Intro to Anarchist Ideology

/me waves to the gang

re: April 23, 2019 - Tue I know nothing about anarchist idealogy, but I would like to. Searching about anything related to anarchy online leads to a whole bunch of resources that seem like a mess.

This is an ask: Could people please share some good online resources related to the anarchist idealogy / anti-capitalist theme that is a part of #liferaft ?

To be clear, I think:

  • putting profits before people is a disaster, and it’s happening now.
  • putting profits before the environment is a disaster, and it’s happening now.
  • the incredible power/income/health/wellbeing disparity between the classes is a disaster, and it’s happening now.

Many thanks in advance!

Warning: I went from someone who used to call themselves something of an anarchist to someone who just uses the anticapitalist moniker. Mainly because I didn’t agree with a lot of the anarchists I encountered on the #Fediverse on issues like violence and it gave me wierd authenticity/imposter issues. Though pacifistic anarchism is totally a legit school too, it just doesn’t seem in vogue right now. Because of my wierd feelings on the issue my advice may not be the best. Though I also did get into anticapitalism through actual university political philosophy study so im not entirely uneducated on it.

Anticapitalism is technically broader than anarchism. Incompassing statist philosophies too like state socialism, communisim, etc.

That being said there is a lot shared minshare and room for collaboration between them all.

With anarchism in particular. The Anarchist FAQ is a good place to start: An Anarchist FAQ | Anarchist Writers

Anarchism itself encompasses a broad range of political philosophies though and there are a lot of flavors and stances and sub camps. Often these ideas are borrowing values from other anticapitalist philosophies. The diversity of thought though is why it looks like a hot mess from the outside. The core idea(s) tend to overlap however. Once you read through the FAQ it should give you some barrings on where to go next. As far as what forms and flavors interest you.

Im currently really digging into social ecology / communalism / libertarian municipalism which is a particular sub branch though distinct enough that its often considered it’s own fork. I might be able to point you to a few resources specific to it if it’s your cup of tea. Infact the philosopher who founded the branch thought basic first steps for implementing it would be to form book clubs to self teach it.


I just want to expound and clarify one thing.

At it’s core almost all forms anarchism/libertarian socialism are rejections of vertical power. It isn’t chaos but it believes people should be autonomous and self organizing. It seeks to flatten all hierarchical power into a distributed system of peers of equal power. This isn’t just political. The reason it is anticapitalist is because capitalism is seen as yet another form of power and control to be done away with from anarchism’s point of view.

I mention this, because the things in your list that you think are compatible with anarchism are, but their not specific to it. They are compatible with other anticapitalistc philosophies too. So you may want to cast a wide net.


Yayyy I’m excited about this question :pray:

What is Anarchism? was my intro to anarchism. I just read it to understand what my friends were talking about and be able to speak their language so they would listen to me. Turned out the reason they wouldn’t listen to me was because they’re manarchists, but the book was very convincing!

“To Change Everything” is a really good short intro. Also Crimethinc has many other great zines. is great. I think I’ve only read The Housing Monster but seriously so good.

Resonance Audio Distro has a bunch of fantastic stuff, especially great because they offer a multitude of listening/reading formats so you can pick what suits best. And they link to even more resources.

The Anarchist Library can be really great if you’re looking for a specific topic or article or author (or want to make your own collections for zines!), and you can also shuffle and read, but I really wouldn’t recommend that as an intro bc it gets pretty wild.

There’s like, lots of stuff, and like, I’m still not sure I totally understand exactly where the line even is between communist and individualist strains, etc. but you could probably be set for a good few months of reading materials if you end up liking the above resources :smile_cat:


I thought about adding this last night, but ill mention this and try to take a step back again. The nice thing is that if you don’t plan on being a political theorist or your not overly concerned with the particulars of political philosophy the specific sub branches don’t matter much outside of implementation and transition strategy. By and large they all share the same values and roughly similar end states. A lot of the gnashing of teeth between them is on how to get there; and how they all predict culture will behave once we get there.

Part of this is because philosophers are just overly analytically people who make hobbies or careers out of disagreeing with one another. (I jest, a bit.)

Part of this is also because some historical strains of anarchism were linked to actual socialist / populist / communist movements. Mostly united by the same end goals, but drawing on their historical values too.

A lot of people label themselves as anarchists without labels, or just adopt the broad libertarian socialist moniker. Both because of this, and both as a unifying subcultural position.)


I keep thinking it is somehow conceptually elegant that anarchist thought is messy.


This is exactly what I was hoping for, thanks everybody! :wave: