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What are the major differences between Socialism and Anarchism?

NR92 6 Oct 31
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Anarchism is what you get, when you go so far left, you fall off the spectrum. Klanarchism is what you get, when you go so far right, you fall off the edge.
Anarchists are opposed to government from the top down; but support government from the bottom up.
Socialists are more in favor of stronger government from the top down.
Want to start a good brawl? Lock a bunch of Anarchists and Socialists together in the same room.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the Fascists won because the Anarchists, Socialists, and Communists spent more time shooting one another, than they did in shooting Fascists. (That is what is known as a 'dialogue on the Left'😉.

davknight Level 8 Nov 16, 2019

Anachists have no regard for any hierarchy .... they would kill the socialists if they got in the way...

blzjz Level 7 Nov 10, 2019
Watch this;

Repetitious and false


#1. This is about America. You're from Afghanistan.

#2If you think it's false, show proof.

#3 No get an F for the debate.

#4. No get blocked, reported and removed from all participation.


Anarchism – Less a political philosophy than “a widely diverse assemblage of political beliefs that converge only on being anti-authority, anti-state and anti-coercion.”

Socialism is an "economic theory favoring total or partial public control of the economy.”

Social Democracy combines the ideas of a representative democracy with a partially or wholly socialist economic order, where key sectors of the economy are controlled directly or indirectly by the state.”


30-Second Politics Editor, Taylor, Steven L.

SageDave Level 7 Oct 31, 2019

Anarchism falls within the spectrum of socialism. It is the most anti-state and anti-hierarchy form of socialism. See the post by St. Sinner below for a good explanation of the similarities and differences.
Libertarianism, which many call right-wing anarchism, still accepts capitalist hierarchy. So it really isn't anarchist. It is merely an excuse to leave things the way they are for the benefit of upper class and white privilege.
Noam Chomsky Is probably the most famous and accomplished anarchist in the world. This is why he criticizes capitalism and defends socialist governments under attack by imperialism.
The explanations lie in examining reality and not in speculative theorizing.

Krish55 Level 8 Oct 31, 2019

I think there are not any purely socialist, anarchist, democratic or other governments; thus, such distinctions are academic. In practice, power politics control governments, and the best ones serve the majority of people well, unlike the current government in the US.

Although many people think of the US as a democracy or a republic, in fact the wealthy make most decisions, so it is closer to an oligarchy. IMO we have almost the worst kind of government, a dictatorship tends to be worse. But a benevolent dictator could be better; unfortunately, there is no way to assure the successor will be benevolent.

I think calling a government socialist, democratic, or whatever leads to confusion, because all governments are a mixture of isms. Moreover, like our government, all of them change according to the whims of those in power. Maintaining a good government is a lifetime responsibility of citizens, and sometimes it requires the ultimate sacrifice.

EdEarl Level 8 Oct 31, 2019

@slydr68 TY


Google the terms seperately

St-Sinner Level 9 Oct 31, 2019

I did but I got confused as they both are residing on left side of the politics, and both demand equality and social justice


I copied and pasted.

The dominant form of anarchism is a form of socialism.
It is an historical tendency in socialism, the libertarian form of socialism.

Socialism is for replacing capitalism with social or collective ownership of the means of production and democratic popular control over social production & social governance.

  1. Some socialists advocated using political parties in elections to gain control of the state, and implement socialism through the state. They tended to identify "democratic" with the electoral democracy of states.
  2. Other socialists wanted a mass uprising to create a new "proletarian state."
  3. Libertarian socialists AKA anarchists tend to identify democracy with direct, participatory democracy, and thus oppose the state, and propose social governance based on direct democracy, such as local assemblies, workplace assemblies and the like.
  4. Anarcho-syndicalists proposed building this form of participatory democracy in the form of a grassroots labor movement, to take over the means of production from below.

Collective ownership of the means of production does not require a state. A state is a kind of top-down bureaucratic structure, with a top-down police & military force, without direct control of it by the masses. Thus the anarchist proposal for collective ownership based on popular assemblies in neighborhoods & workplaces, federations of these throughout regions, and a militia force based on direct democratic control, would not constitute a state.

Conclusion.... Anarchism is the extreme form of socialism.

Just like you do with books and other reading, you sift through different sources and pick the one that makes most sense to you.

@St-Sinner This is a very good explanation. Thanks for posting!.


The major difference is that they don't resemble one another at all. Anarchism is against organization and government. Socialism is an economic (rather than governmental) system (anarchy, being against organization, allows for no system to all) that relies on pooling resources for the common good. They have nothing to do with one another and would be mutually exclusive.


genessa Level 8 Oct 31, 2019

Good answer 👍👌

They do resemble at some points that is the reason that made me to ask this question, for instance as I mentioned before both are placed on far left of the political spectrum, and they both demand social justice, equality and are against capitalism. In addition Anarchists aslo participated in France revolution and Russia revolution along side Socialists and Marxists.

@NR92 anarchy does not demand anything, much less social justice, and anarchy can be left OR right. i think you mean revolution, not evolution. if anarchists participated in any revolutions it wasn't for the purpose of establishing anything; it was purely to destroy systems, not add new ones. meanwhile, keep in mind that socialism is not a system of government; it's an economic system. it coexists best with democracy; when it is used in conjunction with other systems of government it tends to be corrupted.


@genessa The explanations have to be based on history. The explanation posted by St. Sinner is the most historically accurate explanation of the similarities and differences. This is not a theoretical issue.

@genessa Read about anarchist revolutionary activity in Spain during its Civil War. Both there and in other places, anarchist activity and goals contradict what you are saying.

@Krish55 Anarchists are capable of revolution. That does not contradict what I am saying.


@Krish55 Sure, the explanations will be based on whatever something is historically called, which means it's okay for today's republicans to identify with Lincoln even if it's ridiculous lol. (we won't even mention holocaust deniers!) It matters a lot who wrote the history and how they defined their terms -- and how we define ours. Do not assume the ignorance of those who disagree with you. I do not need to be steered back to what I have already read.


@genessa Genessa, Sorry that i offended you. It's just that you were incorrect to claim that anarchists don't want to create anything. While that may be true of some today, its was not in the past. And it's not true for those like Chomsky who still see themselves as sort of libertarian socialists.

@Krish55 Who said you offended me? Please do not assume that disagreement is always or even usually a sign of offense. But I still do disagree. I do not think I am incorrect about anarchists and what they want, because if they want to build something they may think they're anarchists but they are not, must as, for example, Jews for Jesus think they're Jewish lol. Sorry, first example that sprang to mind.


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