Benjamin R. Tucker : American Father of Individualist Anarchism

Revolt Library >> People >> Tucker, Benjamin R.

Not Logged In: Login?

(1854 - 1939)


An individualist Anarchist, Tucker (1854Ð1939) was a person of intellect rather than of action, focusing on the development of his ideas and on the publication of books and journals, especially the journal Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order...

Top Tags :

From : Anarchy Archives


"It has ever been the tendency of power to add to itself, to enlarge its sphere, to encroach beyond the limits set for it..."

From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1888

"...Anarchism, which may be described as the doctrine that all the affairs of men should be managed by individuals or voluntary associations, and that the State should be abolished."

From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1888

"The evil to which this [tariff] monopoly gives rise might more properly be called misusury than usury, because it compels labor to pay, not exactly for the use of capital, but rather for the misuse of capital."

From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1888

"If the individual has a right to govern himself, all external government is tyranny. Hence the necessity of abolishing the State."

From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1888

"But although, viewing the divine hierarchy as a contradiction of Anarchy, they do not believe in it, the Anarchists none the less firmly believe in the liberty to believe in it. Any denial of religious freedom they squarely oppose."

From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1888

"Even in so delicate a matter as that of the relations of the sexes the Anarchists do not shrink from the application of their principle. They acknowledge and defend the right of any man and woman, or any men and women, to love each other for as long or as short a time as they can, will, or may. To them legal marriage and legal divorce are equal absurdities."

From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1888


On : of 0 Words (Requires Chrome)

About Benjamin R. Tucker

 Benjamin R. Tucker 1

Benjamin R. Tucker 1

Introduced to Anarchism, labor reform, and free love by Ezra Heywood in Massachusetts, Tucker was also particularly influenced by Josiah Warren.  An individualist Anarchist, Tucker (1854-1939) was a person of intellect rather than of action, focusing on the development of his ideas and on the publication of books and journals, especially the journal Liberty:  Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order (1881-1908).  Tucker summarized his philosophy by stating, "The Anarchists are simply unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats. They believe that 'the best government is that which governs least,' and that which governs least is no government at all. Besides publishing the writings of the leading individualist anarchists and many other radicals, Liberty was probably the earliest American magazine to publish Nietzsche and George Bernard Shaw.  Besides Liberty, Tucker operated an ambitious book publishing program.  He translated into English and published a long list of radical works, including What is Property?, of Pierre Joseph Proudhon.  He also translated and published Bakunin's God and the State, Chernyshevsky's What Is To Be Done? and Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata.  He published Max Stirner's The Ego and His Own, as well as works by Oscar Wilde, Herbert Spencer, Emile Zola, John Henry Mackay, and many others.  After a disastrous fire in New York City in 1908 destroyed his warehouse and Unique Book Shop, Tucker left the United States for France, where he lived for the remainder of his life.

From : Anarchy Archives


This person has authored 231 documents, with 352,793 words or 2,269,268 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1908 Liberty and Prohibition Excerpted from the book; Individual Liberty Selections From the Writings of Benjamin R. Tucker Vanguard Press, New York, 1926 Kraus Reprint Co., Millwood, NY, 1973. Mr. Lucian V. Pinney, a protectionist and a greenbacker - but an anti-prohibitionist - made the following statement in his paper, the Winsted (Conn.) Press: "There is nothing any better than Liberty and nothing any worse than despotism, be it theological despotism of the skies, the theocratic despotism of kings, or the democratic despotism of majorities; and the labor reformer who starts out to combat the despotism of capitalism with other despotism no better lacks only power to be worse than the foe he encounters." Mr. Tucker then took him to task for his inconsistency: Mr. Pinney is a man who combats the despotism of capital with...

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1897 Relations Between Parents and Children. [Liberty, September 3, 1892.] The wisdom of acts is measured by their consequences.(41 1) The individuals measure of consequences is proportionate to the circle of his outlook. His horizons may lie so near that he can only measure at short range. But, whether they be near or far, he can only judge of consequences as approximately or remotely touching himself. His judgment may err; his motive remains always the same, whether he be conscious of it or not.(41 2) That motive is necessarily egoistic, since no one deliberately chooses misery when happiness is open to him. Acts always resulting either...

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1907 ~ (262 Words / 1,552 Characters)
Feb 19, 1907 Dear Mr. [George] Schumm: As to the sentence about the rich and the poor giving up themselves, I was to blame for the false rendering. But now that I know from you the meaning, I know also that both you and Byington conspicuously fail to express that meaning. I do not understand, however, why Stirner should say such a thing. I thought the whole purpose of the book was to show that it is not beneficially to anybody to give up themselves. I now render it as follows (and, if wrong, should be corrected at once ): Why should the rich let go their fleeces and give up themselves , though a similar course could be followed advantageously by the poor? When I see you (next Saturday evening_ why I think it would be unwise to have still a third price for the book. I regret to say that the book will not be a fine book. It will only be passable. The impo... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1936 ~ (1,101 Words / 6,624 Characters)
Source: Benjamin R.Tucker Papers, New York Public Library; Transcribed: by Mitchell Abidor. Villa a Lujerneta" Pont Ste Devote Principality of Monaco April 11,1936 To the Editor of the American Journal of Sociology: The University of Chicago Chicago, Ill. Sir: In view of the tissue of falsehoods (I purposely refrain from saying lies by the advice of a beloved friend and the cautious Webster) that you have printed about me in your issue of January 1936, there is little wonder that you do not wish to be addressed individually. But, whoever you may be, I shall not allow you to escape responsibility, since I know that the writer knows, and therefore writes with malice prepense. If his air of cold impartiality has deceived you, you are unfortunate, but not blameless; and in any case, the really injured party is myself. If I am late in taking the matter up, my excuse is that t... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1927 ~ (203 Words / 1,288 Characters)
c/o Carlone. 8, ave de Verdun Nice (A-M) France Feb 25, 1927 Mr. Samuel Roth, Two Worlds Publishing: Sir: A friend of mine in America has sent me a copy of the Two Worlds Monthly containing the first installment of my translation of A Chambermaids Diary. It is perfectly proper to publish my translation, but it is decidedly improper to do so without accompanying it with my name as translator. In fact, such conduct is an indecency beneath contempt. The example has been set by the house of Mali and Liverwrong, which has recently split up. Perhaps you are yourself the offshoot. The fact of multiplication by mere splitting up is characteristic of the order of protozoa, the lowest grade of the animal kingdom, to which you evidently belong. Each of these creatures consists of a cell of jelly, without the slightest individuality,- that is to say, exactly like it...

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1914 ~ (161 Words / 1,003 Characters)
Dec 23, 1914 Dear Labadie; Bool says that you wish to know my reasons for favoring the Allies. I favor the Allies because I pity the Belgian people, because I admire the British influences that make or liberty, because I feel some (tho I regret to say a decreasing) concern for the future of the American people, because I have considerable sympathy or the people of Russia, and because I hate and fear the German people as a nation of domineering brutes bent on turning the whole world into a police-ridden paradise of the Prussian pattern. I have numerous other reasons for favoring the allies, but the above is the main reason and a sufficient one. You see, I dont love everybody as you and Bool do. My love is limited in quantity, and goes out in special directions. However, much as it is, heres a goodly share of it for you. Cordially yours, Benjamin R. Tucker Feb 19, 1907... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1914 ~ (516 Words / 3,288 Characters)
October 2, 1914 London Dear Mr Schumm: I have heard from the Hetzels (as indeed you have written me yourself) that you think me mistaken regarding Nietzsches responsibility for the war. I enclose a letter from wm. Archer to Gerhardt Hauptmann, showing that not only archer, but Hauptmann himself, takes my view. How do you account for the writings of Treitschke, Bernhardi, H. S. Chamberlain, and others? Are not these evidently an outgrowth of the reading of Nietzsche? And have these not dictated the military policy of Germany? It is no answer to argue that Nietzsche meant this, or that, or the other. The apologists for E.G. use the same argument when confronted with the acts of her disciples. In both cases there may be some slight misunderstanding of the teacher, but I think that both may fairly be held responsible. Certainly, if Hauptmann is misled, the Kaiser may well be. And I think that Archers quota... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1935 ~ (347 Words / 2,031 Characters)
January 3, 1935 To my dear friends Rose Freeman Ishill and Joseph Ishill: Great and glorious was my surprise at receiving yesterday the three beautiful booklets, for which you have my heartfelt thanks. Cunninghame Graham has long been an object of my especial admiration, though I have not the honor of his acquaintance. But a notable occasion marks my memory of [William] Morris. In his home at Hammersmith, in 1889, I sat one Sunday evening at a midnight supper. Morris himself was alone, at the head of the table. At his right sat Belfort Bax, whom thirty-five years later I knew intimately at Nice. I sat at Baxs right, and at my right sat May Morris. Opposite her sat her lover, Sparling, and at his right, opposite Bax and myself, was Bernard Shaw, whom I had met for the first time two or three days earlier. At that time Morris had not begun to take an interest in fine printing, but that interest was perhaps precipitated by a... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1924 ~ (7,598 Words / 43,557 Characters)
Foreword The case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti has attracted world-wide attention. Yet very few of our people, except those immediately associated with the case, are at all familiar with the personalities of the two men whose fate has aroused this strong international interest. It has been my privilege to know Vanzetti personally, and I have been struck by his simple-heartedness and sincerity. The belief in his innocence, widely held among those who followed the trials, is strengthened upon personal acquaintance. Though he has been living for more than three years under the shadow of a death sentence, he has maintained an equable temper and keen interest in world affairs, and his thirst for knowledge is unabated. Each inmate of the Massachusetts State prison at Charlestown has to do daily an amount of piece-work that is supposed to take eight hours; but Vanzetti, by extra diligence, gets through his task ahead of time, and uses the ex... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1927 ~ (193 Words / 1,235 Characters)
November 25, 1927 Dear Mr. Schumm: I wrote you of the proposition of the National Institute for the Blind regarding The Ego and His Own. It turns out to be a bit less encouraging than the first letters to Fifield indicated. Not bad, though, after all. What it amounts to is this; a copy is to be cut in raised type, by hand, by a volunteer, for Helen Keller, and a duplicate is to be put in the general library of raised type for the blind. I suppose, then, that Helen Keller is interested, or, if not, that some enthusiastic person hopes to interest her. One sees now in Russia the perfect realization of peace at any price, a land that knows not hate, the flowering of the gospel of universal love, Tolstoyism gone to seed. What a spectacle does that unhappy country present today! Simple, stupid, sodden; reeking, rotting, rampant; a deliquescent nest of life that crawls and creeps, she melts, she sprawls, she... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1907 ~ (526 Words / 3,146 Characters)
May 2, 1907 Dear Mr. Schumm: I am expecting you as usual next Saturday evening. I have just read with interest your well-written letter in tonights Post, but I dont agree with it. It seems to me idealistic, based on illusion. A proposal that the United States, for instance, should straightaway abolish its army and navy must be made either by one who does, or by one who does not, value the national existence as such. Your comparison with Roosevelt, since it implies a comparison of different means with a view to one and the same end, indicates that in the Post you are arguing from the position of one who does not value the national existence, for that of course is the end that Roosevelt has in view. Now such a proposal as yours, argued from that point of view, seems to me sheer lunacy. To suppose that the result of such a policy would not be the speedy extinction of the U.S. a... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1887 ~ (575 Words / 3,271 Characters)
Van Buren Denslow, discussing in the Truth Seeker the comparative rewards of labor and capital, points out that the present wage system divides profits about evenly between the two, instancing the railways of Illinois, which pay annually in salaries and wages $81,936,170, and to capital, which Mr. Denslow defines as the "labor previously done in constructing and equipping the roads," $81,720,265. Then he remarks: "No system of intentional profit-sharing is more equal than this, provided we assent to the principle that a days work already done and embodied in the form of capital is as well entitled to compensation for its use as a days work not yet done, which we call labor." Exactly. But the principle referred to is the very thing which we Socialists deny, and until Mr. Denslow can meet and vanquish us on that point, he will in vain attempt to defend the existing or any other form of profit-sharing. The Socialists assert that "a days work embodied in... (From :


April 17, 1854 :
Birth Day.

June 22, 1939 :
Death Day.

November 16, 2016 ; 4:52:47 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to

April 21, 2019 ; 5:06:11 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Last Updated on


Permalink for Sharing :
Share :



Login to Comment

0 Dislikes

No comments so far. You can be the first!



<< Last Entry in People
Current Entry in People
Benjamin R. Tucker
Next Entry in People >>
All Nearby Items in People
Home|About|Contact|Search|Privacy Policy