It took me many years of study, thought and political action, but somewhere around my mid 30's [circa 2007], I finally came out as an anarchist. I had probably been an anarchist for at least 15 years before that, but due to the overwhelming weight of misinformation, disinformation, peer and even academic pressure, I hesitated claiming that mantle. Why would one want to accede their anarchism in the face of a culture that associates it with either pathological idealism or sociopathy?
I decided to finally come out as an anarchist because the only universal principal I can divine is equality. There are no exceptions for me - no greater good I can see by preserving inequality; no amazingly reasoned treatise that can convince me that all human beings are not equal in every way. I knew this when I first fully understood Kant's idea of the the kingdom of ends in The Groundwork. That was about 15 years ago.
And it kills me, now, that a community of people seemingly committed to that idea, dismisses anarchism due to tawdry media depictions that have persisted for over 100 years.
Let's start with the idea - an archos. It literally means 'without kings'. The fundamental idea of anarchism is that we can have a leaderless society. This doesn't mean a society without laws [as most assume], or without governance - though what that governance would look like is completely foreign to what we now endure. But the organizing principle of an anarchist society is that it has & creates no leaders - no hierarchy - be it political, familial, national or religious.
This idea itself is why it is so dangerous to our world as it has always existed. To propose a world without some on top & others on bottom, a world where the decisions would be made on a species level, rather than at the whim of those with control, destroys everything that our socio-political-economic apparatus presents us with as 'the world'. It is 'lawless' to them [and most of us], because that system of law and its social reification is threatened by the idea of universal equality.
If we are truly equal, the entire structure of our world, political, economic, social, even scientific, is fundamentally wrong.
The question of anarchism is, 'How do we change our world so that it is egalitarian'?
There are many answers to that question. Many are posited here on Dkos. Many are enacted in our everyday life. Many are tried in the things that Anonymous do by threatening those in power by making them transparent. Groups like Wikileaks & responsible journalists do that too - and many of them give their lives. Occupy also has given a strong voice. And, occasionally, it does happen within the halls of Congress.
But these are not enough. We need a new world if we are going to survive ourselves. And in this, I'm not calling for a stupid bloody revolution. We just need to recognize that we're already in the world that the mainstream view thinks is 'anarchy' - there are no laws and all the 'bad' people have the guns. We need to find the most efficacious way of disarming them.
And I ain't kicking in any windows as I say this.