflicts in an orderly way, i.e. regulations and regulatory means = regel/regler). And thus, due to using one word to mean two very different things, i.e. A. and B, the anglophones are forced in an authoritarian way to think very much false and wrong about realities, with respect to anarchy, freedom and authority, that the Scandinavian people are not to the same extent. See the point! Anglophones are very much fooled by the authorities in this way, thus you probably cannot easily think free, but like a slave via psychological ruling, to think authority = ruler is necessary to keep order. In Norwegian a situation "an (without) arch(y)" "uten hersker" may very well considered to be with 'regler' because "hersker" = rules, and "regler" = rules, are quite different words. This is very difficult to understand with an anglophone basis.

C. Furthermore the Greek word "an" is not meaning "without" in general, but just as "an" in anaerobe and similar words, i.e. "an" means without what is mentioned in the suffix, but keeping what is essential in the matter, i.e. management in the meaning of coordination related to anarchy. Thus the whole thing gets often mixed up in the anglophone sphere, the language falsely forcing people to think that rule and rulers are necessary to settle things in an orderly way.

D. To fix this linguistical/language problem in a simple way, we mainly use the word "rules" in the meaning of one or more rules, i.e. regulations and regulatory means, case A, and the words "rule" and "ruling" in case B, unless something else is mentioned.

2. The word anarchism origins from the word anarchy, also an old Greek word. The original meaning, that everybody should stick to, is the following: The prefix "an" means "negation of", as in anaerobe vs aerobe, anandrous vs -androus, anhydride vs hydride, etc; i.e. "an" means without what is mentioned in the suffix, but keeping what is essential in the matter. The suffix "archy" means "rule (not rules or law), ruler, rulers, superior in contrast to subordinates, etc.", from Greek "archein", "to rule, to be first"; and "archos", "ruler" i.e. in a coercive, repressive, etc. manner, slavery and tyranny included. As mentioned "an" means without what is mentioned in the suffix, but keeping what is essential in the matter, i.e. in this case management in the meaning of coordination, but without ruling. The 'ruling' is not essential, but an evil alienation, i.e. bestiality. Thus, anarchy means coordination and management without ruling and thus rulers, also accounting for the ecological perspective. Remember D. Anarchy and anarchism also of course have and use regulations and regulatory means when necessary and optimal, and thus is not lawlessness.

Russell however often uses the word anarchy in the wrong meaning of "without rule", i.e. "rule" interpreted as both A and B over, although only case B. is relevant from anarchist point of view. Russell uses the term anarchy wrong in this way several places in his writings. At various points in his life, he imagined himself in turn a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things, in any profound sense. Not all of Russel's economic-political works are representative for social-individualist anarchism, but this may be seen as his main political and social tendency.

Ragnar Frisch does not go in the same language trap as Russell, but seen apart from this problem he has quite a similar point of view as Russell's, "a form of Guild Socialism, leaning more, perhaps, towards Anarchism than the official Guildsman would wholly approve. It is in the matters that politicians usually ignore - science and art, human relations, and the joy of life - that Anarchism is strongest... Guild Socialists ... growing naturally out of the autonomy of industrial guilds, by which they hope to limit the power of the state and help to preserve individual liberty," however not mentioning Guild Socialism. Frisch is defining the third alternative briefly in this way: "Et økonomisk og politisk system som setter individets frihet og moralske og etiske verdighet i sentrum (og med frihet mener jeg ikke frihet for de få til å utnytte de mange, men de manges frihet slik som Henrik Wergeland ville ha den), og som samtidig gjør det mulig å utnytte de materielle ressurser - naturrikdommene og den menneskelige kunnskap - på en virkelig rasjonell måte....Det kan bare løses ved en høyverdig form for planøkonomi, nasjonalt og internasjonalt. De elektroniske regnemaskinene og de moderne økonometriske metoder har gitt oss det tekniske hjelpemiddel til å løse dette kjempeproblemet. Er det utopi å tro på det tredje alternativet? Jeg vil aldri holde opp med å tro at det ikke er utopi," in the article "The unenlightened plutarchy", Sosialøkonomen (1961), i.e. an economical and political system with the individual's freedom and moral and ethical dignity in the center, autonomy combined with a rational, planned socialism that is not utopian.

**) Anarcho-mutualism may typically have a social-individualist or individualist approach, related to the economical political map. In this version of the anarchist manifesto published in 1983, anarcho-mutualism may perhaps best be interpreted as a synonym for social-individualist anarchism, referred to as "other anarchism" on this old version of the economical-political map. Sometimes just the terms social individualism and third alternative, etc., are used for this third section of the anarchist quadrant, especially the middle form between advanced marxian social democracy and social liberalism, see the map above, and thus omitting the words anarchism, anarchy and anarchist etc. Say, several of Proudhon's followers called themselves just mutualists, omitting the term anarchist. In this case the terms anarchist, anarchy, anarchism, etc. may mainly be used relating to more ideal forms anarchism, i.e. with a higher degree of anarchy, although the above mentioned social individualist, third alternative, etc economical political systems of course are forms of anarchism, in the meaning of systems within the anarchist quadrant of the economical political map.

***) The figures and curved lines, i.e. circle segments, of the illustration are indicating the authoritarian degree measured relatively as the distance from the top of the map, with 100% authoritarian degree at the bottom, and 0% authoritarian degree at the top, equal to 100% degree of anarchy. The libertarian area on the map is equal to the anarchist, i.e. the quadrant of anarchism. The pseudo- or semilibertarian area is between the curved line of 50% authoritarian degree, the circle segment going through the middlepoint of the map, and the anarchist quadrant. This line is not drawn on the illustration above. The lowest curved line drawn on the illustration, is indicating 67% authoritarian degree, the systems below this circle segment are totalitarian, ultra-authoritarian systems, dictatorship. Above this curved line of 67% authoritarian degree the democratic systems are found, the real democratic within the anarchist quadrant, and the semi- or pseudo-democratic political economic systems outside the anarchist quadrant. The curved line in the middle at about 43,75 % authoritarian degree, or 56,25 % anarchist degree within the anarchist quadrant, is indicating the border between significant parliamentary democratic systems below this line, and significant direct democratic systems broadly defined, in the meaning of not significant parliamantary, but of course not dictatorship, above this line, however only systems within the anarchist quadrant being real democratic, as marxian direct democracy has a significant statist, say, oligarchical tendency, and liberalist direct democracy has significant plutarchist. This line is not drawn on the illustration above. The line in middle on the illustration has about 46-48 % authoritarian degree. Political economical systems above the third curved line on the illustration are very libertarian, i.e. are less authoritarian in the meaning of having less distance to the anarchist ideal at the top of the map, than any semilibertarian system can be. The illustration is an approximation to the formula of anarchism and the authoritarian degree etc. presented at .

****) Frisch is often referring to Henrik Wergeland's concept of freedom. Henrik Wergeland (1808-45) was influenced by the somewhat social individualist libertarian tendencies of those days, writing a.o.t.: "Hør mig, Despot! Jeg være vil din Pestilents mens jeg er til! Om Nordamerikaneren: Gid rastløse Flid vi af Yankeen lærte! Men ei vil vi have en Dollar til Hjerte. Om Franskmanden. Vi ham taknemmelig maa hylde. Vor Frihed vi Revolutionen skylde." (Source: HENRIK WERGELAND - SAMLEDE SKRIFTER IV. AVHANDLINGER, OPPLYSNINGSSKRIFTER 7. BIND: 1844 - 1845, p.235, 255 and 256). Thus he declared to be a life long plague against tyranny, would not have a US $ as a heart, and had a sound freedom and revolution on the agenda, inspirited by the French people. He also had ideas similar to Pjotr Kropotkin and later Ragnar Frisch, that a combination of practical work, say gardening, and theoretical work, was an optimal basis for human development. Also accounting for other works of Henrik Wergeland, it is quite clear that he would be 'a plague' against authority and the authoritarian broadly defined, not only a despot. By the way, Henrik Wergeland was in general a lawful person, a real democrat and for autonomy, using often a colorful language, and that he would act as a plague to authority/arch/despot must of course not be interpreted literary, as a defence for biological weapons, spreading illnesses, or something like that.