The Floodgates of Anarchy

Revolt Library >> Anarchism >> Floodgates of Anarchy, The

1970

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(1920 - 1996) ~ British Anarcho-Syndicalist and CNT-FAI Activist during the Spanish Civil War : A lifelong trade unionist he fought Mosley's blackshirts; actively supported the Spanish revolution's anarchist communes and militias and the German anti-Nazi resistance and was a key player in the second world war Cairo mutiny. (From : AInfos.ca Bio.)
• "If we accept the principle of a socialized society, and abolish hereditary privilege and dominant classes, the State becomes unnecessary. If the State is retained, unnecessary Government becomes tyranny since the governing body has no other way to maintain its hold." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
• "If Government is the maintenance of privilege and exploitation and inefficiency of distribution, then Anarchy is order." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
• "Nobody is fit to rule anybody else. It is not alleged that Mankind is perfect, or that merely through his/her natural goodness (or lack of same) he/she should (or should not) be permitted to rule. Rule as such causes abuse." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)

(1946 - ) ~ Scottish Anarchist Publisher and Would-Be Assassin of a Fascist Dictator
Stuart Christie (born 10 July 1946) is a Scottish anarchist writer and publisher. As an 18-year-old Christie was arrested while carrying explosives to assassinate the Spanish caudillo General Franco. He was later alleged to be a member of the Angry Brigade, but was acquitted of related charges. He went on to found the Cienfuegos Press publishing house and in 2008 the online Anarchist Film Channel which hosts films and documentaries with anarchist and libertarian themes. (From : Wikipedia.org.)

Sections

This document contains 17 sections, with 48,163 words or 297,770 characters.

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The Floodgates of Anarchy Stuart Christie and Albert Meltzer This polemic approaches the subject of anarchism in relation to class struggle. It presents an argument against class-based society and hierarchy and advocates for a free and equal society based on individual dignity and merit. Drawing from the authors experiences as activists and documenting the activities of other 20th-century anarchistsincluding clandestine activities and social change by any meansthis fundamental text asserts that government is the true enemy of the people and that only through the dissolution of government can the people put an end to exploitation and war, leading to a fully free society. This is the 1970 edition. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Publishers note to the 1998 electronic edition We have three good reasons for reissuing this book. First, it was written in the aftermath of the heady events of 1967 and 1968, so that in some sense it completes its third decade of existence this year. If nothing else it is a witness to its time-indeed the dated or obscure references in the text are proof of just that! Also, Albert is no longer with us in person, and that is sad. A meeting with Albert was a true encounter. He always gave cheer. His obstinacy was never more than caution. His ever-present dedication, common sense, erudition, seriousness and wit were a delight. Luckily for us, they spring from every page of this book, even those that did not come principally from his typewriter. Lastly, there still remain hardly any books on the subject of anarchism in relation to the class struggle. Yet with very few exceptions every human being born must fight for survival and dignity... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Preface Writing on the subject of anarchism in relation to the class struggle we had few, if any, books to consult, despite the writings of earlier anarchists when class divisions were taken for granted and before the development of current social and economic trends. The anarchist movement owes little to the writings of the intellectual-on the contrary, professional writers have dipped into the achievements of anarchist workers to enlighten themselves on social theory or to formulate other theories. I was helped in my early thoughts by coming from Glasgow and Blantyre where I grew up among miners and others who had kept the socialist and libertarian tradition alive for more than sixty years. I subsequently had the advantage of holding discussions with comrades of the clandestine struggle against Franco such as Octavio Alberola; Salvador Gurruchari and Jose Pascual Palacios. I must also add to this list Luis Andres Edo and Alain Pecunia,... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Introduction The end of the First World War saw the growth of super-government. Capitalism, trying to escape the consequences of war, lost its liberal facade. In some cases it had to yield completely to State control, masquerading as communism-which had abolished the old ruling class only to create a new, based not upon profit but upon privilege. In other cases it injected itself with a shot of the same drug, and the nightmare world of fascism was a trip into darkness. The side effect of these experiences was to heighten appreciation of the older form of capitalism. Surely, many argued, the liberal and democratic form of government that capitalism used to provide, and could do so no longer, was a lesser evil? The argument is strangely archaic now, when the growth of the Destruction State means that it is of little significance whether the leadership is bland or brutal; whether it enforces its decisions by unarmed policemen directing protest marchers down empty stree... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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1 The Class Struggle and Liberty The theories of social revolution have not been produced by theorists, who at most have supplied the technical terms, often at the expense of these becoming looked on as clichs rather than as natural truths. Peter Kropotkin (v) is usually regarded as the main theoretician of anarchism, but he himself wrote upon the subject: ... if some of us have contributed to some extent to the work of liberation of exploited mankind, it is because our ideas have been more or less the expression of the ideas that are germinating in the very depths of the masses of the people. The more I live, the more I am convinced that no truthful and useful social science, and no useful and truthful social action, is possible but the science which bases its conclusions, and the action which bases its acts, upon the thoughts and inspirations of the masses. All sociological classes and all social actions which do not do that must remain sterile.&rdq... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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2 The Road to Utopia We can hardly declare ourselves unconditionally for unbridled freedom and then go on to lay down blueprints for the future. We are not clairvoyants to be able to predict the social and economic structure of a free society. It is not possible to lay down rules as to how affairs should be managed when the management of mankind itself is abolished. But at the same time, the rebel in this society cannot be patient enough to wait for an expression of spontaneity as if for the Messiah. He has to choose a program of action and the road to Utopia. There may be more than one way, and we may need to shift our course, but the knowledge of where we want to get enables us to pursue a consistent course at the moment. If our aim is the abolition of the State, it does not make good sense to think of forming a new state when the capitalist state is abolished, still less to establish a dictatorship. This, of course, was a fallacy of Lenins (x... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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3 The Labor Movement Anarchism as a movement in its own right has its own traditions, now a century old, yet forms a faction within the international labor movement as a whole. It has its particular inheritance, part of which it shares with socialism, giving it a family resemblance to certain of its enemies. Another part of its inheritance it shares with liberalism, making it, at birth, kissing-cousins with American-type radical individualism, a large part of which has married out of the family into the Right Wing and is no longer on speaking terms. To understand Anarchism, it is necessary to understand the parting of the ways in the labor movement, by which term is not implied the Labor-TUC-Cooperative set-up; though this is also part of it, and happens in Great Britain to be the dominant tendency. The anarchist tradition has its own martyrology, sometimes shared. There are the Chicago Martyrs (xvi); Sacco and Vanzetti (xvii); Joe Hill o... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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4 Social Protest and a New Class The appalling progress and prospects of the Destruction State, the increased powerlessness of the individual, and the increased meaninglessness of party or established beliefs held all over the world, gave an enormous impetus to social protest. It was a secular revolution against the neo-Churches. It began on well-worn anti-militarist lines, if with some imaginative overtones, but nevertheless tended to follow certain patterns of the class struggle. This was against the expectations of some of those who, like many radical leaders, think that to run a little ahead of the crowd is to lead it. The general climate of social protest was a revival of militant liberalism. Political liberalism was institutionalized and dead, and in the new form the old radicalism walked again on earth. It developed ideas and gimmicks anticipated even by the Suffragettes, but moved further on in face of the accepted irrelevance of protest as suc... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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5 Do Classes Exist? Do the classes of which we are speaking really exist? Is it all only based on illusion? Have the mass media finally persuaded us that it is all Marxist jargon and that we are all workers now, because Lady Mary spends her days in a boutique and the Earl himself has to show visitors around his stately mansion? There is so much confusion that we have not only to spell out what is meant by classes, but to explain it by diagrams. fig.1 early society Society is represented by a circle, and the primitive society (fig 1) is an empty circle. There are neither State organs nor classes. It might have a titular chief, but if we represent him by a point on the circumference, it means nothing whatsoever until (fig 2) he has created some form of repressive machinery. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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6 Rewards and Fantasies History excuses robbery and the law sanctions it. Even though the thief himself may not die in the odor of sanctity, provided he holds sufficient loot intact to pass on to his descendants, the hereditary principle will provide that his grandchildren may grow up virtuously and live graciously. The rich can afford virtue; the poor may well practice it the more, but can seldom afford it. The descendants of the brigands who stole the land from the Scottish people are proud that their fathers fought for what they now possess, and are most indignant at the notion that they themselves may have to fight for it again. But the British landowning nobility as a whole is resigned to its present situation. They married both literally and metaphorically into the capitalist class and are also able to ensure their transition into the meritocracy. The Foreign Office, for instance, is traditionally a form of outdoor relief f... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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7 Party Lines and Politics Political parties are associations aiming at power. Some times parties represent classes, especially when a ruling class is driven to a last-ditch defense and has to close ranks. But other factors also come into play, such as personal quarrels and ambitions, the drive of a new power elite, historical continuity, ideological differences, or a combination of some or all of these factors. Materialistic considerations often, though not always, dominate over ideological ones, and tend to fashion the latter. The anti-clerical and free-thinking French bourgeoisie, for instance, found its way back to political Catholicism not by reason of any light on the way to Damascus or even by conscious decision, but solely because of general alarm at the way in which the working class had picked up its own iconoclastic beliefs. In the same way the slaves of Haiti had embraced the republican ideas of their French masters, who there... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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8 Reforms and Revolution Anticipation of what is coming anyway tends to be regarded as reform. It is possible, at the time of writing, to see a classic monument to liberal do-goodism in Victoria Embankment Gardens, where one of the typically useless London statues to forgotten nonentities is raised. Epitaphs are notoriously inaccurate, but here we are asked to admire William Edward Forster 1818/86, to whose wisdom and courage England owes the establishment throughout the land of a national system of elementary education. Could one better it for an outrageous lie? Mr Forster was no doubt a worthy man, but does England really owe its elementary education to him? When he was born, England was largely illiterate, and when he died it was largely literate, but was he responsible? Without him, would England have remained illiterate, surrounded by literate nations? Could it be that if he had not reminded Parliament of the need for elementary schools, it might... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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9 Sectarianism and Unity Once a slogan becomes popular, it is appropriated for general use though it may be given vastly different meanings. To an outsider from any movement, there must seem to be a proliferation of sects saying or going round much the same thing. This is said of the revolutionary movement of our times. It was equally valid of the French Revolution. Even in the wake of the Reformation came the diverse sectarianism of the Protestant revolutionaries, when some of the approaches to spiritual problems were made which are now applied to social ones. There was, too, a reflection of the class struggle following economic changes. But the term sectarianism is not a reproach. The British revolutionary movement has proceeded from sectarianism. All its achievements have been under sectarian banners. Unity is strength, but expressing opposite points of view within one organization is only cashbox unity which gives cashbox strength. Th... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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10 A Clash of Generations? The fact that ostensibly revolutionary associations can become merely, as it were, the ex-servicemens legions of past struggles may mean that there will be older people in ossified movements, and younger ones in currently active movements. On the other hand, in some of the rebellions of today, though composed almost entirely of students, past philosophies such as Blanquism, Trotskyism, De Leonism, stride around with a fixed gaze like the Undead. The idea of classification by generation really comes from the university curriculum. In the world in general, however, one finds that the generation clash is another abstract conception used to enthralled. It is like the metaphysical idea of the majority. Everybody knows that the majority do not support revolution. If they did so, there would be one. To consider public opinion and respec... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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11 Violence and Terrorism We all deplore each others violence. Most people, whether they admit it or not, are conditioned by the mass media, the neo-Church, and they deplore the type of violence that the State deplores, and applaud the violence that the State practices. Dear old ladies, incapable of upsetting the feelings of a cat sitting on the chair they wish to occupy, passionately demand flogging, hanging and disembowelment, sometimes even for demonstrators. Lynch-law is not anarchy. It is that degree of law beyond the State, to which authoritarian thinking can lead. The State itself can invoke vigilantes, or fascist thugs. It can give carte blanche to the police when its authority is bypassed or flouted, or where it appears that the State apparatus is insufficient. When it does not do so, lynch-law arises. Yet the same people, from the indignant old ladies to the lynchers and the fascists, will be morally outraged by assassination, since th... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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12 Is a Free Society Possible? Mutual aid is the over-riding principle in human existence. It is greater than that of class struggle, which is the result of impositions upon society. Faced with a child drowning, only those inculcated with the artificial pressures of capitalism will ask what profit he will gain by diving in. Only those coarsened by racially divisive propaganda will ask first about the ethnic origins of the child (one recalls Bessie Smith bleeding to death, refused admission to a whites only hospital). Only those who have succumbed to State conditioning will walk around plaintively asking, What are they doing about it? Where are the police, the fire brigade, the coastguards? What do we pay our taxes for? Ordinary people practice mutual aid as a matter of course (the lifeboatmen, for instance), or at any rate recognize that deviations from it are a matter of shame. This is not the case with the conqueror. The S... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Commentary on Names (i) Karl Marx drew attention to the economic development of society and the nature of the class struggle; his socialism, although revolutionary, was based upon the State. Most of his followers, during his lifetime, believed the capture of the State to be based upon legalism, but after the Paris Commune, he made it clear that he believed in armed revolution. He never explained how the takeover would be effected nor what his conception of socialism was except that he believed in the inevitability of socialism (because capitalism was concentrating on larger units and the ever-increasing misery would cause the workers to rebel, take over the State, and nationalize the monopolies), a now exploded theory. (ii) Michael Bakunin progressed during his lifetime from the concept of democratic revolution, to adopting Proudhons (xiii) federalism to the idea of socialism. Within the Intern... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Chronology

1970 :
The Floodgates of Anarchy -- Publication.

July 16, 2019 ; 5:43:43 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

July 17, 2019 ; 5:11:06 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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