Milstein had some great comparison between anarchism and socialism. They both share the idea of anti-capitalism, but “anarchism evolved out of socialism to indicate an opposition not just to capitalism but also states and other compulsory, interlinked institutions.” Capitalism is just a part of what anarchism focuses on, but it’s the whole thing socialism against. Thus, “all anarchists are socialists, but not all socialists are anarchists.” Anarchism is inherently anti-authoritarian, but socialism in practical could be extreme authoritarian. From Milstein’s view, anarchism even seems more practical than socialism, because “anarchists maintained that people could attempt to build the new world in the shell of the old through self-organization rather than passively waiting until some post-revolutionary period.” Socialism kind of collapsed before the real revolution of capitalism to come, while anarchism blossoms in tons of NGOs.
Though Milstein wrote “anarchists had been able to structure the demonstration along libertarian principles,” and anarchism as well as liberalism both ask for liberty and equality, I think they’re fundamentally different in terms of state and central power. No matter how liberals are anti-authoritarian, they’re trying to give reasons for the existence and legitimacy of a state (such as Locke’s social contract theory), or provide a better structure of the state. They never think of a nation without government, but how to make the government perfect. However, anarchism has doubts for any kinds of centralization, no matter how great it is. Just like Milstein observed the phenomenon after WWII, “it appeared the two political choices were ‘democracy’ (free market capitalism) or ‘communism’ (state capitalism). Lost in the equation was the questioning of authority and concurrent assertion of utopia posed by anarchism.” Both choices were developed based on the state, while there’s still no actual example of anarchist state, and maybe it never will.
But in some way, globalization is helping anarchism to actualize its dream. As Milstein said, “globalization is structurally undermining of the centrality of states,” which is exactly the goal anarchists want to reach, and “anarchists have long dreamed of the world without borders made potentially feasible by the transformations now underway.” The voice of anti-globalization is more and more impossible, which is definitely to the pleasure of anarchists.