Often times when the uninformed speak of "anarchy" or other names for the concept of human society without a state, their perception is based on the idea that radical individualism is what "anarchy" means. However, the uninformed are mistaken. The foremost advocate of radical individualism was the 18th century German philosopher Max Stirner.
"Max Stirner," says the entry on his philosophy at nothingness.org, "took the idea of radical individualism to its extreme. Stirner is generally relegated a minor position in the constellation of Hegel's philosophical prodigies, 'Die Freien' (the Free Ones), but nevertheless, many of his insights were shared in varying degrees by his contemporaries. A distinctive preoccupation with personal self-expression and the universal rejection of any communal or collective context mark Stirner's radical possessive individualism. Stirner was interested in developing an argument against any limits or controls on individual behavior in particular institutional and ideological controls manifested through traditional social, religious and political institutions. In his only extant work, The Ego and Its Own, Stirner makes the case for individual property and ownership as the means to the end of individual freedom."
Stirner further based his radical individualism on each individual's right and willingness to take from others: "I secure my freedom with regard to the world in the degree that I make the world my own, 'gain it and take possession of it' for myself, by whatever might, by that of persuasion, of petition, of categorical demand, yes, even by hypocrisy, cheating, etc.; for the means that I use for it are determined by what I am. Property," he notes bluntly, "is what is mine."
For Stirner, property cannot be accumulated, and indeed, is more often than not characterized by an ephemeral, temporary quality based on the ability of individuals to retain power over the objects in their possession. Stirner's argument against the existence of the state was a simple extension of this radical individualism: the state has no right to exist because it infringes on the individual's right to lay claims to property. By a similar argument, he is also critical of collective ownership because it denies individual ownership.
Freedom from dependence sounds good, but it also begs the question of how any kind of society can exist without some kind of "dependence" even interdependence. Are we ever really "free" of one another? Ultimately, the existential angst creates an individual not so much "free" as isolated and lonely, and preoccupied only with themselves.
Stirner's concepts, however, seem uniquely unsuited to what human beings are. Humans are social creatures that exist everywhere on earth in the company of, and in cooperative association with others. That aspect of humanity has been recognized as far back in the history of philosophy as Aristotle's Politics.
However, as is also well-known there have been some who for whatever reason prefer solitude. Theodore Kaczynski, called the "Unabomber" by the FBI, was one such type. He preferred to crap in a bucket, eat only cans of pork and beans, and shiver in a plywood shack in rural Montana, and otherwise live apart from the society of other people. He was also a misanthropic serial murderer who killed and injured people with bombs sent through the mail. Yet for those gentler souls who wish to live as hermits, an "enclave of one" is a good alternative.
If we have learned anything from recent history it is this: Without a large and powerful state enforcement apparatus to compel them otherwise, people tend to affiliate with people like themselves. By "like," is meant a shared vision or theory of religion, politics, culture, sexuality, occupation, and many other subsets of affinity. When this compelling force is absent the large multi-race, multi-culture nation-states immediately devolve into their sub-sets. In recent history examples of this phenomenon are the collapse of the former nation-states of Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia.
Absent the unifying supra-national monoculture (communism in this case), and the huge and harsh police apparatus needed to enforce its dominance, these states collapsed as easily as a juggler's balls falling to the floor when he stops juggling them. The same phenomenon but applied in reverse is the national liberation struggles of the Irish, Kurds, and the Palestinians who exist as ethnic groups, but have no sovereign nation-state. All were dispossessed of their traditional lands due to political arrangements made by colonial powers in late 19th century or before.
The radical self-absorption of nihilistic egoists like Stirner is unworthy of anyone who isn't a misfit. In anarchy or a condition of no authority people will still have to obey the rules, laws, and customs of the group they have chosen to affiliate themselves with, or whose territory they inhabit, or are currently in. Governance would not disappear; it would necessarily devolve to smaller groups, but self-selected by the individual.
If a person disturbs, disrupts, steals, is violent, or otherwise breaks the rules, laws, or customs of such a community then they should expect the full force of the local community to intervene to halt that behavior. Acting against the community's laws, rules, or customs and so fostering a chaotic milieu based on violence and force could not be done with impunity, as critics often say.
Chaotic areas would likely exist, as they do now, where there is no established community to create order. There are still vast areas of the world that have this situation even though on maps they are territories of a nation-state officially.
In a condition of no authority there is no mega-state to use force to require obedience to the ruling classes and their chosen ideologies, religions, or other memes by the population of a given area. This force being absent, people are free to enter, leave, or form their own societal entities of whatever sort and based on their own criteria.
In the world as it really is, (as opposed to think tanks or universities), it may well be the best that can be done at this point in human political evolution and development. Like the perfectly round circle "pure" anarchy may only be able to exist in theory, at least for now. However, I'm willing to keeping trying.