International Trade Union Confederation
The International Trade Union Confederation is the world's largest trade union federation. It was formed on 1 November 2006, out of the merger of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labour; the Founding Congress of the ITUC was held in Vienna and was preceded by the dissolution congresses of both the ICFTU and the WCL. The ITUC has three main regional organizations – the Asia-Pacific Regional Organization, the American Regional Organization, the African Regional Organization; the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network is an initiative of the ITUC whose main objective is to bring the trade union perspective into international development policy debates and improve the coordination and effectiveness of trade union development cooperation activities. The ITUC represents 207 million workers through its 331 affiliated organizations within 163 countries and territories. Sharan Burrow is the current General Secretary; the ITUC traces its origins back to the First International and in 2014 commemorated the 150th anniversary of the founding of the International Working Men's Association at its own world congress held in Berlin.
In 2014, the ITUC debuted the Global Rights Index, which ranks nations on 97 metrics pertaining to workers' rights, such as freedom from violent conditions and the right to strike and unionise. The founding congress of the ITUC was held from 1 to 3 November 2006 in Austria; the first day of the congress saw the formal creation of the ITUC followed by an address by Juan Somavia, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization. Day two included Pascal Lamy, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization responding to panel discussions on the impact of globalisation, including the topics "Cohesion and chaos - the global institutions" and "Global unions - global companies". Technical difficulties limited Lamy's satellite video link participation. Leadership and officers were elected on the final day of the congress. Guy Ryder, the former general secretary of the ICFTU, was elected to the same position in the new organisation. Sharan Burrow was elected president. A Governing Council was established, with 70 elected members, 8 additional seats reserved for youth and women’s representatives.
A Council of Global Unions was formed on the final day of the congress. It was established jointly with ten global union federations and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD; the Council will enable us to mobilize global membership around political and strategic initiatives and actions in order to confront global forces that work against the interests of working people and families. The second congress of the ITUC was held from 21 to 25 June 2010 in Canada. On 25 June 2010, at the conclusion of the congress, Sharan Burrow was elected General Secretary, succeeding Guy Ryder. In anticipation of her election, Burrow had resigned from her position as President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions effective 1 July 2010. Speaking to the Congress after her election, Burrow paid tribute to her predecessor and emphasised the continuing role of organised labour in the world's emergence from the Global Financial Crisis, she made special mention of the significance of her election as the first female leader of the world's largest trade union: I am a warrior for woman and we still have work to ensure the inclusion of women in the work place and in our unions.
The struggles for women are multiple – too within their families for independence in the workplace for rights and equal opportunity, in their unions for access and representation and as union leaders. But the investment in and participation of women is not only a moral mandate it is an investment in democracy and a bulwark against fundamentalism and oppression. Organising woman is and must continue to be a priority for the ITUC; the Pan-European Regional Council, a European trade union organisation within the ITUC was formed 19 March 2007. It consists of a total membership of 87 million, it works with the European Trade Union Confederation, Bernadette Ségol is the general secretary of both organisations. The ITUC raises capital through charging dues to its member organisations. Global union federation List of federations of trade unions World Federation of Trade Unions General Confederation of Trade Unions Decent work Fabio Bertini, Gilliatt e la piovra. Il sindacalismo internazionale dalle origini ad oggi, Aracne Ed Mustill, The Global Labour Movement: An Introduction, a short guide to the global union federations, the ITUC, other international bodies Official website "Workers of the world unite in Vienna".
WikiLeaks. 9 November 2006. WikiLeaks cable: 06VIENNA3297. Retrieved 8 July 2015
The proletariat is the class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power. A member of such a class is a proletarian. In Marxist theory, a dictatorship of the proletariat is for the proletariat, of the proletariat, by the proletariat. On the Marxist view, this will endow the proletarian with the power to abolish the conditions that make a person a proletarian and, build communism; the proletarii constituted a social class of Roman citizens owning no property. The origin of the name is linked with the census, which Roman authorities conducted every five years to produce a register of citizens and their property from which their military duties and voting privileges could be determined. For citizens with property valued 11,000 assēs or less, below the lowest census for military service, their children—proles —were listed instead of their property; the only contribution of a proletarius to the Roman society was seen in his ability to raise children, the future Roman citizens who can colonize new territories conquered by the Roman Republic and by the Roman Empire.
The citizens who had no property of significance were called capite censi because they were "persons registered not as to their property...but as to their existence as living individuals as heads of a family." Although included in one of the five support centuriae of the Comitia Centuriata, proletarii were deprived of their voting rights due to their low social status caused by their lack of "even the minimum property required for the lowest class" and a class-based hierarchy of the Comitia Centuriata. The late Roman historians, such as Livy, not without some uncertainty, understood the Comitia Centuriata to be one of three forms of popular assembly of early Rome composed of centuriae, the voting units whose members represented a class of citizens according to the value of their property; this assembly, which met on the Campus Martius to discuss public policy issues, was used as a means of designating military duties demanded of Roman citizens. One of reconstructions of the Comitia Centuriata features 18 centuriae of cavalry, 170 centuriae of infantry divided into five classes by wealth, plus 5 centuriae of support personnel called adsidui.
The top infantry class assembled with full arms and armor. In voting, the cavalry and top infantry class were enough to decide an issue. In the last centuries of the Roman Republic, the Comitia Centuriata became impotent as a political body, which further eroded minuscule political power the proletarii might have had in the Roman society. Following a series of wars the Roman Republic engaged since the closing of the Second Punic War, such as the Jugurthine War and conflicts in Macedonia and Asia, the significant reduction in the number of Roman family farmers had resulted in the shortage of people whose property qualified them to perform the citizenry's military duty to Rome; as a result of the Marian reforms initiated in 107 BC by the Roman general Gaius Marius, the proletarii became the backbone of the Roman army. In the era of early 19th century, many Western European liberal scholars - who dealt with social sciences and economics - pointed out the socio-economic similarieties of the modern growing industrial worker class and the classic ancient proletarians.
One of the earliest analogies can be found in the 1807 paper of French philosopher and political scientist Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais. It was translated to English with the title: "Modern Slavery". Swiss liberal economist and historian Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi, was the first who applied the proletariat term to the working class created under capitalism, whose writings were cited by Marx. Marx most encountered the Proletariat term while studying the works of Sismondi. Karl Marx, who studied Roman law at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin, used the term proletariat in his socio-political theory of Marxism to describe a working class unadulterated by private property and capable of a revolutionary action to topple capitalism in order to create classless society. In Marxist theory, the proletariat is the social class that does not have ownership of the means of production and whose only means of subsistence is to sell their labor power for a wage or salary. Proletarians are wage-workers.
For Marx, wage labor may involve getting a salary rather than a wage per se. Marxism sees the proletariat and bourgeoisie as occupying conflicting positions, since workers automatically wish their wages to be as high as possible, while owners and their proxies wish for wages to be as low as possible. In Marxist theory, the borders between the proletariat and some layers of the petite bourgeoisie, who rely but not on self-employment at an income no different from an ordinary wage or below it – and the lumpenproletariat, who are not in legal employment – are not well defined. Intermediate positions are possible, where some wage-labor for an employer combines with self-employment. Marx makes a clear distinction between proletariat as salaried workers, which he sees as a progressive class, Lumpenproletariat, "rag-proletariat", the poorest and outcasts of the society
Industrial relations or employment relations is the multidisciplinary academic field that studies the employment relationship. The newer name, "employment relations" is taking precedence because "industrial relations" is seen to have narrow connotations. Industrial relations has been concerned with employment relationships in the broadest sense, including "non-industrial" employment relationships; this is sometimes seen as paralleling a trend in the separate but related disciple of human resource management. While some scholars regard or treat industrial/employment relations as synonymous with employee relations and labour relations, this is controversial, because of the narrower focus of employee/labour relations, i.e. on employees or labour, from the perspective of employers, managers and/or officials. In addition, employee relations is perceived as dealing only with non-unionized workers, whereas labour relations is seen as dealing with organized labour, i.e unionized workers. Some academics and other institutions regard human resource management as synonymous with one or more of the above disciplines, although this too is controversial.
Industrial relations examines various employment situations, not just ones with a unionized workforce. However, according to Bruce E. Kaufman, "To a large degree, most scholars regard trade unionism, collective bargaining and labour–management relations, the national labour policy and labour law within which they are embedded, as the core subjects of the field."Initiated in the United States at end of the 19th century, it took off as a field in conjunction with the New Deal. However, it is regarded as a separate field of study only in English-speaking countries, having no direct equivalent in continental Europe. In recent times, industrial relations has been in decline as a field, in correlation with the decline in importance of trade unions and with the increasing preference of business schools for the human resource management paradigm. Industrial relations has three faces: science building, problem solving, ethical. In the science building phase, industrial relations is part of the social sciences, it seeks to understand the employment relationship and its institutions through high-quality, rigorous research.
In this vein, industrial relations scholarship intersects with scholarship in labour economics, industrial sociology and social history, human resource management, political science and other areas. Industrial relations scholarship assumes that labour markets are not competitive and thus, in contrast to mainstream economic theory, employers have greater bargaining power than employees. Industrial relations scholarship assumes that there are at least some inherent conflicts of interest between employers and employees and thus, in contrast to scholarship in human resource management and organizational behaviour, conflict is seen as a natural part of the employment relationship. Industrial relations scholars therefore study the diverse institutional arrangements that characterize and shape the employment relationship—from norms and power structures on the shop floor, to employee voice mechanisms in the workplace, to collective bargaining arrangements at company, regional, or national level, to various levels of public policy and labour law regimes, to varieties of capitalism.
When labour markets are seen as imperfect, when the employment relationship includes conflicts of interest one cannot rely on markets or managers to always serve workers' interests, in extreme cases to prevent worker exploitation. Industrial relations scholars and practitioners, support institutional interventions to improve the workings of the employment relationship and to protect workers' rights; the nature of these institutional interventions, differ between two camps within industrial relations. The pluralist camp sees the employment relationship as a mixture of shared interests and conflicts of interests that are limited to the employment relationship. In the workplace, therefore, champion grievance procedures, employee voice mechanisms such as works councils and trade unions, collective bargaining, labour–management partnerships. In the policy arena, pluralists advocate for minimum wage laws, occupational health and safety standards, international labour standards, other employment and labour laws and public policies.
These institutional interventions are all seen as methods for balancing the employment relationship to generate not only economic efficiency but employee equity and voice. In contrast, the Marxist-inspired critical camp sees employer–employee conflicts of interest as antagonistic and embedded in the socio-political-economic system. From this perspective, the pursuit of a balanced employment relationship gives too much weight to employers' interests, instead deep-seated structural reforms are needed to change the antagonistic employment relationship, inherent within capitalism. Militant trade unions are thus supported. Industrial relations has its roots in the industrial revolution which created the modern employment relationship by spawning free labour markets and large-scale industrial organizations with thousands of wage workers; as society wrestled with these massive economic and social changes, labour problems arose. Low wages, long working hours and dangerous work, abusive supervisory practices led to high employee turnover, violent strikes
Labour Party (Malta)
The Labour Party known as the Malta Labour Party, is a social-democratic political party in Malta. Along with the Nationalist Party, the Labour Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in Malta. Since the March 2013 general election, the party has been the governing party in the Maltese House of Representatives; the Labour Party is a member of the Party of European Socialists, was a member of the Socialist International until December 2014. The Party structures are the General Conference, the National Executive, the Leader and the Deputy Leaders, the Party Congress, the Party Administration, the Parliamentary Group, the Councillors' Section, the District and the Regional Administrations, the Local Committees and the Branches; the General Conference is made up of delegates from the Party's other constituent structures and is the Party's highest organ. The National Executive brings together the Party Administration as well as elected representatives of other constituent structures and co-ordinators.
The Party Congress is made up of all members of the Party and elects the Leader and the two Deputy Leaders and determines the Party's broad policy outlines. The Party Administration is made of the Party Deputy Leaders and Party officials; the Parliamentary Group and the Councillors' Section bring together the Party's elected representatives in parliament and local councils. The Party is organised geographically in the local committees and district and regional administrations; the Branches of the Party include the women's, youth and candidates' sections. Although not formally part of the Party's structures, the PL owns a number of media and communication outlets; the party directly owns the Sunday weekly newspaper Kullħadd and through its holding company One Productions the party owns the television station One and radio service One Radio. The Labour Party was founded as the Chamber of Labour in 1921 by one of the union branches affiliated with the Imperial Government Workers Union. Band clubs and other organisations were invited to send delegates to the Party's founding meeting on 15 March 1921 the 30th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum novarum.
Led by Colonel William Savona, the Party contested the general elections held in 1921 and 1924 under the new Constitution that gave the country a measure of self-government. The Labour-Constitutional alliance won the 1927 general elections, but Labour lost ground, gaining 13.9% of votes, three seats in the Legislative Assembly and no representation in the Senate. Strickland became Prime Minister. Labour leader Savona was not elected, the leadership of the Labour parliamentary group was temporarily entrusted to Colonel Michael Dundon; the Presidency of the Party and leadership of the parliamentary group was taken up by Paul Boffa that year. Labour gained nine seats out of ten in the elections held during November, 1945, in which, contrarily to previous elections, all men over twenty-one years of age were entitled to vote; the Party's electoral programme, for the first time in Labour's history, did not make any reference to religion. Boffa's Government was supported by the General Workers' Union, it carried out a number of reforms, such as the abolition of the Senate, the abolition of plural votes, as well as the introduction of women's right to vote.
However, Labour deputies resigned from their posts in July 1946 due to mass redundancies at the Dockyards. In the meantime, the'MacMichael Constitution' had been introduced, granting self-government to the Maltese. Labour's participation in the subsequent October, 1947 elections was once again supported by the General Workers' Union; the Party won 59.9% of the vote and twenty-four seats out of the possible forty within the Legislative Assembly. Paul Boffa became Prime Minister whilst Dom Mintoff became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reconstruction; the Labour Government introduced Social Services for the first time in Malta. The Labour Party was re-founded in 1949 as a successor to the Labour Party founded in 1921. Paul Boffa, Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister since 1947, resigned and left the party because of serious disagreements with his Deputy Dom Mintoff which had led to a series of cabinet crises. Boffa formed the Malta Workers Party while Mintoff re-organized the Labour Party as the Malta Labour Party.
The Malta Labour Party contested its first elections for the Malta Legislative Assembly the following year. The old Labour vote was split between the MLP and the MWP, giving them eleven members each; this allowed the Nationalist Party to have a slight edge in the formation of a government, which it did in coalition with the MWP. The government did not last long. Two other elections were held in 1951 and 1953 which both saw short-lived PN-MWP coalitions and the decline in the share of votes to the MWP with increasing support for the Labour Party; the MWP disintegrated and the MLP formed a government for the first time in 1955. This legislature was dominated by the issue of integration with the United Kingdom; the party, which started its life as an anti-colonial party with the slogan "Integration or self-determination" was now inclined towards the first part of the formula. A referendum was held in 1956 but given the number of abstentions and massive opposition by the Nationalist Party and the Catholic Church, the result was inconclusive.
This, together with a number of dismissals at the naval dockyard led to Mintoff's resignation and his call for massive protests in April 1958. The Governor re-established direct colonial government which lasted until 1962. In
The eight-hour day movement or 40-hour week movement known as the short-time movement, was a social movement to regulate the length of a working day, preventing excesses and abuses. It had its origins in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life; the use of child labour was common. The working day could range from 10 to 16 hours, the work week was six days a week. Robert Owen had raised the demand for a ten-hour day in 1810, instituted it in his socialist enterprise at New Lanark. By 1817 he had formulated the goal of the eight-hour day and coined the slogan: "Eight hours' labour, Eight hours' recreation, Eight hours' rest". Women and children in England were granted the ten-hour day in 1847. French workers won the 12-hour day after the February Revolution of 1848. A shorter working day and improved working conditions were part of the general protests and agitation for Chartist reforms and the early organisation of trade unions.
The International Workingmen's Association took up the demand for an eight-hour day at its Congress in Geneva in 1866, declaring "The legal limitation of the working day is a preliminary condition without which all further attempts at improvements and emancipation of the working class must prove abortive", "The Congress proposes eight hours as the legal limit of the working day." Karl Marx saw it as of vital importance to the workers' health, writing in Das Kapital: "By extending the working day, capitalist production...not only produces a deterioration of human labour power by robbing it of its normal moral and physical conditions of development and activity, but produces the premature exhaustion and death of this labour power itself."Although there were initial successes in achieving an eight-hour day in New Zealand and by the Australian labour movement for skilled workers in the 1840s and 1850s, most employed people had to wait to the early and mid twentieth century for the condition to be achieved through the industrialised world through legislative action.
The first country to adopt eight-hour working day nationwide was Uruguay. The eight-hour day was introduced on November 1915, in the government of José Batlle y Ordóñez; the first international treaty to mention it was the Treaty of Versailles in the annex of its thirteen part establishing the International Labour Office, now the International Labour Organization. The eight-hour day was the first topic discussed by the International Labour Organization which resulted in the Hours of Work Convention, 1919 ratified by 52 countries as of 2016; the eight-hour day movement forms part of the early history for the celebration of Labour Day, May Day in many nations and cultures. In Iran in 1918, the work of reorganizing the trade unions began in earnest in Tehran during the closure of the Iranian constitutional parliament Majles; the printers' union, established in 1906 by Mohammad Parvaneh as the first trade union, in the Koucheki print shop on Nasserieh Avenue in Tehran, reorganized their union under leadership of Russian-educated Seyed Mohammad Dehgan, a newspaper editor and an avowed Communist.
In 1918, the newly organised union staged a 14-day strike and succeeded in reaching a collective agreement with employers to institute the eight-hours day, overtime pay, medical care. The success of the printers' union encouraged other trades to organize. In 1919 the bakers and textile-shop clerks formed their own trade unions; however the eight-hours day only became as code by a limited governor's decree on 1923 by the governor of Kerman and Balochistan, which controlled the working conditions and working hours for workers of carpet workshops in the province. In 1946 the council of ministers issued the first labor law for Iran, which recognized the eight-hour day; the first company to introduce an eight-hour working day in Japan was the Kawasaki Dockyards in Kobe. An eight-hour day was one of the demands presented by the workers during pay negotiations in September 1919. After the company resisted the demands, a slowdown campaign was commenced by the workers on 18 September. After ten days of industrial action, company president Kōjirō Matsukata agreed to the eight-hour day and wage increases on 27 September, which became effective from October.
The effects of the action were felt nationwide and inspired further industrial action at the Kawasaki and Mitsubishi shipyards in 1921. The eight-hour day did not become law in Japan until the passing of the Labor Standards Act in April 1947. Article 32 of the Act specifies a 40-hour week and paragraph specifies an eight-hour day, excluding rest periods. In Indonesia, the first policy regarding working time regulated in Law No. 13 of 2003 about employment. In the law, it stated that a worker should work for 7 hours a day for 6 days a week or 8 hours a day for 5 days a week, excluding rest periods; the 8-hour work day was introduced in Belgium on September 9, 1924. The 8-hour work day was first introduced in 1907. Within the next few decades, the 8-hour system spread across technically all branches of work. A worker receives 150% payment from the first two extra hours, 200% salary if the work day exceeds 10 hours; the eight-hour day was enacted in France by Georges Clemenceau, as a way to avoid unemployment and diminish communist support.
It was succeeded by a strong French support of it during the writing of the International Labour Organization Convention of 1919. The first German company to introduce the eight-hour day was Degussa; the eight-hour day was signed into law during the German Revolution of 1918. In Hungary, the eight-hour work day was introduced on April 14, 1919 by decree of the Revolutionary Governing Council. In Poland, the eight-hour day was i
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
Anarchism is an anti-authoritarian political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary, cooperative institutions and the rejection of hierarchies those societies view as unjust. These institutions are described as stateless societies, although several authors have defined them more as distinct institutions based on non-hierarchical or free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable and harmful. Anarchism is considered a far-left ideology and much of its economics and legal philosophy reflect anti-authoritarian interpretations of communism, syndicalism, mutualism, or participatory economics; as anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular worldview, many anarchist types and traditions exist and varieties of anarchy diverge widely. 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.
The etymological origin of anarchism derives from ancient Greek word anarkhia. Anarkhia meant "without a ruler" as it was composed by the word arkhos; the suffix -ism is used to denote the ideological current that favours anarchism. The first known use of this word was in 1642. Various factions within the French Revolution labelled opponents as anarchists although few shared many views of anarchists. There would be many revolutionaries of the early 19th century who contributed to the anarchist doctrines of the next generation, such as William Godwin and Wilhelm Weitling, but they did not use the word anarchist or anarchism in describing themselves or their beliefs; the first political philosopher to call himself an anarchist was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, marking the formal birth of anarchism in the mid-19th century. Since the 1890s and beginning in France, the term libertarianism has been used as a synonym for anarchism and its use as a synonym is still common outside the United States. On the other hand, some use libertarianism to refer to individualistic free-market philosophy only, referring to free-market anarchism as libertarian anarchism.
While opposition to the state is central, defining anarchism is not an easy task as there is a lot of talk among scholars and anarchists on the matter and various currents perceive anarchism differently. Hence, it might be true to say that anarchism is a cluster of political philosophies opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of all human relations in favour of a society based on voluntary association and decentralisation, but this definition has its own shortcomings as the definition based on etymology, or based on anti-statism or the anti-authoritarian. Major elements of the definition of anarchism include: a) the will for a non coercive society. During the prehistoric era of mankind, an established authority did not exist, it was after the creation of towns and cities that hierarchy was invented and anarchistic ideas espoused as a reaction. Most notable examples of anarchism in the ancient world were in Greece. In China, philosophical anarchism, meaning peaceful delegitimizing of the state, was delineated by Taoist philosophers.
In Greece, anarchist attitudes were articulated by tragedians and philosophers. Aeschylus and Sophocles used the myth of Antigone to illustrate the conflict of personal autonomy with the state rules. Socrates questioned Athenian authorities and insisted to the right of individual freedom of consciousness. Cynics associated authorities while trying to live according to nature. Stoics were supportive of a society based on unofficial and friendly relations among its citizens without the presence of a state. During the Middle Ages, there was no anarchistic activity except some ascetic religious movements in the Islamic world or in Christian Europe; this kind of tradition gave birth to religious anarchism. In Persia, a Zoroastrian Prophet known as Mazdak was calling for an egalitarian society and the abolition of monarchy, but he soon found himself executed by the king. In Basra, religious sects preached against the state. In Europe, various sects developed anti-state and libertarian tendencies; those currents were the precursor of religious anarchism in the centuries to come.
It was in the Renaissance and with the spread of reasoning and humanism through Europe that libertarian ideas emerged. Writers were outlining in their novels ideal societies that were based not on coercion but voluntarism; the Enlightenment further pushed towards anarchism with the optimism for social progress. The turning point towards anarchism was the French Revolution in which the anti-state and federalist sentiments began to take a form by Enragés and sans-culottes; some prominent figures of anarchism begun developing the first anarchist currents. That is the era of classical anarchism that lasted until the end of the Spanish Civil War of 1936 and was the golden age of anarchism. William Godwin espoused philosophical anarchism in England morally delegitimizing the state, Max Stirner's thinking paved the way to individualism and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's theory of mutualism found fertile soil in France. Michael Bakunin took mutualism and extended