Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism

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Total Anarchist Works : 762

Want to know about Anarchism as a theory and a movement throughout history and up to the present? Then you've found the right place.

Whether it is Collectivist Anarchism or Individualist Anarchism, Mutualist Anarchism or Communist Anarchism, every type is given its bit of room for expression here.

This archive contains 3,088 texts, with 10,682,276 words or 66,226,533 characters.

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1897 ~ Why I Am an Anarchist, by Voltairine De Cleyre
It was suggested to me by those who were the means of securing me this opportunity of addressing you, that probably the most easy and natural way for me to explain Anarchism would be for me to give the reasons why I myself am an Anarchist. I am not sure that they were altogether right in the matter, because in giving the reasons why I am an Anarchist, I may perhaps infuse too much of my own personality into the subject, giving reasons sufficient unto myself, but which cool reflection might convince me were not particularly striking as reasons why other people should be Anarchists, which is, after all, the object of public speaking on this question. Nevertheless, I have been guided by their judgment, thinking they are perhaps right in this, that one is apt to put much more feeling and freedom into personal reasons than in pure generalizations. The question “Why I am an Anarchist” I could very summarily answer with “because I cann... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

1893 ~ Some Nihilists I Have Met, by Voltairine De Cleyre
An introduction by Robert P. Helms, Philadelphia, May 2013 Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) has drawn plenty of well-deserved attention in recent years by historians of anarchism, of feminism, sex radicalism, and atheism. My research for a book on the early anarchists of Philadelphia has caused me to understand ever more clearly why, during her life, she was considered an intellectual of very high stature, why she was respected by social reformers of many varieties for her body-and-soul dedication to helping and educating the poor, and why she was loved or even revered by fellow anarchists. I spotted a magazine review in the Brooklyn Eagle of Sept. 26, 1893 (p. 4). The October issue of the short-lived Worthington's Illustrated Monthly Magazine was described in summary form, and mid-way through, it read, "'Some Nihilists I have Met' is an interesting paper by Voltairine de Cleyre, who exhibits a specimen of that s... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

1907 ~ McKinley's Assassination from the Anarchist Standpoint, by Voltairine De Cleyre
Six years have passed since William McKinley met his doom at Buffalo and the return stroke of justice took the life of his slayer, Leon Czolgosz. The wild rage that stormed through the brains of the people, following that revolver shot, turning them into temporary madmen, incapable of seeing, hearing, or thinking correctly, has spent itself. Figures are beginning to appear in their true relative proportions, and there is some likelihood that sane words will be sanely listened to. Instead of the wild and savage threats, “Brand the Anarchists with hot iron,” “Boil in oil,” “Hang to the first lamp-post,” “Scourge and shackle,” “Deport to a desert island,” which were the stock phrases during the first few weeks following the tragedy, and were but the froth of the upheaved primitive barbarity of civilized men, torn loose and raging like an unreasoning beast, we now hear an occasional serious inquiry: “But what h... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

1893 ~ A Glance at Communism, by Voltairine De Cleyre
“Cast thy bread upon the waters, Find it after many days.” Two years ago, in a little uptown parlor, the home of a Philadelphia weaver, a group of inquirers after truth were wont to assemble bi-weekly for the discussion of “Communism vs. Individualism.” There were generally present some fifteen Communists and five or six Individualists. Let it be here admitted that while all were earnestly seeking truth, each side was pretty thoroughly convinced that the other was searching in the wrong direction, and as near as I am able to ascertain we are all of the same opinion still. However, in the course of a year some crumbs of the bread floated into sight in the shape of a dialogue presenting the substance of those discussions, which appeared in the TWENTIETH CENTURY. Many more days again passed, and now a new fragment, in the shape of a criticism of the dialogue by M. Zametkin in the “People” of Jul... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

1907 ~ Events Are the True Schoolmasters, by Voltairine De Cleyre
I count it as one of the best fortunes of my life that in my early days as an anarchist it was my privilege to know Dyer D. Lum. These thirteen years he is in his grave, and yet whenever editors and contributors of anarchist journals fall to denouncing the actions of the unwise, the ebullitions of the mass, I hear his voice, as yesterday, saying in his short, brusque way: “Events are the true schoolmasters.” There was in his day, as there is now, a certain percentage of propagandists who think that they possess the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (a perhaps enviable condition of mind, but certainly an intolerant one). They appear to think that by the application of certain abstract principles they have been able to chalk-line the course of progress, and that if it be strictly adhered to an unquestionable triumph of these principles lies straight ahead. They are essentially reasonable, cool persons, somewhat over-impressed with t... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Blasts from the Past

1887
A LESSON OF TO-DAY. THE PAGNY AFFAIR. LAST month France and Germany were once more on the brink of war, this time pour les beaux yeux of a French police functionary, who was planning intrigues in Alsace on behalf of his own government. Ultimately the French Government, which, by the way, has been continually violating "international law" by fraudulently entrapping on French soil deserters who had taken refuge in Switzerland, by banding over political refugees to the Italian and Spanish Governments, and lastly by trying and sentencing foreign subjects for "crimes" committed on foreign soil, as readers who remember the Anarchist trial at Lyons are well aware--this same French Government succeeded in snatching M. Schnaebele, its agent, from the hands of the "iron Chancellor." By way of a further comparison between "international law" as applied to well-paid State conspirators with that law in its relatio... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. On "Remaking of the American Left" Murray Bookchin STANLEY ARONOWITZ has written a generally admirable and important work in Socialist Review, "The Remaking of the American Left," that deserves widespread discussion. For the present, I would like to focus on what I regard as a core issue of the article, notably Aronowitz's distinction "between the ideological left of socialists, communists, libertarians of various sorts . . . and the popular left" which in past decades consisted of movements for redistributive justice," by which I take Aronowitz to mean the traditional labor, agrarian, and unemployed movements of the 1930s and earlier periods. While these movements certainly linger on at varying levels of consciousness and degrees of organization, I feel we cannot give enough emphasis today to... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

1907
Published in Mother Earth on Nov. 5, 1907 in London by Int. Instituut Soc. Geschlodenis Amsterdam I HAVE often wondered why, with millions of people taking part in progressive and labor movements of all kinds, comparatively few accept Anarchism fully as we do. What is better known than the exploitation of labor by capital, the oppression of the individual by the State, to the student the least interested in social matters and to the practical observer of everyday life? Again, if Anarchist propaganda has not yet touched every remote place in all countries, there are numerous localities where it has been carried on for a generation and more, and even there it does not affect more than a certain proportion of the people. As long as I believed in unlimited possibilities of education and agitation, the fact stated was incomprehensible and disappointing to me. Some reasoning and observation led to an explanation satisfactory to me, which I now v... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

1889
[From a Speech delivered by James Blackwell at the Central Democratic Club, November 6, 1889.] IT is a very common error on the part of a large section of the public to confound Socialism with a particular method proposed for its realization. With these people any trifling Act of Parliament which proposes to protect the worker against the rapacity of the Capitalist or the Landlord is termed Socialistic, and a condition of society in which the State--meaning Parliament and the Government--will control and direct industry in the interest of the workers, is looked upon by them as the goal of Socialist ambition. Socialists themselves, however, know very well that Socialism is something quite apart from any particular plan of action; that it is an end to which the Vote, Parliamentary Action and the Conquest of the State are only the means of one section of the Socialist party--the Social Democrats. And the Social Democrats th... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

1929
In reply to "A project of anarchist organization" Dear Comrade Malatesta, I have read your response to the project for an 'Organizational Platform of a General Union of Anarchists', a project published by the group of Russian anarchists abroad. My impression is that either you have misunderstood the project for the 'Platform' or your refusal to recognize collective responsibility in revolutionary action and the directional function that the anarchist forces must take up, stems from a deep conviction about anarchism that leads you to disregard that principle of responsibility. Yet, it is a fundamental principle, which guides each one of us in our way of understanding the anarchist idea, in our determination that it should penetrate to the masses, in its spirit of sacrifice. It is thanks to this that a man can choose the revolutionary way and ignore others. Without it no revolutionary could have the necessary strength or will o... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)

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