Many radicals seem to be under the impression that anarchism got started some time around the 1870s, primarily on anti-capitalist and anti-statist notes, and that therefore it is best understood as something like libertarian socialism. Which isn't entirely unfair or without use. But that impression is usually coupled to the idea that anarchist critiques of civilization amount to a recent departure from "classical anarchism" — starting in the 1980s with primitivism, with figures like Fredy Perlman and John Zerzan. Which may be convenient but is probably not much else.
Here's some unfinished notes on anti-civilizational perspectives from before all that.
"Utopian socialist" Charles Fourier
The philosopher of liberated passions (as we might call him) had influence on figures like P.-J. Proudhon and Jeanne Deroin, but also on more contemporary anarchist developments. You can encounter 'Fourierist' ideas in May 68 crowds and in Raoul Vaneigem's writings, in the anti-work anarchy of Bob Black, in discussions about Kropotkin's communes, in the neo-Proudhonian project of Shawn Wilbur, in the mutualist sociology of Cayce Jamil, etc.
Charles Fourier is no lightweight, I don't dare attempt a summary of his ideas or what we might make of them as anarchists. But you wouldn't be entirely off the mark to take Fourier's first publication The Theory of the Four Movements in 1808 as the beginning of the socialist literary tradition. Long before there was any talk of "capitalism" the early socialist aimed his entire critique at civilization:
As I had no connection with any scientific school, I decided to apply doubt to all opinions without exception, even regarding with suspicion arrangements which had universal agreement; for although this Civilisation is the idol of all philosophical schools, and the one they believe to be most nearly perfect, what could be more imperfect than Civilisation, and all the scourges it brings with it? What more dubious than its necessity and its future permanence?
As biographer Jonathan Beecher notes:
Fourier's contempt for the respectable thinkers and ideologies of his age was so intense that he always used the terms philosopher and civilization in a pejorative sense. In his lexicon civilization was a depraved order, a synonym for perfidy and constraint ... Fourier's attack on civilization had qualities not to be found in the writing of any other social critic of his time.
Early libertarian communist paper L'humanitaire
I have not looked into this much, but anarchist historian and communist Max Nettlau notes that...
There were, in fact, some communists who published a periodical written in a cool, level-headed tone, resolute but without acrimony, and carefully edited: L’Humanitaire, Organe de la science sociale (The Humanitarian, Organ of Social Science), under the direction of G. Charavay. The group was prosecuted as an illegal association, and, since the periodical was published without legal formalities, the members received prison terms; the contents of the journal, however, could not be incriminated. Nevertheless, the public indictment, the press, and all the communist and socialist journals cried out against the immoral opinions of the group, which, according to a statement issued by the publishing committee on 20 July (the document was confiscated), proclaimed the following ideas as ‘egalitarian communist doctrine’: the truth, materialism, abolition of the individual family, abolition of marriage. Art was to be accepted only as recreation; luxury was to disappear; the cities, as centres of domination and corruption, were to be destroyed; each community was to specialise in one type of production only; man’s development was to advance through frequent travel. These ideas, however, were set forth with greater clarity in the periodical itself, which also featured a well-documented article on Sylvain Maréchal, recommending ‘anti-political and anarchist ideas’. The periodical also repudiated class discrimination, and showed that almost all the famous communists, and the men who were considered as ‘our masters’ were not members of the working class, citing Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Thomas More, Campanella, Mably, Morelly, Babeuf, Buonarroti.
The names of the group members are known only through their trial. Most outstanding were Jean Joseph May, considered to be the leader (he took refuge in London, was later sent, as a rebel, into military service in Africa, where he soon died); G. Charavay, a capmaker (member of a family later well known as dealers in autographs); and Page, a young goldsmith, the orator of the group.
It's not surprising that an early 'libertarian communist' paper advocating for the destruction of cities would also discuss Sylvian Maréchal (in whose more or less anarchistic writing we can find anti-civilizational elements as well.)
Anarchist Joseph Déjacque
That is to say Harmony, that oasis of our dreams, no longer fleeing like a mirage before the caravan of the generations and delivering to each and all, under the shade of fraternity and in universal unity, the sources of happiness, the fruits of liberty: a life of delights, finally, after an agony of more than eighteen centuries in the sandy desert of Civilization!
Today Déjacque is often embraced as a forerunner for a specifically anarchist communism. And he is known as the first person to use libertarian (libertaire) in the familiar political sense. You would'nt be entirely off the mark to see in Déjacque's paper the beginning of the libertarian tradition.
More often than not what's ignored is Déjacque's positioning against civilization and his unforgiving attacks on the 'civilizées'. I have quoted the opening lines to his "The Humanisphere" a couple times before, I'm trying to keep this post short.
Anarchist Ernest Cœurderoy
After civilized generations, socialist generations!
Ernest Cœurderoy is today perhaps best known for the argument that liberty in Europe could only be made possible if a Cossack invasion first wiped away civilization. If you want to learn more about this lesser known anarchist I would recommend the book Disruptive Elements, the whole first chapter is on Cœurderoy.
"The English Tolstoy", near-anarchist Edward Carpenter
Author of Civilisation: Its Cause and Cure