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  • Anarchy refers to a society without a publicly enforced government. When used in the negative sense, anarchy implies political disorder or lawlessness within a society. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his 1840 treatise What Is Property? to refer to a new political philosophy, anarchism, which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations. Many anarchists, like Anselme Bellegarrigue, have complained that "[v]ulgar error has taken 'anarchy' to be synonymous with 'civil war.'"