Errico Malatesta : Italian, Anarchist Intellectual, Anti-Capitalist, and Anti-Fascist
There have almost certainly been better anarchist writers, more skilled anarchist organizers, anarchists who have sacrificed more for their beliefs. Perhaps though, Malatesta is celebrated because he combined all of these so well, exemplifying thought expressed in deed...
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From : Cunningham Bio
"Let there be as much class struggle as one wishes, if by class struggle one means the struggle of the exploited against the exploiters for the abolition of exploitation. That struggle is a way of moral and material elevation, and it is the main revolutionary force that can be relied on."
From : "About My Trial: Class Struggle or Class Hatred?," Errico Malatesta
"...the agelong oppression of the masses by a small privileged group has always been the result of the inability of the oppressed to agree among themselves to organize with others for production, for enjoyment and for the possible needs of defense against whoever might wish to exploit and oppress them. Anarchism exists to remedy this state of affairs..."
From : "Anarchism and Organization," Authored by Errico Malatesta, 1897
"Government is the consequence of the spirit of domination and violence with which some men have imposed themselves on other, and is at the same time the creature as well as the creator of privilege and its natural defender."
From : "Anarchist Propaganda," by Errico Malatesta
"Our task then is to make, and to help others make, the revolution by taking advantage of every opportunity and all available forces: advancing the revolution as much as possible in its constructive as well as destructive role, and always remaining opposed to the formation of any government, either ignoring it or combating it to the limits of our capacities."
From : "The Anarchist Revolution," by Errico Malatesta
"And tomorrow, in the revolution, we must play an active part in the necessary physical struggle, seeking to make it as radical as possible, in order to destroy all the repressive forces of the government and to induce the people to take possession of the land, homes, transport, factories, mines, and of all existing goods, and organize themselves so that there is a just distribution immediately of food products."
From : "The Anarchist Revolution," by Errico Malatesta
"...the oppressed are always in a state of legitimate self-defense, and have always the right to attack the oppressors."
From : "Anarchists Have Forgotten Their Principles," by Errico Malatesta, from: Freedom, November 1914
"...all history shows that the law's only use is to defend, strengthen and perpetuate the interests and prejudices prevailing at the time the law is made, thus forcing mankind to move from revolution to revolution, from violence to violence."
From : "Further Thoughts on the Question of Crime," by Errico Malatesta, Umanità Nova, n. 134, September 16, 1921
"If it is true that the law of Nature is Harmony, I suggest one would be entitled to ask why Nature has waited for anarchists to be born, and goes on waiting for them to triumph, in order to destroy the terrible and destructive conflicts from which mankind has already suffered. Would one not be closer to the truth in saying that anarchy is the struggle, in human society, against the disharmonies of Nature?"
From : "Peter Kropotkin - Recollections and Criticisms of an Old Friend," by Errico Malatesta, from: Studi Sociali April 15, 1931
"...the State is incapable of good. In the field of international as well as of individual relations it can only combat aggression by making itself the aggressor; it can only hinder crime by organizing and committing still greater crime."
From : "Pro-Government Anarchists," by Errico Malatesta, from: Freedom, April 1916
"We want to make the revolution as soon as possible, taking advantage of all the opportunities that may arise."
From : "Revolution in Practice," by Errico Malatesta, from Umanità Nova, n. 191, October 7, 1922, Section 2
About Errico Malatesta
That said, there are famous anarchists. Some are known because their writings helped stimulate new thinking in the anarchist movement, or define a new current in anarchist thought. Others, like Errico Malatesta, are famous because their very lives epitomized the development of anarchist politics, and reflected the setbacks and advances of the movement.
Activist in exile
Born in 1853, into a growing mood of republicanism, Malatesta soon saw the need for a more profound change in society, and in 1871 joined the Italian section of the International. At the time, the main anarchist/socialist strategy was to start insurrections, driving government officials out of small towns and burning the tax ledgers and bank books in the hope of sparking more widespread rebellions, a tactic which Malatesta supported enthusiastically. He was forced to flee Italy in 1878 after the assassination of King Umberto, by a republican cook, led to a general crackdown on radicals.
Errico MalatestaHe returned to Italy after five years spent traveling around Europe, continually agitating for anarchism, but was arrested in 1884, and had to leave again, this time for Argentina, where he lived for twelve years and was very involved in the organization of the labor movement. He again returned to Italy, where he became the editor of L'Agitazione. After only a year, however, he was arrested once more, but he managed to escape, and after a few years in America he traveled to London.
There he lived and worked for the next thirteen years, with a mass campaign stopping him from being deported in 1909. In 1913 he went back to Italy of his own volition. Following the collapse of the general strike of 1914, Malatesta, now in his sixties, had to leave for London once more. He spent the war years there, writing and speaking often on the need for anarchists not to choose sides between two capitalist, imperialist powers. Finally, in 1919, he was able to return to Italy, this time for good.
Although he had spent barely half his life in his native country, his experience and dedication had won him much respect in anarchist circles there. At the time, the anarchist movement in Italy was strong, the popularity reflected in the fact that Umanità Nova, the daily anarchist paper which Malatesta founded, had, at its peak, a circulation of over 50,000. Unfortunately, this golden period was to be short-lived. When Mussolini came to power the left-wing papers were closed down, the anarchist movement decimated and driven underground, and Malatesta himself spent the last five years of his life under house arrest. Ideas and Actions
Malatesta was, above all, an activist. While he wrote many articles and pamphlets he was no academic, he was a working electrician who wrote when there was something to be said, not for the sake of writing. He described an anarchist society simply, as a "society organized without authority, meaning by authority the power to impose one's own will", "a society which reconciles the liberty of everyone with cooperation and liberty among men". What more needs to be said?
We also see in Malatesta's writings the changes that were taking place in the general anarchist movement. Though he always reserved the right to use arms in the defense of social gains, maintaining that "if you want the corn, you need the cannon", over the years the tactics he emphasized changed, from the insurrectionism of his youth to the syndicalism of his older years. He had always said that the anarchist movement needed to be as visible as possible, and this change reflects his coming to believe, as did the wider anarchist movement, that this is incompatible with the strategy of 'propaganda by the deed'.
There is no one action, no single pamphlet or article for which Malatesta is famous. There have almost certainly been better anarchist writers, more skilled anarchist organizers, anarchists who have sacrificed more for their beliefs. Perhaps though, Malatesta is celebrated because he combined all of these so well, exemplifying thought expressed in deed, ideas backed up by action, and all driven by a fierce commitment to freedom.
From : "Errico Malatesta," by Ray Cunningham, published by the Struggle Site, https://flag.blackened.net/revolt/
This person has authored 35 documents, with 113,495 words or 691,053 characters.
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1921 ~ (1,098 Words / 6,528 Characters) : Opposition to institutions, support the workers rights because a right without opportunity is no right at all, and our struggle against the exploiters should be led by love and not hatred. (From : HoldOffHunger.)
• "...it is a truth that history has made the proletariat the main instrument of the next social change, and that those fighting for the establishment of a society where all human beings are free and endowed with all the means to exercise their freedom, must rely mainly on the proletariat."
• "...it is easy to understand the hatred of so many wretches whose bodies and sentiments are tormented and rent by society: however, as soon as the hell in which they live is lit up by an ideal, hatred disappears and a burning desire of fighting for the good of all takes over."
• "...I had always sought to demonstrate that the social wrongs do not depend on the wickedness of one master or the other, one governor or the other, but rather on masters and governments as institutions; therefore, the remedy does not lie in changing the individual rulers, instead it is necessary to demolish the principle itself by which men dominate over men..."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1899 ~ (1,185 Words / 6,986 Characters)
This article was widely diffused in Italy in 1899, following the massacres and condemnations which happened the previous year. The aim was to spread the idea of the union of all anti-monarchy parties aimed to the insurrection against the monarchy, without renouncing principles of each individual party, and without commitment to what each will want to do after the fall of the monarchy. Here is a substantial part of it. Facing the brutality of certain situations every discussion must be interrupted: we need to act. When a man falls into the water and drowns, we cannot spend time discussing why he fell and how to avoid him falling again: it is urgent to get him out of the water and prevent his death. When a country is invaded by a savage horde that insults, rapes and massacres all inhabitants, the first thing to do is to throw the invader out, for no matter how big the wrong-doing of each citizen may be [?] the aspirations of the different parties.
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1930 ~ (1,429 Words / 8,909 Characters) : Rejections of being accused of supporting the constituent assembly, tactics of kill-all or take-nothing against the state, and we should focus on bringing our ideas into reality more than what accusers may say. (From : HoldOffHunger.)
• "...a Constituent Assembly [parliament] is the means used by the privileged classes, when a dictatorship is not possible, either to prevent a revolution, or, when a revolution has already broken out, to stop its progress with the excuse of legalizing it, and to take back as much as possible of the gains that the people had made during the insurrectional period. The Constituent Assembly, with its making asleep and smothering, and the dictatorship, with its crushing and killing, are the two dangers that threaten any revolution. Anarchists must aim their efforts against them."
• "Everyone has the right to state and defend their ideas, but nobody has the right to misrepresent someone else's ideas to strengthen their own."
• "Practical proposals are coming from various sides. They are all good to me, if they appeal to free initiative and to a spirit of solidarity and justice, and tend to take individuals away from the domination of the government and the master."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1897 ~ (2,294 Words / 13,895 Characters) : The anarchist effort, like any effort, is one focused on social organization, these organizations should be voluntary and cooperative, and it is through these groups that we will establish a better world. (From : HoldOffHunger.)
• "...the agelong oppression of the masses by a small privileged group has always been the result of the inability of the oppressed to agree among themselves to organize with others for production, for enjoyment and for the possible needs of defense against whoever might wish to exploit and oppress them. Anarchism exists to remedy this state of affairs..."
• "...we anarchists do not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to emancipate themselves. We do not believe in the good that comes from above and imposed by force; we want the new way of life to emerge from the body of the people and correspond to the state of their development and advance as they advance. It matters to us therefore that all interests and opinions should find their expression in a conscious organization and should influence communal life in proportion to their importance."
• "Workers will never be able to emancipate themselves so long as they do not find in union the moral, economic and physical strength that is needed to subdue the organized might of the oppressors."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1890 ~ (1,493 Words / 8,878 Characters)
• "In their [Capitalist] hands they have all the means of production; and thus they suppress not only the possibility of free experimentation in new ways of communal living, and the right of workers to live freely by their own efforts, but also the right to life itself; and they oblige whoever is not a boss to have to allow himself to be exploited and oppressed if he does not wish to die of hunger. They have police forces, a judiciary, and armies created for the express purpose of defending their privileges; and they persecute, imprison and massacre those who would want to abolish those privileges and who claim the means of life and liberty for everyone."
• "...some have inherited the land and all social wealth, while the mass of the people, disinherited in all respects, is exploited and oppressed by a small possessing class."
• "Freedom for all, therefore, to propagate and to experiment with their ideas, with no other limitation than that which arises naturally from the equal liberty of everybody."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (3,197 Words / 19,338 Characters)
• "Revolutionaries yes, but above all anarchists."
• "...our efforts must in the first instance be directed to making the revolution and in such a way that it is in the direction of anarchy. We have to provoke the revolution with all the means at our disposal and act in it as anarchists, by opposing the constitution of any authoritarian regime and putting into operation as much as we can of our program. Anarchists will have to take advantage of the increased freedom that we would have won. We will have to be morally and technically prepared to realize within the limits of our numbers, those forms of social life and cooperation which they consider best and most suitable for paving the way for the future."
• "ONE: Destruction of all concentrations of political power is the first duty of oppressed people. TWO: Any organization of an allegedly provisional revolutionary political power to achieve this destruction cannot be other than one trick more, and would be as dangerous to the people as are all present governments. THREE: In refusing every compromise for the achievement of the revolution, workers of the world must establish solidarity in revolutionary action outside the framework of bourgeois politicians."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1914 ~ (1,597 Words / 9,813 Characters)
• "...the oppressed are always in a state of legitimate self-defense, and have always the right to attack the oppressors."
• "...what seems to be elementary and fundamental for all Socialists (Anarchists, or others) is that it is necessary to keep outside every kind of compromise with the Governments and the governing classes, so as to be able to profit by any opportunity that may present itself, and, in any case, to be able to restart and continue our revolutionary preparations and propaganda."
• "...'France,' or 'Germany,' and of other political and national agglomerations—results of historical struggles—as of homogenous ethnographic units, each having its proper interests, aspirations, and mission, in opposition to the interests, aspirations and a mission of rival units. This may be true relatively, so long as the oppressed, and chiefly the workers, have no self-consciousness, fail to recognize the injustice of their oppressors. There is, then, the dominating class only that counts; and this class, owing to its desire to conserve and to enlarge its power, even its prejudices and its own ideas, may find it convenient to excite racial ambitions and hatred, and send its nation, its flock, against 'foreign' countries, with a view to releasing them from their present oppressors, and submitting them to its own political economical domination."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (2,346 Words / 14,221 Characters)
Errico Malatesta (Vogliamo!, June, 1930) A section of our movement is eagerly discussing about the practical problems that the revolution will have to solve. This is good news and a good omen, even if the solutions proposed so far are neither abundant nor satisfactory. The days are gone when people used to believe that an insurrection would suffice for everything, that defeating the army and the police and knocking down the powers that be would be enough to bring about all the rest, i.e. the most essential part. It used to be claimed that providing sufficient food, adequate accommodations and good clothes to everyone immediately after the victorious uprising would be enough for the revolution to be founded on unshakable ground and be able to readily proceed towards higher and higher ideals. Nobody took the trouble to check whether there would be actually enough goods for everyone and whether the existing goods were or... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1891 ~ (6,009 Words / 36,695 Characters)
Anarchy is a word that comes from the Greek, and signifies, strictly speaking, "without government": the state of a people without any constituted authority. Before such an organization had begun to be considered possible and desirable by a whole class of thinkers, so as to be taken as the aim of a movement (which has now become one of the most important factors in modern social warfare), the word "anarchy" was used universally in the sense of disorder and confusion, and it is still adopted in that sense by the ignorant and by adversaries interested in distorting the truth. We shall not enter into philological discussions, for the question is not philological but historical. The common interpretation of the word does not misconceive its true etymological signification, but is derived from it, owing to the prejudice that government must be a necessity of the organization of social... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1894 ~ (1,938 Words / 11,869 Characters)
From their first manifestations Anarchists have [been] nearly unanimous as to the necessity of recourse to physical force in order to transform existing society; and while the other self-styled revolutionary parties have gone floundering into the parliamentary slough, the anarchist idea has in some sort identified itself with that of armed insurrection and violent revolution. But, perhaps, there has been no sufficient explanation as to the kind and the degree of violence to be employed; and here as in many other questions very dissimilar ideas and sentiments lurk under our common name. As a fact, the numerous outrages which have lately been perpetrated by Anarchists and in the name of Anarchy, have brought to the light of day profound differences which had formerly been ignored, or scarcely foreseen. Some comrades, disgusted at the atrocity and uselessness of certain of these acts, have declared themselves opposed to all violence... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1922 ~ (31,258 Words / 197,326 Characters)
INTRODUCTION Malatesta began writing the series of dialogues that make up At the Caf: Conversations on Anarchism in March 1897, while he was in hiding in Ancona and busy with the production of the periodical L'Agitazione. Luigi Fabbri, in his account of this period, written to introduce the 1922 edition of the full set of dialogues (Bologna, Edizioni di Volont), edited by Malatesta (Reprint, Torino, Sargraf, 1961), gives us a beguiling picture of Malatesta, clean-shaven as a disguise, coming and going about the city, pipe in mouth, smiling impudently at his friends, who, for the sake of his safety, wished him elsewhere. The idea of the dialogues was suggested to him by the fact that he often frequented a caf that was not usually the haunt of subversives such as himself. Indeed, one of the regulars, who was a member of the police, used to engage Malatesta in conversation without, of... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1924 ~ (1,265 Words / 7,719 Characters)
The rampant dictatorial governments in Italy, Spain and Russia, which arouse such envy and longing among the more reactionary and timid parties across the world, are supplying dispossessed democracy with a sort of new virginity. Thus we see the creatures of the old regimes, well-accustomed to the wicked art of politics, responsible for repression and massacres of working people, reemerging where they do not lack the courage and presenting themselves as men of progress, seeking to capture the near future in the name of liberation. And, given the situation, they could even succeed. There is something to be said for the criticisms made of democracy by dictatorial regimes, and the way they expose the vises and lies of democracy. And I remember that anarchist, Hermann Sandomirski, a Bolshevik fellowtraveller with whom we had bittersweet contact at the time of the Geneva conference, and who is now trying to couple Lenin with Bakunin,... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1929 ~ (3,052 Words / 18,767 Characters)
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 or... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1922 ~ (1,775 Words / 11,225 Characters)
Errico Malatesta (Umanit Nova, n. 192, October 14, 1922) My latest article on this topic drew the attention of many comrades and procured me numerous questions and remarks. Perhaps I was not clear enough; perhaps I also disturbed the mental habits of some, who love to rest on traditional formulas more than tormenting their brain, and are bothered by anything that forces them to think. In any case I will try to make myself clearer, and I will be happy if those who consider what I say quite heretical will enter the discussion and contribute to define a practical program of action, which can be used as a guide in the next social upheavals. So far our propagandists have been mainly concerned with criticizing the present society and demonstrating the desirability and possibility of a new social order based on free agreement, in which everyone could find the conditions for the greatest material, spiritual and inte... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1921 ~ (1,760 Words / 11,050 Characters)
• "On the contrary, we do not boast that we possess absolute truth; we believe that social truth is not a fixed quantity, good for all times, universally applicable, or determinable in advance, but that instead, once freedom has been secured, mankind will go forward discovering and acting gradually with the least number of upheavals and with a minimum of friction. Thus our solutions always leave the door open to different and, one hopes, better solutions."
• "The authoritarians, the rulers, either believe they hold an infallible formula, or must pretend to hold it, as they intend to lay down and impose the law. However, all history shows that the law's only use is to defend, strengthen and perpetuate the interests and prejudices prevailing at the time the law is made, thus forcing mankind to move from revolution to revolution, from violence to violence."
• "To me a policeman is worse than a criminal, at least than a minor common criminal; a policeman is more dangerous and harmful to society. However, if people do not feel sufficiently protected by the public, no doubt they immediately call for the policeman. Therefore, the only way of preventing the policeman from existing is to make him useless by replacing him in those functions that constitute a real protection for the public."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1925 ~ (2,070 Words / 12,856 Characters)
In the course of those polemics which arise among anarchists as to the best tactics for achieving, or approaching the creation of an anarchist society - and they are useful, and indeed necessary arguments when they reflect mutual tolerance and trust and avoid personal recriminations - it often happens that some reproach others with being gradualists, and the latter reject the term as if it were an insult. Yet the fact is that, in the real sense of the word and given the logic of our principles, we are all gradualists. And all of us, in whatever different ways, have to be. It is true that certain words, especially in politics, are continually changing their meaning and often assume one that is quite contrary to the original, logical and natural sense of the term. Thus the word possibilist. Is there anyone of sound mind who would seriously claim to want the impossible? Yet in France the term became the special lab... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1920 ~ (308 Words / 1,817 Characters)
• "None can judge with certainty who is right and who is wrong, who is nearest the truth, or which is the best way to achieve the greatest good for each and everyone. Freedom coupled with experience, is the only way of discovering the truth and what is best; and there can be no freedom if there is a denial of the freedom to err."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (1,771 Words / 10,384 Characters)
Revolt rumbles everywhere. Here it is the expression of an idea, and there the result of a need; most often it is the consequence of the intertwining of needs and ideas which mutually generate and reinforce each other. It fastens itself to the causes of evil or strikes close by, it is conscious or instinctive, it is humane or brutal, generous or narrowly selfish, but it always grows and extends itself. It is history which advances: it is useless to take time to complain about the routes that it chooses, since these routes have been marked out by all previous evolution. But history is made by men; and since we do not want to remain indifferent and passive spectators to the historic tragedy, since we want to contribute all our forces to determine the events which seem to us most favorable to our cause, we must have a criterion to guide us in the evaluation of the facts which are produced, and especially in choosing the place that we will occupy... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (452 Words / 2,678 Characters)
We do not recognize the right of the majority to impose the law on the minority, even if the will of the majority in somewhat complicated issues could really be ascertained. The fact of having the majority on ones side does not in any way prove that one must be right. Indeed, humanity has always advanced through the initiative and efforts of individuals and minorities, whereas the majority, by its very nature, is slow, conservative, submissive to superior force and to established privileges. But if we do not for one moment recognize the right of majorities to dominate minorities, we are even more opposed to domination of the majority by a minority. It would be absurd to maintain that one is right because one is in a minority. If at all times there have been advanced and enlightened minorities, so too have there been minorities which were backward and reactionary; if there are human beings who are exceptional, and ahead of their times, there are also psycho... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (460 Words / 2,871 Characters)
Errico Malatesta (Pensiero e Volont, n. 9, May 10, 1924) MEDICINE... AND ANARCHISM. Under this title, in the editorial mail of our issue n. 5, we published a note by which we refused the invitation of some comrades to make propaganda in favor of certain methods of treatment conflicting with science and the commonly accepted medical practice. This fact upset comrade N. Cuneo from New York. Though acknowledging that Pensiero e Volont is not the right place for medical discussions (in fact, he is not among those who urged us to that propaganda), in the April 15 issue of Libero Accordo he stands up for the natural treatment, i.e. a treatment without drugs, which is said to be making great progress, and to have been acknowledged and legalized in many states of the american Union. Evidently we could not make ourselves understood. We did not mean to ban any method; we only wan... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1909 ~ (1,729 Words / 10,714 Characters)
• "...if one closely examines what happens deep down, in the intimate daily lives of the mass of humanity, one finds that as well as the struggle to snatch better working conditions, the thirst for domination, rivalry, envy and all the unhealthy passions which set man against man, is also valuable work, mutual aid, unceasing and voluntary exchange of services, affection, love, friendship and all that which draws people closer together in brotherhood. And human collectivizes advance or decay, live or die, depending on whether solidarity and love, or hatred and struggle, predominate in the community's affairs; indeed, the very existence of any community would not be possible if the social feelings, which I would call the good passions, were not stronger than the bad."
• "...human history is full of violence, wars, carnage (besides the ruthless exploitation of the labor of others) and innumerable tyrannies and slavery."
• "The fact is that human life is not possible without profiting by the labor of others, and that there are only two ways in which this can be done: either through a fraternal, equalitarian and libertarian association, in which solidarity, consciously and freely expressed unites all mankind; or the struggle of each against the other in which the victors overrule, oppress and exploit the rest...."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1926 ~ (1,316 Words / 7,792 Characters)
Theoretically democracy means popular government; government by all for everybody by the efforts of all. In a democracy the people must be able to say what they want, to nominate the executors of their wishes, to monitor their performance and remove them when they see fit. Naturally this presumes that all the individuals that make up a people are able to form an opinion and express it on all the subjects that interest them. It implies that everyone is politically and economically independent and therefore no-one, to live, would be obliged to submit to the will of others. If classes and individuals exist that are deprived of the means of production and therefore dependent on others with a monopoly over those means, the so-called democratic system can only be a lie, and one which serves to deceive the mass of the people and keep them docile with an outward show of sovereignty, while the rule of the privileged and dominant class is... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1924 ~ (1,123 Words / 7,428 Characters)
Note to the article individualism and anarchism by adamas Errico Malatesta (Pensiero e Volont, n. 15, August 1, 1924) Adamas reply to my article in n. 13 shows that I did not express my thought well, and induces me to add some clarifications. I claimed that individualist anarchism and communist anarchism are the same, or nearly so, in terms of moral motivations and ultimate goals. I know that one could counter my claim with hundreds of texts and plenty of deeds of self-proclaimed individualist anarchists, which would demonstrate that individualist anarchist and communist anarchist are separated by something of a moral abyss. However, I deny that that kind of individualists can be included among anarchists, despite their liking for calling themselves so. If anarchy means non-government, non-domination, non-oppression by man over man, how can one call himself... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1931 ~ (3,951 Words / 23,914 Characters)
• "PETER KROPOTKIN IS WITHOUT DOUBT ONE OF THOSE WHO have contributed perhaps more—perhaps more even than Bakunin and Elisee Reclus—to the elaboration and propagandation of anarchist ideas. And he has therefore well deserved the recognition and the admiration that all anarchists feel for him."
• "If it is true that the law of Nature is Harmony, I suggest one would be entitled to ask why Nature has waited for anarchists to be born, and goes on waiting for them to triumph, in order to destroy the terrible and destructive conflicts from which mankind has already suffered. Would one not be closer to the truth in saying that anarchy is the struggle, in human society, against the disharmonies of Nature?"
• "...two passions: the desire for knowledge and the desire to act for the good of humanity, two noble passions which can be mutually useful and which one would like to see in all men, without being, for all this, one and the same thing."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1916 ~ (1,154 Words / 7,276 Characters)
• "Peace ought to be imposed by bringing about the Revolution, or at least by threatening to do so. To the present time, the strength or the skill is wanting. Well! There is only one remedy: to do better in future. More than ever we must avoid compromise; deepen the chasm between capitalists and wage slaves, between rulers and ruled; preach expropriation of private property and the destruction of States as the only means of guaranteeing fraternity between the peoples and Justice and Liberty for all; and we must prepare to accomplish these things."
• "...the State is incapable of good. In the field of international as well as of individual relations it can only combat aggression by making itself the aggressor; it can only hinder crime by organizing and committing still greater crime."
• "During the present war we have seen Republicans placing themselves at the service of kings, Socialists making common the cause with the ruling class, Laborists serving the interests of capitalists; but in reality all these people are, in varying degrees, Conservatives—believers in the mission of the State, and their hesitation can be understood when the only remedy lay in the destruction of every Governmental chain and the unloosing of the Social Revolution. But such hesitation is incomprehensible in the case of Anarchists."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1927 ~ (4,088 Words / 24,981 Characters)
I recently happened to come across a French pamphlet (in Italy today , as is known, the non-fascist press cannot freely circulate), with the title 'Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Project)'. This is a project for anarchist organization published under the name of a 'Group of Russian Anarchists Abroad' and it seems to be directed particularly at Russian comrades. But it deals with questions of equal interest to all anarchists; and it is, clear, including the language in which it is written, that it seeks the support of comrades worldwide. In any case it is worth examining, for the Russians as for everyone, whether the proposal put forward is in keeping with anarchist principles and whether implementation would truly serve the cause of anarchism. The intentions of the comrades are excellent. They rightly lament the fact that until now the anarchists have not had an influence on political and social events in proportion to... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (1,730 Words / 10,329 Characters)
The fundamental error of the reformists is that of dreaming of solidarity, a sincere collaboration, between masters and servants, between proprietors and workers which even if it might have existed here and there in periods of profound unconsciousness of the masses and of ingenuous faith in religion and rewards, is utterly impossible today. Those who envisage a society of well stuffed pigs which waddle contentedly under the ferule of a small number of swineherd; who do not take into account the need for freedom and the sentiment of human dignity; who really believe in a God that orders, for his abstruse ends, the poor to be submissive and the rich to be good and charitable can also imagine and aspire to a technical organization of production which assures abundance to all and is at the same time materially advantageous both to the bosses and to the workers. But in reality social peace based on abundance for all will remain a dream, so long a... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1884 ~ (1,762 Words / 10,306 Characters)
About fifteen years ago, this writer was a youngster studying rhetoric and Roman history, Greek, Latin, and Giobertian philosophy. Despite the best efforts of my teachers, schooling did not managed to stifle my nature and, in the stultifying, corruptive modern high school setting, I managed to keep my mind wholesome and my heart unblemished. By nature affectionate and impassioned, I dreamed of an ideal world in which all would love one another and be happy. Whenever I wearied of daydreams, I succumbed to reality, took a look around me, and saw: here, someone shivering from cold and hunger and meekly seeking alms in the shape of a crust of bread; there, some children crying; and over yonder, some men mouthing curses; and my heart froze in horror. Later, I was more vigilant and realized that a tremendous injusticea nonsensical systemwas grinding humanity down and condemning it to pain; labor was degraded and almost re... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1921 ~ (907 Words / 5,583 Characters) : Malatesta was a committed revolutionary: he believed that the anarchist revolution was inevitable, and that violence would be a necessary part of it since the state rested ultimately on violent coercion, which can be seen in the article, "the Revolutionary 'Haste.'" (From : Wikipedia.)
Errico Malatesta (Umanit Nova, n. 125, September 6, 1921) Let us deal again with G. Valentis article republished by the Reggio Emilia newspaper Giustizia. Valenti dwells on enumerating all the masses that are indifferent or hostile to subversive propaganda. Writing about the United States, he claims that there are 60 (?) million Catholics organized in religious associations who go to church and pray God, and he invites the anarchists to go and make propaganda among those 60 millions, if they want to speed up the revolution. He claims that only 4 and a half million producers out of 40 million are organized in organizations, the majority of which, as a matter of fact, are still opposed to socialism; he also invites trade unionists to start working at organizing workers in unions, if they really want to speed up the revolution. He claims that only one million voters out of twenty-five million voted for Debs in the last polls,... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1922 ~ (3,733 Words / 23,407 Characters)
At the meeting held in Bienne (Switzerland) on the fiftieth anniversary of the Saint Imier Congress, comrade Bertoni and I expressed some ideas that comrade Colomer did not like. So much so that he wrote on the Paris Libertaire that he is sure those ideas contrast the most lively tendencies of the contemporary anarchist movement. Had the comrades of Germany, Spain, Russia, America, etc. been present at that meeting, he writes, they would have got moved and nearly indignant (mus et presque indign), as he himself did. In my opinion, comrade Colomer slightly overstates his knowledge of the real tendencies of anarchism. In any case, it is an improper use of language, at the least, to talk about indignation when the matter is a discussion where everyone honestly tries to contribute to the clarification of ideas in the best interest of the common goal. Anyway, it is better to keep discussing in a friendly manne... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1926 ~ (4,501 Words / 26,941 Characters)
• "A Union is set up to defend the day to day interests of the workers and to improve their conditions as much as possible before they can be in any position to make the revolution and by it change today's wage-earners into free workers, freely associating for the benefit of all."
• "Today, I believe, there is no-one, or almost no-one among us who would deny the usefulness of and the need for the labor movement as a mass means of material and moral advancement, as a fertile ground for propaganda and as an indispensable force for the social transformation that is our goal. There is no longer anyone who does not understand what the workers' organization means, to us anarchists more than to anyone, believing as we do that the new social organization must not and cannot be imposed by a new government by force but must result from the free cooperation of all. Moreover, the labor movement is now an important and universal institution. To oppose it would be to become the oppressors' accomplices; to ignore it would be to put us out of reach of people's everyday lives and condemn us to perpetual powerlessness."
• "...a mass of people plagued by urgent needs and driven by aspirations - at times passionate but always vague and indeterminate - to a better life, and on the other individuals and parties who have a specific view of the future and of the means to attain it..."
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (15,347 Words / 85,531 Characters)
William. Ah Jack, is that you? Im glad to meet you. Ive been wanting a talk with you for a long time. Oh, Jack! Jack! What have I heard about you! When you lived in the country you were a good lad, quite an example to the young fellows of your ageIf your poor father were alive Jack. William, why are you speaking to me like this? What have I done that you reproach me? And why would my poor father have been dissatisfied with me? William. Dont be offended at my words, Jack. I am an old man and I speak for your good. And besides I was such friends with old Andrew, your father, that I am as vexed to see you go astray as though you were my own son, especially when I think of the hopes your father had of you and the sacrifices he made to leave you a good name. Jack. But William, what are you talking about? Am I not an honest working man? Ive never done any harm... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1899 ~ (1,600 Words / 9,778 Characters)
"Towards Anarchism" by Errico Malatesta (1853-1932) first appeared in English in the Depression era periodical MAN! This little essay was highly regarded by the revolutionary anarchist prisoner Carl Harp (1949-1981) who suggested reprinting it in this form. First printing, 1982 by: Black Cat Press, P.O. Box 11261, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. By: ERRICO MALATESTA It is a general opinion that we, because we call ourselves revolutionists, expect Anarchism to come with one stroke - as the immediate result of an insurrection which violently attacks all that which exists and which replaces all with institutions that are really new. And to tell the truth this idea is not lacking among some comrades who also conceive the revolution in such a manner. This prejudice explains why so many honest opponents believe Anarchism a thing impossible; and it also explains why some comrades, disgusted with the present moral condition of the people and seeing that... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1913 ~ (2,628 Words / 16,074 Characters)
It would seem that its late in the day to still talk about it, but the subject nevertheless remains current, since were dealing with acts and discussions that have occurred over and again in the past and that, alas, will repeat themselves in the future as well. For as long as the determining causes have not disappeared. A few individuals stole, and in order to steal, killed; they killed at random, without discernment anyone who stood between them and the money they were after. Killed men unknown to them, workers, victims like themselves and even more than themselves of a bad social organization. At heart there was nothing in this but the ordinary: they were the bitter fruit that ripen on the tree of privilege in the normal course of events. When all of social life is stained with fraud and violence, and when he who is born poor is condemned to all kinds of sufferings and humiliations; when money is something indispensable for the... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1922 ~ (1,169 Words / 7,174 Characters)
• "Let nobody wait for someone else's initiative; let anyone take the initiatives they deem appropriate in their place, in their environment, and then try, with due precautions, to connect their own to others' initiatives, to reach the general agreement that is necessary to a valid action."
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