Monday, November 7, 2011


I had thought about doing something a little different today in my first blog post in a while, but I came across this information this morning in my reading and I thought I would share it. It’s timely with what is going on in America at the moment. These are not my thoughts or information. I just wanted to share the “trivial knowledge” I’ve gain a reputation for.


Amid the twentieth century’s great clashes between communism, fascism, and democracy, one small, militant political movement opted for a different course: none of the above.

Anarchism- the opposition to all forms of government- was founded by European political theorists including Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) and Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876). The movement enjoyed its greatest popularity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in both Europe and the United States.

To its adherents, anarchism promised an end to government oppression as well to the depredations of capitalism. Anarchists believed that private property should be abolished and control of factories turned over to workers. Although anarchism had many similarities with communism, philosophers such as Proudhon did not envision any role for the state whatsoever.

In practice, anarchist launched a global wave of violence, with a special emphasis on assassinations of authority figures that they hoped would eventually bring down governments across the world. In Russia, Czar Alexander II (181-1881) was killed by an anarchist bomb. The king of Italy, Umberto I (1844-1900), was shot dead. Lean Czolgosz (1873-1901), the assassin of President William McKinley (1843-1901), was an anarchist. Anarchists were also blamed for an attack on Wall Street that killed thirty-eight bystanders in1920, although the crime was never solved.

Anarchists, by their very nature, lacked a cohesive national leadership structure, although the most well know American anarchist was Emma Goldman (1869-1940). But their secretiveness only made them appear more fearsome; fear of anarchism helped trigger the Red Scare after World War I, in which Goldman and many suspected anarchists and communists were deported from the United States.

Anarchism still has followers, although its violence ended in the United States after the 1920s.

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