Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Difference between anarcho-socialism and anarcho-communism?

+4 votes
Also: difference between anarcho-socialism/communism and libertarian socialism/communism, if there is one?
asked Mar 20, 2012 by anonymous
Are these terms even used anymore? I've heard people identify themselves as anarcho-communists to distinguish from authoritarian communists, but I think "anarcho-socialist" has fallen out of style. "Libertarian socialism/communism" are just alternate ways of saying "anarchism".

Somebody should correct me if I'm wrong.

2 Answers

–4 votes
Anarcho-socialism, or Social Anarchism, is one of the two MAIN categories of Anarchism (that branch out into more specific schools of thought), which Anarcho-communism falls under. Social Anarchism, unlike individualist Anarchism, sees "individual freedom as conceptually connected with social equality and emphasize community and mutual aid".

For the specifics, check this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_anarchism

I'm sure it can help better than I can (I'm newer to Anarchism).
answered Mar 21, 2012 by AnarchicSaint (270 points)
If by "newer" you mean stuck in the 19th century...
Haha, take it easy, man.

Yeah, this analysis is pretty outdated, I'd say - but to be fair, it can be hard to get a grip on modern anarchist theory, compared to cracking open a book on Bakunin or Goldman or Proudhon. Or reading Wikipedia articles (whose sources are usually the aforementioned texts from the late 19th century).
How is this analysis outdated? I simply took wikipedia's words and changed it up a little haha. If you could refer me to 'newer' sources, that'd be good too.
If you are "newer" to anarchist ideas, it would probably be better if you did not try to answer most questions. I am thirty years in, and I try not to make definitive answers to provocative and/or unclear questions. There are three or four clarifying questions that need to be directed back at the first questioner before a serious answer is attempted, and none of them has Wikipedia as part of a response. Please refer to many topics covered at
My recommendations are: Bob Black, sasha k, Jason McQuinn, and of course myself.
+2 votes
I have to suggest that the word "anarcho-socialism" could be considered a bad case of redundancy in a composed word. This mainly since all anarchism can be considered a socialist position (including individualist anarchism) since all anarchism opposes wage labour and class stratification as obvious examples of hierarchical forms (the main things anarchism opposes) and also main features of the capitalist system (the main things socialism critiques). It could be for this reason that the word anarcho-socialism has not been used too frequently within anarchist contexts and so it makes me wonder ┬┐where did you read or heard this word?

In the only sense that the word "anarcho-socialism" can have some sense is if it points out to a particular anarchist tendency which emphasizes and concentrates on economics and social class issues as these things could be said to be the main characteristics of socialism in general. The word "Social anarchism" has been used more frequently for this though and so it is made up of the main anarchist economic theories of collectivist anarchism, anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism. So in this way things like anarcho-feminism or queer anarchism or green anarchism could be said to have less of a class and economic emphasis and so more of a concern on gender, identity discrimination and ecologist focus. Other tendencies with different emphasis are for example synthesis anarchism, insurrectionary anarchism and platformism which focus more on forms of anarchist organization and anarchist strategy rather than on economic systems. Nevertheless all of these tendencies could also be said to be "socialist" since they also will oppose class hierarchy as well as sexism or homophobia even though their emphasis might be different.

Anarcho-communism on the other hand is an entire school of thought and tendency within anarchism mainly represented in the writings of Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-communism
answered Apr 2, 2012 by iconoclast (4,350 points)
Yes all anarchism is anti-capitalist, though some claim that not all anarchism is social anarchism or "left anarchism" is usually the derogatory name for the same thing. I have sometimes seen the term Anarcho-Socialism, or Anarchist-Socialist used as a synonym for the more market/collectivist/syndicalist side of libertarian socialism. Usually people that are really into Chomsky and against communism.