Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Anarchy is an ordered state of society without government and domination. Anarchists argue that domination opposes human interests and that all aspects of society should not be ruled by authorities, but can be voluntarily organized based on self-organization, self-management, self-government, bottom-up decision making, grassroots democracy, decentralized networks, free agreements, and free associations. Anarchists see capitalism and the nation-state as limitations to self-determination, freedom, and the full development of human faculties. The basic idea of anarchism is that decisions shouldn't be taken by minorities but, instead, in bottom-up processes by all those who are affected by them. Utopian socialists such as William Godwin, Charles Fourier, or Robert Owen didn't call themselves anarchists, but anticipated the idea of a society without government. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was the first scientist who systematically developed the idea of anarchism, defining it in 1840 in What Is Property? as the absence of a master, of a Individual ...