Top 10 Anarchists

Anarchist quotes

Top 10 Anarchists
Disclaimer: Anarchists reject leaders and do not follow anyone.
Top 10 Anarchists in terms of influence on theory of Anarchism through history. See also and and

1. Mikhail Bakunin
Bakunin was founder of the modern anarchist movement. He was a Russian collectivist anarchist, a prominent member of the First International (International Working Mens Association). His most famous book length work is God and the State.

2. Peter Kropotkin
Peter Kropotkin was a Russian Anarchist and Anarcho-Communist. His most prominent works are Mutual Aid, Fields, Factories and Workshops and The Conquest of Bread.

3. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was a French anarchist. He was the first person to declare himself an anarchist using that term and is widely regarded as the ideology’s most influential theorist. His most famous works are What is Property? and The Philosophy of Poverty (also known as System of Economic Contradictions).

4. Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman was a Russian-born American Anarchist. Her most famous work is Anarchism and Other Essays. She founded and edited a publication called Mother Earth which was influential on anarchist feminism. She also wrote about her experience in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.

5. Rudolf Rocker
Rudolf Rocker was a German anarchist. His most famous works are Nationalism and Culture, Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice and Pioneers of American Freedom.

6. Gustav Landauer
Gustav Landauer was one of the leading theorists on Anarchism in Germany. Books in English include Revolution and Other Writings, and Anarchism in Germany and Other Essays.

7. Alexander Berkman
Alexander Berkman was a leading member of the Anarchist movement. He was a Russian-born American anarchist. His most famous works are Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, The Bolshevik Myth, Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism. He was involved in the publication Mother Earth and also his own titled The Blast.

8. Errico Malatesta
Errico Malatesta was an Italian anarchist. Malatesta wrote and edited a number of radical newspapers and was also a friend of Mikhail Bakunin. He participated in the First International (IWMA). His most famous work is a pamphlet titled Anarchy.

9. Johann Most
Johann Most was a German-American anarchist who is notable for his association with propaganda of the deed.

10. Elisée Reclus
Elisée Reclus was a French anarchist. His most famous work is An Anarchist on Anarchy.

Posted By

May 8 2020 21:47


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darren p
May 8 2020 22:26

FFS what is the point of these lists?

Red Marriott
May 8 2020 23:11
He was the first person to declare himself an anarchist using that term and is widely regarded as the ideology’s most influential theorist.

Only by people who really don't know what they're talking about. How about a list of 'Top Ten basic errors in my Top Ten lists'?

May 9 2020 04:45

I notice this one is pretty sparse. Like unless you only know of ten anarchists I fail to see how some of these qualify as top 10 if all you've got is their names, their nationalities and one or two book titles.

Johann Most was a German-American anarchist who is notable for his association with propaganda of the deed.

Johann Most was originally a social democrat and one of their early deputies who had brief connections to Engels and Marx, and was closely associated with Wilhelm Liebknecht, even wrote one of the SPDs summaries of Capital.

In addition practically every person on this list is notable for their association with propaganda of the deed as they all advocated propaganda through action, which is what the term means. For example Gustav Landauer the pacifist (well he did also join the first Bavarian Soviet Republic) was also fond of the term but for him the best propaganda of the deed was the establishment of model new societies to prove they could actually work. What I think you meant to say is that Most is notable for his advocacy of revolutionary terrorism, which interestingly he was arrested on multiple occasions for advocating while still a social democrat.

I'd say he's far more influential in anarchist circles for founding Freiheit the main German language anarchist newspaper that influenced many others especially the Yiddish anarchist and labour movements.

klas batalo
May 9 2020 20:11

No Fabbri? No Makhno? No Durutti?

Also these lists are sorta funny, but I understand one wanting to do them out of boredom.

Serge Forward
May 9 2020 20:18

Daft, I call it.

May 10 2020 07:27

As well as agreeing with the sentiments above Goldman was not Russian born she was from Kaunas in Latvia.Berkman was from Ukraine not Russia.Proudon may have formulated primal economic theories but the worth of these diminished as Anarchism matured.He was a reactionary IMO.
It's like naming an all time football greats lol You could change it every 5 minutes and approach it from different perspectives and serves little purpose with respect.
I would put Durruti Makhni Voline and Maximoff ahead of some on that list for what it's worth.

tyneside anarchist
May 10 2020 08:17

naive lists like this can NEVER be correct as they are based on the authors assumption and not general consensus.
My mate M from Northumberland, "in terms of influence" of my blossoming anarchism was a key component in who i am today....can i include him in your list...