Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished.
  • n. Active resistance and terrorism against the state, as used by some anarchists.
  • n. Rejection of all forms of coercive control and authority: "He was inclined to anarchism; he hated system and organization and uniformity” ( Bertrand Russell).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The belief that proposes the absence and abolition of hierarchy and authority in most forms.
  • n. , a political and philosophical belief that all forms of involuntary rule or government are undesirable or unnecessary, and that society could function without a ruler or involuntary government (a state).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The doctrine or practice of anarchists.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Confusion; disorder; anarchy.
  • n. The doctrines of the anarchists; the anarchic and socialistic scheme of society proposed by Proudhon. See anarchy, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a political theory favoring the abolition of governments

Etymologies

From anarchy +‎ -ism. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • … 1. For the purposes of this essay, I will mostly be using the term anarchism as shorthand for individualist anarchism; since the defense of anarchism I will offer rests on individualist principles, it will not provide a cogent basis for communist, primitivist, or other non-individualist forms of anarchism.

    Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism

  • We are not using the term anarchism as shorthand for armed activities.

    The Three Contemporary Currents among Indian Communists

  • And the word anarchism has been so stripped of substance that it has come to be equated with chaos and nihilism.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • The term anarchism derives from the Greek anarchos, meaning "without rulers."

    Prison Planet.com

  • Then what you call anarchism would just be what I call libertarianism except that in

    Alex Jones' Prison Planet.com

  • But did these traditional anarchists actually agree with contemporary social anarchists’ interpretive claims about the meaning of the term anarchism, or the essential features of the anarchist tradition?

    Rad Geek People’s Daily – 2007 – December – 01

  • Bush's belief that economic anarchism is the best and only way has nearly led to a collapse of the U.S.

    Bush takes aim at Obama policies

  • If our abhorrence for, say, anarchism is purely visceral, we can hardly say we've made a willful choice to eschew it in favor of republican democracy.

    More on Sarah Palin, Moose Hunting, and Other Stuff

  • Perhaps the strongest attack on "anarchism" - certainly the most vitriolic - was made by Ayn Rand.

    Mises Institute Daily Articles (Full-text version)

  • Russia is in anarchism; Germany and Austria have collapsed; Italy is on the point of collapse; France is struggling under her burden; England alone is carrying the burden -- (Applause) Men have made maps, drawn boundary lines between nations, but in the sight of God and in the sight of economists those boundary lines are not recognized, and ultimately, whatever our nation, whatever our creed, whatever the group to which we belong, we must all suffer and prosper together in the end.

    The Business Outlook for 1923

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Comments

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  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand notation meaning "should not be allowed". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 19, 2013