It is obvious that reporters and average Joes blame anarchism in ignorance; they know no better. But it is as obvious that the rioting punks try to free-ride on a thoroughly misunderstood and propagandized label. They don’t riot and destroy because they have read and understood anarchism as described by the great anarchist thinkers; they riot under the name of anarchism because they understand it the way it is used by statists trying to make people fear level organization and non-hierarchy. In using anarchism as a reason for destruction, they are playing the statists’ game and reinforcing the myth of freedom as a threat rather than a promise.

Proudhon, just as any other great anarchist thinker, was clear on anarchism being order. But it is an order based on equality, freedom, and mutual individual respect; in this sense it is, indeed, the opposite of the current state of society. In anarchy, no individual can be sacrificed for a greater good and no individual is persecuted for his beliefs or choices. No individual’s right is greater than any other individual’s; the very foundation of anarchy is every individual’s equal right to life and liberty.

–Per Bylund, “Blame Anarchism?” (2008)

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