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THE Anarchic a-white.svgNARCHISM PORTAL


Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary institutions. These are often described as stateless societies, although several authors have defined them more specifically as institutions based on non-hierarchical or free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary and harmful.

While opposition to the state is central, anarchism specifically entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of all human relations. Anarchism is usually considered a far-left ideology and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflects anti-authoritarian interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism, mutualism or participatory economics.

Anarchism does not offer a fixed body of doctrine from a single particular world view, instead fluxing and flowing as a philosophy. Many types and traditions of anarchism exist, 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 often been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications.

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(Anarky is) a philosophical action hero, an Aristotle in tights, rising above mere "crime-fighter" status into the realm of incisive social commentary. In fact, Anarky exists primarily to challenge the status quo of hierarchical power, and he may be the first mainstream comics hero of his type to do it consistently and with such rational intelligence.
Norm Breyfogle,
Batman: Anarky introduction, June 1998.

Batman: Anarky is a 1999 trade paperback published by DC Comics. The book collects prominent appearances of Anarky, a comic book character created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle. Although all of the collected stories were written by Alan Grant, various artists contributed to individual stories. Dual introductions were written by the creators—both of whom introduce the character and give insight into their role in Anarky's creation and development.

Featured as an antagonist in various Batman comics during the 90's, stories based on the character were highly thematic, political, and philosophical in tone. The majority of the collected stories ("Anarky in Gotham City", "Anarky: Tomorrow Belongs to Us", "Anarky") are influenced by the philosophy of anarchism, while the final story ("Metamorphosis") is influenced by Neo-Tech. Although anti-statism is the overarching theme of the collection, other concepts are explored. Under the umbrella of anarchist theory, anti-electoralism and the tactic of non-voting are the dual focuses of "Anarky: Tomorrow Belongs to Us", while economic exploitation, environmental issues, and political corruption are also repeatedly referenced. In "Metamorphosis", new emphasis was placed on previously unexplored themes, including the mind, consciousness, bicameralism, and the ethical value of honesty. Anarky's characterization was also expanded to present him as an atheist and rationalist, while determinism and free will became key elements in the character's discourse on the nature of evil. Literary references are also utilized throughout the collected stories to stress the philosophical foundations of the character. (read more...)

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Portrait of Russian author and philosopher, Leo Tolstoy.
Credit: Ilya Repin

Portrait of Leo Tolstoy by Ilya Repin, 1887. Tolstoy was a towering figure in Russian literary and philosophical history, and one of the chief influences on Christian and pacifist anarchism.

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