Anarchism is derived from the Greek αναρχία ("without archons (ruler, chief, king)"). Anarchism as a political philosophy, is the belief that all forms of social coercion, such as governments and social hierarchies are undesireable.

Anarchism also refers to related social movements that advocate the elimination of coercive institutions. The word "anarchy," as most anarchists use it, does not imply chaos, nihilism, or anomie, but rather a harmonious anti-authoritarian society that is based on individual self-determination and personal involvement. In place of what are regarded as authoritarian political structures and coercive economic institutions, anarchists advocate social relations based upon voluntary association of free individuals in autonomous communities, mutual aid, and self-governance.

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