Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic and empiricism, rather than authority, revelation, or dogma. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a freethinker is'a person who forms their own ideas and opinions rather than accepting those of other people in religious teaching.' In some contemporary thought in particular, freethought is tied with rejection of traditional social or religious belief systems. The cognitive application of freethought is known as "freethinking", practitioners of freethought are known as "freethinkers". Modern freethinkers consider freethought as a natural freedom of all negative and illusive thoughts acquired from the society; the term first came into use in the 17th century in order to indicate people who inquired into the basis of traditional religious beliefs. In practice, freethinking is most linked with secularism, agnosticism, anti-clericalism, religious critique; the Oxford English Dictionary defines freethinking as, "The free exercise of reason in matters of religious belief, unrestrained by deference to authority.
Freethinkers hold that knowledge should be grounded in facts, scientific inquiry, logic. The skeptical application of science implies freedom from the intellectually limiting effects of confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, or sectarianism. Atheist author Adam Lee defines freethought as thinking, independent of revelation, established belief, authority, considers it as a "broader umbrella" than atheism "that embraces a rainbow of unorthodoxy, religious dissent and unconventional thinking."The basic summarizing statement of the essay The Ethics of Belief by the 19th-century British mathematician and philosopher William Kingdon Clifford is: "It is wrong always and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." The essay became a rallying cry for freethinkers when published in the 1870s, has been described as a point when freethinkers grabbed the moral high ground. Clifford was himself an organizer of freethought gatherings, the driving force behind the Congress of Liberal Thinkers held in 1878.
Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena. According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, "No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker and faith are invalid, orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth." And "Freethinkers are convinced that religious claims have not withstood the tests of reason. Not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition. Most freethinkers consider religion to be not only untrue, but harmful."However, philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote the following in his 1944 essay "The Value of Free Thought:" What makes a freethinker is not his beliefs but the way in which he holds them. If he holds them because his elders told him they were true when he was young, or if he holds them because if he did not he would be unhappy, his thought is not free.
The whole first paragraph of the essay makes it clear that a freethinker is not an atheist or an agnostic, as long as he or she satisfies this definition: The person, free in any respect is free from something. To be worthy of the name, he must be free of two things: the force of tradition, the tyranny of his own passions. No one is free from either, but in the measure of a man's emancipation he deserves to be called a free thinker. Fred Edwords, former executive of the American Humanist Association, suggests that by Russell's definition, liberal religionists who have challenged established orthodoxies can be considered freethinkers. On the other hand, according to Bertrand Russell, atheists and/or agnostics are not freethinkers; as an example, he mentions Stalin, whom he compares to a "pope": what I am concerned with is the doctrine of the modern Communistic Party, of the Russian Government to which it owes allegiance. According to this doctrine, the world develops on the lines of a Plan called Dialectical Materialism, first discovered by Karl Marx, embodied in the practice of a great state by Lenin, now expounded from day to day by a Church of which Stalin is the Pope.
Free discussion is to be prevented. In the 18th and 19th century, many thinkers regarded as freethinkers were deists, arguing that the nature of God can only be known from a study of nature rather than from religious revelation. In the 18th century, "deism" was as much of a'dirty word' as "atheism", deists were stigmatized as either atheists or at least as freethinkers by their Christian opponents. Deists today regard themselves as freethinkers, but are now arguably less prominent in the freethought movement than atheists. Among freethinkers, for a notion to be considered true it must be testable, verifiable and logical. Many freethinkers tend to be humanists, where they basing morality on human needs and would find meaning in human compassion, social progress, personal happiness and the furtherance of knowledge
Decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group. Concepts of decentralization have been applied to group dynamics and management science in private businesses and organizations, political science and public administration, economics and technology; the word "centralization" came into use in France in 1794 as the post-French Revolution French Directory leadership created a new government structure. The word "decentralization" came into usage in the 1820s. "Centralization" entered written English in the first third of the 1800s. In the mid-1800s Tocqueville would write that the French Revolution began with "a push towards decentralization... in the end, an extension of centralization." In 1863 retired French bureaucrat Maurice Block wrote an article called "Decentralization" for a French journal which reviewed the dynamics of government and bureaucratic centralization and recent French efforts at decentralization of government functions.
Ideas of liberty and decentralization were carried to their logical conclusions during the 19th and 20th centuries by anti-state political activists calling themselves "anarchists", "libertarians", decentralists. Tocqueville was an advocate, writing: "Decentralization has, not only an administrative value, but a civic dimension, since it increases the opportunities for citizens to take interest in public affairs, and from the accumulation of these local, persnickety freedoms, is born the most efficient counterweight against the claims of the central government if it were supported by an impersonal, collective will." Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, influential anarchist theorist wrote: "All my economic ideas as developed over twenty-five years can be summed up in the words: agricultural-industrial federation. All my political ideas boil down to a similar formula: political federation or decentralization."In early twentieth century America a response to the centralization of economic wealth and political power was a decentralist movement.
It blamed large-scale industrial production for destroying middle class shop keepers and small manufacturers and promoted increased property ownership and a return to small scale living. The decentralist movement attracted Southern Agrarians like Robert Penn Warren, as well as journalist Herbert Agar. New Left and libertarian individuals who identified with social and political decentralism through the ensuing years included Ralph Borsodi, Wendell Berry, Paul Goodman, Carl Oglesby, Karl Hess, Donald Livingston, Kirkpatrick Sale, Murray Bookchin, Dorothy Day, Senator Mark O. Hatfield, Mildred J. Loomis and Bill Kauffman. Leopold Kohr, author of the 1957 book The Breakdown of Nations – known for its statement "Whenever something is wrong, something is too big" – was a major influence on E. F. Schumacher, author of the 1973 bestseller Small is Beautiful: Economics As. In the next few years a number of best-selling books promoted decentralization. Daniel Bell's The Coming of Post-Industrial Society discussed the need for decentralization and a "comprehensive overhaul of government structure to find the appropriate size and scope of units", as well as the need to detach functions from current state boundaries, creating regions based on functions like water, transport and economics which might have "different'overlays' on the map."
Alvin Toffler published The Third Wave. Discussing the books in a interview, Toffler said that industrial-style, top-down bureaucratic planning would be replaced by a more open, decentralized style which he called "anticipatory democracy". Futurist John Naisbitt's 1982 book "Megatrends" was on The New York Times Best Seller list for more than two years and sold 14 million copies. Naisbitt's book outlines 10 "megatrends", the fifth of, from centralization to decentralization. In 1996 David Osborne and Ted Gaebler had a best selling book Reinventing Government proposing decentralist public administration theories which became labeled the "New Public Management". Stephen Cummings wrote. In 1983 Diana Conyers asked if decentralization was the "latest fashion" in development administration. Cornell University's project on Restructuring Local Government states that decentralization refers to the "global trend" of devolving responsibilities to regional or local governments. Robert J. Bennett's Decentralization, Intergovernmental Relations and Markets: Towards a Post-Welfare Agenda describes how after World War II governments pursued a centralized "welfarist" policy of entitlements which now has become a "post-welfare" policy of intergovernmental and market-based decentralization.
In 1983, "Decentralization" was identified as one of the "Ten Key Values" of the Green Movement in the United States. According to a 1999 United Nations Development Programme report: "large number of developing and transitional countries have embarked on some form of decentralization programmes; this trend is coupled with a growing interest in the role of civil society and the private sector as partners to governments in seeking new ways of service delivery... Decentralization of governance and the strengthening of local governing capacity is in part a function of broader societal trends; these include, for example, the growing distrust of government the spectacular demise of some of the most centralized regimes in the world and the emerging separat
Social anarchism is a non-state form of socialism and is considered to be the branch of anarchism that sees individual freedom as being interrelated with mutual aid. Social anarchist thought emphasizes community and social equality as complementary to autonomy and personal freedom through norms such as freedom of speech maintained in a decentralized federalism, balanced with freedom of interaction in thought as well as incorporating the concept of subsidiarity, namely "that one should not withdraw from individuals and commit to the community what they can accomplish by their own enterprise and industry" and that "or every social activity ought of its nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, never destroy and absorb them", or the slogan "Do not take tools out of people's hands". Social anarchism has advocated that the conversion of a proportion of present-day and future productive private property be made into social property to offer individual empowerment through easier access to such as tools or parts, or a sharing of the commons while retaining respect for personal property.
The term is used to describe the theory—contra individualist anarchism—that places an emphasis on the communitarian and cooperative aspects in anarchist theory while opposing authoritarian forms of communitarianism associated with groupthink and collective conformity and instead favouring a reconciliation between individuality and sociality. For instance, illegitimate authority is removed through vigilance. While self-determination is asserted as is worker's self-management and education and empowerment emphasized, both individually and through interaction with the community, a do-it-youself mentality is combined with educational efforts within the social realm. Social anarchism is considered an umbrella term that includes—but is not limited to—the post-capitalist economic models of anarcho-communism, collectivist anarchism and sometimes mutualism, or non-state controlled federated guild socialism dual power industrial democracy or federated cooperatives in addition to workers' and consumers' councils, replacing much of the present state system yet still retaining basic rights as well as the trade union approach of anarcho-syndicalism, the social struggle strategies of platformism and specifism and the environmental philosophy of social ecology.
The term social anarchism is used interchangeably with libertarian socialism, left-libertarianism, or left anarchism. It emerged in the late 19th century as a distinction from individualist anarchism. Mutualism developed by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, emerged from early 19th century socialism and is considered a market-oriented strand within the libertarian socialist tradition. Mutualists accept property rights, but with brief abandonment time periods. In a community in which mutuality property rules were upheld, a landowner would need to make continuous use of his/her land. A mutualist property regime is described as one rooted in possession, occupancy-and-use, or usufruct. Mutualism is associated with the economic views of 19th century American individualist anarchists such as Benjamin Tucker and William Batchelder Greene. Today, Kevin Carson is a contemporary mutualist and author of Studies in Mutualist Political Economy who describes this work as "an attempt to revive individualist anarchist political economy, to incorporate the useful developments of the last hundred years, to make it relevant to the problems of the twenty-first century".
Collectivist anarchism is a revolutionary form of anarchism associated with Mikhail Bakunin and James Guillaume. It is a specific tendency, not to be confused with the broad category sometimes called collectivist or communitarian anarchism; the tendency emerged from the most radical wing of mutualism during the late 1860s. Unlike mutualists, collectivist anarchists oppose all private ownership of the means of production, instead advocating that ownership be collectivized, being made the joint property of the commune; this was to be achieved through violent revolution, first starting with a small cohesive group through acts of armed insurrection, or propaganda by the deed, which would inspire the workers and peasants as a whole to revolt and forcibly collectivize the means of production. However, collectivization was not to be extended to the distribution of income as workers would be paid according to time worked, rather than receiving goods being distributed "according to need" as in anarcho-communism.
This position was criticised by anarcho-communists as "uphold the wages system". Anarchist communist and collectivist ideas were not mutually exclusive. Although the collectivist anarchists advocated compensation for labor, some held out the possibility of a post-revolutionary transition to a communist system of distribution according to need, claiming that this would become more feasible once technology and productivity had evolved to a point where "production outstrips consumption" in a relative sense. Collectivist anarchism arose contemporaneously with Marxism, but it opposed the Marxist dictatorship of the proletariat despite the stated Marxist goal of a collectivist stateless society. Anarcho-communism is a theory of anarchism that advocates the abolition of the state, money and private property. Politically, anarcho-communists advocate replacing the nation-state and representative government with a
Anarcho-naturism appeared in the late 19th century as the union of anarchist and naturist philosophies. In many of the alternative communities established in Britain in the early 1900s, "nudism, anarchism and free love were accepted as part of a politically radical way of life". In the 1920s, the inhabitants of the anarchist community at Whiteway, near Stroud in Gloucestershire, "shocked the conservative residents of the area with their shameless nudity", it had importance within individualist anarchist circles in Spain, France and Cuba. Anarcho-naturism advocates vegetarianism, free love, hiking and an ecological world view within anarchist groups and outside them. Anarcho-naturism promotes an ecological worldview, small ecovillages, most prominently nudism as a way to avoid the artificiality of the industrial mass society of modernity. Naturist individualist anarchists see the individual in their biological and psychological aspects and try to eliminate social determinations. An important early influence on anarchist naturism was the thought of Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy and Élisée Reclus.
Thoreau was an American author, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, historian and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state, his thought is an early influence on green anarchism, but with an emphasis on the individual experience of the natural world, influencing naturist currents. Simple living as a rejection of a materialist lifestyle and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's goals, the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy. "Many have seen in Thoreau one of the precursors of ecologism and anarcho-primitivism represented today in John Zerzan. For George Woodcock this attitude can be motivated by certain idea of resistance to progress and of rejection of the growing materialism, the nature of American society in the mid-19th century." John Zerzan himself included the text "Excursions" by Thoreau in his edited compilation of anti-civilization writings called Against civilization: Readings and reflections from 1999.
For the influential French anarchist Élisée Reclus, naturism "was at the same time a physical means of revitalization, a rapport with the body different from the hypocrisy and taboos which prevailed at the time, a more convivial way to see life in society, an incentive to respect the planet. Thus naturism develops in France, in particular under the influence of Élizée Reclus, at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century among anarchistic communities resulting from utopian socialism."In France important propagandists of anarcho-naturism include Henri Zisly and Émile Gravelle who collaborated in La Nouvelle Humanité, Le Naturien, Le Sauvage, L'Ordre Naturel, La Vie Naturelle. Their ideas were important in individualist anarchist circles in France as well as Spain, where Federico Urales promoted the ideas of Gravelle and Zisly in La Revista Blanca. Zisly's political activity, "primarily aimed at supporting a return to'natural life' through writing and practical involvement, stimulated lively confrontations within and outside the anarchist environment.
Zisly vividly criticized progress and civilization, which he regarded as'absurd and filthy.' He opposed industrialization, arguing that machines were inherently authoritarian, defended nudism, advocated a non-dogmatic and non-religious adherence to the'laws of nature,' recommended a lifestyle based on limited needs and self-sufficiency, disagreed with vegetarianism, which he considered'anti-scientific.'"Richard D. Sonn comments on the influence of naturist views in the wider French anarchist movement: In her memoir of her anarchist years, serialized in Le Matin in 1913, Rirette Maîtrejean made much of the strange food regimens of some of the compagnons, she described the "tragic bandits" of the Bonnot gang as refusing to eat meat or drink wine, preferring plain water. Her humorous comments reflected the practices of the "naturist" wing of individualist anarchists who favored a simpler, more "natural" lifestyle centered on a vegetarian diet. In the 1920s, this wing was expressed by the journal Le Néo-Naturien, Revue des Idées Philosophiques et Naturiennes.
Contributors condemned the fashion of smoking cigarettes by young women. Others distinguished between vegetarians, who foreswore the eating of meat, from the stricter "vegetalians," who ate nothing but vegetables. An anarchist named G. Butaud, who made this distinction, opened a restaurant called the Foyer Végétalien in the nineteenth arrondissement in 1923. Other issues of the journal included vegetarian recipes. In 1925, when the young anarchist and future detective novelist Léo Malet arrived in Paris from Montpellier, he lodged with anarchists who operated another vegetarian restaurant that served only vegetables, with neither fish nor eggs. Nutritional concerns coincided with other means of encouraging health bodies, such as nudism and gymnastics. For a while in the 1920s, after they were released from jail for antiwar and birth-control activities and Eugène Humbert retreated to the relative safety of the "integral living" movement that promoted nude sunbathing and physical fitness, which were seen as integral aspects of health in the Greek sense of gymnos, meaning nude.
This back-to-nature, primitivist current was not a monopoly of the left.
Anarcho-syndicalism is a theory of anarchism that views revolutionary industrial unionism or syndicalism as a method for workers in capitalist society to gain control of an economy and thus control influence in broader society. Syndicalists consider their economic theories a strategy for facilitating worker self-activity and as an alternative co-operative economic system with democratic values and production centered on meeting human needs; the basic principles of anarcho-syndicalism are solidarity, direct action and direct democracy, or workers' self-management. The end goal of syndicalism is to abolish the wage system. Anarcho-syndicalist theory therefore focuses on the labour movement. Anarcho-syndicalists view the primary purpose of the state as being the defense of private property, therefore of economic and political privilege, denying most of its citizens the ability to enjoy material independence and the social autonomy that springs from it. Reflecting the anarchist philosophy from which it draws its primary inspiration, anarcho-syndicalism is centred on the idea that power corrupts and that any hierarchy that cannot be ethically justified must either be dismantled or replaced by decentralized egalitarian control.
Hubert Lagardelle wrote that Pierre-Joseph Proudhon laid out fundamental ideas of anarcho-syndicalism and repudiated both capitalism and the state in the process since he viewed free economic groups and struggle, not pacifism, as dominant in humans. In September 1903 and March 1904, Sam Mainwaring published in Britain two issues of a short-lived newspaper called The General Strike, a publication that made detailed criticisms of the "officialism" of union bureaucracy and publicized strikes in Europe making use of syndicalist tactics. In 1910, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo was founded in the middle of the restoration in Barcelona in a congress of the Catalan trade union Solidaridad Obrera with the objective of constituting an opposing force to the then-majority trade union, the socialist UGT and "to speed up the economic emancipation of the working class through the revolutionary expropriation of the bourgeoisie"; the CNT started small, counting 26,571 members represented through several trade unions and other confederations.
In 1911, coinciding with its first congress, the CNT initiated a general strike that provoked a Barcelona judge to declare the union illegal until 1914. That same year of 1911, the trade union received its name. From 1918 on, the CNT grew stronger and had an outstanding role in the events of the La Canadiense general strike, which paralyzed 70% of industry in Catalonia in 1919, the year the CNT reached a membership of 700,000. Around that time, panic spread among employers, giving rise to the practice of pistolerismo, causing a spiral of violence that affected the trade union; these pistoleros are credited with killing 21 union leaders in 48 hours. In 1922, the International Workers' Association was founded in Berlin and the CNT joined but with the rise of Miguel Primo de Rivera's dictatorship the labor union was outlawed once again the following year. However, with the workers' movement resurgent following the Russian Revolution, what was to become the modern IWA was formed, billing itself as the "true heir" of the original International.
The successful Bolshevik-led revolution of 1918 in Russia was mirrored by a wave of syndicalist successes worldwide, including the struggle of the Industrial Workers of the World in the United States alongside the creation of mass anarchist unions across Latin America and huge syndicalist-led strikes in Germany, Spain and France, where it was noted that "neutral syndicalism had been swept away". The final formation of this new International known as the International Workingmen's Association, took place at an illegal conference in Berlin in December 1922, marking an irrevocable break between the international syndicalist movement and the Bolsheviks; the Italian Syndicalist Union: 500,000 members The Argentine Workers Regional Organisation: 200,000 The General Confederation of Workers in Portugal: 150,000 The Free Workers' Union of Germany: 120,000 The Committee for the Defense of Revolutionary Syndicalism in France: 100,000 The Federation du Combattant from Paris: 32,000 The Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden: 32,000 The National Labor Secretariat of the Netherlands: 22,500 The Industrial Workers of the World in Chile: 20,000 The Union for Syndicalist Propaganda in Denmark: 600The first secretaries of the International included the famed writer and activist Rudolph Rocker, along with Augustin Souchy and Alexander Schapiro.
Following the first congress, other groups affiliated from France, Denmark, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Romania. A bloc of unions in the United States, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador shared the IWA's statutes; the biggest syndicalist union in the United States was the IWW and considered joining, but ruled out affiliation in 1936 by citing the IWA's policies on religious and political affiliation. Although not anarcho-syndicalist, the IWW were informed by developments in the broader revolutionary syndicalist milieu at the turn of the 20th century. At its founding congress in 1905, influential members with strong anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist sympathies like Thomas J. Hagerty, William Trautmann and Lucy Parsons contributed to the union's overall revolutionary syndicalist orientation. Although
Anarchy refers to a society, group of people, or a single person that rejects hierarchy. The word meant leaderlessness, but Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his 1840 treatise What Is Property? to refer to anarchism, a new political philosophy which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations. In practical terms, anarchy can refer to the curtailment or abolition of traditional forms of government and institutions, it can designate a nation—or anywhere on earth, inhabited—that has no system of government or central rule. Anarchy is advocated by individual anarchists who propose replacing government with voluntary institutions; the word anarchy comes from the ancient Greek ἀναρχία which combines ἀ, "not, without" and ἀρχή, "ruler, authority". Thus, the term refers to the state of a society being without authorities or an authoritative governing body. Anarchism as a political philosophy advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary institutions; these are described as stateless societies, although several authors have defined them more as institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations.
Anarchism holds the state to be unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of all human relations, including yet not limited to the state system. There are many traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is considered to be a radical left-wing ideology and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, syndicalism, or participatory economics; some individualist anarchists are socialists or communists while some anarcho-communists are individualists or egoists. Anarchism as a social movement has endured fluctuations in popularity; the central tendency of anarchism as a mass social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, with individualist anarchism being a literary phenomenon which did influence the bigger currents and individualists participated in large anarchist organizations.
Some anarchists oppose all forms of aggression and support self-defense or non-violence while others have supported the use of militant measures, including revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society. Since the 1890s, the term libertarianism has been used as a synonym for anarchism and was used exclusively in this sense until the 1950s in the United States. At this time, classical liberals in the United States began to describe themselves as libertarians and it has since become necessary to distinguish their individualist and capitalist philosophy from socialist anarchism. Thus, the former is referred to as right-wing libertarianism or right-libertarianism whereas the latter is described by the terms libertarian socialism, socialist libertarianism, left-libertarianism and left-anarchism. Right-libertarians voluntarists. Outside the English-speaking world, libertarianism retains its association with left-wing anarchism; the German philosopher Immanuel Kant treated anarchy in his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View as consisting of "Law and Freedom without Force".
For Kant, anarchy falls short of being a true civil state because the law is only an "empty recommendation" if force is not included to make this law efficacious. For there to be such a state, force must be included while law and freedom are maintained, a state which Kant calls a republic. Kant identified four kinds of government: Law and freedom without force Law and force without freedom Force without freedom and law Force with freedom and law Although most known societies are characterized by the presence of hierarchy or the state, anthropologists have studied many egalitarian stateless societies, including most nomadic hunter-gatherer societies and horticultural societies such as the Semai and the Piaroa. Many of these societies can be considered to be anarchic in the sense that they explicitly reject the idea of centralized political authority; the egalitarianism typical of human hunter-gatherers is interesting when viewed in an evolutionary context. One of humanity's two closest primate relatives, the chimpanzee, is anything but egalitarian, forming hierarchies that are dominated by alpha males.
So great is the contrast with human hunter-gatherers that it is argued by palaeoanthropologists that resistance to being dominated was a key factor driving the development of human consciousness, language and social organization. In Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, anarchist anthropologist David Graeber attempts to outline areas of research that intellectuals might explore in creating a cohesive body of anarchist social theory. Graeber posits that anthropology is "particularly well positioned" as an academic discipline that can look at the gamut of human societies and organizations to study and catalog alternative social and economic structures around the world, most present these alternatives to the world. In Society Against the State, Pierre Clastres examines stateless societies where certain cultural practices and attitudes avert the development of hierarchy and the state. He
Green anarchism is a school of thought within anarchism which puts a particular emphasis on environmental issues. A green anarchist theory is one that extends anarchist ideology beyond a critique of human interactions, includes a critique of the interactions between humans and non-humans as well; this culminates in an anarchist revolutionary praxis, not dedicated to human liberation, but to some form of nonhuman liberation, that aims to bring about an environmentally sustainable anarchist society. Important early influences were Leo Tolstoy and Élisée Reclus. In the late 19th century there emerged anarcho-naturism as the fusion of anarchism and naturist philosophies within individualist anarchist circles in France, Spain and Portugal. Important contemporary currents include anarcho-primitivism, which offers a critique of technology and argues that anarchism is best suited to uncivilised ways of life, Green syndicalism, a Green anarcho-socialist political stance made up of anarcho-syndicalist views, veganarchism: which argues that human liberation and animal liberation are inseparable.
Anarchism started to have an ecological view in the writings of American anarchist and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. In his book Walden he advocates simple living and self-sufficiency among natural surroundings in resistance to the advancement of industrial civilization; the work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery and manual for self-reliance. First published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts; the book compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development. By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic Period.
As Thoreau made clear in his book, his cabin was not in wilderness but at the edge of town, about two miles from his family home. As such "Many have seen in Thoreau one of the precursors of ecologism and anarcho-primitivism represented today in John Zerzan. For George Woodcock this attitude can be motivated by certain idea of resistance to progress and of rejection of the growing materialism, the nature of American society in the mid 19th century." John Zerzan himself included the text "Excursions" by Thoreau in his edited compilation of writings called Against civilization: Readings and reflections from 1999. Élisée Reclus known as Jacques Élisée Reclus, was a renowned French geographer and anarchist. He produced his 19-volume masterwork La Nouvelle Géographie universelle, la terre et les hommes, over a period of nearly 20 years. In 1892, he was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal of the Paris Geographical Society for this work, despite his having been banished from France because of his political activism.
According to Kirkpatrick Sale: His geographical work researched and unflinchingly scientific, laid out a picture of human-nature interaction that we today would call bioregionalism. It showed, with more detail than anyone but a dedicated geographer could absorb, how the ecology of a place determined the kinds of lives and livelihoods its denizens would have and thus how people could properly live in self-regarding and self-determined bioregions without the interference of large and centralized governments that always try to homogenize diverse geographical areas. For the authors of An Anarchist FAQ Reclus "argued that a "secret harmony exists between the earth and the people whom it nourishes, when imprudent societies let themselves violate this harmony, they always end up regretting it." No contemporary ecologist would disagree with his comments that the "truly civilised man understands that his nature is bound up with the interest of all and with that of nature. He repairs the damage caused by his predecessors and works to improve his domain."Reclus advocated nature conservation and opposed meat-eating and cruelty to animals.
He was a vegetarian. As a result, his ideas are seen by some historians as anticipating the modern social ecology and animal rights movements. Shortly before his death, Reclus completed L'Homme et la terre. In it, he added to his previous greater works by considering humanity's development relative to its geographical environment. Reclus was an early proponent of naturism. In the late 19th century Anarchist naturism appeared as the union of anarchist and naturist philosophies, it had importance within individualist anarchist circles in Spain, France and Cuba. Anarcho-naturism advocated vegetarianism, free love, nudism and an ecological world view within anarchist groups and outside them. Anarcho-naturism promoted an ecological worldview, small ecovillages, most prominently nudism as a way to avoid the artificiality of the industrial mass society of modernity. Naturist individualist anarchists saw the individual in his biological and psychological aspects and tried to eliminate social determinations.
Important promoters of this were Henri Zisly and Emile Gravelle who collaborated in La Nouvelle Humanité fo