The ABC of the Revolutionary Anarchist
(1888 - 1934) ~ Anarchist Leader of the Anti-Bolshevik, Anti-Capitalist Partisans of the Ukraine : Nestor Makhno was the leader of a libertarian peasant and worker army and insurrection in the Ukraine which successfully fought Ukrainian nationalists, the Whites, the Bolsheviks and the bourgeoisie and put anarchism into practice in the years following the Russian Revolution. (From : Intro to Struggle Against the State.)
• "The first of May is the symbol of a new era in the life and struggle of the toilers, an era that each year offers the toilers fresh, increasingly tough and decisive battles against the bourgeoisie, for the freedom and independence wrested from them, for their social ideal." (From : "The First of May," by Nestor Makhno, First Publis....)
• "I take revolutionary discipline to mean the self-discipline of the individual, set in the context of a strictly-prescribed collective activity equally incumbent upon all." (From : "On Revolutionary Discipline," Dyelo Truda, No. 7-....)
• "The more a man becomes aware, through reflection, of his servile condition, the more indignant he becomes, the more the anarchist spirit of freedom, determination and action waxes inside him. That is true of every individual, man or woman, even though they may never have heard the word 'anarchism' before." (From : "The ABC of the Revolutionary Anarchist," by Nesto....)
The ABC of the Revolutionary Anarchist
Anarchism is not exclusively a theoretical teaching emanating from programs artificially conceived with an eye to the regulation of life: it is a teaching derived from life across all its wholesome manifestations, skipping over all artificial criteria.
The social and political visage of anarchism is a free, anti-authoritarian society, one that enshrines freedom, equality and solidarity between all its members.
In anarchism, Right means the responsibility of the individual, the sort of responsibility that brings with it an authentic guarantee of freedom and social justice for each and for all, in all places and at all times. It is out of this that communism springs.
Anarchism is naturally innate in man: communism is the logical extrapolation from it.
These assertions require theoretical support in the shape of assistance from scientific analysis and concrete facts, so that they may become fundamental postulates of anarchism. However, the great libertarian theorists, like Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Johann Most, Kropotkin, Malatesta, Sébastien Faure and lots of others were, I suppose at any rate, loathe to confine their doctrine within rigid, definitive parameters. Quite the opposite. It might be said that anarchism's scientific dogma is the aspiration to demonstrate that it is inherent in human nature never to rest on its laurels. The only thing that is unchanging in scientific anarchism is its natural tendency to reject all fetters and any attempt by man to exploit his fellow men. In place of the fetters of the slavery currently extant in human society which, by the way, socialism has not done away with, nor can it - anarchism plants freedom and man's inalienable right to make use of that freedom.
As a revolutionary anarchist, I shared the life of the Ukrainian people during the revolution. Throughout its activity, that people instinctively felt the vital attraction of libertarian ideas and, equally, paid the tragic price for that. Without yielding, I tasted the same dramatic rigors of that collective struggle but, very often, I found myself powerless to comprehend and then to articulate the demands of the moment. Generally speaking, I quickly came to my senses and I clearly grasped that the goal for which I and my comrades were calling for struggle was readily assimilated by the masses fighting for the freedom and independence of the individual and of mankind as a whole.
Experience of practical struggle strengthened my conviction that anarchism educates man in a living way. It is a teaching every bit as revolutionary as life, and it is as varied and potent in its manifestations as man's creative existence and, indeed, is intimately bound up with that.
As a revolutionary anarchist, and for as long as I retain even the most tenuous connection with that label, I will summon you, my humiliated brother, to the struggle to make a reality of the anarchist ideal. In fact, it is only through that struggle for freedom, equality and solidarity that you will reach an understanding of anarchism.
So, anarchism is present in man naturally: historically, it liberates him from the (artificially acquired) slave mentality and helps him become a conscious fighter against slavery in all its guises. It is in that regard that anarchism is revolutionary.
The more a man becomes aware, through reflection, of his servile condition, the more indignant he becomes, the more the anarchist spirit of freedom, determination and action waxes inside him. That is true of every individual, man or woman, even though they may never have heard of the word "anarchism" before.
The nature of man is anarchist: it kicks against anything tending to make it a prisoner. As I see it, this, man's natural essence, is well expressed by the scientific term anarchism. The latter, as an ideal of life in men, plays a meaningful role in human evolution. The oppressors as much as the oppressed, begin, little by little, to come alive to that role: so the former aspire by hook or by crook to misrepresent that ideal, whilst the latter aspire to make it the easier to attain.
Comprehension of the anarchist ideal grows in slave and master alike as modern civilization grows.
Despite the ends to which the latter has thus far been turned - lulling and thwarting every natural tendency in man to protest every trespass against his dignity - it has not been able to silence independent scientific minds which have exposed the true provenance of man and demonstrated the nonexistence of God, hitherto considered the Creator of Mankind. Thereafter, it has naturally become easier to offer irrefutable proof of the artificial nature of "divine ordinances" on earth and of the ignominious relations that they establish between men.
All of these happenings have been of considerable assistance to the conscious development of anarchist ideas. Equally it is true that artificial notions have come to light at the same time: liberalism and that allegedly "scientific" socialism, one of the branches of which is represented by Bolshevism-Communism. However, despite all their vast influence upon the psychology of modern society, or at any rate upon a large part thereof, and despite their victory over the classical reaction on the one hand, and over the individual personality on the other, these artificial notions tend to slip down the slope leading to the familiar forms of the old world.
The free man, who achieves consciousness and expresses it around himself, inevitably lays to rest and always will lay to rest, the whole of mankind's ignoble past, as well as all that that implied in terms of deceit, arbitrary violence and degradation. It will also lay these artificial teachings to rest.
From this moment forth, the individual little by little struggles free of the carapace of lies and cowardice in which the earthly gods have wrapped him since birth, and that with the aid of the brute force of bayonet, ruble, "justice" and hypocritical science - the science of the sorcerers' apprentices.
In sloughing off such infamy, the individual attains a completeness that opens his eyes to the map of the world: and the first thing he remarks is his servile former existence, replete with cowardice and misery. In making a slave of him, that former existence had done to death everything clean, pure and worthwhile that he had started life with, so as to turn him either into a bleating sheep, or an imbecilic master who tramples and destroys anything good to be encountered in himself or in others.
It is at this point only that man awakes to natural freedom, independent of everyone and everything which reduces to ashes anything that defies it, everything that violates nature's purity and captivating beauty, which is made manifest and grows through the autonomous creative endeavor of the individual. It is here only that the individual comes to his senses again and damns his shameful past for once and for all, severing every psychic link with it that hitherto imprisoned his individual and social life with the burden of its servile ascendancy and also, partly, through his own resignation, as encouraged and deceived by the shamans of science.
Henceforth, man makes as much progress from year to year towards a lofty ethical goal - not to be and not to become a shaman himself, some prophet of power over others and no longer to tolerate others wielding power over him - as formerly he was making from generation to generation.
Freed from his heavenly and earthly deities, as well as from all their moral and social prescriptions, man speaks out against and offers actual opposition to man's exploitation of his fellow man and the perversion of his nature, which remains invariably committed to the onward march towards completion and perfection. This rebel, having become conscious of himself and of the circumstances of his oppressed and degraded brethren, thereafter gives expression to his heart and to his reason: he becomes a revolutionary anarchist, the only individual capable of thirsting after freedom, completion and perfection for himself and for the human race, as he tramples underfoot the slavery and social idiocy which has, historically, been embodied by violence - the State. Against that murderer and that organized bandit, the free man in turn organizes along with his fellows, so as to strengthen and espouse a genuinely communist policy in all the common gains made along the road of creation, which is at once grandiose and painful.
The individual members of such groups, by dint of becoming members of them, free themselves from the criminal tutelage of the ruling society, to the extent that they rediscover themselves, that is, they reject all servility towards others, whatever they may have been hitherto: worker, peasant, student or intellectual. In this way they escape from the condition either of a pack-mule, slave, functionary or lackey selling themselves to imbeciles of masters.
As an individual, man gets back to his authentic personality when he rejects false thinking about life and reduces it to ashes, thereby recovering his real rights. It is through this dual operation of rejection and affirmation that the individual becomes a revolutionary anarchist and a conscious communist.
As an ideal of human existence, anarchism is consciously disclosed to each individual as thought's natural aspiration to a free and creative existence, leading on to a social ideal of happiness. In our day, the anarchist society or harmonious human society no longer seems a chimera. However, like its elaboration and its practical planning, the conception of it seems as yet little in evidence.
As a teaching bearing upon man's new life and its creative development, individually as well as socially, the very idea of anarchism is founded upon the indestructible truth of human nature and on the incontrovertible proofs of the injustice of contemporary society - a veritable permanent blight. Realization of that leads to its advocates - anarchists - finding themselves in conditions of semi- or complete outlawry vis-à-vis the formal institutions of the existing society. Indeed, anarchism cannot be acknowledged as quite lawful in any country: this can be explained in terms of present society's being profoundly impregnated by its servant and master, the State. That band of individuals which has always lived as a parasite upon mankind, by cutting its life up into "slices," has thus identified itself with the State. Whether individually or as a countless mass, man finds himself at the mercy of this band of drones going under the name of "governors and masters," when in reality they are nothing but straightforward exploiters and oppressors.
The great idea of anarchism is not at all to the taste of these sharks who brutalize and enthralled the contemporary world, whether they are governments of right or left, bourgeois or statist socialists. The difference between these sharks boils down to the fact that the former are professedly bourgeois - and thus less hypocritical - whereas the latter, the statist socialists of all shades, and among them especially the collectivists who have illegitimately tacked on the label of "communists," namely, the Bolsheviks, hypocritically hide behind the watchwords of "fraternity and equality." The Bolsheviks are ready to give the present society a thousand coats of paint or re-label the systems of domination for some and enslavement for others a thousand times over - in short, to amend the names as their programs may require, without thereby altering the nature of the present society by one iota, even if it means incorporating into their stupid programs compromises between the natural contradictions that exist between domination and servitude. Although they know that these contradictions are insurmountable, they cling to them regardless, for the sole purpose of not letting appear in life the only truly human ideal: libertarian communism.
According to their absurd programs, the statist socialists and communists have decided to "allow" man to emancipate himself socially, without its thereby being feasible for him to manifest that freedom in his social life. As for leaving man to emancipate himself completely, spiritually, in such a way that he may be wholly free to act and to submit only to his own will and the laws of nature alone, although they touch upon that subject, that is out of the question as far as they are concerned. This is the reason why they join their efforts to those of the bourgeois, so that emancipation may never elude their odious supervision. In any event, we know only too well the form that may be taken by "emancipation" awarded by any political authorities.
The bourgeois finds its natural to speak of the toilers as slaves fated to remain such. He will never give encouragement to authentic labor likely to produce something genuinely useful and beautiful, something of benefit to the whole of mankind. Despite the vast capital resources at his disposal in industry and agriculture, he claims not to be able to devise the principles of a novel social existence. The present seems quite adequate to him, for all the powerful kowtow to him: czars, presidents, governments and virtually all intellectuals and scholars, all who in their turn reduce the slaves of the new society to subjection. "Servants!" the bourgeois cry out to their faithful servitors, "Give to the slaves the pittance which is their due, keep what is due to you for your devoted services, then hold the remainder for us!" In conditions like those, life for them could not be anything other than beautiful! - No, we are not in agreement with you on the above! retort the state socialists and communists. Whereupon they turn to the workers, organizing them into political parties, then inciting them to revolt whilst exhorting them as follows:
Drive out the bourgeois from State power and give it to us statist socialists and communists, then we will defend you and set you free.
Bitter, natural enemies of State authority, more than of the drones and privileged, the toilers give vent to their hatred, rise in revolt, carry out the revolution, destroy the power of the State and drive out those wielding it, and then, either through naiveté or lack of vigilance, they let the socialists lay hands on it. In Russia, they let the Bolshevik-Communists lay hands on it like that. These craven Jesuits, these monsters, butcherers of freedom, thereupon set to work to strangle, shoot and crush the people, even though they were unarmed, just as the bourgeois had done before them, if not indeed worse. They shot to break the independent spirit, whether collective or individual, in the aim of eradicating once and for all from man the spirit of freedom and the will to create, to leave him a spiritual slave and physical lackey to a band of villains ensconced in place of the toppled throne, and not hesitating to deploy killers to bring the masses to heel and eliminate the recalcitrant.
Man groans underneath the weight of the chains of socialist power in Russia. He groans in other countries also beneath the yoke of socialists in cahoots with the bourgeoisie, or even under the yoke of the bourgeoisie alone. Everywhere, individually or collectively, man groans under the oppressiveness of State power and its political and economic lunacies. Few people take an interest in his sufferings without simultaneously having second thoughts, for the executioners, old or new, are spiritually and physically very robust: they can call upon huge effective resources to underpin their hold and crush each and every person who stands in their way.
Itching to defend his rights to life, liberty and happiness, man seeks to manifest his creative determination by venturing into the maelstrom of violence. In face of the uncertain outcome of his fight, he sometimes has a tendency to lower his arms in front of his executioner, at the very moment when the latter is slipping the noose about his neck, and this when just one bold glance from him would be enough to reduce the executioner to a quivering jelly and call the burdensome yoke once more into question. Unfortunately, man very often prefers to close his eyes at the very moment when the executioner is slipping a noose around his entire life.
Only the man who has successfully rid himself of the chains of oppression and seen all the horrors being perpetrated against the human race can be persuaded that his freedom and that of his neighbor are inviolable, as are their lives, and that his neighbor is his brother. If he is ready to conquer and defend his freedom, to exterminate every oppressor and every executioner (unless the latter renounces his craven trade) then, provided he does not set himself the target in this struggle against the evils of contemporary society of replacing bourgeois power with some other, equally oppressive power - be it socialist, communist or "worker" (Bolshevik) - but rather aims to achieve a really free society, organized on a basis of individual responsibility and guaranteeing all a genuine freedom and equality of social justice for all, that man only is a revolutionary anarchist. He may without fear look upon the works of the executioner-State and, if need be, listen to his verdict, and also pronounce his own by declaring:
No, it need not be so! Revolt, oppressed brother! Rise up against all State power! Destroy the power of the bourgeoisie and do not replace it with that of the socialists and Bolshevik-communists. Do away with all State power and drive out its champions, for you will never find friends among them.
The power of the statist socialists or communists is every bit as noxious as that of the bourgeoisie. It may even be more so, when it conducts its experiments with the blood and the lives of men. At this point, it does not take long to revert surreptitiously to the premises of bourgeois power: it no longer has any fears about having recourse to the worst of means, lying and deceiving even more than any other power. The ideas of socialism or State communism become redundant: it no longer avails of them, laying hands instead upon any which might help it to cling to power. In the last analysis, it merely uses new means to perpetuate domination and become more cowardly than the bourgeoisie which strings the revolutionary up in public view whilst Bolshevism-communism murders and strangles on the sly.
Any political revolution which has left the bourgeoisie and the state socialists or communists to fight it out is a good illustration of what I have just been saying, especially if one considers the examples of the Russian revolutions of February and October 1917. Having overthrown the Russian empire, the toiling masses consequently felt themselves to be half-liberated politically and sought to complete their liberation. They set about transferring the land confiscated from the great landlords and the clergy to those who worked it or indeed intended to do so without exploitation of another man's labor. In the towns, it was the factories, workshops, printing-works and other social enterprises that were taken in hand by those who worked there. Embroiled in these healthy and enthusiastic endeavors, designed to institute fraternal relations between town and country, the toilers omitted to notice that new governments were being installed in Kiev, Kharkov and Petrograd.
Through its class organizations, the people yearned to lay the foundations of a new, free society intended, as it develops without interference, to eliminate from the body of society all the parasites and all the power exercised by some over others, these being deemed by the toilers to be stupid and harmful.
This approach clearly made headway in the Ukraine, in the Urals and in Siberia. In Tiflis, Kiev, Petrograd and Moscow, in the very heart of the moribund authorities, a similar tendency surfaced. However, always and everywhere, the state socialists and communists had, and still have, supporters aplenty, as well as their hired killers. Among the latter, sad to say, there were also many workers. Abetted by these paid killers, the Bolshevik-Communists put paid to the people's endeavors and in a manner so terrible that even the Medieval Inquisition might feel envious of them!
As for ourselves, knowing the nature of all State power, we told the socialist and Bolshevik leaders:
Shame on you! You have written and talked so much about the ferocity of the bourgeoisie towards the oppressed. You have been so zealous in your defense of the revolutionary purity and commitment of the toilers struggling for their emancipation and now, having come into power, you turn out to be either the same cowardly lackeys of the bourgeoisie or have become bourgeois yourselves through recourse to its methods, to the extreme that the bourgeoisie stands astounded and pokes fun at you.
Moreover, through the experiences of Bolshevism-Communism, the bourgeoisie has been brought to a realization, in recent years, that the "scientific" chimera of a state socialism proved unable to cope without its methods and indeed, itself. It has grasped the point so well that it pokes fun at its pupils who cannot even live up to its example. It has realized that in the socialist system, the exploitation and organized violence against the bulk of the laboring population do nothing to do away with the debauched life-style and parasitism of the drones, that in fact the exploitation suffers only a name change before growing and being redoubled. And this is what the facts bear out for us. One has only to register the Bolsheviks' rapaciousness and their monopolization of all the revolutionary gains of the people, as well as their police, courts, prisons and armies of jailers, all of them deployed against the revolution. The "red" army continues to be recruited by force! In it one finds the same ranks as before, albeit now given different labels, but even more unaccountable and overbearing.
Liberalism, socialism and State communism are three branches of the same family, resorting to different approaches in order to exercise their power over man, with a view to preventing him from growing fully in the direction of freedom and independence through the devising of a new, wholesome, genuine principle rooted in a social ideal valid for the whole human race.
Rebel! the revolutionary anarchist exhorts the oppressed. Rise up and eradicate all power over you and within you. And have no truck with the establishment of any new power over others. Be free and defend the freedom of others against all trespass!
In human society, power is particularly exalted by those who have never really lived by their own labor and a wholesome existence, or indeed who no longer live by it or have no wish to live by it. The power of the State will never deliver joy, happiness and fulfillment to any society. Such power was created by drones for the sole purpose of pillage and indulgence of their often murderous violence against those who do produce, through their toil - whether through determination, intelligence or brawn - everything useful and good in man's life.
Whether that power styles itself bourgeois, socialist or Bolshevik-Communist or worker-peasant power, it all comes down to the same thing: it is every whit as damaging to a wholesome and happy individual as it is to society at large. The nature of all State power is everywhere identical: it tends to annihilate the freedom of the individual, turning him, spiritually, into a slave, and physically into a lackey, before putting him to use for the filthiest tasks. There is no such thing as harmless power.
Oppressed brother, banish all power from within you and do not allow any to be established either over you or over your brother, be he near or far!
The really wholesome, joyous life of the individual or group is not built up with the aid of power and programs that seek to enclose it within artificial constructs and written laws. No, it can only be constructed on a basis of individual freedom and its independent creative endeavor, making headway through phases of destruction and construction.
The freedom of every individual is the foundation of the libertarian society: the latter attains wholeness through decentralization and the realization of a common objective: libertarian communism.
Whenever we think of the libertarian communist society, we see it as a grandiose society, harmonious in its human relationships. It is chiefly dependent upon the free individuals banded together into affinity groupings - whether prompted by interest, need or inclination - guaranteeing an equal measure of social justice for all and linking up into federations and confederations.
Libertarian communism is a society that is rooted in the free life of every man, in his untouchable entitlement to infinite development, the elimination of all injustices and all the evils that have hobbled society's progress and perfectibility by splitting it into strata and classes, sources of man's oppression and violence towards his fellow man.
The libertarian society sets itself the target of making everyone's life more beautiful and more radiant, through his labor, his determination and his intellect. In full accord with nature, libertarian communism is, consequently, founded upon man's life made wholly fulfillment, independent, creative and absolutely free. For that reason its adepts appear to live the lives of free and radiant beings.
Labor, universally fraternal relations, love of life, the passion for free creation of beauty, all these values animate the life and activity of the libertarian communists. They have no need of prisons, executioners, spies and provocateurs, whom the statist socialists and communists employ in such huge numbers. As a matter of principle, the libertarian communists have no need for the hired brigands and killers of which the prime example and supreme chief is, in the last analysis, the State. Oppressed brother! Prepare yourself for the establishment of that society, through reflection and organized action. Except, just remember that your organization must be solid and consistent in its social activity. The sworn enemy of your emancipation is the State: it is best embodied by the union of these five stereotypes: the property-owner, the soldier, the judge, the priest and the one who serves them all, the intellectual. In most instances, the last-named of these takes it upon himself to demonstrate the "legitimate" entitlement of his four masters to punish the human race, regulate man's life in its every individual and social aspect, and in so doing, distorting the meaning of the natural law in order to codify "historical and juridical" laws, the criminal outpourings of pen-pushers on a retainer.
The enemy is very strong because, for centuries past, he has made his living from rapine and violence: he has the accumulated experience of that, he has overcome internal crises and now he puts on a new face, being threatened with extinction through the emergence of a new science that rouses man from his age-old slumbers. This new science frees man from his prejudices and equips him for self-discovery and discovery of his true place in life, despite all the efforts of the sorcerers' apprentices from that union of the "five" to block his progress down that avenue.
Thus, such a change of face on the part of our enemy, oppressed brother, can be noted, say, in everything that emanates from the chambers of the State's erudite reformers. We have watched a typical example of such a metamorphosis in the revolutions we have witnessed at first-hand. The union of the "five," the State, our enemy, seemed at first to have vanished completely from the face of the earth.
In reality, our enemy merely altered his appearance and found himself new allies who schemed criminally against us: the example of the Bolshevik-Communists in Russia, in the Ukraine, in Georgia and among many Central Asian peoples is very edifying in this regard. This is a lesson that will never be forgotten by the man fighting for his emancipation, for the nightmarish criminality will be engraved in him.
The sole, the surest weapon available to the victim of oppression in his battle against the evil that binds him is the social revolution, a profound leap forward in the direction of human evolution.
Although the social revolution occurs spontaneously, organization smooths its passage, eases the appearance of breaches in the ramparts erected against it and speeds its coming. The revolutionary anarchist beavers away in the here and now along these lines. Every victim of oppression become sensible of the yoke weighing him down, realizing that this ignominy is crushing the life out of the human race, should come to the aid of the anarchist. Every human being should be aware of his responsibility and see it through by casting out of society all the executioners and parasites from the union of "five," so that mankind may breathe free.
Every man and above all the revolutionary anarchist - as the pioneer inciting struggle for the ideal of freedom, solidarity and equality - ought to bear it in mind that the social revolution, if it is to evolve creatively, requires adequate means, especially ongoing organizational resources, particularly during the phase when, in a spontaneous outburst, it tears slavery up by the roots and plants freedom, affirming every man's entitlement to free and unbounded development. This is the very time when, coming alive to the freedom within and surrounding them, individuals and masses will make bold to act upon the gains of the social revolution, and that revolution will have most need of such organizational resources. For example, revolutionary anarchists played a particularly outstanding role in the Russian revolution, but, not being possessed of the requisite means of action, were unable to see their historical mission through. Moreover, that revolution demonstrated to us the following truth: after having rid themselves of the bonds of slavery, the masses of humanity have no intention of creating new ones. On the contrary: during times of revolution, the masses fetch about for new forms of free associations capable not only of responding to their libertarian instincts, but also of defending their gains should the enemy mount an attack.
Observing this process at work, we were constantly drawn to the conclusion that the most fruitful and most valuable associations could not be other than the commune-unions, the ones whose social resources are conjured up by life itself: the free soviets. Basing himself on that same belief, the revolutionary anarchist hurls himself into selfless action and exhorts the oppressed to join the struggle for free associations. He is convinced that not only must the essential creative organizational precepts be demonstrated: there is also the need to equip oneself with the wherewithal to defend the new life-style against hostile forces. Practice has shown that this has to be pursued most firmly and supported by the masses themselves, in person and on the spot.
In carrying through the revolution, under the impulsion of the anarchism that is innate in them, the masses of humanity search for free associations. Free assemblies always command their sympathy. The revolutionary anarchist must help them to formulate this approach as best they can. For instance, the economic problem of the free association of communes must find full expression in the creation of production and consumer cooperatives, of which the free soviets will be the sponsors. It is through the good offices of the free soviets while the revolution is rippling outwards, that the masses will themselves lay hands upon the entirety of the social heritage: the land, forests, workshops, factories, railways and seaborne transportation, etc., and then, banding together on the basis of interests, affinities or a shared ideal, they will rebuild their social life along the most varied lines to suit their needs and wishes.
It goes without saying that this will be a vicious struggle; it will cost a huge number of lives, for it will pit free humankind against the old world for one last time. There will be no room for hesitation or sentiment. It will be a life or death struggle! At any rate, that is how any man who places any store by his rights and the rights of humankind should think of it, unless he wishes to remain a beast of burden, a slave, as he is compelled to be at the moment.
When healthy reasoning and love of oneself and of others alike gain the ascendancy in life, man will become the authentic author of his own existence.
Organize, oppressed brother, summon all men from plow and workshop, from school and university desk, not forgetting the scholar and the intellectual generally, so that he may venture beyond his chambers and help you along your daunting course. It is true that nine out of ten intellectuals may fail to answer your call or, if they do respond, will do so with the intention of pulling the wool over your eyes, for remember that they are the faithful servants of the union of the "five." Even so, there will be that one in ten who will prove your friend and will help you puncture the deceit of the other nine. As far as physical violence, the brute force of those who govern and legislate, is concerned, you will see it off with violence of your own.
Organize, summon all your brethren to join the movement and insist of all who govern that, of their own volition, they cease their craven profession of regulating the life of man. Should they refuse, rise up, disarm their police, militiamen and the other guard-dogs of the union of the "five." Arrest all governors for as long as need be, tear up and burn their laws! Tear down the prisons, once you have annihilated the executioners and eradicate all State power!
Many paid killers and assassins are in the army, but your friends, the draftees, are there also. Call them to your side and they will come to your aid and help you neutralize the mercenaries.
Once you have all come together into one big family, brethren, we will march together down the path of enlightenment and knowledge, we will leave the shadows behind and stride towards mankind's common ideal: the free and fraternal life, the society wherein no one will be a slave any longer, nor humiliated by anyone.
To the brute violence of our foes we will make reply through the compact force of our insurgent revolutionary army. To incoherence and arbitrariness, we will make reply by erecting our new life upon a foundation of justice, on a basis of individual responsibility, the true guarantor of freedom and social justice for all.
Only the blood-thirsty criminals of the union of the "five" will refuse to join us on the path to innovation: they will try to oppose us so as to cling to their privileges, thereby signing their own death warrant.
Long live this clear, firm belief in the struggle for the ideal of general human harmony: the anarchist society!
Probuzhdeniye, N°18, Jan. 1932, pp. 57-63 and N°19-20, Feb.-March 1932, pp. 16-20.
From : NestorMakhno.info
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