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An anarchist is a person who advocates the elimination of hierarchy in society. This includes government, capitalism, patriarchy, hierarchical organized religion and all other forms of institutionalized coercion.
Webster's defines anarchist as:
- \An"arch*ist\, n. [Cf. F. anarchiste.] An anarch; one who advocates anarchy of aims at [sic] the overthrow of civil government.
There are several different types of anarchists, but there are certain principles all anarchists have (or should have) in common to be considered an anarchist.
- Coercive hierarchy is unethical.
- Equality of rights for everyone.
Anarchists believe everyone should have the maximum number of rights and freedoms. Hierarchies inherently infringe on people's rights due to the necessity for coercive use of force. Equality of rights gives everyone equal decision-making power regarding society, the right to freely make associations (or not), and equal right to things owned by the people (air, water, land, etc.)