First off, Anarchism is not anarchy. It is simply people living together in Anarcho-syndicalist communities as in the examples of Spain and Mexico in the last century, with no need for governments. It is as old as man. However, since the late 18th century six very different intelligent schools of Anarchism have developed that are distinct and worthy of examination, including Christian Anarchism.
1. William Godwin is called the father of modern Anarchism. “Political justice and its influence on morals and happiness” is an Anarchist manifesto on the murderous and immorality of all governments. Godwin believed that small communities were the antidote to the problem.
2. Max Sterner was a Hegelian Philosopher. He took the existential view of Anarchism by proposing that the synthesis between the individual and the union of egoists would free people from all restraints.
3. Prouden said that “all property was theft”. He had a real big influence on Marx. He also came up with the idea and format for the Anarcho-syndicalist community theory today as we know it.
4. Bakunin was an amazing intellectual that just out and out said that only violent overthrow of governments was the answer because human animality, thought, and rebellion were the driving forces in history.
5. Kropotkin sought to explain that historically humans have always put “mutual aid” before individual survival, because collective survival took precedence in the human mind. He saw Anarchism as an inevitable organic process in history in which governments will eventually fade away.
6. Tolstoy was a Christian Anarchist that rejected all forms of tyranny, including personal desires. His second to last book he wrote was called The Kingdom of God is within you. For Tolstoy it was no governments, no churches, and no selfish desires. In his later years he lived as an ascetic and pacifist who had an enormous influence on Gandhi.
After spending over 20 years of studying these six approaches, I think that the first five come up lacking. Why? Because they all accept that human nature is basically good enough to correct itself on its own. Even Bakunin in all his piss and vinegar had that in common with the rest. This all begs the question: can even the best of these systems be effective enough to sustain its goals? IF so, then how, and if not then what do we think of the alternative of Tolstoyan Christian Anarchism that seeks to transform human nature? Since all of us worldwide as one human race are oppressed by corporate Empires, and the temptation to overthrow them via mob mentality, and we are given in to our own selfish desires, i think that Christian Anarchism just may be the way out of this 21st century mess. It worked for the early followers of Jesus as they resisted the Roman Empire.
Christian Anarchism is the alternative to the violent models of other forms of Anarchism. It strikes at the core of what causes conflicts in the outer world, which is namely conflicts we carry around in us in our inner world. And it has what the three missing ingredients that the other forms lack: love, hope, and freedom from the cruel dominion of the self which is the source of all tyranny. So, wrap it up … I’ll buy it … though it may cost me my life.