DEFINITION of 'Anarchy'

The condition of a society with no government. Some people think an anarchist society would result in lawlessness and chaos. Others, such as anarcho-capitalists, believe that private businesses would fill the void of government and provide the services that people need - including those traditionally thought of as essential government functions, like building roads and providing police and fire protection.


There is widespread disagreement among anarchists about what an anarchist society would look like. For example, some see it as a completely individualist society; others view it as a completely collectivist society. An overarching characteristic of anarchy, however, is that the people govern (or fail to govern) themselves. There is no political group in charge of making decisions for the masses. A potential problem with anarchy is that legal protection is not provided for patents, personal businesses or even corporations.