Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates the elimination of social hierarchy especially any single command hierarchy that persists across more than one emergency.
More serious versions of it advocate small scale self-sufficient social structures on village scale, such as Mennonite sects - including the Amish - require. The eco-village movement is at least partially anarchist in this way.
Extreme anarchists argue that hierarchy has been reinforced by human breeding and is constantly reinforced by language. Thus its reinforcing belief systems, mostly related to causality of events being assumed to be in persons, not in environments or in random events, must be rooted out and removed. A lifestyle of anarchism and the refusal to obey, something like a society in a constant state of civil disobedience, must be introduced early. Persons incapable of living properly this way, as with the Amish, must have the option of leaving and joining "the world".
In the place of centralized political structures, private ownership of the means of production, and exploitative economic practices, such as rent, these movements favor social relations based upon voluntary interaction, self-management, community control, and a society characterised by free and autonomous individuals.
While opposition to coercive institutions and socially constructed hierarchies are primary tenets of anarchism, anarchism is also a positive vision of how a voluntary society would work. Opinions differ in various areas, such as whether violence should be employed to foster anarchism, what type of economic system should exist, questions on the environment and industrialism, and anarchists' roles in other movements.
Anarchists may adopt various labels to signal their intent or place within movements:
- Black Bloc which devote itself to the protection of others engaged in nonviolent protest or disobedience, against violent attacks from "authority". Sub-groups must be defined in terms of tactics, not necessarily their ideology:
- eco-syndicalists propose that only sustainable industry can remove the conflicts between cultures
- anarcho-feminists link the above to gender issues and often argued for more democratic structuring in place of reputation, rank and hierarchy systems