A fruitful approach to understanding anarchism is to recognise its thoroughly socialist critique of capitalism, while emphasising that this has been combined with a liberal critique of socialism, anarchists being united with classical liberals in their advocacy of autonomous associations and the freedom of the individual.
Anarchists disdain the customary use of "anarchy" to mean "chaos" or "complete disorder". For them it signifies the absence of a ruler or rulers, a self-managed society, usually resembling the co-operative commonwealth that most socialists have traditionally sought, and more highly organised than the disorganisation and chaos of the present. An anarchist society would be more ordered because the political theory of anarchism advocates organisation from the bottom up with the federation of the self-governed entities – as opposed to order being imposed from the top down upon resisting individuals or groups.
first was by Proudhon in 1840 in What Is Property?
tury. Kropotkin could then call Godwin "the first theorist of stateless socialism, that is, anarchism".