The New Student's Reference Work/Anarchism
Anarchism, a communistic and revolutionary theory adverse to social order, law and government, and manifesting in its votaries—generally men of grandiose ideas lacking in mental equilibrium—an unnatural aversion to their kind, especially if well-to-do and influential, and an implacable fanaticism. The leaders of the movement have been men of prominence in various countries, acting under the impulse given it by such eminent writers as Karl Marx of Germany (1818–83), Pierre J. Proudhon (1809-65), the French socialist, William Godwin, the English political writer (1756–1836) and author of the famous Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Elisee Reclus, the French republicanist, and Prince Krapotkin, the Russian nihilist and revolutionist (1842) and propagandist of social reform. Some of these men are idealists rather than revolutionists, and are opposed to assassination and violent measures in ridding the world of tyrannical rulers and bureaucratic administration. Others of them, however, including many of their more hasty and hotheaded followers, are eager for the overthrow of the existing social order, and are fanatical in their desire to overturn society and give rein to extreme individualistic theories, including resistance by force to all repressive, orderly authority. Hence have come the bomb-throwing and the anarchical assassinations which have been the terror of the time, including revolutionary conspiracy.