I understand the word "anarchy" to mean "without a political leader" rather than "no rules". Consequently, it would seem that "anarchy" has roots in "an-" and "hierarchy". Is this correct, and would someone provide more detail?
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closed as general reference by Matt E. Эллен♦, Mitch, choster, Jez, simchona♦ May 18 '12 at 1:39
This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler, from an- + archos ruler First Known Use: 1539
Technically, you are correct, but it is the implications that are important. If there is "rule by no-one", then there are, by definition, no rules, because there is no-one to make any rules. If I refuse to accept that anyone has a right to impose any rules on me, I am free to do what I like, and what I want.
As with other similar words, the precise meaning has been expanded to include the implications of the meaning, which is reasonable, as it them becomes a shortcut for "the results of an anarchic system".
Consider, as a similar case, the word "democracy", which technically means the rule of the people, but has been expanded to mean the election of rulers by all of the people. It is a different thing, but it is the outworking of a practical system of democracy*
*possibly. That is a discussion for somewhere else.