Which Countries Are Ruled by an Anarchy?

There are no countries governed by anarchy, despite the existence of anarchist zones in nations such as Afghanistan and Somalia. The term anarchy refers to a society in which there is no governance that is openly enforced.

The concept of anarchy originated in Ancient Greece. It refers to a person or community ruled by voluntary groups as opposed to a public form or government. Typically, the phrase is used negatively to imply anarchy and disorder in a society. Multiple states have unsuccessfully attempted to use anarchy as their political foundation over the centuries. Examples include England during the English Civil War in the 17th century, France during the French Revolution in the 18th century, Jamaica in 1720, Russia during the Russian Civil War at the start of the 20th century, Spain in 1936 during the General Franco-led Revolution, Albania in 1997, and Somalia between 1991 and 2006, to name a few. Ungoverned settlements within a state with a publicly enforced government are also referred to as anarchy. Kibbutz in Palestine between 1909 and 1948, the Zapatista movement in Mexico, Zomia in Southeast Asia, and Slab City, a squatting RV desert town in California, are instances of ungoverned communities.

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