Journal of Libertarian Studies

The Schism between Individualist and Communist Anarchism in the Nineteenth Century

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

The image of a bomb-throwing anarchist is a cultural caricature but, as with many caricatures, there is some truth behind it. Certain forms of anarchism—specifically, the strain of nineteenth-century communist anarchism that arose in Russia and Germany— did embrace violence as a political strategy. Other forms of anarchism, however—such as Leo Tolstoi’s Christian anarchism and the indigenously American strain of individualist anarchism—consistently repudiated the use of violence for political ends. Indeed, one of the charges brought against early individualist anarchism was that its ideology was too peaceful, and its communities would be defenseless against aggressors.

Volume 15, Number 1 (2000)


McElroy, Wendy. “The Schism between Individualist and Communist Anarchism in the Nineteenth Century.” Journal of Libertarian Studies 15, No. 1 (2000): 97–123.

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