I am curious because the generally accepted meaning of life appears to be in helping others and transcending ones own needs which as I see it directly opposes anarchist values. Please correct me where I am wrong.

There isn’t a general meaning to life. I believe that every anarchist must find it themselves. I of course would like if everyone found that they feel that the meaning of life is helping each other.


I too believe there is no general meaning to life, it is down to every person to make orbdind their own meaning. I think this meaning when it is found is usually in helping others.

Maximizing personal liberty at the cost of social relationships is the domain of libertarianism.

Anarchists align with socialists because we recognize that power and humanity lie in community. What we seek is self government or minimal government without the involvement of the upper classes whose personal interests lie in driving wedges into communities and isolating the poor to make them vulnerable to capital.

My personal experience is that there is strength in loving your comrades and loving humanity, giving you something to fight for. A lot of historical and present day anarchists practiced free love or polyamory for similar reasons. But I know many people would disagree with that particular assessment because they think one should do what is right for the sake of it. I’m just not that self-assured by myself.


Thanks for answering it clears up how I have been confused about where libertarianism, socialism and anarchism overlap.


One book definitely worth reading would be:

Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution is a 1902 essay collection by Russian naturalist and anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin. The essays, initially published in the English periodical The Nineteenth Century between 1890 and 1896, explore the role of mutually-beneficial cooperation and reciprocity (or “mutual aid”) in the animal kingdom and human societies both past and present. It is an argument against theories of social Darwinism that emphasize competition and survival of the fittest, and against the romantic depictions by writers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who thought that cooperation was motivated by universal love. Instead Kropotkin argues that mutual aid has pragmatic advantages for the survival of human and animal communities and, along with the conscience, has been promoted through natural selection.

Here’s a quick video on the concept:



Thanks I will be sure to look at then but I want to read his conquest of bread!


Anarchism means opposing a centralized power. Neither goals you suggested oppose that.


Okay I think I had libertarianism and anarchy slightly confused.

Anarchy is libertarian!


In some cases but not all anarchism I don’t think.


In the US at least, “libertarian” implies “right libertarian” or “conservative libertarian.”

There are many anarchists on that end of the spectrum (“ancaps” often), but the anarchists you’ll find on this site will most often be - as others have suggested - more closely aligned with socialists.

Right-wing libertarianism is not anarchism. “anarcho-capitalism” has nothing to do with anarchism, as anarchism was explicitly started in opposition to capitalism. Abolition of private property is a foundational basis of anarchism (“property is theft”) as much as abolition of power structures.

“Libertarian” is a word coined by the french anarchists when the 3rd republic outlawed anarchist organizing/propaganda (“les lois scélérates”). Right-wing recuperation is more modern (1960s) and specific to the USA. From Wikipedia:

One person responsible for popularizing the term libertarian in this sense was Murray Rothbard, who started publishing libertarian works in the 1960s.[48] Rothbard described this modern use of the words overtly as a “capture” from his enemies, writing that “for the first time in my memory, we, ‘our side,’ had captured a crucial word from the enemy. ‘Libertarians’ had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over”.


It goes a bit further back than that and while I agree with you that today’s understanding of capitalism is incompatible with anarchism, this distinction was not always so clear. For example the Soviets called the anarchists “economists” because of the promotion of market and self-organising principles and philosophers such as Max Stirner are considered to be part of the anarchist lore (sub-strand: anarcho-individualism). I would even say that Adam Smith (of all people, I know) was in many ways an very early anarchist thinker, who has been grossly misinterpreted by later capitalist thinkers.

There is no established meaning of life. It’s really situated in a precise cultural context.

In my view, the sense of meaning (that our world entirely lacks) is something to be built as an individual and as a community in our daily actions. Solidarity is part of it, and is a core principle of anarchism.

Anarchism, broadly speaking, doesn’t answer this question. There are anarchist Christians, existentialists, absurdists, stoics, taoists, and many other philosophies. Any of these will give you a different answer to your question.


Resisting any outside influence of authority whether material or intellectual, says the guy with round glasses.


i like kropotkin’s answer to this one


I’m not an anarchist so I don’t know


  1. Be respectful
  2. Don’t be a nazi
  3. Argue about the point and not the person
  • 0 users online
  • 5 users / day
  • 6 users / week
  • 14 users / month
  • 130 users / 6 months
  • 922 subscribers
  • 226 Posts
  • Modlog