Core Principles of Social Anarchism

Photo: / klappe / CC0

by W. M. Brown

There are several variations to anarchism. The core principles below are based on social anarchism.



Capitalism is an economic system that, inherently, benefits a select few while everyone else struggles to make ends meet or survive. Capitalism rewards capital … not effort (work). Capitalism not only survives, but thrives on the exploitation of human labor and talent, and the limited natural resources of Earth.

The primary objectives under capitalism are the never-ending growth of profit and increasing the accumulation of capital assets … money and otherwise.

Simplistically, there are two ways a capitalist can increase profits: sell more, make more or reduce costs (expenses). The problem with selling more and making more is that both require additional spending, an expense. Reducing costs (expenses) has a better short-term chance of improving bottom-line performance. Every dollar spent on an expense is a dollar that isn't available in profit.

Historically, reducing the expense item that results in the most and immediate profit is suppressing/reducing worker (employee) wages. In other words, the ruling class capitalist believes that every dollar paid to workers (employees) that is over and above what is absolutely necessary or required is a dollar lost.

Under capitalism, there is absolutely no reason for an employer to pay a single penny more than what is needed to keep the worker (employee) coming back to work day after day.

Capital doesn't produce any products or provide any services … the working class does. Yet, it is the capitalist class that reaps the profits generated by the working class. There is no economic justice or equality under capitalism … only tyranny.

Anti-State / Anti-Statism

Not only do anarchists oppose state intervention into personal, social and economic affairs; we reject the state in its entirety as it inevitably results in the loss of individual freedom.

We believe that we have the ability to live collectively, productively, cooperatively and peaceably based on our common interests that are inherent to mankind. We don't need to be ruled or dominated. Collectively, we have enough intelligence and common sense (based on our experiences) to determine what is right and what is wrong in our relationships with others.

Additionally, we see the state as the means (tool) by which the ruling class rules.


All power has the potential and the opportunity to be corrupt and lead to authoritarian rule.

Anarchists believe that power inherently leads to corruption and authoritarian rule of a minority over the majority. The only way to eliminate this potential is to eliminate the hierarchical structures that allow power to exist.


Direct Democracy

Direct democracy (sometimes called “pure” democracy) is a form of democracy in which the people themselves, rather than elected representatives, determine the laws and policies by which the people live by.


Anti-War / Anti-Imperialism

As anarchists, we believe a well-trained and well-equipped military has a very simple objective: defend our people in a self-defense role ... not initiating regime changes or in obtaining global domination or any other acts of imperialism.

Imperialism serves one purpose only: to dominate and exploit the human (labor of the working class) and natural resources of weaker nations on behalf of the ruling class to further enhance their wealth, power and global dominance.

Those who do not support our principles and way of living should not consider us to be pacifists.  Anarchists fully understand the world we live in and forces that would deny us the freedom we advocate.  We will relentlessly defend our people against those who would directly attack us to deny us our way of living and freedom. 

Ownership and Use

Under anarchism, land, buildings, machinery or any capital asset that is currently or expected to generate profit or an income will be commonly owned by the people.  "The Commons" such as utilites, communications, roads, bridges, parks and other similar items available for use by all people will also be commonly owned.

The workers and/or the community will commonly own and manage the workplaces as well as the distribution of their products and/or services.  Production (the combined effort and labor of goods produced and services provided) will be for the use and benefit of all people and will be readily available based on the self-determined needs of the individual or family.



The difference between private and personal property (possessions) under anarchism is often propagandized, misunderstood … or ignored.

Anything that can be used to generate "surplus value" (also known as profit), income or wealth is considered private property. Private property is what anarchists want to eliminate because it is used for exploitation and control over others.

Personal property (possessions) includes your cars and all of your personal belongings. These items are considered your possessions and are not subject to common/collective ownership.



Self-management is a form of organizational management based on self-directed work processes on the part of an organization's workforce.

All the worker-members manage the organization directly through worker groups (also known as councils or assemblies). The objective of self-management is to improve performance by giving workers more control over their day-to-day operations and reducing alienation from their work product.


[*] Also known as anarcho-socialism, libertarian socialism, anarcho-communism. Under social anarchism, the terms socialism and communism are synonymous.





Freedom – Equality – Solidarity


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