The core of the anarchist tradition, as I understand it, is that power is always illegitimate, unless it proves itself to be legitimate. So the burden of proof is always on those who claim that some authoritarian hierarchic relation is legitimate. If they can't prove it, then it should be dismantled.
- Noam Chomsky
I wanted to say something brief about anarchism since I added the Traditions portion of the sidebar. First, I really recommend the interview with Chomsky hyperlinked there. It's one of the most accessible summaries of anarchism as a tradition, particularly within the US, that I have been able to find.
Secondly, it is an established intellectual tradition--not the amorphous blob of lawlessness and chaos that typically comes to mind. There are about a million synonymous terms for it--syndicalism, libertarianism, libertarian-socialism, democratic socialism, anarcho-communism, etc.--each with their own history and meaning, but only worth knowing if you're really interested. The elementary idea is that people should have meaningful control over their lives, and that means democratic control of both political and economic institutions.
As Americans, we already understand the political side of this. Representative democracies operate on the idea that people control their government democratically. They are designed to facilitate control of the political process through elected representation and by personal protections such as civil rights. This is a central component of a libertarian, or anarchist, outlook.
The second component, however, is economic. Democratic control of one's workplace, for instance, is barely acknowledged, even on a theoretical level, within the United States. Corporations are authoritarian in structure, not democratic. The only democratic control people have over private institutions comes either from the political process in the form of government regulation, or from work agreements achieved through employee organizing (trade unions). Anyone interested in increasing popular control over production and resources will quickly find themselves at odds with the "right" to private ownership of these things on which all of us rely for survival.