ANARCHY is what happens wherever order is not imposed by force. It is freedom: the process of continually reinventing ourselves and our relationships.
Any freely occurring process or phenomenon—a rainforest, a circle of friends, your own body—is an anarchic harmony that persists through constant change. Top-down control, on the other hand, can only be maintained by constraint or coercion: the precarious discipline of the high-school detention room, the factory farm in which pesticides and herbicides defend sterile rows of genetically modified corn, the fragile hegemony of a superpower.
ANARCHISM is the idea that everyone is entitled to complete self-determination. No law, government, or decision-making process is more important than the needs and desires of actual human beings. People should be free to shape their relations to their mutual satisfaction, and to stand up for themselves as they see fit.
Anarchism is not a dogma or a blueprint. It is not a system that would supposedly work if only it were applied right, like democracy, nor a goal to be realized in some far-off future, like communism. It is a way of acting and relating that we can put into practice right now. In reference to any value system or course of action, we can begin by asking: How does it distribute power?
ANARCHISTS oppose all forms of hierarchy—every currency that concentrates power into the hands of a few, every mechanism that puts us at a distance from our potential. Against closed systems, we relish the unknown before us, the chaos within us by virtue of which we are able to be free.