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Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair — 22nd May 2010

Sheffield Bookfair | 12.05.2010 22:19 | Analysis | Culture | Sheffield

Booked for the 22nd May in our lovely city is Sheffield's first ever Anarchist bookfair. If you're anarcho-curious come and meet some local Anarchists. The Greens have conferences, the Left have meetings, the Conservatives have tea parties. So what do anarchists have? Bookfairs?!

These events have run for years in cities from San Francisco to Zagreb. They're a great starting point into the ideas, activism, ethics, creativity and history of the contemporary anarchist movement, with publishers comix, zines, film, art, food and fun stuff. It's at Corporation, appropriately painted black for the event, no doubt with a buzzing after-party nearby.

Read on for the days programme of meetings and see the web site for the bookfair.

Sheffield's first anarchist book fair
Sheffield's first anarchist book fair

Programme for talks/meetings

  1. 10:30 - 11:25 — An Activist Guide to the Web
  2. 11:30 - 12:25 — What is a Social Centre?
  3. 12:30 - 13:25 — Tracking Corporate Complicity in the Occupation of Palestine
  4. 13:30 - 14:25 — Anarchism 101 (panel discussion)
  5. 14:30 - 15:25 — Communism From Below
  6. 18:00 - 19:00 — Yorkshire Anarchists Co-ordination Meeting
  7. 7pm — After-Bookfair Social

10:30 - 11:25 — An Activist Guide to the Web

Sheffield Indymedia

A talk exploring the potential advantages (and dangers) of new technologies to political activists.

11:30 - 12:25 — What is a Social Centre?

Sheffield Social Centre Collective

The UK is host to a growing network of anti-capitalist social centres. Organised along non-hierarchical lines, these spaces are a hub of community activity, political activism, education, self-help and self-organisation. Come find out about the history of the social centre project in Sheffield, the short-lived (but successful!) squatted centre at Pisgah House and future plans to establish a permanent, radical space in the city.

12:30 - 13:25 — Tracking Corporate Complicity in the Occupation of Palestine

Corporate Watch

There is an established and growing movement in solidarity with Palestine. Since 2004, the focus of this movement has been a Palestinian call for ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS). The call was made by hundreds of Palestinian civil society organisations and all major Palestinian trade unions. Campaigners around the world have engaged in diverse forms of solidarity action in line with this call. Corporate Watch’s research intends to strengthen and provide a resource for the growing BDS movement and the wider international solidarity movement.

13:30 - 14:25 — Anarchism 101 (panel discussion)

"Everything you wanted to know about anarchism" with representatives of some of the different anarchist groups and organisations present.

14:30 - 15:25 — Communism From Below

The Commune

Come find out about the true vision of a communist society as achieved "from below". The Commune rejects statist and authoritarian visions of socialism and look instead to the tradition of ‘socialism from below’, which believes that emancipation can be achieved only through the activity, self-organisation and mobilisation of the working class and oppressed people themselves.

18:00 - 19:00 — Yorkshire Anarchists Co-ordination Meeting

Yorkshire Anarchist Group

To be held at the Red Deer pub, Pitt Street (off mappin st, off west st.) S1 4DD

Are you an anarchist in the Yorkshire area? Are you interested in getting more involved in anarchist activity? Come to an open planning meeting to discuss better co-ordination of the anarchist groups, federations, networks and individuals currently operating in the Yorkshire area.

7pm — After-Bookfair Social

Entry £1 (suggested donation)

After a day of fervent book buying come relax with some skalicious tunes and a few revolutionary anthems thrown in for good measure.

Upstairs @ the Red Deer, Pitt Street (off Mappin St, off West St.) S1 4DD.

Sheffield Bookfair
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Anarchism By Peter Kropotkin

13.05.2010 14:34

ANARCHISM, the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions. They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international temporary or more or less permanent - for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary - as is seen in organic life at large - harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.

If, it is contended, society were organized on these principles, man would not be limited in the free exercise of his powers in productive work by a capitalist monopoly, maintained by the state; nor would he be limited in the exercise of his will by a fear of punishment, or by obedience towards individuals or metaphysical entities, which both lead to depression of initiative and servility of mind. He would be guided in his actions by his own understanding, which necessarily would bear the impression of a free action and reaction between his own self and the ethical conceptions of his surroundings. Man would thus be enabled to obtain the full development of all his faculties, intellectual, artistic and moral, without being hampered by overwork for the monopolists, or by the servility and inertia of mind of the great number. He would thus be able to reach full individualization, which is not possible either under the present system of individualism, or under any system of state socialism in the so-called Volkstaat (popular state).

The anarchist writers consider, moreover, that their conception is not a utopia, constructed on the a priori method, after a few desiderata have been taken as postulates. It is derived, they maintain, from an analysis of tendencies that are at work already, even though state socialism may find a temporary favour with the reformers. The progress of modern technics, which wonderfully simplifies the production of all the necessaries of life; the growing spirit of independence, and the rapid spread of free initiative and free understanding in all branches of activity - including those which formerly were considered as the proper attribution of church and state - are steadily reinforcing the no-government tendency.

As to their economical conceptions, the anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility. They are the main obstacle which prevents the successes of modern technics from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being. The anarchists consider the wage-system and capitalist production altogether as an obstacle to progress. But they point out also that the state was, and continues to be, the chief instrument for permitting the few to monopolize the land, and the capitalists to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus of production. Consequently, while combating the present monopolization of land, and capitalism altogether, the anarchists combat with the same energy the state, as the main support of that system. Not this or that special form, but the state altogether, whether it be a monarchy or even a republic governed by means of the referendum.

The state organization, having always been, both in ancient and modern history (Macedonian Empire, Roman Empire, modern European states grown up on the ruins of the autonomous cities), the instrument for establishing monopolies in favour of the ruling minorities, cannot be made to work for the destruction of these monopolies. The anarchists consider, therefore, that to hand over to the state all the main sources of economical life - the land, the mines, the railways, banking, insurance, and so on - as also the management of all the main branches of industry, in addition to all the functions already accumulated in its hands (education, state-supported religions, defence of the territory, etc.), would mean to create a new instrument of tyranny. State capitalism would only increase the powers of bureaucracy and capitalism. True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery.

In common with most socialists, the anarchists recognize that, like all evolution in nature, the slow evolution of society is followed from time to time by periods of accelerated evolution which are called revolutions; and they think that the era of revolutions is not yet closed. Periods of rapid changes will follow the periods of slow evolution, and these periods must be taken advantage of - not for increasing and widening the powers of the state, but for reducing them, through the organization in every township or commune of the local groups of producers and consumers, as also the regional, and eventually the international, federations of these groups.

In virtue of the above principles the anarchists refuse to be party to the present state organization and to support it by infusing fresh blood into it. They do not seek to constitute, and invite the working men not to constitute, political parties in the parliaments. Accordingly, since the foundation of the International Working Men's Association in 1864-1866, they have endeavoured to promote their ideas directly amongst the labour organizations and to induce those unions to a direct struggle against capital, without placing their faith in parliamentary legislation.
The historical development of Anarchism
The conception of society just sketched, and the tendency which is its dynamic expression, have always existed in mankind, in opposition to the governing hierarchic conception and tendency - now the one and now the other taking the upper hand at different periods of history. To the former tendency we owe the evolution, by the masses themselves, of those institutions - the clan, the village community, the guild, the free medieval city - by means of which the masses resisted the encroachments of the conquerors and the power-seeking minorities. The same tendency asserted itself with great energy in the great religious movements of medieval times, especially in the early movements of the reform and its forerunners. At the same time it evidently found its expression in the writings of some thinkers, since the times of Lao-tsze, although, owing to its non-scholastic and popular origin, it obviously found less sympathy among the scholars than the opposed tendency.

As has been pointed out by Prof. Adler in his Geschichte des Sozialismus und Kommunismus, Aristippus (b. c. 430 BC), one of the founders of the Cyrenaic school, already taught that the wise must not give up their liberty to the state, and in reply to a question by Socrates he said that he did not desire to belong either to the governing or the governed class. Such an attitude, however, seems to have been dictated merely by an Epicurean attitude towards the life of the masses.

The best exponent of anarchist philosophy in ancient Greece was Zeno (342-267 or 270 BC), from Crete, the founder of the Stoic philosophy, who distinctly opposed his conception of a free community without government to the state-utopia of Plato. He repudiated the omnipotence of the state, its intervention and regimentation, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the moral law of the individual - remarking already that, while the necessary instinct of self-preservation leads man to egotism, nature has supplied a corrective to it by providing man with another instinct - that of sociability. When men are reasonable enough to follow their natural instincts, they will unite across the frontiers and constitute the cosmos. They will have no need of law-courts or police, will have no temples and no public worship, and use no money - free gifts taking the place of the exchanges. Unfortunately, the writings of Zeno have not reached us and are only known through fragmentary quotations. However, the fact that his very wording is similar to the wording now in use, shows how deeply is laid the tendency of human nature of which he was the mouthpiece.

In medieval times we find the same views on the state expressed by the illustrious bishop of Alba, Marco Girolamo Vida, in his first dialogue De dignitate reipublicae (Ferd. Cavalli, in Mem. dell'Istituto Veneto, xiii.; Dr E. Nys, Researches in the History of Economics). But it is especially in several early Christian movements, beginning with the ninth century in Armenia, and in the preachings of the early Hussites, particularly Chojecki, and the early Anabaptists, especially Hans Denk (cf. Keller, Ein Apostel der Wiedertaufer), that one finds the same ideas forcibly expressed - special stress being laid of course on their moral aspects.

Rabelais and Fenelon, in their utopias, have also expressed similar ideas, and they were also current in the eighteenth century amongst the French Encyclopaedists, as may be concluded from separate expressions occasionally met with in the writings of Rousseau, from Diderot's Preface to the Voyage of Bougainville, and so on. However, in all probability such ideas could not be developed then, owing to the rigorous censorship of the Roman Catholic Church.

These ideas found their expression later during the great French Revolution. While the Jacobins did all in their power to centralize everything in the hands of the government, it appears now, from recently published documents, that the masses of the people, in their municipalities and 'sections', accomplished a considerable constructive work. They appropriated for themselves the election of the judges, the organization of supplies and equipment for the army, as also for the large cities, work for the unemployed, the management of charities, and so on. They even tried to establish a direct correspondence between the 36,000 communes of France through the intermediary of a special board, outside the National Assembly (cf. Sigismund Lacroix, Actes de la commune de Paris).

It was Godwin, in his Enquiry concerning Political Justice (2 vols., 1793), who was the first to formulate the political and economical conceptions of anarchism, even though he did not give that name to the ideas developed in his remarkable work. Laws, he wrote, are not a product of the wisdom of our ancestors: they are the product of their passions, their timidity, their jealousies and their ambition. The remedy they offer is worse than the evils they pretend to cure. If and only if all laws and courts were abolished, and the decisions in the arising contests were left to reasonable men chosen for that purpose, real justice would gradually be evolved. As to the state, Godwin frankly claimed its abolition. A society, he wrote, can perfectly well exist without any government: only the communities should be small and perfectly autonomous. Speaking of property, he stated that the rights of every one 'to every substance capable of contributing to the benefit of a human being' must be regulated by justice alone: the substance must go 'to him who most wants it'. His conclusion was communism. Godwin, however, had not the courage to maintain his opinions. He entirely rewrote later on his chapter on property and mitigated his communist views in the second edition of Political Justice (8vo, 1796).

Proudhon was the first to use, in 1840 (Qu'est-ce que la propriete? first memoir), the name of anarchy with application to the no government state of society. The name of 'anarchists' had been freely applied during the French Revolution by the Girondists to those revolutionaries who did not consider that the task of the Revolution was accomplished with the overthrow of Louis XVI, and insisted upon a series of economical measures being taken (the abolition of feudal rights without redemption, the return to the village communities of the communal lands enclosed since 1669, the limitation of landed property to 120 acres, progressive income-tax, the national organization of exchanges on a just value basis, which already received a beginning of practical realization, and so on).

Now Proudhon advocated a society without government, and used the word anarchy to describe it. Proudhon repudiated, as is known, all schemes of communism, according to which mankind would be driven into communistic monasteries or barracks, as also all the schemes of state or state-aided socialism which were advocated by Louis Blanc and the collectivists. When he proclaimed in his first memoir on property that 'Property is theft', he meant only property in its present, Roman-law, sense of 'right of use and abuse'; in property-rights, on the other hand, understood in the limited sense of possession, he saw the best protection against the encroachments of the state. At the same time he did not want violently to dispossess the present owners of land, dwelling-houses, mines, factories and so on. He preferred to attain the same end by rendering capital incapable of earning interest; and this he proposed to obtain by means of a national bank, based on the mutual confidence of all those who are engaged in production, who would agree to exchange among themselves their produces at cost-value, by means of labour cheques representing the hours of labour required to produce every given commodity. Under such a system, which Proudhon described as 'Mutuellisme', all the exchanges of services would be strictly equivalent. Besides, such a bank would be enabled to lend money without interest, levying only something like I per cent, or even less, for covering the cost of administration. Everyone being thus enabled to borrow the money that would be required to buy a house, nobody would agree to pay any more a yearly rent for the use of it. A general 'social liquidation' would thus be rendered easy, without violent expropriation. The same applied to mines, railways, factories and so on.

In a society of this type the state would be useless. The chief relations between citizens would be based on free agreement and regulated by mere account keeping. The contests might be settled by arbitration. A penetrating criticism of the state and all possible forms of government, and a deep insight into all economic problems, were well-known characteristics of Proudhon's work.

It is worth noticing that French mutualism had its precursor in England, in William Thompson, who began by mutualism before he became a communist, and in his followers John Gray (A Lecture on Human Happiness, 1825; The Social System, 1831) and J. F. Bray (Labour's Wrongs and Labour's Remedy, 1839). It had also its precursor in America. Josiah Warren, who was born in 1798 (cf. W. Bailie, Josiah Warren, the First American Anarchist, Boston, 1900), and belonged to Owen's 'New Harmony', considered that the failure of this enterprise was chiefly due to the suppression of individuality and the lack of initiative and responsibility. These defects, he taught, were inherent to every scheme based upon authority and the community of goods. He advocated, therefore, complete individual liberty. In 1827 he opened in Cincinnati a little country store which was the first 'equity store', and which the people called 'time store', because it was based on labour being exchanged hour for hour in all sorts of produce. 'Cost - the limit of price', and consequently 'no interest', was the motto of his store, and later on of his 'equity village', near New York, which was still in existence in 1865. Mr Keith's 'House of Equity' at Boston, founded in 1855, is also worthy of notice.

While the economical, and especially the mutual-banking, ideas of Proudhon found supporters and even a practical application in the United States, his political conception of anarchy found but little echo in France, where the Christian socialism of Lamennais and the Fourierists, and the state socialism of Louis Blanc and the followers of Saint-Simon, were dominating. These ideas found, however, some temporary support among the left-wing Hegelians in Germany, Moses Hess in 1843, and Karl Grun in 1845, who advocated anarchism. Besides, the authoritarian communism of Wilhelm Weitling having given origin to opposition amongst the Swiss working men, Wilhelm Marr gave expression to it in the 1840s.

On the other side, individualist anarchism found, also in Germany, its fullest expression in Max Stirner (Kaspar Schmidt), whose remarkable works (Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum and articles contributed to the Rheinische Zeitung) remained quite overlooked until they were brought into prominence by John Henry Mackay.

Prof. V. Basch, in a very able introduction to his interesting book, L'lndividualisme anarchiste: Max Stirner (1904), has shown how the development of the German philosophy from Kant to Hegel, and 'the absolute' of Schelling and the Geist of Hegel, necessarily provoked, when the anti-Hegelian revolt began, the preaching of the same 'absolute' in the camp of the rebels. This was done by Stirner, who advocated, not only a complete revolt against the state and against the servitude which authoritarian communism would impose upon men, but also the full liberation of the individual from all social and moral bonds - the rehabilitation of the 'I', the supremacy of the individual, complete 'amoralism', and the 'association of the egotists'. The final conclusion of that sort of individual anarchism has been indicated by Prof. Basch. It maintains that the aim of all superior civilization is, not to permit all members of the community to develop in a normal way, but to permit certain better endowed individuals 'fully to develop', even at the cost of the happiness and the very existence of the mass of mankind. It is thus a return towards the most common individual ism, advocated by all the would-be superior minorities, to which indeed man owes in his history precisely the state and the rest, which these individualists combat. Their individualism goes so far as to end in a negation of their own starting-point - to say nothing of the impossibility for the individual to attain a really full development in the conditions of oppression of the masses by the 'beautiful aristocracies'. His development would remain unilateral. This is why this direction of thought, notwithstanding its undoubtedly correct and useful advocacy of the full development of each individuality, finds a hearing only in limited artistic and literary circles.
Anarchism in the International Working Men's Association
A general depression in the propaganda of all fractions of socialism followed, as is known, after the defeat of the uprising of the Paris working men in June 1848 and the fall of the Republic. All the socialist press was gagged during the reaction period, which lasted fully twenty years. Nevertheless, even anarchist thought began to make some progress, namely in the writings of Bellegarrique (Caeurderoy), and especially Joseph Dejacque (Les Lazareacute'ennes, L 'Humanisph=E8re, an anarchist-communist utopia, lately discovered and reprinted). The socialist movement revived only after 1864, when some French working men, all 'mutualists', meeting in London during the Universal Exhibition with English followers of Robert Owen, founded the International Working Men's Association. This association developed very rapidly and adopted a policy of direct economical struggle against capitalism, without interfering in the political parliamentary agitation, and this policy was followed until 1871. However, after the Franco-German War, when the International Association was prohibited in France after the uprising of the Commune, the German working men, who had received man hood suffrage for elections to the newly constituted imperial parliament, insisted upon modifying the tactics of the International, and began to build up a Social Democratic political party. This soon led to a division in the Working Men's Association, and the Latin federations, Spanish, Italian, Belgian and Jurassic (France could not be represented), constituted among themselves a Federal union which broke entirely with the Marxist general council of the Inter national. Within these federations developed now what may be described as modern anarchism. After the names of 'Federalists' and 'Anti-authoritarians' had been used for some time by these federations the name of 'anarchists', which their adversaries insisted upon applying to them, prevailed, and finally it was revindicated.

Bakunin (q.v.) soon became the leading spirit among these Latin federations for the development of the principles of anarchism, which he did in a number of writings, pamphlets and letters. He demanded the complete abolition of the state, which - he wrote is a product of religion, belongs to a lower state of civilization, represents the negation of liberty, and spoils even that which it undertakes to do for the sake of general well-being. The state was an historically necessary evil, but its complete extinction will be, sooner or later, equally necessary. Repudiating all legislation, even when issuing from universal suffrage, Bakunin claimed for each nation, each region and each commune, full autonomy, so long as it is not a menace to its neighbours, and full independence for the individual, adding that one becomes really free only when, and in proportion as, all others are free. Free federations of the communes would constitute free nations.

As to his economical conceptions, Bakunin described himself, in common with his Federalist comrades of the International (Cesar De Paepe, James Guillaume, Schwitzguebel), a 'collectivist anarchist' - not in the sense of Vidal and Pecqueur in the 1840s, or of their modern Social Democratic followers, but to express a state of things in which all necessaries for production are owned in common by the labour groups and the free communes, while the ways of retribution of labour, communist or otherwise, would be settled by each group for itself. Social revolution, the near approach of which was foretold at that time by all socialists, would be the means of bringing into life the new conditions.

The Jurassic, the Spanish and the Italian federations and sections of the International Working Men's Association, as also the French, the German and the American anarchist groups, were for the next years the chief centres of anarchist thought and propaganda. They refrained from any participation in parliamentary politics, and always kept in close contact with the labour organizations. However, in the second half of the 'eighties and the early 'nineties of the nineteenth century, when the influence of the anarchists began to be felt in strikes, in the 1st of May demonstrations, where they promoted the idea of a general strike for an eight hours' day, and in the anti-militarist propaganda in the army, violent prosecutions were directed against them, especially in the Latin countries (including physical torture in the Barcelona Castle) and the United States (the execution of five Chicago anarchists in 1887). Against these prosecutions the anarchists retaliated by acts of violence which in their turn were followed by more executions from above, and new acts of revenge from below. This created in the general public the impression that violence is the substance of anarchism, a view repudiated by its supporters, who hold that in reality violence is resorted to by all parties in proportion as their open action is obstructed by repression, and exceptional laws render them outlaws. (Cf. Anarchism and Outrage, by C. M. Wilson, and Report of the Spanish Atrocities Committee, in 'Freedom Pamphlets'; A Concise History of the Great Trial of the Chicago Anarchists, by Dyer Lum (New York, 1886); The Chicago Martyrs: Speeches, etc.).

Anarchism continued to develop, partly in the direction of Proudhonian 'mutuellisme', but chiefly as communist-anarchism, to which a third direction, Christian-anarchism, was added by Leo Tolstoy, and a fourth, which might be ascribed as literary-anarchism, began amongst some prominent modern writers.

The ideas of Proudhon, especially as regards mutual banking, corresponding with those of Josiah Warren, found a considerable following in the United States, creating quite a school, of which the main writers are Stephen Pearl Andrews, William Grene, Lysander Spooner (who began to write in 1850, and whose unfinished work, Natural Law, was full of promise), and several others, whose names will be found in Dr Nettlau's Bibliographie de l'anarchie.

A prominent position among the individualist anarchists in America has been occupied by Benjamin R. Tucker, whose journal Liberty was started in 1881 and whose conceptions are a combination of those of Proudhon with those of Herbert Spencer. Starting from the statement that anarchists are egotists, strictly speaking, and that every group of individuals, be it a secret league of a few persons, or the Congress of the United States, has the right to oppress all mankind, provided it has the power to do so, that equal liberty for all and absolute equality ought to be the law, and 'mind every one your own business' is the unique moral law of anarchism, Tucker goes on to prove that a general and thorough application of these principles would be beneficial and would offer no danger, because the powers of every individual would be limited by the exercise of the equal rights of all others. He further indicated (following H. Spencer) the difference which exists between the encroachment on somebody's rights and resistance to such an encroachment; between domination and defence: the former being equally condemnable, whether it be encroachment of a criminal upon an individual, or the encroachment of one upon all others, or of all others upon one; while resistance to encroachment is defensible and necessary. For their self-defence, both the citizen and the group have the right to any violence, including capital punishment. Violence is also justified for enforcing the duty of keeping an agreement. Tucker thus follows Spencer, and, like him, opens (in the present writer's opinion) the way for reconstituting under the heading of 'defence' all the functions of the state. His criticism of the present state is very searching, and his defence of the rights of the individual very powerful. As regards his economical views B. R. Tucker follows Proudhon.

The individualist anarchism of the American Proudhonians finds, however, but little sympathy amongst the working masses. Those who profess it - they are chiefly 'intellectuals' - soon realize that the individualization they so highly praise is not attainable by individual efforts, and either abandon the ranks of the anarchists, and are driven into the liberal individualism of the classical economist or they retire into a sort of Epicurean amoralism, or superman theory, similar to that of Stirner and Nietzsche. The great bulk of the anarchist working men prefer the anarchist-communist ideas which have gradually evolved out of the anarchist collectivism of the International Working Men's Association. To this direction belong - to name only the better known exponents of anarchism Elisee Reclus, Jean Grave, Sebastien Faure, Emile Pouget in France; Errico Malatesta and Covelli in Italy; R. Mella, A. Lorenzo, and the mostly unknown authors of many excellent manifestos in Spain; John Most amongst the Germans; Spies, Parsons and their followers in the United States, and so on; while Domela Nieuwenhuis occupies an intermediate position in Holland. The chief anarchist papers which have been published since 1880 also belong to that direction; while a number of anarchists of this direction have joined the so-called syndicalist movement- the French name for the non-political labour movement, devoted to direct struggle with capitalism, which has lately become so prominent in Europe.

As one of the anarchist-communist direction, the present writer for many years endeavoured to develop the following ideas: to show the intimate, logical connection which exists between the modern philosophy of natural sciences and anarchism; to put anarchism on a scientific basis by the study of the tendencies that are apparent now in society and may indicate its further evolution; and to work out the basis of anarchist ethics. As regards the substance of anarchism itself, it was Kropotkin's aim to prove that communism at least partial - has more chances of being established than collectivism, especially in communes taking the lead, and that free, or anarchist-communism is the only form of communism that has any chance of being accepted in civilized societies; communism and anarchy are therefore two terms of evolution which complete each other, the one rendering the other possible and acceptable. He has tried, moreover, to indicate how, during a revolutionary period, a large city - if its inhabitants have accepted the idea could organize itself on the lines of free communism; the city guaranteeing to every inhabitant dwelling, food and clothing to an extent corresponding to the comfort now available to the middle classes only, in exchange for a half-day's, or five-hours' work; and how all those things which would be considered as luxuries might be obtained by everyone if he joins for the other half of the day all sorts of free associations pursuing all possible aims - educational, literary, scientific, artistic, sports and so on. In order to prove the first of these assertions he has analysed the possibilities of agriculture and industrial work, both being combined with brain work. And in order to elucidate the main factors of human evolution, he has analysed the part played in history by the popular constructive agencies of mutual aid and the historical role of the state.

Without naming himself an anarchist, Leo Tolstoy, like his predecessors in the popular religious movements of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Chojecki, Denk and many others, took the anarchist position as regards the state and property rights, deducing his conclusions from the general spirit of the teachings of the Christ and from the necessary dictates of reason. With all the might of his talent he made (especially in The Kingdom of God in Yourselves) a powerful criticism of the church, the state and law altogether, and especially of the present property laws. He describes the state as the domination of the wicked ones, supported by brutal force. Robbers, he says, are far less dangerous than a well-organized government. He makes a searching criticism of the prejudices which are current now concerning the benefits conferred upon men by the church, the state and the existing distribution of property, and from the teachings of the Christ he deduces the rule of non-resistance and the absolute condemnation of all wars. His religious arguments are, however, so well combined with arguments borrowed from a dispassionate observation of the present evils, that the anarchist portions of his works appeal to the religious and the non-religious reader alike.

It would be impossible to represent here, in a short sketch, the penetration, on the one hand, of anarchist ideas into modern literature, and the influence, on the other hand, which the libertarian ideas of the best contemporary writers have exercised upon the development of anarchism. One ought to consult the ten big volumes of the Supplement Litteraire to the paper La Revolte and later the Temps Nouveaux, which contain reproductions from the works of hundreds of modern authors expressing anarchist ideas, in order to realize how closely anarchism is connected with all the intellectual movement of our own times. J. S. Mill's Liberty, Spencer's Individual versus the State, Marc Guyau's Morality without Obligation or Sanction, and Fouillee's La Morale, I'art et la religion, the works of Multatuli (E. Douwes Dekker), Richard Wagner's Art and Revolution, the works of Nietzsche, Emerson, W. Lloyd Garrison, Thoreau, Alexander Herzen, Edward Carpenter and so on; and in the domain of fiction, the dramas of Ibsen, the poetry of Walt Whitman, Tolstoy's War and Peace, Zola's Paris and Le Travail, the latest works of Merezhkovsky, and an infinity of works of less known authors, are full of ideas which show how closely anarchism is interwoven with the work that is going on in modern thought in the same direction of enfranchisement of man from the bonds of the state as well as from those of capitalism.
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The Last Of The Hippies - An Hysterical Romance

13.05.2010 14:49

In this cell that is ours, there is no pity.
no sunrise on the cold plain that is our soul,
no beckoning to a warm horizon.
All beauty eludes us and we wait.

No answer is in itself an answer.

Oriental proverb.

On the third of September 1975, Phil Russell, alias Phil Hope, alias Wally Hope, alias Wally, choked to death an his own, vomit; blackberry, custard, bile, lodged finally and tragically in the windpipe. Blackberry, custard, bile, running from his gaping mouth onto the delicate patterns of the ornamental carpet.

He died a frightened, weak and tired man; six months earlier he had been determined, happy and exceptionally healthy; had taken only that short time for Her Majesty's Government's Health Department to reduce Phil to a puke covered corpse.

"The first dream that I remember is of myself holding the hand of an older man, looking over a beautiful and peaceful valley - suddenly a fox broke cover followed by hounds and strong horses ridden by red-coated huntsmen. The man pointed into the valley and said, "That, my son, is where you're heading."I soon found that out, I am the fox!"

Phil Russell

Phil's death marked, for us, the end of an era. Along with him died the last grain of trust that we, naively, had had in the 'system', the last seeds of hope that, if we lived a decent life based on respect rather than abuse, our example might be followed by those in authority. Of course It was a dream, but reality is based on a thousand dreams of the past; was it so silly that we should want to add ours to the future?


It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.

Twentieth century logic from a military man.

World War Two was neither lost nor won, it simply created a horrific emptiness and within that emptiness there grew a desperation amongst the people of the world, a fear that civilisation had learnt nothing from the tragic lesson of the Nazi death-camps, or the cruel truth of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It seemed that those in power were setting the planet on a course towards total destruction - the arms race was on, the cold war was on, the third world was starving, but the superpowers looked only to themselves. In the horror of this new world, people turned to bizarre ways of calming their fears.

To ignore is the greatest ignorance, but ignore became the keyword as individuals buried themselves in mindless materialism. The age of consumerism had been born. If you couldn't find peace of mind, perhaps a Cadillac would do. If life had lost its meaning, perhaps a super deluxe washing machine might give it back. The ownership, this is mine, mine, mine, security boom had started, and you can't have it. Buy, buy buy. Possess. Insure. Protect. The TV world was upon us, which one's real? This one? That one? Mind- numbing crap to numb crappy minds. Buy this, buy that. Who knows which is which? Layers of shit to hide the awful facts of Life in a nuclear reality.

Meanwhile, governments turned to the business of developing nuclear arsenals, nuclear deterrents we were told, and the vast majority of the population, blinded with consumerism and media-junk, was happy to accept the lie. As long as everyone was having fun, no-one would question the behaviour of those in power as they played with their nuclear time-bombs; but all the time the fuse burnt shorter.

If the majority is always happy to be blown along in the prevailing wind, there are always those who stand against it, and if the fifties saw the birth of consumerism, it also bore two other phenomena - the peace movement and rock'n'roll. Both were a reaction against a world increasingly dominated by the grey men of war and their grey thoughts, both rejected the empty glitter of consumerism, both represented a revolution against the values of 'normal' society.

The peace movement in Britain found a pi platform in the newly formed Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament, CND! who by the end of the fifties were able to call 100,000 protesters onto the streets to make their voice heard.

A louder voice still could be heard at that time on the portable-radios and wind-up gramophones of millions of homes; the new, vulgar voice of rock'n'roll. Whereas the peace movement was predominantly middle-class, rock knew no class barriers and although it probably took The Beatles to finally bring together the various disillusioned parties, rock, revolution, desire for change and, inevitably, the peace movement, almost from the start, have been inseparable.

Sadly, by the beginning of the sixties, CND had become an accepted, and therefore contained, part of the British way of life; its shout of protest had been dulled by the voice of moderation. The aims of CND became increasingly obscured by political opportunism and the leftist vultures, heavily disguised as doves, moved in. The Labour Party saw the campaign as just another rung in the ladder to power. In 1964, as the opposition party, they promised to do away with Polaris, the nuclear submarine force; a few months later, after their election to power, they ordered four new submarines. The disguise wore thin.

Michael Foot, at that time a CND committee member, now leader of the Labour Party, when asked if he would vote for an anti-bomb Tory party rather than a pro-bomb Socialist one, replied "Certainly not!"; a bewildering testament to his desire for peace.


The present rebirth of interest in CND runs the risk of once again going up the political arsehole. Socialist power seekers have already moved in on the hard fought for peace platform. Speeches at the two Trafalgar Square rallies were directed more towards vote catching than peace making; when the issues weren't so fashionable, the leftist doves were happy to be sharing peanuts with the rest of the pigeons in the square. Now they are promising to refuse to allow America to install cruise missiles in Britain; is this just another vote catcher that they'll back out of once they're elected in? The Labour Party will sell CND right down the river and sink it without trace if it's allowed to do so. Nuclear disarmament and the wider issues of peace must not become political soap-operas in which the power hungry can play their insincere games.

It is unfortunate that there are people, from The Children of God to The Young Trotskyites, who, rather than contributing anything constructive, exploit CND peace marches by using them as leafleting grounds for their self- interested propaganda.

During the CND rally in October 1981, thousands of leaflets were handed out calling for a mass uprising by the people against the capitalist system. On the surface the leaflet was not a lot different to many naive statements of "revolutionary" intent made by playschool anarchists who think that anarchy is something to do with putting jumping- jacks in a policeman's pocket.

It continued - June Ist 1983 is the proposed date for the revolution. Pass if On, unite don't fight. Anarchy peace and liberty. Crass.

The leaflet was not produced by us, nor did it express views that we hold. Someone, for personal gain, had put our name to their own requirements. We have become used to people trying to rip us off, from T-shirt and badge merchants who, without our consent, commercialise and profit by our name, to the gig promoter; who overcharge at the entrance and underpay at the exit. We've come to almost expect it. But for people who, presumably, would claim to be anarchists to attempt to use us like that is insulting to both us and themselves. If they haven't got the courage of their own convictions they should keep quiet and not use the name of those who they know have.

To put it in the words of a little-known Welsh anarchist, 'Eat shit you fuckers: Apart from the obvious threat of political exploitation, a very real danger to the long-term existence of CND and its allies is the current interest being shown in it by the music business, Peace has become a saleable commodity, a trendy product, and established record labels, the music press and bands alike, who four years ago dismissed those who opposed war as 'boring old hippies', are now bending over backwards to be seen to be supporting the cause. The only cause that they're support- is their own; it's good promotion, good sales, good business sense, and they'll bleed it dry as long as it's 'this year's thing'; when it isn't, they'll drop it, as they did RAR, like a ton of hot bricks.


If the power of protest had dwindled, the power of rock was showing no such faint heart. By the mid sixties, rock'n'roll ruled and no party conference was going to bring it down. Youth had found its voice and increasingly was demanding that it should be heard.

Loud within that voice was one that promised a new world, new colours, new dimensions, new time and new space. Instant karma, and all at the drop of an acid tab. My advice to people today is as follows: If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously. if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out.

Acid prophet, Timothy Leary.
Society was shocked, desperate parents backed off as their little darlings 'tripped' over the ornamental carpets. Hysterical reports that acid caused everything from heartburn to total collapse of decent society appeared almost daily in the press. Sociologists invented the 'generation gap' and when the long haired weirdo flashed a V-sign at them they got that all wrong as well, it was really a peace sign, but, either way around it meant 'fuck off'. In the grey comer we had 'normal society', and in the rainbow comer sex'n'drugs'n'rock'n'roll, at least that's how the media saw it. The CND symbol was adopted as an emblem by the ever growing legions of rock fans whose message of love and peace spread, like a prairie-fire, world-wide. The media, in its desperate need to label and thus contain anything that threatens to outdo its control, named this phenomenon 'Hippy' and the system, to which the media is number one tool in the fight against change, set about in its transparent, but none-the-less effective way, to discredit this new vision.


Rock'n'roll had achieved something that had never been achieved before, it had proved the falsity of the socially created divisions of colour, class and creed. The social barriers were down, it didn't matter who you were, where you were from, or what you did; if you 'dug it', you were 'cool'.

Rock can not be politicised, despite what followers of Oi, or Marx, might say. Rock is about all of us, it is the collective voice of the people, not a platform far working- class mythology or socialist ideology. In rock 'n roll there aren't any workers to 'wet' about. Rock is about freedom, not slavery, it's about revolution of the heart and soul, not convolution of the mind. To say that punk is, or should be, 'working class' is to falsely remove it from the classless roots of 'real rock revolution' from which it grew. Punk is a voice of dissent, an all-out attack on the whole system, it as much despises 'working class' stereotypes as it does 'middle class' ones. Punk attacked the barriers of colour, class and creed, but look at how it is right now, do you really think you're freed? Oi and, more recently, Skunk, have been promoted in the pages of Sounds as the 'real punk', real suckers maybe, but not real punks. Whereas punk aims to destroy class barriers, Oi and Skunk are blind enough to be conned into reinforcing them.

Oi's spokesman, Gary Bushell, who, like Marx, romanticises working class life whilst,in all probability,never having done a days manual work himself, claims that 'only the working class can change society' - presumably he realises that his 'professional' and privileged status as a 'journalist' prevents him from being in a position to contribute to his own pet theory - he wants to have his cake and eat it.
Bushell's idea of what 'working class' means is nothing but a 'middle class' fantasy about a type of person who, except in the media-forms of Alf Garnett and Andy Capp, just doesn't exist. His unrealistic view of workers as cloth- capped, beer-swilling, fist-waving jokers, is a complete insult to working people of whom he, clearly, has no understanding.

Oi would have been harmless enough if its comic-book caricature of the 'workers' hadn't appealed so strongly to the elements that, inevitably, were drawn to its reactionary views - the so called 'right-wing'. Rather than rejecting its new and possibly unwanted following, Oi appeared to revel in its image of being 'nasty Nazi muzac for the real men'. Defending the trail of blood and bruises that it seemed to leave behind itself wherever it went, the 'new breed' claimed that 'they weren't advocating violence, they were just reflecting the way thing are'. Despite repeated evidence of Oi inspired violence, it became increasingly obvious that Oi the Bushell and Oi the Bands were either perfectly happy with 'the way things were' or totally incapable of controlling the monster that they'd created.

At a time when something could have been done to change the image, the 'Strength Through Oi' album was released, but rather than making an effort to shift the 'right-wing' emphasis, it deliberately promoted it. The attractive cover sported 'yer average skinner' about to land his 'cherry-reds' up someone's 'khyber' - but that week "yer cherries' also left their mark on an old aged pensioner's face; but no matter, you can't win 'em all. Inside-the sleeve, which they are oppressed, they actually make attempts to glorify the class slavery that is the foundation upon which that oppression is built.

Get wise lads and what few lasses can stomach your exclusively male reality, you're being used by the system and the media that serves it in the way they've always used people - like suckers. Oi and Skunk are simply Bushell's way of dividing something that he and his media cronies just can't control -- real energy, real punk. Whatever they are labelled, the 'real' punks are first and foremost one thing - themselves. The system and the media set out to contain us within their labels - if you fall for that trick you'll fall for the circled ÒAÓs in the Total Chaos Column - what a joke!

The music press is guilty .f making endless attempts to divide and thereby control the energies of the bands from whom they make their parasitic Living. Through the 'gossip columns' and carefully edited 'interviews', they fabricate differences and animosities between bands that in reality may well not exist. In their capacity as servants to the music business, they separate and divide bands who without their intrusions would probably be able to work together. Bands are often totally unaware of the aggressive and dis- honest tactics used to premote sales and hype charts by the tee record labels to which they have signed. As the labels get richer the bands invariably remain penniless; hyped by the business and lied about in the press, they slowly sink into a helpless position where the honesty with which they might have started their band is lost in the compromises that are forced on them by others.

It is essential that we prevent people like Bushell from stealing our energies and making them into this week's media joke; we don't need him and others like him ripping us off. Punk is not a media fashion, it's a way of life - it's up to us to tell the music business Mafia and their parasitic lackeys in the press to fuck off. 'We can, and will, manage on our own. Punk's the peoples music...let's keep it that way.


By the late sixties, straight society was beginning to feel threatened by what its youth was up to; it didn't want its grey towns painted rainbow, the psychedelic revolution was looking a little bit too real and it had to be stopped. Books were banned, bookshops closed down. Offices and social centres were broken into and their files were removed, doubtless to be fed into the police computers. Underground papers and magazines collapsed under the weight of official pressure, galleries and cinemas had whole shows confiscated. Artists, writers, musicians and countless unidentified hippies got dragged through the courts to answer trumped-up charges of corruption, obscenity, drug- abuse, anything that might silence their voice; but nothing could, it all mattered too much.

As oppression became increasingly heavy, public servant 'bobby' became known as public enemy 'piggy'; war· had been declared on the peace generation, but love wasn't going to give in without a fight.


And Charles said, "Let there be death", and there was death and the media and its faithful followers recoiled in horror at the thought that it might have been their child ordering the slaughter.

Anything you see in me is in you. If you want to see a vicious killer, that's who you'll see, if you want to see me as your brother, that's who I'll be. It all depends on how much love you have. I am you, and when you can admit that, you will be free.

Charles Manson.
Charles Manson, twister of words, psychedelic warlord, witch-doctor of religious perversion, high-priest of fascist sexuality, hit back at the society that had distorted his;vision with the distorted methods that society itself employs and teaches its young - violence.

And God so loved the world that he save his only begotten son, Charles Manson.'Piggy' written in blood on the polished surfaces of social acceptance. No more shall ye walk alone.

Manson, his 'family', and the macabre killings for which they were responsible, sent shock waves through a smug and complacent society. Manson regarded the 'elite' of his Californian homeland as filth. These respectable people to whom he.supplied drugs and from whom he received no payment, were, to him, cheats and liars. These decent folk who wife-swapped, thrilled to video recordings of their sexual conquests, revelled in snuff-movies, who saw flesh as something to be devoured, were, to him, barbarians. These pillars of society to whom organisations Like the Mafia were a hidden support in their rise to grace, to whom the mysterious' death of an opponent caused little more than a knowing lift of an eyebrow, were, to him, the enemy. He set out to destroy his enemy in the way that he believed they would destroy him. Violence breeds violence.

Hippies were fine as long as they accepted that they were third-class citizens who should not expect anything but the garbage of consumer society, they were fine as long as they were prepared to live in, and be treated like, shit. When they ceased to do so they came up against the whole weight of societies that have no place for the third class citizens that they have created. State violence is called 'law:
Manson: Do you really know where we are?
Leary: Where are we?
Ma son: This is eternity brother. This is the end of the line. No one ever gets out once they've been here. This is for ever.

Manson and Leary meet in jail.
The Manson killings gave-the media precisely what it needed. Suddenly hippies were no longer a passive, bead- wearing joke; they were potential psychopaths who, at the drop of a Beatles record, would knife their way to eternity. Forgetting that 'hippy' was a rejection of systems that govern with fear, control by force and in the name of God have slaughtered millions of innocent victims, straight society waggled its trigger finger at youth and said, 'See I told you so, that's what sex and drugs and rock and roll lead to.' They're still at it.


Ten years later, the same kind of media treatment was doled out to Sid. Despite attempts to silence it, punk had earned itself a voice and had become a household word, however, the media was determined not to pay out. Nancy's sad death in a New York hotel brought out the same dull voices of self-righteous indignation as had the Manson killings. The trigger finger waggled again and when Sid joined her, there was an almost universal chorus of "See, I told you so".

Manson and Sid were very different individuals with very different stories, but their usefulness to the system was the same - identify the threat, select a convenient scapegoat and use them to discredit the threat. Manson and Sid were both portrayed by the media as 'typical' of their kind and their actions were used to prove the 'misguided' nature of all those of a similar appearance. The fact that their actions were as much condemned by 'their own kind' as by anyone else was irrelevant to the media in its requirement to label contain and destroy.

Every day the TV, the radio and the newspapers manipulate and direct the thoughts of the general public, tell them what to think and how to think, but it's not because they want to improve the 'quality' of thought, it's more that they are required, by the establishment interests that run them, to reinforce 'standard' social values; serve that which serves you, or else. When media is controlled almost exclusively by the wealthy, ruling elite, censorship becomes unnecessary; money speaks louder than words.

For all those arseholes who think that they're imitating Sid by wearing a Destroy T-shirt, a studded armband and a stupid sneer on their face, here's a message - stop fooling yourselves, you're just bad jokes.

As long as you're a kid you're aware and you know what's happening. But as soon as you 'grow up. . .

Sid Vicious.
Sid was a kind and gentle person but then he 'grew up' and got consumed by the violence and hate that he saw around him it's exactly the kind of shitheads who think it's big to abuse self and others that led him to do the same, and eventually to his death. Next time you gob at someone or threaten them with your sweaty fists, just remember where Sid ended up.

Sid IS dead, you wankers, cos you killed him through and through; if he could see your 'idea' of him, he'd laugh himself back to the grave.


Manson's activities gave 'hippy' a new and, on the whole, unwanted dimension Acid casualties became media-satans, hippy cults became press-devils, and both were subjected to a new wave of shock he oi exposes.

Acid was blamed for endless hideous crimes by the drunken, pill-popping powermongers in authority, who, under heavy sedation from legally prescribed drugs, or reeling from the effects of excess alcohol, consider themselves fit enough to rule our world and qualified enough, should they consider it necessary, to destroy it.

Hippy cults were attacked for doing precisely what established religion and psychology had been up to for centuries - mind fucking. From Christ to Freud, there have always been those who, to compensate for their own personality defects, seek control and power by playing on the sense of loneliness and alienation of others.

However, despite attempts to dismiss all hippies as dangerous psychopaths, the movement, although increasingly forced 'underground', grew both in numbers and in political awareness.

Five years back, the message had been 'do your own thing', exactly the message that fifteen years later Johnny Rotten was to repeat. The politics had been one of rejection; society, the state and the system, had got nothing to offer, so they could fuck off. The early peace movement had been destroyed by political greed and academic back biting; this time around, peace was going to be a 'way of life', love was going to 'rule supreme'.

They formed little groups, like rich mans ghettoes, Tending their goats and organic tomatoes, While the world was fucked by fascist regimes, They talked of windmills and psychedelic dreams.

Society, the state and the system, hadn't fucked off, they'd not only stayed right where they were, they'd grown stronger.

Slowly, as people woke up to the fact that 'turning on' was turning off, and 'dropping out' was copping out, the horrific reality of the nuclear world forced its way back through the escapist blur of those 'psychedelic dreams'. The acid revolution had been fun, but that's just about where it had ended. Beneath the new space, the new time, the new dimensions and the new colours, the same old grey reality had ground relentlessly onwards - the dream was over.

The dream had been that if you created your own life, independent of the system, the system would leave you to it. Looking back on it now it seems pathetically naive, but for maybe fifteen years, it had sustained the lives of thousands of people. The ultimate failure of hippy was exactly that ostrich-like approach to life; a hippy utopia surrounded by a world of hate and war was like 'snow before the summer's sun'. Eventually those who weren't too permanently entry stoned to guarantee pipedreams to infinity, pulled their heads from the sands to confront a society that had got on very well without them, thank you, for far too long, The hippy movement was finding a truly militant front for itself.

Manson's activities, repulsive as they were, did represent a revolutionary stance, but because he acted out of 'personal' awareness he is condemned by leftists who openly support equally violent groups, like Baader Meinhof or the IRA, on the grounds that their awareness is 'political'. This kind of double standard is the inevitable product of a society that sees its own boy soldiers as 'heroes' and those of the enemy as 'murdering bastards', to whom 'our massacres are victories' and 'their victories are massacres'. Questions about the 'morality of violence' are pointless and self-defeating. There is, and can be, no morality in violence. The vicious circle of violence rolls on and on; it can only be stopped by our refusal to be, in any way at all, a part of it.


We are a generation of obscenities. The most oppressed people in this country are not the blacks, not the poor, but the middle class. They don't have anything to rise up against and fight against. We will have to invent new laws to break . . . the first part of the yippy program is to kill your parents . . . until your prepared to kill your parents you're not ready to change this country. Our parents are our first oppressors.

Jerry Rubin, leader of the Yippies (militant hippies),
speaking at Kent State University, USA.
Within a month of Rubin's speech, the university was in uproar. The mostly white, middle class students, to show their objection to the way in which both their campus and their country were being run, had staged innumerable demonstrations and burnt down part of the university. The authorities called in the army to 'restore peace', which they did in true mil tar fashion - by a shooting, dead four students.

After the shooting stopped, I heard screams and turned and saw a guy kneeling holding a girl's head in his hands The guy was getting hysterical, crying, yelling, shouting, "Those fucking pigs, they shot you."

A Kent State student after the shootings

The system had got in first. What Rubin hadn't accounted for, although past history should have been a lesson to him, was that parents would be prepared to kill their children rather than accept change.

Mother; Anyone who appears on the streets of a city like Kent with long hair, dirty clothes or barefooted deserves to be shot."
Question; "Is long hair a justification for shooting someone?"
Mother; "Yes We have got to clean up this nation, and we'll start with the long-hairs."
Question; "Would you permit one of your sons to be shot simply because he went barefooted?"
Mother; "Yes."

A mother speaks after the shootings at Kent.
The days of flower power were over; the piggies were out grazing in the meadows.
I am very proud to be called a pig. It stands for pride, integrity and guts.

Ronald Reagan
By the end of the sixties, throughout the western world, the 'people' had returned to the streets. The dream was cross-fading with the nightmare. In France, the government was almost overthrown by anarchist students; in Holland, the Proves made a laughing stock of conventional politics; in Germany Baader-Meinhof revenged itself on a state still run by ageing Nazis; in America, peace became a bigger issue than war; in Northern Ireland, the Catholics demonstrated in demand for civil rights; in England, colleges and universities were 'occupied', embassies stormed. People everywhere were calling for a life without fear, a world without war and were demanding a freedom from the authorities who for years they had dismissed as almost non-existent. The system, for far too long, had had it all its own way. Amongst the people themselves, however, a long standing animosity was becoming evident - the conflicting interests of anarchism and socialism.

From the mid eighteen hundreds, when Marx first forwarded his ideas, anarchists and socialists have clashed, sometimes violently, in their different definitions and approaches to 'freedom'.

At the beginning of the this century, following the Russian Revolution, which anarchists had done much both to bring about and to win, the socialists, with whom they had joined forces, not only prevented them from playing a part in the new state, but actively and violently silenced them. In the thirties, anarchists and socialists fought against each other during periods of the Spanish Revolution where they had, supposedly, joined forces to oppose fascism. In the late sixties, French anarchists were in a position, given the support of the socialist unions, to overthrow the government - the unions backed off and the revolt collapsed.

Anarchists reject Marxist concepts as 'dictatorship by the working class' which they see as being no better than 'dictatorship by the ruling class'. To the anarchist, all government, and any government, is oppression, regardless of who is in control of it.

The anarchist revolution that we want transcends the interests of a single class, it envisages the liberation of all humanity which is at present enslaved, either economically, politically, or morally.

Errico Malatesta.

Anarchists believe that it is the right of individuals to make their own.decisions in life and that that choice is essential to any "real" freedom. They reject all forms of government on the grounds that 'governed' society is a society in chains. It is inevitable that socialist ideas of organisation and centralisation should cause friction, since both are a form of control, and control, to an anarchist, is slavery.

Socialism, like its supposed enemy, capitalism, is just another face to an age-old character: greed.

[Are 'anarchism' and 'socialism' opposites? Isn't socialism gaining control over our own lives? - signed Your Friendly Libertarian Socialist Typesetter]


Disagreements aside, the movement for change continued. Anarchist, socialist, activist, pacifist, working class, middle class, black, white - one thing at least united them all, a common cause, a universal factor, a shared flag - good old rock 'n' roll.

In the late sixties, Woodstock in America, and Glastonbury in Britain, created a tradition in rock music that has now become part of our way of life - the free festival. Free music, free space, free mind; at least that, like 'once upon a time', is how the fairy story goes.

Many of the clashes between the authorities and the youth movement in the late sixties and early seventies were, broadly speaking, of a political nature, leftist platforms for social discontent, rather than anarchic demands by individuals for the right to live their own lives. The free festivals were anarchist celebrations of freedom, as opposed to socialist demonstrations against oppression and, as such, presented the authorities with a new problem - how do you stop people having fun? Their answer was predictable - stamp on them.

Windsor Park is one of Her Majesty's many back-gardens and when the hippies decided that it was an ideal site for a free festival, she was 'not amused'. The first Windsor Free had been a reasonably quiet affair and the authorities had kept a low profile. Next year things were different and the Queen's unwanted guests were forcibly removed by the police and the royal corgis were, no doubt, suitably relieved, free once more to wander undisturbed. At the front of the clashing forces that year, dressed variously in nothing, or a pair of faded jeans and a brightly embroidered shirt emblazoned with the simple message 'Hope', was one Phil Russell He danced amongst the rows of police asking, "What kind' of gentlemen are you?", or mocking, "What kind and gentle men you are." The boys in blue were probably men, but they were neither kind nor gentle. Phil came away from Windsor disturbed; he hated violence and was sickened by what he had seen. Love? Peace? Hope? It was shortly after this that we first met.

For many years we had been running an open house, we had space and felt we should share it. We had wanted a place where people could get together to work and live in a creative atmosphere rather than the stifling, inward looking family environments in which we had all been brought up. It was inevitable that someone like Phil would eventually pass our way.

Phil Hope was a smiling, bronzed, hippy warrior. His eyes were the colour of the blue skies that he loved, his neatly cut hair was the gold of the sun that he worshipped. He was proud and upright, anarchistic and wild, pensive and poetic. His ideas were a strange mixture of the thinkings of the people whom he admired and amongst whom he had lived. The dancing Arabs The peasant Cypriots The noble Masai The silent and sad North American Indians, for whom he felt a real closeness of spirit.


The American Indians regarded the land in much the way that we regard the air that we breathe, as something that could not be 'owned'. How could anyone claim to have ownership of something that constantlY grows and changes? The 'whiteman' did, however, in his greed for land, make exactly those claims and the Indians were reduced to nothing more than prisoners in the concentration camps that the American government laughingly call 'reservations'. The earth was created by the assistance of the sun and it should be left as it was. The country was made without barriers and it is no man's business to divide it. I see the whites all over the country gaining wealth, and see their desire to give us [the Indians] lands which are worthless The earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same.

An Indian describes his feelings about the whites' attitude to land. Oppression of what remains of the Red Indian peoples continues to this day. Indians are forced to live at the arse-end of the society that has grown rich on the exploitation of their lands. Areas that at one time the US Government considered worthless and therefore 'suitable' for reservations, are, in the event of valuable minerals etc. being found on them, reclaimed. Naturally the Indians are resettled on still more 'worthless' ground. A race of people have been made homeless in their own homeland.

This race that possessed such ancient and noble wisdom, has been pathetically mimicked by idiots like Adam Ant whose romantic idea of the 'redskin' is just another form of gross exploitation. Ant Warriors be fucked, they're just desperate media-clowns looking for this week's identity. They're an insult to the millions of Indians who died in the attempt to stop people like Adam and his 'tribe' from stealing their dignity, their land, and their life. The nobility that Adam claims for his following can be purchased in London's Kings Road from any of the endless and identical fashion brothels that cater for those who need to 'buy' their personality; just another cheap product for the consumer's head. Big Chief CBS, your time is up.
Yes, we know that when you (the white man) come, we die.

An Indian remembers

Phil had travelled the world and had met fellow thinkers in every place that he had stopped, but always he returned to England. Perhaps it was his love of the mythical past, King Arthur and His Knights, that brought him back, or perhaps he felt as we do, that real change can only be effected in the place that you most understand - home.

Phil could talk and talk and talk. Half of what he Spoke of seemed like pure fantasy, the other half like pure poetry. He was gifted with a strange kind of magic. One day in our garden, it was early summer, he conjured up a snowstorm, huge white flakes falling amongst the daisies on the lawn. Another time he created a multi-rainbowed sky; it was as if he had cut up a rainbow and thrown the pieces into the air where they hung in strange random patterns Looking back on it now it seems unbelievable but, all the same, I can remember both occasions vividly.

On our first meeting he described Windsor Free; we had always avoided festivals, so our knowledge of them was very limited. Phil outlined the histories and then went on to detail his ideas for the future. He proceeded to unfold what was, to us, a ludicrous plan. He wanted to claim back Stonehenge (a place that he regarded as sacred to the people and stolen by the government) and make it a site for free festivals, free music, free space, free mind; at least that, like 'happily ever after', is how the fairy story goes.

It is sad that none of that 'freedom' was evident when we attempted to play at the Stonehenge Festival ten years later. Since Phil's death, it had been a dream that one day we would play the festival as a kind of memorial to him. In 1980 we had the band and the opportunity to do it.

Our presence at Stonehenge attracted several hundred punks to whom the festival scene was a novelty, they, in turn, attracted interest from various factions to whom punk was equally new. The atmosphere seemed relaxed and as dusk fell, thousands of people gathered around the stage to listen to the night's music. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, a group of bikers stormed the stage saying that they were not going to tolerate punks at 'their festival', What followed was one of the most violent and frightening experiences of our lives. Bikers armed with bottles, chains and clubs, stalked around the site viciously attacking any punk that they set eyes on. There was nowhere to hide, nowhere to escape to; all night we attempted to -protect ourselves and other terrified punks from their mindless violence. There were screams of terror as people were dragged off into the darkness to be given lessons on peace and love; it was hopeless trying to save anyone because, in the blackness of the night, they were impossible to find. Meanwhile, the predominantly hippy gathering, lost in the soft blur of their stoned reality, remained oblivious of our fate.

Weeks later a hippy newsheet defended the bikers, saying that they were an anarchist group who had misunderstood our motives - some misunderstanding! Some anarchists!

If Phil and the first Stonehenge festivals were our first flirtations with 'real' hippy culture, this was probably our last.

Dream filled hippies were a phenomenon of the early seventies, lost souls whose brains were governed more by dope and acid than by common-sense. They were generally a bore, waffling on about how things were 'going to be' in about as realistic a way as snow describing how it will survive the summer's sun. For all his strange ideas, Phil seemed different. Drugs, to him, were not something to 'drop out' with, but a communion with a reality of colour and hope that he actively brought back into the world of greyness and despair. He used drugs carefully and creatively, not for 'escape', but to help realise 'a means of escape'.

In many respects we could never have been described as hippies. After the usual small amount of experimentation, we had rejected the use of drugs because we felt that they ' confused thought and generally interfered with relationships rather than contributing to them.

We had opened up our house at a time when many others were doing the same. The so called 'commune movement' was the natural result of people like ourselves wishing to create lives of co-operation, understanding and sharing. Individual housing is one of the most obvious causes for the desperate shortage of homes, communal living is a practical solution to the problem. If we could i learn to share our 'homes, maybe we could learn to share our world and that is the first step towards a state of sanity.

The house has never been somewhere where people 'drop out', we wanted somewhere where people could 'drop in' and realise that given their own time and space they could create their own purposes and reasons and, most importantly, their own lives. We wanted to offer a place where people could be something that the system never allows them to be - themselves In many respects we were closer to anarchist traditions than to hippy ones but, inevitably, there was an interaction.

We shared Phil's disgust with 'straight' society, a society that puts more value on property than on people, that respects wealth more than it does wisdom. We supported his vision of a world where the people took back from the state what the state had stolen from the people. Squatting as a political statement has its roots in that way of thought. Why should we have to pay for what is rightfully ours? Whose world is this?

Maybe squatting Stonehenge wasn't such a bad idea.


The lives of millions upon millions of people are run by a small handful of ruling elites who own all the wealth, all the land and who have all the control. We are expected to be grateful to them for the privilege of having them rule our lives. We are expected to be grateful to them for the privilege of paying them for the roof over our heads. We are expected to be grateful to them for the privilege of being slaves in their factories and offices and for the privilege of accepting the miserable wages that they pay us. They grow richer at our expense, but we're expected to look up to them as examples of success We are expected to be grateful for the privilege of paying them their huge taxes so that they can finance their oppression of us, the people. Finally, we are expected to be grateful to them for the privilege of fighting for them in their wars and killing other people like ourselves, or being killed by other people like ourselves. We are expected to love, honour and obey this wife beater 'til death, quite probably premature, do us part - in this particular marriage divorce is a hard case to fight for. Do they owe us a living? - Of course they fucking do!
Phil kept coming back to the house with new plans. His enthusiasm was infectious and finally we agreed to help him organise the first Stonehenge Festival, Summer Solstice, June 74.

Then called King Arthur with loud voice, "Where here before us the heathen hound, who slew our ancestors, now march we to them . . . and when we come to them, myself foremost of all the fight I will begin.

'Brut' Layamon
By the beginning of 1974 we had printed thousands of hand-outs and posters for the festival and Phil had sent out hundreds of invitations to such varied celebrities as the Pope, the Duke of Edinburgh, The Beatles, the British Airways air hostesses and the Hippies of Katmandu. Needless to say, not many of the invitees turned up on the appointed date, but Phil was happy that a me ley crew of a few hundred hippies had.

For nine weeks Phil and those who were prepared to brave the increasingly wet summer, held fort at the old stone monument, watched in growing confusion by the old stone-faced monument keepers.

Wood-smoke drew into the damp night air, grey smoke against grey stones. Leaping flames illuminated the story-tellers who sat, rainbow splashes in the plain landscape, telling tales of how it was that this fire was lit in this place, at this time, on our earth.

Our generation is the best mass movement in history - experimenting with anything in our see search for love and peace. Knowledge, kicks, religion, life, truth, even if it leads us to our death, at i least we're oil trying, together. Our temple is sound, we fight our battles with music, drums like thunder, cymbals like lightning, banks of electronic equipment like nuclear missiles of sound. We have guitars instead of tommy-guns.

Phil Russell, 1974.
Rock'nÕroll revolution, day in, day out, the talk went on, the rain came down and if this year there'd only been a battered old cassette player to pump out the sounds, next year they'd do better.

Eventually, the Department of the Environment, keepers of the old stone-faced monument, served the 'Wallies of Stonehenge' notice to withdraw from government property. The various inhabitants of the fort had agreed that, should the authorities intervene, they would answer only to the name of Wally; the name originated from a lost dog much sought after at the Isle of Wight Festival of many years back. The ludicrous summonses against Phil Wally, Sid Wally, Chris Wally etc. did much to set the scene for the absurd trial that followed in London' s High Courts.

Fleet Street loved it, there hadn't been any suitably unpleasant murders, rapes, wars or 'natural' disasters,so the Wallies, with their leader Phil Wally Hope, became this week's 'disposable' stars. The grinning heroes appeared daily in the pages of the papers, flashing peace-signs and preaching the power of love, next to that day's tits'n bums; an old message in a new setting.

Having lost the case and been ordered to immediately vacate the land, Wally Hope jubilantly left the courtroom to face waiting reporters announcing, "We have won, we have won Everybody loves us, we have won. " Everybody was, if not in love with, certainlY confused by Wally and his disposable statement. All the same, for a day or two, the Wallies had been good copy In a way they had won, they had moved on, but there's always a next year and a tradition had been born. In a way they had won, but the system doesn't like being made a fool of; the tradition has now become one of the only yearly major free festivals. So, in a way they had won, but Wally Hope had pushed a thorn in the side of the system and the system wasn't going to let him get away with it again.

From Stonehenge the retreating Wallies moved to Windsor. This year the festival had attracted the biggest gathering ever. Tens of thousands of people had come to ensure that Her Royal Majesty remained unamused and she, in turn, was waiting in the guise of a massive police presence. Tension between the two factions existed from the start and eventually things exploded when the police staged a vicious early morning attack on the sleeping festival goers. Hundreds of people were hurt as the police randomly and brutally laid into anyone unlucky enough to be in their way. People were dragged from their tents to be treated to a breakfast of boot and abuse. Protesting hippies were pulled away to waiting Black Marias to be insulted, intimidated, beaten up and charged.

The media pretended to be shocked and the government ordered a public enquiry, neither of which did much to improve the condition of the hundreds of injured people.


Government enquiries are frequently used to lead the public into thinking that something positive is being done about situations where the system has been seen to step out of line. These token gestures allow the authorities to commit atrocious crimes against the people while suffering no real fear of reprisal The tactic has been employed in cases of military and police violations in Belfast, Brixton etc; environmental violations such as deadly radiation leaks from power stations like Windscale in Cumbria; compulsory purchase orders, official theft, on land for motorways, airports and more nuclear plants, all of which are more likely to be a part of government plans for the event of nuclear war than to be for the convenience of the public; other 'mistakes' such as corruption by government officials, the maltreatment of inmates in prisons and mental homes, violence by teachers in schools, whenever, in fact, the authorities need a cover-up for their activities.

Those in government are perfectly aware that they and the authorities to whom they have been given power, daily commit crimes against the public and yet, unless they are exposed by that same public, who rightly might fear for their own well-being, nothing is done.

In cases where the public do become aware of inexcusable behaviour by the authorities, the government sets up its own enquiry to 'investigate' the issue. Something 'appears' to be happening and the gullible, silent, violent majority are satisfied that 'justice has been done'. The crude fact however, is that the government will have done nothing at all except to have produced and printed a few White Papers that hardly anyone will read and no one will take any notice of. Meanwhile the 'official crimes continue, unhindered.

Wally Hope came away from Windsor bruised and depressed. Once again he had danced amongst the boys in blue in a vain attempt to calm them with his humour and his love - he had been beaten up for his efforts. I saw the police dragging away a young boy, punching and kicking him, I saw a pregnant woman being kicked in the belly and a little boy being punched in the face. All around the police were just laying into people. I went to one policeman who had just knocked out a woman's teeth and asked him why he'd done it, he told me to fuck off or I'd get the same. Later on, I did.

Wally Hope, after the party was over.
Bit by bit, we were learning. The days of flower-power were over, the piss were out grazing in the meadows. Our parents, At least their public servants, are our first oppressors. The daisies were being eaten. The nightmare was becoming reality. Where today are the many powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the greed and oppression of the White Man, as snow before the summer's sun.

Indian Chief.
Things don't seem to change much. We should have known Bit by bit, we were learning.

In the winter of that year Wally started work on the second Stonehenge Festival; posters, hand-outs, invites. This time round he had the questionable success of the first festival to point to, so the job was easier. Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool of the underground and already people were talking about what they would do to make it work.

Wally spent much of the first two months of'75 handing out leaflets in and around London. Dressed in his 'combat uniform', a bizarre mixture of middle-eastern army gear and Scottish tartans and driving his rainbow striped car complete with a full sized Indian tepee, a large multicoloured tent, strapped to the roof, he was a noticeable and colourful sight, a sight that those greyer than himself, in appearance and thought, would certainly not have missed. In May, he left our house for Cornwall; we had done all that we could to prepare for the festival and Wally wanted to rest up in his tepee until it began. The day of his departure was brilliantly hot; we sat in the garden drinking tea as Wally, glorifying the golden sun, serenaded us,and it, with a wild performance on his tribal drums. He was healthy, happy and confident that this time round he'd win again.

As the rainbow coloured car drew away from our house, Wally leant through its window and let out an enormous she t, something in between an Indian ware y and the words 'freedom and peace', he was too far away to be properly heard.

The next time that we saw him, about a month later, he had lost a stone in weight, his skin was white and unpleasantly puffy, he was frail, nervous and almost incapable of speech. He sat with his head hung on his chest, his tongue ran across his.lips as if it were searching out the face to which it had once belonged. His tear-filled eyes had sunk, dull and dead, into his skull like some strange Halloween mask. His hands shook constantly in the way that old men's do on a cold winter's day. The sun which he worshipped had darkened for him, he was unable to bear its light or its heat. Every so often he would take pained, involuntary glances around the walled garden in which we sat. Occasionally our eyes would follow his and always they were met with other more sinister eyes watching us from across the perfect lines of the neatly cut green lawns. Wally Hope was a prisoner in one of Her Majesty's Psychiatric Hospitals, a man with no future but theirs. This time round he was not winning.

A couple of days after Wally had left us he had been arrested for possession of three acid tablets. The police had mounted a raid on the house at which he had stopped for the night claiming that they were looking for an army deserter. It just so happened that while they were looking for the deserter they decided, for no reason at all, to look through Wally's coat pocket. Of course they hadn't noticed the rainbow coloured car parked outside, nor were they aware of the fact that the owner of that coat was the laughing hippy anarchist who had made such an arsehole of the courts only a year before, or that he was the same colourful character that had been handing out leaflets about Stonehenge 2 in the streets of London just a few days ago. The police don't notice things like that; their job, after all, is to catch fictitious army deserters.

Whereas most people would have been given a large waggle from the trigger-finger and a small fine, Wally was refused bail and kept in prison on remand. He was refused the use of the phone or of letter writing materials, so he had no way of letting people on the outside know what had happened to him. The people from the house in which he was arrested did nothing to help, presumably because they feared similar treatment by the authorities He was alone and hopelessly equipped for what was going to happen to him.

After several days in jail, he appeared on parade wearing pyjamas claiming that the prison clothing, which he was obliged to wear, was giving him rashes. Rather than suggesting the simple remedy of allowing him to wear his own clothes, the warden, clearly an expert in medical matters, sent him to see the prison doctor who, in his infinite wisdom, had no trouble at all in diagnosing the problem as 'schizophrenia'.

Just because they say that you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that you 'rock not being followed.

Since the beginning of time, mental illness has been a powerful political weapon against those seeking, or operating, social change. A lot of the definitions of 'madness' are bogus inventions by which those in authority are able to dismiss those who dare to question their reality. Terms like schizophrenia, neurotic and paranoid, mean little more than what any particular, or not so particular, individual chooses them to mean. There are no physical proofs for any of these 'conditions'; the definitions vary from psychiatrist to Psychiatrist and depending on which is considered undesirable or subversive, are totally different from one country to another. Because of these different standards, the chances of being diagnosed schizophrenic in America are far higher than they are in Britain and this led one psychiatrist to-suggest that the best cure for many American mental patients would be to catch a flight to Britain. The label of 'mental illness' is a method of dealing with individuals, from unwanted relatives to social critics, who, through not accepting the conditions that are imposed upon them by outsiders, are seen as 'nuisances' and 'trouble makers'.

The works of psychologists, notably Freud, Jung, and the school of perverts who follow their teachings, have, by isolating 'states of mind' and defining some: of them as 'states of madness', excluded all sorts of possible developments in the way in which we see, or could see, our reality. By allowing people to learn from the experience of their so called 'madness', rather than punishing them for it, new radical ways of thought could be realised, new perspectives created and new horizons reached. How else has the human mind grown and developed? Nearly all the major advances in society have been made by people who are criticised, ridiculed, and often punished in their own time, only to be celebrated as 'great thinkers' years after their deaths. As mental and physical health becomes increasingly controllable with drugs and surgery, we come even closer to a world of hacked about and chemically processed Mr. and Mrs. Normals whose only purpose in life will be to mindlessly serve the system; progress will cease and the mind-fuckers will have won their battle against the human spirit.

Once labelled 'mad', a patient may be subjected to a whole range of hideous tortures politely referred to by The Notional Health Service as 'cures'. They are bound up in belts and harnesses, strait jackets, so that their bodies becomes bruised and their spirits beaten. They are locked up in silent padded cells so that the Sound of their own heartbeat and the smell of their own shit breaks them down into passive animals. They are forced to take drugs that make them into robot-like zombies. One common side effect of long term treatment with these drugs is severe swelling of the tongue; the only effective cure is surgical - the tongue is cut out -- what better way to silence the prophet? They are given electric shocks in the head that cause disorientation and loss of memory. ECT, electro- convulsive therapy, is an idea adopted from the slaughterhouse where, before having their throats cut open, pigs are stunned with an identical form of treatment; ECT is a primitive form of punishment that owes more to the traditions of the witch hunters than it does to the tradition of science. The ultimate 'cure', tour de force of the psychiatric profession, is lobotomy. Victims of this obscene practical joke have knives stuck into their heads that are randomly waggled about so that part of the brain is reduced to mince-meat.

Surgeons performing this operation have no precise idea what they are doing; the brain is an incredibly delicate object about which very little is known, yet these butchers feel qualified to poke knives into people's heads in the belief that they are performing 'scientific services', Patients who are given this treatment frequently die from it; those who don't can never hope to recover from the state of mindlessness that has been deliberately imposed upon them.

Disgusting experiments are daily performed on both animals and humans in the name of 'medical advance'; there is no way of telling what horrific new forms of treatment are at this moment being devised for us in the thousands of laboratories throughout the country. In Nazi Germany, the inmates of the death camps were used by drug companies as 'guinea-pigs' for new products. Nowadays the companies, some of which are the very same ones, use prisoners in jails and hospitals for the same purposes.

Mental patients are constantly subjected to the ignorance of both the state and the general public and, as such, are perhaps the most oppressed people in the world. In every society there are thousands upon thousands of people locked away in asylums for doing nothing more than question imposed values; dissidents dismissed by the label of madness and silenced, often for ever, by the cure.


Wally was prescribed massive doses of a drug called Largactil which he was physically and often violently forced to take. Drugs like Largactil are widely used not only in mental hospitals, but also in jails where 'officially' their use is not permitted. The prison doctor's 'treatment' for 'schizophrenia' reduced Wally to a state of helplessness and by the time he was dragged into the courts again he was so physically and mentally bound up in a drug induced strait jacket that he was totally incapable of understanding what was going on, let alone of offering any kind of defence for himself.

When finally we did hear from Wally, an almost incomprehensible letter that looked as if it had been written by a five year old child, he had been taken from the jail, herded through the courts where he was 'sectioned' under the Mental Health Act of 1959, and committed, for an indefinite time, to a mental hospital.


Sectioning, compulsory hospitalisation, is a method by which the authorities can imprison anyone who two doctors are prepared to diagnose as 'mad'. It is not difficult, naturally, to find willing doctors, since prison hospitals are riddled with dangerous hacks who, having sunk to the bottom of their profession, are willing to oblige.

Once sectioned, the patient loses all 'normal' human rights, can be treated in any way that the doctors see fit and, because appeal against the court decision is almost impossible, stands no chance of release until certified 'cured' by those same doctors.

Recently Britain was forced by the European Court of Human Rights to allow patients, prisoners, the right to appeal against compulsory hospitalisation. Although this might appear to be an improvement on what existed in Wally's time, patients still have to wait six months before the appeal will be heard, by which time, like Wally, they are i able to be so incapacitated by the treatment that they have received, that the appeal procedure would be impossible for them to handle.

Sectioning enables the state to take anyone off the streets and imprison them, indefinitely, without any crime having been committed; it enables the state, within the letter of the law, to torture and main prisoners and suffer no fear of exposure.

Compulsory hospitalisation is the ultimate weapon of our oppressive state, a grim reminder of the lengths to which the system will go to control the individual Whereas the bomb is a communal threat, sectioning violates concepts of 'human rights' in its direct threat to the freedom of personal thought and action.


When we heard of Wally's fate, we were convinced that the experience would destroy him; some of us indeed, were convinced that the authorities intended to destroy him. Inevitably, we were assured by liberal acquaintances that we were 'just being paranoid about the intentions of the state'; those same liberals say the same about any of the horrors of modern technological society, from the bomb to computer systems, that they are afraid to confront within that society and themselves. Paranoid or not, we made efforts, firstly legally, then, illegally, to secure Wally's release. All of our attempts failed.

We spent days on the phone contacting people whom We thought might be able to help or advise us. The most useful and compassionate help came from organisations like Release and BIT, underground groups, some of which still operate today helping people over all sorts of problems, from housing to arrest. Critics of the 'hippy generation' would do well to remember that the majority of such organisations, plus alternative bookshops, printing presses, food shops, cafes, gig venues etc., are still run, for the benefit of us all, by those same hippies; old maybe but, because of the enormous efforts many of them have made 'to give hope a chance', not boring.

We found that appeal was as good as impossible and realised, in any case, that to follow 'normal' procedures could take months and by then we thought it would be too late. We employed a lawyer to act on Wally's behalf, but the hospital made it impossible for him to contact Wally; letters never got through and telephone calls proved pointless. The 'patient' was always 'resting' and messages were incorrectly relayed to him.

When we attempted to visit Wally in hospital we were informed that no one but his close relatives could see him. His father had died and his mother and sister, neither of whom would have anything to do with him, were abroad. Gambling on the chance that the staff knew little about his family background, one of us, posing as Wally's sister, finally gained access to the hospital. The aim of the visit, apart from simply wanting to see Wally, was to plan a means of kidnapping him so that he could be taken somewhere where he could recover from his ordeal. On our second visit, two of us were able to see him without arousing suspicion. We had hoped to finalise the kidnap plan, but we found him in such a bad state that we decided it could be damaging to him to have to deal with the kind of movements we had planned.

What none of us realised at the time, was that his condition was the direct result of the 'treatment' that he was being given rather than the 'symptoms' of mental illness The sad shuffling half-people that can be seen through the railings of any mental hospital are like that not because of the illness that they supposedly have, but because of the cures that they are being subjected to. The social stereotype of the grey-raincoated loony is a tasteless twist more worthy of a B movie than a civilised society. The stereotype is one that is forced, either surgically or chemically, by an uncaring system, onto the 'patient' whose 'moronic and lifeless appearance' is used, by that same system, to 'prove' the patient's 'illness'.

Since his admission into hospital, Wally bad been receiving pills to 'cure his illness' and injections to counter-act the side effects of the pills. Naturally, he had been slipping the pills under his tongue and spitting them out later. The injections were unavoidable, the hospital nurses were mostly male and considerably stronger than Wally, so polite refusals weren't much use, but in any case, as they were to cure the side-effects, they didn't really matter. What neither he nor we knew was that the hospital staff had deliberately lied to him about which 'medicine' was which. The result was that the injections, of a drug called Modecate, of which he was receiving doses massively above those recommended by the manufacturers, were creating increasingly serious side effects that were not being treated. It should have been obvious to the staff that something was going amiss, they must have realised that Wally was gobbing out the pills, but that, after all, was part of their 'cure' - he was being made into a mindless moron. Meanwhile, Stonehenge 2 took place. This year thousands of people turned up and for over two weeks the authorities were unable to stop the festivities. Wood-fires, tents and tepees, free food stalls, stages and bands, music and magic. Flags flew and kites soared. Naked children played in the woodlands, miniature Robin Hoods celebrating their material poverty. Dogs formed woofing packs that excitedly stole sticks from the innumerable wood piles and then scrapped over them in tumbling, rolling bundles of fur. Two gentle horses were tethered to a tree and silently watched the festivities through the dappled light that danced across their bodies. Old bearded men squatted on tree stumps muttering prayers to their personal gods. Small groups of people tended puffing fires upon which saucepans bubbled and bread baked, the many rich smells blending across the warm air. Parties of muse lar people set out in search of wood and water accompanied always by a line of laughing, mimicking children. Everywhere there was singing and dancing. Indian flutes wove strange patterns of sound around the ever present bird song. The beat of drums echoed the hollow thud of axe on wood. Old friends met new, hands touched, bodies entwined, minds expanded and, in one tiny spot on our earth, love and peace had become a reality. Just ten miles down the road, Wally Hope, the man whose vision and hard work had made that reality possible, was being pumped full of poisons in the darkness of a hospital cell.

A couple of days after the last person had left the festival site, Wally was, without warning, set free. The grey men had kept the smiling, bronzed, hippy warrior from his festival and now, having effected their cure, ejected a nervous gibbering wreck onto their grey streets.

It took Wally two days to drive his rainbow coloured car from the hospital to our home. Seventy miles in two days, two days of terror. He found himself incapable of driving for any length of time and had to stop for hours on end to regain his confidence. No one knew of his release and, maybe to restore some kind of dignity for himself, he was determined to do it alone. When he finally arrived at our house he was in worse condition than when we had seen him at the hospital; he was barely able to walk and even the most simple of tasks was impossible for him. It is hard to believe that he was able to drive those seventy miles at all. This pale shadow of the person who we had once known now found it age y to sit in the sun, his face and hands would swell up into a distorted mess. The sun that he worshipped was now all darkness for him At night he would lay in his bed and cry; quiet, desperate sobs that would go on until dawn, when he would finally go to sleep. Nothing seemed to help his pathetic condition. We tried to teach him to walk properly again, but he was unable to coordinate and his left arm would swing forward with his left leg, his right with his right. Sometimes we were able to laugh about it, but the laughter always gave way to tears. We couldn't understand and we were afraid.

Finally, in desperation, we got Wally to a doctor friend who diagnosed his condition as being 'chronic dyskinesia', a disease brought about through overdoses of Modecate and similar drugs. Wally had been made into a cabbage and worse, an incurable one.

Bit by bit, the realisation that he was doomed to live in a half-world of drug induced idiocy made its way into what was left of Wally's brain. On the third of September 1975, unable to face another day, perhaps hoping that death might offer more to him than what was left in life, Wally Hope overdosed on sleeping pills and choked to death on the vomit that they induced.


In the relatively short time that we have on this earth we probably have contact with thousands of people with whom we share little more than half smiles and polite conversation. We are lucky if amongst those thousands of faces one actually responds to us with more than predictable formalities. Real friends are rare, true understanding between people is difficult to achieve and when it is achieved it is the most precious of all human experiences.

I have been lucky in that I am part of a group of people who I regard as friends and with whom I can share a sense of reality and work towards a shared vision of the future. I have met many people whose only aim, because of their own cynicism and lack of purpose, appears to be to prevent people like ourselves from expressing our own sense of our own life; I see people like that as the dark shadows that have made our world so colourless.

Wally was a genius, I can't pretend to have completely liked him, he was far too demanding to be liked, but I did love him. He was the most colourful character that I have ever met, a person who had a deep sense of destiny and no fear whatsoever in pursuing it. If friends are rare, people like Wally are very very rare indeed. I don't suppose I shall ever meet someone like him again; he was a visionary who demonstrated more to me about the meaning of life than all the grey nobodies that.have ever existed could ever hope to do. Wally was an individual, pure energy, a great big silver light that shone in the darkness, who because he was kind, gentle and loving, was seen, by those grey people, as a threat, a threat that they felt should be destroyed.

Wally was not mad, not a crazy, not a nut, he was a human being who didn't want to have to accept the grey world that we are told is all we should expect in life. He wanted more and set out to get it. He didn't see why we should have to live as enemies to each other. He believed, as do many anarchists, that people are basically kind and good and that it is the restrictions and limitations that are forced upon them, often violently, by uncaring systems, that creates evil.

What is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

The Prophet quoted by Phil Russell 1974.
We are born free, but almost immediately we are subjected to conditioning in preparation for a life of slavery within the system We are moulded by our parents, teachers, bosses, etc. to conform to what 'they' want from us rather than to our own natural, and unique, desires. Anarchists believe that those natural desires for peaceful and cooperative lives are denied us because they do not serve the requirements of the ruling classes. Life should and could be a wonderful and exciting experience. Despite what the politicians say, the world is big enough for us all if we could only learn to share it and to respect each other within it. Millions of people are governed by very few; millions of lives of grey slavery simply so those few can enjoy the privileges that are the birth right of us all. Surely, by sheer weight of numbers, we have the strength to take back what is rightfully ours? But do we have the right to use violence to force our demands? The anarchist answer would have to be 'no'.

Armed revolution as advocated by extremists of the left is nothing more than destructive revenge, an unpleasant tactic learnt in the school playground and never forgotten To say that violence is the only way to achieve improvements for the common good, is to say that people are basically bad and unchangeable, an unacceptably cynical view that runs deep through most socialist thought. Those who advocate armed revolution are seeking to oppress those who they see as 'enemies' in exactly the same way as those 'enemies' oppressed them, the boot is simply on another foot. Force can only lead to resentment; if force is used to make someone do Something against their will, they will fight back, the same applies to armed revolution If a revolution is won by violent means it will inevitably create violent reaction; the vicious circle of violence rolls on and 0" and nothing but the name of the oppressor will have changed. Anarchists believe that it is essential to break that circle of violence as it is precisely that which distorts and perverts people's basic kindness and goodness. Anarchists believe that it is the right of the individual to make their own decisions and choices in life free from imposed restrictions and the threats of violence with which they go hand in hand. In demanding those rights for themselves anarchists are almost duty-bound to respect those rights in others and it is here that anarchy and all other forms of Political thought part company.

Because anarchists believe that people are basically kind and good, as an act of faith, they are able to conceive, consider and create revolution without violence. Other forms of political thought, lost in their cynical view of humans as bad and unchangeable, have no alternative but to resort to the immaturity of violence. Thus, unavoidably, anarchists must also promote pacifism, for if anarchists truly believe that they have the right to live their own life how can they permit the use of violence to deny others theirs?

Standing against violence doesn't mean just passively standing by and letting it happen. Pacifists will, if forced, defend themselves and others from attack, not out of a sense of aggression or revenge, but from a need to demonstrate their strength, the strength of love. By opposing violence with a sense of love and respect, the aggressor is allowed to consider their own actions and is given the opportunity to back down. By opposing violence with violence nothing but an escalation can be achieved, nothing can be learnt and existing values, regardless of who is the victor, remain unchallenged. Likewise with larger scale conflict; if the state is opposed with violence it will reply with violence, if it is opposed with a desire to create love and respect, it is not impossible that love and respect could be the response. The choice is ours, it must be worth trying.

The personal risk involved in rejecting violence with love is, perhaps, far higher than the traditional approach of an 'eye for an eye'. It takes a true sense of courage to reply to violence with love rather than fists, but the rewards are real and lasting. Violence has become such an accepted method of solving problems that people justify it on the grounds 'that it is natural instinct'. Pacifists, like anarchists, believe that the 'natural instinct' is one of love and that violence is simply the result of that love having been stifled and perverted by oppressive and repressive social systems.

From domestic violence to global war, the rules have always been the same,'destroy that which you don't understand' - pacifists and anarchists seek to creatively solve problems by developing mutual understanding between people, rather than mutual hostility.

Violence only makes disagreements worse, it works on the principle of winners and losers and both pacifists and anarchists believe that no one should have to suffer the inhuman condition of being a loser and no one should have to benefit from the inhuman condition of being a winner. We're not born that way, so why should we, or anyone else, live that way? All other forms of political thought rely on there being losers, who are exploited as slaves by the winners, who enjoy the privileges created by them. Both right and left wing states employ force to maintain power; people are reduced to simple tools servicing the machinery of the state and as such, are expected to live and, if need be, die for that state.

Anarchy is rejection of state control, a demand by the individual to live a life of personal choice. Anarchists believe that if each individual can learn to act out of conscience, rather than greed, the machinery of power will collapse. It is unfair and untrue to say that this is nothing but dreamy idealism. Throughout history people have created change without resorting to violence by simply, en masse, refusing to bow down to the authority that seeks to oppress them. History books rarely document these victories of the people because history books are concerned with, and serve, the politics of power rather than the lives of the people. It is true that the state has often overthrown shows of passive resistance with violence, but had that resistance itself been of a violent nature, the state would simply have overthrown it with a greater force; violence breeds violence. It is to cases of state violence that those who advocate armed revolution always refer when attempting to justify their own desire for violence. Never do they accept the enormous changes that have been achieved by anarcho- pacifist methods; their deep rooted cynicism and desire for revenge makes them blind to the strength of human goodness. These overgrown schoolboys and frustrated college Marxists advocate 'armed revolution by the working classes' to overthrow the oppressor. As is the usual case with macho-dominated politics, the privileged few determine the violent deaths of thousands of innocent people. The state has always sent the 'working classes' to the front lines of war, has always used the 'working classes' as a tool to its own power - in what way are these 'brothers' of the Marxist Revolution any different? What kind of liberation is it that uses the deaths of others, usually the under-privileged, as a means to achieve its ends?

The extreme left is largely made up from educated and privileged people who, because of their social background, are able to infiltrate organisations, from schools to the media, in which they can push their propaganda. The threat that they pose to the development of radical creative change is far greater than that of right-wing organisations. The right, because it lacks any true political ideology (at least, that which it does have is so laughably transparent) and because it rarely has the 'social respectability' of the left, relies on its appeal to a small group of people who, finding themselves on the bottom of the social scrapheap, rejected by leftists and liberals alike, take the only option that is on offer to them - violence. So-called 'right-wing violence' is generally not politically motivated at all, but is simply an end-of-the-line reaction against seemingly impossible odds made by people who are offered nothing by society but a life of slavery.

The left-wing 'threat' is an organised and calculated attempt by generally privileged people who to gain power and control will use those who are less privileged to fight their causes. Those that do not conform to their leftist requirements they label as 'fascists'. At the same time however, they would happily recruit those so-called 'fascists' to achieve their own ends - in violence there is no morality.

We have the strength, by simply refusing to be used as tools to other people's desires, to overcome oppression; but do we have the personal courage to stand alone, without our 'party membership card' or 'Little red book', and demand our right to live?

We are able to help create this change immediately in our own lives. We can try to live in harmony with our friends and amongst the people and the environment in which we move. We can try to be creative with the facilities that we and others make. We can learn to reject the stupid roles that we are told to accept; dominant males, submissive females etc. We can learn to share and cooperate with each other, to give back to life what we have taken from it. We can learn to understand the natural functions of the world around us; the seasons, the weather, the soil and everything that grows on this planet of ours. We can learn to understand what people, in their unthinking ways, have done to the earth. We can learn to reject the grey filth and shit that we are told is a 'fact of Life'. We can demand and create something better. All these things, and a lot more, we can learn together with those who care and then, as individuals, we can go out into the streets and demand back the world that we know exists beneath the layer upon layer of crap that history has piled upon it - and we can start working towards something better. It's Up to us, as individuals, together, to subvert the system that perverts our lives.

We must learn to be unafraid of those in authority - we must strive for what we know is right and rather than simply serving our own greed and selfishness find, creative ways to 'break the back of the system'. We must write songs and poetry, make records, magazines, books, films and videos, spray messages in graffiti and attempt to gain access to all forms of media so that our voice can be heard. We must, however, be prepared to back up our words with actions.

It is impossible and unwise to advocate 'direct action'. It is something that should be done and not spoken about. Each of us has our own level of fear and uncertainty and in taking direct action as a form of protest, we must be as certain as possible that we will succeed. It is foolhardy, unless we simply want to end up as martyrs, to attempt anything that we are not ready for. We must learn to overcome our fears gradually, rather than diving headlong into something that we find we can't carry through.

In America, anarcho-pacifists broke into an air base and smashed up part of a nuclear missile; in France, they fired rockets at an unoccupied nuclear power station; in Britain, they built barriers across a railway line to prevent the transportation of nuclear waste. Other people jam up the locks of banks and offices with super-glue, or cut down fences around government installations Others sabotage operations at work, from redirecting traffic on building sites, to distributing goods through the back door of factories and shops. Everyone has their own way and their own ideas about what to do and anything that anyone does do further erodes the power that the authorities believe they have over us. Whatever it is that you do, keep your mouth shut and remember that those who do the talking very rarely make the actions.

At the same time as more 'extreme' activities, there are things that we can do within the existing social structures that will further weaken those structures as well as directly helping each other.

We can open up squats and, from them, start information services for those who want to do the same, or we can form housing co-ops and communes to share the responsibility of renting or even buying a property. In places where we already live, we can open the doors to others, form tenant associations with neighbours and demand and create better conditions and facilities in the area. We can form gardening groups that squat and farm disused land or rent allotments where we can produce food for ourselves and others that are free from dangerous chemicals and grow medicinal herbs to cure each other's headaches. We can create health groups where we can practice alternative medicine, like herbalism and massage, that create healthy bodies and minds rather-than the drugged-up robots that are the results of conventional medicine; we can then, maybe, learn to love and respect each other's bodies rather than fearing them. We can form free schools where knowledge can be shared, rather than rules laid down. Education, rather than being little but state training in slavery, can become a mutual growth and a true enquiry into our world where everyone is the teacher and everyone is the pupil. We can start community centres where people have an alternative to the male dominated, money orientated atmosphere of Britain's only nightly social event, the pub. Centres could serve and further the interests of the community, rather' than simply being there to finance the brewer. In Scotland, a group of people found an unused site hut which they squatted and having soundproofed and decorated it, put on gigs and discussion groups. The local council were so impressed by their efforts that they have been given official Use of it. We can run food co-ops that buy and distribute foods that have been grown by people that we know, or have been brought from sources who we trust are not exploiting the people who produced it. A lot of supermarket food is grown in the Third World where the workers are paid next to nothing so that the middlemen can make huge profits - food co-ops can break down that chain. At one time we ran a food co-op from our house that supplied over twenty other homes with food that had been produced outside the capitalist system. We can form 'work banks' where we can exchange our individual skills for the skills of others. If enough people are prepared to join a 'bank', money becomes almost redundant.

The only limitation is our own imagination. We can overcome the structures that oppress us, but only if we are prepared to work hard to do so. We have the strength, we have the numbers and with the courage of our own convictions, we can regain the right to live our own lives The non-violent revolution can, and will, be a reality.

Wally Hope had both the strength and the courage of his own convictions, but like ourselves had been hopelessly ill-informed about the workings of the state. He demanded the right to live his own life and was met with savage resistance, He was killed by a system that believes that 'it knows best'. It is that system and hundreds like it, that oppress millions of people throughout the world. Left-wing oppression in Poland, or right-wing oppression in Northern Ireland, what's the difference?

The prisons and mental hospitals of the world are full of people who did nothing but to disagree with the accepted 'norms' of the state in which they lived. Russian dissidents are American heroes, American dissidents are Russian heroes; the kettle simply gets blacker. To defeat the oppressor, we must learn its ways, otherwise we are doomed, Like Wally, to be silenced by its fist.

Wally sought peace and creativity as an alternative to war and destruction. He was an anarchist, a pacifist and, above all, an individualist, but because of the times in which he naively lived, and innocently died, he was labelled a 'hippy'.


In the coroner's court, the police officer responsible for investigating Wally's death dismissed him in one sarcastic sentence, "He thought he was Jesus Christ, didn't he?" Wally certainly did not think of himself in that light, but judging by the way in which the state dealt with him, they did. The same inspector claimed to have thoroughly interviewed everyone who had had contact with Wally from the time of his arrest to the time of his death. Although we had twice visited Wally in hospital and he had later stayed with us for around two weeks, this guardian of the law had not once been in touch with us. The few witnesses that were called had obviously been carefully selected to 'toe the official Line'. Amongst them was one of the doctors who had been responsible for Wally's treatment. Throughout his statement he told lie after lie and then, rather than being subjected to the possible embarrassment of cross- examination, was reminded by the coroner that he mustn't miss his train - nod nod, wink wink.

The court passed a verdict of suicide with no reference at all to the appaling treatment that had been the direct cause of it. We loudly protested from the back of the courtroom - the grey men simply met our objections with mocking smiles.


Wally's death and the deceitful way in which the authorities dealt with it, led us to spend the next year making our own investigations into exactly what had happened since he left us that hot day in May. Our enquiries convinced us that what had happened was not an accident. The state had intended to destroy Wally's spirit, if not his life, because he was a threat, a fearless threat who they hoped they could destroy without much risk of embarrassment.

The story was a nightmare web of deception, corruption and cruelty. Wally had been treated with complete contempt by tile police who arrested him, the courts that sentenced him and the prison and hospital that held him prisoner. Our enquiries led us far from Wally's case; as we tried to get to the truth of any one situation, we would be presented with innumerable new leads and directions to follow. We got drawn deeper and deeper into a world of lies, violence, greed and fear. None of us were prepared for what we discovered, the world started to feel like a very small, dark place.

We found evidence of murder cover-ups, of police and gangland tie-ups, of wrongful arrest and imprisonment on trumped up charges and false evidence. We learnt of the horrific abuse, both physical and mental, of prisoners in jails and mental hospitals, doctors who knowingly prescribed what amounted to poison, who were unable to see the bruises inflicted, by courtesy of Her Majesty's officials, on an inmate's body - wardens and interrogating police are requested to punch below the head, where the bruises won't be seen by visiting relatives. We learnt of wardens who, to while the day away, set inmates against each other and did 'good turns' in return for material, and sexual favours. We learnt of nurses in mental hospitals who deliberately administered the wrong drugs to patients 'just to see what happened'; who, for kicks, tied patients to their beds and then tormented them. The official line, that the purpose of prisons is 'reform' and of mental hospitals is 'cure', is total deception - the purpose is 'punishment'; crude, cruel and simple - punishment.

Beyond the world of police, courts, jails and asylums, we were faced with the perhaps even more sickening outside world. Within this world, respectable people, smart and secure, work, day in, day out, to maintain the lie. They know about the abuse and cruelty, they know about the dishonesty and corruption, they know about the complete falsity of the reality in which they live, but they daren't turn against it because, having invested so much of their lives in it, they would be turning against themselves, so they remain silent - the silent, violent, majority.

Beneath the glossy surfaces of neatly combed hair and straightened nylons, of polished cars and sponged-down cookers, of pub on Friday and occasional church on Sunday, of well planned family and better planned future, of wealth and security, of power and glory, are the 'real' fascists. They know, but they remain silent. First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Pastor Niemoeller, victim of the Nazis.
They remain silent when the windows of the house across the street are smashed and the walls daubed with racist abuse. Silent when they hear the footsteps at night and the beating of doors and the sobbing of those inside. Now, perhaps, a whisper, the quietest whisper, 'They're Jews you know' - or Catholics, West Indians, Pakistanis, Indians, Arabs, Chinese, Irish, Gypsies, gays, cripples, or any minority group, in any society, anywhere - they only whisper it once before the warmth of the duck-down continental quilt soothes away their almost accidental guilt. Silent again as they hear them led away into the darkness. Silent, as through the cold mist of morning, they hear the cattle trucks roll by. And when they hear of the death-pits, of the racks, of the ovens, of the thousands dead and thousands dying - they remain silent. Because security is their god and compliance is his mistress, they remain silent. Against all the evidence, against all that they know, they remain silent, because convention decrees that they should. Silence, security, compliance and convention - the roots of fascism. Their silence is their part in the violence, a huge and powerful, silent voice of approval - the voice of fascism.

It is not the National Front or the British Movement that represents the right-wing threat; they, like the dinosaur, are all body and no brain and because of that will become extinct. It is the 'general public', in their willingness to bow down to authority, who pose the 'real' fascist threat. Fascism is as much in the hearts of the people as in the minds of their potential leaders.

The voices of silence, at times, made our investigations almost impossible. The respectable majority were too concerned about their own security to want to risk upsetting the authorities by telling us what they knew. They did know and we knew that they knew, but it made no difference - they remained silent.

From the enormous file of documentation that our enquiries produced, we compiled a lengthy book on the life and death of Wally Hope. During the enquiries we had received death-threats from various sources and were visited several times by the police who let us know that they knew what we knew and that they wanted us... to remain silent.

We felt alone and vulnerable. Finally our nerve gave out and one fine Spring morning, one and a half years after Wally's death, we threw the book and almost all the documentation onto a bonfire and watched the flames leap into the perfect blue sky. Phil Russell was dead.


As nearly all the documentation that we had on Phil was burnt, this article has been written largely from memory. As a result, some of the fine details, exact periods of time etc., may be slightly incorrect. The rest of the story is both true and accurate.


We had never chosen to be a part of the system, we had decided to live our own lives, our own way, and for years it seemed to work. Phil had come along at a time when we were beginning to question the value of what we were doing - 'was it enough?' Out experiences both before and after his death showed us that it wasn't. We had been prepared to believe that the system wasn't 'all bad', that if we acted honestly with it, it would act honestly with us - although the writing has been on the wall for several years, well meaning liberals still justify their 'Volvo revolution' with that kind of false reasoning. At the time, however, we still naively believed that the system served the people, our experiences showed us that, in fact, it was the people who served the system... or else.

We had tried to demonstrate our sense of freedom with humour and love and we were met with violence and hate which we in turn attempted to combat with our reason and intelligence. We failed. We finally realised that the state, those who work within it and those who live beneath its authority, were the 'enemy of our freedom' and that we must look for ways other than well reasoned words with which to oppose them.

The system has at its command everything that it needs to control the people and to ensure that its conditions remain dominant. It has the family to limit movement and stabilise those conditions. It has schools to restrict the mind and brainwash with those conditions. It has employment, and taxation of it, to finance the authorities that maintain those conditions It has the law, the courts and the police to enforce those conditions It has the army to protect those conditions. It has prisons and mental hospitals to punish anyone who disobeys those conditions. It has the media to promote those conditions. It has royalty to flaunt those conditions It has religion and psychiatry to mystify and thereby threaten, at the deepest level, those who question those conditions. It has history and tradition to prove the 'value' of those conditions. It has the future in which all these things are employed to ensure that those conditions will remain unchallenged - we have nothing but ourselves, and each other.

The system quietly murders people like Phil, yet still it is respected by the majority. The system openly murders people like Blair Peach, yet still it is respected by the majority. The system noisily murders people like Bobby Sands, yet still it is respected by the majority. The system is prepared to wage vicious civil war, as in Northern Ireland, or to consider the horror of total annihilation in a global nuclear war, yet still it is respected by the majority.

The system and all those who support it, either directly or through silence, are guilty of premeditating the deaths of millions of people, from individuals like Phil, to the nameless, unidentifiable masses in some unspeakable war. They are guilty of 'conspiring to destroy the planet, the people, animals, insects, plants, in fact everything that we know as life'. There, in their seats of power, hidden behind their masks of reason and rationale, sit people who are not only prepared to destroy our world, they are proud to admit it. It is these self-confessed 'potential mass-murderers' who it we permit to rule our lives; it is these mindless fools who are the 'real' mad-people, not gentle visionaries like Phil, yet who is it who is punished in their reality of double- standards and hypocrisy?

We know that they are not fit to rule our world, yet we allow them to do so. We allow them to build around us a hideously dangerous environment; Britain is at risk of be coming little more than a launch-pad for American missiles and a practice ground for Russian ones. Thatcher's government intends to spend twelve and a half thousand million pounds this year, 1982, on the military alone and that doesn't include the other thousands of millions on war-related expenses, from communication systems to government fall-out shelters and nuclear power stations. The British coastline is becoming dotted with potentially lethal nuclear power stations that produce very little electricity, about ten per cent of yearly UK requirements, and very big bombs. The first 'power stations' were built solely for the production of nuclear bombs; there is little to suggest that those being built now are for anything but similar purposes. The air, the sea and the land are becoming increasingly polluted with nuclear waste; the Irish sea is the most radioactive stretch of water in the world, people and animals have already died as a result of this mindless litter-bugging.

Do we have to wait for the accident that will and must happen, that kills people by the thousands, before the authorities accept that there is a little bit more at risk than their self-important reputations? The nuclear programme has enabled the authorities to intensify enormously the development of their 'security systems'. So not only do we have to suffer the insecurity of the threat of nuclear war, ,, also have to contend with the added insecurity of living in what is fast becoming a police state. Nuclear establishments have at their command an armed force who answer to no authority but their own, Britain's ready-made 88, existing in a state within a state. The government recently approved plans to set up a new style 'Home Guard': a force who will be specially trained to deal with 'domestic problems' and that means me and you, so don't be fooled by tales of 'Dad's Army', this one isn't a comedy. The authorities are increasinglY prying into our private lives.. From phone tapping to census forms, our lives are be- coming files in their dark offices. The authorities have just purchased a computer system capable of linking together all the other computers that store information about every man, woman and child living in Britain.

At the press of a button, the authorities will be able to have details on our lives, from birth to the present time - fifteen years ago, we were claiming that computers were going to enormously limit individual freedom; naturally, we were accused of 'being paranoid', but, none the less, that's exactly what they have done. Now, with the development of the 'micro chip' there is no way that anyone could imagine the effects that these new technologies will have on our privacy and freedom. 1984 has become a memory, a clumsy hypothesis that fell hopelessly short in its failure to allow for the horrific escalation in technological 'hardware'. Private life is becoming a memory - we are becoming nothing but numbers in some bizarre lottery game and when your number is called run like fuck, but beware, they'll probably have a print-out on where it is that you're running to.

As the authorities increase military expenditure, the money for the so-called 'social services' is decreased. We are expected to live on less and less as the government spends more and more on their 'war games'. In Great Britain, 1982, there are people who are suffering from malnutrition because they can't afford food; they are almost freezing to death, many actually are dying, because they can't afford heat; they are being made homeless because they can't afford the rent; they are being moved into half-way houses because the councils can't afford decent homes, where they are suffering from malnutrition because they can't afford food; they are almost freezing to death, many actually are dying, because they can't afford heat; when the deprivation finally makes them ill, they are being moved into hospitals where the authorities can't afford to properly treat them. They'll probably die young, but most people die eventually anyway meanwhile, Her Majesty's Government is spending twelve and a half thousand million pounds this year, 1982, on the military alone and that doesn't include the other thousands of millions on war-related expenses, from communications systah, blah, blah, blah, hello, hello, is there anybody there?

In Northern Ireland, citizens pay government taxes so that government forces can remain there in occupation, If just half of what was spent on maintaining those forces was spent on redeveloping the housing, the social facilities, and most importantly, the trust that those forces have destroyed, maybe a 'solution' would be a little easier to find. But of course the government is not looking for a 'real' solution, it is looking for a way in which it can continue its exploitation of the people and the land without opposition from any of the rival factions. The army in Northern Ireland is not a 'peace-keeping force' whatever the government may say, it is an army of occupation and all the people, be they Catholic, Protestant or indifferent, suffer accordingly. It was the English who created the 'irish Problem' when hundreds of years ago they first invaded Ireland for exactly the same reasons that they have invaded countless countries throughout the world, to exploit natural assets. As long as those assets continue to profit Westminster, the 'Irish Problem' will exist.

Young men whose only difference is the narrow strip of water, or perhaps more tragic still, the narrow strip of land that divides their birthplaces, shoot at each other across an atmosphere of accumulated hatred. Yet what can they 'know' to hate this way? They know nothing but what they have been told to know by the authorities, who care nothing for their deaths except what they might gain by them. See how Paper Tiger Thatcher cried crocodile tears for her lost son, yet see how little compassion she had for the families of H Block. Centuries of wasted blood, each vessel another lost son, each drop another stupid reprisal. Centuries of wasted tears, each vessel another childless mother, each drop another stupid reprisal. When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?

Since writing this article the 'FaIklands Crisis' has developed graphically illustrating the complete madness of rulers. What should have been little more than a minor territorial dispute requiring discussion and diplomacy has blown up into a tense world situation where hundreds of young men have already died for the arrogance of their 'leaders'.
Around one hundred and fifty years ago the British stole the Falklands so that they could maintain access into the Pacific ocean; since that time the Argentinians have me doesn't repeated attempts to negotiate a return of the islands to their control If it had not been for the discovery of oil and mineral deposits in the area Britain would have handed back the islands without a second thought, but, because of the enormous wealth to which they gave access, Argentinian claims ware ignored. Eventually and inevitably the Argentinians re-invaded the Falklands and the British government, seizing it as an opportunity to divert attention from its enormous domestic problems, launched the country into war - however understandable the Argentinian aggression might be, it is as unacceptable as the British response. Violence breeds violence.
Historically Britain has no 'right' to the Falklands; it seems easy to criticise the Argentinian action, yet it was by exactly the methods that Britain now so self-righteously condemns that the islands were originally stolen. Thatcher, her government and other governments before her couldn't care a fuck about the British people' on the island, couldn't care a sod about sovereignty - it's the oil and minerals that they care about, the wealth and the power that they can exploit and if that means that hundreds of people are going to die for that privilege - tough shit! The nationalistic fervour that has been whipped up is just a crude cover that enables those in power to send young men to premature death and that creates an atmosphere in which it becomes 'acceptable' to brutally murder the so-called 'enemy'.

Thatcher talks of 'peaceful solutions' whilst ordering the slaughter of five hundred young men and claims that 'our people' need protection whilst already having been responsible for the murder of over thirty of them - she is a bigot, a hypocrite and a liar.
Obscene articles have appeared daily in the press. The dehumanising term 'Argie' has been coined to make the death and mutilation of fellow human beings appear 'commonplace' and 'ordinary' Page three pin-ups have appeared wearing an assortment of nationalistic insults. Desperate sweethearts flashed their knickers as the QE2 sailed away with its cargo of gun-fodder. Britain relived the 'war years' rallying to its blood-stained flag in some dreadful memory of a power that once held half the world in its imperialist grip - now that grip is a weak wristed fantasy that, through sheer arrogance, would risk the safety of the whole planet. How long must young men continue to die for the greed of governments? How long must young women exploit their bodies to support this psycho-sexual fantasy of war? The big bang, big fuck - enough. WE MUST LEARN TO SAY 'NO'.

Through their massive taxation of us, the government finances its oppression of us. Northern Ireland has been a training ground for what the authorities believe is going to happen on the mainland. As the dividing line between those who can afford and those who can't grows and as jobs become increasingly difficult to find and increasingly boring and pointless when they are found, so the overall quality of life deteriorates and the reasons for supporting those who are responsible for it become meaningless. As long as those who are in power can command the loyalty of 'the general public', whom they regard as slaves, they will continue to use 'the general public' to abuse 'the general public' - the rich get richer and 'the general public' fight amongst themselves.

Cities, where the vast majority of the population work, if not live, are becoming hostile islands of grey concrete where carbon monoxide poisons the air; where, because of commercial development, housing is almost impossible to find, and increasingly derelict when it is found; where the streets are not somewhere where you look for friends, but somewhere where you hide from enemies; where people are too scared to look each other in the eyes; where people only stop when the colourful posters or seductive shop- windows demand that they should. We are teased and titillated; buy this, buy that. The ad-men and the model- girls exploit and manipulate; buy this, buy that, consume, consume, consume. The parasites become wealthy at the expense of 'the general public'; the parasites are the 'general public'; the serpent eats its own tail. The glossy advertisements are almost pointless, they're way above our heads; who can afford this trash? But all the same, those who can afford, buy and those who can't resent it. Buy this, buy that. On all kinds of levels the posters and displays aim to make us feel inadequate - you're not a man unless you're not a woman unless ... unless? ... unless what? ... unless you sip a Tia Maria? ... Tia Maria? Nice idea ... nice idea maybe, but who can afford the sundrenched pool in St. Tropez? Who can conform to the standard 'norms' of sexuality that those models so gracelessly display? Is mine big enough? Who can afford the drink, let alone the life style? But all the same, those who can afford, buy and those who can't get angry. Buy this, buy that. So we are forced to accept second best to that which the system tells us we should aspire. We are told that to 'belong' we must conform to certain social stereotypes yet, at the same time, the system that creates the stereotypes knows perfectly well that very few people can actually afford the necessary credentials, The media creates and promotes standards of Ôrequirement', from video-games to holidays in the Seychelles, that only the privileged could hope to afford, those who can't afford but none the less want to conform, are left confused, belittled, and alienated. But all the same, those who can afford buy, and those who can't finally explode into a frenzy of hatred and revenge and smash the seductive shop windows and take the things from the people who have manipulated them into believing that these are the things that they want. Buy this, buy that. Take this, take that - tit for tat.

So as Brixton, Toxteth and Moss Side burn, the system closes in to strengthen its grip and controls get tighter. The police are given even greater powers and the army, fresh from the training grounds of Belfast and Londonderry, wait in the shadows The government, those in authority, and all those who serve and support them, are placing the 'people' in an impossible stranglehold.

The age of consumerism, born out of the horror and guilt of World War Two, has failed to live up to its promise. Neither a Cadillac or a super deluxe washing-machine make the threat of annihilation any more acceptable, for a while they might have made it more bearable, but now the threat has become too real to be hidden by a layer of consumer junk which, in any case, even if it was wanted, very few can afford.

The authorities have lost their bargaining power, they no longer have anything to offer in exchange for the sacrifices that they ask us to make, so they're no longer asking us, they're telling us. They're telling us to work for things that we can't afford so that they can run the system that, without us and the money we make and they take, they can't afford. As the system increasingly realises its failure, it strengthens the barriers that exist between 'them' and 'us' with all the authority that it can command, but all the authority that they command is us, so who are 'they'? - we have reached a turning point.

Authority does not exist without the value and support that we give it. As long as we, the people, bow down to the system authority will exist and so will the system. Either we accept that we are to live as mindless robots in a world that is walking the tightrope of nuclear war, where security checks will become a way of life, where the streets are patrolled by tanks and the skies by helicopters, where people no longer dare speak of what they feel and believe for fear of those who might be listening, where love is a memory, peace is a dream and freedom simply does not exist - or we demand our rights, refuse to be a part of the authority that denies them and recognise that the system is nothing but a small handful of ruling elites who are power- less without our support. We have the strength, but do we have the courage?

We must learn to live with our own weakness, hatred, prejudice, and to reject theirs.
We must learn to live with our own fears, doubts, inadequacies, and to reject theirs.
We must learn to live with our own love, passion, desire, and to reject theirs. We must learn to live with our own conscience, awareness, certainty, and to reject theirs.
We must learn to live with our own moralities, values, standards, and to reject theirs.
We must learn to live with our own principles, ethics, philosophies, and to reject theirs.

Above all, we must learn to live with our own strength and learn how to use it against 'them', as they have used it against 'us'. It is our strength that they have used against us throughout history to maintain their privileged positions. It is up to me, alone, and you, alone, to bite the hand that bleeds us. THERE IS NO FUTURE BUT OUR OWN BECAUSE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY BUT OUR OWN, YOU AND I, WHO LOVE THIS PLANET 'EARTH', ARE ITS RIGHTFUL INHERITORS - IT IS TIME TO STAKE OUR CLAIM.

Throughout the 'hippy era', we had championed the cause of peace, some of us had been on the first CND marches and, with sadness, had watched the movement being eroded by political greed. Throughout the 'drop out and cop out' period we hung on to the belief that 'real' change can only come about through personal example, because of this we rejected much of hippy culture, notably the emphasis on drugs, as being nothing but escapism. It is sad that many punks appear to be resorting to the same means of escape while in their blind hypocrisy they accuse hippies of never having 'got it together' -- neither will these new prophets of the pipe dream.

We had hoped that through a practical demonstration of peace and love, we would be able to paint the grey world in new colours; it is strange that it took a man called Hope, the only 'real' hippy with whom we ever directly became creatively involved, to show us that that particular form of hope was a dream. The experiences to which our short friendship led made us realise that it was time to have a rock- think about the way in which we should pursue our vision of peace. Wally's death showed us that we could not afford to 'sit by and let it happen again'. In part, his death was our responsibility and although we did everything that we could, it was not enough.

Desire for change had to be coupled with the desire to work for it, if it was worth opposing the system, it was worth opposing it totally. It was no longer good enough to take what we wanted and to reject the rest, it was time to get back into the streets and attack, to get back and share our experiences and learn from the experiences of others.

A year after Wally's death, the Pistols released 'Anarchy in the UK,' maybe they didn't really mean it ma'am, but to us it was a battle cry. When Rotten proclaimed that there was 'no future', we saw it as a challenge to our creativity - we knew that there was a future if we were prepared to work for it.

It is our world, it is ours and it has been stolen from us. We set out to demand it back, only this time round they didn't call us 'hippies' they called us 'punks.'

Penny Rimbaud, London, Jan/Mar.,'82.

Barnsley Bill

ABC of Anarchism

13.05.2010 14:52

By Alexander Berkman

Chapter 1.

I want to tell you about Anarchism.

I want to tell you what Anarchism is, because I think it is well you should know it. Also because so little is known about it, and what is known is generally hearsay and mostly false.

I want to tell you about it, because I believe that Anarchism is the finest and biggest thing man has ever thought of; the only thing that can give you liberty and well-being, and bring peace and joy to the world.

I want to tell you about it in such plain and simple language that there will be no misunderstanding it. Big words and high sounding phrases serve only to confuse. Straight thinking means plain speaking.

But before I tell you what Anarchism is, I want to tell you what it is not.

That is necessary because so much falsehood has been spread about Anarchism. Even intelligent persons often have entirely wrong notions about it. Some people talk about Anarchism without knowing a thing about it. And some lie about Anarchism, because they don't want you to know the truth about it.

Anarchism has many enemies; they won't tell you the truth about it. Why Anarchism has enemies and who they are, you will see later, in the course of this story. Just now I can tell you that neither your political boss nor your employer, neither the capitalist nor the policeman will speak to you honestly about Anarchism. Most of them know nothing about it, and all of them hate it. Their newspapers and publications - the capitalistic press - are also against it.

Even most Socialists and Bolsheviks misrepresent Anarchism. True, the majority of them don't know any better. But those who do know better also often lie about Anarchism and speak of it as 'disorder and chaos'. You can see for yourself how dishonest they are in this: the greatest teachers of Socialism - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels - had taught that Anarchism would come from Socialism. They said that we must first have Socialism, but that after Socialism there will be Anarchism, and that it would be a freer and more beautiful condition of society to live in than Socialism. Yet the Socialists, who swear by Marx and Engels, insist on calling Anarchism 'chaos and disorder', which shows you how ignorant or dishonest they are.

The Bolsheviks do the same, although their greatest teacher, Lenin, had said that Anarchism would follow Bolshevism, and that then it will be better and freer to live.

Therefore I must tell you, first of all, what Anarchism is not.
It is not bombs, disorder, or chaos.
It is not robbery and murder.
It is not a war of each against all.
It is not a return to barbarism or to the wild state of man.
Anarchism is the very opposite of all that.

Anarchism means that you should be free; that no one should enslave you, boss you, rob you, or impose upon you.

It means that you should be free to do the things you want to do; and that you should not be compelled to do what you don't want to do.

It means that you should have a chance to choose the kind of a life you want to live, and live it without anybody interfering.

It means that the next fellow should have the same freedom as you, that every one should have the same rights and liberties.

It means that all men are brothers, and that they should live like brothers, in peace and harmony.

That is to say, that there should be no war, no violence used by one set of men against another, no monopoly and no poverty, no oppression, no taking advantage of your fellow-man.

In short, Anarchism means a condition or society where all men and women are free, and where all enjoy equally the benefits of an ordered and sensible life.

'Can that be?' you ask; 'and how?'

'Not before we all become angels,' your friend remarks.

Well, let us talk it over. Maybe I can show you that we can be decent and live as decent folks even without growing wings.
Chapter 2
Is Anarchism Violence?

You have heard that Anarchists throw bombs, that they believe in violence, and that Anarchy means disorder and chaos.

It is not surprising that you should think so. The press, the pulpit, and every one in authority constantly din it into your ears. But most of them know better, even if they have a reason for not telling you the truth. It is time you should bear it.

I mean to speak to you honestly and frankly, and you can take my word for it, because it happens that I am just one of those Anarchists who are pointed out as men of violence and destruction. I ought to know, and I have nothing to hide.

"Now, does Anarchism really mean disorder and violence?" you wonder.

No, my friend, it is capitalism and government which stand for disorder and violence. Anarchism is the very reverse of it; it means order without government and peace without violence.

"But is that possible?" you ask.

That is just what we are going to talk over now. But first your friend demands to know whether Anarchists have never thrown bombs or ever used any violence.

Yes, Anarchists have thrown bombs and have sometimes resorted to violence.

"There you are!" your friend exclaims. "I thought so."

But do not let us be hasty. If Anarchists have sometimes employed violence, does it necessarily mean that Anarchism means violence?

Ask yourself this question and try to answer it honestly.

When a citizen puts on a soldier's uniform, he may have to throw bombs and use violence. Will you say, then, that citizenship stands for bombs and violence?

You will indignantly resent the imputation. It simply means, you will reply, that under certain conditions a man may have to resort to violence. The man may happen to he a Democrat, a Monarchist, a Socialist, Bolshevik, or Anarchist.

You will find that this applies to all men and to all times.

Brutus killed Caesar because he feared his friend meant to betray the republic and become king. Not that Brutus "loved Caesar less but that he loved Rome more." Brutus was not an Anarchist. He was a loyal republican.

William Tell, as folklore tells us, shot to death the tyrant in order to rid his country of oppression. Tell had never heard of Anarchism.

I mention these instances to illustrate the fact that from time immemorial despots met their fate at the hands of outraged lovers of liberty. Such men were rebels against tyranny. They were generally patriots, Democrats or Republicans, occasionally Socialists or Anarchists. Their acts were cases of individual rebellion against wrong and injustice. Anarchism had nothing to do with it.

There was a time in ancient Greece when killing a despot was considered the highest virtue. Modern law condemns such acts, but human feeling seems to have remained the same in this matter as in the old days. The conscience of the world does not feel outraged by tyrannicide. Even if publicly not approved, the heart of mankind condones and often even secretly rejoices at such acts. Were there not thousands of patriotic youths in America willing to assassinate the German Kaiser whom they held responsible for starting the World War? Did not a French court recently acquit the man who killed Petlura to avenge the thousands of men, women and children murdered in the Petlura pogroms against the Jews of South Russia?

In every land, in all ages, there have been tyrannicides; that is, men and women who loved their country well enough to sacrifice even their own lives for it. Usually they were persons of no political party or idea, but simply haters of tyranny. Occasionally they were religious fanatics, like the devout Catholic Kullmann, who tried to assassinate Bismarck, or the misguided enthusiast Charlotte Corday who killed Marat during the French Revolution.

In the United States three Presidents were killed by individual acts. Lincoln was shot in 1865, by John Wilkes Booth, who was a Southern Democrat; Garfield, in 1881, by Charles Jules Guiteau, a Republican; and McKinley, in 1901, by Leon Czolgosz. Out of the three only one was an Anarchist.

The country that has the worst oppressors produces also the greatest number of tyrannicides, which is natural. Take Russia, for instance. With complete suppression of speech and press under the Tsars, there was no way of mitigating the despotic régime than by "putting the fear of God" into the tyrant's heart.

Those avengers were mostly sons and daughters of the highest nobility, idealistic youths who loved liberty and the people. With all other avenues closed, they felt themselves compelled to resort to the pistol and dynamite in the hope of alleviating the miserable conditions of their country. They were known as nihilists and terrorists. They were not Anarchists.

In modem times individual acts of political violence have been even more frequent than in the past. The women suffragettes in England, for example, frequently resorted to it to propagate and carry out their demands for equal rights. In Germany, since the war, men of the most conservative political views have used such methods in the hope of reestablishing the kingdom. It was a monarchist who killed Karl Erzberger, the Prussian Minister of Finance; and Walter Rathenau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was also laid low by a man of the same political party.

Why, the original cause of, or at least excuse for, the Great War itself was the killing of the Austrian heir to the throne by a Serbian patriot who had never heard of Anarchism. In Germany, Hungary, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and in every other European country men of the most varied political views have resorted to acts of violence, not to speak of the wholesale political terror, practiced by organized bodies such as the Fascists in Italy, the Ku Klux Klan in America, or the Catholic Church in Mexico.

You see, then, that Anarchists have no monopoly of political violence. The number of such acts by Anarchists is infinitesimal as compared with those committed by persons of other political persuasions.

The truth is that in every country, in every social movement, violence has been a part of the struggle from time immemorial. Even the Nazarene, who came to preach the gospel of peace, resorted to violence to drive the money changers out of the temple.

As I have said, Anarchists have no monopoly on violence. On the contrary, the teachings of Anarchism are those of peace and harmony, of non-invasion, of the sacredness of life and liberty. But Anarchists are human, like the rest of mankind, and perhaps more so. They are more sensitive to wrong and injustice, quicker to resent oppression, and therefore not exempt from occasionally voicing their protest by an act of violence. But such acts are an expression of individual temperament, not of any particular theory.

You might ask whether the holding of revolutionary ideas would not naturally influence a person toward deeds of violence. I do not think so, because we have seen that violent methods are also employed by people of the most conservative opinions. If persons of directly opposite political views commit similar acts, it is hardly reasonable to say that their ideas are responsible for such acts.

Like results have a like cause, but that cause is not to be found in political convictions; rather in individual temperament and the general feeling about violence.

"You may be right about temperament," you say. "I can see that revolutionary ideas are not the cause of political acts of violence, else every revolutionist would be committing such acts. But do not such views to some extent justify those who commit such acts?"

It may seem so at first sight. But if you think it over you will find that it is an entirely wrong idea. The best proof of it is that Anarchists who hold exactly the same views about government and the necessity of abolishing it, often disagree entirely on the question of violence. Thus Tolstoyan Anarchists and most Individualist Anarchists condemn political violence, while other Anarchists approve of or at least justify it.

Is it reasonable, then, to say that Anarchist views are responsible for violence or in any way influence such acts?

Moreover, many Anarchists who at one time believed in violence as a means of propaganda have changed their opinion about it and do not favor such methods any more. There was a time, for instance, when Anarchists advocated individual acts of violence, known as "propaganda by deed." They did not expect to change government and capitalism into Anarchism by such acts, nor did they think that the taking off of a despot would abolish despotism. No, terrorism was considered a means of avenging a popular wrong, inspiring fear in the enemy, and also calling attention to the evil against which the act of terror was directed. But most Anarchists to-day do not believe any more in "propaganda by deed" and do not favor acts of that nature.

Experience has taught them that though such methods may have been justified and useful in the past, modern conditions of life make them unnecessary and even harmful to the spread of their ideas. But their ideas remain the same, which means that it was not Anarchism which shaped their attitude to violence. It proves that it is not certain ideas or "isms" that lead to violence, but that some other causes ring it about.

We must therefore look somewhere else to find the right explanation.

As we have seen, acts of political violence have been committed not only by Anarchists, Socialists, and revolutionists of all kinds, but also by patriots and nationalists, by Democrats and Republicans, by suffragettes, by conservatives and reactionaries, by monarchists and royalists, and even by religionists and devout Christians.

We know now that it could not have been any particular idea or "ism" that influenced their acts, because the most varied ideas and "isms" produced similar deeds. I have given as the reason individual temperament and the general feeling about violence.

Here is the crux of the matter. What is this general feeling about violence? If we can answer this question correctly, the whole matter will be clear to us.

If we speak honestly, we must admit that every one believes in violence and practices it, however he may condemn it in others. In fact, all of the institutions we support and the entire life of present society are based on violence.

What is the thing we call government? Is it anything else but organized violence? The law orders you to do this or not to do that, and if you fail to obey, it will compel you by force. We are not discussing just now whether it is right or wrong, whether it should or should not be so. Just now we are interested in the fact that it is so---that all government, all law and authority finally rest on force and violence, on punishment or the fear of punishment.

Why, even spiritual authority, the authority of the church and of God rests on force and violence, because it is the fear of divine wrath and vengeance that wields power over you, compels you to obey, and even to believe against your own reason.

Wherever you turn you will find that our entire life is built on violence or the fear of it. From earliest childhood you are subjected to the violence of parents or elders. At home, in school, in the office, factory, field, or shop, it is always some one's authority which keeps you obedient and compels you to do his will.

The right to compel you is called authority. Fear of punishment has been made into duty and is called obedience.

In this atmosphere of force and violence, of authority and obedience, of duty, fear and punishment we all grow up; we breathe it throughout our lives. We are so steeped in the spirit of violence that we never stop to ask whether violence is right or wrong. We only ask if it is legal, whether the law permits it.

You don't question the right of the government to kill, to confiscate and imprison. If a private person should be guilty of the things the government is doing all the time, you'd brand him a murderer, thief, and scoundrel. But as long as the violence committed is "lawful" you approve of it and submit to it. So it is not really violence that you object to, but to people using violence "unlawfully".

This lawful violence and the fear of it dominate our whole existence, individual and collective. Authority controls our lives from the cradle to the grave-authority parental, priestly and divine, political, economic, social, and moral. But whatever the character of that authority, it is always the same executioner wielding power over you through your fear of punishment in one form or another. You are afraid of God and the devil, of the priest and the neighbor, of your employer and boss, of the politician and policeman, of the judge and the jailer, of the law and the government. All your life is a long chain of fears-fears which bruise your body and lacerate your soul. On those fears is based the authority of God, of the church, of parents, of capitalist and ruler.

Look into your heart and see if what I say is not true. Why, even among children the ten-year-old Johnny bosses his younger brother or sister by the authority of his greater physical strength, just as Johnny's father bosses him by his superior strength, and by Johnny's dependence on his support. You stand for the authority of priest and preacher because you think they can "call down the wrath of God upon your head". You submit to the domination of boss, judge, and government because of their power to deprive you of work, to ruin your business, to put you in prison - a power, by the way, that you yourself have given into their hands.

So authority rules your whole life, the authority of the past and the present, of the dead and the living, and your existence is a continuous invasion and violation of yourself, a constant subjection to the thoughts and the will of some one else.

And as you are invaded and violated, so you subconsciously revenge yourself by invading and violating others over whom you have authority or can exercise compulsion. Physical or moral. In this way all life has become a crazy quilt of authority, of domination and submission, of command and obedience, of coercion and subjection, of rulers and ruled, of violence and force in a thousand and one forms.

Can you wonder that even idealists are still held in the meshes of this spirit of authority and violence, and are often impelled by their feelings and environment to invasive acts entirely at variance with their ideas?

We are all still barbarians who resort to force and violence to settle our doubts, difficulties, and troubles. Violence is the method of ignorance, the weapon of the weak. The strong of heart and brain need no violence, for they are irresistible in their consciousness of being right. The further we get away from primitive man and the hatchet age, the less recourse we shall have to force and violence. The more enlightened man will become, the less he will employ compulsion and coercion. The really civilized man will divest himself of all fear and authority. He will rise from the dust and stand erect: he will bow to no tsar either in heaven or on earth. He will become fully human when he will scorn to rule and refuse to be ruled. He will be truly free only when there shall be no more masters.

Anarchism is the ideal of such a condition; of a society without force and compulsion, where all men shall be equals, and live in freedom, peace, and harmony.

The word Anarchy comes from the Greek, meaning without force, without violence or government, because government is the very fountainhead of violence, constraint, and coercion.

Anarchy therefore does not mean disorder and chaos, as you thought before. On the contrary, it is the very reverse of it; it means no government, which is freedom and liberty. Disorder is the child of authority and compulsion. Liberty is the mother of order.

"A beautiful ideal," you say; "but only angels are fit for it."

Let us see, then, if we can grow the wings we need for that ideal state of society.
Chapter 3
What Is Anarchism?

"Can you tell us briefly," your friend asks, "what Anarchism really is?"

I shall try. In the fewest words, Anarchism teaches that we can live in a society where there is no compulsion of any kind.

A life without compulsion naturally means liberty; it means freedom from being forced or coerced, a chance to lead the life that suits you best.

You cannot lead such a life unless you do away with the institutions that curtail your liberty and interfere with your life, the conditions that compel you to act differently from the way you really would like to.

What are those institutions and conditions? Let us see what we have to do away with in order to secure a free and harmonious life. Once we know what has to be abolished and what must take its place, we shall also find the way to do it.

What must be abolished, then, to secure liberty?

First of all, of course, the thing that invades you most, that handicaps or prevents your free activity; the thing that interferes with your liberty and compels you to live differently from what would be your own choice.

That thing is government.

Take a good look at it and you will see that government is the greatest invader; more than that, the worst criminal man has ever known of. It fills the world with violence, with fraud and deceit, with oppression and misery. As a great thinker once said, "its breath is poison." It corrupts everything it touches.

"Yes, government means violence and it is evil," you admit; "but can we do without it?"

That is just what we want to talk over. Now, if I should ask you whether you need government, I'm sure you would answer that you don't, but that it is for the others that it is needed.

But if you should ask any one of those "others," he would reply as you do: he would say that he does not need it, but that it is necessary "for the others."

Why does every one think that he can be decent enough without the policeman, but that the club is needed for "the others"?

"People would rob and murder each other if there were no government and no law," you say.

If they really would, why would they? Would they do it just for the pleasure of it or because of certain reasons? Maybe if we examine their reasons, we'd discover the cure for them.

Suppose you and I and a score of others had suffered shipwreck and found ourselves on an island rich with fruit of every kind. Of course, we'd get to work to gather the foot. But suppose one of our number should declare that it all belongs to him, and that no one shall have a single morsel unless he first pays him tribute for it. We would be indignant, wouldn't we? We'd laugh at his pretensions. If he'd try to make trouble about it, we might throw him into the sea, and it would serve him right, would it not?

Suppose further that we ourselves and our forefathers had cultivated the island and stocked it with everything needed for life and comfort, and that some one should arrive and claim it all as his. What would we say? We'd ignore him, wouldn't we? We might tell him that he could share with us and join us in our work. But suppose that he insists on his ownership and that he produces a slip of paper and says that it proves that everything belongs to him? We'd tell him he's crazy and we'd go about our business. But if he should have a government back of him, he would appeal to it for the protection of "his rights," and the government would send police and soldiers who would evict us and put the "lawful owner in possession."

That is the function of government; that is what government exists for and what it is doing all the time.

Now, do you still think that without this thing called government we should rob and murder each other?

Is it not rather true that with government we rob and murder? Because government does not secure us in our rightful possessions, but on the contrary takes them away for the benefit of those who have no right to them, as we have seen in previous chapters.

If you should wake up to-morrow morning and learn that there is no government any more, would your first thought be to rush out into the street and kill some one? No, you know that is nonsense. We speak of sane, normal men. The insane man who wants to kill does not first ask whether there is or isn't any government. Such men belong to the care of physicians and alienists; they should be placed in hospitals to be treated for their malady.

The chances are that if you or Johnson should awaken to find that there is no government, you would get busy arranging your life under the new conditions.

It is very likely, of course, that if you should then see people gorge themselves while you go hungry, you would demand a chance to eat, and you would be perfectly right in that. And so would every one else, which means that people would not stand for any one hogging all the good things of life: they would want to share in them. It means further that the poor would refuse to stay poor while others wallow in luxury. It means that the worker will decline to give up his product to the boss who claims to "own" the factory and everything that is made there. It means that the farmer will not permit thousands of acres to lie idle while he has not enough soil to support himself and family. It means that no one will be permitted to monopolize the land or the machinery of production. It means that private ownership of the sources of life will not be tolerated any more. It will be considered the greatest crime for some to own more than they can use in a dozen lifetimes, while their neighbors have not enough bread for their children. It means that all men will share in the social wealth, and that all will help to produce that wealth.

It means, in short, that for the first time in history right justice, and equality would triumph instead of law.

You see therefore that doing away with government also signifies the abolition of monopoly and of personal ownership of the means of production and distribution.

It follows that when government is abolished, wage slavery and capitalism must also go with it, because they cannot exist without the support and protection of government. Just as the man who would claim a monopoly of the island, of which I spoke before, could not put through his crazy claim without the help of government.

Such a condition of things where there would be liberty instead of government would be Anarchy. And where equality of use would take the place of private ownership, would be Communism.

It would be Communist Anarchism.

"Oh, Communism," your friend exclaims, "but you said you were not a Bolshevik!"

No, I am not a Bolshevik, because the Bolsheviki want a powerful government or State, while Anarchism means doing away with the State or government altogether.

"But are not the Bolsheviki Communists?" you demand.

Yes, the Bolsheviki are Communists, but they want their dictatorship, their government, to compel people to live in Communism. Anarchist Communism, on the contrary, means voluntary Communism, Communism from free choice.

"I see the difference. It would be fine, of course;" your friend admits. "But do you really think it possible?"
Chapter 4.
Is Anarchy Possible?

"It might be possible," you say, "if we could do without government. But can we?"

Perhaps we can best answer your question by examining your own life.

What role does the government play in your existence? Does it help you live? Does it feed, clothe, and shelter you? Do you need it to help you work or play? If you are ill, do you call the physician or the policeman? Can the government give you greater ability than nature endowed you with? Can it save you from sickness, old age, or death?

Consider your daily life and you will find that in reality the government is no factor in it at all except when it begins to interfere in your affairs, when it compels you to do certain things or prohibits you from doing others. It forces you, for instance, to pay taxes and support it, whether you want to or not. It makes you don a uniform and join the army. It invades your personal life, orders you about, coerces you, prescribes your behavior, and generally treats you as it pleases. It tells you even what you must believe and punishes you for thinking and acting otherwise. It directs you what to eat and drink, and imprisons or shoots you for disobeying. It commands you and dominates every step of your life. It treats you as a bad boy or as an irresponsible child who needs the strong hand of a guardian, but if you disobey it holds you responsible, nevertheless.

We shall consider later the details of life under Anarchy and see what conditions and institutions will exist in that form of society, how they will function, and what effect they are likely to have upon man.

For the present we want to make sure first that such a condition is possible, that Anarchy is practicable.

What is the existence of the average man to-day? Almost all your time is given to earning your livelihood. You are so busy making a living that you hardly have time left to live, to enjoy life. Neither the time nor the money. You are lucky if you have some source of support, some job. Now and then comes slack-time: there is unemployment and thousands are thrown out of work, every year, in every country.

That time means no income, no wages. It results in worry and privation, in disease, desperation, and suicide. It spells poverty and crime. To alleviate that poverty we build homes of charity, poorhouses, free hospitals, all of which you support with your taxes. To prevent crime and to punish the criminals it is again you who have to support police, detectives, State forces, judges, lawyers, prisons, keepers. Can you imagine anything more senseless and impractical? The legislatures pass laws, the judges interpret them, the various officials execute them, the police track and arrest the criminal, and finally the prison warden gets him into custody. Numerous persons and institutions are busy keeping the jobless man from stealing and punish him if he tries to. Then he is provided with the means of existence, the lack of which had made him break the law in the first place. After a shorter or longer term he is turned loose. If he fails to get work he begins the same round of theft, arrest, trial, and imprisonment all over again.

This is a rough but typical illustration of the stupid character of our system; stupid and inefficient. Law and government support that system.

Is it not peculiar that most people imagine we could not do without government, when in fact our real life has no connection with it whatever, no need of it, and is only interfered with where law and government seep in?

"But security and public order," you object, "could we have that without law and government? Who will protect us against the criminal?"

The truth is that what is called "law and order" is really the worst disorder, as we have seen in previous chapters. What little order and peace we do have is due to the good common sense and joint efforts of the people, mostly in spite of the government. Do you need government to tell you not to step in front of a moving automobile? Do you need it to order you not to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge or from the Eiffel Tower?

Man is a social being: he cannot exist alone; he lives in communities or societies. Mutual need and common interests result in certain arrangements to afford us security and comfort. Such co-working is free, voluntary; it needs no compulsion by any government. You join a sporting club or a singing society because your inclinations lie that way, and you cooperate with the other members without any one coercing you. The man of science, the writer, the artist, and the inventor seek their own kind for inspiration and mutual work. Their impulses and needs are their best urge: the interference of any government or authority can only hinder their efforts.

All through life you will find that the needs and inclinations of people make for association, for mutual protection and help. That is the difference between managing things and governing men; between doing something from free choice and being compelled. It is the difference between liberty and constraint, between Anarchism and government, because Anarchism means voluntary cooperation instead of forced participation. It means harmony and order in place of interference and disorder.

"But who will protect us against crime and criminals?" you demand.

Rather ask yourself whether government really protects us against them. Does not government itself create and uphold conditions which make for crime? Does not the invasion and violence upon which all governments rest cultivate the spirit of intolerance and persecution, of hatred and more violence? Does not crime increase with the growth of poverty and injustice fostered by government? Is not government itself the greatest injustice and crime?

Crime is the result of economic conditions, of social inequality, of wrongs and evils of which government and monopoly are the parents. Government and law can only punish the criminal. They neither cure nor prevent crime. The only real cure for crime is to abolish its causes, and this the government can never do because it is there to preserve those very causes. Crime can be eliminated only by doing away with the conditions that create it. Government cannot do it.

Anarchism means to do away with those conditions. Crimes resulting from government, from its- oppression and injustice, from inequality and poverty, will disappear under Anarchy. These constitute by far the greatest percentage of crime.

Certain other crimes will persist for some time, such as those resulting from jealousy, passion, and from the spirit of coercion and violence which dominates the world to-day. But these, the offspring of authority and possession, will also gradually disappear under wholesome conditions with the passing away of the atmosphere that cultivated them.

Anarchy will therefore neither breed crime nor offer any soil for its thriving. Occasional anti-social acts will be looked upon as survivals of former diseased conditions and attitudes, and will be treated as an unhealthy state of mind rather than as crime.

Anarchy would begin by feeding the "criminal" and securing him work instead of first watching him, arresting, trying, and imprisoning him, and finally ending by feeding him and the many others who have to watch and feed him. Surely even this example shows how much more sensible and simpler life would be under Anarchism than now.

The truth is, present life is impractical, complex and confused, and not satisfactory from any point of view. That is why there is so much misery and discontent. The worker is not satisfied; nor is the master happy in his constant anxiety over "bad times" involving loss of property and power. The spectre of fear for to-morrow dogs the steps of poor and rich alike.

Certainly the worker has nothing to lose by a change from government and capitalism to a condition of no government, of Anarchy.

The middle classes are almost as uncertain of their existence as the workers. They are dependent upon the good will of the manufacturer and wholesaler, of the large combines of industry and capital, and they are always in danger of bankruptcy and ruin.

Even the big capitalist has little to lose by the changing of the present-day system to one of Anarchy, for under the latter every one would be assured of living and comfort; the fear of competition would be eliminated with the abolition of private ownership. Every one would have full and unhindered opportunity to live and enjoy his life to the utmost of his capacity.

Add to this the consciousness of peace and harmony; the feeling that comes with freedom from financial or material worries; the realization that you are in a friendly world with no envy or business rivalry to disturb your mind; in a world of brothers, in an atmosphere of liberty and general welfare.

It is almost impossible to conceive of the wonderful opportunities which would open up to man in a society of Communist Anarchism. The scientist could fully devote himself to his beloved pursuits, without being harassed about his daily bread. The inventor would find every facility at his disposal to benefit humanity by his discoveries and inventions. The writer, the poet, the artist-all would rise on the wings of liberty and social harmony to greater heights of attainment.

Only then would justice and right come into their own. Do not underestimate the role of these sentiments in the life of man or nation. We do not live by bread alone. True, existence is not possible without opportunity to satisfy our physical needs. But the gratification of these by no means constitutes all of life. Our present system of civilization has, by disinheriting millions, made the belly the center of the universe, so to speak. But in a sensible society, with plenty for all, the matter of mere existence, the security of a livelihood would be considered self-evident and free as the air is for all. The feelings of human sympathy, of justice and right would have a chance to develop, to be satisfied, to broaden and grow. Even to-day the sense of justice and fair play is still alive in the heart of man, in spite of centuries of repression and perversion. It has not been exterminated, it cannot be exterminated because it is inborn, innate in man, an instinct as strong as that of self-preservation, and just as vital to our happiness. For not all the misery we have in the world to-day comes from the lack of material welfare. Man can better stand starvation than the consciousness of injustice. The consciousness that you are treated unjustly will rouse you to protest and rebellion just as quickly as hunger, perhaps even quicker. Hunger may be the immediate cause of every rebellion or uprising, but beneath it is the slumbering antagonism and hatred of the masses against those at whose hands they are suffering injustice and wrong. The truth is that right and justice play a far more important role in our lives than most people are aware of. Those who would deny this know as little of human nature as of history. In every-day life you constantly see people grow indignant at what they consider to be an injustice. "That isn't right," is the instinctive protest of man when he feels wrong done. Of course, every one's conception of wrong and right depends on his traditions, environment and bringing up. But whatever his conception, his natural impulse is to resent what he thinks wrong and unjust.

Historically the same holds true. More rebellions and wars have been fought for ideas of right and wrong than because of material reasons. Marxists may object that our views of right and wrong are themselves formed by economic conditions, but that in no way alters the fact that the sense of justice and right has at all times inspired people to heroism and self-sacrifice in behalf of ideals.

The Christs and the Buddhas of all ages were not prompted by material considerations but by their devotion to justice and right. The pioneers in every human endeavor have suffered calumny, persecution, even death, not for motives of personal aggrandizement but because of their faith in the justice of their cause. The John Husses, the Luthers, Brunos, Savonarolas, Gallileos and numerous other religious and social idealists fought and died championing the cause of right as they saw it. Similarly in paths of science, philosophy, art, poetry, and education men from the time of Socrates to modern days have devoted their lives to the service of truth and justice. In the field of political and social advancement, beginning with Moses and Spartacus, the noblest of humanity have consecrated themselves to ideals of liberty and equality. Nor is this compelling power of idealism limited only to exceptional individuals. The masses have always been inspired by it. The American War of Independence, for instance, began with popular resentment in the Colonies against the injustice of taxation without representation. The Crusades continued for two hundred years in an effort to secure the Holy Land for the Christians. This religious ideal inspired six millions of men, even armies of children, to face untold hardships, pestilence, and death in the name of right and justice. Even the late World War, capitalistic as it was in cause and result, was fought by millions of men in the fond belief that it was being waged for a just cause, for democracy and the termination of all wars.

So all through history, past and modern, the sense of right and justice has inspired man, individually and collectively, to deeds of self-sacrifice and devotion, and raised him far above the mean drabness of his every-day existence. It is tragic, of course, that this idealism expressed itself in acts of persecution, violence, and slaughter. It was the viciousness and self-seeking of king, priest, and master, ignorance and fanaticism which determined those forms. But the spirit that filled them was that of right and justice. All past experience proves that this spirit is ever alive and that it is a powerful and dominant factor in the whole scale of human life.

The conditions of our present-day existence weaken and vitiate this noblest trait of man, pervert its manifestation, and turn it into channels of intolerance, persecution, hatred, and strife. But once man is freed from the corrupting influences of material interests, lifted out of ignorance and class antagonism, his innate spirit of right and justice would find new forms of expression, forms that would tend toward greater brotherhood and good will, toward individual peace and social harmony.

Only under Anarchy could this spirit come into its full development. Liberated from the degrading and brutalizing struggle for our daily bread, all sharing in labour and well-being, the best qualities of man's heart and mind would have opportunity for growth and beneficial application. Man would indeed become the noble work of nature that he has till now visioned himself only in his dreams.

It is for these reasons that Anarchy is the ideal not only of some particular element or class, but of all humanity, because it would benefit, in the largest sense, all of us. For Anarchism is the formulation of a universal and perennial desire of mankind.

Every man and woman, therefore, should be vitally interested in helping to bring Anarchy about. They would surely do so if they but understood the beauty and justice of such a new life. Every human being who is not devoid of feeling and common sense is inclined to Anarchism. Every one who suffers from wrong and injustice, from the evil, corruption, and filth of our present-day life, is instinctively sympathetic to Anarchy. Every one whose heart is not dead to kindness, compassion, and fellow-sympathy must be interested in furthering it. Every one who has to endure poverty and misery, tyranny and oppression should welcome the coming of Anarchy. Every liberty and justice-loving man and woman should help realize it.

And foremost and most vitally of all the subjected and submerged of the world must be interested in it. Those who build palaces and live in travels; who set the cable of life but are not permitted to partake of the repast; who create the wealth of the world and are disinherited; who fill life with joy and sunshine, and themselves remain scorned in the depths of darkness; the Samson of life shorn of his strength by the hand of fear and ignorance; the helpless Giant of labour, the prôletariat of brain and brawn, the industrial and agrarian masses-these should most gladly embrace Anarchy.

It is to them that Anarchism makes the strongest appeal; it is they who, first and foremost, must work for the new day that is to give them back their inheritance and bring liberty and well-being, joy and sunshine to the whole of mankind.

"A splendid thing," you remark; "but will it work? And how shall we attain it?"
Chapter 5.
Will Communist Anarchism Work?

As we have seen in the preceding chapter, no life can be free and secure, harmonious and satisfactory unless it is built on principles of justice and fair play. The first requirement of justice is equal liberty and opportunity.

Under government and exploitation there can be neither equal liberty nor equal opportunity - hence all the evils and troubles of present-day society.

Communist Anarchism is based on the understanding of this incontrovertible truth. It is founded an the principle of non-invasiveness and non-coercion; in other words, on liberty and opportunity.

Life on such a basis fully satisfies the demands of justice. You are to be entirely free, and everybody else is to enjoy equal liberty, which means that no one has a right to compel or force another, for coercion of any kind is interference with your liberty.

Similarly equal opportunity is the heritage of all. Monopoly and the private ownership of the means of existence are therefore eliminated as an abridgement of the equal opportunity of all.

If we keep in mind this simple principle of equal liberty and opportunity, we shall be able to solve the questions involved in building a society of Communist Anarchism.

Politically, then, man will recognize no authority which can force or coerce him. Government will be abolished.

Economically he will permit no exclusive possession of the sources of life in order to preserve his opportunity of free access.

Monopoly of land, private ownership of the machinery of production, distribution, and communication can therefore not be tolerated under Anarchy. Opportunity to use what every one needs in order to live must be free to all.

In a nutshell, then, the meaning of Communist Anarchism is this: the abolition of government, of coercive authority and all its agencies, and joint ownership - which means free and equal participation in the general work and welfare.

"You said that Anarchy will secure economic equality," remarks your friend. "Does that mean equal pay for all?"

It does. Or, what amounts to the same, equal participation in the public welfare. Because, as we already know, labour is social. No man can create anything all by himself, by his own efforts. Now, then, if labour is social, it stands to reason that the results of it, the wealth produced, must also be social, belong to the collectivity. No person can therefore justly lay claim to the exclusive ownership of the social wealth. It is to be enjoyed by all alike.

"But why not give each according to the value of his work?" you ask.

Because there is no way by which value can be measured. That is the difference between value and price. Value is what a thing is worth, while price is what it can be sold or bought for in the market. What a thing is worth no one really can tell. Political economists generally claim that the value of a commodity is the amount of labour required to produce it, of "socially necessary labour," as Marx says. But evidently it is not a just standard of measurement. Suppose the carpenter worked three hours to make a kitchen chair, while the surgeon took only half an hour to perform an operation that saved your life. If the amount of labour used determines value, then the chair is worth more than your life. Obvious nonsense, of course. Even if you should count in the years of study and practice the surgeon needed to make him capable of performing the operation, how are you going to decide what "an hour of operating" is worth? The carpenter and mason also had to be trained before they could do their work properly, but you don't figure in those years of apprenticeship when you contract for some work with them. Besides, there is also to be considered the particular ability and aptitude that every worker, writer, artist or physician must exercise in his labours. That is a purely individual, personal factor. How are you going to estimate its value?

That is why value cannot be determined. The same thing may be worth a lot to one person while it is worth nothing or very little to another. It may be worth much or little even to the same person, at different times. A diamond, a painting, or a book may be worth a great deal to one man and very little to another. A loaf of bread will be worth a great deal to you when you are hungry, and much less when you are not. Therefore the real value of a thing cannot be ascertained; it is an unknown quantity.

But the price is easily found out. If there are five loaves of bread to be had and ten persons want to get a loaf each, the price of bread will rise. If there are ten loaves and only five buyers, then it will fall. Price depends on supply and demand.

The exchange of commodities by means of prices leads to profit making, to taking advantage and exploitation; in short, to some form of capitalism. If you do away with profits, you cannot have any price system, nor any system of wages or payment. That means that exchange must be according to value. But as value is uncertain or not ascertainable, exchange must consequently be free, without "equal" value, since such does not exist. In other words, labour and its products must be exchanged without price, without profit, freely, according to necessity. This logically leads to ownership in common and to joint use. Which is a sensible, just, and equitable system, and is known as Communism.

"But is it just that all should share alike?" you demand. "The man of brains and the dullard, the efficient and the inefficient, all the same? Should there be no distinction, no special recognition for those of ability?"

Let me in turn ask you, my friend, shall we punish the man whom nature has not endowed as generously as his stronger or more talented neighbor? Shall we add injustice to the handicap nature has put upon him? All we can reasonably expect from any man is that he do his best - can any one do more? And if John's best is not as good as his brother Jim's, it is his misfortune, but in no case a fault to be punished.

There is nothing more dangerous than discrimination. The moment you begin discriminating against the less capable, you establish conditions that breed dissatisfaction and resentment: you invite envy, discord, and strife. You would think it brutal to withhold from the less capable the air or water they need. Should not the same principle apply to the other wants of man? After all, the matter of food, clothing, and shelter is the smallest item in the world's economy.

The surest way to get one to do his best is not by discriminating against him, but by treating him on an equal footing with others. That is the most effective encouragement and stimulus. It is just and human.

"But what will you do with the lazy man, the man who does not want to work?" inquires your friend.

That is an interesting question, and you will probably be very much surprised when I say that there is really no such thing as laziness. What we call a lazy man is generally a square man in a round hole. That is, the right man in the wrong place. And you will always find that when a fellow is in the wrong place, he will be inefficient or shiftless. For so-called laziness and a good deal of inefficiency are merely unfitness, misplacement. If you are compelled to do the thing you are unfitted for by your inclinations or temperament, you will be inefficient at it; if you are forced to do work you are not interested in, you will be lazy at it.

Every one who has managed affairs in which large numbers of men were employed can substantiate this. Life in prison is a particularly convincing proof of the truth of it and, after all, present-day existence for most people is but that of a larger jail. Every prison warden will tell you that inmates put to tasks for which they have no ability or interest are always lazy and subject to continuous punishment. But as soon as these "refractory convicts" are assigned to work that appeals to their leanings, they become "model men," as the jailers term them.

Russia has also signally demonstrated the verity of it. It has shown how little we know of human potentialities and of the effect of environment upon them - how we mistake wrong conditions for bad conduct. Russian refugees, leading a miserable and insignificant life in foreign lands, on returning home and finding in the Revolution a proper field for their activities, have accomplished most wonderful work in their right sphere, have developed into brilliant organizers, builders of railroads and creators of industry. Among the Russian names best known abroad to-day are those of men considered shiftless and inefficient under conditions where their ability and energies could not find proper application.

That is human nature: efficiency in a certain direction means inclination and capability for it; industry and application signify interest. That is why there is so much inefficiency and laziness in the world to-day. For who indeed is nowadays in his right place? Who works at what he really likes and is interested in?

Under present conditions there is little choice given the average man to devote himself to the tasks that appeal to his leanings and preferences. The accident of your birth and social station generally predetermines your trade or profession. The son of the financier does not, as a rule, become a woodchopper, though he may be more fit to handle logs than bank accounts. The middle classes send their children to colleges which turn them into doctors, lawyers, or engineers. But if your parents were workers who could not afford to let you study, the chances are that you will take any job which is offered you, or enter some trade that happens to afford you an apprenticeship. Your particular situation will decide your work or profession, not your natural preferences, inclinations, or abilities. Is it any wonder, then, that most people, the overwhelming majority, in fact, are misplaced? Ask the first hundred men you meet whether they would have selected the work they are doing, or whether they would continue in it, if they were free to choose, and ninety-nine of them will admit that they would prefer some other occupation. Necessity and material advantages, or the hope of them, keep most people in the wrong place.

It stands to reason that a person can give the best of himself only when his interest is in his work, when he feels a natural attraction to it, when he likes it. Then he will be industrious and efficient. The things the craftsman produced in the days before modern capitalism were objects of joy and beauty, because the artisan loved his work. Can you expect the modern drudge in the ugly huge factory to make beautiful things? He is part of the machine, a cog in the soulless industry, his labour mechanical, forced. Add to this his feeling that he is not working for himself but for the benefit of some one else, and that he hates his job or at best has no interest in it except that it secures his weekly wage. The result is shirking, inefficiency, laziness.

The need of activity is one of the most fundamental urges of man. Watch the child and see how strong is his instinct for action, for movement, for doing something. Strong and continuous. It is the same with the healthy man. His energy and vitality demand expression. Permit him to do the work of his choice, the thing he loves, and his application will know neither weariness nor shirking. You can observe this in the factory worker when he is lucky enough to own a garden or a patch of ground to raise some flowers or vegetables on. Tired from his toil as he is, he enjoys the hardest labour for his own benefit, done from free choice.

Under Anarchism each will have the opportunity of following whatever occupation will appeal to his natural inclinations and aptitude. Work will become a pleasure instead of the deadening drudgery it is to-day. Laziness will be unknown, and the things created by interest and love will be objects of beauty and joy.

"But can labour ever become a pleasure?" you demand.

Labour is toil to-day, unpleasant, exhausting, and wearisome. But usually it is not the work itself that is so hard: it is the conditions under which you are compelled to labour that make it so. Particularly the long hours, unsanitary workshops, bad treatment, insufficient pay, and so on. Yet the most unpleasant work could be made lighter by improving the environment. Take gutter cleaning, for instance. It is dirty work and poorly paid for. But suppose, for example, that you should get 20 dollars a day instead of 5 dollars for such work. You will immediately find your job much lighter and pleasanter. The number of applicants for the work would increase at once. Which means that men are not lazy, not afraid of hard and unpleasant labour if it is properly rewarded. But such work is considered menial and is looked down upon. Why is it considered menial? Is it not most useful and absolutely necessary? Would not epidemics sweep our city but for the street and gutter cleaners? Surely, the men who keep our town clean and sanitary are real benefactors, more vital to our health and welfare than the family physician. From the viewpoint of social usefulness the street cleaner is the professional colleague of the doctor: the latter treats us when we are ill, but the former helps us keep well. Yet the physician is looked up to and respected, while the street cleaner is slighted. Why? Is it because the street cleaner's work is dirty? But the surgeon often has much "dirtier" jobs to perform. Then why is the street cleaner scorned? Because he earns little.

In our perverse civilization things are valued according to money standards. Persons doing the most useful work are lowest in the social scale when their employment is ill paid. Should something happen, however, that would cause the street cleaner to get 100 dollars a day, while the physician earns so, the "dirty" street cleaner would immediately rise in estimation and social station, and from the "filthy labourer" he would become the much-sought man of good income.

You see that it is pay, remuneration, the wage scale, not worth or merit, that to-day-under our system of profit determines the value of work as well as the "worth" of a man.

A sensible society - under Anarchist conditions - would have entirely different standards of judging such matters. People will then be appreciated according to their willingness to be socially useful.

Can you perceive what great changes such a new attitude would produce? Every one yearns for the respect and admiration of his fellow men; it is a tonic we cannot live without. Even in prison I have seen how the clever pickpocket or safe blower longs for the appreciation of his friends and how hard he tries to earn their good estimate of him. The opinions of our circle rule our behavior. The social atmosphere to a profound degree determines our values and our attitude. Your personal experience will tell you how true this is, and therefore you will not be surprised when I say that in an Anarchist society it will be the most useful and difficult toil that men will seek rather than the lighter job. If you consider this, you will have no more fear of laziness or shirking.

But the hardest and most onerous task could be made easier and cleaner than is the case to-day. The capitalist employer does not care to spend money, if he can help it, to make the toil of his employees pleasanter and brighter. He will introduce improvements only when he hopes to gain larger profits thereby, but he will not go to extra expense out of purely humanitarian reasons. Though here I must remind you that the more intelligent employers are beginning to see that it pays to improve their factories, make them more sanitary and hygienic, and generally better the conditions of labour. They realize it is a good investment: it results in the increased contentment and consequent greater efficiency of their workers. The principle is sound. To-day, of course, it is being exploited for the sole purpose of bigger profits. But under Anarchism it would be applied not for the sake of personal gain, but in the interest of the workers' health, for the lightening of labour. Our progress in mechanics is so great and continually advancing that most of the hard toil could be eliminated by the use of modern machinery and labour saving devices. In many industries, as in coal mining, for instance, new safety and sanitary appliances are not introduced because of the masters' indifference to the welfare of their employees and on account of the expenditure involved. But in a non-profit system technical science would work exclusively with the aim of making labour safer, healthier, lighter, and more pleasant.

"But however light you'll make work, eight hours a day of it is no pleasure," objects your friend.

You are perfectly right. But did you ever stop to consider why we have to work eight hours a day? Do you know that not so long ago people used to slave twelve and fourteen hours, and that it is still the case in backward countries like China and India?

It can be statistically proven that three hours' work a day, at most, is sufficient to feed, shelter, and clothe the world and supply it not only with necessities but also with all modern comforts of life. The point is that not one man in five is to-day doing any productive work. The entire world is supported by a small minority of toilers.

First of all, consider the amount of work done in present-day society that would become unnecessary under Anarchist conditions. Take the armies and navies of the world, anf think how many millions of men would be released for useful and productive effort once war is abolished, as would of course be the case under Anarchy.

In every country to-day labour supports the millions who contribute nothing to the welfare of the country, who create nothing, and perform no useful work whatever. Those millions are only consumers, without being producers. In the United States, for instance, out of a population of 120 millions there are less than 30 million workers, farmers included. A similar situation is the rule in every land.

Is it any wonder that labour has to toil long hours, since there are only 30 workers to every 120 persons? The large business classes with their clerks, assistants, agents, and commercial travelers; the courts with their judges, record keepers, bailiffs, etc.; the legion of attorneys with their staffs; the militia and police forces; the churches and monasteries; the charity institutions and poorhouses; the prisons with their wardens, officers, keepers, and the non-productive convict population; the army of advertisers and their helpers, whose business it is to persuade you to buy what you don't want or need, not to speak of the numerous elements that live luxuriously in entire idleness. All these mount into the millions in every country.

Now, if all those millions would apply themselves to useful labour, would the worker have to drudge eight hours a day? If 30 men have to put in eight hours to perform a certain task, how much less time would it 'take 120 men to accomplish the same thing? I don't want to burden you with statistics, but there are enough data to prove that less than 3 hours of daily physical effort would be sufficient to do the world's work.

Can you doubt that even the hardest toil would become a pleasure instead of the cursed slavery it is at present, if only three hours a day were required, and that under the most sanitary and hygienic conditions, in an atmosphere of brotherhood and respect for labour?

But it is not difficult to foresee the day when even those short hours would be still further reduced. For we are constantly improving our technical methods, and new labour saving machinery is being invented all the time. Mechanical progress means less work and greater comforts, as you can see by comparing life in the United States with that in China or India. In the latter countries they toil long hours to secure the barest necessities of existence, while in America even the average labourer enjoys a much higher standard of living with fewer hours of work. The advance of science and invention signifies more leisure for the pursuits we love.

I have sketched in large, broad outline the possibilities under a sensible system where profit is abolished. It is not necessary to go into the minute details of such a social condition: sufficient has been said to show that Communist Anarchism means the greatest material welfare with a life of liberty for each and all.

We can visualize the time when labour will have become a pleasant exercise, a joyous application of physical effort to the needs of the world. Man will then look back at our present day and wonder that work could ever have been slavery, and question the sanity of a generation that suffered less than one fifth of its population to earn the bread for the rest by the sweat of their brow while those others idled and wasted their time, their health, and the people's wealth. They will wonder that the freest satisfaction of man's needs could have ever been considered as anything but self-evident, or that people naturally seeking the same objects insisted on making life hard and miserable by mutual strife. They will refuse to believe that the whole existence of man was a continuous struggle for food in a world rich with luxuries, a struggle that left the great majority neither time nor strength for the higher quest of the heart and mind.

"But will not life under Anarchy, in economic and social equality mean general leveling?" you ask.

No, my friend, quite the contrary. Because equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity. It does not mean, for instance, that if Smith needs five meals a day, Johnson also must have as many. If Johnson wants only three meals while Smith requires five, the quantity each consumes may be unequal, but both men are perfectly equal in the opportunity each has to consume as much as he needs, as much as his particular nature demands.

Do not make the mistake of identifying equality in liberty with the forced equality of the convict camp. True Anarchist equality implies freedom, not quantity. It does not mean that every one must eat, drink, or wear the same things, do the same work, or live in the same manner. Far from it; the very reverse, in fact.

Individual needs and tastes differ, as appetites differ. It is equal opportunity to satisfy them that constitutes true equality.

Far from leveling, such equality opens the door for the greatest possible variety of activity and development. For human character is diverse, and only the repression of this diversity results in leveling, in uniformity and sameness. Free opportunity of expressing and acting out your individuality means development of natural dissimilarities and variations.

It is said that no two blades of grass are alike. Much less so are human beings. In the whole wide world no two persons are exactly similar even in physical appearance; still more dissimilar are they in their physiological, mental, and psychical make-up. Yet in spite of this diversity and of a thousand and one differentiations of character we compel people to be alike to-day. Our life and habits, our behavior and manners, even our thoughts and feelings are pressed into a uniform mold and fashioned into sameness. The spirit of authority, law, written and unwritten, tradition and custom force us into a common groove and make of man a will-less automaton without independence or individuality. This moral and intellectual bondage is more compelling than any physical coercion, more devastating to our manhood and development. All of us are its victims, and only the exceptionally strong succeed in breaking its chains, and that only partly.

The authority of the past and of the present dictates not only our behavior but dominates our very minds and souls, and is continuously at work to stifle every symptom of nonconformity, of independent attitude and unorthodox opinion. The whole weight of social condemnation comes down upon the head of the man or woman who dares defy conventional codes. Ruthless vengeance is wreaked upon the protestant who refuses to follow the beaten track, or upon the heretic who disbelieves in the accepted formulas. In science and art, in literature, poetry, and painting this spirit compels adaptation and adjustment, resulting in imitation of the established and approved, in uniformity and sameness, in stereotyped expression. But more terribly still is punished nonconformity in actual life, in our every-day relationships and behavior. The painter and writer may occasionally be forgiven for defiance of custom and precedent because, after all, their rebellion is limited to paper or canvas: it affects only a comparatively small circle. They may be disregarded or labeled cranks who can do little harm, but not so with the man of action who carries his challenge of accepted standards into social life. Not harmless he. He is dangerous by the power of example, by his very presence. His infraction of social canons can be neither ignored nor forgiven. He will be denounced as an enemy of society.

It is for this reason that revolutionary feeling or thought expressed in exotic poetry or masked in high-brow philosophic dissertations may be condoned, may pass the official and unofficial censor, because it is neither accessible to nor understood by the public at large. But give voice to the same dissenting attitude in a popular manner, and immediately you will face the frothing denunciation of all the forces that stand for the preservation of the establishes.

More vicious and deadening is compulsory compliance than the most virulent poison. Throughout the ages it has been the greatest impediment to man's advance, hedging him in with a thousand prohibitions and taboos, weighting his mind and heart down with outlived canons and codes, thwarting his will with imperatives of thought and feeling, with "thou shalt" and "thou shalt not" of behavior and action. Life, the art of living, has become a dull formula, flat and inert.

Yet so strong is the innate diversity of man's nature that centuries of this stultification have not succeeded in entirely eradicating his originality and uniqueness. True, the great majority have fallen into ruts so deepened by countless feet that they cannot get back to the broad spaces. But some do break away from the beaten track and find the open road where new vistas of beauty and inspiration beckon to heart and spirit. These the world condemns, but little by little it follows their example and lead, and finally it comes up abreast of them. In the meantime those pathfinders have gone much further or tied, and then we build monuments to them and glorify the men we have vilified and crucified as we go on crucifying their brothers in spirit, the pioneers of our own day.

Beneath this spirit of intolerance and persecution is the habit of authority: coercion to conform to dominant standards, compulsion -moral and legal - to be and act as others, according to precedent and rule.

But the general view that conformity is a natural trait is entirely false. On the contrary, given the least chance, unimpeded by the mental habits instilled from the very cradle, man evidences uniqueness and originality. Observe children, for instance, and you will see most varied differentiation in manner and attitude, in mental and psychic expression. You will discover an instinctive tendency to individuality and independence, to non-conformity, manifested in open and secret defiance of the will imposed from the outside, in rebellion against the authority of parent and teacher. The whole training and "education" of the child is a continuous process of stifling and crushing this tendency, the eradication of his distinctive characteristics, of his unlikeness to others, of his personality and originality. Yet even in spite of yearlong repression, suppression, and molding, some originality persists in the child when it reaches maturity, which shows how deep are the springs of individuality. Take any two persons, for example, who have witnessed some tragedy, a big fire, let us say, at the same time and place. Each will tell the story in a different manner, each will be original in his way of relating it and in the impression he will produce, because of his naturally different psychology. But talk to the same two persons on some fundamental social matter, about life and government, for instance, and immediately you hear expressed an exactly similar attitude, the accepted view, the dominant mentality.

Why? Because where man is left free to think and feel for himself, unhindered by precept and rule, and not restrained by the fear of being "different" and unorthodox, with the unpleasant consequences it involves, he will be independent and free. But the moment the conversation touches matters within the sphere of our social imperatives, one is in the clutches of the taboos and becomes a copy and a parrot.

Life in freedom, in Anarchy, will do more than liberate man merely from his present political and economic bondage. That will be only the first step, the preliminary to a truly human existence. Far greater and more significant will be the results of such liberty, its effects upon man's mind, upon his personality. The abolition of the coercive external will, and with it of the fear of authority, will loosen the bonds of moral compulsion no less than of economic and physical. Man's spirit will breathe freely, and that mental emancipation will be the birth of a new culture, of a new humanity. Imperatives and taboos will disappear, and man will begin to be himself, to develop and express his individual tendencies and uniqueness. Instead of "thou shalt not," the public conscience will say "thou mayest, taking full responsibility." That will be a training in human dignity and self-reliance, beginning at home and in school, which will produce a new race with a new attitude to life.

The man of the coming day will see and feel existence on an entirely different plane. Living to him will be an art and a joy. He will cease to consider it as a race where every one must try to become as good a runner as the fastest. He will regard leisure as more important than work, and work will fall into its proper, subordinate place as the means to leisure, to the enjoyment of life.

Life will mean the striving for finer cultural values, the penetration of nature's mysteries, the attainment of higher truth. Free to exercise the limitless possibilities of his mind, to pursue his love of knowledge, to apply his inventive genius, to create, and to soar on the wings of imagination, man will reach his full stature and become man indeed. He will grow and develop according to his nature. He will scorn uniformity, and human diversity will give him increased interest in, and a more satisfying sense of, the richness of being. Life to him will not consist in functioning but in living, and he will attain the greatest kind of freedom man is capable of, freedom in joy.

"That day lies far in the future," you say; "how shall we bring it about?"

Far in the future, maybe; yet perhaps not so far-one cannot tell. At any rate we should always hold our ultimate object in view if we are to remain on the right road. The change I have described will not come over night; nothing ever does. It will be a gradual development, as everything in nature and social life is. But a logical, necessary, and, I dare say, an inevitable development. Inevitable, because the whole trend of man's growth has been in that direction; even if in zigzags, often losing its way, yet always returning to the right path.

How, then, might it be brought about?
Chapter 6.
Non-Communist Anarchists

Before we proceed let me make a short explanation. I owe it to those Anarchists who are not Communists.

Because you should know that not all Anarchists are Communists: not all of them believe that Communism - social ownership and sharing according to need - would be the best and justest economic arrangement.

I have first explained to you Communist Anarchism because it is, in my estimation, the most desirable and practical form of society. The Communist Anarchists hold that only under Communist conditions could Anarchy prosper, and equal liberty, justice, and well-being be assured to every one without discrimination.

But there are Anarchists who do not believe in Communism. They can be generally classed as Individualists and Mutualists.

All Anarchists agree on this fundamental position: that government means injustice and oppression, that it is invasive, enslaving, and the greatest hindrance to man's development and growth. They all believe that freedom can exist only in a society where there is no compulsion of any kind. All Anarchists are therefore at one on the basic principle of abolishing government.

They disagree mostly on the following points:

First: the manner in which Anarchy will come about. The Communist Anarchists say that only a social revolution can abolish government and establish Anarchy, while Individualist Anarchists and Mutualists do not believe in revolution. They think that present society will gradually develop out of government into a non-governmental condition.

Second: Individualist Anarchists and Mutualists believe in individual ownership, as against the Communist Anarchists who see in the institution of private property one of the main sources of injustice and inequality, of poverty and misery. The Individualists and Mutualists maintain that liberty means "the right of every one. to the product of his toil"; which is true, of course. Liberty does mean that. But the question is not whether one has a right to his product, but whether there is such a thing as an individual product. I have pointed out in preceding chapters that there is no such thing in modern industry: all labour and the products of labour are social. The argument, therefore, about the right of the individual to his product has no practical merit.

I have also shown that exchange of products or commodities cannot be individual or private, unless the profit system is employed. Since the value of a commodity cannot be adequately determined, no barter is equitable. This fact leads, in my opinion, to social ownership and use; that is, to Communism, as the most practicable and just economic system.

But, as stated, Individualist Anarchists and Mutualists disagree with the Communist Anarchists on this point. They assert that the source of economic inequality is monopoly, and they argue that monopoly will disappear with the abolition of government, because it is special privilege given and protected by government-which makes monopoly possible. Free competition, they claim, would do away with monopoly and its evils.

Individualist Anarchists, followers of Stirner and Tucker, as well as Tolstoyan Anarchists who believe in nonresistance, have no very clear plan of the economic life under Anarchy. The Mutualists, on the other hand, propose a definite new economic system. They believe with their teacher, the French philosopher Proudhon, that mutual banking and credit without interest would be the best economic form of a non-government society. According to their theory, free credit, affording every one opportunity to borrow money without interest, would tend to equalize incomes and reduce profits to a minimum, and would thus eliminate riches as well as poverty. Free credit and competition in the open market, they say, would result in economic equality, while the abolition of government would secure equal freedom. The social life of the Mutualist community, as well as of the Individualist society, would be based on the sanctity of voluntary agreement, of free contract.

I have given here but the briefest outline of the attitude of Individualist Anarchists and Mutualists. It is not the purpose of this work to treat in detail those Anarchist ideas which the author thinks erroneous and impractical. Being a Communist Anarchist I am interested in submitting to the reader the views that I consider best and soundest. I thought it fair, however, not to leave you in ignorance about the existence of other, non-Communist Anarchist theories. For a closer acquaintance with them I refer you to the appended list of books on Anarchism in general.
Chapter 7.
Why Revolution?

Let us return to your question, "How will Anarchy come? Can we help bring it about?"

This is a most important point, because in every problem there are two vital things: first, to know clearly just what you want; second, how to attain it.

We already know what we want. We want social conditions wherein all will be free and where each shall have the fullest opportunity to satisfy his needs and aspirations, on the basis of equal liberty for all. In other words, we are striving for the free cooperative commonwealth of Communist Anarchism.

How will it come about?

We are not prophets, and no one can tell just how a thing will happen. But the world does not exist since yesterday; and man, as a reasonable being, must benefit by the experience of the past.

Now, what is that experience? If you glance over history you will see that the whole life of man has been a struggle for existence. In his primitive state man fought single-handed the wild beasts of the forest, and helplessly he faced hunger, cold, darkness, and storm. Because of his ignorance all the forces of nature were his enemies: they worked evil and destruction to him, and he, alone, was powerless to combat them. But little by little man learned to come together with others of his kind; together they sought safety and security. By joint effort they presently began to turn the energies of nature to their service. Mutual help and cooperation gradually multiplied man's strength and ability till he has succeeded in conquering nature, in applying her forces to his use, in chaining the lightning, bridging oceans, and mastering even the air.

Similarly the primitive man's ignorance and fear made life a continuous struggle of man against man, of family against family, of tribe against tribe, until men realized that by getting together, by joint effort and mutual aid, they could accomplish more than by strife and enmity. Modern science shows that even animals had learned that much in the struggle for existence. Certain kinds survived because they quit fighting each other and lived in herds, and in that way were better able to protect themselves against other beasts. In proportion as men substituted joint effort and cooperation in place of mutual struggle, they advanced, grew out of barbarism, and became civilized. Families which had formerly fought each other to the death combined and formed one common group; groups joined and became tribes, and tribes federated into nations. The nations still stupidly keep on fighting each other, but gradually they are also learning the same lesson, and now they are beginning to look for a way to stop the international slaughter known as war.

Unfortunately in our social life we are yet in a condition of barbarism, destructive and fratricidal: group still combats group, class fights against class. But here also men are beginning to see that it is a senseless and ruinous warfare, that the world is big and rich enough to be enjoyed by all, like the sunshine, and that a united mankind would accomplish more than one divided against itself.

What is called progress is just the realization of this, a step in that direction.

The whole advance of man consists in the striving for greater safety and peace, for more security and welfare. Man's natural impulse is toward mutual help and joint effort, his most instinctive longing is for liberty and joy. These tendencies seek to express and assert themselves in spite of all obstacles and difficulties. The lesson of the entire history of man is that neither hostile natural forces nor human opposition can hold back his onward march. If I were asked to define civilization in a single phrase I should say that it is the triumph of man over the powers of darkness, natural and human. The inimical forces of nature we have conquered, but we still have to fight the dark powers of men.

History fails to show a single important social improvement made without meeting the opposition of the dominant powers -- the church, government, and capital. Not a step forward but was achieved by breaking down the resistance of the masters. Every advance has cost a bitter struggle. It took many long fights to destroy slavery; it required revolts and uprisings to secure the most fundamental rights for the people; it necessitated rebellions and revolutions to abolish feudalism and serfdom. It needed civil warfare to do away with the absolute power of kings and establish democracies, to conquer more freedom and well-being for the masses. There is not a country on earth, not an epoch in history, where any great social evil was eliminated without a bitter struggle with the powers that be. In recent days it again took revolutions to get rid of Tsardom in Russia, of the Kaiser in Germany, the Sultan in Turkey, the monarchy in China, and so on, in various lands.

There is no record of any government or authority, of any group or class in power having given up its mastery voluntarily. In every instance it required the use of force, or at least the threat of it.

Is it reasonable to assume that authority and wealth will experience a sudden change of heart, and that they will behave differently in the future than they had in the past?

Your common sense will tell you that it is a vain and foolish hope. Government and capital will fight to retain power. They do it even to-day at the least menace to their privileges. They will fight to the death for their existence.

That is why it is no prophecy to foresee that some day it must come to a decisive struggle between the masters of life and the dispossessed classes.

As a matter of fact, that struggle is going on all the time.

There is a continuous warfare between capital and labour. That warfare generally proceeds within so-called legal forms But even these erupt now and then in violence, as during strikes and lockouts, because the armed fist of government is always at the service of the masters, and that fist gets into action the moment capital feels its profits threatened: then it drops the mask of "mutual interests" and "partnership" with labour and resorts to the final argument of every master, to coercion and force.

It is therefore certain that government and capital will not allow themselves to be quietly abolished if they can help it; nor will they miraculously "disappear" of themselves, as some people pretend to believe. It will require a revolution to get rid of them.

There are those who smile incredulously at the mention of revolution. "Impossible!" they say confidently. So did Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette of France think only a few weeks before they lost their throne together with their heads. So did the nobility at the court of Tsar Nicholas II believe on the very eve of the upheaval that swept them away. "It doesn't look like revolution," the superficial observer argues. But revolutions have a way of breaking out when it "doesn't look like it." The more far-seeing modern capitalists, however, do not seem willing to take any chances. They know that uprisings and revolutions are possible at any time. That is why the great corporations and big employers of labour, particularly in America, are beginning to introduce new methods calculated to serve as lightning rods against popular disaffection and revolt. They initiate bonuses for their employees, profit sharing, and similar methods designed to make the worker more satisfied and financially interested in the prosperity of his industry. These means may temporarily blind the proletarian to his true interests, but do not believe that the worker will forever remain content with his wage slavery even if his cage be slightly gilded from time to time. Improving material conditions is no insurance against revolution. On the contrary, the satisfaction of our wants creates new needs, gives birth to new desires and aspirations. That is human nature, and that's what makes improvement and progress possible. Labour's discontent is not to be choked down with an extra piece of bread, even if it be buttered. That is why there is more conscious and active revolt in the industrial centers of better-situated Europe than in backward Asia and Africa. The spirit of man forever yearns for greater comfort and freedom, and it is the masses who are the truest bearers of this incentive to further advancement. The hope of modern plutocracy to forestall revolution by throwing a fatter bone to the toiler now and then is illusory and baseless. The new policies of capital may seem to appease labour for a while, but its onward march cannot be stopped by such makeshifts. The abolition of capitalism is inevitable, in spite of all schemes and resistance, and it will be accomplished only by revolution.

A revolution is similar to the struggle of man against nature. Single-handed he is powerless and cannot succeed; by the aid of his fellow-men he triumphs over all obstacles.

Can the individual worker accomplish anything against the big corporation? Can a small labour union compel the large employer to grant its demands? The capitalist class is organized in its fight against labour. It stands to reason that a revolution can be fought successfully only when the workers are united, when they are organized throughout the land; when the proletariat of all countries will make a joint effort, for capital is international and the masters always combine against labour in every big issue. That is why, for instance, the plutocracy of the whole world turned against the Russian Revolution. As long as the people of Russia meant only to abolish the Tsar, international capital did not interfere: it did not care what political form Russia would have, as long as the government would be bourgeois and capitalistic. But as soon as the Revolution attempted to do away with the system of capitalism, the governments and the bourgeoisie of every land combined to crush it. They saw in it a menace to the continuance of their own mastery.

Keep that well in mind, my friend. Because there are revolutions and revolutions. Some revolutions change only the governmental form by putting in a new set of rulers in place of the old. These are political revolutions, and as such they often meet with little resistance. But a revolution that aims to abolish the entire system of wage slavery must also do away with the power of one class to oppress another. That is, it is not any more a mere change of rulers, of government, not a political revolution, but one that seeks to alter the whole character of society. That would be a social revolution. As such it would have to fight not only government and capitalism, but it would also meet with the opposition of popular ignorance and prejudice, of those who believe in government and capitalism.

How is it then to come about?
Chapter 8.
The Idea Is The Thing

Did you ever ask yourself how it happens that government and capitalism continue to exist in spite of all the evil and trouble they are causing in the world?

If you did, then your answer must have been that it is because the people support those institutions, and that they support them because they believe in them.

That is the crux of the whole matter: present-day society rests on the belief of the people that it is good and useful. It is founded on the idea of authority and private ownership. It is ideas that maintain conditions. Government and capitalism are the forms in which the popular ideas express themselves. Ideas are the foundation; the institutions are the house built upon it.

A new social structure must have a new foundation, new ideas at its base. However you may change the form of an institution, its character and meaning will remain the same as the foundation on which it is built. Look closely at life and you will perceive the truth of this. There are all kinds and forms of government in the world, but their real nature is the same everywhere, as their effects are the same: it always means authority and obedience.

Now, what makes governments exist? The armies and navies? Yes, but only apparently so. What supports the armies and navies? It is the belief of the people, of the masses, that government is necessary; it is the generally accepted idea of the need of government. That is its real and solid foundation. Take that idea or belief away, and no government could last another day.

The same applies to private ownership. The idea that it is right and necessary is the pillar that supports it and gives it security.

Not a single institution exists to-day but is founded on the popular belief that it is good and beneficial.

Let us take an illustration; the United States, for instance. Ask yourself why revolutionary propaganda has been of so little effect in that country in spite of fifty years of Socialist and Anarchist effort. Is the American worker not exploited more intensely than labour in other countries? Is political corruption as rampant in any other land? Is the capitalist class in America not the most arbitrary and despotic in the world? True, the worker in the United States is better situated materially than in Europe, but is he not at the same time treated with the utmost brutality and terrorism the moment he shows the least dissatisfaction? Yet the American worker remains loyal to the government and is the first to defend it against criticism. He is still the most devoted champion of the "grand and noble institutions of the greatest country on earth." Why? Because he believes that they are his institutions, that he, as sovereign and free citizen, is running them and that he could change them if he so wished. It is his faith in the existing order that constitutes its greatest security against revolution. His faith is stupid and unjustified, and some day it will break down and with it American capitalism and despotism. But as long as that faith persists, American plutocracy is safe against revolution.

As men's minds broaden and develop, as they advance to new ideas and lose faith in their former beliefs, institutions begin to change and are ultimately done away with. The people grow to understand that their former views were false, that they were not truth but prejudice and superstition.

In this way many ideas, once held to be true, have come to be regarded as wrong and evil. Thus the ideas of the divine right of kings, of slavery and serfdom. There was a time when the whole world believed those institutions to be right, just, and unchangeable. In the measure that those superstitions and false beliefs were fought by advanced thinkers, they became discredited and lost their hold upon the people, and finally the institutions that incorporated those ideas were abolished. Highbrows will tell you that they had "outlived their usefulness" and that therefore they "died." But how did they "outlive" their "usefulness"? To whom were they useful, and how did they "die"?

We know already that they were useful only to the master class, and that they were done away with by popular uprisings and revolutions.

Why did not old and effete institutions "disappear" and die off in a peaceful manner?

For two reasons: first, because some people think faster than others. So that it happens that a minority in a given place advance in their views quicker than the rest. The more that minority will become imbued with the new ideas, the more convinced of their truth, and the stronger they will feel themselves, the sooner they will try to realize their ideas; and that is usually before the majority have come to see the new light. So that the minority have to struggle against the majority who still cling to the old views and conditions.

Second, the resistance of those who hold power. It makes no difference whether it is the church, the king, or kaiser, a democratic government or a dictatorship, a republic or an autocracy-those in authority will fight desperately to retain it as long as they can hope for the least chance of success. And the more aid they get from the slower-thinking majority the better the fight they can put up. Hence the fury of revolt and revolution.

The desperation of the masses, their hatred of those responsible for their misery, and the determination of the lords of life to hold on to their privileges and rule combine to produce the violence of popular uprisings and rebellions.

But blind rebellion without definite object and purpose is not revolution. Revolution is rebellion become conscious of its aims. Revolution is social when it strives for a fundamental change. As the foundation of life is economics, the social revolution means the reorganization of the industrial, economic life of the country and consequently also of the entire structure of society.

But we have seen that the social structure rests on the basis of ideas, which implies that changing the structure presupposes changed ideas. In other words, social ideas must change first before a new social structure can be built.

The social revolution, therefore, is not an accident, not a sudden happening. There is nothing sudden about it, for ideas don't change suddenly. They grow slowly, gradually, like the plant or flower. Hence the social revolution is a result, a development, which means that it is revolutionary. It develops to the point when considerable numbers of people have embraced the new ideas and are determined to put them into practice. When they attempt to do so and meet with opposition, then the slow, quiet, and peaceful social evolution becomes quick, militant, and violent. Evolution becomes revolution.

Bear in mind, then, that evolution and revolution are not two separate and different things. Still less are they opposites, as some people wrongly believe. Revolution is merely the boiling point of evolution.

Because revolution is evolution at its boiling point you cannot "make" a real revolution any more than you can hasten the boiling of a tea kettle. It is the fire underneath that makes it boil: how quickly it will come to the boiling point will depend on how strong the fire is.

The economic and political conditions of a country are the fire under the evolutionary pot. The worse the oppression, the greater the dissatisfaction of the people, the stronger the flame This explains why the fires of social revolution swept Russia, the most tyrannous and backward country, instead of America where industrial development has almost reached its highest point - and that in spite of all the learned demonstrations of Karl Marx to the contrary.

We see, then, that revolutions, though they cannot be made, can be hastened by certain factors; namely, by pressure from above: by more intense political and economical oppression; and by pressure from below: by greater enlightenment and agitation. These spread the ideas; they further evolution and thereby also the coming of revolution.

But pressure from above, though hastening revolution, may also cause its failure, because such revolution is apt to break out before the evolutionary process has been sufficiently advanced. Coming prematurely, as it were, it will fizzle out in mere rebellion; that is, without clear, conscious aim and purpose. At best, rebellion can secure only some temporary alleviation; the real causes of the strife, however, remain intact and continue to operate to the same effect, to cause further dissatisfaction and rebellion.

Summing up what I have said about revolution, we must come to the conclusion that:

1. a social revolution is one that entirely changes the foundation of society, its political, economic, and social character;
2. such a change must first take place in the ideas and opinions of the people, in the minds of men;
3. oppression and misery may hasten revolution, but may thereby also turn it into failure, because lack of evolutionary preparation will make real accomplishment impossible;
4. only that revolution can be fundamental, social, and successful which will be the expression of a basic change of ideas and opinions.

From this it obviously follows that the social revolution must be prepared. Prepared in the sense of furthering the evolutionary process, of enlightening the people about the evils of present-day society and convincing them of the desirability and possibility, of the justice and practicability of a social life based on liberty; prepared, moreover, by making the masses realize very clearly just what they need and how to bring it about.

Such preparation is not only an absolutely necessary preliminary step. Therein lies also the safety of the revolution, the only guarantee of its accomplishing its objects.

It has been the fate of most revolutions - as a result of lack of preparation - to be sidetracked from their main purpose, to be misused and led into blind alleys. Russia is the best recent illustration of it. The February Revolution, which sought to do away with the autocracy, was entirely successful. The people knew exactly what they wanted; namely the abolition of Tsardom. All the machinations of politicians, all the oratory and schemes of the Lvovs and Miliukovs - the "liberal" leaders of those days could not save the Romanov régime in the face of the intelligent and conscious will of the people. It was this clear understanding of its aims which made the February Revolution a complete success, with, mind you, almost no bloodshed.

Furthermore, neither appeals nor threats by the Provisional Government could avail against the determination of the people to end the war. The armies left the fronts and thus terminated the matter by their own direct action. The will of a people conscious of their objects always conquers.

It was the will of the people again, their resolute aim to get hold of the soil, which secured for the peasant the land he needed. Similarly the city workers, as repeatedly mentioned before, possessed themselves of the factories and the machinery of production.

So far the Russian Revolution was a complete success. But at the point where the masses lacked the consciousness of definite purpose, defeat began. That is always the moment when politicians and political parties step in to exploit the revolution for their own uses or to experiment their theories upon it. This happened in Russia, as in many previous revolutions. The people fought the good fight-the political parties fought over the spoils to the detriment of the revolution and to the ruin of the people.

This is, then, what took place in Russia. The peasant, having secured the land, did not have the tools and machinery he needed. The worker, having taken possession of the machinery and factories, did not know how to handle them to accomplish his aims. In other words, he did not have the experience necessary to organize production and he could not manage the distribution of the things he was producing.

His own efforts - the worker's, the peasant's, the soldier's - had done away with Tsardom, paralyzed the Government, stopped the war, and abolished private ownership of land and machinery. For that he was prepared by years of revolutionary education and agitation. But for no more than that. And because he was prepared for no more, where his knowledge ceased and definite purpose was lacking, there stepped in the political party and took affairs out of the hands of the masses who had made the revolution. Politics replaced economic reconstruction and thereby sounded the death knell of the social revolution; for people live by bread, by economics, not by politics.

Food and supplies are not created by decree of party or government. Legislative edicts don't till the soil; laws can't turn the wheels of industry. Dissatisfaction, strife, and famine came upon the heels of government coercion and dictatorship. Again, as always, politics and authority proved the swamp in which the revolutionary fires became extinguished.

Let us learn this most vital lesson: thorough understanding by the masses of the true aims of revolution means success. Carrying out their conscious will by their own efforts guarantees the right development of the new life. On the other hand, lack of this understanding and of preparation means certain defeat, either at the hands of reaction or by the experimental theories of would-be political party friends.

Let us prepare, then.

Chapter 9.

"Prepare for revolution!" exclaims your friend; "is that possible?

Yes. Not only is it possible but absolutely necessary.

"Do you refer to secret preparations, armed bands, and men to lead the fight?" you ask.

No, my friend, not that at all.

If the social revolution meant only street battles and barricades, then the preparations you have in mind would be the thing. But revolution does not signify that; at least the fighting phase of it is the smallest and least important part.

The truth is, in modern times revolution does not mean barricades any more. These belong to the past. The social revolution is a far different and more essential matter. It involves the reorganization of the entire life of society. You will agree that this is certainly not to be accomplished by mere fighting.

Of course, the obstacles in the path of the social reconstruction have to be removed. That is to say the means of that reconstruction must be secured by the masses. Those means are at present in the hands of government and capitalism, and these will resist every effort to deprive them of their power and possessions. That resistance will involve a fight. But remember that the fight is not the main thing, is not the object, not the revolution. It is only the preface, the preliminary to it.

It is very necessary that you get this straight. Most people have very confused notions about revolution. To them it means just fighting, smashing things, destroying. It is the same as if rolling up your sleeves for work should be considered as the work itself that you have to do. The fighting part of revolution is merely the rolling up of your sleeves. The real, actual task is ahead.

What is that task?

"The destruction of the existing conditions," you reply.

True. But conditions are not destroyed by breaking and smashing things. You can't destroy wage slavery by wrecking the machinery in mills and factories, can you? You won't destroy government by setting fire to the White House.

To think of revolution in terms of violence and destruction is to misinterpret and falsify the whole idea of it. In practical application such a conception is bound to lead to disastrous results.

When a great thinker, like the famous Anarchist Bakunin, speaks of revolution as destruction, he has in mind the ideas of authority and obedience which are to be destroyed. It is for this reason that he said that destruction means construction, for to destroy a false belief is indeed most constructive work.

But the average man, and too often even the revolutionist, thoughtlessly talks of revolution as being exclusively destructive in the physical sense of the word. That is a wrong and dangerous view. The sooner we get rid of it the better.

Revolution, and particularly the social revolution, is not destruction but construction. This cannot be sufficiently emphasized, and unless we clearly realize it, revolution will remain only destructive and thereby always a failure. Naturally revolution is accompanied by violence, but you might as well say that building a new house in place of an old one is destructive because you have first to tear down the old one. Revolution is the culminating point of a certain evolutionary process: it begins with a violent upheaval. It is the rolling up of your sleeves preparatory to starting the actual work.

Indeed, consider what the social revolution is to do, what it is to accomplish, and you will perceive that it comes not to destroy but to build.

What, really, is there to destroy?

The wealth of the rich? Nay, that is something we want the whole of society to enjoy.

The land, the fields, the coal mines, the railroads, factories, mills, and shops? These we want not to destroy but to make useful to the entire people.

The telegraphs, telephones, the means of communication and distribution-do we want to destroy them? No, we want them to serve the needs of all.

What, then, is the social revolution to destroy? It is to take over things for the general benefit, not to destroy them. It is to reorganize conditions for the public welfare.

Not to destroy is the aim of the revolution, but to reconstruct and rebuild.

It is for this that preparation is needed, because the social revolution is not the Biblical his mission by simple edict or Messiah who is to accomplish order. Revolution works with the hands and brains of men. And these have to understand the objects of the revolution so as to be able to carry them out. They will have to know what they want and how to achieve it. The way to achieve it will be pointed by the objects to be attained. For the end determines the means, just as you have to sow a particular seed to grow the thing you need.

What, then, must the preparation for the social revolution be?

If your object is to secure liberty, you must learn to do without authority and compulsion. If you intend to live in peace and harmony with your fellow-men, you and they should cultivate brotherhood and respect for each other. If you want to work together with them for your mutual benefit, you must practice co-operation. The social revolution means much more than the reorganization of conditions only: it means the establishment of new human values and social relationships, a changed attitude of man to man, as of one free and independent to his equal; it means a different spirit in individual and collective life, and that spirit cannot be born overnight. It is a spirit to be cultivated, to be nurtured and reared, as the most delicate flower is, for indeed it is the flower of a new and beautiful existence.

Do not dupe yourself with the silly notion that "things will arrange themselves." Nothing ever arranges itself, least of all in human relations. It is men who do the arranging, and they do it according to their attitude and understanding of things.

New situations and changed conditions make us feel, think, and act in a different manner. But the new conditions themselves come about only as a result of new feelings and ideas. The social revolution is such a new condition. We must learn to think differently before the revolution can come. That alone can bring the revolution.

We must learn to think differently about government and authority, for as long as we think and act as we do to-day, there will be intolerance, persecution, and oppression, even when organized government is abolished. We must learn to respect the humanity of our fellow-man, not to invade him or coerce him, to consider his liberty as sacred as our own; to respect his freedom and his personality, to forswear compulsion in any form: to understand that the cure for the evils of liberty is more liberty, that liberty is the mother of order.

And furthermore we must learn that equality means equal opportunity, that monopoly is the denial of it, and that only brotherhood secures equality. We can learn this only by freeing ourselves from the false ideas of capitalism and of property, of mine and shine, of the narrow conception of ownership.

By learning this we shall grow into the spirit of true liberty and solidarity, and know that free association is the soul of every achievement. We shall then realize that the social revolution is the work of co-operation, of solidaric purpose, of mutual effort.

Maybe you think this too slow a process, a work that will take too long. Yes, I must admit that it is a difficult task. But ask yourself if it is better to build your new house quickly and badly and have it break down over your head, rather than to do it efficiently, even if it requires longer and harder work.

Remember that the social revolution represents the liberty and welfare of the whole of mankind, that the complete and final emancipation of labour depends upon it. Consider also that if the work is badly done, all the effort and suffering involved in it will be for nothing and perhaps even worse than for nothing, because making a botch job of revolution means putting a new tyranny in place of the old, and new tyrannies, because they are new, have a new lease on life. It means forging new chains which are stronger than the old.

Consider also that the social revolution we have in mind is to accomplish the work that many generations of men have been labouring to achieve, for the whole history of man has been a struggle of liberty against servitude, of social well-being against poverty and wretchedness, of justice against iniquity. What we call progress has been a painful but continuous march in the direction of limiting authority and the power of government and increasing the rights and liberties of the individual, of the masses. It has been a struggle that has taken thousands of years. The reason that it took such a long time-and is not ended yet-is because people did not know what the real trouble was: they fought against this and for that, they changed kings and formed new governments, they put out one ruler only to set up another, they drove away a "foreign" oppressor only to suffer the yoke of a native one, they abolished one form of tyranny, such as the Tsars, and submitted to that of a party dictatorship, and always and ever they shed their blood and heroically sacrificed their lives in the hope of securing liberty and welfare.

But they secured only new masters, because however desperately and nobly they fought, they never touched the real source of trouble, the principle of authority and government. They did not know that that was the fountainhead of enslavement and oppression, and therefore they never succeeded in gaining liberty.

But now we understand that true liberty is not a matter of changing kings or rulers. We know that the whole system of master and slave must go, that the entire social scheme is wrong, that government and compulsion must be abolished, that the very foundations of authority and monopoly must be uprooted. Do you still think any kind of preparation for such a great task can be too difficult?

Let us, then, fully realize how important it is to prepare for the social revolution, and to prepare for it in the right way.

"But what is the right way?" you demand. "And who is to prepare?"

Who is to prepare? First of all, you and I-those who are interested in the success of the revolution, those who want to help bring it about. And you and I means every man and woman; at least every decent man and woman, every one who hates oppression and loves liberty, every one who cannot endure the misery and injustice which fill the world to-day.

And above all it is those who suffer most from existing conditions, from wage slavery, subjection, and indignity.

"The workers, of course," you say.

Yes, the workers. As the worst victims of present institutions, it is to their own interest to abolish them. It has been truly said that "the emancipation of the workers must be accomplished by the workers themselves," for no other social class will do it for them. Yet labour's emancipation means at the same time the redemption of the whole of society, and that is why some people speak of labour's "historic mission" to bring about the better day.

But "mission" is the wrong word. It suggests a duty or task imposed on one from the outside, by some external power. It is a false and misleading conception, essentially a religious, metaphysical sentiment. Indeed, if the emancipation of labour is a "historic mission," then history will see to it that it is carried out no matter what we may think, feel, or do about it. This attitude makes human effort unnecessary, superfluous; because "what must be will be." Such a fatalistic notion is destructive to all initiative and the exercise of one's mind and will.

It is a dangerous and harmful idea. There is no power outside of man which can free him, none which can charge him with any "mission." Neither heaven nor history can do it. History is the story of what has happened. It can teach a lesson but not impose a task. It is not the "mission" but the interest of the proletariat to emancipate itself from bondage. If labour does not consciously and actively strive for it, it will never "happen." It is necessary to free ourselves from the stupid and false notion of "historic missions." It is only by growing to a true realization of their present position, by visualizing their possibilities and powers, by learning unity and co-operation, and practicing them, that the masses can attain freedom. In achieving that they will also have liberated the rest of mankind.

Because of this the proletarian struggle is the concern of every one, and all sincere men and women should therefore be at the service of labour in its great task. Indeed, though only the toilers can accomplish the work of emancipation they need the aid of other social groups. For you must remember that the revolution faces the difficult problem of reorganizing the world and building a new civilization-a work that will require the greatest revolutionary integrity and the intelligent co-operation of all well-meaning and liberty-loving elements. We already know that the social revolution is not a matter of abolishing capitalism only. We might turn out capitalism, as feudalism was got rid of, and still remain slaves as before. Instead of being, as now, the bondmen of private monopoly we might become the servants of State capitalism, as has happened to the people in Russia, for instance, and as conditions are developing in Italy and other lands.

The social revolution, it must never be forgotten, is not to alter one form of subjection for another, but is to do away with everything that can enslave and oppress you.

A political revolution may be carried to a successful issue by a conspirative minority, putting one ruling faction in place of another. But the social revolution is not a mere political change: it is a fundamental economic, ethical, and cultural transformation. A conspirative minority or political party undertaking such a work must meet with the active and passive opposition of the great majority and therefore degenerate into a system of dictatorship and terror.

In the face of a hostile majority the social revolution is doomed to failure from its very beginning. It means, then, that the first preparatory work of the revolution consists in winning over the masses at large in favor of the revolution and its objects, winning them over, at least, to the extent of neutralizing them, of turning them from active enemies to passive sympathizers, so that they may not fight against the revolution even if they do not fight for it.

The actual, positive work of the social revolution must, of course, be carried on by the toilers themselves, by the labouring people. And here let us bear in mind that it is not only the factory hand who belongs to labour but the farm worker as well. Some radicals are inclined to lay too much stress on the industrial proletariat, almost ignoring the existence of the agricultural toiler. Yet what could the factory worker accomplish without the farmer? Agriculture is the primal source of life, and the city would starve but for the country. It is idle to compare the industrial worker with the farm labourer or discuss their relative value. Neither can do without the other; both are equally important in the scheme of life and equally so in the revolution and the building of a new society.

It is true that revolution first breaks out in industrial localities rather than in agricultural. This is natural, since these are greater centers of labouring population and therefore also of popular dissatisfaction. But if the industrial proletariat is the advance-guard of revolution, then the farm labourer is its backbone. If the latter is weak or broken, the advance-guard, the revolution itself, is lost.

Therefore, the work of the social revolution lies in the hands of both the industrial worker and the farm labourer. Unfortunately it must be admitted that there is too little understanding and almost no friendship or direct co-operation between the two. Worse than that - and no doubt the result of it-there is a certain dislike and antagonism between the proletarians of field and factory. The city man has too little appreciation of the hard and exhausting toil of the farmer The latter instinctively resents it; moreover, unfamiliar with the strenuous and often dangerous labour of the factory, the farmer is apt to look upon the city worker as an idler. A closer approach and better understanding between the two is absolutely vital. Capitalism thrives not so much on division of work as on the division of the workers. It seeks to incite race against race, the factory hand against the farmer, the labourer against the skilled man, the workers of one country against those of another. The strength of the exploiting class lies in disunited, divided labour. But the social revolution requires the unity of the toiling masses, and first of all the co-operation of the factory-proletarian with his brother in the field.

A nearer approach between the two is an important step in preparation for the social revolution. Actual contact between them is of prime necessity. Joint councils, exchange of delegates, a system of cooperatives, and other similar methods, would tend to form a closer bond and better understanding between the worker and farmer

But it is not only the co-operation of the factory proletarian with the farm labourer which is necessary for the revolution. There is another element absolutely needed in its constructive work. It is the trained mind of the professional man.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that the world has been built with hands only. It has also required brains. Similarly does the revolution need both the man of brawn and the man of brain. Many people imagine that the manual worker alone can do the entire work of society. It is a false idea, a very grave error that can bring no end of harm. In fact, this conception has worked great evil on previous occasions, and there is good reason to fear that it may defeat the best efforts of the revolution.

The working class consists of the industrial wage earners and the agricultural toilers. But the workers require the services of the professional elements, of the industrial organizer, the electrical and mechanical engineer, the technical specialist, the scientist, inventor, chemist, the educator, doctor, and surgeon. In short, the proletariat absolutely needs the aid of certain professional elements without whose co-operation no productive labour is possible.

Most of those professional men in reality also belong to the proletariat. They are the intellectual proletariat, the proletariat of brain. It is clear that it makes no difference whether one earns his living with his hands or with his head. As a matter of fact, no work is done only with the hands or only with the brain. The application of both is required in every kind of effort. The carpenter, for instance, must estimate, measure, and figure in the course of his task: he must use both hand and brain. Similarly the architect must think out his plan before it can be drawn on paper and put to practical use.

"But only labour can produce," your friend objects; "brain work is not productive."

Wrong, my friend. Neither manual labour nor brain work can produce anything alone. It requires both, working together, to create something. The bricklayer and mason can't build the factory without the architect's plans, nor can the architect erect a bridge without the iron and steel worker. Neither can produce alone. But both together can accomplish wonders.

Furthermore, do not fall into the error of believing that only productive labour counts. There is much work that is not directly productive, but which is useful and even absolutely necessary to our existence and comfort, and therefore just as important as productive labour.

Take the railroad engineer and contractor, for instance. They are not producers, but they are essential factors in the system of production. Without the railroads and other means of transport and communication we could manage neither production nor distribution.

Production and distribution are the two points of the same life pole. The labour required for the one is as important as that needed for the other.

What I said above applies to numerous phases of human effort which, though themselves not directly productive, play a vital part in the manifold processes of our economic and social life. The man of science, the educator, the physician and surgeon are not productive in the industrial sense of the word. But their work is absolutely necessary to our life and welfare. Civilized society could not exist without them.

It is therefore evident that useful work is equally important whether it be that of brain or of brawn, manual or mental. Nor does it matter whether it is a salary or wages which one receives, whether he is paid much or little, or what his political or other opinions might be.

All the elements that can contribute useful work to the general welfare are needed in the revolution for the building of the new life. No revolution can succeed without their solidaric co-operation, and the sooner we understand this the better. The reconstruction of society involves the reorganization of industry, the proper functioning of production, the management of distribution, and numerous other social, educational, and cultural efforts to transform present-day wage slavery and servitude into a life of liberty and well-being. Only by working hand in hand will the proletariat of brain and brawn be able to solve those problems.

It is most regrettable that there exists a spirit of unfriendliness, even of enmity, between the manual and intellectual workers. That feeling is rooted in lack of understanding, in prejudice and narrow-mindedness on both sides. It is sad to admit that there is a tendency in certain labour circles, even among some Socialists and Anarchists, to antagonize the workers against the members of the intellectual proletariat. Such an attitude is stupid and criminal, because it can only work evil to the growth and development of the social revolution. It was one of the fatal mistakes of the Bolshevik; during the first phases of the Russian Revolution that they deliberately set the wage earners against the professional classes, to such an extent indeed that friendly co-operation became impossible. A direct result of that policy was the breaking down of industry for lack of intelligent direction, as well as the almost total suspension of railroad communication because that was no trained management. Seeing Russia facing economic shipwreck, Lenin decided that the factory worker and farmer alone could not carry on the industrial and agricultural life of the country, and that the aid of the professional elements was necessary. He introduced a new system to induce the technical men to help in the work of reconstruction. But almost too late came the change, for the years of mutual hating and hounding had created such a gulf between the manual worker and his intellectual brother that common understanding and co-operation were made exceptionally difficult. It has taken Russia years of heroic effort to undo, to some extent, the effects of that fratricidal war.

Let us learn this valuable lesson from the Russian experiment.

"But professional men belong to the middle classes," you object, "and they are bourgeois-minded."

True, men of the professions generally have a bourgeois attitude toward things; but are not most workingmen also bourgeois-minded? It merely means that both are steeped in authoritarian and capitalistic prejudices. It is just these that must be eradicated by enlightening and educating the people, be they manual or brain workers. That is the first step in preparation for the social revolution.

But it is not true that professional men, as such, necessarily belong to the middle classes.

The real interests of the so-called intellectuals are with the workers rather than with the masters. To be sure, most of them do not realize that. But no more does the comparatively highly-paid railroad conductor or locomotive engineer feel himself a member of the working class. By his income and attitude he also belongs to the bourgeoisie. But it is not income or feeling that determines to what social class a person belongs. If the street beggar should fancy himself a millionaire, would he thereby be one? What one imagines himself to be does not alter his actual situation. And the actual situation is that whoever has to sell his labour is an employee, a salaried dependent, a wage earner, and as such his true interests are those of employees and he belongs to the working class.

As a matter of fact, the intellectual proletarian is even more subject to his capitalistic master than the man with pick and shovel. The latter can easily change his place of employment. If he does not care to work for a certain boss he can look for another. The intellectual proletarian, on the other hand, is much more dependent on his particular job. His sphere of exertion is more limited. Not skilled in any trade and physically incapable of serving as a day labourer, he is (as a rule) confined to the comparatively narrow field of architecture, engineering, journalism, or similar work. This puts him more at the mercy of his employer and therefore also inclines him to side with the latter as against his more independent fellow-worker at the bench.

But whatever the attitude of the salaried and dependent intellectual, he belongs to the proletarian class. Yet it is entirely false to maintain that the intellectuals always side with the masters as against the workers. "Generally they do," I hear some radical fanatic interject. And the workers? Do they not, generally, support the masters and the system of capitalism? Could that system continue but for their support? It would be wrong to argue from chat, however, that the workers consciously join hands with their exploiters. No more is it true of the intellectuals. If the majority of the latter stand by the ruling class it is because of social ignorance, because they do not understand their own best interests, for all their "intellectuality." Just so the great masses of labour, similarly unaware of their true interests, aid the masters against their fellow-workers, sometimes even in the same trade and factory, not to speak of their lack of national and international solidarity. It merely proves that the one as the other, the manual worker no less than the brain proletarian, needs enlightenment.

In justice to the intellectuals let us not forget that their best representatives have always sided with the oppressed. They have advocated liberty and emancipation, and often they were the first to voice the deepest aspirations of the toiling masses. In the struggle for freedom they have frequently fought on the barricades shoulder to shoulder with the workers and died championing their cause.

We need not look far for proof of this. It is a familiar fact that every progressive, radical, and revolutionary movement within the past hundred years has been inspired, mentally and spiritually, by the efforts of the finest element of the intellectual classes. The initiators and organizers of the revolutionary movement in Russia, for instance, dating back a century, were intellectuals, men and women of non-proletarian origin and station. Nor was their love of freedom merely theoretical. Literally thousands of them consecrated their knowledge and experience, and dedicated their lives, to the service of the masses. Not a land exists but where such noble men and women have testified to their solidarity with the disinherited by exposing themselves to the wrath and persecution of their own class and joining hands with the downtrodden. Recent history, as well as the past, is full of such examples. Who were the Garibaldis, the Kossuths, the Liebknechts, Rosa Luxemburgs, the Landauers, the Lenins, and Trotskys but intellectuals of the middle classes who gave themselves to the proletariat? The history of every country and of every revolution shines with their unselfish devotion to liberty and labour.

Let us bear these facts in mind and not be blinded by fanatical prejudice and baseless antagonism. The intellectual has done labour great service in the past. It will depend on the attitude of the workers toward him as to what share he will be able and willing to contribute to the preparation and realization of the social revolution.
Chapter 10.
Organisation Of Labour For The Social Revolution

Proper preparation, as suggested in the preceding pages, will greatly lighten the task of the social revolution and assure its healthy development and functioning.

Now, what will be the main functions of the revolution?

Every country has its specific conditions, its own psychology, habits, and traditions, and the process of revolution will naturally reflect the peculiarities of every land and its people. But fundamentally all countries are alike in their social (rather anti-social) character: whatever the political forms or economic conditions, they are all built on invasive authority, on monopoly, on the exploitation of labour. The main task of the social revolution is therefore essentially the same everywhere: the abolition of government and of economic inequality, and the socialization of the means of production and distribution.

Production, distribution, and communication are the basic sources of existence; upon them rests the power of coercive authority and capital. Deprived of that power, governors and rulers become just ordinary men, like you and me, common citizens among millions of others. To accomplish that is consequently the primal and most vital function of the social revolution.

We know that revolution begins with street disturbances and outbreaks: it is the initial phase which involves force and violence. But that is merely the spectacular prologue of the real revolution. The age long misery and indignity suffered by the masses burst into disorder and tumult, the humiliation and injustice meekly borne for decades find vent in acts of fury and destruction. That is inevitable, and it is solely the master class which is responsible for this preliminary character of revolution. For it is even more true socially than individually that "whoever sows the wind will reap the whirlwind": the greater the oppression and wretchedness to which the masses had been made to submit, the fiercer will rage the social storm. All history proves it, but the lords of life have never harkened to its warning voice.

This phase of the revolution is of short duration. It is usually followed by the more conscious, yet still spontaneous, destruction of the citadels of authority, the visible symbols of organized violence and brutality: jails, police stations, and other government buildings are attacked, the prisoners liberated, legal documents destroyed. It is the manifestation of instinctive popular justice. Thus one of the first gestures of the French Revolution was the demolition of the Bastille. Similarly in Russia prisons were stormed and the prisoners released at the very outset of the Revolution. The wholesome intuition of the people justly sees in prisoners social unfortunates, victims of conditions, and sympathizes with them as such. The masses regard the courts and their records as instruments of class injustice, and these are destroyed at the beginning of the revolution, and quite properly so.

But this stage passes quickly: the people's ire is soon spent. Simultaneously the revolution begins its constructive work.

"Do you really think that reconstruction could start so soon?" you ask.

My friend, it must begin immediately. In fact, the more enlightened the masses have become, the clearer the workers realize their aims, and the better they are prepared to carry them out, the less destructive the revolution will be, and the quicker and more effectively will begin the work of reconstruction.

"Are you not too hopeful?"

No, I don't think so. I am convinced that the social revolution will not "just happen." It will have to be prepared, organized. Yes, indeed, organized-just as a strike is organized. In truth, it will be a strike, the strike of the united workers of an entire country - a general strike.

Let us pause and consider this.

How do you imagine a revolution could be fought in these days of armored tanks, poison gas, and military planes? Do you believe that the unarmed masses and their barricades could withstand high-power artillery and bombs thrown upon them from flying machines? Could labour fight the military forces of government and capital?

It's ridiculous on the face of it, isn't it? And no less ridiculous is the suggestion that the workers should form their own regiments, "shock troops," or a "red front," as the Communist parties advise you to do. Will such proletarian bodies ever be able to stand up against the trained armies of the government and the private troops of capital? Will they have the least chance?

Such a proposition needs only to be stated to be seen in all its impossible folly. It would simply mean sending thousands of workers to certain death.

It is time to have done with this obsolete idea of revolution. Nowadays government and capital are too well organized in a military way for the workers ever to be able to cope with them. It would be criminal to attempt it, insanity even to think of it.

The strength of labour is not on the field of battle. It is in the shop, in the mine and factory. There lies its power that no army in the world can defeat, no human agency conquer.

In other words, the social revolution can take place only by means of the General Strike. The General Strike, rightly understood and thoroughly carried out, is the social revolution. Of this the British Government became aware much quicker than the workers when the General Strike was declared in England in May, 1926. "It means revolution," the Government said, in effect, to the strike leaders. With all their armies and navies the authorities were powerless in the face of the situation. You can shoot people to death but you can't shoot them to work. The labour leaders themselves were frightened at the thought that the General Strike actually implied revolution.

British capital and government won the strike-not by the strength of arms, but because of the lack of intelligence and courage on the part of the labour leaders and because the English workers were not prepared for the consequences of the General Strike. As a matter of fact, the idea was quite new to them. They had never before been interested in it, never studied its significance and potentialities. It is safe to say that a similar situation in France would have developed quite differently, because in that country the toilers have for years been familiar with the General Strike as a revolutionary proletarian weapon.

It is most important that we realize that the General Strike is the only possibility of social revolution. In the past the General Strike has been propagated in various countries without sufficient emphasis that its real meaning is revolution, that it is the only practical way to it. It is time for us to learn this, and when we do so the social revolution will cease to be a vague, unknown quantity. It will become an actuality, a definite method and aim, a program whose first step is the taking over of the industries by organized labour.

I understand now why you said that the social revolution means construction rather than destruction," your friend remarks.

I am glad you do. And if you have followed me so far, you will agree that the matter of taking over the industries is not something that can be left to chance, nor can it be carried out in a haphazard manner. It can be accomplished only in a well-planned, systematic, and organized way. You alone can't do it, nor I, nor any other man, be he worker Ford, or the Pope of Rome. There is no man nor any body of men that can manage it except the workers themselves, for it takes the workers to operate the industries. But even the workers can't do it unless they are organized and organized just for such an undertaking.

"But I thought you were an Anarchist," interrupts your friend.

I am.

"I've heard that Anarchists don't believe in organization."

I imagine you have, but that's an old argument. Any one who tells you that Anarchists don't believe in organization is talking nonsense. Organization is everything, and everything is organization. The whole of life is organization, conscious or unconscious. Every nation, every family, why, even every individual is an organization or organism. Every part of every living thing is organized in such a manner that the whole works in harmony. Otherwise the different organs could not function properly and life could not exist.

But there is organization and organization. Capitalist society is so badly organized that its various members suffer: just as when you have pain in some part of you, your whole body aches and you are ill.

There is organization that is painful because it is ill, and organization that is joyous because it means health and strength. An organization is ill or evil when it neglects or suppresses any of its organs or members. In the healthy organism all parts are equally valuable and none is discriminated against. The organization built on compulsion, which coerces and forces, is bad and unhealthy. The libertarian organization, formed voluntarily and in which every member is free and equal, is a sound body and can work well. Such an organization is a free union of equal parts. It is the kind of organization the Anarchists believe in.

Such must be the organization of the workers if labour is to have a healthy body, one that can operate effectively.

It means, first of all, that not a single member of the organization or union may with impunity be discriminated against, suppressed or ignored. To do so would be the same as to ignore an aching tooth: you would be sick all over.

In other words, the labour union must be built on the principle of the equal liberty of all its members.

Only when each is a free and independent unit, cooperating with the others from his own choice because of mutual interests, can the whole work successfully and become powerful.

This equality means that it makes no difference what or who the particular worker is: whether he is skilled or unskilled, whether he is mason, carpenter, engineer or day labourer, whether he earn much or little. The interests of all are the same; all belong together, and only by standing together can they accomplish their purpose.

It means that the workers in the factory, mill, or mine must be organized as one body; for it is not a question of what particular jobs they hold, what craft or trade they follow, but what their interests are. And their interests are identical, as against the employer and the system of exploitation.

Consider yourself how foolish and inefficient is the present form of labour organization in which one trade or craft may be on strike while the other branches of the same industry continue at work. Is it not ridiculous that when the street car workers of New York, for instance, quit work, the employees of the subway, the cab and omnibus drivers remain on the job? The main purpose of a strike is to bring about a situation that will compel the employer to give in to the demands of labour. Such a situation can be created only by a complete tie-up of the industry in question, so that a partial strike is merely a waste of labour's time and energy, not to speak of the harmful moral effect of the inevitable defeat.

Think over the strikes in which you yourself have taken part and of others you know of. Did your union ever win a fight unless it was able to compel the employer to give in? But when was it able to do so? Only when the boss knew that the workers meant business, that there was no dissent among them, that there was no hesitation and dallying, that they were determined to win, at whatever cost. But particularly when the employer felt himself at the mercy of the union, when he could not operate his factory or mine in the face of the workers' resolute stand, when he could not get scabs or strikebreakers, and when he saw that his interests would suffer more by defying his employees than by granting their demands.

It is clear, then, that you can compel compliance only when you are determined, when your union is strong, when you are well organized, when you are united in such a manner that the boss cannot run his factory against your will. But the employer is usually some big manufacturer or a company that has mills or mines in various places. Suppose it is a coal combine. If it cannot operate its mines in Pennsylvania because of a strike, it will try to make good its losses by continuing mining in Virginia or Colorado and increasing production there. Now, if the miners in those States keep on working while you in Pennsylvania are on strike, the company loses nothing. It may even welcome the strike in order to raise the price of coal on the ground that the supply is short because of your strike. In that way the company not only breaks your strike, but it also influences public opinion against you, because the people foolishly believe that the higher price of coal is really the result of your strike while in fact it is due to the greed of the mine owners. You will lose your strike, and for some time to come you and the workers everywhere will have to pay more for coal, and not only for coal but for all the other necessities of life, because together with the price of coal the general cost of living will go up.

Reflect, then, how stupid is the present union policy to permit the other mines to operate while your mine is on strike. The others remain at work and give financial support to your strike, but don't you see that their aid only helps to break your strike, because they have to keep on working, really scabbing on you, in order to contribute to your strike fund? Can anything be more senseless and criminal?

This holds true of every industry and every strike. Can you wonder that most strikes are lost? That is the case in America as well as in other countries. I have before me the Blue Book just published in England under the title of labour Statistics. The data prove that strikes do not lead to labour victories. The figures for the last eight years are as follows:

Results in Favor of:
Working People Employers
1920 390 507
1921 152 315
1922 111 222
1923 187 183
1924 162 235
1925 154 189
1926 67 126
1927 61 118

Actually, then, almost 60% of the strikes were lost. Incidentally, consider also the loss of working days resulting from strikes, which means no wages. The total number of workdays lost by English labour in 1912 was 40,890,000, which is almost equal to the lives of 2,000 men, allotting to each 60 years. In 1919 the number of workdays lost was 34,969,000; in 1920, 26,568,000; in 1921, 85,872,000; in 1926, as a result of the general strike, 162,233,000 days. These figures do not include time and wages lost through unemployment.

It doesn't take much arithmetic to see that strikes as at present conducted don't pay, that the labour unions are not the winners in industrial disputes.

This does not mean, however, that strikes serve no purpose. On the contrary, they are of great value: they teach the worker the vital need of co-operation, of standing shoulder to shoulder with his fellows and unitedly fighting in the common cause. Strikes train him in the class struggle and develop his spirit of joint effort, of resistance to the masters, of solidarity and responsibility. In this sense even an unsuccessful strike is not a complete loss. Through it the toilers learn that "an injury to one is the concern of all," the practical wisdom that embodies the deepest meaning of the proletarian struggle. This does not relate only to the daily battle for material betterment, but equally so to everything pertaining to the worker and his existence, and particularly to matters where justice and liberty are involved.

It is one of the most inspiring things to see the masses roused in behalf of social justice, whomever the case at issue may concern. For, indeed, it is the concern of all of us, in the truest and deepest sense. The more labour becomes enlightened and aware of its larger interests, the broader and more universal grow its sympathies, the more world-wide its defense of justice and liberty. It was a manifestation of this understanding when the workers in every country protested against the judicial murder of Sacco and Vanzetti in Massachusetts. Instinctively and consciously the masses throughout the world felt, as did all decent men and women, that it is their concern when such a crime is being perpetrated. Unfortunately that protest, as many similar ones, contented itself with mere resolutions. Had organized labour resorted to action, such as a general strike, its demands would not have been ignored, and two of the workers' best friends and noblest of men would not have been sacrificed to the forces of reaction.

Equally important, it would have served as a valuable demonstration of the tremendous power of the proletariat, the power that always conquers when it is unified and resolute. This has been proven on numerous occasions in the past when the determined stand of labour prevented planned legal outrages, as in the case of Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone, officials of the Western Federation of Miners, whom the coal barons of the State of Idaho had conspired to send to the gallows during the miners' strike of 1905. Again, in 1917, it was the solidarity of the toilers which thwarted the execution of Tom Mooney, in California. The sympathetic attitude of organized labour in America toward Mexico has also till now been an obstacle to the military occupation of that country by the United States Government in behalf of the American oil interests. Similarly in Europe united action by the workers has been successful in repeatedly forcing the authorities to grant amnesty to political prisoners. The Government of England so feared the expressed sympathy of British labour for the Russian Revolution that it was compelled to pretend neutrality. It did not dare openly to aid the counterrevolution in Russia. When the dock workers refused to load food and ammunition intended for the White armies, the English Government resorted to deception. It solemnly assured the workers that the shipments were intended for France. In the course of my work collecting historic material in Russia, in 1920 and 1921, I came into possession of official British documents proving that the shipments had been immediately forwarded from France, by direct orders of the British Government, to the counter-revolutionary generals in the North of Russia who had established there the so-called Tchaikovsky-Miller Government. This incident - one out of many - demonstrates the wholesome fear the powers that be have of the awakening class-consciousness and solidarity of the international proletariat.

The stronger the workers grow in this spirit the more effective will be their struggle for emancipation. Class consciousness and solidarity must assume national and international proportions before labour can attain its full strength. Wherever there is injustice, wherever persecution and suppression-be it the subjugation of the Philippines, the invasion of Nicaragua, the enslavement of the toilers in the Congo by Belgian exploiters, the oppression of the masses in Egypt, China, Morocco, or India-it is the business of the workers everywhere to raise their voice against all such outrages and demonstrate their solidarity in the common cause of the despoiled and disinherited throughout the world.

Labour is slowly advancing to this social consciousness: strikes and other sympathetic expressions are a valuable manifestation of this spirit. If the greater number of strikes are lost at present, it is because the proletariat is not yet fully aware of its national and international interests, is not organized on the right principles, and does not sufficiently realize the need of world-wide co-operation.

Your daily struggles for better conditions would quickly assume a different character if you were organized in such a manner that when your factory or mine goes on strike, the whole industry should quit work; not gradually but at once, all at the same time. Then the employer would be at your mercy, for what could he do when not a wheel turns in the whole industry? He can get enough strikebreakers for one or a few mills, but an entire industry cannot be supplied with them, nor would he consider it safe or advisable. Moreover, suspension of work in any one industry would immediately affect a large number of others, because modern industry is interwoven. The situation would become the direct concern of the whole country, the public would be aroused and demand a settlement. (At present, when your single factory strikes, no one cares and you may starve as long as you remain quiet.) That settlement would again depend on yourself, on the strength of your organization. When the bosses would see that you know your power and that you are determined, they'd give in quickly enough or seek a compromise. They would be losing millions every day, the strikers might even sabotage the works and machinery, and the employers would be only too anxious to "settle," while in a strike of one factory or district they usually welcome the situation, knowing as they do that the chances are all against you.

Reflect therefore how important it is in what manner, on what principles your union is built, and how vital labour solitarily and cooperation are in your every-day struggle for better conditions. In unity is your strength, but that unity is non-existent and impossible as long as you are organized on craft lines instead of by industries.

There is nothing more important and urgent than that you and your fellow workers see to it immediately that you change the form of your organization.

But it is not only the form that must be changed. Your union must become clear about its aims and purposes. The worker should most earnestly consider what he really wants, how he means to achieve it, by what methods. He must learn what his union should be, how it should function, and what it should try to accomplish.

Now, what is the union to accomplish? What should be the arms of a real labour union?

First of all, the purpose of the union is to serve the interests of its members. That is its primary duty. There is no quarrel about that; every workingman understands it. If some refuse to join a labour body it is because they are too ignorant to appreciate its great value, in which case they must be enlightened. But generally they decline to belong to the union because they have no faith or are disappointed in it. Most of those who remain away from the union do so because they hear much boasting about the strength of organized labour while they know, often from bitter experience, that it is defeated in almost every important struggle. "Oh, the union," they say scornfully, "it don't amount to anything." To speak quite truthfully, to a certain extent they are right. They see organized capital proclaim the open shop policy and defeat the unions; they see labour leaders sell out strikes and betray the workers; they see the membership, the rank and file, helpless in the political machinations in and out of the union. To be sure, they don't understand why it is so; but they do see the facts, and they turn against the union.

Some again refuse to have anything to do with the union because they had at one time belonged to it, and they know what an insignificant role the individual member, the average worker, plays in the affairs of the organization. The local leaders, the district and central bodies, the national and international officers, and the chiefs of the American Federation of labour, in the United States, "run the whole show," they will tell you; "you have nothing to do but vote, and if you object you'll fly out."

Unfortunately they are right. You know how the union is managed. The rank and file have little to say. They have delegated the whole power to the leaders, and these have become the bosses, just as in the larger life of society the people are made to submit to the orders of those who were originally meant to serve them-the government and its agents. Once you do that, the power you have delegated will be used against you and your own interests every time. And then you complain that your leaders "misuse their power." No, my friend, they don't misuse it; they only use it, for it is the use of power which is itself the worst misuse.

All this has to be changed if you really want to achieve results. In society it has to be changed by taking political power away from your governors, abolishing it altogether. I have shown that political power means authority, oppression, and tyranny, and that it is not political government that we need but rational management of our collective affairs.

Just so in your union you need sensible administration of your business. We know what tremendous power labour has as the creator of all wealth and the supporter of the world. If properly organized and united, the workers could control the situation, be the masters of it. But the strength of the worker is not in the union meeting-hall; it is in the shop and factory, in the mill and mine. It is there that he must organize; there, on the job. There he knows what he wants, what his needs are, and it is there that he must concentrate his efforts and his will. Every shop and factory should have its special committee to attend to the wants and requirements of the men, not leaders, but members of the rank and file, from the bench and furnace, to look after the demands and complaints of their fellow employees. Such a committee, being on the spot and constantly under the direction and supervision of the workers, wields no power: it merely carries out instructions. Its members are recalled at will and others selected in their place, according to the need of the moment and the ability required for the task in hand. It is the workers who decide the matters at issue and carry their decisions out through the shop committees.

That is the character and form of organization that labour needs. Only this form can express its real purpose and will, be its adequate spokesman, and serve its true interests.

These shop and factory committees, combined with similar bodies in other mills and mines, associated locally, regionally, and nationally, would constitute a new type of labour organization which would be the virile voice of toil and its effective agency. It would have the whole weight and energy of the united workers back of it and would represent a power tremendous in its scope and potentialities.

In the daily struggle of the proletariat such an organization would be able to achieve victories about which the conservative union, as at present built, cannot even dream. It would enjoy the respect and confidence of the masses, would attract the unorganized and unite the labour forces on the basis of the equality of all workers and their joint interests and aims. It would face the masters with the whole might of the working class back of it, in a new attitude of consciousness and strength. Only then would labour acquire unity and the expression of it assume real significance.

Such a union would soon become something more than a mere defender and protector of the worker. It would gain a vital realization of the meaning of unity and consequent power, of labour solidarity. The factory and shop would serve as a training camp to develop the worker's understanding of his proper role in life, to cultivate his self-reliance and independence, teach him mutual help and co-operation, and make him conscious of his responsibility. He will learn to decide and act on his own judgment, not leaving it to leaders or politicians to attend to his affairs and look out for his welfare. It will be he who will determine, together with his fellows at the bench, what they want and what methods will best serve their aims, and his committee on the spot would merely carry out instructions. The shop and factory would become the worker's school and college. There he will learn his place in society, his function in industry, and his purpose in life. He will mature as a workingman and as a man, and the giant of labour will attain his full stature. He will know and be strong thereby.

Not long will he then be satisfied to remain a wage slave, an employee and dependent on the good will of his master whom his toil supports. He will grow to understand that present economic and social arrangements are wrong and criminal, and he will determine to change them. The shop committee and union will become the field of preparation for a new economic system, for a new social life.

You see, then, how necessary it is that you and I, and every man and woman who has the interests of labour at heart, work toward these objects.

And right here I want to emphasize that it is particularly urgent that the more advanced proletarian, the radical and the revolutionary, reflect upon this more earnestly, for to most of them, even to some Anarchists, this is only a pious wish, a distant hope. They fail to realize the transcending importance of efforts in that direction. Yet it is no mere dream. Large numbers of progressive workingmen are coming to this understanding: the Industrial Workers of the World and the revolutionary Anarchist-syndicalists in every country are devoting themselves to this end. It is the most pressing need of the present. It cannot be stressed too much that only the right organization of the workers can accomplish what we are striving for. In it lies the salvation of labour and of the future. Organization from the bottom up, beginning with the shop and factory, on the foundation of the joint interests of the workers everywhere, irrespective of trade, race, or country, by means of mutual effort and united will, alone can solve the labour question and serve the true emancipation of man.

"You were speaking of the workers taking over the industries,' your friend reminds me. "How are they going to do this?".

Yes, I was on the subject when you made that remark about organization. But it is well that the matter was discussed, because there is nothing more vital in the problems we are examining.

To return to the taking over of the industries. It means not only taking them over, but the running of them by labour. As concerns the taking over, you must consider that the workers are actually now in the industries. The taking over consists in the workers remaining where they are, yet remaining not as employees but as the rightful collective possessions.

Grasp this point, my friend. The expropriation of the capitalist class during the social revolution-the taking over of the industries-requires tactics directly the reverse of those you now use in a strike. In the latter you quit work and leave the boss in full possession of the mill, factory, or mine. It is an idiotic proceeding, of course, for you give the master the entire advantage: he can put scabs in your place, and you remain out in the cold.

In expropriating, on the contrary, you stay on the job and you put the boss out. He may remain only on equal terms with the rest: a worker among workers.

The labour organizations of a given place take charge of the public utilities, of the means of communication, of production and distribution in their particular locality. That is, the telegraphers, the telephone and electrical workers, the railroad men, and so on, take possession (by means of their revolutionary shop committees) of the workshop, factory, or other establishment. The capitalistic foremen, overseers, and managers are removed from the premises if they resist the change and refuse to cooperate. If willing to participate, they are made to understand that henceforth there are neither masters nor owners: that the factory becomes public property in charge of the union of workers engaged in the industry, all equal partners in the general undertaking.

It is to be expected that the higher officials of large industrial and manufacturing concerns will refuse to co-operate. Thus they eliminate themselves. Their place must be taken by workers previously prepared for the job. That is why I have emphasized the utmost importance of industrial preparation. This is a primal necessity in a situation that will inevitably develop and on it will depend, more than on any other factor, the success of the social revolution. Industrial preparation is the most essential point, for without it the revolution is doomed to collapse.

The engineers and other technical specialists are more likely to join hands with labour when the social revolution comes, particularly if a closer bond and better understanding have in the meantime been established between the manual and mental workers.

Should they refuse and should the workers have failed to prepare themselves industrially and technically, then production would depend on compelling the willfully obstinate to co-operate - an experiment tried in the Russian Revolution and proved a complete failure.

The grave mistake of the Bolsheviki in this connection was their hostile treatment of the whole class of the intelligentsia on account of the opposition of some members of it. It was the spirit of intolerance, inherent in fanatical dogma, which caused them to persecute an entire social group because of the fault of a few. This manifested itself in the policy of wholesale vengeance upon the professional elements, the technical specialists, the cooperative organizations, and all cultured persons in general. Most of them, at first friendly to the Revolution, some even enthusiastic in its favor, were alienated by these Bolshevik tactics, and their cooperation was made impossible. As a result of their dictatorial attitude the Communists were led to resort to increased oppression and tyranny till they finally introduced purely martial methods in the industrial life of the country. It was the era of compulsory labour, the militarization of factory and mill, which unavoidably ended in disaster, because forced labour is, by the very nature of coercion, bad and inefficient; moreover, those so compelled react upon the situation by willful sabotage, by systematic delay and spoilage of work, which an intelligent enemy can practice in a way that cannot be detected in due time and which results in greater harm to machinery and product than direct refusal to work. In spite of the most drastic measures against this kind of sabotage, in spite even of the death penalty, the government was powerless to overcome the evil. The placing of a Bolshevik, of a political commissar, over every technician in the more responsible positions did not help matters. It merely created a legion of parasitic officials who, ignorant of industrial matters, only interfered with the work of those friendly to the Revolution and willing to aid, while their unfamiliarity with the task in no way prevented continued sabotage. The system of forced labour finally developed in what practically became economic counterrevolution, and no efforts of the dictatorship could alter the situation. It was this that caused the Bolsheviki to change from compulsory labour to a policy of winning over the specialists and technicians by returning them to authority in the industries and rewarding them with high pay and special emoluments.

It would be stupid and criminal to try again the methods which have so signally failed in the Russian Revolution and which, by their very character, are bound to fail every time, both industrially and morally.

The only solution of this problem is the already suggested preparation and training of the workers in the art of organizing and managing industry, as well as closer contact between the manual and technical men. Every factory, mine, and mill should have its special workers' council, separate from and independent of the shop committee, for the purpose of familiarizing the workers with the various phases of their particular industry, including the sources of raw material, the consecutive processes of manufacture, by-products, and manner of distribution. This industrial council should be permanent, but its membership must rotate in such a manner as to take in practically all the employees of a given factory or mill. To illustrate: suppose the industrial council in a certain establishment consists of five members or of twenty-five, as the case may be, according to the complexity of the industry and the size of the particular factory. The members of the council, after having thoroughly acquainted themselves with their industry, publish what they had learned for the information of their fellow-workers, and new council members are chosen to continue the industrial studies. In this manner the whole factory or mill can consecutively acquire the necessary knowledge about the organization and management of their trade and keep step with its development. These councils would serve as industrial colleges where the workers would become familiar with the technique of their industry in all its phases.

At the same time the larger organization, the union, must use every effort to compel capital to permit greater labour participation in the actual management. But this, even at best, can benefit only a small minority of the workers. The plan suggested above, on the other hand, opens the possibility of industrial training to practically every worker in shop, mill, and factory.

It is true, of course, that there are certain kinds of work -such as engineering: civil, electrical, mechanical-which the industrial councils will not be able to acquire by actual practice. But what they will learn of the general processes of industry will be of inestimable value as preparation. For the rest, the closer bond of friendship and cooperation between worker and technician is a paramount necessity.

The taking over of the industries is therefore the first great object of the social revolution. It is to be accomplished by the proletariat, by the part of it organized and prepared for the task. Considerable numbers of workers are already beginning to realize the importance of this and to understand the task before them. But understanding what is necessary to be done is not sufficient. Learning how to do it is the next step. It is up to the organized working class to enter at once upon this preparatory work.
Chapter 11.
Principles And Practice

The main purpose of the social revolution must be the immediate betterment of conditions for the masses. The success of the revolution fundamentally depends on it. This can be achieved only by organizing consumption and production so as to be of real benefit to the populace. In that lies the greatest - in fact, the only - security of the social revolution. It was not the Red army which conquered counter-revolution in Russia: it was the peasants holding on for dear life to the land they had taken during the upheaval. The social revolution must be of material gain to the masses if it is to live and grow. The people at large must be sure of actual advantage from their efforts, or at least entertain the hope of such advantage in the near future. The revolution is doomed if it relies for its existence and defense on mechanical means, such as war and armies. The real safety of the revolution is organic; that is, it lies in industry and production.

The object of revolution is to secure greater freedom, to increase the material welfare of the people. The aim of the social revolution, in particular, is to enable the masses by their own efforts to bring about conditions of material and social well-being, to rise to higher moral and spiritual levels.

In other words, it is liberty which is to be established by the social revolution. For true liberty is based on economic opportunity. Without it all liberty is a sham and lie, a mask for exploitation and oppression. In the profoundest sense liberty is the daughter of economic equality.

The main aim of the social revolution is therefore to establish equal liberty on the basis of equal opportunity. The revolutionary reorganization of life must immediately proceed to secure the equality of all, economically, politically, and socially.

That reorganization will depend, first and foremost, on the thorough familiarity of labour with the economic situation of the country: on a complete inventory of the supply, on exact knowledge of the sources of raw material, and on the proper organization of the labour forces for efficient management.

It means that statistics and intelligent workers' associations are vital needs of the revolution, on the day after the upheaval. The entire problem of production and distribution - the life of the revolution - is based on it. It is obvious, as pointed out before, that this knowledge must be acquired by the workers before the revolution if the latter is to accomplish its purposes.

That is why the shop and factory committee, dealt with in the previous chapter, are so important and will play such a decisive rôle in the revolutionary reconstruction.

For a new society is not born suddenly, any more than a child is. New social life gestates in the body of the old just as new individual life does in the mother's womb. Time and certain processes are required to develop it till it becomes a complete organism capable of functioning. When that stage has been reached birth takes place in agony and pain, socially as individually. Revolution, to use a trite but expressive saying, is the midwife of the new social being. This is true in the most literal sense. Capitalism is the parent of the new society; the shop and factory committee, the union of class-conscious labour and revolutionary aims, is the germ of the new life. In that shop committee and union the worker must acquire the knowledge of how to manage his affairs: in the process he will grow to the perception that social life is a matter of proper organization, of united effort, of solidarity. He will come to understand that it is not the bossing and ruling of men but free association and harmonious working together which accomplish things; that it is not government and laws which produce and create, make the wheat grow and the wheels turn, but concord and cooperation. Experience will teach him to substitute the management of things in place of the government of men. In the daily life and struggles of his shop-committee the worker must learn how to conduct the revolution.

Shop and factory committees, organized locally, by district, region, and State, and federated nationally, will be the bodies best suited to carry on revolutionary production.

Local and State labour councils, federated nationally, will be the form of organization most adapted to manage distribution by means of the people's cooperatives.

These committees, elected by the workers on the job, connect their shop and factory with other shops and factories of the same industry. The Joint Council of an entire industry links that industry with other industries, and thus is formed a federation of labour councils for the entire country.

Co-operative associations are the mediums of exchange between the country and city. The farmers, organized locally and federated regionally and nationally, supply the needs of the cities by means of the co-operatives and receive through the latter in exchange the products of the city industries.

Every revolution is accompanied by a great outburst of popular enthusiasm full of hope and aspiration. It is the spring-board of revolution. This high tide, spontaneous and powerful, opens up the human sources of initiative and activity. The sense of equality liberates the best there is in man and makes him consciously creative. These are the great motors of the social revolution, its moving forces. Their free and unhindered expression signifies the development and deepening of the revolution. Their suppression means decay and death. The revolution is safe, it grows and becomes strong, as long as the masses feel that they are direct participants in it, that they are fashioning their own lives, that they are making the revolution, that they are the revolution. But the moment their activities are usurped by a political party or are centered in some special organization, revolutionary effort becomes limited to a comparatively small circle from which the large masses are practically excluded. The natural result is that popular enthusiasm is dampened, interest gradually weakens, initiative languishes, creativeness wanes, and the revolution becomes the monopoly of a clique which presently turns dictator.

This is fatal to the revolution. The sole prevention of such a catastrophe lies in the continued active interest of the workers through their every-day participation in all matters pertaining to the revolution. The source of this interest and activity is the shop and the union.

The interest of the masses and their loyalty to the revolution depend furthermore on their feeling that the revolution represents justice and fair play. This explains why revolutions have the power of rousing the people to acts of great heroism and devotion. As already pointed out, the masses instinctively see in revolution the enemy of wrong and iniquity and the harbinger of justice. In this sense revolution is a highly ethical factor and an inspiration. Fundamentally it is only great moral principles which can fire the masses and lift them to spiritual heights.

All popular upheavals have shown this to be true; particularly so the Russian Revolution. It was because of that spirit that the Russian masses so strikingly triumphed over all obstacles in the days of February and October. No opposition could conquer their devotion inspired by a great and noble cause. But the Revolution began to decline when it had become emasculated of its high moral values, when it was denuded of its elements of justice, equality, and liberty. Their loss was the doom of the Revolution.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly how essential spiritual values are to the social revolution. These and the consciousness of the masses that the revolution also means material betterment are dynamic influences in the life and growth of the new society. Of the two factors the spiritual values are foremost. The history of previous revolutions proves that the masses were ever willing to suffer and to sacrifice material well-being for the sake of greater liberty and justice. Thus in Russia neither cold nor starvation could induce the peasants and workers to aid counter-revolution. All privation and misery notwithstanding they served heroically the interests of the great cause. It was only when they saw the Revolution monopolized by a political party, the new-won liberties curtailed, a dictatorship established, and injustice and inequality dominant again that they became indifferent to the Revolution, declined to participate in the sham, refused to cooperate, and even turned against it.

To forget ethical values, to introduce practices and methods inconsistent with or opposed to the high moral purposes of the revolution means to invite counter-revolution and disaster.

It is therefore clear that the success of the social revolution primarily depends on liberty and equality. Any deviation from them can only be harmful; indeed, is sure to prove destructive. It follows that all the activities of the revolution must be based on freedom and equal rights. This applies to small things as to great. Any acts or methods tending to limit liberty, to create inequality and injustice, can result only in a popular attitude inimical to the revolution and in best interests.

It is from this angle that all the problems of the revolutionary period must be considered and solved. Among those problems the most important are consumption and housing, production and exchange.
Chapter 12.
Consumption and Exchange

Let us take up the organization of consumption first, because people have to eat before they can work and produce.

"What do you mean by the organization of consumption?" your friend asks.

"He means rationing, I suppose," you remark.

I do. Of course, when the social revolution has become thoroughly organized and production is functioning normally there will be enough for everybody. But in the first stages of the revolution, during the process of reconstruction, we must take care to supply the people as best we can, and equally, which means rationing.

"The Bolsheviki did not have equal rationing," your friend interrupts; "they had different kinds of rations for different people.

They did, and that was one of the greatest mistakes they made. It was resented by the people as a wrong and it provoked irritation and discontent. The Bolsheviki had one kind of ration for the sailor, another of lower quality and quantity for the soldier, a third for the skilled worker, a fourth for the unskilled one; another ration again for the average citizen, and yet another for the bourgeois. The best rations were for the Bolsheviki, the members of the Party, and special rations for the Communist officials and commissars. At one time they had as many as fourteen different food rations. Your own common sense will tell you that it was all wrong. Was it fair to discriminate against people because they happened to be labourers, mechanics, or intellectuals rather than soldiers or sailors? Such methods were unjust and vicious: they immediately created material inequality and opened the door to misuse of position and opportunity, to speculation, graft, and swindle. They also stimulated counter-revolution, for those indifferent or unfriendly to the Revolution were embittered by the discrimination and therefore became an easy prey to counter-revolutionary influences.

This initial discrimination and the many others which followed were not dictated by the needs of the situation but solely by political party considerations. Having usurped the reins of government and fearing the opposition of the people, the Bolsheviki sought to strengthen themselves in the government seat by currying favor with the sailors, soldiers, and workers. But by these means they succeeded only in creating indignation and antagonizing the masses, for the injustice of the system was too crying and obvious. Furthermore, even the "favored class," the proletariat, felt discriminated against because the soldiers were given better rations. Was the worker not as good as the soldier? Could the soldier fight for the Revolution-the factory man argued-if the worker would not supply him with ammunition? The soldier, in his turn, protested against the sailor getting more. Was he not as valuable as the sailor? And all condemned the special rations and privileges bestowed on the Bolshevik members of the Party, and particularly the comforts and even luxuries enjoyed by the higher officials and commissars, while the masses suffered privation.

Popular resentment of such practices was strikingly expressed by the Kronstadt sailors. It was in the midst of an extremely severe and hungry winter, in March, 1921, that a public mass-meeting of the sailors unanimously resolved voluntarily to give up their extra rations in behalf of the less favored population of Kronstadt, and to equalize the rations in the entire city. This truly ethical revolutionary action voiced the general feeling against discrimination and favoritism, and gave convincing proof of the deep sense of justice inherent in the masses.

All experience teaches that the just and square thing is at the same time also the most sensible and practical in the long run. This holds equally true of the individual as of collective life. Discrimination and injustice are particularly destructive to revolution, because the very spirit of revolution is born of the hunger for equity and justice.

I have already mentioned that when the social revolution attains the stage where it can produce sufficient for all, then is adopted the Anarchist principle of "to each according to his needs." In the more industrially developed and efficient countries that stage would naturally be reached sooner than in backward lands. But until it is reached, the system of equal sharing, equal distribution per capita, is imperative as the only just method. It goes without saying, of course, that special consideration must be given to the sick and the old, to children, and to women during and after pregnancy, as was also the practice in the Russian Revolution.

"Let me get this straight," you remark. "There is to be equal sharing, you say. Then you won't be able to buy anything?"

No, there will be no buying or selling. The revolution abolishes private ownership of the means of production and distribution, and with it goes capitalistic business. Personal possession remains only in the things you use. Thus, your watch is your own, but the watch factory belongs to the people. Land, machinery, and all other public utilities will be collective property, neither to be bought nor sold. Actual use will be considered the only title-not to ownership but to possession. The organization of the coal miners, for example, will be in charge of the coal mines, not as owners but as the operating agency. Similarly will the railroad brotherhoods run the railroads, and so on. Collective possession, cooperatively managed in the interests of the community, will take the place of personal ownership privately conducted for profit.

"But if you can't buy anything, then what's the use of money?" you ask.

None whatever; money becomes useless. You can't get anything for it. When the sources of supply, the land, factories, and products become public property, socialized, you can neither buy nor sell. As money is only a medium for such transactions, it loses its usefulness.

"But how will you exchange things?"

Exchange will be free. The coal miners, for instance, will deliver the coal they mined to the public coal yards for the use of the community. In their turn the miners will receive from the community's warehouses the machinery, tools, and the other commodities they need. That means free exchange without the medium of money and without profit, on the basis of requirement and the supply on hand.

"But if there is no machinery or food to be given to the miners?"

If there is none, money will not help matters. The miners couldn't feed on banknotes. Consider how such things are managed to-day. You trade coal for money, and for the money you get food. The free community we are speaking of will exchange the coal for food directly, without the medium of money.

"But on what basis? To-day you know what a dollar is worth, more or less, but how much coal will you give for a sack of flour?"

You mean, how will value or price be determined. But we have seen already in preceding chapters that there is no real measure of value, and that price depends on supply and demand and varies accordingly. The price of coal rises if there is a scarcity of it; it becomes cheaper if the supply is greater than the demand. To make bigger profits the coal owners artificially limit the output, and the same methods obtain throughout the capitalistic system. With the abolition of capitalism no one will be interested in raising the price of coal or limiting its supply. As much coal will be mined as will be necessary to satisfy the need. Similarly will as much food be raised as the country needs. It will be the requirements of the community and the supply obtainable which will determine the amount it is to receive. This applies to coal and food as to all other needs of the people.

"But suppose there is not enough of a certain product to go around. What will you do then?"

Then we'll do what is done even in capitalistic society in time of war and scarcity: the people are rationed, with the difference that in the free community rationing will be managed on principles of equality.

"But suppose the farmer refuses to supply the city with his products unless he gets money?"

The farmer, like any one else, wants money only if he can buy with it the things he needs. He will quickly see that money is useless to him. In Russia during the Revolution you could not get a peasant to sell you a pound of flour for a bagful of money. But he was eager to give you a barrel of the finest grain for an old pair of boots. It is plows, spades, rakes, agricultural machinery, and clothing which the farmer wants, not money. For these he will let you have his wheat, barley, and corn. In other words, the city will exchange with the farm the products each requires, on the basis of need.

It has been suggested by some that exchange during the reconstruction should be based on some definite standard. It is proposed, for example, that every community issue its own money, as is often done in time of revolution; or that a day's work should be considered the unit of value and so-called labour notes serve as medium of exchange. But neither of these proposals is of practical help. Money issued by communities in revolution would quickly depreciate to the point of no value, since such money would have no secure guarantees behind it, without which money is worth nothing. Similarly labour notes would not represent any definite and measurable value as a means of exchange. What would, for instance, an hour's work of the coal miner be worth? Or fifteen minutes' consultation with the physician? Even if all effort should be considered equal in value and an hour's labour be made the unit, could the house painter's hour of work or the surgeon's operation be equitably measured in terms of wheat?

Common sense will solve this problem on the basis of human equality and the right of every one to life.

"Such a system might work among decent people," your friend objects; "but how about shirkers? Were not the Bolsheviki right in establishing the principle that 'whoever doesn't work, doesn't eat'?"

No, my friend, you are mistaken. At first sight it may appear as if that was a just and sensible idea. But in reality it proved impractical, not to speak of the injustice and harm it worked all around.

"How so?"

It was impractical because it required an army of officials to keep tabs on the people who worked or didn't work. It led to incrimination and recrimination and endless disputes about official decisions. So that within a short time the number of those who didn't work was doubled and even trebled by the effort to force people to work and to guard against their dodging or doing bad work. It was the system of compulsory labour which soon proved such a failure that the Bolsheviki were compelled to give it up.

Moreover, the system caused even greater evils in other directions. Its injustice lay in the fact that you cannot break into a person's heart or mind and decide what peculiar physical or mental condition makes it temporarily impossible for him to work. Consider further the precedent you establish by introducing a false principle and thereby rousing the apposition of those who feel it wrong and oppressive and therefore refuse co-operation.

A rational community will find it more practical and beneficial to treat all alike, whether one happens to work at the time or not, rather than create more non-workers to watch those already on hand, or to build prisons for their punishment and support. For if you refuse to feed a man,for whatever cause, you drive him to theft and other crimes - and thus you yourself create the necessity for courts, lawyers, judge', jails, and warders, the upkeep of whom is far more burdensome than to feed the offenders. And these you have to feed, anyhow, even if you put them in prison.

The revolutionary community will depend more on awakening the social consciousness and solidarity of its delinquents than on punishment. It will rely on the example set by its working members, and it will be right in doing so. For the natural attitude of the industrious man to the shirker is such that the latter will find the social atmosphere so unpleasant that he will prefer to work and enjoy the respect and good will of his fellows rather than to be despised in idleness.

Bear in mind that it is more important, and in the end more practical and useful, to do the square thing rather than to gain a seeming immediate advantage. That is, to do justice is more vital than to punish. For punishment is never just and always harmful to both sides, the punished and the punisher;. harmful even more spiritually than physically, and there is no greater harm than that, for it hardens and corrupts you. This is unqualifiedly true of your individual life and with the same force it applies to the collective social existence.

On the foundations of liberty, justice, and equality, as also on understanding and sympathy, must be built every phase of life in the social revolution. Only so it can endure. This applies to the problems of shelter, food, and the security of your district or city, as well as to the defense of the revolution.

As regards housing and local safety Russia has shown the way in the first months of the October Revolution. House committees, chosen by the tenants, and city federations of such committees, take the problem in hand. They gather statistics of the facilities of a given district and of the number of applicants requiring quarters. The latter are assigned according to personal or family need on the basis of equal rights.

Similar house and district committees have charge of the provisioning of the city. Individual application for rations at the distributing centers is a stupendous waste of time and energy. Equally false is the system, practiced in Russia in the first years of the Revolution, of issuing rations in the institutions of one's employment, in shops, factories, and offices. The better and more efficient way, which at the same time insures more equitable distribution and closes the door to favoritism and misuse, is rationing by houses or streets. The authorized house or street committee procures at the local distributing center the provisions, clothing, etc., apportioned to the number of tenants represented by the committee. Equal rationing has the added advantage of eradicating food speculation, the vicious practice which grew to enormous proportions in Russia because of the system of inequality and privilege. Party members or persons with a political pull could freely bring to the cities carloads of flour while some old peasant woman was severely punished for selling a loaf of bread. No wonder speculation flourished, and to such an extent, indeed, that the Bolsheviki had to form special regiments to cope with the evil. The prisons were filled with offenders; capital punishment was resorted to; but even the most drastic measures of the government failed to stop speculation, for the latter was the direct consequence of the system of discrimination and favoritism. Only equality and freedom of exchange can obviate such evils or at least reduce them to a minimum.

Taking care of the sanitary and kindred needs of street and district by voluntary committees of house and locality affords the best results, since such bodies, themselves tenants of the given district, are personally interested in the health and safety of their families and friends. This system worked much better in Russia than the subsequently established regular police force. The latter consisting mostly of the worst city elements, proved corrupt, brutal, and oppressive.

The hope of material betterment is, as already mentioned, a powerful factor in the forward movement of humanity. But that incentive alone is not sufficient to inspire the masses to give them the vision of a new and better world, and cause them to face danger and privation for its sake. For that an ideal is needed, an ideal which appeals not only to the stomach but even more to the heart and imagination, which rouses our dormant longing for what is fine and beautiful, for the spiritual and cultural values of life. An ideal, in short, which wakens the inherent social instincts of man, feeds his sympathies and fellow-feeling, fires his love of liberty and justice, and imbues even the lowest with nobility of thought and deed, as we frequently witness in the catastrophic events of life. Let a great tragedy happen anywhere -an earthquake, flood, or railroad accident-and the compassion of the whole world goes out to the sufferers. Acts of heroic self-sacrifice, of brave rescue, and of unstinted aid demonstrate the real nature of man and his deep-felt brotherhood and unity.

This is true of mankind in all times, climes, and social strata. The story of Amundsen is a striking illustration of it. After decades of arduous and dangerous work the famous Norwegian explorer resolves to enjoy his remaining years in peaceful literary pursuits. He is announcing his decision at a banquet given in his honor, and almost at the same moment comes the news that the Nobile expedition to the North Pole had met with disaster. On the instant Amundsen renounces all his plans of a quiet life and prepares to fly to the aid of the lost aviators, fully aware of the peril of such an undertaking. Human sympathy and the compelling impulse to help those in distress overcome all considerations of personal safety, and Amundsen sacrifices his life in an attempt to rescue the Nobile party.

Deep in all of us lives the spirit of Amundsen. How many men of science have given up their lives in seeking knowledge by which to benefit their fellow-men-how many physicians and nurses have perished in the work of ministering to people stricken with contagious disease. How many men and women have voluntarily faced certain death in the effort to check an epidemic which was decimating their country or even some foreign land-how many men, common workingmen, miners, sailors, railroad employees-unknown to fame and unsung-have given themselves in the spirit of Amundsen? Their name is legion.

It is this human nature, this idealism, which must be roused by the social revolution. Without it the revolution cannot be, without it, it cannot live. Without it man is forever doomed to remain a slave and a weakling.

It is the work of the Anarchist, of the revolutionist, of the intelligent, class-conscious proletarian to exemplify and cultivate this spirit and instill it in others. It alone can conquer the powers of evil and darkness, and build a new world of humanity, liberty, and justice.
Chapter 13.

"What about production," you ask; "how is it to be managed?"

We have already seen what principles must underlie the activities of the revolution if it is to be social and accomplish its aims. The same principles of freedom and voluntary cooperation must also direct the reorganization of the industries.

The first effect of the revolution is reduced production. The general strike, which I have forecast as the starting point of the social revolution, itself constitutes a suspension of industry. The workers lay down their tools, demonstrate in the streets, and thus temporarily stop production.

But life goes on. The essential needs of the people must be satisfied. In that stage the revolution lives on the supplies, already on hand. But to exhaust those supplies would be disastrous. The situation rests in the hands of labour: the immediate resumption of industry is imperative. The organized agricultural and industrial proletariat takes possession of the land, factories, shops, mines and mills. Most energetic application is now the order of the day.

It should be clearly understood that the social revolution necessitates more intensive production than under capitalism in order to supply the needs of the large masses who till then had lived in penury. This greater production can be achieved only by the workers having previously prepared themselves for the new situation. Familiarity with the processes of industry, knowledge of the sources of supply, and determination to succeed will accomplish the task. The enthusiasm generated by the revolution, the energies liberated, and the inventiveness stimulated by it must be given full freedom and scope to find creative channels. Revolution always wakens a high degree of responsibility. Together with the new atmosphere of liberty and brotherhood it creates the realization that hard work and severe self-discipline are necessary to bring production up to the requirements of consumption.

On the other hand, the new situation will greatly simplify the present very complex problems of industry. For you must consider that capitalism, because of its competitive character and contradictory financial and commercial interests, involves many intricate and perplexing issues which would be entirely eliminated by the abolition of the conditions of to-day. Questions of wage scales and selling prices; the requirements of the existing markets and the hunt for new ones; the scarcity of capital for large operations and the heavy interest to be paid on it; new investments, the effects of speculation and monopoly, and a score of related problems which worry the capitalist and make industry such a difficult and cumbersome network to-day would all disappear. At present these require divers departments of study and highly trained men to keep unraveling the tangled skein of plutocratic cross purposes, many specialists to calculate the actualities and possibilities of profit and loss, and a large force of aids to help steer the industrial ship between the perilous rocks which beset the chaotic course of capitalist competition, national and international.

All this would be automatically done away with by the socialization of industry and the termination of the competitive system; and thereby the problems of production will be immensely lightened. The knotted complexity of capitalist industry need therefore inspire no undue fear for the future. Those who talk of labour not being equal to manage "modern" industry fail to take into account the factors referred to above. The industrial labyrinth will turn out to be far less formidable on the day of the social reconstruction.

In passing it may be mentioned that all the other phases of life would also be very much simplified as a result of the indicated changes: various present-day habits, customs, compulsory and unwholesome modes of living will naturally fall into disuse.

Furthermore it must be considered that the task of increased production would be enormously facilitated by the addition to the ranks of labour of vast numbers whom the altered economic conditions will liberate for work.

Recent statistics show that in 1920 there were in the United States over 41 million persons of both sexes engaged in gainful occupations out of a total population of over 105 millions. Out of chose 41 millions only 26 millions were actually employed in the industries, including transportation and agriculture, the balance of 15 millions consisting mostly of persons engaged in trade, of commercial travelers, advertisers, and various other middlemen of the present system In other words, 15 million persons would be released for useful work by a revolution in the United States. A similar situation, proportionate to population, would develop in other countries.

The greater production necessitated by the social revolution would therefore have an additional army of many million persons at its disposal. The systematic incorporation of chose millions into industry and agriculture, aided by modern scientific methods of organization and production, will go a long way coward helping to solve the problems of supply.

Capitalist production is for profit; more labour is used today to sell things than to produce them. The social revolution reorganizes the industries on the basis of the needs of the populace. Essential needs come first, naturally. Food, clothing, shelter - these are the primal requirements of man. The first step in this direction is the ascertaining of the available supply of provisions and ocher commodities. The labour associations in every city and community take this work in hand for the purpose of equitable distribution. Workers' committees in every street and district assume charge, cooperating with similar committees in the city and State, and federating their efforts throughout the country by means of general councils of producers and consumers.

Great events and upheavals bring to the fore the most active and energetic elements. The social revolution will crystallize the class-conscious labour ranks. By whatever name they will be known-as industrial unions, revolutionary syndicalist bodies, cooperative associations, leagues of producers and consumers-they will represent the most enlightened and advanced part of labour, the organized workers aware of their aims and how to attain them. It is they who will be the moving spirit of the revolution.

With the aid of industrial machinery and by scientific cultivation of the land freed from monopoly the revolution must first of all supply the elemental wanes of society. In farming and gardening intensive cultivation and modern methods have made us practically independent of natural soil quality and climate. To a very considerable extent man now makes his own soil and his own climate, thanks to the achievements of chemistry. Exotic fruits can be raised in the north to be supplied to the warm south, as is being done in France. Science is the wizard who enables man to master all difficulties and overcome all obstacles. The future, liberated from the incubus of the profit system and enriched by the work of the millions of non-producers of to-day, holds the greatest welfare for society. That future must be the objective point of the social revolution; its motto: bread and well-being for all. First bread, then well-being and luxury. Even luxury, for luxury is a deep-felt need of man, a need of his physical as of his spiritual being.

Intense application to this purpose must be the continuous effort of the revolution: not something to be postponed for a distant day but of immediate practice. The revolution must strive to enable every community to sustain itself, to become materially independent. No country should have to rely on outside help or exploit colonies for its support. That is the way of capitalism. The aim of Anarchism, on the contrary, is material independence, not only for the individual, but for every community.

This means gradual decentralization instead of centralization. Even under capitalism we see the decentralization tendency manifest itself in spite of the essentially centralistic character of the present-day industrial system. Countries which were before entirely dependent on foreign manufactures, as Germany in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, later Italy and Japan, and now Hungary, Czechoslovakia, etc., are gradually emancipating themselves industrially, working their own natural resources, building their own factories and mills, and attaining economic independence from other lands. International finance does not welcome this development and tries its utmost to retard its progress, because it is more profitable for the Morgans and Rockefellers to keep such countries as Mexico, China, India, Ireland, or Egypt industrially backward, in order to exploit their natural resources and at the same time be assured of foreign markets for "overproduction" at home. The governments of the great financiers and lords of industry help them secure chose foreign natural resources and markets, even at the point of the bayonet. Thus Great Britain by force of arms compels China to permit English opium to poison the Chinese, at a good profit, and exploits every means to dispose in that country of the greater part of its textile products. For the same reason Egypt, India, Ireland, and other dependencies and colonies are not permitted to develop their home industries.

In short, capitalism seeks centralization. But a free country needs decentralization, independence not only political but also industrial, economic.

Russia strikingly illustrates how imperative economic independence is, particularly to the social revolution. For years following the October upheaval the Bolshevik Government concentrated its efforts on currying favor with bourgeois governments for "recognition" and inviting foreign capitalists to help exploit the resources of Russia. But capital, afraid to make large investments under the insecure conditions of the dictatorship, failed to respond with any degree of enthusiasm. Meanwhile Russia was approaching economic breakdown. The situation finally compelled the Bolsheviki to understand that the country must depend on her own efforts for maintenance. Russia began to look around for means to help herself; and thereby she acquired greater confidence in her own abilities, learned to exercise self-reliance and initiative, and started to develop her own industries; a slow and painful process, but a wholesome necessity which will ultimately make Russia economically self-supporting and independent.

The social revolution in any given country must from the very first determine to make itself self-supporting. It must help itself. This principle of self-help is not to be understood as a lack of solidarity with other lands. On the contrary, mutual aid and co-operation between countries, as among individuals, can exist only on the basis of equality, among equals. Dependence is the very reverse of it.

Should the social revolution take place in several countries at the same time - in France and Germany, for instance - then joint effort would be a matter of course and would make the task of revolutionary reorganization much easier.

Fortunately the workers are learning to understand that their cause is international: the organization of labour is now developing beyond national boundaries. It is to be hoped that the time is not far away when the entire proletariat of Europe may combine in a general strike, which is to be the prelude to the social revolution. That is emphatically a consummation to have striven for with the greatest earnestness. But at the same time the probability is not to be discounted that the revolution may break out in one country sooner than in another - let us say in France earlier than in Germany - and in such a case it would become imperative for France not to wait for possible aid from outside but immediately to exert all her energies to help herself, to supply the most essential needs of her people by her own efforts.

Every country in revolution must seek to achieve agricultural independence no less than political, industrial self-help no less than agricultural. This process is going on to a certain extent even under capitalism. It should be one of the main objects of the social revolution. Modern methods make it possible. The manufacture of watches and clocks, for example, which was formerly a monopoly of Switzerland, is now carried on in every country. Production of silk, previously limited to France, is among the great industries of various countries to-day. Italy, without sources of coal or iron, constructs steel-clad ships. Switzerland, no richer, also makes them.

Decentralization will cure society of many evils of the centralized principle. Politically decentralization means freedom; industrially, material independence; socially it implies security and well-being for the small communities; individually it results in manhood and liberty.

Equally important to the social revolution as independence from foreign lands is decentralization within the country itself. Internal decentralization means making the larger regions, even every community, so far as possible, self-supporting. In his very illuminating and suggestive work, Fields, Factories, and Workshops, Peter Kropotkin has convincingly shown how a city like Paris even, now almost exclusively commercial, could raise enough food in its own environs to support its population abundantly. By using modern agricultural machinery and intensive cultivation London and New York could subsist upon the products raised in their own immediate vicinity. It is a face that "our means of obtaining from the soil whatever we wane, under any climate and upon any soil, have lately been improved at such a rate that we cannot foresee yet what is the limit of productivity of a few acres of land. The limit vanishes in proportion to our better study of the subject, and every year makes it vanish further and further from our sight."

When the social revolution begins in any land, its foreign commerce stops: the importation of raw materials and finished products is suspended. The country may even be blockaded by the bourgeois governments, as was the case with Russia. Thus the revolution is compelled to become self-supporting and provide for its own wanes. Even various parts of the same country may have to face such an eventuality. They would have to produce what they need within their own area, by their own efforts. Only decentralization could solve this problem. The country would have to reorganize its activities in such a manner as to be able to feed itself. It would have to revert to production on a small scale, to home industry, and to intensive agriculture and horticulture. Man's initiative freed by the revolution and his wits sharpened by necessity will rise to the situation.

It must therefore be clearly understood that it would be disastrous to the interests of the revolution to suppress or interfere with the small-scale industries which are even now practiced to such a great extent in various European countries. Numerous articles of every-day use are produced by the peasants of Continental Europe during their leisure winter hours. Those home manufactures total up tremendous figures and fill a great need. It would be most harmful to the revolution to destroy them, as Russia so foolishly did in her mad Bolshevik passion for centralization. When a country in revolution is attacked by foreign governments, when it is blockaded and deprived of imports, when its large-scale industries threaten to break down or the railroads actually do break down, then it is just the small home industries which become the vital nerve of economic life: they alone can feed and save the revolution.

Moreover, such home industries are not only a potent economic factor; they are also of the greatest social value. They serve to cultivate friendly intercourse between the farm and the city, bringing the two into closer and more solidaric contact. In face, the home industries are themselves an expression of a most wholesome social spirit which from earliest times has manifested itself in village gatherings, in communal efforts, in folk dance and song. This normal and healthy tendency, in its various aspects, should be encouraged and stimulated by the revolution for the greater weal of the community.

The role of industrial decentralization in the revolution is unfortunately too little appreciated. Even in progressive labour ranks there is a dangerous tendency to ignore or minimize its importance. Most people are still in the thraldom of the Marxian dogma that centralization is "more efficient and economical." They close their eyes to the face that the alleged "economy" is achieved at the cost of the worker's limb and life, that the "efficiency" degrades him to a mere industrial cog, deadens his soul, and fills his body. Furthermore, in a system of centralization the administration of industry becomes constantly merged in fewer hands, producing a powerful bureaucracy of industrial overlords. It would indeed be the sheerest irony if the revolution were to aim at such a result. It would mean the creation of a new master class.

The revolution can accomplish the emancipation of labour only by gradual decentralization, by developing the individual worker into a more conscious and determining factor in the processes of industry, by making him the impulse whence proceeds all industrial and social activity. The deep significance of the social revolution lies in the abolition of the mastery of man over man, putting in its place the management of things. Only thus can be achieved industrial and social freedom.

"Are you sure it would work?" you demand.

I am sure of this: if that will not work, nothing else will. The plan I have outlined is a free communism, a life of voluntary co-operation and equal sharing. There is no other way of securing economic equality which alone is liberty. Any other system must lead back to capitalism.

It is likely, of course, that a country in social revolution may try various economic experiments. A limited capitalism might be introduced in one part of the land or collectivism in another. But collectivism is only another form of the wage system and it would speedily tend to become the capitalism of the present day. For collectivism begins by abolishing private ownership of the means of production and immediately reverses itself by returning to the system of remuneration according to work performed; which means the reintroduction of inequality.

Man learns by doing. The social revolution in different countries and regions will probably try out various methods, and by practical experience learn the best way. The revolution is at the same time the opportunity and justification for it. I am not attempting to prophesy what this or that country is going to do, what particular course it will follow. Nor do I presume to dictate to the future, to prescribe its mode of conduct. My purpose is to suggest, in broad outline, the principles which must animate the revolution, the general lines of action it should follow if it is to accomplish its aim - the reconstruction of society on a foundation of freedom and equality.

We know that previous revolutions for the most part failed of their objects; they degenerated into dictatorship and despotism, and thus reëstablished the old institutions of oppression and exploitation. We know it from past and recent history. We therefore draw the conclusion that the old way will not do. A new way muse be cried in the coming social revolution. What new way, The only one so far known to man: the way of liberty and equality, the way of free communism, of Anarchy.
Chapter 14.
Defense Of The Revolution

"Suppose your system is tried, would you have any means of defending the revolution?" you ask.


"Even by armed force?"

Yes, if necessary.

"But armed force IS organized violence. Didn't you say Anarchism was against it?"

Anarchism is opposed to any interference with your liberty, be it by force and violence or by any other means. It is against all invasion and compulsion. But if any one attacks you, then it is he who is invading you, he who is employing violence against you. You have a right co-defend yourself. More than that, it is your duty, as an Anarchist, to protect your liberty, to resist coercion and compulsion. Otherwise you are a slave, not a free man. In other words, the social revolution will attack no one, but it will defend itself against invasion from any quarter.

Besides, you must not confuse the social revolution with Anarchy. Revolution, in some of its stages, is a violent upheaval; Anarchy is a social condition of freedom and peace. The revolution is the means of bringing Anarchy about but it is not Anarchy itself. It is to pave the road for Anarchy, to establish conditions which will make a life of liberty possible.

But to achieve its purpose the revolution must be imbued with and directed by the Anarchist spirit and ideas. The end shapes the means, just as the tool you use must be fit to do the work you want to accomplish. That is to say, the social revolution must be Anarchistic in method as in aim.

Revolutionary defense muse be in consonance with this spirit. Self-defense excludes all aces of coercion, of persecution or revenge. It is concerned only with repelling attack and depriving the enemy of opportunity to invade you.

"How would you repel foreign invasion?"

By the strength of the revolution. In what does that strength consist? First and foremost, in the support of the people, in the devotion of the industrial and agricultural masses. If they feel that they themselves are making the revolution, that they have become the masters of their lives, that they have gained freedom and are building up their welfare, then in that very sentiment you have the greatest strength of the revolution. The masses fight to-day for king, capitalist, or president because they believe them worth fighting for. Let them believe in the revolution, and they will defend it to the death.

They will fight for the revolution with heart and soul, as the half-starved working men, women, and even children of Petrograd defended their city, almost with bare hands, against the White army of General Yudenitch. Take that faith away, deprive the people of power by setting up some authority over them, be it a political party or military organization, and you have dealt a fatal blow to the revolution. You will have robbed it of its main source of strength, the masses. You will have made it defenseless.

The armed workers and peasants are the only effective defense of the revolution. By means of their unions and syndicates they must always be on guard against counterrevolutionary attack. The worker in factory and mill, in mine and field, is the soldier of the revolution. He is at his bench and plow or on the battlefield, according to need. But in his factory as in his regiment he is the soul of the revolution, and it is his will that decides its fate. In industry the shop committees, in the barracks the soldiers' committees- these are the fountain-head of all revolutionary strength and activity.

It was the volunteer Red Guard, made up of Boilers, that successfully defended the Russian Revolution in its most critical initial stages. Later on it was again volunteer peasant regiments who defeated the White armies. The regular Red army, organized later, was powerless without the volunteer workers' and peasants' divisions. Siberia was freed from Kolchak and his hordes by such peasant volunteers. In the north of Russia it was also workers' and peasants detachments that drove out the foreign armies which came to impose the yoke of native reactionaries upon the people. In the Ukraine the volunteer peasant armies- known as povstantsi - saved the Revolution from numerous counter-revolutionary generals and particularly from Denikin when the latter was already at the very gates of Moscow. It was the revolutionary povstantsi who freed southern Russia from the invading armies of Germany, France, Italy, and Greece and subsequently also routed the White forces of General Wrangel.

The military defense of the revolution may demand a supreme command, coordination of activities, discipline, and obedience to orders. But these must proceed from the devotion of the workers and peasants, and must be based on their voluntary cooperation through their own local, regional, and federal organizations. In the matter of defense against foreign attack, as in all other problems of the social revolution, the active interest of the masses, their autonomy and self-determination are the best guarantee of success.

Understand well that the only really effective defense of the revolution lies in the attitude of the people. Popular discontent is the worse enemy of the revolution and its greatest danger. We must always bear in mind that the strength of the social revolution is organic, not mechanistic: not in mechanical, military measures lies its might, but industry, in its ability to reconstruct life, to establish liberty and justice. Let the people feel that it is indeed their own cause which is at stake, and the last man of them will fight like a lion in its behalf.

The same applies to internal as to external defense. What chance would any White general or counter-revolutionist have if he could not exploit oppression and injustice to incite the people against the revolution? Counter-revolution can feed only on popular discontent. Where the masses are conscious that the revolution and all its activities are in their own hands, thee they themselves are managing things and are free to change their methods when they consider it necessary, counter-revolution can find no support and is harmless.

"But would you let counter-revolutionists incite the people if they tried to?"

By all means. Let them talk all they like. To restrain them would serve only to create a persecuted class and thereby enlist popular sympathy for them and their cause. To suppress speech and press is not only a theoretic offense against liberty: it is a direct blow at the very foundations of the revolution. It would, first of all, raise problems where none had existed before. It would introduce methods which must lead to discontent and opposition, to bitterness and strife, to prison, Tcheka, and civil war. It would generate fear and distrust, would hatch conspiracies, and culminate in a reign of terror which has always killed revolutions in the past.

The social revolution must from the very sears be based on entirely different principles, on a new conception and attitude. Full freedom is the very breath of its existence; and be it never forgotten that the cure for evil and disorder is more liberty, not suppression. Suppression leads only to violence and destruction.

"Will you not defend the revolution then?" your friend demands.

Certainly we will. But not against mere balk, not against an expression of opinion. The revolution must be big enough to welcome even the severest criticism, and profit by it if it is justified. The revolution will defend itself most determinedly against real counter-revolution, against all active enemies, against any attempt to defeat or sabotage it by forcible invasion or violence. That is the right of the revolution and its duty. But it will not persecute the conquered foe, nor wreak vengeance upon an entire social class because of the fault of individual members of it. The sins of the fathers shall not be visited upon their children.

What will you do with counter-revolutionists?"

Actual combat and armed resistance involve human sacrifices, and the counter-revolutionists who lose their lives under such circumstances suffer the unavoidable consequences of their deeds. But the revolutionary people are not savages. The wounded are not slaughtered nor chose taken prisoners executed. Neither is practiced the barbarous system of shooting hostages, as the Bolsheviki did.

"How will you treat counter-revolutionists taken prisoners during an engagement?"

The revolution must find new ways, some sensible method of dealing with them. The old method is to imprison them, support them in idleness, and employ numerous men to guard and punish them. And while the culprit remains in prison, incarceration and brutal treatment still further embitter him against the revolution, strengthen his opposition, and nurse thoughts of vengeance and new conspiracies. The revolution will regard such methods as stupid and detrimental to its best interests. It will try instead by humane treatment to convince the defeated enemy of the error and uselessness of his resistance. It will apply liberty instead of revenge. It will take into consideration that most of the counter-revolutionists are dupes rather than enemies, deluded victims of some individuals seeking power and authority. It will know that they need enlightenment rather than punishment, and that the former will accomplish more than the latter. Even to-day this perception is gaining ground. The Bolsheviki defeated the Allied armies in Russia more effectively by revolutionary propaganda among the enemy soldiers than by the strength of their artillery. These new methods have been recognized as practical even by the United States Government which is making use of them now in its Nicaraguan campaign. American aeroplanes scatter proclamations and appeals to the Nicaraguan people to persuade them to desert Sandino and his cause, and the American army chiefs expect the best results from these tactics. But the Sandino patriots are fighting for home and country against a foreign invader, while counter-revolutionists wage war against their own people. The work of their enlightenment is much simpler and promises better results.

"Do you think that would really be the best way to deal with counter-revolution?"

By all means. Humane treatment and kindness are more effective than cruelty and vengeance. The new attitude in this regard would suggest also a number of other methods of similar character. Various modes of dealing with conspirators and active enemies of the revolution would develop as soon as you begin to practice the new policy. The plan might be adopted, for instance, of scattering them, individually or in small groups, over districts removed from their counter-revolutionary influences, among communities of revolutionary spirit and consciousness. Consider also that counter-revolutionists muse eat; which means that they would find themselves in a situation that would claim their thoughts and time for other things than the hatching of conspiracies. The defeated counter-revolutionist, left at liberty instead of being imprisoned, would have to seek means of existence. He would not be denied his livelihood, of course, since the revolution would be generous enough to feed even its enemies. But the man in question would have to join some community, secure lodgings, and so forth, in order to enjoy the hospitality of the distributing center. In other words, the counter-revolutionary "prisoners in freedom" would depend on the community and the good will of its members for their means of existence. They would live in its atmosphere and be influenced by its revolutionary environment. Surely they will be safer and more contented than in prison, and presently they would cease to be a danger to the revolution. We have repeatedly seen such examples in Russia, in cases where counter-revolutionists had escaped the Tcheka and settled down in some village or city, where as a result of considerate and decent treatment they became useful members of the community, often more zealous in behalf of the public welfare than the average citizen, while hundreds of their fellow-conspirators, who had not been lucky enough to avoid arrest, were busy in prison with thoughts of revenge and new plots.

Various plans of treating such "prisoners in freedom" will no doubt be tried by the revolutionary people. But whatever the methods, they will be more satisfactory than the present system of revenge and punishment, the complete failure of which has been demonstrated throughout human experience. Among the new ways might also be tried that of free colonization. The revolution will offer its enemies an opportunity to settle in some part of the country and there establish the form of social life that will suit them best. It is no vain speculation to foresee that it would not be long before most of them would prefer the brotherhood and liberty of the revolutionary community to the reactionary regime of their colony. But even if they did not, nothing would be lost. On the contrary, the revolution would itself be the greatest gainer, spiritually, by forsaking methods of revenge and persecution and practicing humanity and magnanimity. Revolutionary self-defense, inspired by such methods, will be the more effective because of the very freedom it will guarantee even to its enemies. Its appeal to the masses and to the world at large will thereby be the more irresistible and universal. In its justice and humanity lies the invincible strength of the social revolution.

No revolution has yet tried the true way of liberty. None has had sufficient faith in it. Force and suppression, persecution, revenge, and terror have characterized all revolutions in the past and have thereby defeated their original aims. The time has come to try new methods, new ways. The social revolution is to achieve the emancipation of man through liberty, but if we have no faith in the latter, revolution becomes a denial and betrayal of itself. Let us then have the courage of freedom: let it replace suppression and terror. Let liberty become our faith and our deed and we shall grow strong therein.

Only liberty can make the social revolution effective and wholesome. It alone can pave the way to greater heights and prepare a society where well-being and joy shall be the heritage of all. The day will dawn when man shall for the first time have full opportunity to grow and expand in the free and generous sunshine of Anarchy.

Bob Black

Anarchism: What it Really Stands For

13.05.2010 14:54

Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood,
Thou art the grisly terror of our age.
"Wreck of all order," cry the multitude,
"Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage."
O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven
The truth that lies behind a word to find,
To them the word's right meaning was not given.
They shall continue blind among the blind.
But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure,
Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken.
I give thee to the future! Thine secure
When each at least unto himself shall waken.
Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill?
I cannot tell--but it the earth shall see!
I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will
Not rule, and also ruled I will not be!

- John Henry Mackay.

THE history of human growth and development is at the same time the history of the terrible struggle of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn. In its tenacious hold on tradition, the Old has never hesitated to make use of the foulest and cruelest means to stay the advent of the New, in whatever form or period the latter may have asserted itself. Nor need we retrace our steps into the distant past to realize the enormity of opposition, difficulties, and hardships placed in the path of every progressive idea. The rack, the thumbscrew, and the knout are still with us; so are the convict's garb and the social wrath, all conspiring against the spirit that is serenely marching on.

Anarchism could not hope to escape the fate of all other ideas of innovation. Indeed, as the most revolutionary and uncompromising innovator, Anarchism must needs meet with the combined ignorance and venom of the world it aims to reconstruct.

To deal even remotely with all that is being said and done against Anarchism would necessitate the writing of a whole volume. I shall therefore meet only two of the principal objections. In so doing, I shall attempt to elucidate what Anarchism really stands for.

The strange phenomenon of the opposition to Anarchism is that it brings to light the relation between so-called intelligence and ignorance. And yet this is not so very strange when we consider the relativity of all things. The ignorant mass has in its favor that it makes no pretense of knowledge or tolerance. Acting, as it always does, by mere impulse, its reasons are like those of a child. "Why?" "Because." Yet the opposition of the uneducated to Anarchism deserves the same consideration as that of the intelligent man.

What, then, are the objections? First, Anarchism is impractical, though a beautiful ideal. Second, Anarchism stands for violence and destruction, hence it must be repudiated as vile and dangerous. Both the intelligent man and the ignorant mass judge not from a thorough knowledge of the subject, but either from hearsay or false interpretation.

A practical scheme, says Oscar Wilde, is either one already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions; but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to, and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish. The true criterion of the practical, therefore, is not whether the latter can keep intact the wrong or foolish; rather is it whether the scheme has vitality enough to leave the stagnant waters of the old, and build, as well as sustain, new life. In the light of this conception, Anarchism is indeed practical. More than any other idea, it is helping to do away with the wrong and foolish; more than any other idea, it is building and sustaining new life.

The emotions of the ignorant man are continuously kept at a pitch by the most blood-curdling stories about Anarchism. Not a thing too outrageous to be employed against this philosophy and its exponents. Therefore Anarchism represents to the unthinking what the proverbial bad man does to the child,--a black monster bent on swallowing everything; in short, destruction and violence.

Destruction and violence! How is the ordinary man to know that the most violent element in society is ignorance; that its power of destruction is the very thing Anarchism is combating? Nor is he aware that Anarchism, whose roots, as it were, are part of nature's forces, destroys, not healthful tissue, but parasitic growths that feed on the life's essence of society. It is merely clearing the soil from weeds and sagebrush, that it may eventually bear healthy fruit.

Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think. The widespread mental indolence, so prevalent in society, proves this to be only too true. Rather than to go to the bottom of any given idea, to examine into its origin and meaning, most people will either condemn it altogether, or rely on some superficial or prejudicial definition of non-essentials.

Anarchism urges man to think, to investigate, to analyze every proposition; but that the brain capacity of the average reader be not taxed too much, I also shall begin with a definition, and then elaborate on the latter.

ANARCHISM:--The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.

The new social order rests, of course, on the materialistic basis of life; but while all Anarchists agree that the main evil today is an economic one, they maintain that the solution of that evil can be brought about only through the consideration of every phase of life,--individual, as well as the collective; the internal, as well as the external phases.

A thorough perusal of the history of human development will disclose two elements in bitter conflict with each other; elements that are only now beginning to be understood, not as foreign to each other, but as closely related and truly harmonious, if only placed in proper environment: the individual and social instincts. The individual and society have waged a relentless and bloody battle for ages, each striving for supremacy, because each was blind to the value and importance of the other. The individual and social instincts,--the one a most potent factor for individual endeavor, for growth, aspiration, self-realization; the other an equally potent factor for mutual helpfulness and social well-being.

The explanation of the storm raging within the individual, and between him and his surroundings, is not far to seek. The primitive man, unable to understand his being, much less the unity of all life, felt himself absolutely dependent on blind, hidden forces ever ready to mock and taunt him. Out of that attitude grew the religious concepts of man as a mere speck of dust dependent on superior powers on high, who can only be appeased by complete surrender. All the early sagas rest on that idea, which continues to be the Leitmotiv of the biblical tales dealing with the relation of man to God, to the State, to society. Again and again the same motif, man is nothing, the powers are everything. Thus Jehovah would only endure man on condition of complete surrender. Man can have all the glories of the earth, but he must not become conscious of himself. The State, society, and moral laws all sing the same refrain: Man can have all the glories of the earth, but he must not become conscious of himself.

Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man's subordination. Anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man. There is no conflict between the individual and the social instincts, any more than there is between the heart and the lungs: the one the receptacle of a precious life essence, the other the repository of the element that keeps the essence pure and strong. The individual is the heart of society, conserving the essence of social life; society is the lungs which are distributing the element to keep the life essence--that is, the individual--pure and strong.

"The one thing of value in the world," says Emerson, "is the active soul; this every man contains within him. The soul active sees absolute truth and utters truth and creates." In other words, the individual instinct is the thing of value in the world. It is the true soul that sees and creates the truth alive, out of which is to come a still greater truth, the re-born social soul.

Anarchism is the great liberator of man from the phantoms that have held him captive; it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony. To accomplish that unity, Anarchism has declared war on the pernicious influences which have so far prevented the harmonious blending of individual and social instincts, the individual and society.

Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man's enslavement and all the horrors it entails. Religion! How it dominates man's mind, how it humiliates and degrades his soul. God is everything, man is nothing, says religion. But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began. Anarchism rouses man to rebellion against this black monster. Break your mental fetters, says Anarchism to man, for not until you think and judge for yourself will you get rid of the dominion of darkness, the greatest obstacle to all progress.

Property, the dominion of man's needs, the denial of the right to satisfy his needs. Time was when property claimed a divine right, when it came to man with the same refrain, even as religion, "Sacrifice! Abnegate! Submit!" The spirit of Anarchism has lifted man from his prostrate position. He now stands erect, with his face toward the light. He has learned to see the insatiable, devouring, devastating nature of property, and he is preparing to strike the monster dead.

"Property is robbery," said the great French Anarchist Proudhon. Yes, but without risk and danger to the robber. Monopolizing the accumulated efforts of man, property has robbed him of his birthright, and has turned him loose a pauper and an outcast. Property has not even the time-worn excuse that man does not create enough to satisfy all needs. The A B C student of economics knows that the productivity of labor within the last few decades far exceeds normal demand. But what are normal demands to an abnormal institution? The only demand that property recognizes is its own gluttonous appetite for greater wealth, because wealth means power; the power to subdue, to crush, to exploit, the power to enslave, to outrage, to degrade. America is particularly boastful of her great power, her enormous national wealth. Poor America, of what avail is all her wealth, if the individuals comprising the nation are wretchedly poor? If they live in squalor, in filth, in crime, with hope and joy gone, a homeless, soilless army of human prey.

It is generally conceded that unless the returns of any business venture exceed the cost, bankruptcy is inevitable. But those engaged in the business of producing wealth have not yet learned even this simple lesson. Every year the cost of production in human life is growing larger (50,000 killed, 100,000 wounded in America last year); the returns to the masses, who help to create wealth, are ever getting smaller. Yet America continues to be blind to the inevitable bankruptcy of our business of production. Nor is this the only crime of the latter. Still more fatal is the crime of turning the producer into a mere particle of a machine, with less will and decision than his master of steel and iron. Man is being robbed not merely of the products of his labor, but of the power of free initiative, of originality, and the interest in, or desire for, the things he is making.

Real wealth consists in things of utility and beauty, in things that help to create strong, beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in. But if man is doomed to wind cotton around a spool, or dig coal, or build roads for thirty years of his life, there can be no talk of wealth. What he gives to the world is only gray and hideous things, reflecting a dull and hideous existence,--too weak to live, too cowardly to die. Strange to say, there are people who extol this deadening method of centralized production as the proudest achievement of our age. They fail utterly to realize that if we are to continue in machine subserviency, our slavery is more complete than was our bondage to the King. They do not want to know that centralization is not only the death-knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of art and science, all these being impossible in a clock-like, mechanical atmosphere.

Anarchism cannot but repudiate such a method of production: its goal is the freest possible expression of all the latent powers of the individual. Oscar Wilde defines a perfect personality as "one who develops under perfect conditions, who is not wounded, maimed, or in danger." A perfect personality, then, is only possible in a state of society where man is free to choose the mode of work, the conditions of work, and the freedom to work. One to whom the making of a table, the building of a house, or the tilling of the soil, is what the painting is to the artist and the discovery to the scientist,--the result of inspiration, of intense longing, and deep interest in work as a creative force. That being the ideal of Anarchism, its economic arrangements must consist of voluntary productive and distributive associations, gradually developing into free communism, as the best means of producing with the least waste of human energy. Anarchism, however, also recognizes the right of the individual, or numbers of individuals, to arrange at all times for other forms of work, in harmony with their tastes and desires.

Such free display of human energy being possible only under complete individual and social freedom, Anarchism directs its forces against the third and greatest foe of all social equality; namely, the State, organized authority, or statutory law,--the dominion of human conduct.

Just as religion has fettered the human mind, and as property, or the monopoly of things, has subdued and stifled man's needs, so has the State enslaved his spirit, dictating every phase of conduct. "All government in essence," says Emerson, "is tyranny." It matters not whether it is government by divine right or majority rule. In every instance its aim is the absolute subordination of the individual.

Referring to the American government, the greatest American Anarchist, David Thoreau, said: "Government, what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instance losing its integrity; it has not the vitality and force of a single living man. Law never made man a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it, even the well disposed are daily made agents of injustice."

Indeed, the keynote of government is injustice. With the arrogance and self-sufficiency of the King who could do no wrong, governments ordain, judge, condemn, and punish the most insignificant offenses, while maintaining themselves by the greatest of all offenses, the annihilation of individual liberty. Thus Ouida is right when she maintains that "the State only aims at instilling those qualities in its public by which its demands are obeyed, and its exchequer is filled. Its highest attainment is the reduction of mankind to clockwork. In its atmosphere all those finer and more delicate liberties, which require treatment and spacious expansion, inevitably dry up and perish. The State requires a taxpaying machine in which there is no hitch, an exchequer in which there is never a deficit, and a public, monotonous, obedient, colorless, spiritless, moving humbly like a flock of sheep along a straight high road between two walls."

Yet even a flock of sheep would resist the chicanery of the State, if it were not for the corruptive, tyrannical, and oppressive methods it employs to serve its purposes. Therefore Bakunin repudiates the State as synonymous with the surrender of the liberty of the individual or small minorities,--the destruction of social relationship, the curtailment, or complete denial even, of life itself, for its own aggrandizement. The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice.

In fact, there is hardly a modern thinker who does not agree that government, organized authority, or the State, is necessary only to maintain or protect property and monopoly. It has proven efficient in that function only.

Even George Bernard Shaw, who hopes for the miraculous from the State under Fabianism, nevertheless admits that "it is at present a huge machine for robbing and slave-driving of the poor by brute force." This being the case, it is hard to see why the clever prefacer wishes to uphold the State after poverty shall have ceased to exist.

Unfortunately, there are still a number of people who continue in the fatal belief that government rests on natural laws, that it maintains social order and harmony, that it diminishes crime, and that it prevents the lazy man from fleecing his fellows. I shall therefore examine these contentions.

A natural law is that factor in man which asserts itself freely and spontaneously without any external force, in harmony with the requirements of nature. For instance, the demand for nutrition, for sex gratification, for light, air, and exercise, is a natural law. But its expression needs not the machinery of government, needs not the club, the gun, the handcuff, or the prison. To obey such laws, if we may call it obedience, requires only spontaneity and free opportunity. That governments do not maintain themselves through such harmonious factors is proven by the terrible array of violence, force, and coercion all governments use in order to live. Thus Blackstone is right when he says, "Human laws are invalid, because they are contrary to the laws of nature."

Unless it be the order of Warsaw after the slaughter of thousands of people, it is difficult to ascribe to governments any capacity for order or social harmony. Order derived through submission and maintained by terror is not much of a safe guaranty; yet that is the only "order" that governments have ever maintained. True social harmony grows naturally out of solidarity of interests. In a society where those who always work never have anything, while those who never work enjoy everything, solidarity of interests is non-existent; hence social harmony is but a myth. The only way organized authority meets this grave situation is by extending still greater privileges to those who have already monopolized the earth, and by still further enslaving the disinherited masses. Thus the entire arsenal of government--laws, police, soldiers, the courts, legislatures, prisons,--is strenuously engaged in "harmonizing" the most antagonistic elements in society.

The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation.

Crime is naught but misdirected energy. So long as every institution of today, economic, political, social, and moral, conspires to misdirect human energy into wrong channels; so long as most people are out of place doing the things they hate to do, living a life they loathe to live, crime will be inevitable, and all the laws on the statutes can only increase, but never do away with, crime. What does society, as it exists today, know of the process of despair, the poverty, the horrors, the fearful struggle the human soul must pass on its way to crime and degradation. Who that knows this terrible process can fail to see the truth in these words of Peter Kropotkin:

"Those who will hold the balance between the benefits thus attributed to law and punishment and the degrading effect of the latter on humanity; those who will estimate the torrent of depravity poured abroad in human society by the informer, favored by the Judge even, and paid for in clinking cash by governments, under the pretext of aiding to unmask crime; those who will go within prison walls and there see what human beings become when deprived of liberty, when subjected to the care of brutal keepers, to coarse, cruel words, to a thousand stinging, piercing humiliations, will agree with us that the entire apparatus of prison and punishment is an abomination which ought to be brought to an end."

The deterrent influence of law on the lazy man is too absurd to merit consideration. If society were only relieved of the waste and expense of keeping a lazy class, and the equally great expense of the paraphernalia of protection this lazy class requires, the social tables would contain an abundance for all, including even the occasional lazy individual. Besides, it is well to consider that laziness results either from special privileges, or physical and mental abnormalities. Our present insane system of production fosters both, and the most astounding phenomenon is that people should want to work at all now. Anarchism aims to strip labor of its deadening, dulling aspect, of its gloom and compulsion. It aims to make work an instrument of joy, of strength, of color, of real harmony, so that the poorest sort of a man should find in work both recreation and hope.

To achieve such an arrangement of life, government, with its unjust, arbitrary, repressive measures, must be done away with. At best it has but imposed one single mode of life upon all, without regard to individual and social variations and needs. In destroying government and statutory laws, Anarchism proposes to rescue the self-respect and independence of the individual from all restraint and invasion by authority. Only in freedom can man grow to his full stature. Only in freedom will he learn to think and move, and give the very best in him. Only in freedom will he realize the true force of the social bonds which knit men together, and which are the true foundation of a normal social life.

But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism?

Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed?

John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities?

Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities.

Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations.

This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.

As to methods. Anarchism is not, as some may suppose, a theory of the future to be realized through divine inspiration. It is a living force in the affairs of our life, constantly creating new conditions. The methods of Anarchism therefore do not comprise an iron-clad program to be carried out under all circumstances. Methods must grow out of the economic needs of each place and clime, and of the intellectual and temperamental requirements of the individual. The serene, calm character of a Tolstoy will wish different methods for social reconstruction than the intense, overflowing personality of a Michael Bakunin or a Peter Kropotkin. Equally so it must be apparent that the economic and political needs of Russia will dictate more drastic measures than would England or America. Anarchism does not stand for military drill and uniformity; it does, however, stand for the spirit of revolt, in whatever form, against everything that hinders human growth. All Anarchists agree in that, as they also agree in their opposition to the political machinery as a means of bringing about the great social change.

"All voting," says Thoreau, "is a sort of gaming, like checkers, or backgammon, a playing with right and wrong; its obligation never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right thing is doing nothing for it. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority." A close examination of the machinery of politics and its achievements will bear out the logic of Thoreau.

What does the history of parliamentarism show? Nothing but failure and defeat, not even a single reform to ameliorate the economic and social stress of the people. Laws have been passed and enactments made for the improvement and protection of labor. Thus it was proven only last year that Illinois, with the most rigid laws for mine protection, had the greatest mine disasters. In States where child labor laws prevail, child exploitation is at its highest, and though with us the workers enjoy full political opportunities, capitalism has reached the most brazen zenith.

Even were the workers able to have their own representatives, for which our good Socialist politicians are clamoring, what chances are there for their honesty and good faith? One has but to bear in mind the process of politics to realize that its path of good intentions is full of pitfalls: wire-pulling, intriguing, flattering, lying, cheating; in fact, chicanery of every description, whereby the political aspirant can achieve success. Added to that is a complete demoralization of character and conviction, until nothing is left that would make one hope for anything from such a human derelict. Time and time again the people were foolish enough to trust, believe, and support with their last farthing aspiring politicians, only to find themselves betrayed and cheated.

It may be claimed that men of integrity would not become corrupt in the political grinding mill. Perhaps not; but such men would be absolutely helpless to exert the slightest influence in behalf of labor, as indeed has been shown in numerous instances. The State is the economic master of its servants. Good men, if such there be, would either remain true to their political faith and lose their economic support, or they would cling to their economic master and be utterly unable to do the slightest good. The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue.

The political superstition is still holding sway over the hearts and minds of the masses, but the true lovers of liberty will have no more to do with it. Instead, they believe with Stirner that man has as much liberty as he is willing to take. Anarchism therefore stands for direct action, the open defiance of, and resistance to, all laws and restrictions, economic, social, and moral. But defiance and resistance are illegal. Therein lies the salvation of man. Everything illegal necessitates integrity, self-reliance, and courage. In short, it calls for free, independent spirits, for "men who are men, and who have a bone in their backs which you cannot pass your hand through."

Universal suffrage itself owes its existence to direct action. If not for the spirit of rebellion, of the defiance on the part of the American revolutionary fathers, their posterity would still wear the King's coat. If not for the direct action of a John Brown and his comrades, America would still trade in the flesh of the black man. True, the trade in white flesh is still going on; but that, too, will have to be abolished by direct action. Trade-unionism, the economic arena of the modern gladiator, owes its existence to direct action. It is but recently that law and government have attempted to crush the trade-union movement, and condemned the exponents of man's right to organize to prison as conspirators. Had they sought to assert their cause through begging, pleading, and compromise, trade-unionism would today be a negligible quantity. In France, in Spain, in Italy, in Russia, nay even in England (witness the growing rebellion of English labor unions), direct, revolutionary, economic action has become so strong a force in the battle for industrial liberty as to make the world realize the tremendous importance of labor's power. The General Strike, the supreme expression of the economic consciousness of the workers, was ridiculed in America but a short time ago. Today every great strike, in order to win, must realize the importance of the solidaric general protest.

Direct action, having proven effective along economic lines, is equally potent in the environment of the individual. There a hundred forces encroach upon his being, and only persistent resistance to them will finally set him free. Direct action against the authority in the shop, direct action against the authority of the law, direct action against the invasive, meddlesome authority of our moral code, is the logical, consistent method of Anarchism.

Will it not lead to a revolution? Indeed, it will. No real social change has ever come about without a revolution. People are either not familiar with their history, or they have not yet learned that revolution is but thought carried into action.

Anarchism, the great leaven of thought, is today permeating every phase of human endeavor. Science, art, literature, the drama, the effort for economic betterment, in fact every individual and social opposition to the existing disorder of things, is illumined by the spiritual light of Anarchism. It is the philosophy of the sovereignty of the individual. It is the theory of social harmony. It is the great, surging, living truth that is reconstructing the world, and that will usher in the Dawn.

Emma Goldman

The Principles of Anarchism

13.05.2010 14:58

Comrades and Friends:

I think I cannot open my address more appropriately than by stating my experience in my long connection with the reform movement.

It was during the great railroad strike of 1877 that I first became interested in what is known as the "Labor Question." I then thought as many thousands of earnest, sincere people think, that the aggregate power, operating in human society, known as government, could be made an instrument in the hands of the oppressed to alleviate their sufferings. But a closer study of the origin, history and tendency of governments, convinced me that this was a mistake; I came to understand how organized governments used their concentrated power to retard progress by their ever-ready means of silencing the voice of discontent if raised in vigorous protest against the machinations of the scheming few, who always did, always will and always must rule in the councils of nations where majority rule is recognized as the only means of adjusting the affairs of the people. I came to understand that such concentrated power can be always wielded in the interest of the few and at the expense of the many. Government in its last analysis is this power reduced to a science. Governments never lead; they follow progress. When the prison, stake or scaffold can no longer silence the voice of the protesting minority, progress moves on a step, but not until then.

I will state this contention in another way: I learned by close study that it made no difference what fair promises a political party, out of power might make to the people in order to secure their confidence, when once securely established in control of the affairs of society that they were after all but human with all the human attributes of the politician. Among these are: First, to remain in power at all hazards; if not individually, then those holding essentially the same views as the administration must be kept in control. Second, in order to keep in power, it is necessary to build up a powerful machine; one strong enough to crush all opposition and silence all vigorous murmurs of discontent, or the party machine might be smashed and the party thereby lose control.

When I came to realize the faults, failings, shortcomings, aspirations and ambitions of fallible man, I concluded that it would not be the safest nor best policy for society, as a whole, to entrust the management of all its affairs, with all their manifold deviations and ramifications in the hands of finite man, to be managed by the party which happened to come into power, and therefore was the majority party, nor did it ten, nor does it now make one particle of difference to me what a party, out of power may promise; it does not tend to allay my fears of a party, when entrenched and securely seated in power might do to crush opposition, and silence the voice of the minority, and thus retard the onward step of progress.

My mind is appalled at the thought of a political party having control of all the details that go to make up the sum total of our lives. Think of it for an instant, that the party in power shall have all authority to dictate the kind of books that shall be used in our schools and universities, government officials editing, printing, and circulating our literature, histories, magazines and press, to say nothing of the thousand and one activities of life that a people engage in, in a civilized society.

To my mind, the struggle for liberty is too great and the few steps we have gained have been won at too great a sacrifice, for the great mass of the people of this 20th century to consent to turn over to any political party the management of our social and industrial affairs. For all who are at all familiar with history know that men will abuse power when they possess it, for these and other reasons, I, after careful study, and not through sentiment, turned from a sincere, earnest, political Socialist to the non-political phase of Socialism, Anarchism, because in its philosophy I believe I can find the proper conditions for the fullest development of the individual units in society, which can never be the case under government restrictions.

The philosophy of anarchism is included in the word "Liberty"; yet it is comprehensive enough to include all things else that are conducive to progress. No barriers whatever to human progression, to thought, or investigation are placed by anarchism; nothing is considered so true or so certain, that future discoveries may not prove it false; therefore, it has but one infallible, unchangeable motto, "Freedom." Freedom to discover any truth, freedom to develop, to live naturally and fully. Other schools of thought are composed of crystallized ideas-principles that are caught and impaled between the planks of long platforms, and considered too sacred to be disturbed by a close investigation. In all other "issues" there is always a limit; some imaginary boundary line beyond which the searching mind dare not penetrate, lest some pet idea melt into a myth. But anarchism is the usher of science-the master of ceremonies to all forms of truth. It would remove all barriers between the human being and natural development. From the natural resources of the earth, all artificial restrictions, that the body might be nurtures, and from universal truth, all bars of prejudice and superstition, that the mind may develop symmetrically.

Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals.

We look away from government for relief, because we know that force (legalized) invades the personal liberty of man, seizes upon the natural elements and intervenes between man and natural laws; from this exercise of force through governments flows nearly all the misery, poverty, crime and confusion existing in society.

So, we perceive, there are actual, material barriers blockading the way. These must be removed. If we could hope they would melt away, or be voted o prayed into nothingness, we would be content to wait and vote and pray. But they are like great frowning rocks towering between us and a land of freedom, while the dark chasms of a hard-fought past yawn behind us. Crumbling they may be with their own weight and the decay of time, but to quietly stand under until they fall is to be buried in the crash. There is something to be done in a case like this-the rocks must be removed. Passivity while slavery is stealing over us is a crime. For the moment we must forget that was are anarchists-when the work is accomplished we may forget that we were revolutionists-hence most anarchists believe the coming change can only come through a revolution, because the possessing class will not allow a peaceful change to take place; still we are willing to work for peace at any price, except at the price of liberty.

And what of the glowing beyond that is so bright that those who grind the faces of the poor say it is a dream? It is no dream, it is the real, stripped of brain-distortions materialized into thrones and scaffolds, mitres and guns. It is nature acting on her own interior laws as in all her other associations. It is a return to first principles; for were not the land, the water, the light, all free before governments took shape and form? In this free state we will again forget to think of these things as "property." It is real, for we, as a race, are growing up to it. The idea of less restriction and more liberty, and a confiding trust that nature is equal to her work, is permeating all modern thought. From the dark year-not so long gone by-when it was generally believed that man's soul was totally depraved and every human impulse bad; when every action, every thought and every emotion was controlled and restricted; when the human frame, diseased, was bled, dosed, suffocated and kept as far from nature's remedies as possible; when the mind was seized upon and distorted before it had time to evolve a natural thought-from those days to these years the progress of this idea has been swift and steady. It is becoming more and more apparent that in every way we are "governed best where we are governed least."

Still unsatisfied perhaps, the inquirer seeks for details, for ways and means, and whys and werefores. How ill we go on like human beings eating and sleeping, working and loving, exchanging and dealing, without government? So used have we become to "organized authority" in every department of life that ordinarily we cannot conceive of the most common-place avocations being carried on without their interference and "protection." But anarchism is not compelled to outline a complete organization of a free society. To do so with any assumption of authority would be to place another barrier in the way of coming generations. The best thought of today may become the useless vagary of tomorrow, and to crystallize it into a creed is to make it unwieldy.

We judge from experience that man is a gregarious animal, and instinctively affiliates with his kind co-operates, unites in groups, works to better advantage, combined with his fellow men than when alone. This would point to the formation of co-operative communities, of which our present trades-unions are embryonic patterns. Each branch of industry will no doubt have its own organization, regulations, leaders, etc.; it will institute methods of direct communications with every member of that industrial branch in the world, and establish equitable relations with all other branches. There would probably be conventions of industry which delegates would attend, and where they would transact such business as was necessary, adjourn and from that moment be delegates no longer, but simply members of a group. To remain permanent members of a continuous congress would be to establish a power that is certain soon or later to be abused.

No great, central power, like a congress consisting of men who know nothing of their constituents' trades, interests, rights or duties, would be over the various organizations or groups; nor would they employ sheriffs, policemen, courts or jailers to enforce the conclusions arrived at while in session. The members of groups might profit by the knowledge gained through mutual interchange of thought afforded by conventions if they choose, but they will not be compelled to do so by any outside force.

Vested rights, privileges, charters, title deeds, upheld by all the paraphernalia of government-the visible symbol of power-such as prison, scaffold and armies will have no existence. There can be no privileges bought or sold, and the transaction kept sacred at the point of the bayonet. Every man will stand on an equal footing with his brother in the race of life, and neither chains of economic thralldom nor metal drags of superstition shall handicap the one to the advantage of the other.

Property will lose a certain attribute which sanctifies it now. The absolute ownership of it-"the right to use or abuse"-will be abolished, and possession, use, will be the only title. It will be seen how impossible it would be for one person to "own" a million acres of land, without a title deed, backed by a government ready to protect the title at all hazards, even to the loss of thousands of lives. He could not use the million acres himself, nor could he wrest from its depths the possible resources it contains.

People have become so used to seeing the evidences of authority on every hand that most of them honestly believe that they would go utterly to the bad if it were not for the policeman's club or the soldier's bayonet. But the anarchist says, "Remove these evidence of brute force, and let man feel the revivifying influences of self responsibility and self control, and see how we will respond to these better influences."

The belief in a literal place of torment has nearly melted away; and instead of the direful results predicted, we have a higher and truer standard of manhood and womanhood. People do not care to go to the bad when they find they can as well as not. Individuals are unconscious of their own motives in doing good. While actin gout their natures according to their surroundings and conditions, they still believe they are being kept in the right path by some outside power, some restraint thrown around them by church or state. So the objector believes that with the right to rebel and secede, sacred to him, he would forever be rebelling and seceding, thereby creating constant confusion and turmoil. Is it probable that he would, merely for the reason that he could do so? Men are to a great extent creatures of habit, and grow to love associations; under reasonably good conditions, he would remain where he commences, if he wished to, and, if he did not, who has any natural right to force him into relations distasteful to him? Under the present order of affairs, persons do unite with societies and remain good, disinterested members for life, where the right to retire is always conceded.

What we anarchists contend for is a larger opportunity to develop the units in society, that mankind may possess the right as a sound being to develop that which is broadest, noblest, highest and best, unhandicapped by any centralized authority, where he shall have to wait for his permits to be signed, sealed, approved and handed down to him before he can engage in the active pursuits of life with his fellow being. We know that after all, as we grow more enlightened under this larger liberty, we will grow to care less and less for that exact distribution of material wealth, which, in our greed-nurtured senses, seems now so impossible to think upon carelessly. The man and woman of loftier intellects, in the present, think not so much of the riches to be gained by their efforts as of the good they can do for their fellow creatures. There is an innate spring of healthy action in every human being who has not been crushed and pinched by poverty and drudgery from before his birth, that impels him onward and upward. He cannot be idle, if he would; it is as natural for him to develop, expand, and use the powers within him when no repressed, as it is for the rose to bloom in the sunlight and fling its fragrance on the passing breeze.

The grandest works of the past were never performed for the sake of money. Who can measure the worth of a Shakespeare, an Angelo or Beethoven in dollars and cents? Agassiz said, "he had no time to make money," there were higher and better objects in life than that. And so will it be when humanity is once relieved from the pressing fear of starvation, want, and slavery, it will be concerned, less and less, about the ownership of vast accumulations of wealth. Such possessions would be but an annoyance and trouble. When two or three or four hours a day of easy, of healthful labor will produce all the comforts and luxuries one can use, and the opportunity to labor is never denied, people will become indifferent as to who owns the wealth they do not need. Wealth will be below par, and it will be found that men and women will not accept it for pay, or be bribed by it to do what they would not willingly and naturally do without it. Some higher incentive must, and will, supersede the greed for gold. The involuntary aspiration born in man to make the most of one's self, to be loved and appreciated by one's fellow-beings, to "make the world better for having lived in it," will urge him on the nobler deeds than ever the sordid and selfish incentive of material gain has done.

If, in the present chaotic and shameful struggle for existence, when organized society offers a premium on greed, cruelty, and deceit, men can be found who stand aloof and almost alone in their determination to work for good rather than gold, who suffer want and persecution rather than desert principle, who can bravely walk to the scaffold for the good they can do humanity, what may we expect from men when freed from the grinding necessity of selling the better part of themselves for bread? The terrible conditions under which labor is performed, the awful alternative if one does not prostitute talent and morals in the service of mammon; and the power acquired with the wealth obtained by ever so unjust means, combined to make the conception of free and voluntary labor almost an impossible one. And yet, there are examples of this principle even now. In a well bred family each person has certain duties, which are performed cheerfully, and are not measured out and paid for according to some pre-determined standard; when the united members sit down to the well-filled table, the stronger do not scramble to get the most, while the weakest do without, or gather greedily around them more food than they can possibly consume. Each patiently and politely awaits his turn to be served, and leaves what he does not want; he is certain that when again hungry plenty of good food will be provided. This principle can be extended to include all society, when people are civilized enough to wish it.

Again, the utter impossibility of awarding to each and exact return for the amount of labor performed will render absolute communism a necessity sooner or later. The land and all it contains, without which labor cannot be exerted, belong to no one man, but to all alike. The inventions and discoveries of the past are the common inheritance of the coming generations; and when a man takes the tree that nature furnished free, and fashions it into a useful article, or a machine perfected and bequeathed to him by many past generations, who is to determine what proportion is his and his alone? Primitive man would have been a week fashioning a rude resemblance to the article with his clumsy tools, where the modern worker has occupied an hour. The finished article is of far more real value than the rude one made long ago, and yet the primitive man toiled the longest and hardest. Who can determine with exact justice what is each one's due? There must come a time when we will cease trying. The earth is so bountiful, so generous; man's brain is so active, his hands so restless, that wealth will spring like magic, ready for the use of the world's inhabitants. We will become as much ashamed to quarrel over its possession as we are now to squabble over the food spread before us on a loaded table. "But all this," the objector urges, "is very beautiful in the far off future, when we become angels. It would not do now to abolish governments and legal restraints; people are not prepared for it."

This is a question. We have seen, in reading history, that wherever an old-time restriction has been removed the people have not abused their newer liberty. Once it was considered necessary to compel men to save their souls, with the aid of governmental scaffolds, church racks and stakes. Until the foundation of the American republic it was considered absolutely essential that governments should second the efforts of the church in forcing people to attend the means of grace; and yet it is found that the standard of morals among the masses is raised since they are left free to pray as they see fit, or not at all, if they prefer it. It was believed the chattel slaves would not work if the overseer and whip were removed; they are so much more a source of profit now that ex-slave owners would not return to the old system if they could.

So many able writers have shown that the unjust institutions which work so much misery and suffering to the masses have their root in governments, and owe their whole existence tot the power derived from government we cannot help but believe that were every law, every title deed, every court, and every police officer or soldier abolished tomorrow with one sweep, we would be better off than now. The actual, material things that man needs would still exist; his strength and skill would remain and his instinctive social inclinations retain their force and the resources of life made free to all the people that they would need no force but that of society and the opinion of fellow beings to keep them moral and upright.

Freed from the systems that made him wretched before, he is not likely to make himself more wretched for lack of them. Much more is contained in the thought that conditions make man what he is, and not the laws and penalties made for his guidance, than is supposed by careless observation. We have laws, jails, courts, armies, guns and armories enough to make saints of us all, if they were the true preventives of crime; but we know they do not prevent crime; that wickedness and depravity exist in spite of them, nay, increase as the struggle between classes grows fiercer, wealth greater and more powerful and poverty more gaunt and desperate.

To the governing class the anarchists say: "Gentlemen, we ask no privilege, we propose no restriction; nor, on the other hand, will we permit it. We have no new shackles to propose, we seek emancipation from shackles. We ask no legislative sanction, for co-operation asks only for a free field and no favors; neither will we permit their interference.("?) It asserts that in freedom of the social unit lies the freedom of the social state. It asserts that in freedom to possess and utilize soil lie social happiness and progress and the death of rent. It asserts that order can only exist where liberty prevails, and that progress leads and never follows order. It asserts, finally, that this emancipation will inaugurate liberty, equality, fraternity. That the existing industrial system has outgrown its usefulness, if it ever had any is I believe admitted by all who have given serious thought to this phase of social conditions.

The manifestations of discontent now looming upon every side show that society is conducted on wrong principles and that something has got to be done soon or the wage class will sink into a slavery worse than was the feudal serf. I say to the wage class: Think clearly and act quickly, or you are lost. Strike not for a few cents more an hour, because the price of living will be raised faster still, but strike for all you earn, be content with nothing less.


Following are definitions which will appear in all of the new standard Dictionaries:

Anarchism-The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man made law, the theory that all forms of government are based on violence-hence wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.

Anarchy-Absence of government; disbelief in and disregard of invasion and authority based on coercion and force; a condition of society regulated by voluntary agreement instead of government.

Anarchist-No. 1. A believer in Anarchism; one opposed to all forms of coercive government and invasive authority. 2. One who advocates Anarchy, or absence of government, as the ideal of political liberty and social harmony.

Lucy E. Parsons


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