What is Individualist Anarchism?

Meaning of Individualist Anarchism

Individualist anarchism , also known as anarchoindividualism , is a tradition with an emphasis on the will of the individual.

According to this ideology, each citizen would be their own teacher and social interactions would occur voluntarily.


According to this thought of anarchism, anarchic individualism would give priority to the individual with respect to any external determination. Therefore, the subject is not a means to a cause, but an end in itself.

“ The anarchist is the one who denies authority and rejects its economic corollary: exploitation. And this in all areas of human activity. The anarchist wants to live without gods or teachers; without bosses or directors; accusations, without laws and prejudices; amoral, without obligations and collective morality. He wants to live in freedom, to live his personal conception of life ,” said Émile Armand, an influential 20th-century French anarchist who, along with other individualists, founded the Ligue Antimilitariste and was responsible for editing the newspaper. “ L’En-Dehors ” for almost twenty years.

Far from being a simple philosophy, individualist anarchism has several threads that present points of conflict.

Among the theorists of this ideology are: Max Stirner, focused on egoism, Herbert Spencer, Benjamin Tucker, Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Lysander Spooner, a group that defends mutualism, Josiah Warren, in favor of the sovereignty of the individual and Henry David Thoreau and William Godwin, with the theme of transcendentalism.

Individualist anarchism is one of the most divisive branches, as is collectivist anarchism. To the detriment of communist anarchism, individual anarchoism does not have the characteristics of a social movement, since it is more focused on literature and philosophy and there is no defense of a revolution to eliminate the state.

Emerging in the United States and later Europe during the 19th century, individualist anarchism was adhered to by a number of activists and authors , who created the native individualist tradition.

A peak of anarcho-individualist development occurred in the 1920s in the UK and France.

Among the main characteristics of individualist anarchism are: the individual and his will overlap concepts such as morality, the will and the ideas of others, religion and the customs of society.

Restriction or rejection regarding revolutions, since these would be movements of revolt that would bring new hierarchical forms.

To the detriment of that, he is adept at different methods of bringing anarchic thinking through experiences through everyday consciousness and attitudes.

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