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Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy.[1][2] It seeks to diminish or even abolish authority in the conduct of human relations.[3] Anarchists widely disagree on what additional criteria are required in anarchism. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy says, "there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance."[4]

There are many types and traditions of anarchism, some of which are mutually exclusive.[5] Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications.[6][7] Anarchism is often considered to be a radical left-wing ideology,[8][9] and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics. However, anarchism has always included an individualist strain [10] supporting a market economy and private property, or morally unrestrained egoism.[11][12] Some individualist anarchists are also socialists.[13][14]

Differing fundamentally, some anarchist schools of thought support anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism.[2] In the end, for anarchist historian Daniel Guerin "Some anarchists are more individualistic than social, some more social than individualistic. However, one cannot conceive of a libertarian who is not an individualist."[15] The position known as anarchism without adjectives consists on "recognising the right of other tendencies to the name "anarchist" while, obviously, having their own preferences for specific types of anarchist theory and their own arguments why other types are flawed."[16]

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